Thursday, January 29, 2009

Todays Painting - "Man Sitting On A Wall" + Ice Storm

Man Sitting On A Wall. 5.5" x 12" oil on masonite

I'm doing about five or six of these 5.5" x 12" pieces 'cuz I have some scraps of masonite that size. Maybe I'll do a larger picture from one or more of them. Meanwhile, it's fun to just get a painting done in a few hours.

We lost power for about 40 minutes this evening. Some people in the vicinity have been without power for a couple of days. We have our "survival" box and had just about settled in for a night without electric when it came back on.

Some photos taken today..... The temperature went into the high 30's and most of the tree ice is melted. We still have a couple of inches of ice on our back deck, the front yard & the driveway. One of our neighbors got stuck on a hill covered with ice on the road out of here so Melissa & I hopped in our Subaru & pulled her car up an ice hill to get her going home again. LOVE THAT Subaru!!!!!!

A hawk sitting in the tree just across the street! Way cool! I've seen three of these guys flying together around here. (The vertical thing is part of the tree that broke off from the ice storm.) I took this photo from our front bedroom - my cold weather art studio.

I hope that seeing these big birds never gets mundane for me!

Looking North from our back yard. The trees are covered with about 1/2 inch of ice. Limbs are bending; some are breaking off. Nothing compared to the damage in Springdale and Fayetteville.

The South side of our house. Even the icecicles have icecicles! The siding boards are 5 inches to give you an idea of how long the ice is.

Ice fuzz on our wrought iron fence. It was foggy this morning and this ice fuzz was all over everything! Pretty, I guess. "Ice fuzz" is the technical term, right?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Icy in NW Arkansas! Brrrrrrrrr

It's been icing (freezing rain / sleet) since yesterday afternoon. Nice & quiet as nobody (except the postman) is going anywhere on the streets near us. We're warm and safe inside, Melissa is working on her gourd art and I'm saying that I'm going to paint. The only real concern that we have is that our electricity will go out. We're all electric so it's a real concern. So far we've had a few flickers, but no problem with electric YET!

Our three dogs playing on our deck in our backyard. The deck is under half an inch of ice. Casey is the Boxer nearest to the camera, Simon (Boxer) is on the right and Bella (miniature schnauzer) is on the left. I really, truly did try to get photos of their faces, but this is the view I see most often. So I take what I get.

My studio. Can't you hear Lara's Theme from Dr Zhivago? That's ICE on the ground. I don't leave footprints when I walk on it but I don't slip and slide. I don't get it, but that's about par for me.

One of the coolest things I've seen yet. We heard a loud "CRACK" outside and I went out to investigate. I looked up at our roof and saw our turbine vents spinning and noticed that both vent doo-hickeys had icecicles sticking out from the sides! The camera stopped the motion, but the doo-hickey IS spinning rapidly! I never did find what made the loud cracking sound. Maybe ice breaking off the trees and falling onto our backyard deck?

Our neighborhood to the South of our house. There's a painting waiting to happen!

The trees are bending under the weight of the ice. Sure hope the temperature goes up. It's 27 F now and seems to be holding steady.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's ME 2! - Another self portrait - more or less

"Sitting" For a Self Portrait. 7 1/2" x 11 1/2" - oil on plywood panel.

What can I say? I had a scrap of 1/8" plywood, slapped some gesso on it and VIOLA! ME. I'm going to put one of my self-portraits on the February project. It's hosted by Marion Boddy-Evans and I've been really challenged by the 2 projects I've participated in. It's sort of like Karin Jurick's DSFDF blog. has much for me to look at in my art education. I'm self-taught so I read books and look at these oil painting websites/blogs.

We're having some freezing rain here in NW Arkansas. The weather service says that we could get up to 1 inch of ice accumulation with possible thunderstorms later. WHAT THE HEY? At least we're retired and don't HAVE to go anywhere or do anything we don't want to. I've been retired 9 months and I'm lovin' it. Especially when the weather goes poopy like tonight & tomorrow. The only problem is getting the dogs outside. Our deck is a skating rink as are our sidewalk & driveway. I'm probably going to go straight to hell, but I almost got sick laughing at Simon our "small" Boxer. Casey, our "big" Boxer has a bad knee so I have to get him onto the grass without any sliding. He and I sound like Rice Krispies when we walk together.

