Yep. I still do museum scenes.
I lost interest for awhile - feeling that it was being done to death for one thing. But I still enjoy painting the scenes.
This man is looking at "The Elder Sister" 1869 by William Bouguereau, in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. I didn't do justice to his classical realism but like my brushwork better. ;-)
Ask Russell Collection Fine Art about this painting.
On our way back from NOLA, we stopped in Orange, TX to visit the collection at the Stark. Wow. It is so impressive. As is the story of the man who started the collection.
It features a lot of western art, especially from the Taos Society of Artists. I saw two Fechin's in person for the first time in my life. I was bummed that they didn't have more out. But the work I did see was stunning - and so inspiring. I've been working this year a lot on color and values. Trying to lighten my palette. These western artists have a perfect palette to study. They get a lot of contrast by working complements rather than pushing values in their color.
I saw Remington, Russell, Dunton, Moran and Berninghaus among many others. Amazing desert colors, stunning nocturnes and incredible value paintings used for illustrations.
I wish the museum wasn't so far from Austin - I would visit weekly! My plan is to create a few sample palettes of some of the colors so I can reference them for my paintings.
Today I had the opportunity to demonstrate my working methods for the Austin Palette Club. Many thanks y'all!
I talked about why I do quick starts and showed them how I develop a painting from a photo. I did the 30 minute start and then we took a short break before I resumed work for another half hour or so.
The second half of work was much slower. Once I have the initial block in done, I approach it more thoughtfully as I begin to modify the shapes and edges. I still haven't finished this but it's close.
Again, the idea of the quick start is to respond passionately and intuitively to my subject. I cover the canvas and block in shapes and establish value patterns working from big to small shapes keeping color and strokes loose. Once it's all in, I step back and evaluate. I slow down and work on varying my shapes. I enjoy both parts of the process immensely.
Starting fast keeps me from getting to tight and from treating each start as precious. And some of the looseness remains at the finish.
I recorded video on my phone during the demo - now I just have to learn how to convert it or edit it on my windows stuff. Stay tuned!
Best Practices (so far)
There are so many ideas out there. And so many artists. And so many people wanting to help artists. I could spend hours and hours researching, reading, learning, and trying implement all the mountains of ideas and styles into my work. What I've found is that too much information just causes me confusion and angst.
I need to focus on strategies that will work for my business and what will help me accomplish what I want. The first step is to figure out what I want!
Also, looking at other artists paintings (and their accomplishments) too much can make me feel small. Not that I begrudge their success, but c'mon, I'm human. It can make me feel inferior and that can lead to creative melt downs. The internet, magazines and books can be a great resource, but I recommend only going to look when you need to see how to solve a problem in your own work. Or to look at work that is totally different from what you do to get inspired. Or look at art in museums. Looking at artists who are similar will only lead to mediocrity. I am continually striving to express myself and stand out. And sometimes, working in "isolation" is the best way to get there.
* seeing too much art can stifle your own creative voice
* create a business model you can implement and focus on it
* have a system of organization and clean up after yourself
* use supplies on hand (keep track of inventory) and spend less
* unplug from social media and web surfing in the studio
A blast from the past. Just came back from a gallery and thought I'd share it again here and offer it unframed if you like. Or I can frame it for you as well.
Summer is officially here. And we have a new fur child! We adopted a little stray dog yesterday. He is young... maybe 6-9 mos. I am not sure. He is a real cutie. I will share photos later. Just wanted to get this out before running to Petco to stock up on supplies... namely a gate to contain him while I go out since he is not quite housebroken and is "marking" a lot as well.
This painting is a few years old and as such is offered at the 2009 price.
12x8 oil on panel
Don't forget about my upcoming workshop team teaching with V....Vaughan - June 18-21. Sign up
When I haven't been able to fully focus on painting - or want to relax with something different, I do these monoprints using oil paint on glass and pressing papers on the image to make a print. I love it! Its very meditative. Its graphic and expressive.
I've experimented with different papers and using different mediums. Its best not to add too much medium or make the paint too thin as it will squish out and really ruin the results. I found that a thinner and smooth paper works best.
I paint the image on glass - placing a sketch, painting or photo image under the glass to work over. You have to lay the paint on thick and focus on big blocky shapes. No details allowed!
Next I lay the paper over the painted glass and use a brayer to press the paper onto the paint and transfer the image.
Carefully peel back the paper and there is your painted image.
Some work out better than others, but its a fun process.
Today I visited my Austin art gallery, Russell Collection, to work with them on framing options. Not having ever framed works on paper, I don't know where to begin.
Russell Collection just added framing to their repertoire in the last year or so. (I have no concept of time except that it goes by too fast.) I really appreciate their help in selecting a new style for my newer paintings and planning how to mount and display three monoprints. My work needs something more modern than the usual plein air or impressionist frames I've been using. I can't wait to see these mono prints framed!
I've played with this idea for awhile but haven't shown them yet. The results are loose and interesting... more what I'd like to achieve in my actual oil paintings! I hope they are well received. Check out Russell Collection if you are interested!
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life.
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