Thursday, December 31, 2009

Woman Near Green House

Woman Near Green House  16x20  Oil on canvas panel

Updated Photo 1/2/10  - The photo of the "new" painting is on the left, the "old" painting is on the right.  I tried to improve the rendering of the woman's hands and face.  The darker photo is just digital bloggerization; I didn't change anything about the house in the painting. Honest!

For a person who tries to avoid GREEEEEN, I sure went through a LOT of green in this painting.  I picked this out of some public domain photos on the internet cause it seemed like I needed to make a painting.

It's hard to believe, but this will be my last posting in 2009! Tomorrow is 2010. That number seems cumbersome to me but I'll need to get used to it.

I'll probably make some adjustments to this painting after a while and before I sign it. I guess it will be finished when it's finished.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

NOW WHAT? - revisited

I'm not sure what happened to some of my photos in my "Avocaken" blog postings, but some disappeared and some did not. I have reposted many of the photos of my art but can't find some others due to a hard drive disaster a few months ago. Although I thougt that I was making regular backups, i found out that I was kidding myself.

ANYWAY. . . . . I'm reposting what I have and removing the "debris" left from the vanished photos. The missing photos' frame have an imbedded link to photo-land in the blog-sphere that I like to remove. Ya can't have what isn't there anymore, I guess!

I'm building another blog showing how my art studio was built. Melissa and I put in a lot of time and effort into the building of the studio and the result is WONDERFUL. In the middle of the construction I got sick and had to stop doing physical things and "take it easy". So it took us longer than we hoped to complete the project. See my new blog at

Bon Fire on the Beach

Bon Fire on the Beach 11x14 Oil on Masonite Panel

I had to stop "messing" with this painting. I don't know that I'm happy with it - yet but I'm going to let it rest then take a look at it in a couple of weeks/months. Some paintings seem to just jump out of my brush onto the canvas but this one . . . grrrrr Perhaps it wasn't meant to be?

I finally figured out why my post formatting was being weird?!?! There's a SETTING to use the "new" editor or the "OLD" editor. I chose the OLD EDITOR and badda-bing, badda-boom I'm a happy dude. It probably doesn't matter, though. YA THINK??????? DUHHHHH!!!!!!!! But I'm grinnin'!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Couple on a park path

Couple on a park path  16x20  Oil on canvas panel

Updated image 3/31/2010

This painting is a composite of a couple of photos that I've seen - the couple was at a county fair near Seattle. The path is a different take on one of my previous posts - House on Smith Ridge Cutoff.  Instead of a country road, I made a park path.

This was painted on one of my homemade canvas over masonite panels. I'll put some "how to" directions in my studio blog when my studio blog is ready for this.  :-)

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas . . . .

Merry Christmas - Our house December 25, 2009 7:00 AM - 18 F

It started snowing last night - dry, blowing stuff. If you look closely you can see the snow stuck to the wall near our front door.  The temperature now (8:20 AM) is 18 F and the wind is still blowing the dry snow in swirls. It's beautiful as long as you look at it from a warm room. The accumulation is only an inch or two except where the wind has piled the snow. The ONLY reason that I went out was to find our morning newspaper - almost buried in the snow drifts.

Look closely & you can see the "fairie dust" (blowing snow) from our back door. The sun is coming up just above my studio.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My First Watercolor Picture

My First Watercolor Picture 8x11 watercolors on "watercolor paper"

For my birthday this month, my brother & his family gave me a wooden chest full of art supplies. The chest has 12 colors each of watercolors, acrylics, oils, pastels, oil pastels and colored pencils. It's sort of overwhelming, as the only medium I'm "comfortable" with is oil paints. I'm going to give all of them a try using this same photo.  The art chest also came with two 8x10 "canvas panels" and a pad of "watercolor paper".  So, I can stop when the paper and panels are used up. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

This is my first try at painting with watercolors since I was in public school 'way back in the 50-60's. About the only thing I learned was that I needed a BIG bowl of water. The rest of what the art teacher tried to tell me is dis-remembered.  For this painting I worked from a photo (of course) that I found somewhere on the WWW.

