Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tree mural...done?

 Well, I'm calling it done.  I can easily rattle off five things I'd like to change or work on some more, but I am done with this section of the mural. I think I got it to a state where it looks attractive and the family I am painting it for can be very satisfied with it; I will only work on it some more if they tell me otherwise.

Happy Easter!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Steven Walker - paintings at B. Deemer Gallery

I went to this gallery opening for a painter, Steven Walker, on Saturday after I saw it mentioned on Facebook.  I was struck by the guy’s landscapes.  I took my daughters to B. Deemer Gallery on Frankfort Avenue, and we enjoyed the paintings and got to watch him paint a little.  Today I decided to look him up online, and found his blog, and then laughed when I saw the third photo down—that’s one of my daughters and me by the front door.

Steven Walker's blog

I didn’t realize our photo was being taken because we were trying to get out of the way of the door.  Looking back, I was dimly aware that there was a young lady taking a lot of photos.

I appreciate many different styles of artwork, but this is the way I personally want to paint. I’ll have to go back to get another look at his work in person.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Horse & Jockey 3" pen and ink

I put some finishing touches on it yesterday, and I think it's all done now.  This is on 11 x 14" cold press watercolor paper.

For some reason, my favorite parts of drawings like this are the large shaded areas (in this particular drawing, it's the horse's coat I like best.  Just one big area of cross-hatching. I love it. Why? I don't know. Probably the same reason I enjoy the flat drive through southwest Indiana or all 14 minutes of Nick Cave's "Babe I'm on Fire.")

If you think the man in front looks sort of like me, that's because it is.  In my original reference photo, I didn't like the man's pose, so I posed myself in my living room and had my daughter stand on the couch (so she'd be at eye level) and take some photos of me to use as reference.

Next up: two more house portrait commissions.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Too many interests

I really like pen and ink. I also really like oil paints. Lately, I’ve had a strong urge to do some more linocut prints. On top of that, I’d very much like to get some acrylic painting done.  Prioritizing and focusing can be so difficult.

I’ve started another horse and jockey pen and ink drawing.  I’ll be working at it in my spare time between mural painting and another house drawing commission I am due to get started.

This pen and ink drawing (plus the act of having reproductions made of them) somehow triggers in me the increased desire to do linocuts.  I think it’s a combination of equal-but-opposite reaction to the fine line cross-hatching of pen and ink, and the notion of searching for graphical clarity with very limited colors, and the idea of creating multiple reproductions.

It wasn’t until fairly recently (just the past few years) that I became interested in relief printing, and I haven’t done much of it, and I can’t say I’m very good at it.  However, I now find block prints very alluring, and the process is intriguing.  Despite that, my inexperience and lack of advanced equipment (I don’t have good inks, I use a wooden spoon as a brayer) is a reason not to pursue it further and focus on other things instead.

Oil painting is even worse.  I don’t have much space for it, and the set-up and take-down time is troublesome.  But the return of spring and all its colors, on top of all the stored-up ideas in my head for paintings, plus the feeling that my pen and ink work has given me more experience from which to draw, makes me really really want to paint.

I spent some time last night setting up my PayPal seller account.  I think I have it ready to go, but I’ll be spending more time—when I can make the time—exploring effective uses for it.  Also, I have re-opened my Etsy store, although I only have four items listed right now.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Horse & Jockey prints

I just had reproductions run. This is the first time I have done this via offset printing; I had them run digitally before. I am very pleased with the results. I feel that there is a good range of tone and subtlety in the prints.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tree Mural, in progress

I'm nearing completion of this mural, which is in the same play room as the giant box of Crayola crayons and other objects I painted just before last Christmas.  This photo was taken before I finished working on the tree trunk and limbs last night, so it's already dated, but you get the idea.  I'll also be putting some tall grass in the foreground behind the tree.