Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The size of your Christmas tree.

Happy Holidays!

I would like to wish everyone the very best this holiday season!

Graphite pencil on 300# Arches watercolor paper, 5 x 9

Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree.
 In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. 

~Larry Wilde, The Merry Book of Christmas

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year!

* * *

Watch the drawing come to life in the time-lapse video!




  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Broke away from the Snowman theme

2012 Holiday drawing coming out tomorrow, 12/19/2012!

I had to take a break from my Africa sketchbook/journal excerpts to get caught up in the studio with a few holiday commissions and of course my 2012 Holiday Drawing which I just finished. Once again it is a small song bird perched on something that reminds me of the holidays. I broke away from the Snowman theme this year and went with something different. I plan on sending out my 2012 Studio Holiday Greetings email tomorrow morning, I hope you enjoy it. Until then I thought it would be nice to look back at the previous years holiday drawings.

 2011 Holiday Drawing
"Buttons (Carolina Wren)"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
5 x 8


 2010 Holiday Drawing
 "Snow woman (Cardinal)"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
6 x 8


 2009 Holiday Drawing
 "Bulbs (House Finch)"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
5 x 9


 2008 Holiday Drawing
 "Bulbs (House Finch)"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
5 x 9

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fall 2012 RL Caldwell Studio Newsletter

What, where and when...

RL Caldwell Studio Newsletter

Fall 2012

My studio newsletter went out this morning to inboxes everywhere and in cased you haven't signed up for my studio newsletter yet, then you can see it by clicking on the link below. This issue covers my exhibition in Dallas and my travels to Africa as well as the up coming events this winter and spring. I hope you enjoy it!



   

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Heard a Lion roar!

My adventure in Africa 2012
Excerpts from my field sketchbook/journal
 
 
Day 4 (Day 3 in Tarangire)
"5:16am -- Heard a Lion roar last night around 2:30am --- NOT too far from my tent?"
Day four started off very early although I don't think I ever fell completely back to sleep after being awoken at 2:30 in the morning of  a loud running sound accompanied with very dramatic rustling and ending with the roar of what I believed to be a lion.

 A fast field sketch of a Crowned Lapwing (Plover).
Drawn in Africa, Tarangire National Park, Tanzania, Africa

We explored the west side of the Silale swamp in the morning looking for Leapoards, Lions and Cheetahs, sadly we did not see any but saw plenty of other wildlife. We stopped mid morning at the Silale Pinic area for a pinic breakfast which was great but the landscape was just incredible. After breakfast we did another slow game drive back to Kikoti camp where we had lunch, some much needed down time, I sketched and then we went back out for an afternoon game drive. This time we went on the east side of Silale swamp more up in the acacia forest/scrub where we were able to view some really nice Giraffe, one of which came so close to the Land Cruiser that it could have sat down next to me!

"5pm -- Caught  between two herds of Elephants!"
Day 3's track in the Tarangire park

The track was not used as often in fact ours were the only fresh tracks on the road and the wildlife was a lot more skittish than the other parts of the park that I had been in so far. We couldn't get as close to the animals but I did get to see a different type of behavior, that being the animals alertness was much higher and added to the excitement of the day.  

  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

I haven't even been here a day

My adventure in Africa 2012
Excerpts from my field sketchbook/journal

The amazing sky and open Silale Swamp
Day3
"6:02 am -- I am trying to find the words to describe what I have awoken too... I should have known that it was morning even before I opened my eyes because of all the birds singing. There was a slight haze that is burning off very fast and from the porch of my tent I can see out across the African Savannah  The sun is just starting to come up & hit the under belly of the clouds --- Beautiful! Two Go-Away-Birds just flew by..."
"I haven't even been here a day and I am already realizing how much I am going to miss this."
That is from the entry of my first morning waking up in the bush, arriving late the night prior I had no idea what the camp or surrounding area looked like and was happily surprised to find myself in this Eden.

