August 31, 2008

Mission Santa Inés

Acrylic on Canvas

This is the Mission Santa Inés in Solvang, CA, Founded in 1804 to honor Saint Agnes.

I didn't paint this while there, but painted from a photograph back at home. I used a much larger canvas (20"x16") than I've been using. I adjusted by being stingy and precise with the paint – not at all the direction I'm aiming for.

August 30, 2008

Jim's Truck

Acrylic on Canvas Board - 9 x 12 SOLD

Yep, Jim Spad's truck, in front of their house in New Mexico. Painted from a photograph I printed out when I got back home. This is the first piece I've signed with my new "mark" because it's the first piece I've sold! Well it was an easy sell to Jim.

It's also one of the first I applied a clear gloss medium top coat to, as a finish. Just adds a bit of shine.

August 29, 2008

Breakfast Tray

Acrylic on Canvas

Back from the workshop and I'm sick of trees again, so a still life it is. This shows I'm trying to blend the paint on the canvas instead of mixing first and placing deliberate daubs of color where I want them. I seem to be ignoring everything I was hearing at the workshop. Doh!

August 28, 2008

Corner Shop

Oil on Canvas Board

Back in downtown Hollister.

Leaning Left

Oil on Canvas Board

More in Hollister.

Weird Bushes

Oil on Canvas Board

Back for another workshop in Hollister (hence the "oil")

Back Stairs Sketch

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Trying to keep it loose and under 15 minutes. 

Maybe a little too loose...

Hayes House

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Deck Chair

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Lawn Chair

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Getting a little richer with the colors. Trying not to be so stingy with the paint, which helps.

Pellegrino and Chimneys

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Ol' Webber

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Trying to avoid nature again. Still washed out looking.

Looking at the Bay

Acrylic on Canvas Board

Back in town, I painted from a photograph as an exercise I'd learned from Randy, but hadn't tried yet. Paint the same subject three times – first in a two hour session, then again in a one hour session and finally in a half hour session. This is the one hour version. Not overly fussy like the two hour one, and I could use the palette and issues I'd worked out for the two hour one. The half hour one was just too compositionally flawed.

Cranky Generator

Oil on Canvas Board

Why this?!? After three days of failing to paint  nature, I decided to fail at painting industry. This was in a park filled with broken farm machinery. I don't even know what this thing is.

Yet again, really washed out. I'm using too much white I think.

Valley Ranch

Oil on Canvas Board

Part of a horse ranch in Hollister. Great views. Mine, not so much.

Mission, San Juan Bautiste

Oil on Canvas Board

Here's an unexciting view of the mission San Juan Batiste, near Hollister, CA.

Kinda flat, and again, washed out looking at the end of the day.

August 27, 2008

My First Mission

Oil on Canvas board

Ah, the mission at San Juan Bautiste, what a sight. Typical of a newcomer to CA, I've fallen in love with the mission buildings up and down the coast (I've only lived here for 2o years, so I still count as a newcomer.

We may not have more than 200 years of history, but at times, that's all you need. The mission, named for St. John the Baptist was founded in 1797. It is directly on the San Andreas Fault, and was featured in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo.

Palm Drive

Oil on Canvas paper

This is the first sketch I did on my first day at the Randy Sexton plein air workshop. Even Randy joked about the cliche composition of the meandering pathway, and the simple fact that I had chosen to paint trees in front of other trees, in front of other trees...  Still this was my first oil painting in 20 years and I had a blast putting it together.

Funny thing – painting in nearly full sunlight, the paintings look totally different later in the day (say around critique time) than they did in full natural light. Different is OK, but it's a bit jarring if you're not used to the shift. Just another one of those things I've got to learn.

A Little Background...

Below here are some random paintings I did over the years in the gap between learning a bit of this in school, and eventually pick this up again with a more serious passion.

In 2006 I went with my father on a three-day plein air oil painting workshop with Randall Sexton, just for fun. I didn't realize it would awake in me a new zeal for painting. He's a great teacher and has a great approach to painting. I learned more in 3 days than I could apply in a year. I went back again in 2007, and found I still have so much more to learn. As usual. 

Postings after this will start with some studies I did in the workshop, and then proceed chronologically until I catch up to the present. I'd like this be a "painting a day" type blog, but I'm just not lucky enough to paint every day. Maybe this will provide a little more motivation to keep the work flowing.

My father, who's been painting for quite a while now, told me a story of an artist visiting his studio, where she looked over his work and said some encouraging words along the lines of "you're making good progress". The zinger was she said that "you really don't hit your stride until your thousandth painting". 

I've got a long way to go!!!!

White Flowers

Acrylic on Canvas

This is big. 2 feet square. Lots of wet on wet, because I decided to try out some gel medium to go for a longer open time.

Olive Glass

Acrylic on Canvas

Another glass, all palette knife, but I did mix the colors a bit instead of right out of the tube.

Paint by Numbers Glass

Acrylic on Canvas

Another glass, but first I posterized a photo in Photoshop, and reassigned colors, and then translated it to canvas. I think this was my first publicly exhibited piece, at a group event attached to a friend's wedding reception.

Red Glass

Acrylic on Canvas

Another glass, straight out of the tube color from paint found at garage sales, applied with the palette knife.

Empty Glass

Acrylic on Canvas.

I don't know why, but I love this type of drinking glass. Maybe it's the way they have round and square shapes, or all those planes and facets. This is a subject I sketch often, since there's usually a number of them scattered about the apartment.

More of a sketch than a painting, the background wash was applied with rags, and the rest applied with the palette knife. 

This is also the first piece I have framed. I found the frame at a garage sale, and it fit perfectly. Well, not in the traditional sense, but it was the same size as the canvas (i.e. the canvas didn't fit in the intended space, it just fit perfectly behind the frame, cropping out all the dead space I had anyway). 

Anthony Hopkins vs Peter Gabriel

Acrylic on Canvas.

The first time I could "see" colors other than "skin" in a face. It helped that I painted it from a b/w picture in the NYT.