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Updated 3/29/12

The Daily Paintings and Postcard-Sized Sketches in Oils and Acrylics

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September 2006

1 I have been sitting here trying to sort out my web sites, all three of them are on one server that is completely down and has been for the past half day. I've started the process for moving them so you'll be able to see them again, and because of the hours of work this has generated, I have not been able to do a new painting for you tonight/today.  What a headache, but only for me.
  So I thought I'd share with you a REAL GEM... from long ago and far away, so to speak. One of the early good'uns.
  You sadly won't be able to see it on the web site, until the Internet gets sorted out about where to send you when you type in dailypaintings.com, but I'll share it here with you as I update my sites on the new server. So I cannot send you a link to see it for AOL users.
  This is/was a 12 x 9 oil of a rocking chair I had back in the early 80's, sitting on my old front porch. I painted it from a photograph, and want to share with you some of the details that make it a fairly decent painting:
  1. The values are broad in scope, from the lightest light to the darkest dark; yet there is a relationship of small lights, large dark shapes in mid tones to fall right in the "good design" of Edgar Whitney.
  2.  The colors are analogous, falling into the range of yellow/green with a blue/violet complement to create color interest. Note the AMOUNT of each color, and how grayed they are to keep the balance going.
  3. The use of the illusion of warms in the shadow side of the chair is accomplished by using alizarin crimson and yellow ochre with lemon yellow to keep the palette in line with the "Color System".
  This painting is already
and in the collection of Steve Kilburn of Lake Elsinore, California.
2 "Yellow Rocker, Revisited" without looking at yesterday's painting, I startedt his one in acrylics for the challenge of seeing how I'd handle the subject some years later. The palette is somehow richer, the design is more subtle, and each painting has its charm. The difference is this one is for SALE. It's a 12 x 9 acrylic, and has the lovely layers in the shadows that are so much fun to paint.

to the collection of Sylvia Moran of Ontairo, Canada who wrote "My painting of the "Yellow Rocker Revisited" arrived today  and I love it.  Thank you so much"     

3 "A Heart for the Hunt" You probably know that sometimes I go into the studio and have no idea what I'm going to paint.  This is good, because then I am never frustrated or dismayed if I'm taken from a preset goal.  Today was the poster child for that method.  I received an email from a friend and artist with a camera, with some distressing news of a life event that is a real challenge for her.  Her words moved me, and I paint this tonight in her honor.  

Vickee has been the official photographer for Red Rock Hounds, over there in Reno, Nevada, and had graciously shared some of her photographs with me for use in my painting process a couple years ago.  An enjoyable communication was begun, and we've kept in touch over the years with paintings and photographs passing one another in the mail.  I've been brought up short by her news and wanted to somehow express my concern--so I paint.  The source material for this 8 x 6 gallery wrap oil is one of her photographs.  I've wanted to paint it, but before, it just never felt quite "right".  Now, it is.

4 "Evolving" Remember that red onion from a few days ago? Here it is again, this time in oils as a 5 x 7. Interesting how the two media behave under the same hand, each with its own charm and utility. I call this one "Evolving" because as I peel off a layer of that papery skin, I see new nuances of color and translucency. Onions are not easy to paint--they have a depth and sheen that isn't a snap to capture. In this painting I want your eyes to caress the surface, so nothing is so important to keep your eye from moving. 

The repetitive curves in the design keep your eye looping around, and yet there is a strong triangle of the three shapes to keep you within the canvas plane. But heck, I was going to paint a cat. Oh well, maybe tomorrow! Original oil, 5x7


to the collection of Sue Estrada of Hemet, California.
5 How Now, Meow?" Yup, it's a cat. Well, adolescent kitten, really. Got a look there--into your soul, or are you prey, or can we play, or will you FeeeeeeEEEEddd me? Miao!
Who knows? Cats are inscrutable. This is an acrylic, 7 x 5 inches, and is kind of  a combination of several cats that have come through our life. OH, I know!  She's a Mona Lisa Cat!
Ha! For lesson purposes, this is a classic analogous color scheme, blue/orange with a discord of those yellow-green eyes. Remember that brown is nothing more than a grayed orange, reduced in value. So where you see brown, think orange! Available for $100 from the web site.

Now I think I'll have that evening glass of wine! I hope you enjoy her, or a young "him". Meranwhile, I'm packing. Sent the last box today, and now can figure out what I left out that I'm going to have to take on the plane.

to the collection of Cynthia Jaeger of Quail Valley, California.

6 Maine Coon" Cats again. I seem to go in a series of three or more paintings on a subject before moving to a new area. Today's painting is a Maine Coon, one of the fluffiest and friendliest of cat breeds. A friend of ours has one, and he is HUGE. Doglike, they follow you from room to room and press their huge heads up against you to be petted. Although we don't have a Maine Coon, our cats will forgive their staff for painting something not like them--at least today. 

