Monday, December 31, 2007

Corazón Caliente (private collection)

Corazón Caliente, oil on canvas, 5" X 7", 2007
(private collection)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Frame up

There are six Aaron Brothers stores in a 15 mile radius of Seattle.

I have been to five of them in two days.

It's the penny sale! Twice a year, January and July. If you don't have the time or skill to do this*, then it can be a good resource for the frugal artist (or home decorator) to frame their work for a reasonable price.

They almost faked me out by starting it early this year...

* and everybody really ought to spend sometime on Jerry's site...

In Flight (Paper Airplane # 7) (sold)

In Flight (Paper Airplane # 7), oil on canvas, 7" X 5" (approximate), 2007

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2 Habaneros (private collection)

2 Habaneros, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007
Private collection

Friday, December 28, 2007

Habanero Chile (sold)

Habanero Chile, oil on canvas, 4" X 4", 2007

Inspiration by Observation

I love looking at step by step demonstrations from artists. Here are a few for you to peruse...

William Whitaker
I prefer the result of the demo above to his more finished work, but all of his step by step demos are worth a look.

Rebecca Alzofon
Fascinating investigation into Prud'hon's techniques. Bad navigation! look for the hand images to advance through the series.

Anthony Ryder

The whole series is worth a look.

Jeremy Lipking (warning, contains nudity)
Also here.
Also has a new DVD out soon...

For some step by step videos, try here:

American Artist magazine (online)

You tube Keiser

Justin Clayton

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Cookie Cutter (sold)

Cookie Cutter, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Sake #4 (Private collection)

Sake #4, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007
private collection

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

JA-RU SUPER ACE in Flight (sold)

JA-RU SUPER ACE in Flight, oil on canvas, 7" X 5" (approximate), 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Calla Lily No. 2 (sold)

Calla Lily No. 2, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007

I come from the land of O'Keefe, sometimes it's hard not to let a little creep in.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Calla Lily (sold)

Calla Lily, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Pastry (sold)

Pastry, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007

I broke down and did a pastry...

I painted this with the crop (as shown) in mind. I may frame this as a horizontal though. If you're interested, let me know your preference...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Mandarin (sold)

Mandarin, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007

Tagged... part 2

I was tagged by Karen Appleton a couple of weeks ago, and it led to the following post.

I was recently tagged again, by Stephen Magsig (of whom I've written elsewhere on this blog).
A refresh of the rules of engagement: 1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I have been working on versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator for about 9 and a half years.
2. I haven't been in an airplane in about nine years.
3. #1 and #2 are not related.
4. I am named on 3 patents
5. I'm one of the few Americans who can say that he was born in the confines of the continental United States, but not in a state...

As a result of the last round of tag, I found a bunch of new artists to enjoy. I've tagged only people who apparently haven't been tagged yet. Here's hoping you'll enjoy the following five. I hope they play along.

1. Dan Carr
2. Paul Schmid
3. Francis Vallejo
4. Vince Fazio
5. Kristen McCabe

Friday, December 14, 2007

Framing day...

Every now and again I'll stop and frame up a batch, but I've been making slow progress. Today is all about framing. The house feels like a cross between a frame shop and a craft show.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Kettle (private collection)

Kettle, oil on canvas, 8" X 10", 2007
(private collection)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pot (sold)

Pot, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dress Shoes (sold)

Dress Shoes, oil on canvas, 7" X 5", 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Failure, and bonus answers

No new painting today. At least there was, but it'll never see the light of day, 'cause I wiped it down.

Hmm. That makes 2.5 'bad' paintings in 5 tries.

Hope this isn't the start of a slump!

In the meantime, more words. I was asked to answer the following questions from a senior at a local high-school here in Seattle. Here are the questions, and my answers...

1.) Why did you choose a career in the art field?
I found that I am passionate about visual arts-- as a kid I wanted to draw comic books (which I ended up doing later as an adult). I never lost that interest in drawing and painting as I have grown up.
If you can marry your passion with your career-- go for it! You'll be happier, and do better work.

2.) What do you enjoy most about your career?
There are interesting stories to tell, and problems to solve. If I've done my job right, people look at the fruit of my labor and have a visceral response to it. I find that satisfying.

3.) Do you try to send a message out to society with your paintings? If so, how? If not, what do you believe is the purpose of your paintings to society?

I generally do not try and advocate a particular philosophy or polemic in my work. I would argue that all artists have a message of some sort, even if that may only be "this thing is pretty" or "this person is tall." Each is a message, just not a moral observation.

That being said, while I prefer to let my work stand for itself, in general you will find that I paint (and draw) things and people that are modern and not particularly extraordinary. I am drawn to the moments and objects that are part of our everyday lives, and by recreating those vignettes I hope to draw the viewer into a longer examination of the thing or place. In the end, I hope to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.

