Saturday, October 4, 2014

Blog Hop Around the World

I am honored to have been selected (tagged) by Wendy Barrett for the Blog Hop Around the World . Thank you Wendy!
Check out her recent ink drawings she has been doing for the 30 day Challenge.
The Blog Hop Around the World is a casual way to share blogs with others around the world and generate new visitors to our own.

I am tagging...
1. Katherine Thomas - With Pencil and Pen
Katherine's work is primarily in  the dry media of colored pencil, graphite, pen and ink (wet medium?).
She does meticulous architectural drawing house portraits, drawings on old envelopes (postage), and drawings of often poetic sometimes whimsical fantasy subjects.
In her postage drawings she really takes advantage of the envelope itself , allowing it to become part of the drawing, giving them further vintage quality in addition to her pen and ink style.

2. Suzanne Berry
Suzanne's work is often large photo realistic canvas's of still life's, portraits, dog portraits and insects. She has a strong sense of color and frequently places her subjects against stark white, variations of warm and cool gray or near single color backgrounds singling out the subject and giving them more importance than a mere painted depiction of them. Her pet portraits especially, are imbued with a regal quality that is enhanced by the simple and elegant background treatment.

3. Michael Perchard - art by michael perchard
Michael is the most enthusiastic blogger and artist I know through the blog world. He is passionate about his hometown of Boston and is certainly The Ambassador of Boston and Goodwill.
His art is equally passionate as he fearlessly throws down the paint, unafraid to attack the canvas. His seascapes are always so turbulent and energetic and his heartfelt paintings for friends, causes and tragic events brings out his true nature. He loves his hometown and much of his work is also of his neighborhood and from his past.

I did not hear back from the others so I decided to proceed with my post.
Update: Two of my picks above, 2 and 3, are now added.

1. What am I working on now?
    The short answer is everything. It is normal for me to have many paintings going at once in both watercolor and oils and to be making drawings in between.
    I am one who never works on one project or painting at a time until finished. This is especially true of oils and large watercolors. Part of the reason is I work in layers in oils and need each to dry before proceeding. I also have very thoughtful approach, whether I have done thumbs and studies beforehand or not I carefully consider each step.

I am currently working on a seascape series, continuing on my Catalina Pacific Concrete Series and my favorite, the industrial subjects, as well as a few misc things.
I always have a couple locomotives in progress, and getting ready to work on some cityscape and landscapes.
So my palette is full.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
    I don't know how it differs from others... that might be a question better answered by others... other than it is my own view/thoughts that no one else has so I hope it comes across as unique to me.

3. Why do I create what I do?
    Coming from an artistic family it has always been in my blood and is how I see the world so it is perfectly natural to communicate visually.

4. How does my creating process work?
    It starts with a lot of thinking about a subject or artwork first followed by questions to myself. What struck me about the subject or scene?  How do I say visually what I see? etc.
Then when I identify that I will do thumbnails or studies to work out the mechanics of composition etc.

Sometimes I will dive right into a painting when I have a good visualization in mind already and know what I am going to do with it.

Below are some quick pics of works in progress, my working studio and the gallery room of my studio.
I say quick pics because the color may be off on the WIP's.

Work in progress













Work in progress



















Work in progress













Work in progress on my easel















Gallery















Gallery











Gallery

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Hop Delay

There will be a slight delay for my posting in the Blog Hop Around the World as I have been so busy lately. Have you ever had a period when you don't know how you will get everything done and yet you already feel like you are working at a frenzied pace?

It's like this. Take a cup, fill it to the brim with water, now run as fast as you can down the street without spilling a drop or you've lost. Yep.

I should be up to date by the end of the week and will run the post by then so stay tuned.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Watercolor Landscape - Storm

"Storm Over Cajon"
watercolor on paper, 2014
9" x 13" (22.86cm x 33.02cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

Although I would describe myself as a fair weather person I love stormy weather. It always makes for a great painting subject.
A nice dramatic storm rising from the Cajon Pass, the long climb from San Bernardino to the high desert, is about to pounce on the Mojave Desert.291

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Watercolor Landscape - Old Tree

"Old Tree"
watercolor on paper, 2014
9" x 13" (22.86cm x 33.02cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

A simple watercolor of an old tree hemmed in by lush green healthy ones. They seemed to be huddling around it, as if in a protective manner. I simplified the dark mass of trees to better play-off the lines of the foreground.

