Saturday, March 17, 2012

Other versions of easel set-ups and other things

I've already posted my PA easel set-up. Here are three more. The first is a tabletop easel that has extended legs to allow me to stand while painting. The second is the conversion of an ancient wooden ladder into a very rugged studio easel, the studio being my garage. And the third is my set-up in my studio, with a tabletop easel propped on a workbench. Unfortunately the studio set-up is the best I can do at present. Some day I hope to have a REAL studio.

As you can see below, one issue is the shop light
First its flourescent, and second it restricts the height of my support. The ptg on the easel is 16 inches high
The max is 20 inchea high. The second issue is heat, humidity, and mosquitos in the summer (Florida)
and cold in the winter. Although it never gets to freezing, acrylic paint gets pretty stiff around 5C

Many real artists use still life or 'staging' boxes to stage and light their collections. While these are available ready-made from art supply stores, they're pricey. So I made my own. I bought a 16" cardboard packing box

I use a box fold so that I can reflatten the box when I finish

I cut flaps on the side and top for light input

I then position my articles in the box and shine a light through one of the flaps. Oh, I use binder clips to hold the flaps in place. Neat, huh?
BTW, I usually photograph the set-up many times, rearranging as I go. Then I either paint from one of the fotos or make up a ptg from several 

Plein Air Paintings

Where I live, the days are usually ideal for plein air painting. There are many venues here from bldgs to boats to islands. There are no mountains so we use clouds as ersatz mountains. Here's my set-up. I'll be posting some of my ptgs here as well. Nearly all my PA paintings are done on 8 x 10 canvas panel.                                                                   

For those of you interested in the details of this setup, check out my article, How to Put Together a Simple Plein Air Painting Set-up, in, 16 April 2012.

This is my very first attempt at a large PA painting. Our town had a one-day Paint-out several years ago. I did this in a 30-35 mph wind, holding onto the easel with one hand and painting with the other. There were a dozen and a half entries, mostly in oils or pastels. I had the only acrylic. The judge was a watercolorist and all three cash prizes went to the three watercolor entries. 16 x 20 on canvas panel.

In 2010, a local town had a PA Paint-out that took place over three days. The next four pic were done at that PA PO. The boat is 12 x 16, the others are 8 x 10

The next three pics were painted at my son's San Diego ranch. 8 x 10 on canvas panel

In July 2012, we attended the wedding our son and his new wife, Martha at their Julian CA ranch, 50 m east of and ~4500 ft above San Diego city
[At that altitude, humidity is zip. As a result, acrylics dry in seconds!] Here are some PAs from there - 8 x 10s

The two ptgs below are of Martha's statue and flower arrangement to her mother
The first is as-painted, 4 x 5
The second is stylized, 4 x 5

The next two ptgs are Before and After - 8 x 10
The first one was PA painted at Bok Tower in Florida
The second one was a "studio" do-over

The next two were painted at my local community
The first one is 8 x 10, the second 12 x 16
The chapel ptg won a ribbon at a local art meeting

PA from Pan in our backyard - 8 x 10

This was my effort at the local 3-day PA PO in Nov 2011
It follows Signac's style known as Divisionism
This took me over 6 h and two days
It truly unimpressed the judges!
12 x 16 on canvas panel

This is a barbershop in Oldsmar FL - 8 x 10
The ptg was started on location but finished in the "studio" after it started to rain

PA Caladesi Bridge with enhanced cloud structure -
8 x 10

A couple of 8 x 10 PA from the little park at the end of our street - The water is St. Joe Sound
In the far distance are the barrier islands
Beyond is the Gulf of Mexico
[Sorry about the glare!]

The two below were painted on 17 Sep 2012 at
the Osprey Lookout, Hammock Park, Dunedin, FL
I joined Karen Baker's Mon afternoon PA class
Each one ~ 1 h, 8 x 10 on canvas panel

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Some Still Lifes

                        STILL LIFE PAINTINGS
I have been doing still life paintings for about four years now. I usually work from photographs and try to get as close to realism as possible. Sometimes, because the foto is the wrong size or a portion is less than interesting, I fudge the final painting. However, I have been hammered repeatedly by artists who believe 1) that anyone who copies a painting is not an artist, and/or 2) that if one wanted an exactly reproduced scene, one should just take a photograph. Despite these critiques (of which there have been many), I still enjoy converting the fotographed images into my versions of works of art. And yes, these (and the car paintings) are all acrylic paintings, not photos.

