Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Colorfield- A movement started in the US American East Coast in the mid-late 40's.  While most works of art has a thing for it's subject -person, road, tree, building, baskets of slowly rotting fruit- Colorfiled's subject is the enviorment itself, not an object placed in an enviornment.  As implied by it's name, the environments are bold strokes of color.  Notable Colorfield artists are Mark Rothko, Clyford Still, and Helen Frankenthaler.  Some historians speculate Colorfield is a large influence in the Abstract Expressionism.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Master Copy: Self Image of Eugene Delacroix

Master Copies -the practice of a student copying an already accomplished artisan's work, as a means to study that said artisan's mind.  Why they use that technique, color, composition, materials, etc.

Ah, when did I do this painting?  Two, three years ago?  Ah well, this was another assignment back in ye school days.  The class: life painting (do your life drawings, kids); the assignment: a master copy of a portrait.
I chose a self portrait of French artist Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863).  Now I have to confess -and no one tell my teacher this- I only put 9 hours into this painting.  And this is 9 hours all in one bite.  I remembering starting 5pm, in the apartment living room (NEVER paint oil where food is commonplace), and "finishing" 2pm the following day.  I'm sure if I gave myself a few more hours, I'd be able to add the subtle charm the original has.

Self Portrait, 1837

  Along with the original, I recommend two other references at hand: a value (black and white) reference, and a grid reference.

Got a B grade on it.  Not bad for 9 hours.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Abstract Studies

Watercolor mixed with gesso. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deer sketch...

...or is it an elk?
Stock image used via  ha-rat-kiri.deviantart.com/art/Deer-stock-495988296

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Life is a cheep plate (or at least in this context)

 Another series of Plates of Life.  At $.50 a plate, no one is crying I'm breaking them. With little control how the hammer strikes break each plate (respect those stain-glass cutters!), it's a fun struggle to see how I can make the plates balance and flow with each other.
Hmmm... solo show idea...?
Fellow art buddy says this looks like a Kandinsky, if Kandinsky liked hot glue.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Idaho Lake

Idaho is, generally, this white by next month.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Turkey playin' ye ol' Yankee Football

A Thanksgiving gift and activity for my students.  The idea is for the tail feathers to be colored in the team's color the student likes (or, if they don't care for football, someone they know would like).

A turkey everyone would fight the wings over the drumsticks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Orange and Blue

EDIT: The painting in it's completed form.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Make it bleed

Macabre makes a great title grabbers, right?

Looking at my blog yesterday, I realised how nighleacted I've kept it as the last few months.  Dusty and rusty blogs implore me to feel bad.

"And you should feel bad."
Talking this with a chum of mine, I decided to post one art piece a day.  It can be something lame as a sketch, or it can be complex and profound as a complete painting.

"You're internet is bad, and you should feel -"

Hush, crabby one -even living with two bars, I shall persevere!!!

Without further adieu, here's today's sketch.  A study from Lake Camanche-

Images from Futurama owned by Fox Broadcasting Co.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Animal Caricatures

I don't think of myself being among the best boardwalk sketchers.  But to my students, I'm the "bestest" art teacher in the world.
Like any good artist, I used photographic references for the animals.  With the photos as my guide, I exaggerated particular features of the animals.  The eyes and smiles are classic Disney formulas I learned by one former animator.

The Rihno's my favorite.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My Ten Rules of Art

The moment I stepped through the old, grand, age-of-rites gates of adulthood, a revelation bloomed within my being:

Being a grown up is busy.

Twilight of summer is no exception, as I start a new job, in training for another potential job, and help four old farts move to a new home.  (One of those old farts is a cat with a psychological distrust for car rides.)
So for this post I'm gonna go cheap -a copy pasted homework assignment.  I present to you, readers, my ten rules of art.  Someday I'll expand more on them.  Maybe on lunch break.

My ten rules of good art-

1. Good art is made with intelligence

2. Good art is not at the mercy to politics or agendas, however the human spirit is at art's mercy to dictate our emotions and thoughts

3. Good art should reveal some hidden profoundness to the subject –give spirit to something that has no spirit in the realm of reality

4. Good art should not deceive the viewer, and confuse them what is real or what is fantasy

5. Good art should be able to stand on its own two feet; it should not rely on how it’s made or why it’s made.

6. Good art should encourage the viewer to feel or think something –inspired, confused, uncomfortable, etc.

7. Good art is universal and timeless

8. Good art is alive; even a cube or a line of text should breath and be dynamic

9. Good art should have some resemblance to nature or the human condition -the origins of art

10. Good art has a core of conviction; each art piece has some sort of integrity that should be respected

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Green, and then some :)

 Usually a get a check or cash whenever someone pays me.  This time I got a money AND personal letter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Que pro quo

            While I miss the community of support and love the of the craft college can provide, I do enjoy the personal liberties solitude offers.  One of the liberties is experimenting with drawing and painting styles.  Trying to learn and maintain a consistant style is important.  Having a style is more than just the psychologial gratification for the artist; with a style a client knows what they're paying for.  Right now I'm going for something that feel natural to do -nothing too easy (making art shouldn't be easy), but something that won't have me foaming in the mouth.  Some mater copies of Nathan Fowkes' landscapes are also thrown into the mix as well
 So... enjoi

 And some experiments are not so great...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Abstract and nonconceptual: there is a different between an abstract and nonconceptual work of art.  An abstract has some recognition of the subject.  For example Picasso, no matter how many penises (is that the plural form of penis? Eh, you don’t have to answer that.), twisted faces, or hidden initials of current girlfriends, the viewer can still recognize the subject.  With nonceptual image, the view has no symbolic cues or familiar shapes to the subject.    Bauhaus’s famous teacher, Wisely Kandinsky, made it his life’s goal to mark the canvas with shapes and lines representing nothing with in the real world.  

So once upon a time, I tried my brush at nonconceptual art.   It was an opportunity to experiment new techniques and push out of my comfort level.  And I push myself into a pigpen.  Not how much a fought or serenaded the paint, nothing was coming out good.  All of the paintings were muddy and soulless.  I couldn’t figure it out.
Soulless Baccon

Long after my attempted into manifesting the worldless world, Gerald Griffin presented a lecture about composition.  He argued a good composition should be strong at all sides, not just the side it’s originally for.  Course, being a plain air class, he showed this example with a landscape.  

Ignore the ‘symbols’ of landscape.  Don’t see trees or bushes or sand or rivers.  See shapes, textures, colors, and movements.  Maybe even flip around the image around to make it easier.   It turns the landscape into something strange and unfamiliar, yet still beautiful.  I came across an awesome epiphany:  landscape and a nonconceptual drawings are the same. 
  So wrong; I was approaching it all wrong.
The problem I was having with the nonconceptual is I treated it like it’s a flat thing covered in splashes and lines of color.  Both subjects are ‘bout creating an environment –not something flat, but something with depth.  With this new idea in my head, I tried doing nonconceptual again, but this time with the idea I’m painting an environment, not wall paper.

Yeah, totally figuring it out now.

Images by Thomas Cole, Li Cheng, vivstock2, and sheepdog1