Friday, May 29, 2009

Susie-Q Malt Shop

Susie-Q Malt Shop 16x24 Oil on Masonite

This drive-in (malt shop) has been in the same spot (and run by the same family) in Rogers, Arkansas since the 1960s. They have a sign near the order window that reads something similar to "this isn't a fast food restaurant, the food is cooked when it's ordered". I'll vouch that they make the BEST hamburger, fries and shakes in the area. Rumor has it that they make a "killer" dessert but I've never been hungry enough to try anything else.

They close up for the winter and a sure sign that it's spring or almost spring and life is renewed is when they open for business in the spring. You have to get here early at the lunch hour or you'll need a lunch two hours! :-)

Their address is:
Susie-Q Malt Shop
612 N 2nd St
Rogers, Arkansas 72756-6636
(479) 636-1326

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pennsylvania Farms

Pennsylvania Farms 8x10 Oil on Masonite

This is my interpretation of Karin Jurick's challenge in her Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF) challenge.

For this challenge Karin posted a black & white photo of a farm and the responding artists were to make a color painting.

Excuses: In the painting the silos are light grey. My rude camera and/or photo software adjusted the grey silos to blue silos and I had to leave the silos blue else the foreground green went reddish! Or radish or whatever the crops are. :-) Rule #1 - the problem is always the camera.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tuesday After The Rain - Plein air

Tuesday After The Rain 8x10 Oil on Masonite

This is another (Number 2) stab at plein air painting. Again, this is (sort of) the view from my "studio" window which faces West.

We had totally gray skies with a gentle, soft rain all morning then around 2-3 PM the clouds started breaking up and we had skies similar to this.

In reality, there are homes in the foreground, but I didn't feel like cluttering this with those details. Speaking of details, my camera and I are at odds again about focusing. I'll keep trying to get a sharply focused photo - in the meantime just squint at this picture and you won't know it's not nicely focused. :-)

Red Barn No. 1 - WIP

Red Barn No. 1 - WIP 8x24 Oil on Masonite

Another WIP (work in progress)! This was suggested by a photo my wife took on a recent auto trip from our house to Mountain Home, Arkansas.

This needs some drying time and I need to look at it a while then "clean it up", add some details and blah blah blah. One thing I'm going to try is adding some cattle near the barn. My cattle usually look like anything but cattle. I also need to put a stock pen to the right of the barn. I don't really NEED to, but the real barn had one and it added some interest. The little shed to the right needs to be straightened or propped up - it looks like it's falling down. Maybe it is?

My camera was sorry it acted up last time and will begin behaving. We'll see.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Question About Gesso

I have a question to others who use Acrylic Gesso prime their supports.

I buy quarts of Gesso and prime several supports (mainly Masonite panels) at a time. After a while LUMPS of semi-dry gesso develop and as I apply the gesso, I need to pick these lumps out of the still wet gesso on the panel. After I've picked off the lumps I need to "fix" the places where the lumps were. Aaaarrrghhhhhh!!!!!

I think it happens after I've lowered the level in the gesso container and the top of the gesso begins to set up and form a "skin".

Does anybody have a solution to this problem? Maybe storing in progressively smaller containers? Or is this something I need to accept as one of life's burdens?

Sept 9, 2009 - See Gesso Question Part 2

Friday, May 22, 2009

Home Made Masonite Panels

Attached are some Masonite panel layouts that I drew up several years ago so that I had some idea of the number of various standard sized panels from one 4'x8' Masonite sheet. With some effort and around $7-$8 for a 4'x8' piece of 1/8" Masonite you can get 10 to 30 home made panels. The 3/16" thickness is $3 or $4 dollars more per sheet.

The actual cut sizes will depend upon the width of the saw blade used to make the cuts. I usually have the lumber yard cut the 4'x8' sheets into two or three manageable sizes (to fit into the back of my car). Sometimes the "big box" stores charge for more than two cuts and they aren't always as accurate as I hope they could be. But, then, neither am I! :-)

When I do not plan to make "canvas panels" (see below), I put on two or three coats of gesso (usually tinted) on the large pieces when I get them home. I use a foam "rubber" paint rollers to apply the gesso. After the gesso has dried I use a clamped straight edge and a fine-toothed jigsaw or a fine-toothed circular saw to cut the large Masonite panels to the sizes I want. There is some "waste" on two of the drawings but those could be used for small (REALLY small) studies?

"Canvas Panels"
Before I apply gesso to the Masonite, and I feel like having some "canvas panels" to paint on, I glue canvas to the panels after they are cut to size. I apply tinted gesso after the glue has dried and the fabric has been trimmed.
There are articles on the web that explain the process better than I can. These are the first three I saw after I Googled "how to make canvas panels". There are MANY more articles out there!

I hope this helps somebody cut the cost of their painting supplies.

Ken B.

30 Panels #5

15 each 9"x12"
15 each 12"x16"
WASTE - 3 each 3"x12"

24 Panels #4
24 each 12"x16"


 31 Panels
16 each 9"x12"
15 each 12"x16"

18 Panels
9 each 12"x20"
9 each 12"x16"

10 Panels
each 18"x24"
WASTE - 2 each 6"x24"

Quick sketch of dusk at our house

Dusk At Our House 6x8 Oil on Masonite

This is a small, fast study of the Western sky from the room where I do my painting. Until I finish my studio in the back yard, I'm using one of three bedrooms as my "studio".

