6 by 9 50.00 I painted this last year but I decide to post it again because it did not sell. We get about twice the number of hits these days… so I thought it would be a good painting to display.I wanted to put something up for Daily Painters today and since I was working on my larger piece most of the morning, which I usually do on Sundays, I didn’t get a chance to photograph anything else. I have some aceos…. finished, but I ‘m too tired to get them out and post them. Maybe tomorrow. If you would like to go to see what I’m up too…my Work In Progress or WIP go to : http://h20color.wordpress.com this is my painting a week blog. Its 35 inches by 35 inches.
Archive for the ‘Still life’ Category
Most artists struggle. Either they can’t seem to get down their vision of what they want or they don’t know what they want, (they’ll know it, if they see it). I think this struggle is part of the process. Its too bad because of this constant push/ pull it sometimes seems not to be worth the effort. Its why some people give up doing their art. Also, I see people giving up their art because they don’t have enough buyers. Buyers equate “good artist”. No buyers (not counting family and friends) means not a good artist. This definitely is not the case.
We live in an age when people will buy a Persian rug for their dining area, cover their sofa in silks, and import tiles from Italy to decorate their home tastefully and expensively, yet these same people will have pictures of art rather original art on every wall in their house. They will pay more for a custom frame and mat then for an original piece of art. Go into any model home these days, same thing, prints everywhere. (Please, I have nothing against prints.. so don’t write me justifying your print purchases) Most from 18th and 19th century artists. I guess they feel pretty good or safe rather, that this art cannot be denied as good art. It has stood the test of time. The truth is… I think people don’t trust their own judgement when it comes to choosing art. They need someone to tell them what is good art. All they have to do is trust their inner voice that says “I love this” but they don’t trust that little voice so they listen to experts…But who? do you trust Gallery owners? Especially when they are getting 50% of the profits? Do you trust your own decorator who is going to choose a piece of art because it matches a sofa? You have to admit, even I may not pay some of the high prices for some art, especially when it appears to have been painted with a stick or a rag. People don’t like to be taken advantage of and they don’t like to admit they don’t “know” art. The other problem is a simple one, people don’t appreciate original art in the US as much as in many other cultures around the globe. Now as in the past, Art was OK as long as it was something to do as a hobby but not as a career. It isn’t real work. We have a very strong work ethic in this county and some parents often put creativity in the back seat while encouraging productive hard work, left brain thinking.
So, if we don’t buy original art and we encourage our kids to do anything but become artists, and we don’t support the arts in schools what we are we saying?
Its no wonder today’s artists may feel as though it isn’t worth the effort, that the struggle to produce good art is just that, a struggle. As an artist I’ll remind you, of a few important things.
1. Its takes a very long time to become proficient at something as complex as art.
In fact, if it were easy, would you still even want to do it?
2. Don’t take the advice from lay people. They won’t help you, even if they have good intentions.
3. Be a lifelong student, don’t plan to figure it all out right now. It really is about the journey not the destination. Its a journey for one, just you.
4. Do whatever you enjoy doing, even if no one buys it. Hey, its cheaper than therapy.
Here I am sitting for a minute before I start the painting…..probably wondering what will I paint next. Often, I plan, plan plan, but once I start, I usually forget the plan and just let the painting decide what it wants to be.
Here are some small pieces of paper waiting for me to just get a few minutes to start a painting. I think I was gessoing these .. I usually do the priming in an assembly line because it can get messy.
I don’t like to store all of my seldom used items in my painting area preferring to keep it tidy. Especially since My painting area is small.
Behind all these completed paintings are several things, a big box of mat board, slides, a light box and related equipment ( some things I can’t seem to throw out even though I haven’t used them in years) and framing supplies. Also framed bios which are ready to be hung with my photo for outdoor festivals or street shows.
I have a small TV in my work area that I can watch. Often I will watch DVDs or videos of other artist’s painting or giving instruction. Its a good way to learn and its very easy to trade DVDs or videos with other artists so you can always have something new to see and possibly learn a new trick of the trade.
This is a walk in closet that I keep most of my frames and also larger framed paintings. Many of these paintings are stored here after being in a show or in a gallery. As you can see… I also store my Bike here to keep it dry and clean.
Here is a sneak peek at many of my small paintings just waiting for someone like you to buy. They are stored flat and by size. I have four big drawers full of Daily painting.
