Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Two scenes of Topsail Island
6" x 6" oil on gessoed masonite
I followed Laurel Daniel's excellent tutorial, and was really pleased with the results. I did the painting on the left in mid-September, the one on the right last week. Of course there's a difference in the hues, as they are different times of the year, but I got a lot more depth and a more solid foundation after studying her work.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
8" x 15.5" acrylic paint on gessoed masonite
"There is an Eminence,--of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun;
We can behold it from our orchard-seat;
And, when at evening we pursue our walk"
Sunday, November 29, 2009
5"x7", mixed media
This was a good loosening up exercise. I made up the technique as I went along, incorporating all sorts of media. First I painted the sky with opalescent inks and an opalescent glaze. The landscape is torn paper glued to the board, then painted over with oil pastel crayons. Finally a wash of black ink vignetting the edges. I like the dreamy quality.
Monday, November 23, 2009
18" x 24" acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
A view of the lily pond in the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh.
This painting will be for sale at the Festival of Trees to benefit the ARC of Orange County, on December 5th. More information at their website: http://www.arcoforangefot.org/
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Thursday November 19, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Resale Marketplace. It's a great place to shop for gifts, furniture, and clothing. There will be food and drinks, and door prizes contributed by the vendors. I'm offering this little pepper painting. Hope to see you all there!
All Fired Up
6" x 6", oil on masonite
All Fired Up
6" x 6", oil on masonite
Monday, November 16, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Airport Travelers challenge from Different Strokes From Different Folks
7" x 7" acrylic on masonite panel
I did this one in two stages. First, I painted the scene in 5 values only: black, white, light gray, medium gray, dark gray. However, I used green instead of gray—Hookers Green with some Burnt Sienna to tone it down. I was going for a graphic approach, in fact at first I was leaving a little white space between the areas. It looked quite a bit like a paint-by-numbers :)
I scanned that step, as I wasn't sure whether to leave it as-is or add color. Then I used watercolor pencils to put just a slight warm or cool cast on different areas, and a few denser areas of color, such as the red bag and the yellow hair.
It's such a dark photo, with high contrast. I found the five values were quite extreme: the two lightest were very far away from the three darkest, and the middle value was still very dark. I cheated a little bit on the floor—really it was the same value as the darkest shadows, but I wanted it to separate from the suits, so I mixed up a half-step value for it, somewhere between 4 and 5. I think adding the cool and warm colors helped bring out some definition from the dark areas, although I like the monotone of the all-green version.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Grove of Trees
24"x30" oil on canvas
I am very excited to announce that this painting will be part of the 19th annual Works of Heart Art Auction Against AIDS. The proceeds from the sales go to the Alliance of AIDS Services Carolina.
You can see the painting by clicking the View the 2009 Artwork link and choosing "L". More information about the auction, how to bid on artwork, and other info about the organization can be found on the website.
Update November 11: Many many thanks to the buyer of this painting - you're supporting a very important cause!
p.s. look for an upcoming post about a benefit for the ARC of Orange.
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In Search of a New Deal: Images of North Carolina, 1935-1941 opens this Thursday at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh. I'm the graphic designer for the exhibit—I created the artwork for the signs, posters, etc. Hope all the local folks will get a chance to see it!
More info about the exhibit.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
6"x6", oil on masonite
I'm a big fan of the website Different Strokes from Different Folks. Every 2 to 3 weeks Karin Jurick posts a reference photo, and anyone who cares to is invited to paint the image (or use whatever medium), then the paintings are posted on the website. It's fantastic seeing the different interpretations of the same photo.
This is the first one I've tried. I was really smitten with the subtle warm and cool grays in the reference photo, the linearity of the buildings, and the textures of metal and stone. I tried an experimental technique - first I drafted the shapes fairly precisely on the canvas, using pencil and drafting tools. I covered that with a thin layer of gesso - the lines were still visible, but muted (and would not bleed into the paint). Then I used oil paints in a very thin wash, almost as though they were watercolors. The texture of the board really came through.
This is the orientation I liked best. It's rotated 90° from the original. I meant the painting to be a collection of abstract shapes and this is how it looks best to me.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
8"x10", oil on masonite panel
100% of the proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to the Durham (NC) Rescue Mission to provide Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless - your help can make a big difference in someone's life! Click here to purchase.
"Through grass, through amber'd cornfields, our slow Stream--
Fringed with its flags and reeds and rushes tall,
And Meadowsweet, the chosen of them all"
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
8x10, oil on masonite
A little different direction for me - I've only painted a couple other still lifes, both of pears.
I didn't like these apples until I set it aside to dry and stepped back a few feet - then it all came together. I think the fruits are not large enough on the canvas, but when framed it's less apparent. And by the way they were very delicious apples.
The great thing about painting food is that the items are a tax-deductible business expense. I'm thinking next time I will paint a large pizza and a pitcher of beer.
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
6"x6" oil on Masonite
My first plein air painting.
I've been putting this off, because I'm terrified of painting outdoors - it's so difficult to frame the scene. I decided to bite the bullet while we were in Kill Devil Hills last week. I visited the Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve. It's a gorgeous area with several trails. The one I chose was very steep and difficult and never resolved into a view of anything. So I picked a spot where I could at least stand on flat ground and painted the backlit trees - that's a scene I'm familiar with, given the several renditions of Grove of Trees I painted recently.
The result wasn't the best painting I've ever done; it was a little flat. One mistake is that I used Sap Green as a shortcut—no more greens from the tube ever again, they never look right. But my setup worked great, and now I've broken the ice with plein air painting. Later I touched up the painting in my studio (below), and I'm pretty happy with it now. It looks like I completely repainted the scene, but really I only spent about five minutes improving the contrast and adding a few more tree trunks.
p.s. If you visit the Woods, I highly recommend the Roanoke trail, which we walked a few days later, sans painting equipment. Gorgeous scenery; a smooth, flat trail; and it ends at a little beach on the sound. It's marked as "moderate" on the trail guide, the same as the tortuous Sweetgum trail. It has to be a typo; there is a world of difference in difficulty between the two.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
8"x10", oil on canvas board
"There are little shores and safe harbors,
Caves for cool and plains for sun and wind.
Lovely is the sound of the rivers,
Lovely the flashing brightness
Of the lovely peaks."
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
6x12" oil on masonite
"There is pleasure in the pathless woods,
there is rapture in the lonely shore,
there is society where none intrudes
by the deep sea, and music in its roar.
I love not man the less, but nature more"
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
I have such a hard time coming up with a title for my paintings. It's always "Lake with Sunset" or "Tree." I'm not creative that way. Then recently something I was painting reminded me of a poem I like, and I realized that is a good source for titles. It's not hard to find a snippet of poetry that reflects what I was trying to say in a painting.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
12x16" oil on canvas
There is a derelict wooden tugboat on the banks of the Cape Fear River across from Wilmington. I'm fascinated by it and have drawn and painted it several times. The last I was there, in September 2008, it was barely holding together. It's been almost a year since I took the reference photo for this painting; I wonder if it will be there the next time I visit.