The painting again focuses on a complementary color scheme, this time blue orange, similar to yesterday's.  Hmmm, I think there's a black or white cat coming out soon so I can get some other colors going! This is an original acrylic 5 x 7

to Donald Fowler of San Francisco, California.

7 Ahhh, one more cat, this time a more abstracted subject, and far more profound in messaging than the nice portraits that came your way these last two days. Entitled "Expectations" it is
an original acrylic, also 7 x 5 inches. This painting evokes more of the emotional response of the yellow rocker to me.  The cat is looking out the window, much the way we look to our own uncertain futures, and wonder what the world will deliver to us. I'm getting ready to leave on Saturday, and there is a long laundry list of things I need to do tomorrow.  Today several volunteers and friends came to help move the corral panels, the horse and goats, and it was fraught with excitement. One flat tire, one shredded tire on the freeway, and company arriving from up Nevada way to see the new digs and spend some time together... we put him to work!  
  This painting hasto Debbie Welch of Fullerton, California.

.

I don't know about you, but I'm going to be really sore tomorrow from moving those galvanized pipe 24 foot sections of corral. Whew.

8 "Morning Sunrise" The peace of an early morning sunrise, enjoyed by those of us who manage to scramble out of bed to see it. As the summer wanes, and the days grow shorter, more and more of us will be up early enough to enjoy the rising sun. I painted this canvas as an exercise in grays to convey the true illusion of the sky being luminous with many intense colors. Not so, as all of these are very grayed.
 I saw the harvest full moon tonight and wanted to paint it, but I was driving up to the new home, and the paints are still at the old place! Maybe tomorrow evening, as I fly into Lexington. I'll have my watercolors with me. WATERCOLORS??? Yes, desperation makes us do strange things! This 5 x 7 acrylic painting is available for $100 with the press of the button below.

9 "TSA" I found myself with about two hours wait until my flight to Dallas/Fort Worth sitting in the Ontario airport this morning. I took out my watercolors and did this portrait of the many security people evident around the area now. He was restless, and moved a lot, but seemed to have that almost blank stare so often seen in folks with his job description. It was tough to catch his pose, but I did get his "look", which doesn't require too many details.
  I had several people come by and look over my shoulder, and one very nice artist chat with me for a while about methods and materials while creating this. Now there's an amazing way to meet people--better than a dog on a leash!
My watercolor setup is a white plastic Jilur palette from Japan, set up with the 12 colors of my color system. This palette is one my mom had, and it was strange and yet comforting to find myself cleaning out her colors to replace them with ones I use. I've not painted much with watercolor, but actually like the end result. It is a whole lot easier to translate the color system to a new medium--like having a familiar friend!  The palette folds into a 1/2" deep 3.5" by 8", and here's a photo of it (left)
This 6 x 6 unique watercolor painting is available for $100 with the press of the button below.
My watercolor palette.
10 I'm here in Lexington and preparing for the week-long workshop in Acrylics "Every Which Way AND Loose" which begins tomorrow, Monday.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of instruction, and I'll share with you some of that these next two weeks, with the resultant paintings. Today's painting is a 6 x 6 black and white value study of the onion I did in acrylics earlier this year. (The colorful image of this is to be found on the June paintings page.) I'm painting this black and white to show the students how incredibly important it is to get the values right, that color can very well be secondary to value and one can still have a strong painting. How can a student even begin to work with issues of designing good paintings without a good understanding of the relationship of values? Many artists want color to work for them and forget that every color has a value that needs to be dealt with as well. This exercise also will give students a bit of adjustment time on the first day of the workshop, and allow me to assess their abilities with paint before we "jump off" on Tuesday with experimentation. I'll also show them traditional handling of acrylics tomorrow, which will be most familiar to them. 
  They will also be exposed to designing the abstract structure of their paintings, too.  Busy day ahead!
11 "Lesson Cat" Today in the class we studied the importance of values, design and composition. At the end of the day, after the students practiced some of the value exercises, I painted this neat cat by the edge of a lily pond to show them the traditional way of handling acrylic paints. This 12 x 9 inch painting demonstrated the "most normal" expectation of acrylics--that they can behave like oils--and serves as the jumping-off point for the exercises and work that is coming tomorrow and this week. Available for $250 directly from me, but I can only ship it after I return to California, as I have to mount it on board--that's after September 23.

This painting was featured on the April 2007 cover of the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association, and reproductions are available.

to Betty Billups of Priest River, Idaho.

