Another demo portrait finish- Marilyn

After working on the mural online last night, I had the urge to keep painting so I worked on this one of Marilyn. Boy, my drawing was off! This feels better.
I know I mention it frequently, but I feel so lucky to have the company of the artists who show up during my broadcasts. It's such a mutually supportive, congenial group. Then you add Marilyn Harman and Mark Bridges and we laugh the whole time. Thank you all!
You can watch the recording here. (I forgot to put my mic back on at first, so hang in there, the sound gets better once I'm reminded to put it back on.

Finish of Ron Watkins demo painting

Late last night I realized I was still in the mood to paint, so I started a broadcast (I didn't record it, sorry) and finished this demo painting up. It's one I started at the New Braunfels Art League last Tuesday. There's some shine on the photo in the hair and on his cheek, but you get the idea... I enjoyed using this color combination- purple, blue and orange-- zing!

Coppini demo- Marilyn's portrait start

Marilyn Moore is a wonderful artist who works mainly in watercolor, but paints beautifully in oil, too. She's also a generous friend who modeled for me at the demo that I did at the Coppini Academy yesterday. I worked on it about an hour, but spent so much time talking, I didn't get very far. It's a start, but it's going to require some serious reworking. I took some photos of her so I can finish later. I'll post an image of the completed painting when I get back to it. Thanks, Marilyn!

We made the paper!

Grampy and Kaiden, oil 11x14, commissioned 2008
Yesterday, an article about La Villita, including a nice mention of my gallery was in our local paper, the San Antonio Express News. The writer mentioned the other artists in the gallery- Bonnie Mann, Marilyn Moore and Patty Cooper, and me, and included a photo of one of my paintings (above) and my website and email address in the sidebar. Cool, yes? Check it out!

Marble Falls Drawing Demonstration

My friend Gaye Sekula drove up to Marble Falls with me today for the drawing demo I did for the wonderful Highland Arts Guild. So, of course, she was drafted to be the model for a quick sketch I did at the very end. Thanks, Gaye!

I projected the image of a cowboy in black and white from my computer and showed how to find and compare reference points on the subject in order to be sure of the accuracy of a drawing, and how to use guide lines and grid overlays to check one's work.
I was asked smart questions and really enjoyed talking with the members of the Guild. After the demo they had a tasty lunch for us and time to chat. While I was there, the idea of a workshop in November was brought up, and it was quickly filled to capacity. I'm looking forward to more time with these fun artists!

Demo start and Mural painting start

Last night I demo'd for the wonderful artists at New Braunfels Art League and Ron Watkins volunteered to be my model. Ron is an excellent portrait painter, both in oil and pastel, and sat sweetly still throughout my flailing about while painting and answering questions. I didn't get very far along on his portrait, but I did take a couple of photos and will try to finish it up before the end of the year.

The mural painting got underway during an online broadcast Monday evening. I'm going to continue working on it this evening during another broadcast, in case you want to join the fun gang of artists and well-wishers who keep me and each other company. Tonight at 6 p.m.

Um, I'm experimenting with speeding the drying time of an oil painting by putting it in the oven. I had it at about 150 degrees. The house got a little fumey so I've turned it off and have left it in there. Am I nuts? Has anyone else done this? I know Kathryn Stats has said she has put her paintings in a hot car to speed the drying. Last night I mixed some fancy painting medium I bought from the Windbergs into my white paint before the demo- it's supposed to speed drying. I've been so impatient lately with how long white takes to dry. Anybody have advice for me?

Self portrait

Last night my sister and I were watching a video sent to me by Lindsay in Australia- Forger's Masterclass- in which a convicted art forger shows three artists how to create paintings in the manner of one of the masters. We watched the episode about Van Gogh where the artists were asked to do self portraits using mirrors, then I proposed that we try painting ourselves that way, too. Patty was able to stay and paint for two hours, but I couldn't stop, so I painted about 4 and a half hours last night and another hour or so this morning. I can't claim it has any resemblance to one of Vincent's, but I really liked using the broken strokes of color. It felt a bit like doing a pastel painting. In order to get going without too much delay, I accepted the lighting in my computer room as it was. It was a challenge, for sure.

Stella and Ziggy - progress

Couldn't help myself....