I also liked the shapes of this landscape, the troughed out foreground and the odd irrigation pipe loop so I painted it. That's it.290

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Watercolor Landscape - Palm Grove

"Palm Grove"
watercolor on paper, 2014
9" x 13" (22.86cm x 33.02cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

This palm grove near home made for a simple subject but challenging compositional design. Its simple design motif of the palm tree shapes could too easily lead to a boring design of repetitive shapes.
The right cropping and ratio of positive to negative shapes is what makes it work. The only trees shown in their full outline are the yellow green ones which are not big within the overall composition.

I took a more graphic approach for this watercolor using value for atmospheric depth but ignoring the rule of warm foreground to cooler bluer colors (only) as the landscape recedes, except for the distant tree line of blue and purple.
I like to test various ways of depicting distance and here I put the coldest color, blue, in the foreground, a blue green in the near middle ground, changing to a yellow green in the far middle ground. The far background falling into the cooler range of purple and blue.
The alternating cool, warm, cool still does a good job of showing distance - cool foreground, warm middle ground, cool background.
The color saturation and intensity falls somewhere in the middle of the scale but is low chroma.
I like to do simplistic studies like these to work out ideas for the more involved paintings. That way I am not committing huge blocks of time only to find out it did not work.289

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Labor Day Workhorse



"PHL 72 Limelight"
oil on panel, 2013
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

In the spirit of Labor Day I am offering this FRAMED painting of a laborer, a workhorse, on DAILY PAINTWORKS.
The Pacific Harbor Line Locomotive's toil away endlessly.
They make the Los Angeles and Long Beach Harbors function.
Without them the harbors would be one big massive clog, nothing would move in or out.

It is another from my latest locomotive series.

I'm not only using this series to experiment and put down paint in different ways but also looking to make each painting unique in some way, never losing sight of capturing the Southern California light I see everyday all year long.

This was one of those glory moments. I was down in the LA Harbor area and spotted this PHL locomotive towing its prize.

I chased it down, caught it just as it switched tracks, raced back around the corner to get a better position and was just in time to catch it backing up as it passed the lime colored fence. The low-angle afternoon light illuminated the lime green fence, literally and figuratively like a limelight, and since (shiny) black is so reflective... well, you can see.

To further enhance that moment and more importantly my impression of it, I painted the light of a thinly veiled marine layer into the painting for a beautiful atmospheric effect. Gentle, soft, low-slung bright light making long shadows.

I rarely paint a locomotive without having a point of view. No, no, no.
I always see first, the painting in all its totality, then one of a locomotive in its environment. It would be short-sited and do no justice to these mules of the harbor to do a mere depiction of it.

They are the true stars of the harbor. Not the huge bloated 'fat cat' cargo ships waiting to be unloaded, not the pretty white cruise ships with all their 'lace and doilies'.
So their moment in the limelight is well deserved.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Road w/ Pipeline

















"Road w/ Pipeline"
oil on panel, 2014
6" x 9" (15.24cm x 22.86cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

Here's a landscape not far from home. It's an unstable area under constant land movement as it slowly slides into the Pacific Ocean. Because of this the pipeline must be above ground and the road requires year round maintenance. After a rain the road can get cracks and vertical drops of several inches overnight.

To make for a better midday painting and give the hillside a dark richness and I dropped in a soft shadow from passing overhead clouds. That also made for a better separation of foreground and background.288

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Discounted Artworks


















I recently added a new category 'Discounted Artworks' to my Daily Paintworks gallery page as I prepare to post new art.
Right now a couple categories are empty since art was moved into the discounted one but I am working to refresh those with new art.
Have a look, you might find something there that is crying out to hang on your wall.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Fog

"17th St. Fog"
oil on panel, 2014
7.25" x 9.25" (18.415cm x 23.495cm)

Here is my painting that will be featured at 
Segil Fine Art Gallery in Monrovia California for the "Home, Sweet Home" Show 
(Note: As of this posting the show dates listed here on my blog are correct and have not been updated on their website). 

Opening reception is Saturday, July 26th, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm.
The show opens to the public on Saturday, July 19th.

