Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two Dollars An Hour

Two Dollars An Hour 24x30 Oil on masonite.

5/1/2009 - - Photo of the painting was updated I can't seem to get the painting in focus!!!!
5/3/2009 - - Photo of the painting was updated
5/8/2009 - - corrected the title 2 dollars an HOUR, not 2 dollars a day.

I'm done with this - just a few thing that I needed to "fix" e.g. their feet/shoes for one thing. See the April 20 post to see two preliminary sketches.

All in all I'm satisfied with this piece. The idea came from a photo in the National Archives. The folks in the photo hoed sugar beets in fields sunup to sundown for two dollars an hour.

Now I'm in one of those "be careful what you wish for" situations - sort of similar to a dog chasing a car. Now that you have it, what are you going to do with it? :-)

5/1/2009 - As two of my friends pointed out, the feet of the person to the viewers left needed "fixing" so I tried to get that done. I'm going to stare at the painting for a while making a list of things that I think need tweaking. Then I'll study that list and decide which "fixes", if any, will be done.

5/3/2009 - I fiddled with a couple of things. The "major" change was adding color to the shirt of the third guy from the right. I'm pondering (big word) whether or not to suggest trees and/or buildings in the far background.

5/8/2009 - Original photo by Bill Gilette, near Fort Collins, Colorado, June 1972. National Archives, Records of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Closed 9x12 Oil on masonite

I saw pictures on the internet of businesses that were closed or closing. Out of all of those, one similar to this composition struck me as most interesting. Go figure.

I'm not sure why it's "interesting" to me. Guess it's just an expression of my melancholy that somebody's hopes and dreams will need to be different now.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Two Couples Looking At The Sea

Two Couples Looking At The Sea 8x16 Oil on masonite.

Updated version 4/25/2009.

Here are two couples looking out over the sea. The couple on the left has either just arrived or is taking a last look before leaving. You decide. The people on the left are relaxing in the sun doing a little reading.
Both have sweaters so the weather might have been chilly earlier.

I think that I'll make a larger painting of these folks - move 'em closer together, have them make new friends.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


PACO 8x10 Oil on masonite

Paco is a Rat Terrier and Chihuahua mix. One of my best friends in Seattle and his wife belong to Paco.

This is paying my dues toward the cute puppy pictures. One of those "Awwwwww, isn't he cute?" sort of thing.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watching The Tide Come In II

Watching The Tide Come In II 7x15 1/2 Oil on masonite

Just another "quickie" to play with my water soluble oil paints. I'm beginning to like them a bit more - if only the paint didn't smell so bad. The smell goes away quickly, I guess. The paint also handles much differently than "regular" oils. They don't seem to cover as well. I'll use my regular oils to make my "permanent" paintings.

This panel was tinted with a "tan" which I left exposed here & there on the beach - and (inadvertently) elsewhere.

I made a mistake by typing this in MS Word then pasting into Blogger Post Editor. Blogger isn't happy with that sort of stuff. I sure won't do THAT agian!!!! :-( I had to edit out a bunch of junky HTML that Word inserted.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Farm Woman - WIP

Farm Woman 12x16 Oil on masonite

A work in progress (WIP)

The inspiration for this painting is a 1940's black & white photograph from the National Archives. (The title is theirs - I'm going to think about renaming it when I finish the painting). In the original photo, the lady is wearing a dress so I "modernized" her by putting her in casual outfit that ladies might wear today.

I've been glazing and fussing lately. I need to give her a face, give her a "hair-do", take care of the left wall and call it DONE! Procratination is killing me this week. Maybe I'll get it done soon. Maybe not. :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sketch #2 for "Two Dollars A Day"

Two Dollars A Day #2 8x10 Oil on masonite

This is my second try at water soluble oils and another quick study for a 24x30 painting of field hands hoeing sugar beets for two dollars a day - hence the title.

I moved the person on the right a little closer to the rest of the folks and reversed the person on the left.

I think that I like this composition more better. I'll work on their clothes in the larger painting - I'll do it with "real" oil paints! :-) I don't like this "pretend" oil paint very much.

Sketch #1 for "Two Dollars A Day"

Two Dollars A Day #1 8x10 Oil on masonite

This is my first try at water soluble oils.The paint is a little different using water with "oil paint" - the feel is different and (I think) the paint smells bad. But maybe I'm just accustomed to the smell of linseed oil or whatever oil is used in "real" oil paint.

ANYWAY . . . . . this is a really quick (less than an hour) study for a 24x30 painting of field hands hoeing sugar beets for two dollars a day - hence the title. I'm going to move the person on the right a little close to the rest of the folks and maybe have someone pointing their hoe to our right - maybe the person on the left edge? I'll make another sketch and see how it looks.

The inspiration / idea came from a photo from the national archives.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Diana's companioin - DSFDF Challenge

This is my version of Karin Jurick's latest challenge in her blog "Different Strokes From Different Folks" (DSFDF). Every two weeks or so, Karin posts a photograph for interested artists to use to make some art - painting, drawing and etc. We send a photo of our art to Karin & she posts our photos in the blog. Cool!

Diana's Companion. 8x10 oil on masonite.

I've found it easier to begin a painting when the masonite or canvas isn't stark white.

This painting is done with Gamblin' Torrit Grey, Winsor & Newton's Zinc White and Gamblin's Ultramarine Blue. The story behind the Torrit Grey is really interesting (at least I think so!) - read about it at Gamblin's Torrit Grey Web Page.

