Wednesday, June 30, 2010

'King George's Farmhouse'

9" x 12" Oil on panel: $150

I nearly drove past this place last Friday after a day of site acquisitions on the Northern Neck of VA. It was early afternoon, I was heading west on route 218 between Stafford, VA and the Route 301 bridge over the Potomac River - in a hurry to reach I-95 before traffic ramped up. I blew past and saw the red roof shining out of the corner of my eye and the clouds peaking over the hill and I knew I'd regret it if I didn't get some pictures.

Some things I like about this painting and some of the usual pitfalls. I'm happy with the use of lines, shapes, and colors to create a sense of distance and elevation change. I'm never happy with the photos of my paintings, but that's a given - if you're on the fence about buying something just keep in mind that they all look better in person...And I'm constantly working to overcome my obsession to work and rework paint.

A radical idea (as far as Erik ideas go) occurred as I photographed the little farmhouse on the hill. What if I painted this place and mailed the painting to the owners of the house, free of charge? Could be a waste of time and money, could be the start of something...I enjoy painting regardless of whether or not I'm compensated for it so it's not a waste of time. Maybe I could spread the joy and build a following at the same time? Guess I'll have to paint something worth hanging up first...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

'Them Apples'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

How about them? I think they are an improvement on my past still life paintings, but I'm still struggling to put down the paint and leave it alone - it's so tempting to keep messing with it if it doesn't look exactly the way you want it to, but continually working and reworking the paint only leads to muddiness. It was even tougher to leave it alone given that I was working with natural light. Natural light constantly changes and even though it only took an hour or so to paint, the light changed a lot and I found myself altering shadows to match.

Hope you like.

Monday, June 21, 2010

'Purple Thistles'

8' x 10' oil on panel
Not for sale

This is a birthday present for my mother-in-law. I know she wonders why I haven't offered to paint her anything yet, but I've been waiting for the right scene and hopefully, she's not offended by the fact that the right scene is a bunch of thistles...Thistles are basically weeds that pop up in cow pastures and highway medians...But, if you see them in the right light, they are really beautiful. Let me clarify that the nature or notion of thistles in no way reflects my opinion of my mother-in-law :) I should just stop writing now...

In all seriousness, she is a great lady and I only give paintings to special people in my life, of which she is one.

Friday, June 18, 2010

'Cookie Face'

12" x 12" Oil on HD canvas
Name yer price!

This is what Sammy looks like when she wants a cookie - only a lot more colorful. I took my time, drew this one out and I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. The background gave me some trouble as I thought it would...I repainted it three different times. If you don't like it I can always paint over it.

I can paint your dog too -

'Sammy Sketch'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

I sketched this one out in about half an hour this afternoon as a practice run on a portrait that I'm doing for a family member (not OF the family member). I didn't even draw it out beforehand, I just piled on the color. I'm trying to get my colors worked out before I start the final painting. The only thing I'm not sure of is what to do with the background. I like the turquoise, but I'm not sure if I want strait turquoise or a mixture or what...

Don't worry Jennifer, the final painting will be better than this. Let me know if you have any ideas.

Monday, June 7, 2010

'My Favorites'

8" x 10" Oil on panel

My wife, my dog, the river...What more do I need? Maybe a photography class to teach me to take photos that actually resemble my subjects (i.e. paintings)? And while I do love the subjects, I'm not so sure about the painting. It felt like a paint by numbers, like I was just matching colors and painting a photo. Is it more virtuous to paint in nature, face to face with a subject than to paint in a studio from a photo? I know that every artist uses photo references, but I'm struggling a bit with this idea. To be continued when I'm not so tired...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"River Day-lilies"

11" x 14" Oil on Panel

Made it down to the river-house in Mathews County, VA for Memorial Day this past weekend. We had an amazing time - there is really no way to paint or write about this place that can adequately describe it.

For this painting, I worked from a "color-capture" photo that my wife took of some of the day-lilies that are scattered throughout the field and along the lane leading up to the house. She captured the reddish-orange of the day-lilies so that the lilies are the only colorful part of the photo, everything else is black and white. I think this helped me to capture the correct values in the painting - I painted it first in different shades of burnt umber (dark brown) to match the values and then mixed colors to match the values and painted over the browns.

I like this one - hope you do too.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Goin to the Show!

The 17th Annual Reston Juried Show that is...My painting "West Leigh and Hancock," was one of 44 works selected by judge, Daniel Wise, a fine artist and charter member of the Washington, DC Society of Landscape Painters, to hang in the exhibition this year. It's an honor just to have a painting selected to appear in the show because there are a large number of submissions from all over the DC Region in every available medium, not just oil or landscape. Wish me luck!

If you're in the area and you'd like to stop by and check out the exhibit, here's where and when:

June 7th – July 6th , 2010

JoAnn Rose Gallery
Lake Anne Reston Community Center
1609-A Washington Plaza
Reston, VA 20190