Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sketchbook Page-1

sketchbook page, 2013
ballpoint pen
page 8.25" x 5.5" (20.955cm x 13.97cm)

I hope you had a good Easter. I don't know why it didn't occur to me to post this earlier... I must have been asleep too... oh well, here you go. Don't be mad... 215

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Sketchbook Doodles 3

Ballpoint pen in pocket sketchbook, 2012
5.5" x 4" (13.97cm x 10.16cm)

And another...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Sketchbook Doodles 2

Ballpoint pen in pocket sketchbook, 2012
5.5" x 4" (13.97cm x 10.16cm)

Here's another page of sketchbook fun. Nothing serious, just letting it flow.213

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sketchbook Doodles 1

pencil in pocket sketchbook, 2012
5.5" x 4" (13.97cm x 10.16cm)

I do these when I need to warm up, am stuck waiting somewhere or need a break from the tighter more intense paintings.
This sort of sketching is really about nothing specific. Instead, just letting my mind wander and see what emerges. It is a good way to re-enjoy the creative process when struggling with more serious work and I feel the fun draining away from it. Then when I return I am refreshed.
It's all about the fun.212

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Avid Art Store

I am currently designing a new blog site for sales of artwork and will eventually link all work for sale to that site even when shown here.
This will take some time as I must learn a whole new system. It will be open during construction.

The new format will feature a grid page, making it far easier for me to manage as well as easier for a buyer to see what is available all on one page. My initial plan was to keep it all here on this blog but Google does not offer any kind of grid layout so I had no choice but to find another source.
When all my art is loaded to the Store I will remove the Available art pages from the right column.


Click link below or at the top of right hand column.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Shiny and New

"BNSF 7620"
oil on panel, 2007
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
private collection

Here is an earlier painting of a BNSF train moving through the port all shiny and new.
I remember fighting the 'mud' battle on this one, one of the first I did of these BNSF locomotives. Orange and yellow are tough colors due to their transparency and that they dirty easy when mixed with other colors.
In the shadows it is difficult to get to those darks and maintain a certain high chroma to depict the shiny and new.
Ironically the two most prominent railroad companies here in Southern California are BNSF (orange) and Union Pacific (yellow), two of the most temperamental colors. Thanks a lot.211

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Urban River 5

 "LA River #3"
oil on panel, 2013
2" x 2⅜" (5.08cm x 6.01cm)
private collection

Here's another for my Urban River series, although on a small scale at only 2" x 2⅜". Not really sellable but I do have my reasons for painting these mini's.
This is the LA River in Long Beach California looking north at the Willow Street Bridge. Viewed laying down on the sloping concrete bank makes for a strong angular composition and a nice sweeping line from corner to corner. With landscapes typically being in a horizontal format I am always looking for verticals, and especially angles to either counter or compliment the side to side landscape.

I used a similar compositional device in this locomotive painting, making the subject, here the bridge and the BNSF engine in the other, smaller within the design yet still the primary subject.

The sloping wall takes up more than half of the picture frame but due to its architecture the bridge gets the attention. This also lends a good variation to the blue sky shapes in the arches so each is different and is not so repetitive.210

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Stifling Air

"PHL 67 at 47 Underpass"
watercolor on illus. board, 2012
5" x 8" (12.7cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

My Pacific Harbor Line Series:
The Pacific Harbor Line, the workhorse of the LA Harbor. These black/white engines are part of the low emission line of locomotives for the move towards a greener port. Black and Shiny as tar with striking graphics, they don’t blend in, they stand out. Not graceful looking, they look like they mean business. The back end diagonals point down, the front point up to distinguish front from rear when seen head on. Its side panel graphics angling forward. So a nod of beautiful work to the designers of these burly beasts of burden.

The PHL 67 about to pass under the 47 bridge approach, which in this case is the Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge, too long for the title. The 47 includes two bridges, the other is the Vincent Thomas Bridge.

Representing a hot, humid, sticky day I painted in a warm overtone, yes, an overtone, not undertone as in oil painting. My palette tends to lean to the cool side and this was going that way too so as I approached the finish I consciously began overlaying warm washes and mixing warm versions of each color. Previously the sky was blue, the foreground concrete a cool gray, the bridge a cool green... and I was starting to get bored. I spared the locomotive and the underside of the bridge, leaving them a cool black and uniting them in a single dark value shape.

This is part of experimenting and in watercolor usually leads to muddied up paintings if not done thoughtfully and carefully. However this is one of my 'non-traditional' watercolors, which means the surface and technique are non-traditional giving me a lot of freedom to work the medium in unusual (for watercolor) ways. The paint sits on the surface initially and can be pushed and moved around, lifted out back to lighter values, shaped, carved, sculpted etc. Changes, even major changes, can be made at almost any stage of the painting. That is a fun way to work and is much more akin to oil painting.

It was crucial to saving this one. On a traditional watercolor paper I would not have been able to paint out the overall cool cast and would have scrapped the work. On paper the pigment stains or absorbs into the surface and unless you go darker you are stuck with it. In addition it is almost impossible to change the warm/cool cast.

I also had some shape design problems in the foreground, the bottom half of the composition, that needed to be worked out. What we see in our minds eye, before we start, does not always pan out. This puts the work in artwork. It's the challenge of problem solving. And I wouldn't want it any other way. I redesigned the shapes into more angular ones and 'troughed' them towards the center. This loosely echoed the upper half triangle arrangement and put the attention back on the locomotive.

As I said in the beginning, I was getting bored with the painting and boredom is a sure sign you need make some serious changes. That was when I decided it needed something else. Not other added elements or objects but something else. Other than fixing the foreground shapes I still wanted something additional to focus on.

Choosing a weather phenomenon or condition seemed like a good solution. But one that is invisible and is felt or sensed so rain, fog or stormy weather was out. I decided to challenge myself and try to depict the temperature or more specifically the air, hot sticky air. The kind that you can't escape, that offers no relief... the dreaded humidity!
When it is cold you at least stand a chance to get warm somehow. When it is hot there are ways to keep cool but humidity you can't do much about. You can't see it but its everywhere. You feel it, it's stifling and permeates everything.
Finishing with a warm overtone seemed to accomplish that.209

Others in this non-traditional approach can be seen here, here and here as well as all the recent "Past Work" posts