12 "Dots and Spots" You all know how much I love dogs, and today's painting is full of the joy of this Dalmatian joyfully running through the snow. The source material for this painting, done during today's demonstration time, was a photo taken of "Patch", the farm dog, on an overcast day after a snowfall. Hard material to make into a decent painting, but acrylics are magical this way. I dropped all the grays out of the plan, and used blues and violets instead! The repetition of the coloration on the dog and the background fencing creates a unity for good design. Putting the dog with enough "room" to run forward is also a conscious decision for good design. This 12 x 16 acrylic painting is already in the hands of collectors Melissa and Bill Brown of Lexington, Kentucky.

Gift to the Brown family of Lexington

13 "Tennis, Anyone?" This is a 10 x8 watercolor on watercolor canvas, which I painted "en plein air"--which means I was looking at the scene while painting it. I was sitting on a porch swing on one of the older houses in Lexington, looking across to the public tennis courts, where three players were exercising and enjoying a late afternoon day of tennis. People and dogs walked by, there were kids on skateboards, and it was just a lovely afternoon after yesterday's rain. The watercolor canvas will be sealed, and can be framed normally without glass. Available for $100


The workshop day went really well, with the students exploring the many ways acrylics and texture can become acquainted, and learning that the possibilities are endless for the creation of exciting illusions and actual textures using this medium. I started a demonstration painting of how texture can work, creating a snow scene I'm hoping to use for the upcoming back cover of Horses in Art, winter issue.  You'll probably see that one finished tomorrow, it is a 12 x 9. After working until 2, we went to the University of Kentucky where there was a show of Landscape paintings, and I gave of my knowledge of design and art history to the students as we saw the Corots, the Monets, the Sisleys, as well as their permanent collection. Nice! 
14 "Butterfies on My Nose!" This lighthearted, illustrative creation came off the brushes today as an example of collage painting with acrylics, and it has such a lighthearted feeling that I thought you'd enjoy it. Done on canvas board, it contains hand-made papers, yarn, tulle, gold and copper flakes, iridescent paint and added collage elements. She is the "Lady in Purple" and reminds me of everyone's eccentric great aunt! She originated without planning after the first layer of string suggested the outrageous profile. The butterflies were added and the name suggested itself. Original acrylic, 12 x 9

to Lorna MacPhee of Ontario, Canada.

15 "Slim Pickins" In demonstrating acrylic textural techniques, how could I not paint snow and a horse? Acrylics lend themselves to such actual tectures creating incredible visual excitement on a two dimensional surface! And this painting is good for another reason--the subtle complimentary color scheme of blue and orange. Original acrylic, 12 x 9

to Melissa Brown of Lexington, Kentucky.

16 "Pastures at the KHP" This acrylic demonstrates the layering effects of building layers and veils of color over an underpainting of large shapes like a cartoon. For example the tree started out as a solid area of pthalo green, but at this more finished stage, the tree has been pushed back by a layer of lighter green, another of burnt umber wash, and several other layers of sky color and grayed blue. Acrylics suit this method, because they dry more quickly, and can be built up with luminosity as the layers are added. An original acrylic, 9 x 12 inches, for $100.
17 "Valley View Ferry" Here's the plein air (on location) painting from yesterday afternoon, created with a pleasant hour at the edge of the Kentucky River. The cables hold the ferry from the white A-shaped tower on each side, no matter the river's height. I learned that Kentucky has more fresh water than any state in the United States, including Alaska, according to my hosts. It certainly is a GREEN state, although some of the leaves, like on this large sycamore(?) across from where I was sitting are starting to turn fall colors. It must be beautiful year-round, yet I haven't been here in the winter.  Original 4 x 4 inch oil

to Roy Renfro of Pottsboro, Texas

18 "Chincoteague Moonlight" Today's painting is a colorful example of moonlight falling on the back of one of the many feral ponies living on the  outer barrier islands off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. Although some think the ponies are descendents of ponies that came from a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, the most plausible explanation is that they are offspring from horses that were brought to Assateaague Island in the 17th century by landowners trying to avoid fencing issues and taxation of livestock! I grew up in Virginia so this painting is close to my heart. Original 9 x 12 inch oil, $275

to Louise Mellon of Aiken, North Carolina

Lesson: I start with a light gray toned canvas, and quickly sketch in the composition, and plan my focal point and light source from the moon. The original photo was a middle-value diffuse lighting situation during the day. I paint the moonlit sky with untramarine blue and alizarin crimson and a bit of white. There also is a touch of burnt umber to keep it "quiet".

