Saturday, February 27, 2016

My Daily Paintworks Bio

I'm a full time teacher and new dad, with a lot of serious hobbies. Balancing work and spending time with my beautiful daughter, while maintaining a level of fitness and making time for interests such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, guitar, and traveling feels like I'm spinning plates, giving a spin here and there to keep my loves alive. Out of all of my interests, however, oil painting has emerged as a passion. And while I have not studied painting in a formal setting, I study constantly on my own. 

Friends and family ask why I don't try to sell my paintings for more money or market myself more than I do. My response is that I feel like I'm working toward something; I don't know exactly what it is, only that I'll know when I get there. At this point, I'm happy to cover my expenses with a few sales here and there, which I do. Like every artist, however, I need to know that I'm making progress and that people enjoy my work. I've followed Daily Paintworks for several years and I see a community of great artists, who provide each other with feedback, both positive and negative, while making a few sales here and there. That's all I can hope for.

There is a link to my Daily Paintworks Gallery on the main page. 

Apples and Bananas

Apples and Bananas
11" x 14" oil on canvas
$125 plus shipping

From time to time, I paint something that feels like a breakthrough, and this is one of those times.

I've written over and over about my attempts to focus on values and the relationship of shapes while ignoring details, but I struggle mightily to employ this practice in my painting. The temptation to paint too fine too soon is usually just too strong. I find myself breaking out the tiny brushes well before I should, and this results in muddiness or distorted values because I haven't even blocked in the masses. I feel like there's pressure to make things perfect, but there's not. I mean, who the hell even looks at this blog? So I said screw it, picked up the biggest brush I could find, and squinted. And I had a much more enjoyable painting experience.

I'm not calling this a masterpiece, but I like the clean colors and shapes, some of which just happened because I felt like they were more appealing than what was actually there. There aren't a lot of fine details in this painting, but I don't think there needs to be.

I painted this over an older painting, and you can still see some of the underlying textures - you can even see the relief of the old signature in the top right corner...Also, I didn't repaint the sides of the canvas, so if you're tempted to buy, just beware. You'd probably want to frame it anyway, so the exposed sides wouldn't matter. They're kind of an off-white, similar to the off-white in the top right, so it's really not a problem.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Kitchen Window - Late January

Kitchen Window - Late January
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel
$70 plus shipping

There's a sort of guilty, lonesome feeling I get when I'm home alone in the afternoon during the work week. Maybe it stems back to when I used to play hooky as a kid and my mom would know I wasn't really sick. Everyone's away at work or school, but you're home alone, avoiding. Actually, this was painted during a snow day, so I shouldn't have felt guilty or lonesome.

I'm happy with this painting, and I feel like it captures the lonesome feeling of weak sun shining through a kitchen window at the end of January. I tried to focus on shapes again instead of tiny details. And while I painted this inside in my kitchen, with the quickly changing light, it was no different from painting outdoors.

Afternoon in January

Afternoon in January
8" x 10" oil on canvas panel
$70 plus shipping

I know this painting is weird and abstract and most likely no one will buy it, but it was satisfying to paint. First, I painted over another painting that I didn't really like, which is always satisfying. I like the textures that it creates, and it's always interesting to let spots of the old painting poke through. Secondly, I was home alone during a snow day with no distractions. Thirdly, I didn't let myself get caught up in details. My goal for the painting was to paint shapes, not chairs and shadows. This approach was so much more enjoyable than trying to capture every tiny detail, and I plan to paint like this more often.

Blue Teapot with Lemon II

Blue Teapot with Lemon II
8" x 10" oil on board
Sold

Sometimes I wonder what difference it would make if I had an actual studio with adequate space and lighting and painting supplies at the ready. My setup for this painting involved balancing the blue teapot and lemon on a wooden box, perched on top of a crab pot, yes a crab pot, sitting on top of our guest bed.  This was the only way I could get the lighting and angle that I wanted for the painting. The surface that the box is sitting on in the painting did not actually exist...I did my best to imagine what it would look like if the box was sitting on a table by the window.

I like the colors and the values, but it's a little too symmetrical or something. Any thoughts?