Basically, I like to paint things that I think are nice to look at, and that I hope other people will want to look at too.

4.) What is your definition of "art"?

I think any intentional act of creation for the purpose of education and/or exultation is art.

On the other hand, I don't confuse that with thinking that all art is 'good' art. :)

I personally prefer art that benefits from the application of honed skill and/or talent. The artists I admire and respect most demonstrate some version of this.

5.) How do you express your artistic self beyond your paintings?

I have done some video/film work, but mostly that's about it; painting and drawing.

6.) What was your first painting like? Describe what it was like.

Err... I couldn't remember that for the life of me! When I was a kid I drew lots of battle scenes and super heroes.

7.) So far, what has been your favorite piece? Why?

I actually don't have any favorites. Sometimes, every now and again, I'll finish something and I'll become a little entranced by it. That sensation usually goes away after a week or two of looking at the thing. I will point to a couple of paintings that for whatever reason, entranced me for a bit when I painted them:

8.) What is your greatest ambition as an artist?

It doesn't sound terribly romantic: my greatest ambition as an artist is to support myself entirely through painting

9.) Where do you get the inspiration for your paintings?

From the people and things around me, and other artists.

10.) If any, what piece are you working on as of now? What do you think of it so far?

I paint a new piece nearly every day, and work on some larger things as well. My last painting I wasn't so fond of.

11.) What advice would you give a young artist wondering where to start?

Hone your craft: keep a sketchbook, paint, sculpt or draw something every day. Worry more (in the beginning) about your skills than the 'message' of your work.

Building your skills will enable you to better be able to get your message across-- the way you intend.

12.) What challenges have you faced in your art career?

There two kinds of challenges: the basic, which is growing to the next level as an artist-- by improving basic skills, adopting a new medium, spending an appropriate amount of time on task, learning to see more accurately, not stultifying, that sort of thing. This challenge is fundamental to all artists.

The other challenge is that creating art is only lucrative for a small number of artists. Being a professional artist is a bit like making it to the big leagues in baseball, or to the NBA. Being financially successful as an artist is an ongoing challenge.

13.) When and how did you discover your talent?

Err... I have no idea. I think it was an organic process that just sort of developed.

14.) Do you think the internet has a positive or negative effect on art? Why or why not?

Positive. For many reasons.

The internet allows for an easy way for current artists to dive into the wealth of historic art-- there are hundreds of thousands of images of past art on the web. It is the biggest art museum in the history of the planet. You can't know you future if you don't know your past.

The internet offers the means for an extended global community of artists that in the past, was only able to happen in certain places at certain times: New York in the 50s or 80s, Paris in the 1890s, and the 20s.

Finally, the internet allows for artists to gain exposure to wide audiences, outside of the traditional gallery/museum venue.

15.) In your opinion, how do you think art helps or contributes to society?

That's a much bigger question than I am prepared to answer in just a few sentences.

Suffice to say that art can educate or provoke (act as an agent of change), can reinforce societal mores (reinforce/define Beauty, idealize the status quo), and can even just be decorative (which enhances our local environment).

16.) Have you ever thought of giving up as an artist? If so, why? If not, what keeps you motivated and strong?

Sure--it is a huge time sink, which can lead to stress on interpersonal relationships. It can be messy and stinky. It rarely pays well.

I am motivated by a strange compulsion which drives me to create images. I derive strength from the reactions and support of friends and loved ones.

17.) What do you think the role of art is in today's society?

See question 15. I think that is the role of art in society: educate and/or provoke (act as an agent of change), reinforce societal mores (reinforce/define Beauty, idealize the status quo), and/or to just be decorative.

18.) How does your paintings make you feel?

Mostly: tired, frustrated, quiet, accomplished.

19.) Do your emotions change when you are painting something personal? If so, why? If not, what emotions do you usually feel?

I usually am wrapped up in the painting. When I'm working, it feels like I am "in" the moment being portrayed. The closest I have found to an accurate description is a Hindu/Buddhist term: samadhi. From wikipedia:"... term that describes a non-dualistic state of consciousness in which the consciousness of the experiencing subject becomes one with the experienced object, and in which the mind becomes still (one-pointed or concentrated) though the person remains conscious."

Something like that.

20.) Have you ever considered any of your paintings a failure? Why or why not?

Regularly. Usually it is some combination of factors: a failure to slow down and *look* at what I am painting, leading to bad drawing, color, or value choices; a poorly prepared surface; bad composition or subject matter choice. Stuff like that.

If I know about it early enough, I'll stop, or repaint an affected area. Occasionally I'll finish out a doomed piece.

21.) Did you ever expect to make it this far with your art? Why or why not?

Yes and no. I think I'm about where I'd expect to be all circumstances added up. I'm probably behind where I hoped to be when I was younger.

I think I'm on the right path. Ask again in twenty years.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bear and Box

Bear and Box, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007
$100 USD

e-mail me for purchase information

I'm not actually sure if this one is successful or not.

