Thursday, February 10, 2011


I have started teaching some portrait workshops and did a light sketch last week to show my gang what is important in tracing a sketch for watercolor.
Although I use a lot of visual aids, including posterizing and many digital tricks, I wanted to explain big shapes.
So this simple half hour rendering of my own photo is all I need to show a character. as it is me, I can say, it IS a character!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Drawing a human again!

This should probably be in the FRUGAL blog.
I had an opportunity to draw for $5 at the New School for Art and Academics open house. Sort of entertainment for the evening.
I was very relieved to have made a pretty good likeness and not had a nervous break down. I was really thinking I couldn't draw from life.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Picking up the Sticks.

I had a very interesting but some what demoralizing trip up to Prescott Arizona this week.

I had a participant in a one day workshop at the Arizona Art Supply store lobby for me to bring an expanded version to the cool "pines" of Northern-er AZ. Friday I made my way up for a demonstration that I put on my "thefrugalpastellist" blog. It recounts the fact that I have not been doing pastels. I started thinking about how energetic and spontaneous the one hour versions of most of my stuff looks.

I believe artists LOVE artists that show their work. The glossy finished or photo-realistic style makes the public gasp, but most of my friends love the unfinished potential of a piece.
I am not an abstract painter. I do have great respect for the result and process but honestly, I don't get it. There IS an occasional piece that from my artist's eye does elicit a very strong reaction but mostly it is fascinating like watching tree leaves blow in the wind or a ball of string unwind. No plot but infinitely watchable.

But there is that bit of peeling off the paint to see what is under it.

The finished version of my demo is fine... (I gave the same composition to my mother in watercolor to a teary appreciation) but the ... well there were two of these, so it may actually be only a 30 minute or less piece... it has that quality.

I thought the quality of line looked a bit too much like I had drawn it over my head and from the side. That is what I do in demos. But the moment when I scrape out the shape from the background always sort of thrills me.

Here is the nearly finished look:

... I think I may try a landscape.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Art On Demand

I have been a member of Fine Art America for a few years now. Many of my friends have told me they are selling pieces from the site. They do mention that it is nickels and dimes, not a lot of big sales, but plenty of little things, here and there.

This week I made the plunge and went for the paid membership. Through this I can sell specific sized prints and small cards of my work.

The Dog-a-day blog I did last year sort of became a collection of really nice little vignettes of individual dogs. I always thought about selling them to breed specialties and at dog shows etc. I am beginning with the easiest of the smaller ones. These have been made into do-it-yourself signed cards already for my shows and there was a bit of interest!

Feel free to buy.
Feel just as free to make suggestions. I believe it will be a much easier way to make those prints that people always say they want! They can buy them from me at the same price plus shipping or buy directly from the site. Either way they collect and disburse my commission. A pretty good deal on the surface... but we shall see!

Art Prints

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Golf Concept

These are the first sketches for the second concept which is sort of "be your own sports hero."
I love the old Saturday Evening Post covers, but acknowledging that I never will be the next Norman Rockwell, I love the barely deco, semi nouveau possibilities of using graphical shapes with images. There are more in my head, but I have to find more anonymous subjects (or study harder so I know who the names are....)

These two were for a golf event at which I demonstrated.


Self Representing Artist

I have decided that those roads not traveled seem to be the paths to success.

I am an admitted hyper active thinker. I can't seem to settle my brain down so I bubble like splattering geysers with ideas that I can set my mind to, but only for just so long. Last year I did over 300 dogs to prove I was prolific and skillful. I ended up prolific and much more skillful but donated about as many portraits as I sold, helped a lot of charities and almost ended up my own charity by the end. This year I am pretty much going to sputter and bubble and try not to maybe devote quite as much time to the individual plans, but try hard not to pass up any of my own ideas.

This month (week really so far) I have been formulating a concept to upgrade the corporate portrait.

I have a board of directors of.... wait for it..... a CHARITY (let it go for now...) and I am changing out a group of people that look more like a hurtin' dental office than a vital, exciting art organization.

The initial volunteers have been the 11 permanent positions that round out the board. I talked them into sharp, clean little watercolors which the members can purchase at a vastly reduced rate for their own enjoyment, but I am using it as a starting point for a package deal or individual concept to encourage people to use HAND MADE ART instead of photos for their business presence. In this economy, the painting does a number of things.

First, it shows the agent or corporation believes that the individual appreciates art. Art equals taste. Portrait equals success. Style will say a lot about the person.

Second, the need to stand out from the rest is somewhat a yawn. Fonts and black bleed edges are so normal, that futura on white is starting to look sort of avant garde. In other words, there is nothing new. My concept would be to hit industries that need a wee bit of snob appeal, but still want a human touch. Realtors, Lawyers, Contractors. As individuals this is a rather simple job for me that can be a very nice corporate bread and butter.

Third, the decor of the office. I think the days of the big painting in the gold frame are somewhat numbered. CORRECTION: The days of the big painting in the gold frame never were out here in the west. The East Coast sensibility is so distant that 9 out of ten times people think they already HAVE portraits when they get photographs printed large. I think a business that takes the time to honor the founders or achievers with something that doesn't slide into and out of frame with glass might show a lot of concern for the clients who see it. Lets face it: Art is one of the things that may be approximated with a computer but can't be replaced.

These are the first 7 of 11 members of the board.
They are the samples I will begin my concept with. I will add the last three when they are finished and show a few samples of what I would like to call a new contemporary portrait.