Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vintage Portrait Reference: a Fun Painting Afternoon

little oil sketch from the old family files
Looks like QE I and Bozo had a baby and it was this woman from my family photo archives. Actually, I painted this from a black and white original, but couldn't resist improvising the hair color--the style, however, was all hers.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hiding the Subject(s) in the Landscape

9" x 12" oil on masonite, framed
Owen requested a painting that had a guitar in it. But it's summer (or it WAS summer) and summer was Landscape Season, so that's the palette I was into at the time.

I would have liked to have painted this from one of my own plein air sketches, but I wasn't finding any guitars in the local landscape. In the end, I scrambled together references to work a couple of guitars into this fantasy summer scene. Happy Birthday, Owen!.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Off to Mississippi

I'll be sending this painting off today, a commissioned (through my Etsy shop) watercolor for a Mississippi bride. This assignment presented a real challenge: the reference shot was an overexposed, none-to-detailed snapshot, but it was also a sentimental record of the first meeting (or first recorded meeting) of the bride and groom-to-be--and therefore, what the bride wanted as a painting.
Nice idea, right? Thank you for working with me, Sara Jane, and best wishes!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Here Today, Gone Tonight: Part 2, The Resolution

...or, "Stolen For Safekeeping"

Ron was up and out the morning after our Delaware County Fair parking lot art heist, back in Walton. He checked with the fair office to see if anything had been turned in. (My paintings, while of paramount importance to me, were only a small percentage of what was contained in the boxes and the portfolio-like booth display case that were taken.) Nada. Then he spent a good part of the morning driving around the fair grounds and nearby backroads, looking for likely spots where someone might have dumped the goods that they didn't see reason to keep. Like pamphlets about becoming a Master Forester and such. Or paintings!

No luck, home for lunch. We decided to put it behind us. Ron began setting up to repeat the fieldwork needed to replace the many days of data lost amongst the paperwork in one box, and I painted a plein air of the pasture behind the barn. And then I got a call from the Walton Village Police Department.

They had seen my Facebook post (Ah! social media saves the day!) and so when they were questioning a fellow (We shall call the fellow "Jack," as names have been changed to protect the....) about various...things...they brought up the subject of a missing couple of paintings at the fair. And Jack said he'd found them! And held onto them for safekeeping, along with some other stuff! And then he gave the police a phone number where he could be reached. Which the police gave to me.

Which I immediately called, and the woman who answered had no idea who Jack was, and there was certainly no Jack there.

I called the police. I heard a loud sigh. He told me he would try some other method of finding Jack, and I'd hear back from him. However, in a few minutes, the call I received was from Jack, who invited us to drive over to his home to pick up our things, telling us that he "called the number on something in the box, but got an out of order or no one's there message or something." (note: Which could be true, if he chose the card from Cooperative Extension and didn't choose to leave a voice mail message? And didn't see any of the other numbers on things, like my business cards on the back of the paintings with my cell phone number?) Mainly, Jack kept repeating to me that "Everything is all here, it's all here. I made sure that everything's all here." Huh?

When we met Jack, he had clearly taken inventory. "Here's your papers with the sign up sheets and pamphlets and your ibuprophen and your keys and your name tags...Everything is all here." It was a little weird.

Weirder still, when we got back in the car, Ron told me that Jack was the guy that Ron stopped from walking away with the one box that he was able to save in the parking lot. (To back track: Ron had set down four boxes, stepped away, came back and saw someone--who we now know was Jack--with the only remaining one, and stopped him. Jack handed it over. Ron asked him about the other boxes and Jack said that the one that he handed over had been the only one there.) Got home and did our own inventory, and indeed, there was something missing, Ron's metal clipboard that closes over the sheets for his forest inventory data. So Ron started to do a little freakout and I called Jack back, who said, "Oh, yea...I do have that.) right about the same time Ron was discovering his data sheets down in the box, stuffed among some brochures.

All's well that ends well, and I thank everyone for their well wishes during my twenty-four hours of art heist anxiety!


Sunday, August 21, 2016

Here Today, Gone Tonight Part 1

From the heights to the trenches. I submitted two paintings to the art exhibition at the Delaware County Fair, thinking it would be fun to see them hanging amid works by other local painters and photographers. Never even dreaming I might get a ribbon or that I might WIN A PRIZE! (Well, maybe dreaming. Not thinking.)

But there it is, my painting, "Phyllis at Fourteen," with the "Best of Show" ribbon hanging from it and kind of tangled up with a blue "First Prize" ribbon.

Cool, right?
watercolor youth
I wish I'd taken a photo of him framed and matted--he was really quite nice.

All fair exhibitions had to remain in place through the entire fair, but they were to be picked up either after 8pm Saturday night or on Sunday. Ron, on fair duty for his job with Cooperative Extension (at 8pm) last night, picked up my work and put it in a box with some of his things. And then he set the box down for a minute while he looked around for his car. And turned his back.

Big mistake.

Box, paintings, ribbons, check (prize money,) not to mention Ron's stuff...all gone. Someone made off with the box and everything in it.

Stay tuned for part 2.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

New "ReCovery" for My Etsy Shop

I've done another one of my recycled book projects, but not the kind where I cut, fold, bend and tear. This is less deconstructive. I removed the old paper dust jacket from David Lindsay's :Mayflower Bastard," (No--never read it--but I loved the title!) and did a little google search for a Pilgrimish theme idea. Naturally, the old master illustrators had a bunch of those ideas, so here's my J C Leyendecker homage to the Mayflower Bastard.

He looks like kind of a one, right?

Oil paint on canvas panel hardboard book cover. Buy the book on Etsy! Read about the Mayflower Bastard! Learn about...History?!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Shine Behind

8" x 12" oil on panel
It's not really about the "shine behind" the trees, but that is glaring...and not really there. I just snap a quick cell phone pic before I clean up, and, well, there it is. Wet oil paint is reflective. Based on a stand of trees across the road, and slightly fantasized.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

An Etsy Job, Complete

A portrait with resume? Sure!

This 9" x 12" watercolor portrait was done for an Etsy customer, who supplied her mother's graduation photo (in black and white!) and requested the names of her school and work places be worked into the finished piece. I sketched some thumbnails and we decided to go with the subtle background treatment.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

8" x 10" oil on masonite
Ron wanted to get in one more fishing try at Seneca Lake, so after we stopped for lunch at the marina, we parked at the park at the south end of the lake. It was crazy windy so I dispensed with the tripod and set my pochade box on a picnic table, and quickly painted this view. The colors here aren't quite true to the painting--it's really much warmer.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Plein Air Mini

6" x 8"
The last couple of mornings before heading to work I've been able to sneak in painting sessions. No better way to start the day. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


oil, 8" x 8"

Yes, I finally found my paint and paraphernalia in the boxes and stacks all over the crowded house. The only "creative" time I've had up until now consisted of creatively  finding places for the boxes necessitated by our move.  It feels so good to handle a brush that's not dipped in the ceiling paint bucket!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Library, People.

The New York Public Library recently made 
available a storehouse of thousands of images.
 From centuries past, from around the world:
 photos and maps and menus and...

These images are all in the public domain, free to share and to reuse, making them a glorious resource for artists.

from one of those photos*

watercolor in progress

There's got to be something in there to strike a chord.

*poor camera shot--because my scanner is packed away in the barn until the house is done.