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.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Double Batch of Frosting
oil on panel
14" x 18"

So many challenges with this painting, but I'm pleased with the results.

Time for cake!

(Thank you, Leslie R.!)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cake in progress.
oil on panel, 14" x 18"

This subject interests me in three ways: there's fire, there will be reflective highlights in the silver platter, and it is of course, dessert. Our friend Leslie baked this cake for her husband's 51st birthday and when I saw it I knew immediately I wanted to paint it. It contains so many challenges, but so far, so good. With all the underpainting in place, I'm slowly working my way down from the top to the platter. I spent a number of hours on those candles today on this rainy Sunday.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Work in progress- Memory

Today I work on the floor in the spare room (second studio).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A few sketches and drawings from my design sketchbooks...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Plein air oil sketch at Rockaway Beach.

Wow, what a way to start the day this morning, taking my oils out to the beach for a little work out. We're having incredibly warm weather here on the coast and I certainly wanted to take advantage of it, because tomorrow could very well be a different story entirely.

I'm not doing as much plein air as I'd like and I feel so stale because if it. I was just looking at my pochade box the other day and noticed how new it still looks, a testament of how little work I'm doing outdoors. My box looks like it just came off the shelf, with very little "battle" wounds and scars of color adorning it.

I'm finally getting used to not having a day job, since I closed down my interior painting business, I feel like I've reached some mid-circle of retirement. It was strange at first, but I'm finally getting comfortable devoting my day to studio work and developing my teaching cirriculum. I worked hard for 26 years to get to this place so I'd better damn well enjoy it...

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Wedding Gift (Study)
oil on illustration board
9" x 9"

This raku-fired vase was a wedding gift from Paul (April's college friend) given to us twenty six years ago and it has been a favorite of ours the whole time. This morning I decided to do a two hour study of the vase, it's something I've been meaning to do for, well...twenty six years. Better late than never?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Figs and Toile
5" x 7"
oil, acrylic, pencil on illustration board

The perfect ingredients went into this painting that I made this morning: a strong cup of Colombian coffee with a dash of chocolate powder, Sheila Chandra's ABoneCroneDrone on the stereo, and fresh figs from the farmers market. Oh, and a wallpaper sample donated to our student ASID sale for reference. (Don't worry Nancy, I didn't get paint on it, it's still in its wrapper!) All these elements combined make for a wonderful way to shut out the world for a few hours and practice with the oils.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Leather Chair
oil on panel
9" x 12"

We stayed at our friends' family house in Carmel before summer and I was taken by the way the light reflected off this chair's leather surface. I painted a small study in oil early on, but just today put the finishing touches on the painting. Interiors are challenging in so many ways and I find them intriguing in terms of rendering them in a variety media. In my classes, I teach my students to use markers, color pencils and watercolor for their interiors and furniture pieces, but I save the oils for myself!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

View From My Window
18" x 36"
oil on canvas

This is a painting I started during the 50/50 project over the summer, but just now finished. It's the view from our living room window, around 6:30AM. I've got a few more unfinished works in the studio so I'm going to plow through them as quickly as I can. I have a solo show scheduled for April 2011 and I want to focus on that as soon as all the little loose ends are wrapped up in my studio.

Oh, did I mention all our girls have moved out and we're redecorating two rooms? There's a lot going on in the Holland house- big changes!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I'm getting caught up on some projects this week, so I began the tedious process of adding the horizontal spacers between the bulkheads of New Ark. Each piece is cut to size on my screaming miter saw. The pay off to this long process is that the shape of the hull begins to reveal itself. I'm going to clad the hull in .063 polycarbonate film that will be painted to resemble steel.

New Ark concept drawing

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday morning, a time to reflect and realize just how many unfinished projects I have going. This week will be devoted to finishing at least a few of them. It's getting downright embarrassing...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

oil on canvas
36" x 36"

I'm slightly changing direction with my painting, leaving the exterior world behind for awhile and exploring the interior landscapes of well-appointed homes. It aligns with the material I teach in the interior design program at our college, but with more emphasis on the oil painting approach to rendering spaces that are beyond most our means. I'm also incorporating text into the images, bas relief style. I've got a solo show scheduled in April 2011 and hopefully this new body of work will warrant exhibiting at that time.

The painting above is an abstract sky painted a few years ago. I'll post new work next week.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The End of Summer (as I know it)

For those of you who know me personally, you probably have tired of me complaining about this winter-like weather here on the coast of Northern California. It's been a particularly chilling summer, and only here do we need to blast the furnace in August to chase the chill from our bones. That is why I look forward to the end of August as we slip quietly into the warm folds of September, my favorite time of year to be living on the ocean's edge. September is our summer and we actually crawl out of our holes and stare in wonder at the big bright thing in the sky.

