Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Latest!!!

Tangerine And Open Rose 11x14 oil

I will keep this pretty short, for today, as I am a little tired. Three days of intense study, painting, laughing and joking, meeting new friends and driving in a blinding ice and snow storm, has this gal a little worn out....but happy. I love this painting I just completed! I am thrilled I made it home both nights in a storm! And really happy to have been invited to paint with some wonderful ladies I have just met! Lots of info to tell you all....especially how Jeff works, the lessons I personally learned and some of the fun things we talked about, did, or thought of!
So for now I hope you like this piece...I need to do some work around the house, cook (since I have not done so for three days), shovel off the snow if I need to and just plain relax!!
Loving Life,

Friday, January 23, 2009


Washday In Venice 11x14 oil sold

Just so you know...I have quit holding my breath since the inauguration! I am comfortable and happy with everything. I have been so terribly busy I have not had a chance to visit, chiropractor, shopping, house work..arrgh...and getting things ready for Jeff's Workshop. Looking forward to being a student (and seeing some old friends and ex-students there)...come in knowing nothing and hopefully come out with some knowledge. I have had to gather up boxes and lights and tables and shop for some supplies....Jeff asked if I would help and I do get a bit of a discount for it.... I will be down there today to help setup. We are all really looking forward to this masters advice and knowledge...Please visit Jeff's work if you haven't done so yet.
As long as we are talking art I will quickly mention another artist and acquaintance from here in Carthage and a master in his own right...Andy Thomas....Andy has just released a fantastic painting of Obama standing at a podium speaking to an enthusiastic crowd (prints are available at the same gallery I am with...Cherry's).... many of the faces in the crowd are civil rights or American leaders who supported the cause of racial equality. I remember those days like they were yesterday!!
I also stopped by Cherry's Gallery...just to chit-chat and distract them from their work..LOL! Not really ...needed to talk framing about my upcoming show!!! She is in the process of finalizing there new website which is being built by Max's nephew, Bart Paden...and she is so anxious to have it up and working she could spit....frankly so am I!!!
Ok, that's the quickie.....after the workshop I will bring full details about all that's been going on!
All About Change,
Change by Andy Thomas available at Cherry's

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Holding Our Breath.......

Holding my everyone else in the world...I can't hardly wait for this show to get on the road! We have been waiting for Barack Obama to take office for what seems like forever! I won't go on much today as I am going to watch the inauguration but if you haven't read or seen or heard of USASERVICE.ORG .....go now and sign up. I have. the painting today is by the great American Impressionist Childe Hassam, it is called Fifth Avenue In The Rain". More later!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jefferson Memorial Times Three....

Jefferson Memorial 5x7 oil

After viewing all the DSFDF images..I figured I better get I did. Let me start by saying I would not have painted this if I was looking for something inspiring to paint......but....(and as I like to say the truth always comes after a but) this really put the test to me for several reasons and I really enjoyed doing it.
Here are a few reasons this was a good exercise. First the very reason that I would not have painted it is the best makes me work past the basis of painting only what I know or "inspires me". Second, I never.....absolutely never paint on a small canvas like this. The smallest I have ever used was an 8x10...I may have painted on a 6x8 somewhere in the past...but never a 5x7. Well, guess what?...I liked it....I liked it a lot! I started painting and about an hour later I had a little painting!! That's pretty cool stuff in my book! Third, after reading the article on Karin Jurick in American Artist Magazine....I canvas, eh? She uses black latex paint to cover the canvas and I did the same...acrylic tube paint actually. So a black canvas is what I decided to paint on....again something I never, ever do! And, well, you have probably guessed it....I liked that too! It is probably something I won't do all the time....but it did make me think differently. Everything you see on the canvas that looks black is the black canvas. The rest are shapes and marks to denote the light areas in the photo. So there you have DSFDF challenge this time around.

The photo we used to paint the challenge
There is something really familiar about this image... aside from the fact that it is a very famous monument. As many of you know I live in a very old house....Victorian era...old wood, old floors...... and old wallpaper, layers of it from turn of the century to maybe 1960 something! Every night while I lay in bed reading or watching a movie....there is a faint, ghostlike pattern repeated over and over the walls of the master bedroom. The colors are cool grays and pink, white and a little green. I see this pattern and on first impression wonder what in the world would possess someone to paper their room with this design. I think about the little pattern that repeats itself over and over and sometimes it makes me a little dizzy. Other times it reminds me of the Fifties and makes me think of vacation trips by car as a child on Route 66 or some other infamous highway. It also reminds me that Spring always comes....and things are born anew every year. I lay awake dreaming of a thrifty woman, in a little day number with matching hat, cat eye glasses, shopping on a budget that is tight and looking through paper swatch books of wall paper laid out like family albums. I go through the steps with her...measuring and calculating.....checking how much she can spend, what colors to use and will anyone else like it. Finally I understand...she wants a nice home...she is trying to dress things up a bit, while sticking to the hard line allowance and there at the bottom of the bin or at the back of the book is something she likes....and she can afford it. Perhaps she has the same feelings I do when I look at this design....maybe it's as simple as what she can afford......but then.... maybe....she just liked Washington D.C......

