Friday, December 24, 2010

December Beach
oil on panel
4.5" x 16"

Okay, I thought the cranberry painting was to be the last one for this year, but I was able to get one more painting done today. This morning our family went to the de Young museum in San Francisco to view the Post-Impressionist show and I guess I got inspired. Of course, as an artist, one thinks one is never producing enough work or putting in enough hours. So many head games come with this vocation. After my nap I sat down to my little table top easel and got to work.

This location is just north of the lighthouse at Pigeon Point, about 45 minutes south of my home on the San Mateo coast. I was there last week with my friend Shawn to take in the winter sky and coast. We sat for hours watching the approaching storm, I took a few pictures and notes of the colors and contrasts of our surroundings. A few beers and sandwiches were sacrificed for the occasion. I love the coast during the winter months, it feels like stepping back in time- like maybe a million or so years.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Home for the Holidays
oil on panel
9" x 12"

Probably the last painting of 2010, wrapping up a very good year in the studio.



Sunday, December 5, 2010

Home for the Holidays

(work in progress)

I'm holed up in my back office today with another storm passing outside my window, a perfect Sunday for listening to music (thank you Nano, oh what a divine slice of technology you are) and laying down some color tracks on my homage to the lowly, yet loved, canned cranberry sauce-jellied style. Today's goal was to get a second pass of color on board and leave the details for later tomorrow after the paint has dried a bit. So far so good. This one is moving quickly and it should be ready for your Christmas dinner table this week.

Happy holidays, friends.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Home for the Holidays
9" x 12"

I'm back to painting again after the Thanksgiving holiday and ready to focus on getting some paintings under way for my show next April. But first, I really needed a new desk for my home office, so I dedicated this week to building my own Parsons table from scratch. Every so often I get an urge to build with my hands and work that other part of my brain. I finished the table today and enlisted a tired April (my wife) to help me schlep the beast from my studio, around the front of the house, navigate down the narrow hall to the back bedroom which has now been officially ordained as my "office". She's a trooper and must really love me to move furniture and the end of her work day wrangling high school students as a VP- and keep a smile on her face.

Anyway, my new slap of oil paint on board is a holiday painting dedicated to the engineering feat of canned jellied cranberry sauce. I was lamenting the fact that somehow I missed out on the homemade, organic cranberry sauce my brother-in-law Larry brought to our house, so I really wanted to pay homage to the kind I grew up with- straight out of the can and able to hold its shape once released from said can.

As a subject matter, canned cranberry sauce is a poor model, unable to hold a pose for too long, so getting a good reference photo together is priority one. And here's the best shot which offered all the dramatic Hollywood lighting that my cheap studio lights could muster:

Not bad for an amateur photographer such as myself...

It's a good idea to print out a black and white version of the image too, it helps in seeing the range of value without the colors getting in the way.

Here's the set up before the photo is taken, obviously no expense was spared in this production with the lighting equipment. Tonight, the cranberry "tower" is in the refrigerator slowly losing its mass to the cold, dry air, so its time as a functioning model for this painting is obviously limited. Which is good after all, if this painting turns out well it might make a swell Christmas card.