This is a gothic farmhouse style home in my neighborhood and I have had my eye on it for a while now. This show's theme was the perfect excuse to finally get around to painting it.
But rather than do a straightforward blue sky painting I decided to add the incoming coastal fog. This is a common sight along the coast in the summer and looks like this on those bright sunny days when the marine layer is stirring about.

It rolls in, partially burning off, lingers around and does a good job of suppressing the blazing summer heat, especially when there is no real breeze to help keep it cool.287

Friday, June 27, 2014

Cuts Like a Knife

"Burnscape 10"
oil on panel, 2014
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

This a recent painting from my Burnscape series which has been dormant for a while.

Burnscape Series - Living in Southern California and seeing so many wildfires it would be easy to focus on the destruction. My attraction for the burned landscape isn't for its destruction... but instead how it modifies the landscape, turning it into a charcoal terrain... it is rebirth, the way Mother Nature intended.
It is how She manages her jurisdiction, by controlling dense undergrowth. We usually get in the way.
Man has traditionally prevented fires, the growth becoming so thick that when fire does occur it is devastating. Another topic on the Man vs Nature theme.

This one is similar to my "Burnscape #4 (Charred Pine Stand)".
Trees are meant to survive natural wildfires where the brush is low to the ground, the fire sweeping through too quickly, and frequently enough, to wipe them out. These pines were burned too much to survive.
Here I included the dirt road which stands in stark contrast to the blackened soil and slices through the landscape like a knife.286

Click the Series-Burnscape label to see them all.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Skies



In my last post I talked about the clouds and sky and how I design them for the overall composition.

My skies often have drama but I always keep in mind that they are backgrounds so I don't allow them to outshine what is more important, usually the main subject or theme and I never paint them as an afterthought.
I could make them the primary subject of course, then everything else would step up in support of it.

So even with drama it is always an understated drama, at times just enough to provide texture and participation but not so much it overshadows the rest, even when stormy.
They are a supporting character in the whole of the painting.

Click title under each painting to see original post.

"Union Pacific 4259"











"Catalina Pacific Concrete (Storm)"




















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Being a supporting character can also mean using the sky to describe the sentiment behind the subject of the painting as I did below by painting the sky with a certain amount of upheaval.

"303 S. Pacific #1"


















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Or by using the sky in a more subtle manner to further an attitude about the subject where I used the sky (part of a design element) as a harbinger of retirement.

"Harbor Line #50 Crossing"

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Or painted in a more dramatic manner as the phantom cloud below. Although it occupies very little of the composition its swooping posture and action plays well to the backlit tangle of pipes and busy energetic composition.

"Oil plant #5 (Phantom Cloud)"



















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Or used as drama to celebrate.

"Truck at Rest"


















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Sometimes they loom over the subject in an almost menacing way to different degrees.

"HB Power Plant - Dusk"
















"Santa Ana River #3 Footbridge"

















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Or they may be menacingly fun

"Smilin' Jack"

















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Directly pound the subject into submission.

"Dark Rain"






















"BNSF (Cajon Puddle)"

















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Other times they linger in the background slowly settling over the subject.

"Oil Plant Backside (w/ Storage Tanks)"
















"Oil Plant #3"


















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I may use them to burn, beat down or choke out the subject.

"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 8"





















"Warehouse Rooftop (w/ Palm)"
















"Villa Riviera Wrapped for Restoration"
























"Study 'Villa Riviera Wrapped for Restoration' "























___________________________________________________

Or are left nearly white to make a point about the eventual disappearance of the subject.

"Catalina Pacific Concrete (Demolition 1)"


















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Sometimes my skies contain contrails, as a design element variation, allowing me to carve up the sky instead of relying on the usual clouds.

"Gorman Spring"

"Oil plant #7"

"Sunkist Packing Plant (w/ Contrail)"

"Whitepoint Battery Bunker"
























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And yes, sometimes I will even use higher chroma or saturated colors in my skies when I need to. You know, happy skies.

"BNSF Mojave"

















"Pacific Harbor Line - Weeds"

















"Power Pole #5 (2 Buttons)"

















"LA River #3"



















"Rails, Bridge, Refinery"




















Lately my skies have gotten lighter as I explore its subtleties and what I can say with them.

Sometimes choosing an overcast or severely understated sky is the answer, instead of a cloudy or clear blue sky.
It gives the painting a different feel whether it is one of a thick smoldering atmosphere or a cool crisp breath of air.