Wallpaper (Portrait of me at four years old)

A snippet of wallpaper from our hom

I kind of like it actually or maybe I HAVE to like it because I
just can't afford anything else right now?...:)
Until next time,

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Passing Of A Master.....

Andrew Wyeth as he received the National Medal of Arts in 2007.
As I read the news this morning the death of Andrew Wyeth at age 91, it obscured the rest of the headlines for me. His death has marked that sadness of "one of the greats" passing.....the end of an it were. His family is a long history of great artists from N.C to Jamie and N.C.'s daughters, Caroline and Henrietta. One alone has truly changed the landscape of American Painting, that would be for me, Andrew. From the simple light hitting a windowsill to the lone figure in a field or a blowing curtain.....these images give us a moment to reflect on personal memories and take an emotional path through his work that beautifully personalizes it for us. Who can deny the familiarity in our own lives of the dog patiently awaiting his master's return in "Master Bedroom" or the white washed side of a house in the sunlight surrounded by wild flowers in "Around The Corner". Yes, he will be remembered as a giant in the art world and his loving, simple, impressions of life are forever immortalized in some of the images shown below. He has been an influence in my artistic world. To see Wyeth's website please follow this link.

All paintings by Andrew Wyeth

"Master Bedroom"

"Around The Corner"

"Army Blanket"

"Trodden Weed"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Just a quickie blog today! I want to thank all of the people who have signed up to follow my makes it really easy to just click on the picture and see what has been going on with all of you. I appreciate it so very much.
I am working on the 24 x 36 today...and here is what I accomplished yesterday. I really haven't settled on a title yet.
I am going to have to make some time to pickup a painting this week in Arkansas... although the lady that is holding it for me is enjoying it immensely my gallery needs to have it for a potential sale. Hope the sale goes through.....times are always a little tough this time of the year.
On other notes the workshop with Jeff is coming together really well. I also need to get my painting done for the Different Strokes blog.
Lots of light,

Monday, January 12, 2009

Iron Gate 16x20 oil sold

I read fairly often (when I have the time) all sorts of books. Currently I am reading a book about the writing life. The book is composed beautifully, full of nicely turned phrases that build wonderful vivid paragraphs that in turn become beautiful images in my head. This is one of the greatest things about reading for me...but before I go too far the book is called, quite simply, "The Writing Life", penned by Annie Dillard author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek among others.
The book came to me via Max, while browsing through the local library for his own tastes.....he saw it and thought it might be of interest to me in my writing escapades. He thinks of me often in this way...his small thoughtful ways are a joy in my life. Over time many people have heard bits and pieces of my life, sometimes crazy and a little wild, often exotic, seemingly sad by turn of events but always mine and always full. These same people have said often enough for me to take note..."You should, need or could write a book" and I must say I have given the thought a spin on my minds roulette a time or two or even three myself.....but that is not for today but is how this slim non-fiction came into my possession.
There are several parts of this book that I thing stood out at the very first...aside from the expert insight into was a comparison to painting and writing. As you know I am a painter, always trying to better that continuum of art that is personally mine and always thinking the next piece is "the one" painters know exactly what I mean. Early on in this handbook the author speaks of writing as being nothing at all like painting....and in many regards she is correct. The part that I take exception to is when she states that a painter can continuously over paint the subject until they have it right but a writer must toss the bad words in favor of the whole book not going down the tubes. Aha!! We have finally come to my point !!
The point is I started a piece (as I explained in an earlier blog) that went wrong in a hurry. The paint was being applied beautifully and the color was clean, exact and rich.....but after viewing it the next day I saw the problem. The writer explained that if a word, phrase or paragraph was wrong than subsequently the story, chapter or book that these magical words hinged on would fail....and she is 100% correct! In the painting world the composition is akin to the outline, which will eventually become the phrase, leading to the chapter and , finally, culminating in the story. Yes, friends I had ignored the composition in a mix of enthusiasm, lack of time and a hurried mindset. As I gazed upon what I thought would be my next "masterpiece" my spirits fell in a littered heap of New Years Eve streamers and confetti. There were no horns going off and no soaring of spirits to be was my surprise.....a brand new year!
So..should I continue to paint and maybe the viewer would never notice the bad composition? Should I just keep layering more paint over the previous layers in order to correct the faulty design? Should I just scrape it off and start over again with a pentimento of the previous brushstrokes distracting the eye? Like Annie Dillard at her desk throwing out the bad chapter or phrase of a book in order to build a better clearer image.....I put the sorry canvas aside to be gessoed at a later date and started fresh....again. I am glad that I have the courage to do this, even if it hurts and I also know many artists have that same courage . I also realize it will lead to more cautionary steps* in planning the next piece.......and......perhaps some better writing another day.

The Golden Mean
I have included another piece of is a 16x20 and yes, it is sold.
* Using the the golden mean is always helpful especially on a large canvas...funny how we can forget these basics in the throws of rushing to create the next piece.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

At Work....

