Sunday, October 28, 2012

Inspirations in Paint Exhibit.

A great Saturday... to echo Gary Everest.  I finally got to meet Celeste Bergin and David Burbach after months of following their blogs. (Photo by David Burbach)
I live only a mile from Eastmoreland Golf Course.  So when I checked Celeste's blog and discovered that she had an exhibit there with Kat Sowa, Dave McBride, and Anton Pavlenko I had to get over there and see it.   I met the other artists and as an added bonus photographer David Burbach.  I had a chance to talk with Celeste, David, Dave McBride and his wife.   I can say that even with David Burbach's professional touch in photography, there is no substitute for seeing the paintings in person.  The exhibit was appropriately named Inspirations in Paint.  They inspired me to get on the ball and do my daily painting again.  Donations from the show went to CASA benefiting children in the foster care system of  Multnomah and Washington Counties. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Woodstock Park early evening

Woodstock Evening.  6.5" X 8"  Watercolor . SOLD
Once again it was difficult to photograph this painting without distorting the colors.  It's not this dark, but the other option made it look too washed out and blotchy. One day I will either get a better camera, or learn the proper way to photograph my work.  If you stand back about 30 feet you might get the overall effect.  Anyway, I stopped working on it .  I think it's time to move on. 

As I learn more about representing lights at night with watercolor, I feel confident that I will one day have an approach that isn't as hit and miss.  I had a couple of moments where I thought I had ruined it, then turned it around. Finally, I figured that I should take the lessons learned here and move on. Though you can barely see it I liked how the reddish brown around the foreground lights gave the slight glow needed.  Pulling the tree trunks from the dark background was useful, and adding the texture of the ground in the left foreground was also a positive move.  Letting the trees in the top left form from the drips added one of the elements I was looking for in a night painting.  I couldn't get the foreground to produce the same effect.  I don't mind the tactile look of these types of paintngs, but I know I have to be careful where and how much I allow that to happen.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Zach. More drawings

Still didn't get much of a better shot, but this shows pretty much the whole drawing.
This Blog is difficult to work with at times.  I wanted to enter this post quickly because I have to go to work.  My usual process is to enter the Title, upload the photo, go to Post Settings and attach labels for the search engines, and then type  my Blog.  I will add a caption in the photo as I think about it.  However, I've noticed that when I enter a caption for the photo before I blog, It won't allow me to exit the caption mode and type in the Composition field.  That is what happened today.  I had to re-post this whole thing.  Now that I'm out of time, I can only say this about the actual drawing.  I did this for my buddy Zach for winning the Season Championship in the Golf Club we belong to. (Sounds expensive, but its just a club that allows you to play around the NW with other golfers).  It started as a sketch, but turned into a rather successful drawing.  I spent some time with the shading, building layers with the 2H, HB, 2B and 4B pencils, but the paper and my patience weren't quite adequate to achieve more of a seamless, 3 dimensional quality.  I will take a better photo of the drawing, and re-post this when I get a chance.  Part of the drawing was cut off in my haste to get this done today.
Overall, I'm very happy with the drawing, but eventually, I want to work with Graphite and better paper to get more of what I'm after.  More later...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adlai Sketch

First and second stage of the drawing

I decided to stop here on this sketch.  It became apparent that I was not going to capture the likeness entirely so it's time to move on to the next thing.  I'm happy with this as it is, but somehow he looks heavier in the drawing than he really is.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I woke up early to get something done this morning.  I was able to start this sketch of my friend Adlai Alexander playing guitar at one of his concerts.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hospital Parking Lot Study

First let me say that this picture is from a movie scene.  I was not imposing on someones private moment.  I saw this scene in Junebug, and wanted to capture the intensity of the moment.  In my rush to get it on paper, I ignored the obvious compositional challenges.  Had I been more deliberate I would have printed out the picture from my camera and composed it before proceeding. Instead I used the digital frame to paint from, and couldn't get my lines correct.  
And now I realize that I've just confessed to taking someone Else's idea.  This solves the question of whether I should try another more finished painting of this scene.  If I were to succeed in bringing this to the paper it would never be completely my own.  So I will probably move on and take what I learned from this.  I think it works in segments but not as a cohesive piece. At least as a study.  Lastly, I'm relieved that I found some time to get something done.  I had to get up at 2:30 AM to do it...but I did it.
By the way, I have yet to  watch the entire movie, but it looked good. About an Art dealer trying to sign an eccentric painter from the south.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Acrylic Abstract

Abstract Acrylic

Detail: I pasted a photo with glaze and painted around it.
I realized today that I hadn't posted this Acrylic abstract I composed last year. I hadn't worked in acrylics for decades, so I took a little course on acrylic painting and enjoyed this little experiment to test the different textures and effects one can achieve by using the different paints and glazes available.  I used about every one in this little 6 X 6. Although I was encouraged by this result, I decided to continue with my watercolor focus.  I figured I shouldn't  divide my focus, given the limited time I have to paint.  Also, investing in a bunch of acrylic products is kind of expensive if you don't plan on spending considerable time on it. If I decide to go into acrylics, I will shift my focus primarily on that.
    On the subject of focus,  I find myself feeling a strong pull toward at least a few large canvas paintings.  I have some general ideas in mind.  It's hard to go day after day feeling that there are paintings in me that need to be done, but I don't have the time to produce them.  Until that time I'll have to continue to work toward that end by choosing subjects in watercolor that will get me closer to it.