Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Plein Air Figure on the Fourth

 "Blue Parasol"
12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Every Fourth of July weekend, Eugene holds an amazing art festival. My friend Farley and I got to paint there two years ago, and we were honored to be able to do it again this year! 

We got some very inquisitive spectators:

 One of the best parts of the day was working with our gorgeous model Tahni, who's been in Sweden for the past year! You may recognize her from such paintings as this and this.....

 Here's my work-in-progress:

Hope you had an excellent Fourth of July too!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mixing It Up

Last weekend was the second run of my new workshop "Mindful Mixing," at Oregon Art Supply here in Eugene. It's a still life based class, focusing on color and - you guessed it - mixing! I'm a huge fan of the palette knife, and spend a lot of time premixing paint colors before any of it goes on the canvas. 

Above, you can see my demo of our "Stroke Economy" exercise. Paint an apple with 25 brushstrokes! Since a stroke is considered anything that happens between your brush touching the canvas and being lifted up, you can get a lot out of one. The trick is to get the right result from one!

Below are two more exercises. On the top left is a still life of all-white objects painted using black and white. Bottom left is the same still life painted using purple and yellow only - no white. On the right, you see my purple/yellow demo converted to black and white with a photo filter to check the values.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Plein Air in Corvallis

 "Corvallis Farm Stand"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

I had an amazing opportunity last week as part of the Giustina Gallery at Oregon State's new exhibit "Everyday Taste of Plein Air" to join some of my absolute art heroes for a paintout.

We set up around the farmer's market in downtown Corvallis. It was a beautiful day, and there were lots of people out. 

 After lunch, I painted a view of Big River, a favorite Corvallis restaurant.

"Big River"
9 x 12, oil on canvas

That evening was the opening reception for the exhibit. Here's my wall:

It was a long, fun day, and a fantastic show. If you're in the Corvallis area, don't miss it!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Still Life at Sequoia

 "Lemon Demo at Hillsboro"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

It's been a good, busy couple of weeks around here. Two workshops and a paintout in ten days! 

It all started in Hillsboro - a town not far from Portland, Oregon - at Sequoia Gallery + Studios. I did an evening demo, the lemon painting above, for a small audience of 14 artists, then a three-day still life workshop.

I hate to play favorites, but this was one of the most talented groups I've taught. We worked hard!

 I've gotten a lot of questions on Facebook and Instagram about the Spic n Span bottle in this photo. No, it's not a secret painting trick of mine - but it DID really work on cleaning up the paint that got smeared all over the floor!

My next still life workshop will be July 11th and 12th, at Winslow Art Center on Bainbridge Island, Washington. It's a two-day workshop, with a demo the evening before.

 "Demo no. 2 at Hillsboro"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I'm already looking forward to heading back to Hillsboro. Thanks for a great weekend!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

The Mirror Plate

 "The Mirror Plate"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

Posting this new painting in a hurry, since I'm heading up to Hillsboro today to teach a workshop! You can follow all my adventures on Facebook and Instagram.

Monday, June 1, 2015

My First Zorn Palette Still Life

 "Turnip Bowl"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

I had some paint left over after Tuesday night's portrait session, so I decided to try a Zorn palette still life. It was a good fit for these flesh-colored turnips. I'm always amazed at how blue the mixture of Ivory Black and White can feel with this limited palette!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Icy Blues

 "Icy Blues"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

As much as I love working with my favorite models over and over again, there's a thrill in capturing a brand new face. I get to approach the portrait without any old ideas of what the model looks like.

Here's a work-in-progress. You can see that I had to lower the right eye quite a bit - an issue I wouldn't have noticed if I hadn't snapped a picture. Looking at a painting on a phone screen is a great way to "get back from it," and texting the picture to a friend for a quick critique doesn't hurt either!

And here's the model himself:

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Detecting a Theme?

16 x 16 inches, oil on canvas

Loyal readers of this blog may be detecting a theme around here lately. I'm working on a series of paintings of plants for an upcoming show I've decided to call "Floats and Flora." If you think that's a stupid name, don't tell me! It was hard to come up with - but I give myself credit. Last time I had to name a show I went with the yawn-inducing "New and Selected Works." I call that progress.

Speaking of progress, here's a work-in:

And here's my patient model. Holding very still. 