I learned a bunch from this first painting- first of all, there isn't a real WHITE paint in watercolors. WHAT? I need to plan ahead and use a potion called Frisket (WHAT?) to cover up the areas that I want to be white or not colored with the paint I'm using at the time. I need to think and that's going to be a problem. :-) WHAT? I thought that watercolor paints came in little cakes, not in tubes! WHAT?

Ken B.

PS the chest came with one really dinky eraser. I'm going need one of those gigantic electric power erasers, I think. Maybe if I can put an eraser in my electric drill . . . . .

Monday, December 21, 2009


Apparently SOME of my posted blog photos are un-posted today! Not all of 'em just some of 'em. Strange!  If I click on the images that ARE visible, I get a message that the photo is not on the server.  If I click on the "frame" of a "missing" photo, the photo is displayed.  I'll wait a day or two or three then see if I need to put Humpty Dumpty together again.  Sigh!


I'll have some work to do if I need to re-post some of the photos. Finding them on my hard drive will be a problem! Maybe I'll start filing my photos in a more manageable way?  NAH!  I can't remember filing systems.

Santa must have determined that I wasn't a good boy this year and instead of a lump of coal, he hid some of my blog photos.  Bah humbug!

I'm reloading the "missing" photographs in my blog. I may not do them all, but I'll start at the most recent then work to the oldest - MAYBE. It's mighty cumbersome but . . . .

Thursday, December 17, 2009

End of the Year Challenge - Different Strokes From Different Folks

End of the Year Challenge - Different Strokes From Different Folks   9 3/4 x 11   Oil on panel

This challenge is hosted by Karin Jurick on her Different Strokes From DIfferent Folks blog.  Artists that chose to participate emailed a photo of themselves to Karin. When Karin had all of the photos, she randomly emailed a photo to an artist. So, most of us don't know much if anything about the subject of the portraits we would paint.

I really did enjoy making the painting of this lady - I don't know her name or anything about her yet.  To understand what I'm saying, go to the Different Strokes From Different Folks blog and see what other artitsts have done. You can also go to You Tube to see the photos and the painting.

I'm having a problem with this BLOG posting software interface so I'm not sure how this will look!  It appears one way in "compose" then another way after it's "published".  :-| That being said, my next whine is that I had to make HUNDREDS (no kidding) of photographs before 1) the color was close, 2) the glare from the shiny surface was gone and 3) the photo was in FOCUS!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

My Studio - Displaying paintings on pegboard panels

If you follow my blog, you might have seen my pegboard panels that I made to display my paintings in my studio - see photo to the left. (My pegboard is 1/8 inch thick by the way.) I was having problems with hanging my paintings on the pegboard - first I made my own hooks out of wire then I tried pegboard hooks from the hardware store. Neither "solution" work well. The paintings would go crooked or worse, fall to the floor because the hooks themselves weren't secured well. The store-bought hooks that I could buy locally were also too big - they held the painting too far from the pegboard inviting swing & sway and then . . . . "OOOOOOPS!".

I found a VERY good solution for my situation at Grand & Benedicts The product is called a "pin_up hook", their part number is 009-333 and the hooks cost 15 cents each. The pin-up hooks have two pegboard hooks that hold the hook really well in the pegboard. I use two of the hooks on larger paintings so that the paintings don't tilt on me or fall to the floor.

My display panels are like large pages of a picture book and when the "page" is turned the paintings don't fall!

Grand & Benedicts also has all sorts of other kinds of pegboard hooks on this page.

This review and testimonial is unsolicited and my own private opinion!

