Friday, April 17, 2015

"Charmed Life" Mixed Media Portrait Painting

Here is another painting on the lighter side of my portrait series.  I started this painting from a sketch done in my sketchbook.  I have found it very helpful to sketch a rough composition first.  It is one less thing to worry about as you get into the work when you have the composition figured out.  I used to think this would take away the spontaneity but you can be spontaneous with other things.  When I was satisfied with the composition I drew it onto the canvas with Inktense pencils.  I then proceded in much the same way as the last painting using India ink and acrylic.  I just keep building it up in layers going back and forth between the lights and the darks.  The fish was added last (spontaneously of course;)  Charmed Life is done on an 18 x 24 x1.5 gallery wrap canvas.  It is available on my website.  This is the second of three light works in a row.  I will post the third one next week.  Right now I have a more involved piece on my easel that is about at the halfway point.  I think it will end up a little darker but I think it will need the contrast.  I also have an oil portrait (dark) waiting for my return.  The oil layers that are down are already dry so it has been there a while.  I have been doing lots of painting but Spring cleanup has begun as well so things are busy.  I have entered 2 juried exhibits online.  One is local and one is in California.  I'm not sure if I will be accepted or not but it feels good to be getting my foot back in the door.  I am really anxious to check out the art scene here and feel it is long overdue.  Another exhibit is coming up at a local college but it won't be juried until May.  I will let you know the outcome.  That about wraps it up for me this week.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Peace to you!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"The Merchant" Mixed Media Painting And Spring

It is finally beginning to feel like Spring here in Northeastern Ohio.  I was out for a walk yesterday and wanted to share these photos:

This is Lake Erie at the end of my street.  A beautiful little park to enjoy the wonderful view.

Here it is from another angle.  It's hard to believe that just a month ago all of this was frozen.  It's great to see the waves once again!

In the studio I have been busy still painting away at my figures.  I have been painting a little brighter and lighter the past few weeks.  Here is one of the pieces that I just completed.  I used Derwent Inktense ink pencils to start this piece.  I have had them in my studio for a few years and have been getting a lot of use out of them lately.  I use them to lay in the initial drawing.  I then progressed with Pitt pen, Dr. Martins India ink and then finally acrylic.  I especially like the text added to the headpiece.  I have been working in my sketchbook quite a bit lately.  I've started taking it with me when I have appointments and it sure makes the waiting time fly by!  I practice faces, try out composition ideas or just doodle.  It keeps the creative juices flowing!
Here is "The Merchant": 
Happy painting!  Until the next time...

Peace to you!  

Saturday, March 28, 2015

"Green Tea" Contemporary Figurative Painting And the Cracked Re-Do

Lately I have been back to painting faces and figures.  I am enjoying it more and more.  I have been painting quite a dark series in my quest for contrast.  This week I decided to lighten it up a bit.  This was a wonderful painting to work on.  I especially like adding the pattern to the dresses.  The figure on the right just evolved.  The figure on the left was the ornery one.  Even after the initial drawing I had to fight with this one.  After many changes this is the pose that I ended up with.  I saved the faces for last but in the long run I liked the work better without them. All in all I like the "lightness" of this painting . It is done on a 24 x 24 x 1.5 gallery wrap canvas and available on my website.

The other quest I have been on this week is trying to incorporate some of my art supplies into new works.  I still have water mixable oils and India ink that I am afraid will go bad and be wasted if I don't use them.  I am working on a portrait in oil and while I was waiting for it to dry I had a bright idea to oil paint over a failed mixed media painting.  I just started applying the paint and although I tried to adhere to the fat over lean rule I got a little carried away.  First of all, the canvas was already too "used".  I was painting over a failed painting done over a failed painting with collage.  I did rough it up a little with a dry wall sander but this was just not enough.  Anyway, to make a long story short this is what I ended up with:
By the next morning the oil paint was totally cracked.  All that wonderful Alizerin Crimson down the drain!  Good thing I tried not to waste the supplies!  Live and learn I guess!  
So back to the studio I go.  I am having a bit more success with my India ink and am really enjoying using it so far.  We'll see where this leads!

