Well, I got back from Puerto Rico and I have to say I’ve been really inspired by the beautiful landscape and people of San Juan. Here’s a little painting from Old San Juan of some coffee drinkers hanging out casually in the hot Puerto Rican sun. I’ll post more later as I settle back into the groove of everyday life. Currently AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.
Here are the new paintings featured in my solo exhibition. Contract me if you are interested in purchasing one. Show runs until the end of June 2018.
January 1st I joined a 31 daily painting challenge hosted by Strada Easel. I wanted to jumpstart my painting and had heard of this challenge last year. The rules are paint from life (no photos) everyday. It was an extremely challenging process to figure out a subject to paint. Some paintings were started and abandoned due to time or work, which meant if it was plein air, I had to start all over again that evening. During this challenge I learned that I really should embrace still life subjects more as they are a great way to study light, composition and values when I can't be outside painting plein air. Most of the paintings were done in an hour and half to two hour range. After getting home from work, cooking and getting the kids to bed it usually was 10pm. Some of the paintings I wouldn't considered finished paintings but astute life studies. Not all of them are successful, but the constant painting everyday has greatly improved my confidence and helped me rely more on intuition an instinct. If you have not considered this challenge, I would highly recommend you should if you are looking to improve upon your painting skills. Below are the paintings in chronological order. For those that followed me on Facebook and Instagram, thank you for your daily support and encouragement! Thanks to Bryan Mark Taylor for hosting this challenge, I really enjoyed the process and challenge of daily painting.
Here's another painting I did of the Rusty Engine No.5, this time at night. I had a lot of fun on this and have done another time-lapse video to show my painting process. Also of note, I ran into an engineer of the Bay Shore line and he said that Rusty has gone in to be restored. I wonder if I will recognize the engine afterwards?
I had a fun hour back outside painting, although I didn't have much time. With all the Christmas hustling and bustling, painting has been limited to commissions only. Whew, now there's only New Year's Eve left! Made a quick trip to the city dump with very little daylight left, as I was leaving I noticed the light was very dramatic on the entrance to the dump, so I opted to paint it. I actually was a lot of fun!
I'm glad these came out so well. It's a funny thing about doing commissions. It's much different than plein air or landscapes which the only person I really need to satisfy is myself. Of course selling landscapes is nice, but when it comes to commissions, the painting is practically sold and the art has to live up to expectations of both parties involved. As a result, I've become very selective on what I do take on. That's the only way I know to keep the end result looking amazing. If a client decides to become a "co-pilot" of the artwork instead of being the passenger, nothing good can come of it and no one will be completely satisfied. Over the years, I've learned that it is best to give the money back and move on to something more productive. Some artists are better taking direction from others, but for the most part, listen to your gut. If you are miserable being the hired brush for someone trying to express their artistic ideas through you, it's best to cut the cord and let them find someone else. You'll be much happier in the long run! If you do find someone who is willing to let you paint and express your ideas while commissioning a painting, think about charging double the amount of a painting that size. After all, not only do you now have to satisfied with the final painting, the client does as well.
"Salem Road Farm" 9x12" oil on board. Despite my limited time, just over an hour, I was ok with what was accomplished. But throughout this speed session, I realized there is more studying of the dynamic nature that trees have needed. Looking forward to meeting another painting goal!
Time-lapse painting from my live painting demo on U-Stream. "Untitled" song is by my friend, Daniel Harner, from his Armory Sessions. https://soundcloud.com/daniel-harner