Click on the pin-up hook image (below) to see the Grand & Bendecits product page.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Fall 2009 Rogers Art Guild Exhibit

Me with my 5 entries in the Fall 2009 Rogers Art Guild Exhibit. We had 63 entries for the exhibit that ran from October 29th until November 11th. The dancers paintings are 24x30 to give you an idea of size.

One painting was sold from the exhibit - not mine!

This image was scanned from a hard copy photo and my scanner seems to be getting as old as me - lots of lines and s-l-o-w. :-) BUT it (and I) stll works! Sort of.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good Spot For The Parade

Good Spot For The Parade 16 1/2 x 20 3/8 Oil on canvas panel

Nov 24 2009 - updated the photo. FINI! DONE!

Nov 20 2009 - updated the photo after "touching up" the painting a little bit. I feel that it STILL needs SOMETHING! I have no clue what. :-)

This started out as a painting of a woman sitting on a sunny park bench reading her book. B-O-R-I-N-G. SO, I sat her down between two benches in an aluminum lawn chair and gave her a warm coat and a lap blanket . Because the parade is taking place in Arkansas, the graffiti on the wall is "localized" a bit. (My apologies to all Arkansans and graffiti artists.)

The strange panel size comes from recycling scraps of Masonite and pieces of wood. I glued the Masonite to the pine wood frame. I "squared" it up with my table saw when the glue was dry. I probably did it backwards, but that's how I usually do things, so why change now? :-)

At last the painting is in focus in the photograph. I told my camera that I wasn't really taking a photo so it relaxed and let things happen. woo hoo.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Weekend Shoppers

Weekend Shoppers 11x14 Oil on Canvas panel

This appears to be a family (tourists?) out shopping on Main Street in Eureka Springs AR. This was in the summer on one of the hotter days we had a few months ago. I'm guess that this is Mom and Dad out with their daughter. I go to look at and photograph the people - Melissa likes to go into the shops. This works out really well for us both.

I had problems with lighting this painting for the photo. I keep getting glare this is the best of many. I'll try again today to see if I can make a digital photo with a smart camera. The camera is smarter than the operator, that's for sure! :-)

Eureka Springs has many natural mineral springs. Two web sites where you can read more about it are: and

We always stop at Bubba's BBQ - really! :-) Good BBQ and real people work there.

This is pointed on one of my home made Masonite panels covered with canvas. These panels have the look of canvas without the "bounce" of stretched canvas. The Masonite is reinforced with 3/4 inch square pieces of pine glued in place. I use better quality carpenter's glue clamped to the frame while the canvas is glued (and back stapled) to the Masonite with rabbit skin glue then I apply 3 or 4 coats of tinted Gesso. Presently my panels are "only" 3/4 inch thick. I'll make some thicker "gallery" panels later. I'll explain it mo bettah if anybody who is interested reads this far and lets me know with a comment.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

All The News

$75.00 plus shipping
All The News 9 3/4x11 Oil on Canvas panel

I saw all of these newspaper "boxes" lined up at the NW Arkansas Community College campus and thought it was remarkable that there is so much printed material available. Much of it is free! I'm NOT a student, by the way. I probably should be but I'm not. :-)

The support for this painting is on one of my experiments with Masonite panels. The Masonite is glued to a pine frame and that assembly is covered with canvas. I DO like the look and feel of canvas, I just don't like the "give" of open-backed stretched canvas. I make these braced Masonite panels (no warping), wrap them with canvas, do the gesso thing then make my paintings. A happy camper! The odd size of this panel (9 3/4x11) is a result of using a left over piece of Masonite to test my panel-making method. Maybe a subject for a separate posting.

These panels would be good if a person likes "gallery wrapped" supports. Personally, I prefer putting my paintings in frames - which I usually make myself.

PS - The "box" at the far left (by the tree) is a trash bin! What does that mean? :-)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Seashore #1

Seashore #1 18x25 Oil on canvas

I'm not sure why I chose to make this painting! First of all, I guess, is that it has NO GREEN (worth mentioning). Most landscape paintings are very green with plants that are green. The digital photo colors are a little off, but . . . at least it's in focus!