Until the next time.......

Friday, March 20, 2015

"The Candlestick Maker" Acrylic Figure Painting

This painting took me the entire week and many hours to complete.  I obtained the wonderful photo from Alex Lee Johnson and here is the link:  Alex's photo.  Once again I think this site is just wonderful!  So many talented artists and photographers willing to share their work to be painting!  It's like looking through the Sears Catalog at Christmas when I was a kid:)

I began this work with a drawing using watercolor pencil.  Many times I can just begin with painting but for me when there are hands involved I seem to save time in the long run if I draw them in first.  I like the watercolor pencil because once I am satisfied with my drawing I can go over it with a liner brush and water.  This sets the watercolor enough to paint.  If there is something you don't like just wipe it off with a rag.  Drawings in graphite are harder to remove on canvas and doesn't erase as clean.
Next I laid in my darks and the painting took off from there.  This painting was quite a challenge for me but I had fun with creative process and used many different techniques to achieve the final results. It is available on my website.

Happy first day of Spring!

Peace to you!

Friday, March 13, 2015

"The Poetry Readers" Abstract Portrait Painting

I wanted to let all you artists out there know about a site that I discovered a while back.  It is called Paint My Photo and here is the link:  Paint My Photo .  On it there are many wonderful photographers willing to share their work.  You can paint any of the photos that you'd like and even sell them without copyright infringement problems.  I think this is wonderful!  I created "The Poetry Readers"  by combining 2 photos; Hannah by Alex Lee Johnson and My Daughter Collette by Eugene Budden.  I used the photos as a springboard for the painting.  So thank you Alex and Eugene for your wonderful inspiration!

This painting is done on a 24x24x1.5 Gallery wrap canvas.  I am still working hard on color, line and contrast coming together to form a cohesive work.

I hope that you find inspiration in the link above.  Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting my blog!  


Saturday, March 7, 2015

"Fiyero" An Abstract Portrait Painting

I love the human form and face.  It is fun to be painting them again.  In this painting  I am working on my contrast with lights and darks.  These are some strong colors but for me they just work well together.  I think they are further enhanced by the dark background.  I have completed my fourth in this series of paintings so far but "Fiyero" is the only man so I decided to post him.   This one is acrylic on a 16x20x1.5 gallery wrap canvas.

I took an online class from a site called  Here is the link:  There are many artists and teaching tutorials here.  I found this very helpful and cannot wait to apply some of the new techniques to my work.

Not much new happening here right now.  Just lots of painting and I can't complain about that!  Until the next time......

Saturday, February 28, 2015

"Sanctuary" Contemporary Abstract Landscape/Bird Painting

Here we are at the end of February.  I got lambasted this month with a speeding ticket, a flat tire and then my battery died.  The annoying person that you are following going the exact speed limit is now me.  All I can say is I can no longer afford the luxury of a lead foot!  I'd rather be spending my cash on canvas & paint than fines.  

2015 is the year I was going to stay focused and find my "direction" in art.  Why does my direction constantly turn left when I am going right?  I was strolling happily along the landscape path when BAM!  There are now 2 abstract portraits hanging on my wall and I am ready to begin the third.  I guess that I do see a pattern in my style emerging so does it matter what the subject is?  I think part of the human condition is a struggle with our realities.  One minute we're enjoying a sunset and the next we're self absorbed into our own personal worlds.  So I say that's life.  Have fun creating where you are in the moment.  Take a deep breath and paint!

I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Peace to you!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Tin Soldiers" Abstract Painting

This painting was created using acrylic and collage.  I used foil as a collage and as the painting progressed the tin soldiers made an appearance.  Freedom is a gift.  Treasure it my friends!  I will let this painting speak for itself.  Until the next time.....

"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Peace to you!