I took this photo at night under fluorescent lights, so it's just a bit skewed toward blue, but it's close enough. Loved looking at these two faces today.

Stella and Ziggy - a start

Stella and Ziggy, oil on 12"x12" canvas panel
Again I offered up three reference possibilites to the viewers of the broadcast who were there as I started, and they chose one of my niece Stella and their dog Ziggy, over a still life of flowers and fruit and a landscape of one of San Antonio's missions- Mission Espada.
My objective while I painted was to get an accurate drawing (with thinned burnt umber), then cover the white of the canvas with as close to the correct values and reasonably close to the colors of my reference. It took about two and a half hours to get this far. I like the simply-painted, poster-like shapes and can envision a version of this painting that wouldn't stray too far from this look. But I want to play in the paint a bit more and try using much thicker, barely mixed paint.
My three paintings-in-progress: the red boat, Stella and Ziggy, and John Pototschnik- may have to wait until I've gotten a good handle on the mural I'm beginning today. Actually, I'll be painting a 24" x 48" canvas, the image of which will be photographically enlarged and installed as a mural at a new elementary school that bears the name of the subject of the mural- Ralph Langley. I so enjoy (and truthfully, depend on) the company of those who attend my broadcasts, that I'll invite folks to drop in on my progress with the mural painting over the next month. If you want an email letting you know when I'm painting online, add your email address to my group at the top of the sidebar on this page. See you there!

Riverwalk Casa Rio -Sold

Riverwalk Casa Rio, 14 x 11, oil on panel
I may have just noodled this painting to a faretheewell since I can't see a single other thing I could do to it. It's growing on me, though. I ride the express bus to and from downtown where the gallery is, I may have mentioned. One of my 'bus friends' is Juana, who has worked at Casa Rio for many years. I always show her what I've painted recently by showing the images on my camera. When she saw the original version, she asked where she was in the painting. So I took a photo of her from the back and tucked her in the scene. Good idea, Juana!
I'm going to try to paint tonight online... come by at 6 Central time if you can.

Therapeutic Riverwalk painting

Riverwalk Vision, 14x11 oil
I wasn't having a very good day. To recount it might be to give additional weight to it, so I'll just say I was in the need of happiness. I usually tell people to only paint when they are happy so they won't anchor anything but joy to the experience of painting. Even so, I risked it today and painted to GET happy. It worked for the very most part. 'Playing in the colors' as my sister calls it, really helped me focus on line and shape and color and removed my focus from the other experiences. I didn't have time to fuss much, so I might go back and rework some things later, but for now, I'm grateful for my therapeutic painting time this afternoon.

Start on landscape with red boat...

My friend Janet emailed on Tuesday asking if she could ever come watch me paint. Could she ever! I emailed right back, asking if that night would be too soon. So I had a special treat during my broadcast - my voice wasn't the only one in the room! I soon realized that I could use an assistant. I kept handing her things and asking for help with this or that... She was very accommodating. Thanks, Janet.
I figured I'd let her help me figure out what to paint that night, too, so when she arrived I had several photographs ready for her to choose among. This scene with the beached red boat was her choice. It's 16" x 12", oil on stretched canvas. Not sure when I'll be able to get back to it, since I'm starting in on the large painting-t0-be-mural project now, but I like that it's blocked in pretty well as a start. I'll enjoy working on it again down the line. Thanks to all who came to chat during the broadcast!

Earthen Jug, 9"x12" oil

Marcie sent an email just before I started my broadcast, suggesting another still life. So I went back through my photos and found some I took a year and a half ago at the LBJ Ranch west of Johnson City here in Texas. This kitchen was staffed by park volunteers who dressed in pioneer costume and were making gingerbread. It smelled great, the women were friendly and they let me take all the photos I wanted.
It's a pretty complicated still life for only a 9x12 canvas, but it was hard to see how to edit it. I painted maybe 4 hours last night. I got up in the middle of the night to study it. This morning I've worked on it another hour or so. I'm pretty sure it's done now. Thanks, Marcie! And thanks again to everyone who came to chat and be such good company for me and for each other! I'm probably going to paint again tonight... I'll send an email out to the painting group if/when I do.
When dry and varnished, this painting will be available for $200.