Monday, March 23, 2015

Workshop: March 21-22 Denver

Making it Fine Art Workshop March 21-22
My Castle Rock, CO studio.  (Denver metro)

t was a remarkably productive workshop with new approaches, leaps, breakthroughs and insights. We covered a lot of ground in the two days and had a lot of laughs as well,

Pictured here from left to right:
Terry Kristofich, Desi Fresques, Jennifer Werner, Kathy Sphuler, Ken Elliott and Mary Janiczek

The next Making it Fine Art Workshop is Sat and Sun, June 20-22, 2015
Castle Rock, CO$290. per person

Open to artists at all skill levels and limited to 6 participants.  Information and registration.

This workshop will focus on strategies for making better paintings, going to new places in your work and making fne art.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Grateful Notices: Snow on the Foothills

Snow on the Foothills, oil on canvas, 20 x 60 inches
Private collection

This oil began as a demonstration during one of the Making it Fine Art Workshops at my home / studio. I worked on it on and off for over a year. taking my time with the different aspects of the color, composition and glow.

The simplicity and high contrast set off the light in the scene nicely. I'm glad I made a good and uncomplicated start at the beginning. It took a bit of effort to keep the work interesting across the long expanse of this composition. A number of strategies came and went along the way and finally, and interesting balance was found. The entire process was a delight.

As always, I'm honored that this oil has been selected for a private home.

Monday, March 9, 2015

New Work: Insistent Yellows, oil on canvas

Insistent Yellows, oil on canvas, 36 x 36

I recently held a Making it Fine Art Workshop in Kansas City at the kind invitation and studio of Kirsten McGannon.

This oil was done over three days as a class demonstration. I like to talk and paint and having an audience raises the bar. I want to truly demonstrate how to make good starts, and create an example describing a lot of the concepts discussed in the class. 

I've learned the same thing as I tell the class - relax and just make a series of good moves that will improve the painting. The first concept will get something on the canvas and as an artist, you get to move beyond the photo or scene in front of you.

This oil is about those yellow trees and everything else in the painting supports all the yellow variations. Since I was working with limited time, I elected to keep the edges of everything less polished. 

The end result is a more vibrant and textural work or art that completely surpassed the source material. It gives me a bit of a thrill. 

On to the next adventure!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

New Work: Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil 36 x 36 inches

Edge of the Woods, Autumn, oil 36 x 36 inches

I'm using a softer palette here with the colors greyed down a bit. The idea is to make a simple composition using trees to move the reds into the blues and it takes hundreds of brushstrokes and many strategic moves to make it happen. Since the color is modulated down, a bit of purer reds and blues really sing against the background.

The oil is continually in need if one is paying attention, so this simple composition became a lengthy dialog.

This finished work is an abstracted row of trees with the colors and darks at the edge of being too much. There is a power and calm in holding that line successfully, making the art more compelling.

Grateful Notices: Autumn Moment, oil on canvas

Autumn Moment, 40 x 40 oil on canvas
Private Collection

It is always an honor to have your work selected for someone's home. My sincere thanks to the buyer and to Linda Laughlin at the Steamboat Springs Center for the Visual Arts, Colorado for exhibiting my work and making the connection possible.

In this work I was pushing the color more but striving to keep the delicacy and sense of space. This oil started as a more complex array of trees, but evolved into a simpler grove with the complexity left in the foilage. 

The oil was almost finished but I was searching for additional ways to improve it as if it were completely new. I continued to alter the composition and made the reds and pinks more pronounced but it was still lacking something.

What color did I have in reserve? A solution was found with the blues and purple / violets, adding drama and more interest than my original concept. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Art at the Movies: Tim's Vermeer

Here is a very interesting movie for the artist in everyone.

David Hockney proposed earlier that Vermeer and other old masters were using a camera obscura technique to get the proper perspective and accuracy in their paintings. Watch Tim, and inventor and not a painter, run with this theory.  His results are Very Memorable, ditto for what David Hockney thought as well.

Here's a link and more info at iTunes

About the movie:

Tim's Vermeer, directed by Teller of Penn & Teller fame. Produced by Teller's stage partner Penn Jillette and Farley Ziegler, the film follows Tim Jenison, a Texas based inventor, as he attempts to solve one of the greatest mysteries in all of art: How did 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer ('Girl with a Pearl Earring') manage to paint so photo-realistically, 150 years before the invention of photography?

Jenison's epic research project ultimately succeeds as he uses 17th century technology -- lenses and mirrors -- to develop a technique that might have been used by Vermeer, supporting a theory as extraordinary as what he discovers.

Spanning a decade, Jenison's adventure takes him to Delft, Holland, where Vermeer painted his masterpieces; on a pilgrimage to the North coast of Yorkshire to meet artist David Hockney; and eventually even to Buckingham Palace, to see the Queen's Vermeer.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Exhibiting: Denver International Airport

Should you find yourself at the Denver Airport, take the time to view my work and those of my gifted collogues reproduced in the Main Terminal between the baggage claim areas, behind the car rental counters.

Ken Elliott, Victoria Eubanks, Janice McDonald, Carol Ann Waugh, and Mary Williams
You can follow us, The Expand Artists, on our Facebook page

It's a great honor to be in this public space with my friends. The airport desired more color in the main terminal spaces and happily, we were allowed to use it as our playground.

Many thanks to my fellow artists and everyone that made this possible!

Grateful Notices: Iced Over

Iced Over, oil on canvas 36 x 48 inches
Private collection

This painting was a real adventure. First, it came from a photograph of a series of white buildings nestled into a valley. The composition intrigued me - it was the angle of the flat white rooftops nestled in the monochromatic valley.

I kept going back to it and eventually made a tiny sketch that converted these basic elements into a stream surrounded my blues.

The painting is about simplicity and sophistication, many colors reading as two.

I finished the canvas over a year ago, only seeing it again on occasion. Late last year I put it on the wall and immediately understood how to make it better. Complexity was added, then partially removed. Colors and contrasts were added and sometimes modulated down with grey to make the colors glow or to make more atmosphere.

In the end, it is a simple and inviting composition about light and dark, blues and whites. After working on it all this time and making hundreds of moves on it's surface, I'm convinced that it exists somewhere.