Field sketch of a male Impala.
Drawn while in Africa
"9:23 pm -- WHAT A DAY! Saw so many different animals, too many to list tonight, finishing my Tuskers and going to bed." 
Day 2 of our wanderings, stayed outside the park this day.

We went on an afternoon game drive where I had the great fortune to see a decent size heard of Wildebeests and then had the extreme thrill of being able to sit in the "spotters chair" on the front of the Land Cruiser and video tape the heard as we got close.

This is me sitting in the "Spotters Chair" with Wildebeests in the distance.
I'm not having any fun at all.


   


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I could smell the difference...

My adventure in Africa 2012!
Excerpts from my field sketchbook/journal.



Day1

As soon as I stepped of the plane and onto the tarmac I could smell the difference... Arrived in Kilimanjaro airport in the middle of a thunderstorm, I have to tell you that I wasn't expecting that at all. A very small airport it didn't take very long to pick up my luggage and make my way out to the lobby where my guide and owner of OEA Safari Humphrey was waiting for me. Humphrey drove me through the pouring rain down in a complete blacked out landscape through the out skirts of Arusha where we ended up at his and his lovely wife's guest house. After some light snacks and a couple of glasses of a great South African Piontage I went to the guest house and called "it quits as I listen to the rain beat down in Africa... IN AFRICA!!!"

Day 2

"Woke to the sound of pounding rain - Awesome!" 

After a fantastic breakfast of fresh fruit, eggs and bacon and I have to tell you the taste was completely different from what I have eaten in the US, it was "fresh & clean tasting" we hoped in the land cruiser and made our 2 1/2 hour drive out to Tarangire National Park. We arrived around lunch where we met up with Jan Martin McGuire and James Gary Hines at the main gate. The drive through Arusha was a culture shock and deserves a whole different post for that.

"The first large mammals that I saw were young bull Elephants and how beutiful they were!"

Sketch of one of the Bull Elephants that I saw the first day.
Drawn while in Africa.

We made our way through the park to Kikoti Safari camp which is on the other side of the park in the bush. As we drove through the park we of course went on a game drive, my first game drive! "What a difference it makes seeing the animals in their natural habitats. I saw so much today --- INCREDIBLE! The environment alone was just awe inspiring - no haze, big beautiful clouds..."

Our first day track through Tarangire National Park.

Some of the wildlife that I saw the first day on safari: Bat-eared fox, Baboons, Elephants, Helmeted Guineafowl, Yellow-necked Spurfowl, Ostrich, Ground Hornbill Maribou Stork, Impala, Wildebeests and a Cheetah!

Me at Tarangire lodge with the Tarangire river behind me.
 
I hadn't even been in the bush for 24 hours
and I was already trying to plan on how to come back!

 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Four new at Berkley Gallery


Four new pieces arrive at Berkley Gallery...



Last week I dropped off four new pieces to Berkley Gallery in Historic Old Town Warrenton, Virginia. "Serendipity (African Elephant),”  "Striped Horse (Zebra),”  "North Pond on Pea Island (White Ibis),” and “Longhorn” are all now hanging on the walls in the gallery. Berkley has been representing me for roughly five years now and it is very nice to have an east coast gallery within driving distance!

I hope you have an opportunity to visit the gallery to see my new work.

"Serendipity (African Elephant)"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
7 x 10

 "Striped Horse (Zebra)"
Graphite Pencil on Arches #300 watercolor paper
6 x 10

 

"Longhorn"
Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
7 x 11


I am also happy to announce an upcoming show in April 2013 that I will be part of at Berkley Gallery where I will have some of my first paintings from my Africa adventure! Please check back on my events page of my website periodically for when the dates are sent and more information becomes available.

 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Yearlong exhibit!