It's ME! (Or it's supposed to be.)

My self-portrait. 8 x 10 - oils on panel. (Click on the picture(s) for a larger view.)

This was done for the February 2008 Painting Project- Expressive Self-Portraits project. This is my first attempt at making a likeness of ANYBODY so I figured that I can't offend myself too much. I sort of like it - the eyes and mouth are killers for me. Not that the rest is something I'd brag about. But I'm learning - or hope so!

The litmus for whether one of my "head shot" paintings works is our smaller Boxer Simon. He growls at faces that he likes. He left the room when I showed him this painting. Casey (our older Boxer) is a TV guy and just hangs around for hugs.

I can't blame the camera for this photo - the picture of the painting is close to the true colors.

The photograph. I tried to look smart. It was a struggle. Simon growled at this photo. YES!!!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Week 21-22 Different Strokes . . . .

The photograph for the Different Strokes From Different Folks challenge - week 21-22.

San Francisco Victorian. 9 x 12 oil on masonite. (Click on the picture to see a larger view)

I spent a couple of days just thinking (agonizing?) about this challenge for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks "week 21-22" challenge. Then I spent most of the day yesterday painting. THEN I
had to photograph the painting.

You know how my digital camera battles with me - this morning it was extremely surly. To say that this photo is the best of the dozens of photos is a pretty sad commentary. I did manage to eliminate most of the lights reflections, but the colors aren't true to the painting. e.g. the windows are NOT blue! If the overcast and cold weather clears up and the temp goes above the 20's, I'll try taking some photos outside. Sheesh.

Other than battling my digital camera and agonizing about painting a "building", my life is great. Casey, our big (90 lbs) boxer dog is leaning against my leg and looking at me with those "when will the beatings ever end?" look. He wants to go for our walk around the neighborhood but he'll have to wait a while as I'm a cold temperature wuss this morning. It appears that we're getting a light "frozen rain" (sleet) now. Dang!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Woman Enjoying A Cool Beverage

Finished painting - posted Jan 25 2009.

Woman Enjoying A Cool Beverage - 12" x 12" oil on masonite. Click on the picture for a larger view.

I still have some work to do on this before I call it finished and sign it, but wanted to get this posted today. I'm still struggling with my digital camera. The reflections drive me crazy - or I forget to turn the flash off! :-)

I'd appreciate your thoughts. Leave a "comment" by clicking on the word "comment" below.

We've been sort of watching the inauguration. To me it's a lot like the hydroplane boat races. Three minutes of interesting stuff followed by a couple of hours of talking heads trying to say something that isn't totally stupid.

Melissa's gourds are being exhibited at the Rogers Public Library. I'm really proud of how well she's done and the chances she's willing to take.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Yellow Sunglasses"

$50.00 plus shipping
Yellow Sunglasses - 8" x 10" oil on plywood panel.

I just finished this is "sketch" for a larger (12"x12") painting. I saw a photo of this guy in a street fair crowd on the internet and really liked those shiny sunglasses.

I'm going to fiddle with it just a bit - maybe tomorrow?!?! Maybe not. :-)

My dogs like it, so I guess I'll keep it. Simon, our younger boxer growls at my paintings when there are people looking back at him. He hasn't growled - yet.

As always, critiques are welcomed and appreciated. Use the "comments" forms - see below.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Would you help me by doing me a favor?

I post my art work (paintings) but I don't know if they're "any good". I understand that "liking" a piece of art goes back to the old saying "I don't much about art but I know what I like."

Please do me a favor and leave a comment about my work. Constructive criticism is welcome while "flaming" wastes your time and mine. Each post has the word "comment" near the bottom of the posting. It looks like: Click on the word "comment" and a form is opened for your comment which won't show in my blog until I "approve" it - that's where flaming is a waste of our time. Your comments can be anonymous if you wish.

I would like to see if I can sell my art to at least help pay for my habit. Plus maybe clear out some space in my little studio. I'm not asking anybody to make an offer, but . . . :-) Seriously, please critique my work and leave a comment - anonymously if you wish.

I also enabled the "reaction" thing where you can "VOTE". "I don't get it", "interesting", or "cool".

Thanks very much for doing me this favor.

January 15th - A sad day for the art world

Artist Andrew Wyeth died January 15th. I was surprised and saddened to read the news online yesterday. His work is an inspiration to me and many others. As a wanna-be artist I owe him a great deal.