So it is appropriate, and with some humor, that my sun painting was chosen for the cover of the latest issue of sPARKLE+bLINK, a lit magazine created by Evan Karp. Evan and his cohorts sponsor live poetry and fiction readings in San Francisco and publish the performed pieces in these series of books. Quite amazing and ambitious and I encourage you, dear readers of this blog, to find out more here! (Thanks, Evan, for bringing a little more sun into my August.)

Now, if you'll please excuse me, I need to bundle up and get to some  unfinished business in the studio...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Picked up a video camera instead of my brushes this weekend.  I hope you enjoy this little nugget I put together called Flowers...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rhino Beetle by Emily Holland

I'm playing catch up with house repairs this week, so I have no finished artwork to show. Instead, I'm showing Emily's latest creation, the rhino beetle made from Sculpy. Actually, I'm thinking about renaming this blog Emily Holland Studio, since her output has been way higher than her dad's.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Me and Child Unit 3 at the recent Buddy Show.

Friday, July 30, 2010

50/50 Reception at the Sanchez Art Center

So much to be thankful for: a loving family and the good fortune to be able to pursue my art. Thanks to my friends who came out tonight (and last night) to view my passion, your support means so much to me.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tuesday morning plein air with Emily. We're in South Lake Tahoe and the weather is perfect.

Here you can see me violate two cardinal rules of outdoor painting. I'm painting with the sun directly hitting my canvas and I'm wearing a light colored shirt (black is preferred because colored light won't bounce off my shirt and change the colors on the canvas). Oh well, sometimes you've got to break the rules.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

50/50 Opens on Friday!

Reception: Friday, July 30 6-10pm

Directions and gallery hours:
Sanchez Art Center

Friday, July 23, 2010

Enjoy this video I made of my studio, I'm playing around with the video editing feature on my laptop...


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The shape of things to come...

Next step: add horizontal spacers and fine contour the hull. But for now, I'm going to let this rest a few days and work on some paintings...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Works in progress...

With 50/50 behind me, I'm now focusing on new work and exercising different parts of my brain (which needs a lot of exercise at this point...but that's another story). I've got a painting (above) on the easel that I'm almost done with. It's a view from our living room window facing the sunrise. It measures 18 x 36 so there's plenty of room for loose brushwork. After working on 6 x 6 panels for 7 weeks this feels like a mural!

My other project, which is quite ambitious and started before 50/50, is the New Ark sculpture. It exercises the more analytical/spacial problem solving part of my head. New Ark is basically a very large ship model built from scrap, using a lot of actual ship building techniques. This morning I will finish drafting the bulkhead templates (35 of them) and in a few days begin to cut them out of plywood. Pictures to follow. Below are in progress photos of the cardboard mock up of the ship. Basically New Ark is a freighter that carries a city on its deck. Based on the Egyptian concept of A Ship of Millions of Years, the idea of New Ark is about our collective souls transporting into another realm spiritually. Obvious conclusions of Noah's Ark can be drawn and applied as well.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lux Aeterna
(Painting #50)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel

Like moths to the flame, we desire the light.

This painting ends this journey of 50 works, thanks to all of you for following along on with this series, I'm touched by your comments and support. And to those of you who have bought paintings already, I really appreciate that you've found something in my work that you'd want to bring home.

Now it's time to go beach camping!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our House
(Painting #49)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

Happy Independence Day!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Game On
(Painting # 48)

6" x 6"
acrylic on canvas panel
$ 175

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Well Appointed Interior
(Painting #47)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

Thursday, July 1, 2010

(Painting #46)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Moon (Sunrise)
(Painting #45)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

This morning I saw the moon hang low in the southwestern corner of the sky, chased by the sun to the ocean's horizon. It's always a surprise to see the moon during the day, but the mornings are especially nice because the sky is so shockingly blue and the moon resembles a stone emerging from the depths.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Take Out
(Painting #44)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hiking Boots
(Painting #43)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

Sunday, June 27, 2010

(Painting #42)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

It was a sparkling day on the coast today so I decided to paint and drink one of these in celebration.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

(Painting #41)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel

Do you need more of this?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Cup of Joe
(Painting #40)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel
$ 175

Thursday, June 24, 2010

(Painting #39)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel

April's ring is a lot smaller than this!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nikon Digital SLR
(Painting #38)

6" x 6"
oil on canvas panel

When I studied painting I took almost as many photography classes, really enjoyed taking pictures. Our photography department was started by Ansel Adams.