The weather is cooling off in Texas and it's time to get some plein air work done. This is my favorite time of the year. I have to admit that I have done less plein air painting this year than when I started painting about seven years ago, but that doesn't mean I haven't been painting.I have ramped up my studio work and have been painting larger too.
I am finally in a place in my mind where I want to find more representation. I have been putting this off to get my work up to a consistent level and I think I'm ready. I definitely have been my biggest collector so far and that's not a good thing. Wish me luck!
So much is involved in making a painting, good drawing skills, color mixing etc., but most of the time a good painting comes down to your subject matter and finding great subject matter has suddenly moved to the top of my wish list. I often find myself having to settle because of time restraints and a limited painting window and the need to get something done. I recently bought myself a professional camera and have started to get much better photo reference from it. Now I need to go explore and find these great subjects and that is easier said than done.
Another way I have found subjects to paint is to ask photographers if they would allow you to paint from their images. So far, I have been extremely lucky and the photographer has been excited to allow me to do that. I still try to crop the image or emphasize what interests me most when I paint from these photos. This painting is one of those shared images and has become my wife's favorite that I've done because it reminds her of her step father that passed away years ago. I have found adding figures adds so much life and welcomes the viewer. I shared this painting on my Facebook account and had comments like
"I enjoy paintings that put me there and tell a story"
"Reminds me of my youth. That truck looks a lot better than the ones I drove,
but the hood being up was typical!!"
and "I really like the people...the rumpled shirts & jeans! It's real. Great work!"
I'm not sharing those comments to toot my own horn, but it does make me realize figures can raise a simple painting of a truck into something much more.
This was a very fast sketch. I wanted to get some painting in so I gave myself an hour from start to finish. It was a fun subject. I'm not even sure of the size, since I just taped some cut canvas to a large panel and started painting. It's good to test yourself like this because you never know how long your subject will remain the same painting outside.
Painted this using primarily a "Egbert" bristle brush. ( pictured below )
This brush has really long bristles and no matter how hard you try it's tough to do really tight overly rendered work. I like to start paintings as loose as possible and feel like it helps to add energy to the piece when it works out, but I don't always use this brush. Sometimes, I use a 1" wide flat that has worn bristles to block in my start. I don't have any set method and I love to experiment.
The start of a painting is my favorite part because drawing is fun to me and one of my strong points since I've been drawing far longer than painting.
I have spent the last twenty-eight years or so designing signs for a living. The truck pictured above has become a very familiar view. I took a picture of this install truck while I walked into work one early morning and I thought it would be a fun to try and simplify all the details and to try and create something pretty out of a subject most people wouldn't find that way. I took my time drawing this out because any drawing issues would be very obvious. I started painting in my darks and linking them together to give weight to my subject. The truck was back lit, so I tried to paint a lot of the reflected light and to soften up the edges in my darks because I didn't want them to overpower the color and become a distraction. I saved the hardest edges and the brightest colors for the areas I wanted you to look. This painting became about the implied details and when viewed up close becomes more abstract in appearance.
This is a scene from Fredericksburg, TX . I painted this for a good friend that has been vacationing with her family at this same spot for the last twenty something years. I'm happy to say I will be relaxing in this river with my family this weekend, but I hope I can squeeze in some more painting!
I had the greatest of times at the Oil Painters of America National show and convention.
I was worried that I would be by myself during the week and possibly bored, but that was far from what happened. I wouldn't have changed five minutes of the week. I want everyone to know the artist, gallery and collectors where all very welcoming and giving with their time. I went to breakfast, lunch and dinner with large groups of people and asked all kinds of technical and personal questions about painting and the art business and I feel renewed in my desire to be a full time painter. I wanted to share a few pictures from my trip and my new friends.
InSight Gallery in Fredericksburg, TX was the site of the
Oil Painters of America 22nd National exhibition
I was very excited to be included in this prestigious show and I became overwhelmed
emotionally when I walked into the gallery and caught my first glimpse of the amazing
artwork filling the walls from top to bottom.
Notice my badge with the "show participant" ribbon...
I had a tough time taking it off.
Found myself a cool little red truck on Main St to paint the first day.
I don't have a great picture of it, because I sold it there.
I made several new friends at the sponsored paint outs including
This is going to be a big week for me. I had my painting "Train Crossing" chosen for theOil Paintersof America National show! The show happens to be in my home state of Texas in Fredericksburg, so there was no way I could miss this. I was estatic when I was accepted into the OPOA, but my jaw literaly dropped to the floor when I learned I was accepted to the national show and on my first attempt! I'm not taking this blessing lightly. The talent in this group is outstanding and the compition for the show is unprecidented. I know literaly hundreds of incredible painters that didn't make this particular show and it left me wondering "why me"?. I'm trying to get past those thoughts and just accept God's gifts and try my hardest to get the most of this opportunity.
I am attending the national convention starting this Wednedsay and it kicks off with a "Pampered Paint out" hosted by Southwest Art magazine. Among other events and classes there will be demos by the likes of Kenn Backhaus, Scott Burdick, John Michael Carter, John Cosby, Elizabeth Robbins and Sherrie McGraw!
22nd Annual National Exhibition Opening Reception
Location: InSight Gallery — Saturday, May 18, 2013 — 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Free and open to the public
Collectors, artists and art lovers are cordially invited to attend the opening of this year's 22nd National Exhibition at InSight Gallery featuring over 200 of the top artists from the United StatesandCanada. Come enjoy complimentary wine and celebrate the beauty of representational work at its finest. The exhibition will be on display from May 18 to June 17, 2013.
Wow! One of the top 200 artists from the U.S.! How cool is that?
GOD is GREAT!
Here is a link to view all of the outstanding paintings that I have been blessed to be included with.
One of Texas best galleries, the Insight Gallery is the host for the show. This is a drop dead gorgeous 2 story gallery that until now, I could only dream of hanging in.