Finished painting - 18x24 pastel
It is always a challenge to finish a painting. Sometimes we artists over work the painting. I had to decide how much to polish or detail I want to articulate in the landmark - the elephant rock - the rulers, the motorcycle and the surrounding vegetation. Then there was the question of where to put the mathematical symbols? Fortunately, Scott's wife did stop by the studio and approved it! Her eyes got misty as she spent time looking at the painting she had commission. What a great feeling! My heart gets so much joy from providing pleasure to others through art.Comment on or Share this Article →
Most ofmy time and effort at this stage, has been on the hands. As I work them, I add a little orange to the boots, which was not planned. I am liking the results because the orange will help the color relationship between the hands and the boots. What are your thoughts?Comment on or Share this Article →
The boots are almost completed. The edges are soft an detail is limited. At this point they dominate the painting, but I wanted to establish the darkest darks in the painting; from there I can work the remaining painting. Another question kept haunting me, "How do I incorporate Scott's family?" It is subtle - can you find it?
An artist's confession: Emotions are flowing to the surface while I work and it takes time for me to understand why. Having met Scott at age 13, I am touched as I reflect on how we have known each other over these many years.
Painting a commission is a special experience - not only am I under the pressure of satisfying what a client has in their mind's eye, I am also experiencing the joy of providing a memory for them and something they can treasure for a life time.
Every area of the painting is beginning to develop throug layers of pigment using the medium of pastel. I am wrestling wiht images surrounding Scott's hands. Scott has dedicated his career to aircraft wing fracture detection (saving lots of our tax payers' money & many lives), and I want to incorporate this somehow. His woodworking is also not included and his wife suggest the my rulers could symbolize his carpentry as well as his engineering skills.Comment on or Share this Article →
First layer of pastel
This image shows the first layer of pastel. It was then"painted" with rubbing alcohol; this process permanently stains the painting surface. The warm colors (yellow, orange & pink) indicate the areas that are hit directly by the light (or the sun), whereas the cool colors (green, blue & purple) are shadow areas.
I needed to decide if his boots were going to be a blue-black or a brown-black. Because of the tone of Scott's hands and the green/brown fatigues, the most compatible color scheme was a brown-black. (Note: I never use the color black; I create the visual sensation of black using the darks colors of red, green & blue.)
Can you see how this stage of the painting serves as the foundation or structure to the painting?
Sketch of Scott's Hands - 18x24
Last month I began a handportrait painting commissioned by Jennifer, the wife of Lt. Col. Scott, to celebrate and recognize his USAF contributions & retirement. It was an honor, plus a joy because I have known Scott since he was 13 years old.
With several reference photographs and interviews with Jennifer, I generated this sketch. After a couple of small sketches and approval from the client, I then create a sketch on tracing paper that is the actual size of the final painting. This allows me to make changes without damaging the painting surface and I have the sketch should I need to begin the painting again....heaven forebid, but it does happen.
In this sketch you may be able to see some of the symbols I have included that are special to Scott and his family. Some of these will change as I paint and talk more with Jennifer. Commissioning a painting is a collaborative process and that is one of the reasons that I enjoy doing them.
Did you know that ordering a custom painting from an artist can be an interesting and collaborative process?
Oh, how I miss my paints. The last several days have been necessary "dates" with my computer. Along with most of the public, even we artists have this notion that we paint, we frame and the artwork is put out there ready for eager buyers. Wouldn't that be a romantic life? Unfortunately, before, after and in between those three steps, lots of other work has to be done, as in any business.
Me and the keyboard/computer screen (I have a love/hate relationship with my computer), have been busy doing the following: processing images of paintings, cleaning out old emails, reading past e-newsletters, updating mailing list, filtering the mailing list for a local show, designing the postcard invite for August show, writing a press release for same show, researching internet PR sites, learning about FaceBook and LinkedIn, social networking on a site for artists, submitting images for show competitions, documenting my artwork, filing reference photos, writing a sales letter for a new class I am offering in Nov, writing a creative process article about a commissioned painting I recently finished, and packing to take off for our cabin to PAINT!
Somehow, I need to find a balance between my painting/creative time with the business/computer time. How do you do it?
"Fountain Creek at Briarhurst" - 14x11 oil
From June 20 - 30th, over 25 Colorado artists painted scenes in and around the historic town of Manitou Springs, CO. We were invited by gallery owner, Jayme Rago, to participate in this exciting and challenging event that she has hoseted and coordinated for 8 years.
In the theme of my leanings - my prefernce of painting interior landscapes - I spent my time capturing the dappling light on Fountain Creek, which runs through town. In this scene, the speed in which the light changed was very evident and this forced me to return to the same location three or four times. In fact, I painted two scenes from this location and I will display that image in the next day or so.
Painting on location requires faster artistic decision making, along with dealing with the various outdoors elements. Plein air paintings tend to be less "polished." Can you see that here?
The show runs July 1-31, 2008 at the L.I.W. Cargo Gallery, located at 713 Manitou Avenue, Manitou Springs, CO. 719-685-0452. The Artist's Reception is tonight, July 5th from 6-8pm.