Friday, November 27, 2009

Winter Mode

Well, I'll be the first to admit that I really don't care for snow. Living in northern New York all my life has given me ample time to adjust and get used to it, though. I will also tell you however, that snow scenes are one of my favorite things to paint.

Maybe it's just the stark contrast of the white snow and the cool, blue-gray shadows. ( Blue is by far my favorite color ) Or, the mystery of what lies beneath as the snow forms it's blanket over the land.

I really do enjoy going snowshoeing and breathing the crisp air and recording the sights of the snow-laden trees, with both my memory and sometimes my camera. It's very inspiring to "get out in it" !

Here are some recent works just completed in the past few days. I used Alkyd fast-drying oils.

"WINTER WOODS" 12" x 16" - I love birch trees for their stark contrast of black & white. To me, they have the most character of any tree. There are thousands of them in the woods behind my house, so I never lack for reference material.

"FROSTY MORNING" 11" x 14" - As most of you are aware, I love to paint old barns and dominant, powerful skies. When I can combine both of those elements into one painting,........ well,... I'm a happy guy!

"WINTER CARDINALS" 12" x16" - This is a commission which will be a Christmas gift for the client's daughter. The specific request was for a male and female cardinal on a birch tree in a winter theme. So, with that as my guide, this is what I came up with.

Oddly, enough, we have no snow here right now. Very unusual for this late in the year. We usually are blanketed by now. I'm sure our little reprieve won't last much longer!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recent Work

Here are a couple of recent efforts.

While both of these are in Oils, "DECEMBER DUSK" was rendered using brushes and "WESTERN VISTA" was created solely with painting knives. The difference in the surface textures is clearly evident in these photos.

Sometimes, I prefer a smoother finish and on other ocassions I desire a more heavily textured interpretation. It's the best of both worlds, really, and it's nice to have the freedom to represent something in the way that I see it. Too often, an artist can settle into a comfortable "rut" , which translates into predictable results. Try to shake things up by doing something different once in a while, whether it's using an unfamiliar brush or a different medium altogether.

As for using the knives, I cannot say enough about my fondness for Lukas Painting Butter ( available exclusively through Jerry's Artarama and Art Supply Warehouse ) It's an alkyd-based impasto medium which is fantastic for building up heavy paint layers, such as those shown here. Give it a try, you'll like it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"Fire In The Sky"

This is a painting I did this morning, which was inspired by last night's sunset. I didn't take a photo at the time, so it's pretty much just my recollection of it. My main focus was the sky itself, so the land and water are the result of my imagination and just added to complete the composition. This is Oil on a 12" x 16" panel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Back!!!

I'm sorry I've been absent for so long from this blog, but I have just had sooo much going on! From what I've gathered through various inquiries, and e:mails, some of you thought I'd passed or at least moved out of the country! lol No, I'm still kickin'!!

Our Studio Open House was last week-end and it went much better than I ever would have expected. I found new homes for a dozen of my paintings and picked up a few more commission orders. Plus, Glenda scheduled some photo shoots for portraits, so it was great exposure all the way around.

Now that some of my paintings have left the nest, I've been busy painting some more works to fill the void. I have to revamp and rotate the stock at some of my local display areas, so now is the time to do it, with the Holidays approaching. This time of year is always my best period as far as sales go.

Here are a few recent paintings from the past couple of weeks. The deer is actually a commission piece which was done from a client's photo. No, that's not dandruff on her head. I think she had just walked under a snow-laden branch and got dumped on! lol

And you know me and "old barns". I never get tired of painting those!

"Snowy White-tail" 12" x16"

"December Morning" 11" x 14"

"Fleeting Light" 20" x 20" Gallery Wrap canvas