Friday, December 30, 2016

Happy New Year

I have a weird way of visualizing time, as my wife will attest. For one thing, calendars always seem backwards to me; Mondays should be on the right, with the following Tuesday on the left, Wednesday to the left of short, weeks, for me, flow from right to left.  A mirror image of a typical desktop calendar.  Don't ask me why.

Also, the year is a circle, much like a clock.  But it runs counter-clockwise.  December is in the "12" position, January in the "11" spot, and so on.

Christmas and New Year's are right at the top of the circle, and right now, we are all cresting.  We're at the highest part of the year, up here where it's windy and you can see in all directions for miles, like at the top of the hill on a roller coaster.  We're about to plummet down through exhilarating springtime.

Anyway, it's crowded up here at the top, with lots of people, and events, and projects; the shopping, parties, gift giving, baking, cleaning, family time.  Art has taken a back seat to Christmas trees and playing new board games and visiting friends.

But 2017 is about the pounce, and I have stuff to work on.  More house drawings lined up; and my recent oil landscape has really made me want to paint more!

I haven't had much to post lately, but I am ready to go.  I want the new year to be my most productive yet. I think it will be.

I am so grateful for the all the clients who have commissioned artwork in the past few years.  I think I'm at about 60 finished house portraits at this point, but it's hard to be exact because there were a few I didn't document well due to them being rush jobs.  I think a few records(and no more than a few, thank goodness) were lost when one of my flash drives got scrambled a year ago.  But at any rate, I've done a lot, and more keep popping up.

I am also so very grateful for all my friends and family who have been so supportive of my art career.  I can never repay you!

Happy New Year, everyone.  However your 2016 was--and yeah, 2016's reputation isn't good right now--may your 2017 be better and brighter.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Falls of the Ohio Pen and Ink Detail

black walnut ink on paper
 This is another closeup of a pen and ink drawing. This section is about 4 x 4 inches. I really like the closeups because I like seeing the pen strokes and the patterns in the lines. That border between the representation of the scene, and the abstraction of the marks on paper, is what I find most exciting about any art medium.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Floyds Fork Landscape oil painting

This is a commissioned oil painting on panel.  The subject of the commission was actually the bench, which is dedicated to my client's parents.  She wanted to give them a drawing or painting of the bench as a Christmas gift because they are unable to get out to the area much any more.

I initially thought to work on a pen and ink drawing, but it seemed like it would be such a waste of the fall colors that were showing at the time.  A great reason to do an oil painting!

I actually added a little more to this after this photo was taken: a small amount of blue-green glazing to darken the distant foliage behind the trunks on the right edge of the painting. I also used it to add some slight shading and definition to the trunks and a few other areas.

I am pretty pleased with the result.  I'll take another photo of the real-real finished product and a few closeups to post later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Walnut ink house portrait,completed

I finished this house portrait a couple of days ago.  It was a challenge because of the darkness of the shadows on the dark house; building up layers of walnut ink to create large areas of deep value can be difficult because each new layer of crosshatching goes on less smoothly than the preceding layer.  Also, it was a struggle to make out the details in the source photographs.  At any rate, I am happy with the final result.

This is 11 x 15 1/2 inches on bristol paper.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Commissioned oil landscape work-in-progress

Getting near the end...just need to let it dry a few days so I can work over some corrections, refinements, etc.

Monday, October 31, 2016

pumpkin sculpting

Happy Halloween!

Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular Pumpkins

Here are some more pumpkins created for the Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular.  These were drawn by artist Edward Cabral, but I ended up doing the carving because Edward wasn't around and the pumpkins needed to go out.

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Pumpkin sculpting

Art Pumpkins: American Gothic

 Here is my second American Gothic pumpkin for the Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular. The first one, drawn by another artist, had its face (or more specifically, the farmer's face) eaten by a squirrel. I created a replacement, but it was eaten by a deer. Here is yet another. I haven't seen it lit up.

This time, I gave the farmer a widow's peak and fangs (though the fangs are hard to make out in the photos.)  The phases of the moon frame the image.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

White House Pumpkin

White House Pumpkin. Artist: Mark Tabler
White House Pumpkin. Artist: Mark Tabler
 Drawn and carved for the Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular at Iroquois Park

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Wyoming Pumpkin: unlit vs. lit

Drawn and carved for the Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular at Iroquois Park. This is, at least so far, my favorite one I've done this year.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Wyoming Pumpkin drawn but uncut

Here is the first pumpkin I drew for this year. The cowboy is based off a Charlie Russell painting (I did a report on him my junior year in high school and have had a fondness for his artwork ever since.)

I took the photo from two angles to try to work around the awful glare.

Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular preparations

Lots of pumpkins and artists hard at work. I think I took this photo on the first day of drawing (Sept. 21).

Thursday, May 5, 2016

I spent a little time last weekend adding colored primer to some old store-bought canvases in anticipation of getting out to do some plein air painting soon.  Not sure when I'll get the chance...but I sure want to.

Small painting of a cicada

This is an acrylic painting I did of a cicada about 15 years ago.  I found it recently in a stack of stuff.  It's about 6 x 10 inches, on museum mat board.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Louisville Skyline in Pen and Ink

This is a drawing I completed a while back (last summer, I think), but I set it aside to consider later, and then forgot about it.  I found it again recently, and decided I really liked it. The size is 10 x 14 inches.

I was interested in drawing the Louisville skyline, but it's a bit of a cliched subject around here.  So, I considered avenues to make it a somewhat fresher take on the scene.  I decided to make it an evening scene, with a large expanse of sky above it, and the moon.  I am pleased with the result.

Louisville Skyline, pen and ink, 10 x 14 inches


Monday, February 29, 2016

Samoa cookie drawing

My 10-year-old daughter drew this cookie with a pencil and markers. When I first looked at it, I thought she had cut it out of a photo. I am impressed!  The white highlights on the chocolate stripes really accent the dimensionality, but she said that part was an accident.  I told her that fortunate accidents are a key component to many great works of art. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Two pen and ink house portraits

Here are a couple of house portraits I finished over the past few weeks. Both are in the 8 x 10 range.  The second one below is actually a little longer than that; the house was so broad across the front that I had to increase the size a little for it to look right.  Both were done with a combination of sumi ink/dip pens, and disposable drafting pens.
pen and ink house portrait - St. Matthews

Pen and ink house portrait - Crescent Hill