Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Back to Basics (Strathmore Online Workshop -- March 2014)

WIP image from a bonus video we shot at the Fort Worth Botanical Garden last week

Hi everyone!

As you may recall, I usually spend the winter months re-honing my drawing and painting skills in preparation for the New Year's art adventures (both near and far afield.)

This year Strathmore Artist Papers has invited me to share that experience with others and I have happily agreed to teach a four-lesson online workshop for them in March. My film crew and I are already busy shooting the lesson videos (and several hours of "bonus" video that I think you may enjoy.)

some (but not all) of the papers I'll be working with

We have a number of papers we'll be working with and an extensive range of media and techniques to explore. (And, best of all, registration is FREE!) So, I hope to see you there and, please, feel free to bring a few friends. 

Oh, and watch for a series of "behind the scene" and "making of" articles here, too, as we lead up to the beginning of the workshop. It should be fun!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Cornish Cliffs and & ("Ampersand" That Is)

Having lived on the Gulf Coast, I love the ocean and sandy beaches. But I really love the ocean and rugged cliffs! Fortunately, my wife has an aunt who lives in Cornwall -- just 10 minutes by car from the Lizard Peninsula, the South West Coast Path, and rocky serpentine panoramas that quicken my pulse and render me awestruck. I could easily spend months, seasons, or years, studying, sketching and painting this inspiring corning of the world!

Lizard Point No. 1, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75

During our last visit I sometimes completed a sketch of one view, and then followed it up with a detail from the same vantage point. Sometimes I sketched in one direction, and then turned around to sketch the opposite view -- without taking a single additional step along the SWCP.

Lizard Point No. 2, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75

Basking in the sun and trying to shelter against the unrelenting southwesterly wind, I sketched jagged rock formations and tiny, delicate seed pods (wondering all the time what these plants look like in spring or summer, when they're in flower).

The wind makes conventional easel painting challenging (if not impossible). A stretched canvas can react like the sail of a boat (and sometimes alarmingly like the wing of an airplane!) But a rigid panel (like the Gessobord, produced by Ampersand  in Austin, Texas) and lap-sized pochade box handle the meteorological conditions with ease.

when toning the panel is completed just pull the sock inside out and discard: no fuss, no muss

The water's blues (from gunmetal at the horizon to to phthalo and turquoise in the shallows), the earth tones of the cliffs (topped off with the autumn grasses' fading greens), and the pale cerulean of the sky are an artist's delight. But the brilliance of the clear sky light can be harsh reflecting off the panel's titanium white surface. So, before heading out for a day of plein air, I opt to "tone" the board with yellow ochre -- applied in a circular motion and textured with a clean old sock.

And, to deal with the issue of wet panels when traveling, panels are carried in a beautifully designed and constructed panel carrier from the folks at Artwork Essentials in Irvine, CA. (I love a beautifully crafted piece of wood. And this piece of artist's furniture certainly is that -- brass hardware, leather handle and all.)


& (am•per•sand) a logogram representing the conjunction word "and", a ligature for the letters et, Latin for "and". ORIGIN mid 19th century alteration of and per se and ("& by itself is and")... and the name of the company that manufactures outstanding artists' panels in a wide range of readymade sizes -- and an even wider range of custom made (more about the latter in a future post).

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Pochade Collection

Down Lake, Lakeshore Trail, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75 plus S&H

po•chade \pō'shäd\  a rough or quick sketch or study, 19th c. fr. from the verb pocher meaning "to sketch"

 Every year about this time I begin my routine of preparing for next year's art adventures. During the winter months I hike, ride my bike... and alternate between onsite sketching and plain air painting. And, over the years, I've built up a sizable collection of small paintings, drawings, and watercolors. So, to make room for next year's works (and to raise a little ready cash for the 2014 voyages and expeditions) I've decided to put a few gems up for adoption.

Up Lake, Stehekin Landing, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75 plus S&H

So, beginning today, if you're looking for a little something that is both unique and affordable ($50US to $200US unframed, plus shipping & handling) for yourself, or to give as a gift during the upcoming Holiday Season please check out my offerings at the Drawn to Nature Art Emporium here. And, of course, your purchases will also be providing much needed (and appreciated) support for my upcoming art adventures, both foreign and domestic.

Coon Lake, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75 plus S&H

All future works posted on my blog will show the price in the caption line if they are destined for the art emporium. (FYI, I'll be adding new works to the gallery each week.) To guarantee that all sales are safe and secure, transactions will be billed exclusively through PayPal, while shipping will be via USPS or UPS (fully insured, with tracking number and signature-verified delivery).

Spring Bloom,  oils on panel, 5"x5", $55 plus S&H

Email or PM me with any questions or enquiries. If you see something you like but are not currently located in the United States please email me for a shipping quote. 100% of all sales goes to support my ongoing art research and field work. And, as always, thank you for your support!

Isle Mont St. Michel, oils on panel, 5"x7", $75 plus S&H