Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SEWE 2011 - A Whirlwind Experience

It's taken a couple of days to decompress from my trip to Charleston. I'd been looking forward to this show for months and it did not disappoint. First, I'd like to say thank you to all that stopped by to chat about art over the weekend... and especially those who plunked down their hard earned dollars to add my work to their collections. It's really quite humbling.

Next, I'd like to say how fortunate I was to receive the 2nd place ribbon for Best of Show with "Spring House." My painting was chosen over more than 3000 other works, with only my good friend, Dustin Van Wechel's "Watchtower" taking a higher place. John Seery-Lester (one of my painting heroes) served as one of the three judges, so it was really an honor to meet him and chat for a bit.

A special thanks goes out to my neighbors at the show, Paul Puckett and Tiffany Maser. Their company made the slow times bearable and I look forward to seeing them again soon.

So 2011 is off to a running start. Time to get back to work and make more art.

Monday, February 14, 2011

SEWE 2011

It's finally here. I've been couped up in the studio for more than two months working on my inventory for the 2011 Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Now that the truck is packed and I'm ready to head out the door, I can't wait to once again see my friends at the show. Sculptors Paul Rhymer and Don Rambadt will be among my first stops at the show. Sculptors think differently (and probably a little more) than painters do, so it's always fun to share ideas. It will also be interesting to browse the outstanding compositions of graphite artist Ray Brown and take in the bold buttery brushwork of painter Dustin Van Wechel. The entire show will be a feast for the mind and spirit (as well as the eye).

I'm also very anxious to get some feedback on my own work. I'm quite proud of my collection of paintings and I'm hoping the patrons are equally enthusiastic.

The temperature outside this morning read 13°F, so the Charleston forecast calling for days near 70° are sounding pretty fine. The only thing I'm not looking forward to is the 13 hour drive to Charleston, SC, but at least the weather outlook is waaaaaaaaaaay better than last year!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


As I gain confidence in my oil work, I'm looking forward to perhaps a landscape... or a still life... or... who knows? After some success painting the faces of pretty girls and achieving a reasonable amount of accuracy (one of the most challenging things I've ever done!), it feels like there may be nothing I can't tackle. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Oil Studies

Though quite a departure from my usual tightly rendered acrylic paintings, I've always admired those who paint with oils in a somewhat "loose" style. It took me years to realize the process behind this style of work is anything but "loose." There is a great deal of thought behind every brush stroke allowing the artist to convey his message with relatively few (but well placed) swatches of paint. This economy of brushwork is what gives the paintings their spontaneous feel. Sometimes called "quick studies," the only thing quick about them is the amount of time (usually less than a day, sometimes less than an hour) taken to complete them. The actual application of paint is quite deliberate, getting each brush stroke correct before moving on to the next. I've found the more I slow down, the faster these studies work themselves out. If I take my time and get it right the first time, there's no need to spend time figuring out why it doesn't look "right" and then going back to fix it.
It always feels good to step away from my comfort zone and work on proficiency in another medium and style. Working with larger brushes is always a challenge for me since my usual work is done on such a tiny scale. Studying other styles and expanding my artistic arsenal translates into my acrylic work, keeping me fresh and honest. I've still got a lot to learn as I move forward with my oils, but I'm enjoying both the progress and the process.