To see oursels as ithers see us...

...It wad frae monie a blunder free us

Le peintre et ses lectrices

I swear I'm going to make that the title of a show I have at some point.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Green Bottle No 2 (sold)

Green Bottle N0 2, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Knife and Fork Stand, Shocked by the Elopement of the Spoon with the Dish (sold)

Knife and Fork Stand, Shocked by the Elopement of the Spoon with the Dish, oil on masonite, 5" X 7", 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Shallot (at charity auction)

Shallot, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007
at charity auction

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Scissors No 2 (sold)

Scissors No 2, oil on canvas, 5" X 7" (approximate), 2007

The companion piece. Both are from an IKEA set of scissors.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Studio Window Reflection (sold)

Studio Window Reflection, oil on canvas, 8" X 10" (approximate, matted size smaller), 2007

This is the view to my right once the sun goes down; a muted reflection.


Part of the beauty and joy of the internet is the opportunity for interconnectedness with folk that you may never have met in real life. Bountiful inspiration, instruction, support, and more.

There's a meme that's been floating around the art blogs as of late, a blogger's game of tag. Hopefully good for exposure to new sets of eyes for all.

I got tagged by Karen Appleton (thanks Karen!)

Here are the rules (poached from Carol Marine): 1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog. 2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird. 3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs. 4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. When I was a kid, we lived in a tent, for like a month. The campground is now a casino.
2. I sneeze like a cartoon duck. Because of this, I was once asked during a final exam to relocate my desk outside of the classroom. (I had allergies)
3. I am a night person. Not a morning person.
4. I was a Boy Scout. And a Cub.
5. I am overly fond of singing cowboy music, and sing it at the top of my lungs.

I'm taking a chance and tagging the following five folk-- I have no idea if any of them will play along-- but you ought to see their stuff anyway...

1. Charley Parker (Lines and Colors)
Mr. Parker has been bringing interesting artists to light for awhile now, offering insightful reviews. He has great advice for artists on how they should approach getting their art on the web, and is a prolific artist himself.

2. Paul Hutchinson
New Zealand artist with radiant paint handling skills.

3. Leslie Sealey
A mix between the mundane* and fantastical pieces that is fascinating to pour over.
*(Mundane as in "of, relating to, or characteristic of the world" Not to be confused with 'boring' Sealey's mundane work is fantastic.)

4. James Martin
Part of what is a vibrant community of artists who work in digital media-- film and video games mostly, who also use traditional media.

5. Margaret Dyer
A Master pasetelist, she started blogging recently AND posting small work to ebay.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Silver Eagle (sold)

Silver Eagle, oil on canvas, 5" X 5", 2007

Augustus Saint-Gaudens
was a wonderful sculptor, especially of bas-relief. He also contributed designs for U.S. coins at the beginning of the 20th century, including the infamous double eagle. Modern U.S. bullion for gold and silver use a Saint-Gaudens design. The Silver Eagle is 1 troy ounce of 99.9% silver.

Five artists I wish I knew more about

Below are five artists whose work I've seen, but haven't been able to find enough pieces to satisfy my interest...

Ivor Hele
I came across his work at the amazing Illustration Art blog-- which is worth a couple of hours of searching itself. Here are Apatoff's two posts concerning Hele. (warning: link 2 could be considered risqué). Hele 1 and Hele 2.
I have a book on order from Australia, so I there's a chance I'll get a better handle on this amazing draftsman.

Saul Tepper

I have two life drawing nude sketches Tepper did, presumably at the Art Students League in New York. There is stuff out there on him, but I want a big, lusciously illustrated coffee table book-- like I have for Dean Cornwell.
Here are a couple of Tepper links... Tepper 1 Tepper 2
Oh, and I want a painting or two as well.

John Collier
It is incredibly frustrating to me that I can't find more stuff from Collier on the web. Read his bio here. Doesn't it seem like there should be a wealth of images out there? He was in the illustration annuals all through the late eighties and early nineties, and did a phenomenal step by step instruction piece for Communication arts magazine that I wish I could find again.
Collier 1 Collier 2 Collier 3 Collier 4

Georg Hendrik Breitner
I've only seen a few pieces, but they are stunners.
Breitner 1 Breitner 2 Breitner 3 Breitner 4

Celia Beaux
Her work appears in magazines like American Arts Review regularly, but there isn't a lot available on the web. I am however, going to see an exhibition of her work in Tacoma, and I'm sure there will be an accompanying book...
...or two.
Beaux 1 Beaux 2 Beaux 3

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Studio View with Snow (sold)

Studio View with Snow, oil on canvas, 10" X 8", 2007

e-mail me for purchase information

We had a bit of a snow storm this afternoon. It doesn't last long around these parts (it usually turns to rain), and will likely be gone by the time I wake up tomorrow.