Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cherry Pie

14x11 acrylic on stretched canvas (click to enlarge)

How about a tall slice of cherry pie? My mom makes a mean cherry pie. When I am visiting her in Missouri, I can usually look forward to some pie. If there is any still around the next morning, then my breakfast will be a slice of cherry pie and coffee. Mmmm...

There seems to be a strange resemblance of my pie and a chicken head. Do you see it? I was told this twice by different family members. Yep, we have a 6th sense. We don't see dead people... we see chicken heads!

For several years I went out with a group of artists and tried my hand at plein-air painting. I learned several things doing that. I learned about using a limited palette and mixing colors, I learned about composition, I learned that you had to make a plan and paint quickly because the light was constantly changing... and I learned that painting landscapes just did not click with me. It didn't make my socks go up and down.  : )

As an illustrator, I have been putting a black line around things and tweaking images all my life... so I figured why stop now?  For me (at least at this point) it is a lot more fun to warp things and use odd perspective than it is to paint things realistically. So for now, that's what I'm doing. Doug just wants to have fun! I watched a great video recently of Ed Emberley. I have watched it several times. It inspires me. In it, Ed talks about doing what is fun and hoping other similar folks will find it fun too. I think that is my plan too. If you would like to watch the video just click HERE. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mona Latte

24x18 acrylic on stretched canvas (click to enlarge)

I wanted to paint a figure this time. I was thinking of a female but couldn't come up with a setting that I liked. I had a few ideas, but as I was flipping through an art book I ran across the Mona Lisa. Instantly something clicked in my noggin. I could see a modern day Mona sitting somewhere. But where? In a coffee shop of course... with her smart phone! I drew a similar pose with the hands crossed, the hair parted in the middle... and the little smile. 

After several sketches, I had one that I liked and decided to paint it on a 24x18 inch stretched canvas. This is the most ambitious painting I have done yet. I learned that bigger paintings mean bigger problems. I enjoyed getting lots of surface quality (texture) in this painting. Making color decisions is the hard part, but I like the color palette I ended up with. I have been working on and off on this painting for the last two weeks and it was just today that the name Mona Latte came to me. 

It was fun. But I think I will be back to something smaller next time. 

Oh... if you look up Mona Lisa in Google Images you will find all kinds of variations on the painting. This one is my favorite:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tea, Earl Grey, Hot

12x12 acrylic on stretched canvas (click to enlarge)

It's a dreary, rainy day here in Music City. The kind of day that calls for a spot of tea. After many drawings of cups and mugs, I settled on this composition. I enjoyed painting the pattern in the background. It adds a bit of interest without being too obvious. 

If you are puzzled by the title, then you probably were not a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Captain Jean-Luc Picard seemed to like to drink tea. He had a way of requesting it that you can watch by clicking HERE. 

This painting is on stretched canvas that is 1.5 inches deep with the sides painted and requires no frame.

Would you like some tea?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hold Me Closer Tony Danza

12x12 acrylic on stretched canvas (click to enlarge)

I thought that ballerinas would be a fun subject to paint. There are interesting positions and fun costumes to work with. After exploring the subject with some sketches, I settled on this pose. I was trying very hard to use a white tutu on the little dancer, but it just would not work. Finally I tried painting it pink and BAM... it worked. I just needed a darker value to make it pop. 

While I was painting on this Tiny Dancer, the misheard lyrics to Elton John's song kept running through my head:

Hold me closer Tony Danza
count the head lice on the highwaaaaay...

Tiny Dancer is painted on a stretched canvas that is 1.5 inches deep. No frame is needed. It would look great hanging in a little girl's bedroom.

Monday, January 2, 2012

An orange cat

14x11 acrylic on stretched canvas (click to enlarge)

Here is painting number one... an orange kitty. 

WHAT?... An orange cat? Yep, you probably won't be finding any landscapes here. Or bowls of pears. Or barns. Those subjects just don't interest me. What does interest me are fun images with a bit of whimsy and color. 

I did lots of painting on this trying to achieve a texture I liked on the background. I like acrylics because they dry fast so I can go back over them immediately and add another layer of paint. I am trying for a balance between control and a loose painting quality that I like. 

This started out as a quick doodle on a piece of scratch paper. I liked it so I did a second sketch. It was so loose and fun looking that I wanted to see what it would look like as a painting. 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A new beginning

January 1, 2012... that sounds so futuristic to me. I thought we would all be cruising around in flying cars by now. Maybe I watched too much of the Jetsons as a kid. 

A new year holds much promise. It's a blank slate... an empty canvas... anything is possible this year. 

So with that in mind, today I am launching a brand new blog. A painting blog. My intention is to paint more this year, and maybe a blog will help keep me accountable. Whatever I do will be posted here. 

At this point, I am the only person who knows this blog exists. If you are reading this, then you are the only other person in on it. Just you and me. If you want to get in on the ground floor of this adventure, just go to the sidebar and click on the "Join this site" button or  "Follow by email." Together we will see where things will stand on Dec 31. How many paintings will I actually paint? How many will find and follow this blog?  Will I sell any of them? Will I loose five pounds? Will I overdose on Pringles and Dr. Pepper? Will I grow a second head? Only time will tell.

Please check back frequently and see how I am doing. You may be amazed... I may be amazed... we can all be amazed together. Or, I could crash and burn by February. That's entirely possible too. 

Stay tuned...