Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Uplifted   8x12 pastel    $125.
detail of marks and surface
As an artist, getting too comfy in your working ways leads to some ugly stuff--both artistically and mentally.    Add to it these very grey, cold days and yeah, I'm kinda grumpy.   But after a talk with a friend (hey you!) I decided it was time to do some experimenting.    

I love my subject matter, and love working in pastel.  So I changed how I was using the pastel and tried a different surface.   It left the finished painting more lively, with energy!   It also gave me an excuse to use some bright colors, which sure helped liven up such a dull afternoon. 

I used a hardboard and made my own surface preparation, gritty enough to hold layers of color; applied in such a way to leave some of this showing.   I love how some of the ochre surface shows thru the final piece.   I feel it adds energy and life!   It was also a lot of fun too!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Sketching the winter away

ToostiePop   7x9 pastel   ready to frame $45.

One of my favorite things to do on an otherwise mundane evening is to go thru my reference photos.   As many others discover, that super scene you had to get a photo of falls flat in picture form.   And is why plein air is so great!    But, its been subzero and I ain't that tough!

   So I go thru them, fairly quickly.   If they are just another ho-hum average, they get deleted immediately.    If I cant' use them soon, no reason to hold onto a zillion photos I will never be able to find later.   Often its just a little part that I needed, i.e. a cloud that would be nice in a painting that's on the easel.   Keeping too many only clogs the works.    In the book Alla Prima, Richard Schmid suggests to use it immediately, so you can still feel the breeze, smell the air, etc.   Wait too long and its just another flat image.

I follow lots of blogs, one is from an artist I took a class from, Marla Baggetta.  (still using my notes from that one!  highly recommend!)  She had some book suggestions dealing with sketching, and I picked one that looked interesting.   And I'm really enjoying it!   Its not a how-to as much as a showcases many artists with different styles, including Marla's, and what their thought processes are when sketching.  
 I dont' know many artists who don't mutter at times the need to sketch more, including myself.   Going quickly thru my photos, I make these super-fast thumbnail sketches in ballpoint pen.  (that's a Marla trick, and a good one)   Now I have a dozen or more ideas that are ready for me to get to work.   It sure beat watching more mindless tv too!  

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Weather the weather, or not

"Hafs Asleep"  12x16 pastel   $215.
Today is unbearably cold, so doing anything outside, is out!     But it sure makes it easy to cozy up in the studio for a long time!   Not a bad way to spend such cold, bitter days.

This barn is almost falling down in real life, and is close to a place I taught a workshop this summer.  You know, when the air didn't hurt my face!   I was walking Arty the Wonder Dog early so he'd behave during class time.   I patched up the holes it actually had, and straightened it a bit also... and what makes a barn even better is horses!   Horses always make life better!   

This pair of horses are dozing in the early morning sun, are they tired from working?  Are they just lazy pets that eat all day?   Either way, they are enjoying that nap.

The title, "Halfs Asleep" isn't a typo and refers to the type of horse I depicted here--Haflinger.   A smaller draft breed that is always this coloring.   Small but sturdy with good minds.    Their bright manes and tails, with that golden coat help bring out that 'bright, early morning' feel.  

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Open House, again!

So ol Mother Nature didn't like my plans.   Over a foot of snow last weekend, altho that didn't stop one group from coming!    (they were east river people, hehe)   

But, I am all set up, and have lots of artwork and soaps ready for you!   Soaps are on sale for $5.00  and all artwork, framing, etc is 10% off!   If you've ever wanted to commission something of your own, now would be a great time!  

I have quite a few small paintings that are unframed, so you can add your own touch to a gift, of which I promise your giftee will not get doubles of!     There is time yet for me to frame a few, but you'll have to be quick!  

So, let's try again--OPEN HOUSE this weekend, noon til 6, both Saturday and Sunday! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Some Raw Deals Coming up!

Some of the small works that will be available at my Open House
In a short time,  I'll be having my Holiday Open House.   I'll be offering several "raw deals"....paintings that are ready to frame Your way!   They are raw, just the painting itself, ready for Your personal taste to frame. 

So often the frame becomes an issue as it won't go with the decor of the new owner.   These small works could easily be framed in time to give for Christmas, and talk about one-of-a-kind!    What a perfectly thoughtful, personal gift!   

Holiday Open House, one mile east of the old Lucas school (Sully Flats)
December 1 & 2, noon til 6pm.    Come enjoy cookies, meet up with some friends and have a fun afternoon!    

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Save the Date!

New paintings and soaps!  

Save the dates, December 1st and 2nd.   Noon til 6pm each day I will be hosting my Holiday Open House, at my home and studio located near Lucas.  

I will have several new soap scents (and shapes!), gift bags, and even a soap for Fido!

There will also be many new paintings from my plein air season this year, and some studio works as well.   Some are framed, some are ready for your own framing ideas.   I can help with that as well.

Also, there is still a little time left if you want something custom in time for Christmas.   Frame that graduation or wedding photo, children's art too!   A pet portrait maybe?    There's not much time left, so let me know what I can help you with!  

Monday, October 29, 2018

Is "talent" real?

I often hear "I wish I had talent".  Hmm.  I do understand it's meant as a compliment, and I appreciate that.   But art is often seen as this invisible, magical thing that isn't possible for many, if not most, people.  

Here is one of my very first watercolors.  I was in high school when I did this, entered a calendar contest and was included.   It's not bad for a high school kid, but there's plenty of issues with this horse....

   I spent tons of time around horses then, but yet made lots of mistakes.   Here's a more recent sample of a horse portrait....

Did I get more "talent" by now?  How exactly does a person 'get talent' anyhow? Or you either are born with it or not, is that how it works?

Everyone seems to have a desire to do certain things.   I have absolutely no desire to fly but yet my dad loved to.    Same with boats, no thanks!   

I do have the desire however to create.   So within having that I pursue new ways, teachers and ideas.   That is how you 'get talent."

I can't say going for it is always a fun time.   This past weekend I did something along these lines, I took another art class.   A drawing class.   Why?   Because I know the value of this exercise.    Is it fun?  Um, not really.  Honestly, its a beastly amount of work that is tedious at times, and generally doesn't produce a piece of art to sell.

“Amateurs look for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” – Chuck Close
At left is what I spent 3 hours work on this past Saturday.  (No, mine's on the right)   My lines are so light they are invisible, but they are there!  I have hours and hours yet to work on this.   I am copying this master-copy.  Why?  Who wants a copied copy of a....foot?! 

Its called Bargue plates, and they are an old method of teaching and learning to be as accurate as possible in drawing.   Not really a fun time, but the learning that happens certainly is!   These are like scales in music--no one buys a cd of scales to jam out to, but its the learning of them for their own value.   
"Good things come to she who waits...if she works like mad while she's waiting!"
So go out there and claim your talent!   Its just hiding under a pile of effort.