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.