Another Still Life from Staging Box
Malaysian jar and hibiscus - 12 x 16 - May 2012
[An interesting if not frustrating non-event re: this ptg.
I posted it on Wet Canvas!, an internet paint club, under Still Life Forum, around the 1st of May. After nearly a month on the forum, the only comment I got
was from the Forum moderator, in essence "nice."
Can't figure out what is wrong with the ptg - composition? color? Painting ability? Sigh!]

This is my latest SL - 24 x 30 on canvas panel
It's called "Pearls of Wisdom" (Feb 2012)
A Still Life from a Staging Box
Fake grapes - 16 x 20

Marbles - 16 x 20
From a Photo on the Internet
This won 1st prize in Acrylics at a local art show

I consider the painting below to be one of my more successful attempts at two things - ellipses and distorted images. Unfortunately it has been ignored by judges at least three times. I'm gonna put it in my 'best of the best' thread as well

This is a staging box painting
Cover Art for a Novel - 2012
The novel title: The Curse of the Gallows
Available in pbk through
sometime this summer

This painting won 3rd prize in a juried show in 2010
12 x 16 on canvas panel

This is from my foto in the breakfast area of the Benicia CA hotel. 16 x 20 on canvas panel
I did a second version of this that I'll post later

Found it! A different angle on the knife and fork than that above [These are two different paintings!]

Three apples on a cloth got good reviews (but no ribbons) at a recent show. 12 x 16 on canvas panel

One of my earliest SLs, staged in a 16 in cube cardboard box. [I discuss this box in the easel section]
12 x 16 on canvas panel

I normally don't do flowers, but this was was special
Martha, my son's wife-to-be, visited and we got her a bouquet of flowers. She couldn't take them back, so I painted a picture of them for her

Splashing water is really a challenge
16 X 20 on canvas panel
[There's a group here that is affiliated with
International Society of Acrylic Painters
It is the premiere show for professional artists
Every Nov they have a juried show
The artist sends in three jpg fotos in July
They select one or none in late Oct
I decided to try to get in this year
I sent in fotos of Marbles, Pearls of Wisdom,
and SPLASH, the ptg below
To my surprise, the judges picked SPLASH
Unfortunately, not expecting to get in,
I'd given it away to my neighbor, now living in Ohio
Because I could not exhibit SPLASH, they banned from entering anything until 2015!
Well, at least I can say that I made it to the BIG LEAGUES, even though I never got a chance to bat!] 

Christmas candles from Wet Canvas! Photo Gallery
16 x 20 on canvas panel

Kinda neat - a ptg of a drawing on post-its
12 x 16 on canvas panel

An early SL from a foto. The apple is glass
12 x 16 on canvas panel

An outside SL - frangapani on the steps of a temple in Thailand. (My foto) - 12 x 16 on canvas panel
This hangs in Technobiz offices in Bangkok

This was an early SL attempt - 16 x 20
It won at a local art show

This is "Grapes of Wrath" only because it took so long to paint. 24 x 30 on canvas panel

The pic below is a design for a murder mystery novel
12 x 16 on canvas panel. This novel is: The Book Nook Murders. The book is in redraft after being rejected because it was too racy. [It's NOT a male version of 50 Shades of Grey! It's a murder mystery]

This was for a challenge on Wet Canvas!
They wanted a self-portrait - 9 x 12 on canvas paper
I don't think my version was what they were looking for, tho!

Here's a quickie I did for a Weekly Drawing Event (WDE) on Wet Canvas!, an online website for artists
I think it's about 9 x 12 on canvas paper (<2 h)

 I guess the bar set-up would be called still life
9 x 12 on canvas paper, ~2 h
[From a Wet Canvas! WDE]

Took a 6 h SL workshop with Elaine Hahn in 2012
Did two pics (8 x 10). Because these were just sketches, they are more impressionistic than realistic. For the first I used my staging box (~1 1/2 h). For the second I used my shop lite shining directly onto the items (~ 1 h). Tried to work in three primaries - cer blue, cad yellow med, cad red med but could not generate enough depth so added burnt umber

"Glass Apples"
12 x 12 on canvas panel

Strawberries - 12 x 12 on canvas panel
[Almost sold this one! The woman offered me $30 for it!]

The ptg below is from a magazine ad for Absinth
The white stuff on the upper left is the result of the painting sticking to the back of another
Easy to fix, if I ever get around to it.
Love the shadows here

Another Wet Canvas Acrylic Forum Challenge
This one I did as ITSO Cezanne 12 x 16 canvas board

A Wet Canvas challenge - fruit in a bowl
9 z 12 canvas paper

This is a hummingbird feeder
Again WC Weekend Drawing Event [WDE]
0 x 12 canvas paper

The two below are also from WC WDEs