The title implies that this is the first of several. or at least more than one. You've been warned. I'll be quiet now.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Odds & Ends Nov 9 2009

Earlier in this blog I asked how artists who use gesso dealt with the "lumps and globs" that form over time in acrylic gesso. I heard about storing the container upside down - not good as the lumps still formed. I also heard about straining the gesso through cheese cloth - the gesso I use is too thick to strain through cheese cloth.

Carolina ( suggested using plastic food covering film (Glad Wrap or similar) on the surface of the gesso inside the container. IT WORKS! I cut a circular piece of plastic film using the lid of the container as a pattern and put it on the surface of the gesso. I've been using the same container of gesso for several weeks and NO LUMPS! I need to use gloves to handle the film, but that's OK. I also had to replace the plastic film because I let it dry out and the gesso on the film caked up and was making chips of gesso.

THANK YOU CAROLINA! You rock! (But you already knew that.) :-)

Now if someone can tell me a "safe" way to transport paintings to and from art shows. . . . . .

Airport Travelers - DSFDF Challenge 52-54

Airport Travelers 9x12 Oil on masonite

This is my version of Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF) challenge 52-54. Periodically (two or three weeks) Karin posts a photograph on the DSFDF blog for artists to make their art then send a photo of their art back to Karin who posts it on the DSFDF blog. It's worth a look to see how different people make different art from the same subject matter.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

City Rooftops - DSFDF Challenge

City Rooftops 12x17 Oil on canvas

This is my version of Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF) challenge. I didn't submit this to her blog as the deadline for submissions was several days ago. Now there's another challenge - maybe I'll have the time to participate in the new challenge.

It's really an education to see all of the "entries" to Karin's challenges. She posts a photograph on her blog then artists submit their version / vision of the photo. Take a look at the blog at

House on Smith Ridge Rd

House on Smith Ridge Rd 18x24 Oil on Masonite

Nov 9, 2009 - updated the photo. I (tried to) added more fall colors into the trees and leaves on the road. Also put more shadow here & there. The photo appears lighter than the painting. Go figger!

This is an (apparently) abandonded house on Smith Ridge Road, properly called County Road 80) not far from my home. Smith Ridge Road is not often used anymore as there now is a paved road called Smith Ridge Turn Off.

But Smith Ridge Road is (for a transplanted city guy) very pretty with trees hanging over the dirt road. The road is very muddy after a rain and very dusty until it rains. Take your pick!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What's Happening?

I HAVE been painting, I just haven't gotten any to a point where I want to publish a photo for the world to see.

Friday, October 17th, our Art Guild participated in the Rogers (Arkansas) Third Friday Artwalk. From April until October historical downtown Rogers stores and shops stay open until 8 PM. There's musical entertainment, crafts vendors on the sidewalk and etc. Our guild was assigned the first floor of a vacant store and we put out our work hoping people would come in and maybe buy something. 10% of all our sales goes into our "scholarship fund" to be awarded to two Rogers' high school students. ANYWAYYYYYYY, only a few people came in and only a few very small items were purchased. I'm thinking that most people came in to get out of the cold for a few minutes. We raffle a painting for a dollar a ticket and it did so poorly that we're going to try again next week. The temperature dropped into the 40s with a brisk wind and people either stayed home or went home if they were at the Third Friday event.

October 29th through November 11th is our Guild Fall Exhibit and Sale which will be located in the Rogers Public Library. We'll be selling our raffle tickets and 10% of proceeds go to the scholarship fund. Maybe we'll do better in two weeks than we did in one stormy night. :-) We even have a reception where people can meet the artists and enjoy (I hope) some light snacks.

This week I've been making some picture frames for a friend in the Art Guild. The frames aren't perfect by any measure, but they look good, they're substantial and by golly they're pretty inexpensive! I have learned that I want to buy a power hand sander!

