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.