Just finished – my first elk piece in quite a while. A 12×12 done alla prima (“from the first”), no undercoat:
Aside from nearly complete paint coverage – can anyone spot some of the differences between #1 and #2 above?
The finished piece, “Bugle Boy”, 12×12 … after letting the piece dry a couple days so I could put down all those subtle antler modulations without dragging up a lot of green background paint (ugh!).
…and a detail shot to see some of the paint texture and activity (palette knife alert! loads of fun!)
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I love drawing, and I think at times that can actually get in the way of my paintings – I get caught up in clean, precise edges and other type-A (stands for “anal retentive”) fussiness. Yet I thoroughly admire the passion in Nicolai Fechin’s paintings – as his modern doppelganger, Jeffrey Watts, says of Fechin’s work: “the perfect blend of chaos and control”. And I am intrigued by the paint and surface textures in Oleg Stavrowsky’s work.
So I took a chance on my latest piece and textured the hell out of the panel, thinking that might free me from having to “color inside the lines”. The entire work can be seen on my website homepage, but below is a small area – about 8″ x 8″ on the actual painting – showing the results. I’m pretty damn pleased.
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Once upon a time, I was talking about a certain well known wildlife artist with one of my favorite dealers. Mr. Dealer said “Yes, I’ve heard all the stories about how The Unnamed Artist Whom We Are Discussing copies ideas from others. Frankly, I don’t see how you artists keep coming up with new ideas.” And I replied, “Getting out in the field. It’s the best way I know of to stay fresh and keep the ideas flowing.”
My recent trip to Freezeout Lake was just such an inspiration. I normally (a) do not paint birds, and (b) do not like painting subject matter in soft or flat light. Yet the impending snowstorm sweeping down on the Rocky Mountain Front, combined with the sight and sound of a blizzard of snow geese, was the imagery I most wanted to capture right after my return (go figure).
Now, certainly, copying a successful painting idea that has already sold well for another artist probably has more surety as a sale. But I’m not here to make oil reproductions of someone else’s ideas – I’m here to push my own boundaries, even if it’s uncomfortable (which is frequently) and without guarantee of a sale.
What do you think?
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I can’t help myself. Really, I can’t. When there are luscious, sinfully colorful oil paints left on my palette at the end of a week, and I have all this nice slick blinding-white yupo lying around … what the hell. It’s a license to spill (oils, that is) onto a slippery surface.
I hadn’t messed around with my bear material in a while, so pulled out a slide binder (it’s SO last century, sadly) and fired up the lightbox and started slathering paint with knife and large brush onto a little (10×10) square.
Even though it’s all in done in the name of experimentation and play, I rather like the result. This is your semi-occasional reminder to loosen up and PLAY, with no particular expectation of outcome.
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A new piece, just finished a week or two ago. Still running hot and cold on paintings – one week I’m happy, the next I’m ready to slit my wrists.
I’ve been messing with texture lately, and this is one of the first things to turn out. Once the composition has been outlined with vine charcoal (note that I do not project anything to transfer my idea to the canvas!) and sprayed with fixative, I start troweling on acrylic modeling compound and texturing it with brush, knife, etc. Once this dries, it’s time to tone the canvas with all my favorite gorgeous transparent colors, let that dry, THEN we get to slather on the thick stuff.
It’s all pretty yummy, I gotta say…at least when it works.
Painting: “Buck Stops Here”, 18 x 18 – and thank you to my friend Ellen for suggesting the title!
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Three new paintings have just arrived at my galleries! “Suspended Animation” and “Heeler”, the two rodeo pieces, are now available at Legacy Contemporary in Scottsdale.
“Larger Than Life”, my ‘bighorn abstract’, is now hanging at Ernest Fuller Fine Art in Denver.
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