How do other artists transport several (some 20x30) from home to show and back home? I stacked them up in the back of our Subaru with blankets in between. But a couple of paintings still got scuffed. HOW DO YOU DO IT? HELP!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Farmer Reading His Newspaper

Farmer Reading His Newspaper 24x30 Oil on Masonite

Updated photo Nov 1 2009

A hard working man relaxing with his newspaper before his day begins, after the morning chores have been done or at the end of the day.

I think that I'm going to stop right here before I mess it up (more?). I was thinking about the left foreground - seems too smooth & bare. BUT I dislike making grass, gardens & such. I even thought about putting in his pooch but thought that was too cliche.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Dancers 24x30 Oil on Masonite

I wanted to call this Flamenco Dancers, but it seems more ballet than Flalmenco. But what do I know? This is the third of my series of dancers - Flamenco or otherwise. I like the colorful costumes and the power suggested in the dancers' poses.

Red Colombine

Red Colombine 20x24 Oil on canvas board.

I did this from a photograph my cousins took on a cruise to Alaska.

I don't do florals very often - I struggle with them. Maybe because I don't know anything about the subject? I am NOT a gardner!

Besides, Red Colombine should be the name of a baseball outfielder!

Mason Jar

Mason Jar 18x25 Oil on canvas

I have seen other paintings of mason jars and wondered if I could do it as well. Well, I tried with this painting. The photo isn't the best but at least you can get the general idea of the piece.

I made the stretchers, stretched the canvas and have made the frame - all from scratch. It was (kinda - sorta) fun little project. The unusual size (18x25) was made to fit a picture frame from a thrift shop. That frame fell apart - literally so I made my own frame. I make most of my frames now.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I really LIKE masonite!

This is one of many reasons that I like to use masonite rather than canvas or other "soft" painting supports. Lots of people don't like masonite for their good reasons. But when something heavy fell on this finished piece (it was framed and signed) and poked a hole in it all I had to do was use my table saw and cut off six inches. Granted, I was lucky that the hole was in a place where I could do that.

The "new" piece measures 12x24

The "old" piece measured 12x30

"THE HOLE" The hole measures about 6 inches by 3 inches.

The hole sort of
looks cool in a photograph. A big bird flying by? Note the smudged signature! Oh well! What the - - - - ?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Fishing On The River

Fishing On The River 20x40 Oil on canvas

This scene is purely from my imagination and having looked at photos of rivers in Arkansas. Not that this river is in Arkansas!

The canvas and frame were given to me by a neighbor after they had tried their hand at gessoing the original picture. I tried (not very hard) to eliminate the underpainting but some of the thick impasto shows through in my painting. Not all bad - it creates some interest. For instance why is there a slanted vertical line in the left 1/3 of the painting? It's a mystery!!!! :-) FYI the dark line at the bottom of the photo is the shadow of the frame. The picture was upside down when I took the photo - I was/am too lazy to turn it right-side up. Another one of those mysteries. :-)

Dancer With Swirling Skirt - WIP

Dancer With Swirling Skirt - WIP 24x30 Oil on Masonite

This dancer is another Flamenco inspired painting that I'm working on. I've done as much as I want to do until the paint has dried some more. I'd like to put in more shadows and touch-up the lady's head (face, hair and etc.).

This is a WIP - Work In Progress. The camera seems to enhance the light catching the brush strokes. The background isn't really light blue! And the lady's top isn't gray - it's very BLACK! Go figger. My camera is having another bad day. The photographer (me) is doing fine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Skunk Cabbage - WIP

Skunk Cabbage - (WIP) 20x24 Oil on canvas board


The idea for this painting comes from some photos sent to me by cousins who went on a cruise to Alaska. Althea is an accomplished photographer, Burt probably goes along to carry the luggage. :-)  He's very handy - or used to be.

