Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Today's Painting

The beautifully bizarre vision came to my mind about the Shepherdess today. I was getting that she had something to do with water, but I couldn't figure why or how. But now it is clear that she is overseer and source of fish life, so her legs are made of fish eggs. This requires
a lo-hot of detail work and building up of that translucent red-orange color, but I have started.
You can see a few of her thoughts above her head....

One more 5" x 7" for the NVFAA show.....

And, on the note of another artist's work, I am really excited to be the proud owner of a beautiful Kathleen Kendall sculpture.She uses antique doll molds to make them. Katie and I have a show coming up together in February and we have been having coffee here and there. As soon as I saw it in her studio, I loved it.....
She is amazingly creative working with all manner of mediums and materials.....things I would never think of or be able to do....

The nest has a real tiny bird egg in it...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

On the easel....

Yesterday, I started having a new flare up of shoulder pain. I sort of have been pushing through it, but now feel pretty sore, so I could only paint a few hours today.
I am really intrigued by where this is going. Her little face just speaks volumes to me.....I put in a few of her "thoughts" floating up.....

Painter's Block

Robert Genn's letter to artists for September 29th: How to Beat Painter's Block

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Shepherdess....

As I countdown to the two openings in November, my to-do list is getting longer. I spent the day photographing, assessing, and applying retouch varnish to around 15 paintings. I need RAW images of everything, as I have been really lax about getting good archival formats usually messing around with jpegs. My camera can only shoot about two RAW images at a time, so I have to shoot and then download repeatedly. Tonight I will go over the images and re shoot anything weak tomorrow.

Press releases have been send and recieved and all is on track. I will begin getting a postcard together shortly. Hopefully, I can get another newsletter out, too.

I worked on our shepherdess most of yesterday. She is coming along beautifully.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Painting

Man, this is painting. I had to utilize my ninja painting techniques today with those ears. There is nothing in the entire world like rendering a thing like these in oil. Getting that translucent quality is worth every mix and remix of color. Carefully placing the little veins........
If you haven't seen it and would like to, the sketch for this one is posted here. It will be interesting to see if I deviate from the drawing....

Happy weekend, all and many thanks for all your comments and thoughts whether out loud or not.


I love my creative use of blog titles....need to work on that...

Ok, so I lied about getting those images up. Worked at finishing up the "Landlord" but really was not happy, so I had to rework a bit. I felt the lion's mane was becoming an entity of its own. Though I love specific and tight rendering of paint, my tendency is to get way too much into detail overall. It is my natural way of painting, and though it isn't "wrong", I like to incorporate more loose painting technique in some areas of a painting. In college, my drawing professor stated my rendering of clouds made them appear to be made of "lead" because they were so detailed.

Still really cloudy and dark yesterday, a supposed clear up is to take place today. So, hopefully, photos soon.

I started a new painting yesterday based on this sketch:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

Occasionally, I like to watch or listen to movies while I paint. If I feel like I am thinking too much, which is about 99% of the time, I will watch something really simple. I think I am on the sixth and final season of "Leave it to Beaver" on Netflix. It sounds crazy, but it really works in a positive manner to silence to noise so the right brain is freed up.

Yesterday, I watched the documentary "Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock." The story goes a trucker buys a painting for $5 at a thrift shop and discovers is may be a Pollock. The film documents her battle with the "art establishment" to get the painting validated with out provenance. This is a really entertaining film between the crass character of the 73 year old female trucker and the unbelievable manner in which the art elite denies the painting despite forensic proof. You can stream it on Netflix free.


I made a lot of progress on the "Landlord" painting today, but it is really cloudy out and the end of the day, so I can't shoot an image. It should be completed tomorrow. I made the body an enormous birds nest...
Also working on the tamarin painting as well...
I will get images up tomorrow.

I have a buyer for "Ovis Nectarus," the llama painting. So many people have asked about this painting and so many have had a strong response to it. So, she has a new home in January after her commitments to exhibit close. '

I must say I have really mixed feelings about selling it. All of the major works I have sold have been to local buyers, but this one goes out of state, so it is highly unlikely I will ever see this painting again. But, the buyer is committed and in feel really connected to the work, so I know it goes to a great home. It is a strange thing. The paintings are part of me....I feel like I am losing a piece of myself.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Today's Painting

These little birds are so delicate. I used the goldcrest, a European bird, for most of the detail, but changed the markings some. This is evolving in that magical sort of way created things stroke at a time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


While painting last week, I watched (or listened to, mostly) a Ken Burns documentary about Thomas Hart Benton. The painting I am standing in front of in my banner above is one of his. A self proclaimed enemy of modernism, Benton was a forerunner of the regionalist movement along with Grant Wood, and of course, by the critics, was poorly received and accused of being "folksy." By the time abstract expressionism rolled around, he really was a gem, in my opinion.