This is my little area that I use to pretty much do everything from painting to shipping. The green cabinet straight ahead is of course my flat files with all of my stored paper which I buy in bulk, all of my customer information and my daily paintings, also many larger works and drawings. I got this flat file at a newspaper that I used to work for because as most of you know newspapers now use computers. Of course I’m old enough to remember when back in the day they did something called “cut and paste ” these files were used to store all of their materials for this job. These flat files became obsolete and if your lucky, you’ll get one for next to nothing from your local paper. These large files are sold for $500.00 in most artist’s catalogs. On top of the flat files is my mat cutter ( I highly recommend the Logan 650) but from this distance you can’t see it very well… also along the sides of the flat file are stored all types of supports and foam core. My router is on top of the flat file and my computer is across the room on a small table I use to package the paintings and get them ready to ship out.
This large cabinet is full of art books, sketch books, video tapes and DVDs of art instruction and art history books. I really love these books and go thru them on a regular basis.
This is a photo of my daily painting table with my dog SAM lying underneath. I have three large dogs and there is always one under the table as I’m painting.
If you go to watch my video on Utube this part of the video is bascically black because it’s evening and a black dog in the dark is a dumb thing to video unless of course he opens his eyes.
This is a table I use for pressing the daily paintings. I also do most of my own framing and matting for the watercolor paintings. I will usually send out larger works for shows but most smaller paintings I’m comfortable with matting and framing myself if I have time. The square item at the-top right is what I use to flatten out the small paintings. I place the painting right side down in between paper towels inside the little press. Then I use books or heavy objects to keep it weighed down till it drys.. the final result is a perfectly flat painting, ready to mat. All you need are two boards connected with a hinge. This was my brother’s idea, I used to just put a lot of books on top of the paintings which were placed inside of paper towels.
My cat is my best critic… she watches and comments.. Everyone’s got an opinion!
I had a plan to up load a video with music or some fancy editing but as luck would have it no time… so if you would like to see my work space you can go to YOU TUBE and I uploaded a soundless video of my painting space you can look for it by going to youtube.com and putting in “Shantiartist” and my studio tour should come up. I was really under the gun today so I didn’t have time to really put much together. I hope you have enjoyed this slice of my life and a view of my work area.
I laughed out loud when I watched this… Thanks to David Darrow for pointing out this utube video. They have them on other topics too. I’ll never be able to sit with artists and discuss art again without thinking about the dog and his prints.
Here is the other rose I painted. Its a simple piece 7″ by 12″ and would look great in many a decor as well as be a great Christmas gift. I will give gift certificates to anyone who would like to have the individual pick out their own painting. It can be difficult to figure out what to buy someone. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to art.
9 by 12 100.
Boy, did I have an adventure this morning. A big thunder storm pass thru here last night dumping a ton of water into the creeks. As luck would have it, I took my three labs down to the park which has a lake on one side and many small creeks leading down to the water. It was wet and I knew no one would be there. I let them off the leash to run and play for awhile. Its difficult at times to exercise these dogs especially if I’ve been sick. Well, as we are strolling along the dogs see a Beaver…
All H E double hockey sticks breaks loose…It took me ten minutes to get those dogs away from that poor creature. There I was standing up on a trail looking down into the creek bed. I’m thinking a Raccoon or Possum must be down there. I hear growling and barking, nothing too serious I can tell by their movements. While I can only see something brown and wet trying to get away from the three dogs I stumbling along the slick edge. Then I see them…while they circled him and nipped the poor little guy, I decide its time to intervene. I’ go tromping thru the underbrush and the wet rocks to get down there. The Beaver( he was about 40 lbs) couldn’t get away because he was in a very small creek bed and the beaver is apparently pretty slow on land. There wasn’t enough water for him to swim to get away so they sort of had him cornered. Finally I’m down at lease at their level in the water, I was calf deep in the creek mud, sand and water are rushing by me (good thing I wore my CROCKS) yelling to the various dogs but they are all insanely intent and not listening. Hmm…I think I’ll have to try to get one dog at a time… I knew Sam would listen to me as he is the best dog. I call for him and reluctantly he comes back & I tie him to the bridge nearby. Then my little yellow lab who is mostly afraid of everything including this beaver, He easily comes to me but is still very curious and is dashing about, first to me then back over to check out the action with the beaver then again back to me. Now that I have the two males secure, I know I’m going to have a bit of a struggle with the last dog. While going back for her I notice the Beaver is steadily moving up stream in the creek with Missy right behind her. My female lab is a mix breed and has some Australian sheepdog in her blood. She loves to run, she loves to chase anything that moves. Every time the Beaver would move she would dart over and try to nip it then crouch down and eye ball it for a moment till it moved again. Needless to say I’m wet, the rocks are wet, the Beaver continues to go upstream so I’m having a time even catching up to them. Finally after some yelling to the dog, she stops. I’m really glad no one is around now because I look like that beaver looks all wet and hysterical. I try to figure out what is my best move now…while I watching them, the Beaver is only feet away from me and is between me and the dog. I’m afraid the dog will be bit, the Beaver occasionally turn around and shows the dog its teeth. Just like that, the beaver crawls under a rock, the dog listens to me and comes back with this ashamed “I’m sorry I don’t listen” look and I get her leash back on climb out of the creek and get the three of them out of there.
