Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Painting of the day

Ah, back in the saddle......

I thought, hey, marbles would be a cool subject... until I was an hour in.

A great exercise in seeing value and mixing color.


Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday morning.....

Monday, monday....
I feel really tired and sore today....pushing paint around to no avail this morning.

I think this is a coming down the mountain experience after such a strong painting stretch last week. Almost a recovery time. I am certain this is the cause of my shoulder pain.

I sold two paintings over the weekend which is a great encouragement, but have to be careful of the machine mode I can get into feeling like I need to replenish my stock. This brings on the zombie painter demeanor I so loathe.....Maybe I exaggerate here. I probably do since I am tired and sore. Did I mention that?....

I plan on thinking about a narrative for the black horse (see below) and maybe doing a little sketching, which I never do. At ACA we were required to show our sketchbooks. I always had to go back after a finished work and make up sketches......... I have ALWAYS found the exercise useless. I am aware this goes against every book, instruction and most artists' recommendations, still I have to be honest. Hey, just get in there and do the thing.

I have this thing about dogs in clothes, but I think this little guy is beggin' for a jester's costume....... can't you just see it?! I am givin' in to the madness.....tired and sore.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Italian Greyhound

Thanks to Daniel for the lovely photo of his dog Lucca that I used as the base image....
When I think if IGs I think of the number of them I saw during my vet tech years with serious leg breaks. Most of them never heal right. Their slender little legs are like twigs and the skin is paper thin, so you can always see the plates in the bone.........beautiful little dogs.

Friday, January 18, 2008

the black horse

Van Gogh's sketchbook...

A sketchbook believed to be Vincent's has been discovered in Greece.

Amazing.....I wonder about the complete back story of its travels from the artist's hands to some old storage box in Greece......apparently Nazis had something to do with it. I can't imagine what it would be like the chance to hold that in my hands.
Here's the story:


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The black horse...on the easel

So, much farther along, yet I still want to go darker at the top......and there are a few adjustments aead still.
Man, this is a tough one......so monotone and so dark. I am really challenged by this one. It was difficult even to shoot......

Friday, January 11, 2008

on the easel....

There is a story forming.......

Thursday, January 10, 2008

N.C. Wyeth

I just finished reading a huge biography of artist N.C. Wyeth. I am so struck by his lifelong struggle to accept his own work. He painted over 3,000 works and not one of them ever seemed to be good enough. I think most artists have an idea in their mind that is magical and supreme that at once looses its power once translated into solid life. Yet, looking at his work and success it seems he would arrive to at least some symbalance of satisfaction. Lots more going on here in his personal history, I know, to cause this state, but it seems common among artists.

He also had the mindset that illustration was not real art and spend the later part of his life trying to undo what he felt was damaging instruction and career choices. Very sad considering that his work is amazing and has had such great staying power over the decades.

I have become enamoured with his ideal of simplicity and the cultivation of imagination in his life and the lives of his five children. He really avoided all the entertainment and material trappings of the world and chose good books and good music as the supreme means of educating and forming them. Only one did not become a fine artist. I am reminded again to be careful of how I spend my time and come away from the book wishing I had such an upbringing at such a time......

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Painting of the day: English Mastiff

My favorite breed. Mastiff.
Not sure if I want to put some elements in the sky.....
thinking about it....maybe some birds.....

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Final painting of 2007....


So as of January one I have five days a week to paint. This is an opportunity I have hoped and prayed for over the last several months and the Lord has brought it to pass.

Today, on January two while thinking about my new schedule and all the uninterrupted time I have to paint away a small seed of doubt sprouted which turned into a tiny plant of fear and is on its way to becoming a tree if I continue to fertilize it with these thoughts........then it will bear fruit........this formidable tree bears several fruits all of which bring on paralysis.

In my prayer time at once flashed an image of me and Craig two years ago in the deep woods of West Virginia. I had just finished "Vincent and Me" and we were talking about the painting. I asked Craig what he thought of it and he said basically it was a fine painting but that it lacked my signature surrealistic style. Well, that hurt a bit, but he was right. And I felt I needed to go back in that direction, the way of my first love, if you will, in art and the reason I wanted to be an artist. As I mentioned in the previous entry I was inspired by surrealism, fantasy and narrative.

Here two years later I am again thinking about artistic direction and feel another tug to journey down the same road. I find the older I get the more my logical brain tries to take over the universe. Hey, I was really excited about getting a new vacuum cleaner for Christmas, I love to organize and clean. Not very artistic. Most artists are a mess. I think I need more mess at least in the space before the easel.