This small canvas is 6 inches by 18 inches and it would be perfect for one of those unique small areas that you have been trying to find just the right piece that will make it sing. The paint is thick and rich making this painting very

150.00USD

Tribute to Monet 24 by 30 inches Oil painting on canvas


Another water painting from my Tribute to Monet series.

This is a large painting I’ve been working on for a couple of weeks. It has a little bit of texture and a wonderful sense of reflection. Walking my dogs in the morning I’ll walk down to the water and come out from under the thousands of trees which have been blocking my view and look up to see something like this. It usually takes my breath away.

$400.00 oil on canvas. The sides have been painted…. so, no need for a frame.

Tribute to Monet # 14 Oil on canvas panel


This serene water painting is an Oil painting done on a canvas panel. The size is 24 by 30 and can be purchased for only $400.00. As it’s on a panel it can easily be mailed directly to your home ( continental US) for $5.50 USD.

This painting is part of my ” Tribute to Monet” series, it’s slightly more grayed down than many of my usual more colorful water paintings. I think the warm yellows are set off very nicely by the grayed down blue of the water.

“Under the falls” oil on gallery wrap one inch canvas. 24 by 24 inches

I have been in a bit of a quandary lately over what to paint next, no not these little paintings, but bigger paintings 1/2 sheets to full size sheets or bigger.

I just finished a series. I decided I wanted to start another series or so I thought. The problem is: I cannot for the life of me get the fourth painting started. I also have been reworking the second in the series even while others tell me to leave it alone, its great. This tells me maybe I really don’t want to make it into a series.  Then again…I have to admit I struggle thru this foggy quagmire of first attempts every time I start a series. It only seems after I’ve painted four or five paintings that I have a sense of what it is that I’m trying to say. It almost like I have to take the idea of a painting from a concept into a breathing living thing. Right now I feel like these paintings need CPR and I can’t remember how to administer mouth to mouth. Until then Until I can breath life into these paintings its just paint, paper and brushes.

As you become a better painter with more skills and techniques, you start to search for your style, you crave uniqueness. Why do painters constantly advocate breaking from the traditional school of thought? Is it the case of attempting to create paintings that will owe nothing to any other piece of work or artist–something unique and original in the world of art?” It’s a wonderful philosophy, but unfortunately an unrealistic delusion, simply because no one has ever been able to demonstrate a work of art that is entirely different. Every painting I ever gazed upon, including those in any gallery and those of the great masters all echo some previous painter’s accomplishments. Painters are by nature trying to achieve something new by using parts of something old. Every work of art, consciously or unconsciously has been subjected to traditional values in one form or another. The truth is that there is nothing original and if it appears as original there are most likely some less known artist doing the same thing but not getting any credit for it.
There may be new mediums, new colors or pigments but the basic way we take paint and create has not changed.

$800.00

Tribute to Monet series “Dark waters ll”

dark waters ll monet

This 8 by 10 (inch) oil painting on wood is for sale for $95.00. I love the mix of colors and the dark colors next to the lighter & brighter colors. Its part of my “Tribute to Monet” series and I find this method of painting complicated and yet simple. these paintings tend to be very heavily pigmented and usually take at least a week to dry because of the amount of paint used to achieve this look. Its done with palette knives and a special little tool I made, which looks like a spatula. the surface seems rich. I enjoy painting in this style but cannot decide how it will work with anything other than water.

Koi, Koi, Koi

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Koi, Koi, Koi

Oil on canvas panel 8 by 10  $95.00

 

I painted this from an idea I had for another painting which was to be an abstract…   I like dividing the space almost equally but  think in my abstract painting, I’ll use three different colors.  Not only different but not all from the same side  of the color wheel… I’ll try to have a greyed color from the opposite side,  maybe the piece will have a bit more of a resolution.

The Struggle

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.

Studio Tour

4-by-6-online.jpg 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.

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 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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.  

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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.

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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.chubbs.jpg

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. 

 HERE IS MY PAINTING FOR TODAY….  DID YOU THINK I WOULD FORGET?
<a koi piggyback 2

what is art?

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.