Rockwood Nature Center

A yearlong exhibition at Rockwood Nature Center

October 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013


"Bobwhite," Oil painting by artist Robert Louis Caldwell"Breakaway," Oil painting by artist Robert Louis Caldwell"Fiesty," Oil painting by artist Robert Louis Caldwell

Robert has the honor of having his work on exhibit at the Rockwood Nature Center in Chesterfield, Virginia, for the next year. Several of his wildlife paintings and drawings can be seen throughout the nature center along with exhibits of live animals from the surrounding area. Robert is very excited about this opportunity to exhibit his work so close to home and looks forward to sharing his passion of wildlife through his paintings and drawings with the visitors of the Rockwood Nature Center.

Rockwood Nature Center
Rockwood Nature Center

Rockwood Nature Center is dedicated to educating children and adults about our environment,” says Robert Smet, the center’s director. “Art plays a critical role in conveying the beauty and wonder of the natural world. We believe that exposing our visitors to the work of noted artists opens the door to an appreciation of and fascination with the beauty that surrounds us on a daily basis.”

In addition to an exhibit hall giving visitors an up-close view of some of Virginia’s native wildlife including snakes, turtles and frogs, Rockwood Nature Center — the only county-operated nature center in Chesterfield — provides a variety of educational programs for the public, school groups, homeschoolers and other organizations. The log cabin-style facility is nestled by the forest in Rockwood Park.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Ginter Mausoleum" 1 of 81 on exhibit!

Robert Louis Caldwell cordially invites you to...

Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit 2012
Ohio Valley Art League
Henderson Fine Arts Center
Henderson, Kentucky
October 13 - November 26, 2012

Ginter
Oil on board
16 x 8

Robert's painting "Ginter Mausoleum (Morning Dove)" will be one of 81 works on exhibit during the 2012 Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit held at the Henderson Fine Arts Center in Henderson, Kentucky.
The Ohio Valley Art League (OVAL) was founded in September 1991 to promote the visual arts in Henderson, Kentucky and the Tri-State. OVAL organized the first Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit in 1994 with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as the co-sponsor. This biennial exhibit attracts top wildlife artists from across the nation and is now considered one of the top wildlife exhibitions in the nation.

"Ginter Mausoleum (Morning Dove)" is a 16 by 8-inch oil painting that captures a beautiful mausoleum in Richmond, Virginia's historical Hollywood cemetery. Strolling through the signal lane roads and walking among the tombstones you can really encounter an abundant amount of history. This cemetery is the resting place for two United States presidents, the only Confederate States president, and many Confederate generals. It was designed in the rural garden style and its name came from the many holly trees on the property. Also nestled among the tombstones is the final resting place of prominent businessman, army officer and philanthropist Lewis Ginter.
It was one morning while walking in the cemetery that I approached the mausoleum where Lewis Ginter rests that I saw the light playing off the ribs of the top of the mausoleum. It was such a beautiful and peaceful moment. Then as I was admiring the lighting, textures and the character of the structure this mourning dove lands for a brief moment completing the scene. I quickly pulled out the sketch book, did a rough sketch, made notes and captured the needed reference for the painting "Ginter Mausoleum (Mourning Dove)."

   

Friday, September 28, 2012

One of Caldwell’s best works!

Wow!!! Below is a review on Lovetts Gallery's blog about my recent painting that I shipped to them late last week, I am speechless!

A Little Rusty

Robert Louis Caldwell doesn’t paint anything he hasn’t seen in person. “Every time he's been to the gallery, he goes out taking reference photos,” says Jack.

In fact, he’s been saving for a trip to Africa.

“Robert has been raising funds to take his trip to Tanzania in four or five weeks. He was hoping he would be able to raise enough funds to go for 14 days,” says Jack.

“He had to shorten his trip. He’s never been to Africa. That’s a monumental trip for any wildlife artist. He was so committed to going that he shortened his trip so he could go no matter what.

“When he returns, he’ll be working primarily on African safari paintings, because, again, he’ll only paint what he’s seen in person.”

Until then, however, he’s working on more local subjects. On a trip to Lovetts Gallery in 2010, he photographed a counter weight to an oil pumpjack. He was drawn to it, no doubt, because it was covered in rust, which happens to be one of his favorite subjects.