"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 3"

"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 13"


































My skies are never accidental. I always consider how they will play against the whole of the painting and the idea it represents. It is how I arrive at so many variations. I am not painting a sky or clouds just to suit  some design purpose. I am not mindlessly dumping in blue as a background.
I am instead putting down an idea, a thought, a concept, my observations, something about life and using the sky as part of that language.

The sky's the limit (sorry, I had to).


Saturday, May 31, 2014

Series - Locomotive - UP 2464 Fire Hydrant

















"UP 2464 Fire Hydrant"
oil on panel, 2013
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78)
For sale at DAILY PAINTWORKS, CLICK HERE
Direct link to painting here

Number nine in my New Locomotive Series.

For this series, at least early on, my aim is to feature the locomotive in its entirety, in profile and in its environment.
The challenge with that is its horizontal format. That means I have to find ways to counter the side to side emphasis by using verticals and diagonals.
The hydrant was used as a compositional device. It helps break up the foreground horizontal sweep of the otherwise simple vacate street. This is part of my experimenting with the series.

Lighting is another element I am experimenting with. Here I backlit the subject as I did in "UP 4343". The difference in this one as opposed to UP 4343 is the locomotive is under a subtle undefined shadow consistent with the windy, cloudy spring day and not receiving a direct hit of sunlight.
So while UP 4343 has a diagonal streak of sunlight to break up the simplified foreground this one has a strong vertical to accomplish the same.
The same can be said of the clouds in each. It is not by accident but by design. In UP 4343 I designed the light streaking through the atmosphere to echo the foreground diagonal. Here I dragged nearly vertical streaks to break up the horizontal band of clouds and make a better composition.

I have some others in progress for this series that are different formats and views and will begin posting those in the near future.285

Click the 'SERIES-locomotive' label to see all.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 15

















"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 15"
watercolor on paper, 2014
5¾"  x 7¾" (14.605cm x 19.685cm)
For sale at Daily PaintworksCLICK HERE

Studying more of the shapes within the overall mass as I have done in study 13, study 12, study 11 and study 2. Of course I could say that is true on all of them since you really can't ignore shape but these four I was focusing more intently on the debris atop the main structure.

This one, 13 and 2  I was also really looking into the shadows. There are so many great jagged puzzle pieces within the shadows that even with a predominantly horizontal composition and rectangular form, and I am referring to the upright structural nature of the architecture in its blocky squareness, it is secondary to the dynamic and lively action of its torn and shattered appearance.

There is some anguish in the shredded metal of the tank as it reaches up and back upon itself. Sort of like a fist cursing its demise.

The more I do of these, the more I see.284


Sunday, April 27, 2014

















"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 14"
watercolor on paper, 2014
5¾"  x 7¾" (14.605cm x 19.685cm)
For sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Taking my cue from Study 13 I kept the sky nearly white except that here I used coastal fog just beginning to envelope the ruins, but while they are still in sunlight.

Because the primary shape and composition is essentially a rectangle within a rectangle I needed to add some element to make it interesting. Although the cast shadows do some of that work, the atmospheric condition adds more and also increases the depth.283

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 13

















"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 13"
watercolor on paper, 2014
5¾"  x 7¾" (14.605cm x 19.685cm)
For sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

This is one of my favorites so far. I love the energetic shapes in this one, especially the shadows
It is Study #2 from a different view.

I painted the sky in the most subtle pale washes I could. Just enough to give it some substance, a breath of tone that a solid blue, darker or gradated tone would not accomplish. The hard metal and concrete against it gives the painting a cool toned stark quality that doesn't quite translate in this photo, the original is far better.282

Friday, April 25, 2014

Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 12
























"Catalina Pacific Concrete - Ruins Study 12"
watercolor on paper, 2014
7¾"  x 5¾" (14.605cm x 19.685cm)
For sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

This, like the previous study focuses more on the rubble but also I pushed the color, exaggerating the warms and cools.

The chunks of concrete and broken edges of concrete walls, (and the ambiguous shaped torn metal tanks in the background), are painted in that pale blue while the weathered surfaces are warm gray-greens, yellow ochres and rusty sienna's.
This is akin to painting a tree for example that has been split open, revealing its clean color on the inside against the weathered surface of its bark.281