The whole time we were walking back, the dogs were all full of themselves. Prancing and sniffing, they were on high alert, heads held high like they had just been on a fox hunt… I guess they were still looking for more Beavers. I put them in the car figuring we all had enough exercise for one day.
Now we’re home, the house smells like a wet dog, the back of my Toyota Matrix is all wet and muddy, I smell like a wet dog and we all need a bath.
All this and it isn’t even 8:00 am…Just another summer day in South Carolina.
I have submitted one of my paintings of Koi to the Saachi Gallery showdown. If you would like to see my work and vote for me, I would really love it! http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/showdown/index.php?showpic=24648
I have been sketching some commission work for a mural, but I managed to squeeze in this little painting . Its been raining here and the trees are covered in little droplets of ice and I was really wanting to paint them, but I decided to paint this painting because it’s a commission work. What can I say, I gotta pay the bills…
I do love lemons, the texture of their skin, the color and especially the way they look inside a blue glass bowl. It’s really great being an artist. Everything I see is a painting, I sometimes just look up into the sky and I feel an overwhelming expression or emotion of joy come over me. Little things like colored glass or lichens on bark, fall leaves or mist floating across the water can send me running to my sketch book. I’m very thankful for this gift, because I do think it’s special to be able to capture some of these things.
“Lemons” is small at 5 by 6.5 inches
This piece is painted After Arleta Pech and is a copy of her work and her style. I learned her style of painting so that I could decide for myself if this was the type of painting that I wanted to do. I found after painting a number of her works and after taking a workshop ( she is a great teacher)with her, this style although beautiful, doesn’t bring me the joy of other types of painting. Of all the things to paint, still life painting was the very last area I worked in, I knew I had little interest in painting food and such but I also knew I should be proficient at all types of painting and different subject matter, Its usually the opposite. People usually start painting by painting still life set ups, when i had to do this for class I always chose flowers. This is because for me nature gives me that spark, the thrill a painter needs to paint. Live things inspire me, plants animals, people, the outdoors in general but that something, is missing when I paint inanimate objects. I think no less of others who paint these things, its just not for me. That being said, I’ll try to put up a still life every few weeks so that there is variety in my work and a selection for my collectors.
This painting is for sale, the size is 11 by 15 and sells for $100.00.
Here are the roses I painted for my daughter Amy, she asked me to paint some roses on her last visit, but she only likes the semi closed roses or rose buds. Since she’ll be visiting soon, I decided I’ll have these ready for her.
I wanted to show you my studio and few things about my daily painting routine now that the floor is finally finished. I moved my painting table in and have most of my equipment in place.
This is the color chart I made for painting light colored objects. These roses are painted using the glazing method. This is a way to paint when you want the objects to have a feeling of transparency or lightness. You layer on each color & allow it to dry between coats. The first color painted acts like stained glass and shines thru the upper color to form new colors and glow in appearance. For instance you will put down a Burn’t sienna then layer over a light red, since both values are very light it appears as a pink. You can see he pink I used in the chart (the one on the right)I have a line penciled between the two colors combination I would use for the pinks roses. One has yellow under the red and the other has the B. Sienna under the red.
This is a close up of my palette. You can see I use a porcelain palette which helps me see the colors. I used a butcher tray for years and still use them often (for painting bigger pieces) for the same reason. I also keep my paints in mini muffin tins by color family. There is an electric eraser in the foreground which I use to erase the pencil lines just before I start to paint. With these very light colors its hard to hide the pencil marks. There are two very small containers of water, one is clean water and the other is not. Since I used a number 2 and a number 6 round to paint this painting, I don’t like to have my paint brush so wet it’s dripping or has drops of water on the ferrule. These small containers allow me to only dip the point into the cup.