“He’s known for incorporating architecture and man-made elements into his paintings,” says Jack. “He likes to show the point where nature and humanity meet. Normally, there’s a man-made element in his paintings.

Which brings us to Weighted; it features the aforementioned counter weight, as well as a Carolina wren, which is native to Oklahoma. Weighted has just arrived in the Gallery, and Jack and Waylon say it is one of Caldwell’s best works. Incidentally, it’s one he worked on during a show at the Gallery.

“He worked on this painting live in the gallery in March, which was his third show with us,” says Waylon.
The moment Weighted was removed from its packing material, Jack and Waylon knew it was a special work.

“It simply is one of the top three best paintings he’s ever produced,” says Jack.

“It’s interesting,” says Waylon. “We’re experts in what’s ‘good’ art. And you could say, ‘that’s entirely subjective.’ But when you’ve looked at enough art, and you’ve been around enough art, there’s like a physiological reaction to a piece of good art. Robert has painted dozens of pieces over the years we’ve known him, and they’re strong. They’re technically and compositionally strong, because he’s a good artist. But even a good artist doesn’t hit a home run every time.

“A great artist still only produces a handful of amazing pieces in any body of work. This is one of his.”
Artists are not usually the best judge of the sellability for their own work, the same as how writers are typically not the best editors of something they’ve written. It takes an outside perspective, sometimes. In this case, Caldwell is happy with the painting.

“This is the type of piece I love to create,” he says. “Texture, texture and more texture, as well as the play on positive and negative spaces. This painting had some really difficult ups and downs to it, and that’s why it took so long to complete. On Caldwell’s blog, he details the physical and emotional toll the work took on him, as well as what drew him to the subject matter in the first place.

Detail
Even though Caldwell shot a lot of reference for the work, you might notice that it is not what we would call "photorealistic."

“He’s not trying to fool you,” says Waylon. “It isn’t actual rust. He’s not painting this to look like it is coming off of the board. It’s something I can’t explain. There’s a translation into his vocabulary, and so it comes out different.”

Waylon believes that translation occurs via Caldwell’s process. Each of his paintings he renders entirely in graphite before applying paint to board.

“There’s something that transitions from the photo to the graphite drawing, and then from the drawing to the painting. The further you get away from the photo, the more it’s filtered through his internal prism. That’s what makes Robert’s work unique. He’s not trying to be a hyper-realist, but he’s not trying to be impressionistic either. He loves the play on light, but he’s painting tightly."
In short, a photograph of a thing is just that. Caldwell imbues his paintings with the truth of a subject as filtered through the eye of the artist.

Weighted is currently on display in the Gallery, but Waylon doesn’t expect it to hang around long. If you’d like to see it, swing by. We’d love to talk art with you.

    

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Several new pieces!

Playing catch up! I have finished several new pieces over the last few weeks in preparation for the exhibition that I was part of at the Irving Arts Center in Irving Texas a week ago.

Presenting...

Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
7 x 11


Oil on 1/2"maple panel
20 x 16


"Baboon Skull"
Graphite Pencil on Arches 300# watercolor paper
4 x 6


"Grey Fox"
Graphite Pencil on Arches 300# watercolor paper
4 x 6


  



Thursday, August 30, 2012

"Ginter Mausoleum" goes to Kentucky!


I am very happy to announce that my painting "Ginter Mausoleum (Morning Dove)" has been selected as part of the 2012 Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit.

Henderson Fine Arts Center
Henderson, Kentucky
October 13 - November 26, 2012

Oil on board
16 x 8

My painting “Ginter Mausoleum (Morning Dove)” will be one of 81 works on exhibit during  the 2012 Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit held at the Henderson Fine Arts Center in Henderson, Kentucky.

The Ohio Valley Art League (OVAL) was founded in September 1991 to promote the visual arts in Henderson, Kentucky and the Tri-State. OVAL organized the first Kentucky National Wildlife Art Exhibit in 1994 with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources as the co-sponsor. This biennial exhibit attracts top wildlife artists from across the nation and is now considered one of the top wildlife exhibitions in the nation.

“Ginter Mausoleum (Morning Dove)” is a 16 by 8-inch oil painting that captures a beautiful mausoleum in Richmond, Virginia’s historical Hollywood cemetery. Strolling through the signal lane roads and walking among the tombstones you can really encounter an abundant amount of history. This cemetery is the resting place for two United States presidents, the only Confederate States president, and many Confederate generals. It was designed in the rural garden style and its name came from the many holly trees on the property. Also nestled among the tombstones is the final resting place of prominent businessman, army officer and philanthropist Lewis Ginter.

It was one morning while walking in the cemetery that I approached the mausoleum where Lewis Ginter rests that I saw the light playing off the ribs of the top of the mausoleum. It was such a beautiful and peaceful moment. Then as I was admiring the lighting, textures and the character of the structure this mourning dove lands for a brief moment completing the scene. I quickly pulled out the sketch book, did a rough sketch, made notes and captured the needed reference for the painting “Ginter Mausoleum (Mourning Dove).”


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Explore. Dream. Discover.


Presenting...

Graphite Pencil on Arches 300# watercolor paper
6 x 10


This drawing is the second one I created in preparation for my Africa 2012 trip, the first one was “Serendipity (African Elephant).” I have been spending many hours studying the most likely animals that I will encounter and of course Zebras are among that list.

As I get closer to my departure I am having apprehensions about my travels, for those of you who do not know I have a healthy fear of flying. As my anxiety rises I like to look back at quotes I have written down over the years and the one that helps me moving forward at this junction is one from Mark Twain.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ~Mark Twain

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What is the bird perched on?


Presenting...

"Weighted (Carolina Wren)"
Oil on 1/2 Maple Panel
18 x 24

You may find yourself asking, “What is that bird perched on?” 

This painting was inspired by my travels to Oklahoma, particularly my 2010 visit to Tulsa when a friend of mine took me out into the fields looking for pumpjacks. Ever since my first visit to Oklahoma I have wanted to somehow incorporate a pumpjack into a painting. Now you may be asking what is a pumpjack?

A pumpjack is the overground drive for a reciprocating piston pump in an oil well. It is used to mechanically lift liquid out of the a well and is very common in oil rich areas like Oklahoma. The prime mover, commonly an electric motor, of the pumpjack runs a set of pulleys to the transmission which drives a pair of cranks, generally with counterweights on them to assist the motor in lifting the heavy string of rods. The cranks raise and lower one end of an I-beam which is free to move on an A-frame. On the other end of the beam, there is a curved metal box called a Horse Head or Donkeys Head, so named due to its appearance.

So “what is the bird perched on,” the counterweight of the pumpjack that rests on the back end of the pumpjack. I found this object very intriguing not only because of what it is but also due to it’s character, the aging and peeling paint as well as the rust creates a varying amount of textures that I wanted to paint. This particular pumpjack was in the same field as the oil collection drum that I painted in “Shadow (Scissor-tailed Flycatcher)” the sister painting to this one.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dirty emotional laundry


Like a bad smell that just won't go away...

WIP: "Weighted (Carolina Wren)" Detail image,
Oil, 18 x 24

The current painting on my easel is the same one that has been off and on it since April. I don’t usually have a negative “emotional” response to my paintings but with this one I do.  Don’t get me wrong I love all the pieces I create and my favorite piece is always the one that I am currently working on. Normally when I look at a piece that I have created it conjures up a piece of music that I listened to frequently while working on the piece but more often than not it will bring the story back that I was listening to  when I see the painting or drawing.

The painting in question is the painting that I started back in March and used as my demo piece at my gallery exhibit. Not many people know it but I was very sick while in Oklahoma this year and I did my best to hide it and move forward with the opening and demo. It’s funny how you will work extremely hard for months preparing for a major event and all of a sudden the week before you leave members of your family start getting sick. The “Red Flag” immediately went up and I basically quarantined myself from the family as much as anyone can. My wife 4 days before I left found out that she had the Flu and I got worried and started taking whatever I needed to take to safeguard against getting the flu myself.

The morning to leave for Oklahoma was upon me and I was still feeling fine and I thought to myself “Yes” I dodged it! Nope...... I got to Arkansas that night and started to not feel very well and by the time I got to my friends Jan & James house in Oklahoma I was feeling terrible. What was I to do but push forward and persevere. Jan and I had made plans to go to the Oklahoma City Zoo so I could get some reference of the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers they have and I didn’t want to miss out on that.

The next day I was feeling even worse and I can remember sitting in Jan and James’s kitchen working on my demo piece getting it ready and thinking to myself, “man I just want to go lay down.” I must have been running a fever because as I am sitting there drawing out the under drawing I was sweating like crazy and I thought it was funny that here I am pushing through, mopping my forehead every 15 mins and Jan takes a picture of me working and posts it on Facebook. Dedication or ignorance?

Anyway because I was not on the top of my game and not able to think clearly while at the opening and demo this painting has come to represent a moment in time that I wish I had had the ability to do better which is completely silly but nevertheless it has been hanging out in my studio lingering like an awful smell that just won't go away.

Now that I have aired my “dirty emotional laundry” I can happily say that the stink that this particular painting  has had is now gone and I am in the process of finishing the piece. As you can see above  the background and foreground are pretty much done except for some final tweaking and I basically just need to paint the second layer of color on the bird.

 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Serendipity and Elephants

Presenting...


Graphite pencil on watercolor paper
7 x 10

Fresh off the drafting table and inspired by my recent studies of African Elephants coupled with a few incidents of serendipity that have happened recently I present my newest drawing “Serendipity (African Elephant).” You can see from my last posting, “60 gallons of water a day!” that I have been studying Elephants preparing myself for my upcoming trip to Africa and from the posting before that, “Serendipity and the 3 Princes,” I wrote about my recent encounters with serendipity. It was these two events that inspired me to draw my newest drawing and title it “Serendipity.”

In my previous post, “Serendipity and the 3 Princes,” I wrote that I hope to find three young bull elephants while in Africa and compose a painting based on this story. Until then this drawing will have fill that desire.

“Serendipity (African Elephant)” will be on exhibit at the upcoming group show with the Gallery of Artists at the Irving Arts Center in Irving, Texas on September 14-16, 2012. Please visit the events page on my website for more information. (Click here)


   

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

60 gallons of water a day!


Africa 2012 Journal/Sketchbook Entry:


7/19/2012

"The first animal on my list to study is the Elephant! This is one of my favorite mammals and it is such a magnificent animal."

Africa 2012 sketchbook/journal entry 7/19/2012

In the hopes of being completely prepared for Africa I am working on studying a list of mammals and birds that I will most likely see while in Tarangire Park, Tanzania, Africa. Many of you may think that birds are my favorite animals and although they do hold a special interest to me alas they are not my favorite. Elephants, now that is a beautiful animal!

They are the largest land mammal with males weighing up to 13,200 lbs standing 11’ tall and ears that can be 6.5’ x 5’, just incredible! They can drink up to 60 gallons of water a day, 26 gallons at once. They have an ambling walk and move from 3.7 miles per hour to 8 miles per hour and when charging up to 25 miles per hour, that is amazing. Stay out of their way!

This is all incredible but I am really excited to witness their social interaction. The cow herds have a very strong bond and all in the herd will help to raise and protect a calf. Their cooperative nature can be witnessed by all of the elephants in a herd trying to raise a fallen member of the herd by other members standing on either side and trying to push the fallen elephant up.

A great video about African Elephants!
One of the most important issues that I came across while studying is the population loss of the African Elephant. In 1981 there was a continental population of 1.3 million Elephants and in 1986 the population dropped to 750,000! This is mainly due to the illegal ivory trade and to man’s insistent desire to populate, pave and own every part of our planet. I believe myself to be very fortunate to have this opportunity to go and see one of my favorite animals in their own habitat and I will do my very best to create work that captures these magnificent and grand animals!