This masonite panel is tinted a light blue but I do tint with other colors. I pour some white gesso into a container and add some acrylic paint until I have a color that I like. I usually give the masonite or canvas a couple of coats of this colored gesso mix depending on how well it covers or I'm happy with how the tinting looks.

Karin's challenge photo can be seen here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My first "real" art show

Today I entered five paintings in the Rogers (Arkansas) Art Guild Art Show and Sale. It's my first "real" art show - one where somebody might actually choose to buy one of my paintings. Whew! Choosing (ONLY) five paintings from my "pile" of paintings was not at all unlike choosing a favorite child.

I made my choice by putting about ten at a time in my studio-room floor and chose two that I liked the most. After grimacing, groaning and sighing and all the back-and-forth picking up, putting down and etc. I went to the art show with fourteen (14) "favorites" - at the time. I've changed my mind now that I'm home but that's another story. Anyway, I chose the five to hang in the show by reaching into the bag with my eyes closed and picked them at random. Nothing like doing it scientifically, I guess.

The "chosen" five are shown as they will be seen. They're detailed elsewhere in this blog so I'll shut up now. :-)

YES, I know the picture of the house was crooked. It isn't now - I hope!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mother With Her Son

$150.00 plus shipping
Mother With Her Son 12"x24" Oil on masonite.

This is from an old black & white family photo from the 1940's. I liked the composition but had no idea what the colors might be so I just winged it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Watching The Tide Come In

Watching The Tide Come In 12"x12" - diptych. Oil on masonite.

A little change of pace. Hardly any green in this (these) diptych. I was going to do a 7"x15" (another scrap of masonite not wasted) but that seemed a bit boring. So . . . . this diptych.

By the way, the horizon is FLAT in the painting - the camera chose to bend it for me! The camera and I fight an honorable battle. The camera usually prevails. :-)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Pigeon 5"x7" Oil on masonite.

A really fast study to see if I could paint something that looked like a pigeon. I have one or two pieces representing people in parks. Most parks have pigeons - especially when people are sitting on a park bench. I thought that I'd put some pigeons hanging around hoping for a handout.

Monday, April 6, 2009

An Arkansas River View

An Arkansas River View 8"x16" Oil on masonite.

This is my attempt at a landscape. I don't particularly enjoy landscape (or still life) - maybe this shows that thought?

After looking at photos of Arkansas river valleys I conjured up this image. I think that I'd do better if I went outside and did some plein air work - when the weather warms up. It's in the 30's again. BAH, HUMBUG!

I seem to be using a lot of GREEN lately.

Burning The Midnight Oil

Burning The Midnight Oil 12"x16" Oil on masonite.

Another photo from the internet, this time from the National Archives. The photo was taken in the 1940's but it's still relevant today. Back then she was probably contributing to the war effort. Maybe today she's trying to not be laid off.

Again I'm undecided about a title. "Burning The Midnight Oil" came to me as I was posting. I'd been calling it "Working Late".

The photo was black & white. I'm not sure that I'm done with this - I feel like I'm fussing with it and not making it better. I guess that's the signal that it's DONE?

Woman In A Doorway

Woman In A Doorway 12"x16" Oil on masonite

I saw this photo on the internet and liked her happy face and colorful clothing.

I'm open to suggestions for a better title by the way!! Please!?

Friends On A Park Bench

Friends On A Park Bench 8"x10" Oil on masonite.

This is a study for a larger - 16"x20" - painting. I'm uncomfortable painting trees and greenery that remotely resemble trees and greenery. I usually am (I think) to tight and I try to "loosen up". So this is a warm-up painting to get me comfortable with greenery.

I got really loose doing this after studying some work done by artists whose landscapes I admire. Isn't the internet great? I can sit in my room and browse through art from around the world.


Tangerines. 5"x7" Oil on masonite

I've seen other bloggers' tangerines and decided that I must be missing something. It was more difficult than I first thought (DUH) but I think that I can show this to the world.

There were originally four tangerines, but the dogs must have eaten one. These three disappeared shortly after I was done with the painting. Another mystery! :-)

Last Bus To Zurich

Last Bus To Zurich 11"x14" Oil on masonite.

A few years ago, my wife was on a business trip to Switzerland and brought back some beautiful photos of the country, the buildings and etc. For some reason this photo of a guy getting on the bus to Zurich grabbed my attention.

Morning Coffee II

$50.00 plus shipping
Morning Coffee II 5"x7" Oil on Masonite.

As I tried to wake up a few mornings ago I took a photo of the shadows created by my coffee cup on the kitchen table. See Morning Coffee I - below.

This time I made a yellow, round table.
instead of the brown straight table.

Now back to what I'm should to be working on . . . SIGH mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Two In A Canoe

Two In A Canoe 12"x16" Oil on masonite.

I was browsing photographs the other day and saw a picture like this. It looked tranquil and quiet and really, really green. But it seemed like a decent composition and subject. I'm going to say that these two are a father and a son spending some quiet time together, although the son doesn't have his oar in the water. (Take that any way you wish!)

I'm still wavering about the title - "Two In A Canoe" is BLAH but I struggle when giving a painting a" title".

I had this really white piece of gessoed masonite that was giving me a hard time so I covered up the white!