Saturday, August 20, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for August 20


Painting of the Week




"Symposium No. 2"
Acrylic on panel, 2.5x3.5 inches, framed.
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The design of the arch framing this whimsical scene comes from an actual doorway that I sketched during a visit to the city of Jodhpur in Northern India.

Studio Update

More traveling, and more company this week, but work on the commissioned shell paintings continued nonetheless. The underpaintings for all three are now complete. After a few more days of drying, they should be ready for the final push next week. Please click below to see a video of the work in progress:



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for August 14

Painting of the Week




"Fruit, Water, Gothic Window"
Acrylic on panel, 1.5x1.75 inches, framed.
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Painted from imagination, and about the size of a large U.S. postage stamp.

Studio Update

It's vacation time; I've been in Michigan for a family visit, and have more company coming this week. Nevertheless, I have been able to carve out studio time, and have made some headway with the commissioned shell paintings. The underpaintings for two of them are now complete. The goal for this part of the process is not to produce finished-looking work. Instead, I'm blocking in the basic forms, and approximating some of the colors.  It always looks rough, but it's very functional.  Please click below to see a video of the work in progress:



Saturday, August 06, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for August 6

Painting of the Week




"Kitchen Still Life with Olive Jar"
Oil on linen on panel, 9x12 inches, framed.
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A kitchen still life, with a nod to one of my favorite painters, Melendez. Starting with a few simple items, I crowded the composition a little more than I usually do to give it a compact, tight energy. The angled view from the side brought out the drama of the arrangement.

Studio Update

The project for the larger shell paintings is now fully underway. After spending time sketching the shells in various positions and from different angles, I settled on arrangements that best displayed the unusual features and monumental quality of each one. The collector who is commissioning these pieces agreed with my choices, and I've completed the drawings on the panels and begun the underpaintings. Below is the sketch and very beginning of what I think is my favorite of the shells. Painting the sky into the rough and jagged outline turned out to be an absorbing and meditative experience; it felt like I was painting the ocean on a map of some section of the Scandinavian coastline.




Saturday, July 30, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for July 30

Painting of the Week




"Golden Teacup on Red II"
Oil on panel, 3x3 inches, framed.
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Studio Update

This week I was able to finish one set of paintings and begin another. I've been working on a series of miniature shell paintings; about 10 of them are done now, so that's probably enough for the time being. They're drying at the moment, so in about a month or so they should be ready to start showing here. This is one of them in progress, with the reference shell to the left on a shelf built in to my easel.





I also began work on a series of 3 commissioned shell paintings that I mentioned last week. The first step in making paintings like this is to spend a while familiarizing myself with the subjects; arranging them in different poses, seeing them from different angles, and a whole lot of sketching to begin to absorb what is unique and distinctive about each object.





Saturday, July 23, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for July 23

Painting of the Week




"Thingamajig No. 3"
Acrylic on panel, 3x3 inches, framed.
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I have a long list of house maintenance projects to get through this weekend, so this painting came to mind. I don't actually use this sander for day-to-day work, but it has a character that I love, and the vivid red power button seals the deal.

Studio Update

I am starting on a set of 3 commission pieces this week. The collector asked if I would paint some specific shells, which he sent me images of. Since it's always preferable to work from life when possible, I asked if he would send me the shells, which he graciously agreed to, and a few days later the box arrived. The original images didn't give much of a sense of scale, so I was expecting some tiny little things, but they're actually monsters - see the picture with my hand for comparison. It's going to be a fun project - look for more in-progress shots in next week's update





Saturday, July 16, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update for July 16

Painting of the Week




"Golden Teacup and Cherries on Damask"
Oil on panel, 3x3 inches, framed.
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Studio Update

My office computer is in total meltdown this week (one of the drives crashed). Fortunately, it hasn't affected my ability to paint, but it has made it difficult to get the kinds of in-progress images I'd like to be showing you.  What I thought I'd share is an image of the start of a small piece.  I paint my smallest pieces at a separate workstation from my main easel - it's actually a large desk - and there is space on the brick for whatever small object I happen to be working from.



Saturday, July 09, 2016

Painting of the Week, Work in Progress, and Health Update for July 9

Painting of the Week




"Shotglass, Knife, Ginger Jar, Salt Shaker"
Oil on linen on panel, 9x12 inches, framed.
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A battered and broken slab of granite provides the stage for this drama, and by making it appear to float in a sea of black, it takes on an other-worldly flavor.  Although quite small - no more than five inches high -  I felt the ginger jar had a monumental quality that would make it nearly burst out of the picture plane.

Studio Update

I knew that several whole days this week would be consumed by medical appointments (see below), not to mention the July 4th holiday, so what studio time I did have was spent working on a group of miniatures.  Several of these are pictured below, with my hand included for scale. The paintings themselves are 1.5 x 1.75 inches; about the size of a large US postage stamp.  I haven't yet decided if I'll frame these separately or in groups; once I do I'll be offering them for sale.


Health Update


I have good news regarding the health situation I shared with you last month; the full remission of the cancer continues.  I had a CT scan and blood work done this week, and both showed absolutely no signs of disease... totally normal, in fact.  So, I continue to be watchful and attentive to my health, but otherwise I am going about living my life completely. That includes, of course, painting, and I look forward to displaying another one for you next week.  

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update, July 2

Painting of the Week




"Cherries and Handmade Teacup"
Oil on panel, 3x3 inches, framed.
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Over the years this teacup has turned out to be one of my favorite things to paint.  There's something honest and simple about good handmade work; it's no different than what I do in the studio every day.

Studio Update

This week I continued with the color washes (underpaintings) for the series of three 10x10 pieces.  The purpose of this stage is to establish the approximate forms and colors, and it's usually pretty rough, quick work... and certainly functional.  As a rule I don't find this stage to be appealing visually, at least compared to the sketch and the final layers.  Sometimes, though, it will take an a watercolor-like feel, and I find myself drawn to those passages and enjoying the work.



Friday, June 24, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update; June 25

Painting of the Week




"Salt, Cherries, and Sky"
Oil on panel, 5x5 inches, framed.
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One thing I find myself seeking out lately - both in my own work and in paintings I choose to spend time with - is a certain clarity of the light.  I'd be hard pressed to describe it, but I know it when I see it.  As this painting took shape, I definitely saw it, and it was a real pleasure to watch it develop in front of me.

Studio Update

Most of this week was spent in New York City, but I did have one full studio day when I returned.  The underpainting for the piece I showed in last week's update was not yet dry, so I proceeded to do the drawings for the other 2 pieces in the series.  As with the other, these are done on mounted linen, and are 10x10 inches.



Saturday, June 18, 2016

Painting of the Week and Studio Update; June 18


"Teacup Noir"
Oil on Panel, 3x3 inches, framed
Private Collection


This week in the Studio:
I've begun a set of 10x10 still lifes with sky backgrounds.  Here are some in-progress shots of the first of these: