Monday, December 31, 2012


"Rock and Roll"
oil on panel, 2009
5" x 3.5" (12.7cm x 8.89cm)
private collection

oil on panel, 2009
5" x 3.5" (12.7cm x 8.89cm)
private collection

Hello...                         2013?

Thank you to all who helped in 2012 Avid Art successes and to all of you who checked into my blog to view my art and have conversations via comments.
I always enjoy our little art talks throughout the year and enjoy visiting your blogs as well!

Hopefully we won't end up at the bottom of the fiscal cliff and can jump for joy in 2013!203,204

Saturday, December 29, 2012

iPad Landscape Study

"Landscape Shape Study"
Digital, Brushes App

I am still working on various pieces so without much (traditional medium) work ready to post I figured I had better get something up on the blog.

This is practice, exercising my design muscles, done on my iPad with the Brushes App. Drawn relatively quick focusing on the design of the big shapes and simple composition as well as the distribution of soft edges.

I also managed to get some quality of light into it by adding some texture of the vegetation.
I like it when simple drawings 'spill out' easily. Enough said.202

Monday, December 10, 2012

6x6 Machinery

"Machinery 2"
oil on panel, 2012
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

Here are two of my seven paintings I submitted to the recent 6x6 show that weren't accepted. I had four in the show.

I bring this up because I did all seven as a group with an overall theme of light. Not a new idea, artists have been doing it for centuries, but in each of the seven I really made a point to capture different qualities of light. I worked on the group simultaneously, working up each without really finishing any one until I was about 75% done.  Other than these two, the seven (actually ten) were not officially a series together so the simarlarities end there. No attempt was made to using the same palette, design etc. So they do not look like a series other than a common theme of light.

I like machinery and sometimes its function preempts design. Its look or design born out of its function instead of a design based on aesthetics.
In this one, a really bright day, the sun bouncing off the ground or any light surface is blinding, without sun glasses you end up squinting all day. The colors are true to the site, industry subjects like this often lack color beyond silvers, rusty and metal grays, the small blue color note of sky serves as reminder of that.

I loved the composition of this the moment I saw it... the variety of shapes and their arrangement. It's that variety I see in industrial subjects, their size and texture differences, the scale of them that I respond to initially, that's what first gets my attention... here there are the ellipse', cylinders, flat and angled planes, linear pipes and wire conduit... all neatly arranged within the picture plane. After that I look for what it says to me, what is present beyond the artistic and design observations. That is part of seeing. Seeing really is observing and asking yourself questions and it's not always obvious.

I saw industrial might or brawn, this is industry flexing its muscle but on a small scale, a microcosm of industry. All the rust and dust seemed to add to its tough physique instead of conveying degradation. It is a weight lifter sweating in a gym or a cowboy roping doggies on a ranch.

I love the work of precisionist artists, like Charles Sheeler, and while that influence crept into the treatment of this painting I still remained faithful to my own artistic vision. I don't want my work to look like it belongs to a particular school of painting. Instead I am constantly striving to allow these influences without simply rehashing them.

"Machinery 1"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2012
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

This painting is in direct opposition to Machinery 2 as far as its anthropomorphic character. The configuration of these two is not as muscular. That was my impression so as an artist it is my job to communicate that idea. In Machinery 1 I chose a broader view while in Machinery 2 a zoomed-in one. Those compositional choices helped support each impression.

It is also part of the old retired Sunkist packing plant in Orange County California, so it is no longer operational.
It is rich winter light when the sun is low, closer to the horizon, in the afternoon, softer light diffused by the glass, a rich cool shadow with warmer edges. It is not the showy light of Machinery 2. It is the end of an era. It is the final flicker of a candles flame.200,201

See previous four posts for the other 6x6's

6x6 Show Opening Night

It was another great showing at the 6x6 Show Randy Higbee Gallery this past weekend.

I was quite happy my painting "11th St. Rain" sold on the opening night.
The turnout was huge, a lot of people showed up and it was a very festive atmosphere.

I always enjoy meeting new people and especially seeing all my artist friends.
We usually end up going to a restaurant afterwards and have a good time talking art and getting caught up on what we all have been doing.
Among the group this year were artist Susan Hogan Girard and artist Wendy Wirth, both of whom had their work hanging in the show.

If I can get any pics from the show I'll post them here.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Night Rain at 6x6 Show

"18th St. Rain Nocturne"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2012
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

My fourth painting accepted into the 6 Inch Squared Show at the Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa California.
Another rain painting in the show here.

A simple enough idea, more challenging to paint than I thought.
Warm light on a cold night. Yellow green from the house, orange from the sodium street lights meant the two had to be interspersed in some places.
In reality the light is actually blueish white but made for a cold uninviting image. This is when artistic decisions must be made.
I initially had more yellow from the house light but the painting lacked depth so I added green as the light spread out from its source, even further under the shine of rainy conditions. I finished it off by adding some color accents of blue in the sky and red of the taillights.199

Another "18th St. Rain" here, a view slightly up the same street.
Click rain 'RAIN' LABEL to see others.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Pacific Harbor Line at 6x6 Show

"PHL 64"
oil on panel, 2012
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

My third painting featured in the up-coming 6 Inch Squared show at the Randy Higbee Gallery. See two previous posts below for more.
You can also see and purchase them online here before the show opens on December 8th 2012.

Although many train artists might shy away from overlapping the train with objects I don't see it as a painting of a locomotive with stuff thrown around it as a second thought, but instead a painting in all its totality first, then one of a locomotive.

A sunny day with the marine layer hugging the ground and thin wispy clouds yielding soft undefined shadows.
I pushed the limits of this kind of light from the front to the back of the locomotive, highlighting the front then severely dropping the back into (soft) shadow.

That gave it some extra depth and enabled me to nearly bump the front of the locomotive up against the edge of the picture plane and break the compositional rule of 'avoiding tangents'. Using the bright sun and atmospheric effect for value control also puts the emphasis on the back end of the engine.

One final touch was throwing a reflected light on the far side of the back of the engine.198

Click on image to larger view