Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Untitled Nude 2

Oil painting 6x8 inches.  From our Wednesday model sessions.  

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Untitled Nude

An original oil painting six inches by eight inches from our Wednesday model sessions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Elephant in the Room

Artist David Rourke says something on his blog I've been thinking about for a long time. It's the elephant in the room very few artists, gallery owners, workshop participants, magazine editors want to talk about. His blog entry is here:   I'd added a comment of my own to it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Paintings for Sale on eBay ....Coming Soon

Now that I've got this blog up and running for a few months, it's time to start offering paintings. So at the end of the month I'm going to be listing paintings for sale on eBay.  These will be small 6x8's and bidding will begin at 99 cents.  A new painting will be listed every Sunday and Wednesday - and obviously auctions will end then also. There will be examples of the paintings posted here, along with a link directly to the auction. 

I'm pretty excited about this, and see it as a win-win situation. Even if a painting sells for a buck fifty, the way I look at it at least some money is coming in. Plus I have the added benefit of doing the work, and hopefully it will kick me up a level or two. 

I've done some research and discovered a few a things I didn't know. On the advice of an article in Art Calendar Magazine bids will start at $.99. Yes, that's 99 cents. I know quite a few artists begin bidding on their work at $100, or they have a reserve that has to be met. I won't. Does that mean some paintings will sell for less than a dollar? Probably. Will it hurt. Ya, there will be an 'ouch' moment, but hopefully there won't be too many of those moments.

Last month I started laying up an inventory of 6x8 paintings to start off, and I've been busy trying to get the inventory up to a couple of dozen. The 6x8 format is challenging, but loads of fun. For years I resisted going small, even when the gallery asked for small pieces. Now I've done a 180. (Maybe my skill level has improved enough that I can handle it.) I figure that right now two paintings a week is doable. Any more and I'm not sure I could keep the quality high, in other words paint my best. Perhaps as I get better at it I'll offer more per week.

Subjects will be figures and portraits. That's my interest right now, but there may be the occasional landscape if I get out plein aire. The paintings will be from the model at our weekly Wednesday sessions, or from reference photos of the model, or more likely a mix of the two. I'll  start a painting or two at the Wednesday sessions then work on them through the week.

Bottom Line: Original 6x8 oil paintings offered on Sunday and Wednesday nights (8-9ish). Bidding to start at .99 cents with no reserve. First auction listing is December 27th. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Portrait Session Last Weekend

Last weekend Bruce and I painted his sister-in-law at his cabin in Pennsylvania. I took my daughter, Jillian and she was happy because she was able to go horseback riding. It was a great time: good company, good food and good conversation. The painting - for me - was a bit depressing though. Poor Roya sat for about 2 1/2 hours and I must have wiped out four or five efforts. This is my final try - not even a sketch really... In the meantime Bruce started two different paintings and both were good. Damn him.

Today I opened a Facebook account. My first 'friend' is one of my teachers, Dustin Boutwell. I'm kind of lost re facebook. I guess I just don't get it - yet. We'll see. I was excited though to see Dustin's work - especially some new work. I know he's been busy with a new baby (heck the guy has four kids all under five!) so it was great to see this portrait he'd just finished. It's pretty awesome.

"Willa" by Dustin Boutwell

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tom Buechner's Friday Night Class: November

November only had two sessions for me, since I was alternating with Bruce. The model was sick for the first two weeks, so the class worked from a black and white photo of Tom. I'd brought my Open Box to paint with, but forgot the tripod attachment. Tom graciously lent me his half-Jullian. 

A word about these old Jullian's. I've seen a few of them and I can understand why older painters swear by them. The hardware is very solid, they feel heavier and more substantial than the newer ones, and they last. The Jullian's I've bought (full and half) began coming apart within months. Buechner's and Tom Gardner's are over 30 years old. If you ever come across one of the older Jullian's at a yard sale or on Ebay, snap it up. Old paint can be scraped or sanded off.

Once again I painted next to Tom (painting himself). He told me to put the photo on the wall about seven or eight feet away. Doing this forced me to concentrate on the big shapes, drawing and values. I couldn't get into detail because I couldn't see any detail. Used raw umber and Tit white.

The next session the model was present, but still feeling the effects of bronchitis. I'd brought a 6x8 because I knew I'd only be working one session, and I didn't want to waste a larger size. I set up before Tom had posed the model, and I didn't pick the best side to work from.

Tom posed him in an old US Army greatcoat, shirtless. The model had a great head of hair, tightly curled, and very high sharp cheekbones. Tom wanted to light him from below - in effect theatrical lighting - in order to show the class how normal value assumptions changed. The right side of the model's face had some wonderful darks. Unfortunately, my side was rather flat. Made the best of it though and really enjoyed working on a smaller surface.

Lessons learned: go for big shapes and values first, work with the pose you get, try to lay a stroke down then step back (I'm horrible at this - smudging and blending way too much), working smaller can be fun, and Everett Raymond Kinstler was a student of James Montgomery Flagg. Didn't know that.

About Me

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Elmira, New York, United States
In many ways I think like a photographer. The image itself is becoming more and more important to me; the actual application of paint less and less. Blasphemy in some painterly circles. I choose to paint figures and portraits because I consider them the most difficult subject.