Soon after I wrote this journal/sketchbook entry I started a new drawing, a drawing of an African Elephant. It is not yet finished as of this blog posting but below you can see a progress image.

Work in progress, African Elephant, graphite pencil, 7 x 10

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Serendipity and the 3 Princes


Africa Journal/Sketchbook entry;  7/25/2012



"Once again I have found another instance of serendipity while planning for my Africa trip -- A trip that almost didn't happen...”

While planning and preparing for my Africa trip I have had several incidents of serendipity which led me today to looking up the word and also its origin. Serendipity means: An aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident; good fortune;  luck.”  There have been many incidents that have happened that led me to believe that I would not be going, in fact for about 3 weeks I had officially made the decision that I wasn't going. Thankfully I have had several moments of serendipity that have turned everything around.

Serendipity simply means “happy accident” and was first noted by Horace Walpole (1717-1797) who said he formed the word from the Persian Fairy tale “The Three Princes of SerendipThe Princes of Serendip is the English version of an Italian version by Michele Tramezzino (1557) who heard the story from a Christophero Armeno who apparently translated it from the Persian Fairy Tale.

The English version of the Persian fairy tale basically is about a powerful king with three sons who tries to endow them with great power and virtues but in the end sends them away  from his land because he believes that they may have been too sheltered. The three princes arrive on a foreign land and identify precisely a camel they have never seen, accused of stealing  the “Lost Camel” they then explain how they were able to identify the camel by clues that they were observant enough to see.

So the three princes “made desirable discoveries”  that led to a situation of “good fortune” and they came from Serendip... which leads us to Serendipity!

I now have my first painting that I want to find and compose while I am in Africa... I would like to find three young bull elephants that I can make into my “Three Princes of Serendip”. Hopefully luck and good fortune will continue to give me an aptitude for making desirable discoveries.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer 2012 Studio Newsletter

My summer studio newsletter is out, please click on the link below to view the newsletter!




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Exotic Vacation, it is not

Africa 2012 Journal/Sketchbook Entry:



7/11/2012
"Today I received my passport! This is basically my green light to offically move forward with all plans. Booking the flight and paying for the Safari. What a major weight off of my shoulders."

Well it has officially begun, Africa 2012! With today's mail came a highly enticapted delivery... My passport! This was the missing piece of the puzzle that I have been scrambling to fit into place. This posting also marks what will be the first of many that will document my journey to Africa. There is a lot more than just buying tickets and jumping on a plane. Proper planning and prep work will go far on a research trip like this.

Although it may seem like this is an exotic vacation, it is not. The several months leading up to my departure will be filled with intense studying of the wildlife that I am likely to encounter. Things like animal behavior, their markings for proper identification, when and were to observe them are all highly important.

The most important issue that I came across so far was, "What animals am I likely to encounter in Tarangire National Park?" Thankfully my friend and fellow artist Jan Martin McGuire sensed my anguish on a Facebook post and has thankfully sent me a list of what I am to likely see, and its a long list!

So it is with my copy of "The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals," plenty of "durable tabs" and Jan's list that I leave you now to go and mark the places in the book and start my studies.


   

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Balance of texture

Work in progress...

This one has been off and on the easel since I got back from Tulsa, Oklahoma but it has finally reached its adolescent awkward stage. The first layer of color is blocked in and I can now see what I need to change on the next layer of color.

I am playing a very careful game with this one and trying to balance the drastic textural differences between the metal and the Carolina Wren.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Green Heron painting....

Work in progress...

I have been scratching away at this one off and on over the last few weeks and the under drawing is almost done.



   

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ward World Art Festival - This weekend!

I am happy to announce that I along with two of my paintings will be in Ocean City, Maryland this coming weekend for the 42nd Ward World Championship Art Festival. The Society of Animal Artists will be representing several artist at this art show and as a member of the society I will have my work included and also be at the show representing the Society of Animal Artists.