I need to finish this with some glazes then put some detail in that long doo-hickey-thing coming out of the flower blossom. It should have many "bumps" on it. I think that the part is a "pistil" or a "stamen" - my biology friends might tell me?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ken B And The Dogs

Ken B And The Dogs 30x24 Oil on Masonite

9/19/2009 - Posted new photo. Work in Progress. :-)

This is a composite of a couple of photos that I took of the dogs and me on our walks around the neighborhood this year; when the dogwoods were blooming but the trees hadn't "leafed out". I put the camera on time-delay and quick like a bunny stepped back and tried to look cool. That didn't work (the cool part) so I just stood there - squinting. Most of the time the dogs took off just as the shutter was shuttering so the dog part of this painting is mainly from other photos and my imagination.

The large Boxer is Casey, the small Boxer is Simon and the Miniature Schnauzer is Bella.

The (digital) photo of the painting kept coming out darker than I would like, so my camera and I have agreed to a truce. All of my photos here on out are "no fault" photos. I get grumpy at my camera and vice versa but we don't say anything about it to each other. (stupid @#%^ camera).

Flamenco Dancer With Red Fan

Flamenco Dancer With Red Fan 30x24 Oil on Masonite.

09/24/2009 - posted a new photo. Finished :-)

A few months ago I saw a photograph on the internet somewhere and made a digital copy of it. The photo was one of many photos of Flamenco and Ballet dancers in very colorful costumes. One of the things that caught my attention was that the lady's face is just barely visible through the fan. It was a fun project!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Question about Gesso - Part 2

Question about Gesso - Part 2. In case you're interested . . . .

On May 23, 2009 I posted a question about storing gesso without it getting lumpy after being stored over time. MY "problem" is that LUMPS (great gooey globs of gesso, really) form in the gesso when I store the partly empty (partly full?) container. Then I have to deal with the clumpy, lumpy gesso the next time I want to gesso a support. I make my own Masonite panel supports and canvas supports so when I make a "batch" of supports, I use my gesso. I pour the gesso onto the new support then use a 6 inch foam "cabinet & door" paint roller to spread the gesso.

Suggested "solutions" were:
  • store the container upside down
  • put the gesso in progressively smaller containers expelling the air
  • use all of the gesso

After some "experimenting":
  • I found that the clumps still formed when storing the gesso container upside down. But now the clumps/lumps are at the bottom of the jar when the container is turned upright.
  • Putting the unused gesso in a soft-side plastic bottle (e.g. plastic soda pop bottle) was messy getting the gesso from a quart jar into a one or two liter plastic bottle - even using a funnel. Plus a great deal of gesso stays in the first container. AND small lumps still formed even when the air seems to be pretty much totally expelled.

So . . . . If (WHEN) I use gesso I have to take my lumps! :-) I'll only buy the quart sized containers of gesso although it's a bit more expensive than the larger sizes. AND when I make a bunch of supports I'll try to make enough so that I'll use most if not all of the container. Where's the savings when buying the larger container if I'm spending time unlumping a gessoed support ?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)
Ken B.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Cupcakes (DSFDF Challenge Week 46 - 48)

Cupcakes (DSFDF Challenge Week 46 - 48) 16x20 Oil on canvas

I wouldn't have chosen cupcakes as a subject for a painting, but what the heck? :-) It was fun - after a while. But it was really harder than I thought that it would be! At least there isn't much green in this painting. I seem to often make paintings with a lot of GREEN!

Check out the other submissions to Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF). It's really interesting what the different artists put down in their works. Well, I THINK that it's interesting. :-)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Guatemalan Figures

Guatemalan Figures 9x12 Oil on Masoinite

The idea for these two paintings came from cross stitch pieces that belonged to my parents who lived and worked for an American company in Guatemala in the early 1940's. Both parents are deceased and I don't remember much about the history of the cross stitch pieces although I probably heard it. The cross stitch "support" or "canvas" is metal window screen. Things were probably hard to come by in Central America as WWII was a cause for rationing almost everything.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Old Tree

Old Tree 18x24 Oil on Masonite

This is an old tree down the street from our house. I don't know anything about trees but like it's shape and that it's (I guess) so old. The land belonged to a family for several generations and was used as pastures and raising hay. Now it's in the beginnings of being a subdivision. That's progress - at least for us!