Thanks for looking!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Grapefruit In Four, and A Bit About Underpaintings

 "Grapefruit in Four"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas

Here's a work-in-progress shot, including a view of the setup:

You can see a lot of my underpainting here - I start with a dull orange wet-tone on the canvas, then add darks and pull out lights, laying in my composition first with the dull orange mixture, then adding alizarin crimson and dioxazine purple for the darkest darks. 


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Two Grapefruit, and Upcoming Workshops

 "Two Grapefruit"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas

I'm not doing any teaching this month, which is actually a good thing, since I have a big show coming up in August for which I'm trying to make a bunch of new work. 

June's going to be a bit busier, with a still life workshop in Hillsboro June 5-7th, and the second round of my new Mindful Mixing workshop here in Eugene the 13-14th. I miss teaching, but I'm enjoying some uninterrupted studio time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A New Zorn Palette Portrait

9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

This was one of those paintings that practically fall off the brush. I especially enjoyed painting those eyes! I love how the subtle topography of her face demanded really controlled value shifts across the flesh tones. 

You can see a photo of the model with her portrait on Facebook.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

I'm Kind of a Plant Lady

 "Floats and Flora"
12 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
click to buy

As I've shared with you before, I'm kind of a plant lady. I did actually once work as a professional plant waterer in office buildings, but my houseplant obsession was already well established by then. It's the kind of thing where, even though you know you have no where to put them, you can't resist buying more. Then they get bigger, and you have to prune them....but you can't throw those pieces away!?! Hence, lots of baby plants. Like the one in this painting. It's a Peperomia Jayde, and I bought the parent plant back in the Cleveland days, so over eight years ago now.

Here are some plant paintings of mine from years past.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Deep Blue Gaze, and I Critique my Former Self

 "Deep Blue Gaze"
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas

It's been a long time since I've painted this model, Dylan. In fact, I can't believe that this piece was painted over four years ago! Here's another one from the same time period. 

At the time, I remember being really proud of this one, but looking at it now, I have several critiques. There are way too many brushstrokes on the face, especially the forehead. The line where the nose meets the shadow cast by the nose is too sharp, and the ear on the shadow side of the head is far too light/saturated. I feel like all the shadows are a bit too light, too cool. So the face feels flat.

Now, if I was delivering this scathing commentary to a student of mine, I would certainly mix some positive things in with the negative. The drawing is good, I'd say, and the eyes and face have a definite expression. I actually like the way I handled the background - one side warmer, one side cooler. And I like some of the soft edges where the hair meets the background.

Anyway, back to the present! Here's a progression:
And here's a shot, on Facebook, of the model himself with his portrait.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Citrus Catch-Up

"Orange on Yellow"
8 x 10 inches, oil on canvas
Click to buy

I painted this a few weeks ago, when I was working with this set-up. Somehow it slipped through the cracks and never got blogged. So here it is! No statute of limitations in painting.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mindful Mixing

 "Limited Palette Lemons"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

I just wrapped up the inaugural session of a brand new workshop called "Mindful Mixing." It's kind of a blend of color theory with my existing still life workshop exercises.

We started off with a complimentary color painting. Learning to see color as By painting an all-white still life using No. White. 

Here's my demo, painted with Hansa yellow and Dioxazine purple:

By the end of the workshop, we were doing full-spectrum paintings using only three tubes plus white. My lemon demo above was painted using only Alizarin crimson, Cadmium yellow, and Cerulean blue. Can you believe I got the bowl to feel that deep deep blue using only Cerulean? 

Here are some shots from the weekend, including incredible student work:

I'll be teaching Zorn palette portrait at Oregon Art Supply this weekend - there are still spots open. Mindful Mixing will be run again soon - so sign up for their mailing list for information on that! Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Oklahoma City: A Tornado of Paint!

 "Crimson Radishes"
8x8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

I took my still life show on the road again this month, traveling to Oklahoma City to teach my second workshop at The Conservatory for Classical Art.
We did a TON of painting - from ten minute paintings to ten stroke paintings. We painted eggs, we painted tea, we painted peppers, radishes, cantaloupe... pretty much the whole produce department.

I had a blast. Already looking forward to heading back in September to teach Zorn Palette Portrait.

 "Lemon Tea in OKC"
8 x 8 inches, oil on canvas
Sold, demo painting

What a fabulous group! Thanks for painting with me.