One’s art goes as far and as deep as one’s love goes.

By karynmannix

January 2009 Painting Project: A Color and Its Complementary

My submission to the January project has been posted - see my entry here. Many thanks to Marion Boddy-Evans for hosting this project.

I seem to be the only one so far that interpreted the project literally. I painted the example picture while others painted a wide range of subjects. I really do need to get a grip and loosen up! :-) Anyhow, it was really interesting to explore what colors could be mixed with a color and it's complement color. I discovered the neatest grey with white, orange & blue. Never would have figured on that one.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A work in progress - sort of

I'm NOT Crying - 8 x 10 on plywood panel.

This is pretty much finished. My digital camera and I are agreeing to disagree. I struggle with making a reasonable representation of my paintings and the @#$%& camera does what IT wants to do. Anyhow, I'm going to sign this and go figure out my @#$%& camera. Maybe if I read the book?

Melissa's gourd art will be displayed in the Rogers Public Library from January 18th through February 19th. Her first public "show"!

PS - Tuesday afternoon. I replaced the picture with one where the color is quite a bit closer to the actual painting. I'm worn out from fighting that @#$%& camera! :-) Time for a nap.

A few things that I've been working on

Jefferson Memorial At Night - 8 x 10 on plywood panel

My submission to Karin Jurick's "challenge". See her blog at See the challenge submissions at check these blogs often. The different strokes is fun, Karin's blog motivates me to become a better artist - neat place to "lurk".

Abandoned In The Snow. 11 x 13 on masonite. I wanted to do a house in the snow and saw photos in the Seattle Times website where the sky and ground was YELLOW. Not what I would have thought for a night time snow painting.

Welcome Home. 11 x 14 on masonite. Same house as "Abandoned" but now somebody lives there and is fixing it up.

Melissa is showing some of her gourd art at the Rogers Public Library next week. I'm really proud of her for what she's done with her gourd art and now this! Whooooooo hoooooo! ! ! !

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

"Gone Fishin" and other stuff

This is todays painting. I still don't have the picture taking worked out yet. The painting is 8 inch x 10 inch (on masonite) of a guy flyfishing in amountain stream. I think that I like it.

I haven't painted in a couple of days. Been going to the doctor and the vet. Casey, our 4 yr old boxer has knee problems and I had to have my sleep apnea CPAP machine follow up. Casey got some medicine to ease the pain in his knee and I got a good report on my sleep apnea. During the initial sleep study I stopped breathing an average of 37 times an hour. According to the memory chip in my CPAP machine I'm "ONLY" stopping an average of 5 times an hour. When I stop breathing, my brain doesn't get enough oxygen - that might explain a lot! :-)

We took down our Christmas decorations - outside lights, inside tree and etc. The place looks real dark now!

Monday, January 5, 2009

An art project and don't cry over spilled tea!

I'm interested in participating in an ABOUT.COM project to make a painting using two colors and white. The challenge is to use a color and it's compliment. I made two paintings of the picture they suggested using Cadmium Barium Orange, Prussian Blue and White.

I spent the better part of this afternoon trying to make a digital photograph of each painting. Melissa gave me some good pointers and I'm happy (sort of) the results. You should check out her website, she's done some really cool things with her gourd art. Anyway, my photos aren't going to get any better than this! See below.

Their photograph:

My paintings:

5 x 7 on masonite

6 x 8 on masonite

I'm struggling with the digital photos. Maybe I need a better light source(s)?

I just spilled a cup of green tea on my keyboard and it's still working. They say green tea is good for you, I guess it's good for keyboards too!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New paintings - Happy New Year

Happy New Year 2009!

It's a chilly but cloudless day today. Melissa & I took the dogs for their morning walk, or they took us. It's debatable who's in charge. I found a really nice rock full of seashell fossils - picture below. I'm fascinated that this part of Arkansas now 1,300 feet above sea level was under water millions of years ago. The quarter gives you some idea of the size of the sea shells. There are some plant impressions in there as well.

I'm working on several paintings. These are three that I'm working on presently.

White Wine. 8 x 12 on masonite.

Red Wine. 8 x 12 on masonite.

Corner of 1st Street & East Walnut. 8 x 10 on plywood panel. This is in downtown "old" Rogers, Arkansas.