Once again my digital camera (or the software) is having a tantrum and won't represent the colors in the painting. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Da Nang Marine 1965

Da Nang Marine 1965 24x30 Oil on Masonite

I needed to make some paintings from 1960's Vietnam and this is my third. The inspiration is from a photo I saw somewhere online (where else?) and I couldn't get the image out of my mind.

I tried to have the Marine's expression more tired or weary than sad or depressed. But I guess there wasn't a difference, really, in 1965 "in country".

This fellow has probably seen a lot and been through much that most people can't imagine. Maybe, though, he's pondering the prospect of going home. Going home was sometimes tough; leaving your buddies and/or being exposed to some of that antiwar "stuff" back home.

People back home didn't want (or didn't know how) to talk a bout "the war" so we learned to not talk a bout it. He's in his sixties now - if he came home alive. He probably doesn't talk about those years of his life except in bits and pieces with others that were there and a lot of that communication with "brothers" isn't vocal.

White Clover

White Clover 24x24 Oil on Masonite

I've seen clover most of my life but never really LOOKED at it until one day when I was walking in our neighborhood with my dogs. The dogs were busy being dogs and I picked a clover "flower" and really looked at it and was surprised at the colors I saw.

Soooooo, I took some photos for reference and this is what happened! I don't know the proper name for this flower except "clover." I'm not a flower person so "clover" is a good as it's going to get.

I'm still fighting the good fight with my digital camera - glare, focus (or NOT focused) and etc. This is the best photo of the painting from MANY.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Marmisson - A Home In France

Marmisson - A Home In France 20x30 Oil on canvas

This is a taken from a photo from an online friend's (another blogger) blog page. I used it without permission, hoping that they won't mind (too much)! :-) I thought it was a nice painting subject for me. I don't often do flowers, gardens and such but the photograph just seemed to work for me.

The owner had blocked the door with brick work so I took a little artistic license and "installed" my door.

I don't paint on canvas very much. I prefer Masonite panels. BUT I had stretched this canvas (and several others) some time ago so I thought that I would try painting on canvas. It took some getting used to the "bounce" and the roughness of the canvas. I don't know which I prefer - I guess it depends on my mood at the time.

I'm just about done with making small paintings. Small being smaller than 9x12. I'm going to stick with 16x20 and larger for "premanent" work using the "small" panels for what I call "studies" or just a practice piece. I had some small stuff, hung it on a wall and from a few feet away I couldn't see what the painting was. What's the point then? Except that a small piece can be made in an houror two. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it! :-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sidewalk Espresso

Sidewalk Espresso 18x24 Oil on Masonite

This is a composite from three or four photos that I found online plus a couple of photos that I've taken myself. I took many liberties and moved things around, added stuff here and took stuff away there.

Why does the dude on the left have two cups in front of him? Is it because the waiter is trying to make a move on the lady in red? Maybe the innocent waiter has the lady's check and is about to put it on the table. AND why is the dude wearing sunglasses inside? hmmmm Might be that he's sly and giving the lady in the jeans outfit a good long look.

The lady in the jeans outfit sat near the dude, but not too close. She probably doesn't trust somebody wearing sunglasses that has two cups of coffee on his table. Little does she know that he's more than a little burned up that the waiter hasn't been around for a while and wouldn't be very good company right now.

What ARE the specials today?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Solving The Worlds Problems

Solving The Worlds Problems 12x16 Oil on Masonite

This is my submission for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF) blog where she posts a picture and artists make their art. It's fun - for me, anyhow. Check it out.

