Small paintings are great for any collector

Here is an example of some small paintings grouped together.   I often hear people say they need a large painting to fill a wall space.  As an example you can see in the photo by grouping small paintings together you can easily fill a pretty large area.   I put up some of my Koi paintings so it tends to read as a theme. But this isn’t necessary, just like home decorating styles the wall  can be eclectic.  I also used all types of frames but sometimes using the same frames pulls the wall together.  Buying small paintings and getting frames for all of them can be expensive but I’ve found these smaller frames are easy to find in your consignment stores, flea markets, yard sales or even thrift stores.

Not for sale but a picture of my cupcake tins


Not working on a painting today but for the next few days getting reacquainted with my watercolor supplies. In the picture above you can see what my watercolor tins look like. Many of you are familiar with my work and understand that I like big bold color. Choosing the cupcake tin for my watercolor paints wasn’t my idea but when I saw other artists doing it I knew it was for me. I had been trying to come up with a palette that would hold at least one large tube of paint. The cupcake tins actually hold two if I fill them to the top.

Lately, I’ve been busy but when I find the time to paint I’ve been oil painting. I’d like to start my daily painting regime again with watercolor so I’ll start by giving you a re capp of my supplies and my process. Check back and I’ll post this information as the weeks go by.

Since I’ve been painting for a number of years I have a pretty large inventory of paintings and of course many are of my favorite subject…KOI. Its interesting when often I’m asked about my Koi paintings. It seems some people think I should always paint them while and equal number of folks thinks it would be boring to paint the same thing over and over.  Although no two of my paintings are the same the subject matter usually centers around water and Koi.

This leads me to ask how often should we change our art, style or process? Is it better for artists to cultivate variety or consistency?  Galleries tend to encourage artists to keep creating the same thing (that sells) over and over again. While artists, in general, like variety to stay motivated and inspired.

There are two schools of thought here. The first is consistency. Consistency in our work allows us to keep experimenting on one theme and to go deeper. Many artists paint one type of painting and become “known” for their Portraits/figures, or landscapes, and even wildlife. They continue to explore the endless methods and palettes until they approach what they believe is their own style. Usually an Artist will get very good at what they do using this approach.

Variety, however, is an important ingredient in our work, helping to keep our ideas fresh and our approach on the leading edge of the trends and new materials available to us.  This is another important aspect of being an artist. If we are so consistent that our work is repetitive, we do not grow as artists and the work will suffer. Yet, when we are so insistent on variety that we will not allow ourselves a chance to see the things from every angle. We don’t allow ourselves the permission to paint the “thing” over and over.  Then work may suffer as well. Sometimes it is important to continue in a series until its right for us. By using or incorporating and throwing out ideas without fear of poor paintings then we may find what we are looking for. Rather than bouncing around from style to style and never allowing ourselves to take a concept deeper. we may find it difficult to “find” our style.   If this sounds like you, allow yourself the PERMISSION to work thru a subject if only to explore the thing until you have tried everything and thrown out what doesn’t work for you and hopefully  you’ll find a more personal or meaningful way to express yourself.

Of course “balance”, may be the key here and the key to successful personal balancing is paying attention to how we feel. As our needs change, our feelings will let us know. Sometimes we may need to allow variety and experimentation to take us out of a rut, and re-energize our work. At other times we may hit on something that really gets us excited. These are the times to stretch 10-15 canvases ( or paper) all at once and create a series to see how far we can take that one idea. We can be anything we decide or so they say, we can also paint anything… anyway, this is your choice, we have the ability and the freedom to either be consistent or ever changing.

Here is an interesting take on our ability for variety, taken from a quote from Robert Anton Wilson in his book “Prometheus Rising” (New Falcon Publications, 1983, p.125). Just prior to this, Wilson describes the human survival instincts that involve both consistency and variety;

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, design a building, conn a ship, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve an equation, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

so with that said….Buzz off…

Oil painting repair

studio-cat
Here you can see the edge of this large Koi painting… if you look closely you may find there are two small holes… Ouch! yes this hurts.. The painting fell and when it fell I had just tightened the canvas so it was PERFECTLY TIGHT… and of course as with” Murphy’s Law” it fell down on two pointy bottles which punctured the canvas. I’ve made a repair by gluing a new piece of canvas onto the back side and will now paint the front so there isn’t an obvious rip.  Geeze…  What r ya gonna do?  The customer was notified of this mishap and I’m breathing a tiny sigh of relief as he still wants the painting and doesn’t think there wil be a problem with the painting once I’ve painted over the patch. Whew… still bugs me … I’ll get over it. Of course…  I need to secure these canvases even when I’m not painting them.   At the time I had just leaned it up and was stepping back to take a look at it to see if all the wrinkles were gone.   OK OK I get it…  live and learn.    Oh yeah thats my studio kitty,  “Chubbs”.

Golden boy

golden boy

5.75 by 5.75 Watercolor on gessoed masonite $35.00
This painting is a bit darker then this appears.  It was late tonight when I took the picture (inside & under artificial warm lights).  I didn’t finish my painting today till almost 11:00 pm, that’s because I took my friend out for a birthday dinner. By the time I got back, I had to pack up some paintings, get some chores done and take care of business.  I’m glad to have made my midnight deadline!