The spray bottle is used to keep my paints wet.
Here is the famous veneer floor. I picked the large planks with the rustic look. I like it! It seems to work well with the dogs and its very practical.
You can see Sam one of my labs. I put a blanket under my larger table to keep me from having to step over him all the time. I have a tv/dvd player in the corner which at the moment I’m watching the sopranos first season.
I also have a lap top over to the side with a reference photo just in case I need it. Also my laptops plays music if I’m not watching the DVDs, the music actually helps me paint.
Here is how my small paintings sit on a table easel attached to a clip board with the reference material nearby. If I use a photo, say a 4 by 6, I clip the photo to the light over head. I use real flowers or set up a still life sometimes but I find flowers die rather quickly and the timing has to be perfect.
This is in the other corner, the very important studio cat, her name is chubbs. Actually I took this photo to show you how I have charts for all my paints. I spent three days once painting every color I own onto these large 22 by 30 sheets of paper. This is just two of the sheets, I find them very useful. I have light, medium and dark value in each circle and they are labeled by brand and name. I can see their attributes, like transparency opaqueness or granulation at a glance. People have actually tried to buy them, they are beautiful in their own way. Kinda like POP art. That small box like thing is my router its so I can network and use my lap top from any room in the house or out on the deck.
I hope this gives you an idea of m set up, its a peek into my painting space. E-mail me if you have any questions.
Here is my version of Coffee art, I stayed up late last night to paint this and the whole time, I kept thinking, “go get a compass, you can’t draw a circle within a circle to save your life”, did I? No, its hard to understand if your not an artist, but sometimes I just can’t stop painting even if I know I should, I get into this a zone and paint I must.
I hope all of you are having a good Weekend.
There is a topic of conversation which I have thought about for a while and have come to some conclusions. The Idea that we as artists create absolutely.
It’s hard for me to believe that anyone who is active in the art world can be creating without something or someone influencing their work. Thus the idea that their work is truly unique can only be true if you take in account their path to this uniqueness. Each artist makes a lengthy journey at finding their style and developing their methods. I contend, we choose certain combinations from a repertoire of ideas. There is a collective consciousness of humanity that we all reach into and pull out something that we respond to. This makes it ours, this is like taking a recipe and spicing it to fit our tastes. It is our uniqueness and our creativity which springs from our choices. It doesn’t come from nothing.
As an artist I can tell you that I am greatly influenced by many things in my environment both good and bad.
My work is consciously or unconsciously also influenced by what other artists paint. Sometimes I limit my exposure to certain things knowingly, to eliminate the possibility that it may show up in my work. Other times I grasp onto something allowing the Osmosis to occur, to let my work evolve as it may with the aid of other artist’s work. I don’t try to mimic anyone’s work but I will try to paint in their style or even paint one of their paintings to see how it fits with my style. I evaluate the process and try to get into the other artist’s mind. I’m always amazed that two people doing the same type of work can have such different approaches to the same subject in the same medium. Sometimes all I find out is how much I like what I’m already doing. By working with another’s palette or by trying certain methods I find I have a broader sense of the challenges each artist faces. Most of the time, it just gives me some ideas as to how I want to proceed in developing my own style. It helps solidify my tastes and gives me a direction to proceed. My confidence level is strengthened by working thru ideas others before me have mastered.
Folks are always worried about copying, or infrigment, and you should be concerned. But you should also know that no matter what your style or how you approach your work, you are influenced by what other artists are doing and you shouldn’t be worry about that, its part of the process of finding your own voice. All major artists movements fed off of each other, the impressionists, Ash can, Dada, etc. These folks only became better artists by the exchange of information and by digesting the work of their peers.
This is a quarter sheet size watercolor which is 11 by 15 inches.
Some would say it looks more like an oil painting than a watercolor.
That’s because sometimes I paint my watercolors in a soft wet natural watercolor style and other times I paint dry with multiple glazes. This was painted in glazes.
The Glazing method is simple and not difficult to learn but it takes a lot of patience. You must wait for every layer to dry before you put on the next layer. You usually have an under painting which is not always obvious at the end but its like oils, it will radiate thru the painting. Sometimes it is allowed to show. It tends to harmonized the piece.