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Monday, May 24, 2010

Emerson Street Alley WIP

Here is my latest alley painting which I blocked in this past weekend (work in progress). I am very happy with the block in and I sure hope I can get back to it this next weekend. I was able to do this in one day, which means I am getting faster and more confident. Worrying less about the details and going for the overall affect I am trying to achieve. This painting is 20x30. This is a new approach for me as I don't usually have most of the painting in the shadow, where the light is a very small but strong focus of a painting. You can't see it yet, but the between the second dumpster and the recycle bin is a bouquet of ballons. Just a bit of delight for the viewer to discover after entering the alley.

Windows to the Divine Collectors' Salon

In the image above, Kevin blocked in and Quang has lent definition to the two flowers on the right.
Here Quang is adding definition and atmosphere to a few more flowers.
Kevin is carving out the stems in the glass vase.
Saturday May 22 a friend called me up to see if I per chance could use a ticket to go to the Collectors' Salon being held that afternoon at the Evergreen Fine Arts gallery. Windows to the Divine is presented by the Colorado Dominican Vocation Foundation, and this event was being held in conjunction with Kevin Weckbach's opening that evening in the gallery. There was quite a program but the highlight of the afternoon was called "Dueling Paintbrushes" wherein Kevin and Quang Ho were going to jointly paint a still life which would then be auctioned off. All proceeds from the event went to the Foundation.
Here are a few photos of the painting in process. Kevin started the block in, then Quang took over for awhile and so on and so forth. As Quang described it, Kevin does the graphic look and he does the "atmospheric" look. I did not stay until the end so this is as far as I have the progression. Maybe someone who was there and sees this entry can tell us all who bid the highest to get this painting and how much it went for.
It was a challenge for them both as Kevin is about a foot taller than Quang so their perspective on the still life was very different. Quang looking directly at it and Kevin looking down on it. All things considered, they did seem to have fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Prayer Flags and Iron Patio Furniture

Below is a series as this plein air painting developed. The top one is the one I painted on site, which is right outside of Susiehyer's studio, on the steps leading up to it. This painting was done two years ago. The middle painting I gave shape to the rocks lining the patio, added color to the grass in the background and added the grass in the foreground. I probably did those touch ups a year ago. It still did nothing for me. A few weeks ago, I got this painting out again. I straightened up the fence, gave more shape to the grasses and more weight to the flagstones. I also popped some light into the iron chairs. The flags have stayed the same throughout. Just a bit of fun.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

another Quote

It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.
~ Napoleon Hill

I have been told that I am very open with sharing what I know or my own experiences with other artists. I am not a famous artist or even a very "successful" artist, but I do have a passion and I want to share with those who want to learn the little that I know. The best compliments I got at the Friday Art Walk Opening was from those who said I inspired them. Music to my ears.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Working at the Gallery

Today I have been at the gallery all day. It is a beautiful day and there has been lots of foot traffic walking by. Not many have ventured into the gallery but enough to keep it interesting. One woman and her young son saw the alley painting, and asked me where it was. They were going to ride their bikes over to Harvard Gulch to discover it! And she wants an alley painting! She just can't afford this one... Still, it is refreshing to see the enthusiasm she showed for my work and how excited they both were.

I also recieved a call from an old friend of mine. I have not heard from him or seen him in 25 years. He saw the little article that was printed in the Washington Park Profile for my opening and called the gallery. What a coincidence that I just happened to be working here today. His name is Sal Ruibals, and he is an amazing stained glass artist. If ever you need a window, let me know and I will hook you up! I own 5 or so, myself.

This past week, my daughter and I were in Taos for one night. I went out early to do a painting before breakfast, wiped it off, had 20" left so did this sketch. I took it with me to the gallery today but didn't get a chance to work on it. So be it.

Chickens revised

The lower image is a painting from 5 years ago. The photograph was done "professionally" at a time when slides were still the way to present your work and I had asked for digital images as well. I never liked this photo thinking it harsh, but it is all I have. As usual, I got started with "fixing" it without thinking to photograph it first. Anyway, there is so much wrong with this piece other than the photograph. In the painting, I was not clear on whether the white chicken is in the light or in the shade of the tree, when obviously, she is in the shade. The same can be said for the foliage of the tree. There were leaves that were lighter within the shadow, but they should not look like they are in the light when they are not. All in all, very confusing. I also defined too much of the foliage. I think the dappled light and the fallen leaves on the ground only distracted from the whole as they did not "read" correctly as to what they were.

What I did to "start" over was to block in the tree as a unified object, and not have the darkest dark so dark. I lightened the shade under the tree, and warmed up the dirt in the sun. I added the chicken to the left to fill that empty space. I think she helps to keep the viewer under the canopy. I gave the three original chickens more form, and darkened the white chicken to look like a white chicken but in shade with just a little highlights where the dappled sun is filtering onto her. I also thought more about the direction of light instead of blindly using the reference photo. I haven't decided if I want to add more to the big shadow shape yet, ie more texture and light.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Aftermath

Here I am yesterday working at Bell Gallery. I look like something the cat drug in and that is about how I felt as well. It is draining to have an opening, even an easy one like this one was. Jeanne Echternach was kind enough to send me these photos this morning. It gives a good feeling for how my walls looked. I must take down the one I am standing in front of today. That is why I kept it simple.

The Opening in conjunction with First Friday went well. I was impressed with how many people actually took the time to look at my work and talk about it and who wanted to talk to me about it. I was even compared to Burton Silverman (my "portrait" in the upper right hand corner), which is a huge honor. It is always fascinating to find out what people relate to. It is so different for everyone. My artists friends tended to like the same pieces. A favorite for them was the little landscape to the right of the mangos.

I thank everyone who made this event possible. My family has always been there for me, and my friends and coworkers are so supportive. You keep me going.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

2010 PAAC Annual Show

Recieved the email acceptance letter this week. Hopefully, all my friends who submitted had something accepted. Four of my paintings were juried in this year. The fifth one I submitted is a painting I like but no one else does, and according to Scott Christensen, that means it is NOT a good painting. So there. I had to test the theory.
The following paintings will hang at Saks Gallery in Cherry Creek from June 25-July 10. Opening reception will be June 25, 5-9 p.m. I will post this again when the invite is printed.
Greenland Ranch Outbuildings 11x14, $615

Quiet Sunday at the Bail Bonds 12x24, $865
Urban Serenity, 9x12 $425

Iowa Street Alley in Fall, 11x14 $615