Monday, June 27, 2011

Warn off Intruders


Work in Progress…
Cardinal painting on Finial


I am back at my easel today after some much needed time off. Rested and eager to get back to work I started in on the second layer of color on my Cardinal painting this morning and the background is now done. Before my vacation I was able to get the first layer of color blocked in on the cardinal, lots of pale brown plumage with those warm reddish tinges in the wings, tail and crest.


Did you know that only a few female North American songbirds sing and that the female Cardinal is one of them? She will do this often while on her nest giving the male information on when to bring food to the nest. The most common sound that you hear from a cardinal is the loud, metallic “chip.” This is used to warn off intruders to the cardinal’s territory and from the posture of the cardinal in my painting I would say that we just missed that “chip” call and she is now looking at us with a look of, “did you not hear me the first time?”

  

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A deterrent to witches?

Work in Progress...
Cardinal Painting on Finial

The current painting on my easel is that of a female cardinal on a concrete finial that decorates a brick pillar outside of one the many historic houses on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. The painting is currently in the first block in of color stage and just has the cardinal left to be painted, which will be done shortly.

Finials are used as architectural elements commonly seen at the apex of a gable, along the top and corners of buildings to serve as decorative motif. We see smaller finials today used as curtian rod ends and on furniture but they were once belived to act as a deterent to witches. Apparently a witch on a broomstick could not land on a persons roof that had a finial. Hmmmm..... I see the making of title at hand!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Rhythm and Repetition!

Presenting...
"The Wren's Gate (Carolina Wren)," oil, 18 x 24

Although this piece has been finished for a few weeks and delivered to the collector I am sadly just now getting around to posting the story of "The Wren's Gate." This painting has more meaning to me than most of the pieces that I do beacuse when I look at it I don't think of my initial reation to seeing the gate as you will read below but I am reminded of a morning on the shores of South Carolina with two great friends and fantatsic artists!

This is also the piece that I was working during my paint demonstration at Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma back in March.  I would like to thank Jack & Waylon for giving me the opportunity to share my painting technique and for welcoming me into their wonderful gallery!

"The Wren's Gate (Carolina Wren)," Oil, 18 x 24

This painting reminds me of a fantastic (albeit early and chilly) morning in Charleston, South Carolina. I was exploring the Isle of Palms with two artist friends, Julie Bender and RayBrown, when we noticed a stretch of boat docks with waterfowl perched along the pilings. We all spotted something that piqued our interest and headed off in different directions to capture reference material. At one point, I thought I had captured just about everything and was talking to Julie while Ray was being silly, skipping down the boat dock, when I noticed the gate to a private dock — a gate that encompassed some of the elements that I look for in an interesting perch for my subjects like rhythm and repetition. And as I shot this last reference of the day, I thought, “What a great morning out with two of my good art friends on the Isle of Palms and I just found my next painting … PERFECT!”
 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

LIVE paint demonstration!

A work in progress... 
“Three Gulls” – Under drawing stage.


This Saturday I will be painting LIVE from ArtHaus Visual Arts Studio in Midlothian, Virginia during their open house event. Please join me at the studio from 3-6 pm to watch me start adding color to my current painting “Three Gulls.” As you can see above the painting is in it’s “Under drawing” stage of my process and I will be toning the canvas (board) later today making it ready for the first layer of color on Saturday. You can also see below that I have already mapped out my colors for my painting using the Munsell color notation system.


If you are new to this blog and/or my work and the process I go through to create my finished pieces you might be asking yourself what is an “under drawing,” what is “mapping your colors” and who is Munsell? I will be more than happy to answer all of those questions and any more that you might come up with at the LIVE paint demonstration at ArtHaus Visual Arts Studio on Saturday.

If by chance you can’t make it to the studio that afternoon but would like to still watch the demo and ask questions, please tune in via my Ustream channel on Saturday during the same time. You can ask your questions using the chat window on the channel; make sure to create your user account so that you can interact with us at the demo!


I have included the reference photos for the painting as well as the finished Photoshop composition where I put all of my images together.

See you this Saturday from 3-6 pm at ArtHaus Visual Arts Studio!