Blue on blue sold

7.5 by 7.25  45.00 Acrylic on gessoed masonite.

I need to cut up some more painting panels. I run out of them pretty fast. Usually I buy the masonite myself and have someone cut the wood into different sizes.  Being thrifty I have had them cut by folks who have trouble figuring out how to cut a straight line.   This is why the odd sizes.  For instance this piece was to be 8 by 8 but he, (I’ll keep his name anonymous) kept having to cut another bit off here and there.  I guess I’m lucky I didn’t end up with a 3 by 3. 

This painting is part of my “Monet” series.  I like these blues, and greens with the brown and white.

Its very soothing.

Of course…

I think I’ll paint another with the colors using ( yesterday’s painting) the palette of ancient ritual 126.   

 

I’ve been thinking about buying an Internet card for my laptop, u know so you can go anywhere not just where they have wifi.   Are they worth the money?  my cell phone is with A T&T so should I buy theirs so I can get a  possible discount for bundling my service plans or should I get a different brand because they work better.  Any ideas on this folks? 

Perserverance 08

perserverance7

11 by 14 Acrylic impasto on Canvas panel $150.00
This painting is done impasto which refers to the thickness of the paint. Its very thick and can give the look of oil without using oil paints.  I combined  a golden gel medium with the acrylic paint to increase the body of the paint.  It tends to paint like whip creme, which is a little hard to control but is very smooth.  Also ,it gives the paint a slight gloss which is similar to oil paint.

Artist Tip:

When using these gels its best to use a pallet knife and mix the paint into the gel uniformly because if not mixed well the gel will look translucent white.  Sort of like dried glue, not a look you really want.

Endurance

Endurance

6 by 6 gessoed masonite

For those that have been following my entry into the Cal show, I didn’t win any awards but I am thrilled to have my work hanging in the show along with so many other great artist’s work.

The show had a good variety of art and I feel there was a good mix of mediums and subjects. Landscapes, figures, sculpture, realistic work and abstracts were well represented. I noticed the judge had a preference for work which left something for the viewer to determine.  Art where everything wasn’t spelled out seemed to be the theme of the show.   Also: artists who used a variety of edges, ( although one piece which won an award was all hard edge) and or used a veriety of textures seemed to be well represented. 

You can”t really sum up a show because there were the exceptions for all of these things… but if I were to sum up the show… I would say…less is more.

 

Red Koi, green Water

koired72

This is painted on smooth clayboard 6″ by 6″ $40.00 In intertested… go to http://www.dailypainters.com for pay pal check out.

I spent the afternoon prepping boards and getting things ready for my entry into the Spring show. I try to enter several shows a year, because it helps keep my work fresh and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been painting all winter. I’ll post a picture of my painting if it gets in. cross your fingers!

Spring Koi

koipink72.jpg
6 by 6 watercolor on gessoed masonite $40.00   www.dailypainters.com for pay pal link

I wish I knew how to say no. Lately, I’ve had lots of people asking me for things, big and small… like teach a class at the local high school, hang a show in the fall, chair another art group, write a magazine article, loan them some money for beer, mentor college fine art student for thesis project, assist national artist for their workshop in Charlotte, attend grand opening meeting. This are only the requests for the last week or two.

Now, one of these may stick out as a little different than the rest, sure its easy to spot, its the beer money. I guess I look like the type that will not dismiss them and will at least be nice when I say no if I do say no. Of course I have not been able to say no to any of these folks. Not just the person who comes to me for my spare change but all the others. This is why I tend to rush from one thing to the next. So,…..this year is my year to say no. I’m going to try to cherry pick these tasks and figure out which ones I really enjoy and which one are helping others. I do believe in providing service to others and volunteer to several groups now. The problem comes in when one groups hears you do something for free and they want in on it.

Now that I have written this plan down, I hope I can stick to this plan, I’ll still do things for others and yes I’ll still give my change to people who are down on their luck, (no,don’t write me for money, see I’ve already started))but I won’t say yes to everything that is asked of me.

“Koi pals” 8 by 10 watercolor on Gessoed Masonite

koiphycodelic721.jpg

I had a bit of a headache last night and even though I had plenty of paintings to post I forgot to post one.
This is one of the Koi I painted last week. Its painted on heavily textured Masonite and it gives the painting a nice effect which looks like moving water.
This morning I went down to the boat ramp with my dogs and the wind was really blowing, I gingerly stepped along the Rip Rap of rock along the water’s edge, trying not to fall into the lake. while the dogs sniffed the rocks I looked out over the water and saw a small sail boat with a brightly colored sail. I’m not much of a sailor but I do enjoy seeing the boats on the water because they have such a great profile.

Blue Pond Lilly

blue-lotus-72.jpg
8 by 10 watercolor on gessoed masonite $60.00 plus 5.5 S and H
This little Koi is looking up at that blue flower and wondering how something so beautiful could come from the muddy depths of his pond.

It was overcast and cloudy this morning when I went to the park and I thought it might even snow. Of course I was wrong… no snow but just another grey day. I don’t mind the greyness but all the trees are budding out and the daffodils are up so it seems like Spring is around the corner. The grey skies are just a subtle reminder that even though Easter is almost here Spring is not.

 My youngest daughter’s birthday was today and she is 28. Happy Birthday Amy!