Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What color did I mix to make that, anyway?

This post probably comes under the catagory of "studio tips". I have high-chroma, "modern" colors on my palette as well as some earth tones, thought I don't usually use all my colors on a particular painting. To make things more complicated, I like to try out new colors, especially tubes I have hanging around the studio. (This is a byproduct of having had several excellent teachers, none of whom, by the way, even remotely paint the same way. ) Lots of times I find myself wondering, how did I get that color when I did that painting?

I've started to lay out little blobs from my palette for every painting I do onto cheap glossy paper. I'm also keeping a record of the mixtures I use. This one, for example, is the palette for the painting of the girl in the tondo below. I was seeing what I could do with one yellow, one red, one blue, black and white. I wrote on the corner of the sheet the brands and names of paint and pinned it to the wall. After the painting was finished I hung the paper palette onto a coat hanger so I can put it in my closet.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Art Books: Rose Frantzen's Portrait of Maquoketa

I paint for hours nearly every day and like a lot of artists who paint a lot, by the time I get onto the internet my brain is a little.... well, it's often hard to come up with something that I think might be interesting to you, the reader. If I'm in the middle of a project (which I always seem to be) I don't like to post much about it.

Then I realized - if I could share my art library with you - THAT is something I like to write about and you might find pretty interesting as well.

I'll start with a hot-off-the-press book by one of my favorite living artists, Rose Frantzen. Her new book is published in conjunction with her show at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, Portrait of Maquoketa. More information about the show is located on her website, and her book is available there also (it sells for $49.95, plus shipping).

I don't even own this book yet and I'm recommending it to you, how do you like THAT. I've studied with Rose and she is an amazingly talented artist and teacher.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yesterday's demo at Tempe Center for the Arts

Here's my model Christy - Oil on linen, 18" x 14" - great model and very nice person. I'll be doing another life demo in two weeks, same time, same place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Shadows of Unrecorded Trees"

I'm (slowly) working out a system where I can work on multiple paintings, most importantly, landscapes, at certain times of the day, returning over and over again to the same locations at the roughly the same time to take advantage of fleeting light conditions. Since I live in Arizona I can pretty much count on sunshine nearly all of the time, but on the rare day that it's cloudy, I hope I'll be painting (you guessed it) clouds.

So, for example, this is the corner of a wall that catches shadow patterns from trees from roughly 8:00am to 9:15am. I worked on this for around two weeks, using binoculars when I felt the need to examine something more closely (and of course just walked over to it whenever I felt like it). When 9:15 came along, I packed my gear and moved on to an indoor still life which caught a certain light at a certain time of the day.

There is so much to recommend in this sequential method. One big plus is that I can work on larger canvases - at least, larger than the small 8" x 10" or so plein air sketch size. I'll write more about this later on.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

More on the "Faces" show at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Thanks again to everyone who braved Tempe Octoberfest traffic and came to opening night of the "Faces" show last weekend. The show will run through Feb. 6th and will feature periodic demos by local artists, including me (Oct. 24th and Nov. 7th, from 11:00am - 1:00pm) - for more information and a map please visit .

Here's a photo of my three paintings hanging in the gallery. Tempe framer Dave Owen of Montgomery Frames ( ) did a fantastic job with these - it isn't easy to find high-quality handmade circular frames. Thanks, Dave!

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Faces" Show at Tempe Center for the Arts

Kamila, oil, 20" tondo - one of my paintings in the upcoming show titled "Faces" at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Tempe, Arizona.

Exhibition Dates:
Oct. 3, 2009 - February 5, 2010
Opening Reception:
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2009
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Tempe Center for the Arts
700 W. Rio Salado Parkway
Tempe, AZ 85281
Phone: 480.350.2829

For more information and a map, please visit

From the show description: "Each human face is a narrative about the journey of the individual. Every line, scar and freckle is unique and tells a personal story to the individual and others. The way a person wears their hair, winks their eye, twitches their nose, or cracks a grin are the expressions of personal preferences, feelings and ideas. "Faces" is an exhibition that will feature a wide range of artistic and scientific approaches to exploring faces from traditional portraiture to contemporary renderings and the technical understanding of the human face in new media, forensics and medicine."

I'm scheduled to demonstrate portrait painting at the Museum on Saturday, October 24th from 11:00am - 2:00pm and again on Saturday, November 7th, from 11:00am - 2:00pm. Please stop by, see the show and say hello.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Painting in Richeson 75: Figure/Portrait 2009 Competition

My painting "Spiral Wrap" (Oil, 24" x 12") was accepted into the Richeson 75: Figure/Portrait 2009 Competition. The exhibit can be viewed online in a few weeks at .

Sunday, June 21, 2009

"December Roses in a Tondo" in the Richeson 75 Still Life/Floral Show

I had my painting "December Roses in a Tondo" accepted into the Richeson 75 Still Live/Floral show, available for purchase at their site:
I'm doing a series of tondi and experimenting with various frames.