Soapstone and Roses 18x24 oil sold
First off if you like my blog add your self as a follower...I just added the widget to the right. You won't be harassed, bothered or annoyed...but I would like to see all your bright beautiful faces on my blog...and in turn I am marking those blogs that have this widget that I read!
Now onto the business of painting!!
I have been away for a little while...and yes, doing just that....painting. I am working on a semi-large piece about 24 x 36. I actually did this particular subject once before....but a few things about it annoyed me personally. First of all it was done in a format that was rather square and I believe the subject needed a longer rectangular format. Second....the original was stolen! So I am starting it in the new format.
The past few paintings and the next several are all being done for a solo show at a local art center. I need to have 11 to 20 pieces and I will also be giving a workshop during the time my show will be running. The show is at Spiva Center for the will be my first solo show there. The workshop will be during the month of April. The show runs from March 7 to May 8. Along that note my old artist friend Jeff Legg is coming to Joplin to give a workshop at the end of January...I hope I can attend...if finances allow.
Unbelievably I drew this out the other day and after I had painted on it for a whole day....I was not satisfied with the composition. Soooo....what needed to be done? but....remove everything and start all over again...ugh! How did that happen....not thinking. I was feeling rushed and hurried and only had a small time frame to paint. For me I have to have a large block of time and no distractions. So here it is...the corrected version.
Outside of that we have attended a birthday party for a friend, Tom, complete with duck dinner prepared by mutual friend, Kim, we have done a lot of mundane house chores, I had a wonderful call from a friend, Barbara, in Cananda....who always lifts my spirits, another friend recently got married...hurray....they are so good for each other and lost three of the holiday pounds I managed to put on...I am not saying what is left but it is enough!
I also have posted a little painting, at the top of the post, that I did a while back and is rather tight....I don't know why but that happens to me with a still life on occasion ...I posted it because, well, I just really like it!
See you next time and have a creative day,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Years And Then Some....

Portrait 11x14 oil
We all know it ....we've all done it...what's that you might ask? The answer...the old get around... make a resolution......things will be different scenario.. Right? Right! Well, I am no different. I have made many resolutions in the past....some of them have stuck and some have not and many have been picked up again and again.
My basic New Year's deal, procedure, method or just plain ol' superstition, though, is this......What I do on New Year's Day is what I will be doing all year long....and...we eat black eyed peas for good luck! Sounds simple...right?... not always. I did paint on New Years Day...that was number one....the other thing was mental house cleaning which I often try to do. If I am being negative or some other awful characteristic I like to examine my life and see where it's coming from.....and try to exorcise that evil demon! So for me I spent time painting, reflecting, reading and some quality time with loved ones. If you rested on New Years Day then you probably needed it and deserved it.
The day started well enough....I put the beans on with the remains of the Christmas ham....took out my paint palette from the freezer and poured some coffee. Max woke up shortly after and we had coffee and talked about how much fun we had New Years Eve. Just a few guests, the adult kids and Inez's boyfriend and some drinks and food to nibble on. It was a great evening and we all had a great time. Wyatt came down stairs soon after and he and Max decided they needed to go to the mall. Wyatt had bought three shirts one of which they forgot to remove the anti-theft device ......and so off they went. I read for awhile and thought a lot. Mostly just thankful for all the good things in my life! Inez got up and then she was off and I had the house to myself. A little more reflecting and catching up on some mail, my calender, website etc. Then I finally painted for awhile and just about finished my piece. There was a small amount left around the eyes which I finished off this morning and now....fini! I was getting very nervous that I was not going to get to paint that day....but I did!! I will then begin another piece.....perhaps a landscape...maybe a still life...mostly waiting for the the preoccupation of the current piece on the easel to fade away.
As for resolutions.....I rarely make them at New Years. If I have a mind to do something I generally start very soon after the inception of the idea...if at all possible. Like smoking...we decided to quit....waited for the last cigarette to be smoked and then quit. Like painting everyday.....I got out of the habit and am now back to painting at least three days a week...not always a full day though...darn! Things are becoming increasingly organized and allowing me to paint more often than the last 6 months or so.
I had a good day New Years...things were going easy and working out as I had planned. max got home...and....of all things.. I had a present from him! You must know this about Max to understand. He is not a present giver on holidays birthdays or anniversaries. He told me that from the start and his kids told me the same thing. Now you must also know that I can have just about anything I want, anytime...within budget and reason....although I don't ask for much. So for him to come home with a box full of things (bath stuff and lotions) from Victoria's Secret was a very pleasant surprise. In fact it made me cry! It's not the first time he also bought me a present on my birthday and Valentine's Day.
So there is my New Years Day blah, blah......I will make an effort to paint more outdoors though and keep up the blog. I hope everybody is gonna have a wonderful year....I am! more thing!! Here is the portrait I had to do for the Different Strokes From Different Folks Challenge. I hope the fellow can recognize himself...I gave it a real shot. We were all given a photo of someone else who had entered the challenge and then asked to paint them. We weren't supposed to labor over it...and I didn't. I probably spent 4 or 5 hours total.
Until next time,