I hope that you can make it out to the Roland E. Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD this weekend! See you at the show!


SAA Exhibit at the Ward World Art Festival

This weekend!

4/27 - 4/29

 

Ward World Championship Art Festival

Roland E. Powell Convention Center

Ocean City, MD


Wildlife artists from across the country are joining the prestigious Ward World Championship and Art Festival to kick off the season in Ocean City, MD. The Society of Animal Artists offers a Member Show and Sale April 27-29, 2012 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. With over thirty artists presenting works in a variety of media, including bronze, painting, etching and more, the SAA Member Show and Sale will have something for all visitors who are art and nature enthusiasts.

We hope to see you there!


For more information and to see a list of the SAA artists please visit the SAA blog.
(Link below)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Sketchbook Confidential 2


Some very fun news!

A while back I was contacted by North Light Books asking me if I would be interested in sharing my private sketches from my sketch book and of course I said yes. The book “Sketchbook Confidential 2: Enter the secret worlds of 41 master artists” is being published this month and I am very honored to have my work included.


Sketchbook Confidential 2:

Enter the secret worlds of 41 master artists

 The book is available now as a pre-order on northlightbook.com

This is the second time that North Light Books has included me and my work in one of their books. It is extremely rewarding for me and a testament that when you can’t figure out how to get something done, you go and do some research!

As some of you may know I had a very hard time in college learning how to paint, I could draw but for the life of me could not figure out how to paint. When I got frustrated with the professors I would get in my car and head straight for the bookstore to look at art instruction books. By the time that I graduated from college I probably had purchased most of the art instruction books on the market at that time many of which were North Light Books.

So it is with great humility that I thank North Light Books and the editors Pamela Wissman and Stefanie Laufersweiler, I am honored!

“Master artist”…… that makes me chuckle because I still have a lot to learn!


    

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Robert did not Disappoint!


Tulsa, Oklahoma

Lovett's Gallery

The "Out on a Whim" show at Lovetts Gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma ends today. The show opened on March 17th with an overwhelmingly enthusiastic opening weekend and a live paint demonstration by Robert and Janice Sugg. Thank you to everyone who came to the opening, paint demonstration and to those of you who have added a piece of original artwork to your collections... ENJOY! 

Waylon Summers, Director of Lovetts Gallery shares his thoughts about the exhibit and Robert's work.

"One of the most rewarding aspects of curating an exhibition is experiencing the growth of the artist and, subsequently, their work.  Out on a Whim was absolutely an exercise in and challenge for growth by both Robert Caldwell and Janice Sugg.  

First, Robert, who has become well established both nationally and in this region of the country, as evidenced by the success of his solo exhibitions and demonstrations in 2010 and 2011, is most recognized for his life-sized realist depictions of birds set in heavily textured environments, mostly works smaller than 20".  However, for Out on a Whim, Robert produced both his largest work to date, "Keystone" at 30" x 40", and, arguably, his most complex, "Feathered Finials" at 24" x 36", representing his most adventurous artistic endeavors to-date.  It is safe to say that Robert did not disappoint.  These works are simply stand out pieces in an already powerful portfolio.

Now, one cannot gloss over the sheer beauty and elegance of Robert's Scissortail, "Shadow" at 18" x 24", or the just simplicity of the more contemporary "Woolaroc Visitor", "Two Right", and "Two Left"...all amazing pieces...but, speaking to the experience of artistic growth, "Keystone" and "Feathered Finials" announce that Robert has hit a new stride!"

Robert brought eight new paintings to Lovetts this year, if you did not have a chance to see them please take a moment to view them below. If you are interested in one of these paintings or any other work by Robert please contact the gallery at 918-664-4732,  waylon@lovettsgallery.com or Robert at 804-302-4921, robert@rlcaldwell.com about their availability. 


To see more work that is currently available by Robert please visit http://www.rlcaldwell.com/Available_Art.html
or if you are interested in commissioning an original painting by Robert please contact him at 804-302-4921 or by email,