This is my first ever plein air attempt. Now I understand better how quickly the light and sky changes. DUH! :-) But it was a good thing.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another Right Foot

Another Right Foot 6x8 Oil on Masonite

Another painting of a foot. Whether or not it's my best foot forward, I don't know. With the previous right foot and now this right foot maybe the next painting will be the Hokey Pokey?

One more foot to go and I'll have painted a yard! (Three feet, get it?)


Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Right Foot

A Right Foot 5x8 Oil on Masonite

I have problems painting people's feet. SO, I did this side view of "A RIGHT FOOT". Next, I'll do some oblique paintings of feet with foreshortening and etc. I suppose if I do three feet I'll have done a yard.

; - }

Saturday, May 16, 2009

But is it "original art"?

I cruise the internet for photographs and where the photo is not copyrighted (sp?) I save the photo(s) to my computer hard drive. Sometimes I use the photo as a starting point to make a painting. Sometimes I use part of picture A, part of picture B and some of picture C to make a painting. None of my paintings look like any one photograph. There are a few blogs where somebody posts a photograph and "challenges" artists to make their art using the photo as the basis. Are the works of those artists "original art"?

Is original art only what comes from working from plein air sketches, using my imagination or working from my own private photos? Can I call my paintings from various outside sources "original"?

What do YOU think?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Madison Ave, New York City


This is my submission to Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks (DSFDF) Week 32 - 34 Challenge, Madison Ave, New York City. Karin periodically (usually every two weeks) posts one of her photographs on the DSFDF blog and artists are invited to make their art from the photo.

There are a couple of things I would like to "adjust". Maybe I'll do it - maybe not. :-)

5/15/2009 - Made a few "adjustments". I'll sign it and call it "DONE"

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 2

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 2 7x15 Oil on Masonite.

I used more color in this version and didn't let as much of the tinted Masonite show through.The darkest darks are Torrit Grey with some green mixed in. Then a WHOLE LOTTA green! There's some reds and oranges in there as well, although not very much.

It's funny (to me) how different a painting looks after it's been posted. Even after "tinkering" with it with photo editing software. Long story short, I see some things that I'll touch up after a while.

Right now, I'm going to get something cool to drink and go sit on our back yard deck. The "something cool to drink" will be a cocktail of Crystal Light Lemonade & Fresca. Whoooo doggies!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 1

Walking Point 1966 Vietnam - No. 1 5 1/4 x 15 5/8 Oil on Masonite.

"Vietnam… A Marine walking point for his unit during Operation Macon, a marine moves slowly, cautious of enemy pitfalls…"
By an unknown photographer, 1966
National Archives, Records of the United States Marine Corps

In modern military parlance, to take point, walk point, be on point, or be a point man means to assume the first and most exposed position in a combat military formation, that is, the lead soldier/unit advancing through hostile or unsecured territory.

5/13/2009 - Updated the photo after "touching up" the painting here & there. I'll leave it for a while. It's probably as "finished" as it needs to be! :-)

I was looking at photos in the National Archives, trying to find inspiration to make a painting when I came upon a 1966 photograph of a Marine "Walking Point". It struck a chord in me because some things happened to me this weekend and then yesterday.

Saturday I was at a neighbor's party for their daughter's first birthday and some of us "old folks" were talking. One of the ladies got nostalgic and remembered how much fun and happiness there was "in the sixties." I was a little surprised, I guess, because I was in the Air Force during the sixties and it wasn't particularly fun nor happy if you were in any of the branches of the military. It's all in your point of view, isn't it? Anyhowwwww . . . .

In the N.A. website I saw two photos that "rang my bell" and I prepared to make paintings from the photos. As I was making the drawing on my Masonite, I took a break & looked at the list of visitors to my blog and imagine my astonishment to see that my blog had been visited by a person in Hanoi, Vietnam. Totally weird!
There's an answer here but I don't know what the question is.

OK. Enough of that!

Except for the Marine, the painting is done with Gamblin's Torrit Grey and Winton's Titanium White. The Marine is painted by mixing a Green, a Yellow, Torrit Grey and White. The reddish tone is the tinted Masonite. I'm not sure what to call the color - I add colors of acrylic to the white gesso until I get a color that pleases me at the moment. The size of this painting is a little weird, I guess. Another scrap of Masonite put to good use!

The next painting will be 24x30.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Men On A Park Bench

Two Men On A Park Bench 16x20 Oil on canvas

Two friends in the park. One is looking at or reading from a brochure or pamphlet. Is the guy with the pamphlet planning a trip? Will the other guy go with him? Maybe they're deciding what to have to eat later.

I did a small oils sketch last month to see what I could see with this composition, and etc.

I'm happy with this painting. There are some things that I might tweak later but for now - I'll sign it and call it "DONE".

Monday, May 4, 2009

Staying In Touch

Staying In Touch 12x16 Oil on masonite

I had originally titled this work "Farm Woman" but I felt that it has little or nothing to do with anything related to farming.

I (tried to) improve the young lady's hair and have her looking up and maybe daydreaming. I'm also painting the cabinetry and maybe I'll do something with the yellow sheet (or whatever it's called) pulled aside to expose the pantry.

I feel that I still have some work to do, but I'm beginning to like this one! It came real close to being wiped clean and starting over.

Farm Woman - first version. BLAH!