Friday, November 29, 2013

Wing Sky, 8x16

Fading Light....

....provides great possibility if one can paint like a madman.  This is a piece I had almost given up on as my paint application was too broken up, probably because I was working so fast.  One last chance, a little simplification, and now I think it works well.

If you are from the area this looks out on the entrance to Eagle Harbor, across Wing Point (hence the name) and over to the Seattle skyline.

The annual Roby-King Gallery miniature show begins next week.  They will only be showing four pieces of mine in the front gallery but the other five will be in the next room.   Come down and say hello.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Soaring Rich Passage, 8x16

Roby-King Gallery.... going to have their miniature show during December and I'm in the process of trying to decide what to bring them to hang.  I had a fun time playing with the coloration of that rising cumulus but could only get down a few minutes of color notes before the sun went down.  Quite a 'moving target light show'.  It had to be finished from memory and what felt like it should be there.

The show begins December 6th for the Friday Arts Walk.  I have about ten island paintings I'm considering but can only include 3 or 4 so come down to Roby-King and see what I end up putting will likely be a surprise for me also. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Balcomb, Fechin, Reese, Bongart

Nicholai Fechin....

....Wm. F. Reese and Sergei Bongart were painters whose standing in the current art world were greatly enhanced by the labor and inspiration of Mary Balcomb, the author of definitive books on each of them.

It was through unknown forces of grace that I have been friends with Mary and her husband, Robert 'Sam' Balcomb for over two decades.  Through frequent trips to their home...usually ending in something bubbly from a bottle....I found out what remarkable people each of them is.

Robert 'Sam' is probably the finest portrait photographer I have ever known.  Having been a photographer myself and taught it for a while, I can say that without reservation.  He is a true and pure lens artist and recently published a book 'Me and Mortensen', about his own work and his experiences with renowned photographer William Mortensen.   Robert also was asked to be part of the  portrait photography collection at the University Museum in Tucson where his pieces are in the archives of significant American photographers. 

Mary was (she died last Spring) an architect, designer, etcher, painter, author and probably more other things than I ever will know, and she did them all with humility and love.  Both she and 'Sam' were, and are, gifts to this world.

One of the things I liked to do when visiting was to pull out some of their art books. My favorite was the proposal for the Fechin book.  In those days everything was 'cut and paste' and the Fechin mock up is one of those.  Many images and writings did not make the final publication but I wish they had as they add such a depth of understanding of the artist.  I have included a couple of illustrations that did not 'make it' but show the final works of Fechin with the source material he worked from, usually a 2 inch contact print...very small...which through his genius became large works of art.

The book mock up is, I believe, going to be included in the collection of the Cowboy Hall of Fame Museum of Western Art.   If you click on the images they should expand in your browser.

Wm. F. Reese and Sergei Bongart both personally requested that Mary write books about them.  If you can find a copy of either they are worth your time.

And thanks to Mary and Robert for allowing me to include these images.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

'Zorn Palette' 22x28

Anders Zorn....

....currently has a retrospective exhibit in San Francisco.  If you aren't acquainted with him think of the Scandinavian equivalent, and contemporary, of Sargent or Sorolla.  It is supposed to be a wonderful thing to see...maybe I see a trip in my future.

Anyway, Zorn is renowned for using a very limited palette to produce incredibly beautiful paintings.  He was a master of subtle values and paint mixtures.

I've used that palette in the past and decided to do it again last Thursday in our morning portrait painting group.  I brought a pre-toned canvas that I had stretched and colored the night before and that's the blue you see peeking through.  (Great counter to that orange/red hair....and I didn't even plan it.)

What are the pigments used?  Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Black and White.  That's it.  Amazing what color can be obtained with what would seem to be so limiting.  Green can be made with black and yellow....
By the way, Catherine Gill and I recently released two instructional dvds on watercolor techniques.  You can find them on her website HERE, as well as other really good stuff.  It's Cathe's watercolor skill on parade with me acting as videographer and editor.  So far we have done 14 videos, two of which are still in the can awaiting editing.  She also has an open house tomorrow if you can make it.  Info on her website.  (We call ourselves 'Candy Corn Productions' because Cathe is always trying to sneak candy corn into sandwiches.  I would say 'Yuck!' but it's not polite.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Hangin' With the Guv'

Study for 'Rainier Light'

Yup.  Just wander the Governor's Mansion....

....and you will eventually run across these two paintings enjoying their time with family and dignitaries.  Years ago, when I first began painting, my only goal was to paint something that did a bit more than just 'look like something' know, my interpretation of life in this world.  Now here I am hanging work at the Guv's place.  Who knew?

'Harbor Boathouses'