The artists I really respect and appreciate are the ones who paint not only in their own style, but also do not change their work according to the popular trend of galleries and critics. They have a conviction about their life's work and follow through with their passion. Andrew Wyeth suffered the same disdain as Benton. Both were artists of the people, not artist of the art world hierarchy.

I was knocked out by a cold toward the end of last week and over the weekend. I have ordered all the frames for the Alexandria and Fredericksburg shows. Between neck, shoulder and other issues, there have many setbacks in painting over the summer, but my image lists have been confirmed by the respective directors. The body of work I have is strong and sufficient to cover both galleries. I am really proud of the work before me and look forward seeing it together in these exhibits. I keep thinking I can get one more done for the openings, and I may, but I realize I have to slow down or the work may suffer. Creativity being the multi-faceted jewel it is, I would be foolish to think I can get away with just painting away at it to squeeze out one more.

Both of the these paintings are now up on the website.

I decided to leave the fish alone, but I did change the horn. I decided it should be more organic and sort of translucent.

"The Unikoi"

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Unikoi

After spending the morning being reminded how expensive framing is, I gave up and went to the easel. There are a few tiny details to finish up tomorrow....considering adding a few small fish.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Monday, September 07, 2009


When I was at the Atlanta College of Art, we had to show our sketch books at every prof/student meeting to show how we arrived at a finished work. I ALWAYS did the sketches after the finished piece. I don't sketch to this day. Well, today I rediscovered how very much I love to work in pencil.
I have had this painting on my mind for sometime....I suppose mine are more like drawing than sketches, but you all know how my style isn't exactly "loose." Lots of notes too...the little "bubbles" are her good and bad thoughts. Craig said "Oh, is she having bad thoughts about being run over by a car?"....very funny.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Back on the easel

Some of you have been with me since I started this painting back in January. The figure has become so special to me, I have not found a suitable environment for him. Like I am not hearing the frequency, or the story clearly for some reason. I have painted, repainted, and walked away from it for long stretches. I worked on getting a sky laid in today and played with a few loose ideas for the ground on which he sits......

Happy weekend all.

On the easel: The Unikoi

I have spent most of the week on this and still have more to is quite tedious. Water and fish now top my list of most challenging things to render in paint.
I was walking Reuben today and listening to Shearwater, an endless source of imagery for me, and I had a vision for the ongoing "baboon" painting. Yes, that baboon painting hangs in my house and is STILL unfinished. I will have another go at it today after a haircut. I am beginning to look like Billy Idol.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Richard J. Bailey: "In the Museum" book

My friend Richard J. Bailey has put together a book called "In the Museum." Richard is a creative genius with a magical ability to concoct images into a perfectly balanced expression of wit, atmosphere and form.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Oil Pastel

This oil pastel is almost 20 years old. I have never had the heart to part with it, so it hangs in my studio. It took many years later to realize that it is a self portrait. I caught a peripheral glimpse of it today while painting and am thankful I have held onto it....

Worked on "Unikoi" today... all those underwater scales.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


The National Gallery of Art has a really cool feature about Edouard Manet's two paintings, "The Dead Toreador" and "The Bullfight", and the story of how they were at one time one painting:

On the Easel: (wt) The Landlord

Often, I wake up in the morning with a sense of unease at approaching the easel. Some of it comes from perfectionist tendencies (and therefore, unrealistic expectations) but I wonder about sitting with that feeling......reframing it. Since I believe the gift I have been given is not to be handled lightly, there is a rightful sense of trepidation when I approach painting. If I can exchange the unhealthy one for the good and right one, I think I do well. This is tricky, because I don't mean at all that I should take my work "seriously." This is a quick way to kill creativity, and after all, it is only a painting. But the privilege of having the opportunity to paint daily, to hone the gift is serious. Maybe I can remember that tomorrow morning.