Two guys, maybe in a barber shop, or waiting for new tires to be put on their cars. The guy on the right is doing all of the talking the guy on the left just wants to get out of there.

This is my first painting in a couple of weeks (more or less) as I've been moving my art stuff from a bedroom in our house to my studio. (See earlier posts). I'm not completely done with the studio; probably never will be. :-)

One of my next art projects will be working on rendering body parts. e.g. hands with fingers. Sheesh.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Studio - still shaping up!

Here are a few photos of my studio as I'm "moving in." I play with model airplanes (they don't fly). For scale, the four engine bomber (B-17) pointing down has a wing span of 24 inches.
It's BIG! They'e the old fashioned models made of balsa sticks & covered with tissue paper.

The other two photos show my "solution" to displaying many paintings in a small area. I made 3 "doors" from 2x2 lumber and 2' x 6' pegboard. The doors pivot on hardwood dowel pin "hinges" on the floor and under the upper shelf. I got the idea from the rug displays at home improvement stores. The idea is also used in tourist gift shop poster displays where many posters are sold. I make hangers to hang my paintings from 16 gauge galvanized wire. This wire is strong enough to support a load but is relatively easy to form using some pliers.

To hang unframed paintings, I used an idea for do-it-yourself plate hangers from Martha Stewart's website. I'm still trying to find the easiest way to hang and unframed painting. Most of my paintings are on Masonite panels but a few are canvas on wood stretchers. The framed paintings are really easy to hang on the pegboard.

Sorry for the mish-mash arrangement, the blog posting software has some limitations - or is it me? Nah! It's the software. :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My studio - taking shape!

These photos show my storage bins that live under my 12 foot long work table. The table is desk height. There are six "boxes" on wheels, the front wheels swivel and the rear wheels are fixed. At the time, they seemed like a good idea - a shelf on one side, peg board on the other. We'll see. They're painted with left over "rug" paint with three or four (who's counting?) coats of polyurethane.

I've been moving all of my art "stuff" from my art room in the house into the studio. Luckily the weather has been mild so far.

I have many paintings that I don't want "stored" away but I'm not sure how to have them available for viewing. Hanging on nails in the wall doesn't appeal to me because I'll want to change the pictures from time to time & I'll soon have walls full of nail holes. Does anybody have an idea how to show my paintings without damaging the wall - too much?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Faux rugs in my studio

These are the :"rugs" that we painted on my studio floor. The 4'x6' (approx) oval "rug" has dragonflies stenciled on it, the 4'x8' rectangular has Fleur De Lis in the border. I painted these freehand - without using tape - the tape tended to lift the floor paint even though we used the blue painters tape and the floor was painted more than a week ago. Whatever! The floor is OSB flooring - I felt that this floor will be abused over time so a "good" floor wasn't real important.

UPDATED 12/27/2009 - original photos went bye-bye for some reason. These photos were shot yesterday.

The paint we used for the rugs is from the Lowes "oops" (their term, not mine) paint counter. The oops paint counter is where Lowes resells the paint (at a relatively cheap price) that customers return for one reason or another. I bought several colors and mixed up the "rug" colors with the help from some old acrylic paints that I had from long ago.

The part of the floor with the oval "rug" has three coats of polyurethane. I'll put three coats on the other half when the rectangular rug dries. When the polyurethane has dried/cured for several days I'll be moving the furniture from the house into the studio.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rowing on Lake Michigan

Rowing on Lake Michigan 9x12 Oil on Masonite

My submission to Karin Jurick's "Different Strokes From Different Folks" blog challenge.

I haven't painted pictures in a while - I've been painting the floor of my brand new studio! This was a nice break. At least I wasn't on my hands and knees. :-)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two more Arkansas "sky" photos

I'm still working on my studio (almost done, really) but wanted to share two afternoon "skies" with you.

They look like fires but they're clouds.

Clouds DO have silver linings! :-)

And how about that sunbeam? I couldn't have made this up!