Next is the laying in of the water between the mainland and the island, with the moonlit part on the right. It's a grayed mix of the sky color with a hint of pthalo green in it. The bushes behind the horse are laid in, with sap, pthalo green and burnt umber wiht some white. The lightest ground is painted with pthalo green and white, and the shadow of the pony is painted with ultramarine blue and white. I start the browns of the pony with the dark mix of burnt umber and white, and a darker mix of pthal green and white for the shadowed whites. The light part of the horse is still pthalo green, but with a LOT more white. The grasses and shrubs are sap green and white, with yellow ochre.

Now I'm moving to detail out the parts of the painting to create more interest in those larger shapes put in earlier. The legs go in, as well as details on the head and ground , and I lose the horse's shadow. I'll have to find it later on! I put in the darks of the head so your eye will go there, and continue to work on the grasses. The final details were put in the finished image, posted above. Thanks for reading!

19 "Calling the Stragglers" This painting was the demonstration painting for morning light for my eleven students in the workshop at the Kentucky Horse Park today, and is a 12 x 16 oil. I drew all of the dogs "from my head" without reference. There was one hound, the light tan one, in the source material, but he didn't become as important as the one with the brown patches. There are two hounds coming in from the far right, in case you may have missed 'em.

to Sally Jackson (and Rags), who are attending the workshop.

20 "Underpainting with Cadmium Orange" (Pastures at the KHP #2) One of the demonstration paintings for the last workshop, this 12 x 16 acrylic painting was started over an underpainting of acrylic that continues to peek through in various places in the final composition. A familiar tactic to unify a painting, this bright pigment livens up areas of the work. In the earlier version on September 16, you'll see the quieter version. $100
21 "Backlit Pasture Moment" A quick study to show my students how to deal with backlit subjects. I like the quick brushmarks and looseness of the edges, and that happened because I was painting as quickly as I could due to time constraints. The students got the message and produced some fantastic backlit artwork! Original oil on canvas, 12 x 9

to the collection of Joan Bennett of Oxford, Maryland

22 Well, here it is eleven p.m., and I'm to fly out tomorrow from Lexington airport. However, small problem. There are...ulp...TORNADOS coming. Maybe I'm supposed to stay here for a couple days more? We'll see. Sure was sad to see the great group of students pack up and leave for all different parts of the country. I made wonderful friendships and know they learned a great deal about color and times of day. I will miss them all terribly.

Today's painting is the one I did on Wednesday afternoon as a plein air for the students, to demonstrate on location work, after our regular class. It was cold that evening, unlike the nice weather (temperature-wise!) we're having now. I sat looking over one of the warmup rings, where some of the youthful riders were prepping their mounts for the competition for that show of jumpers the Kentucky Horse Park just had. It was fun laying in the clouds in this "sky" painting, even though they eventually brought TORNADOS! This is a 12 x 9 inch oil, and was painted in about 40 minutes, and depicts late afternoon light, before the orange of evening colors everything up. You might be able to buy it if we survive the night of TORNADOS. Egad.

to the collection of Stephanie Allison of Shelbyville, Kentucky.

23

"Sunset Light over the Farm" I'm still in Lexington, because flights all over the place were cancelled due to a second storm front that came through today. I was standing at the airport check-in counter and the attendant tells me my flight to California from Dallas was also cancelled. So I'm enjoying a nice glass of wine at Melissa's farm and planning to leave very early tomorrow morning. Safer, definitely. I'll share a small photo of the black tornado sky that was coming up over the farm when we came back. It's on today's date for September.

This 9 x 11 oil was the demonstration painting for the Color Boot Camp's Sunset lesson. I asked my students to focus on the orange and alizarin characteristics of sun and shadow, and to remember that skies are a simple formula of three hues.

On other news, I've firmed up the dates for the Georgia Color Bootcamp workshop one year from now--September 11-14. If you're interested, email me.
This sunset painting is available for $150

24 "Cream of the Calves" Home safe, and purely tired! I share this exercise I painted during the acrylic workshop of one of the calves on the farm, shifting the light to more of a moonlight painting--HOWEVER, I didn't quite get it, because the values are too light for a "real" moonnlight painting--so this one shifts over to a lightly overcast day instead. Hey, artistic license, we can do that! I does show the layering of acrylics, however, and is a nice 9 x 12 size. It's actually in a shipping box that is on its way here, arriving sometime later this week. Available for $250
25 "Changing Light (Red Apple Exercise)" This is about 6 x 7 inches, and is an acrylic example of how to do layers with acrylics, painting this complex, yet simple apple. Note the beautiful change of coloration from the yellow orange on the lightest side to the red-violet in the shadows. I learned this from observing Dahlart Windberg's work, although I didn't understand what he was doing back then. I love the veils of color in this quick study. $100
26 "Cloud Exercise" I was asked by one of the participants in the acrylic workshop (Lynda!) how do I do clouds, and would I demonstrate the methods for getting a feel for the ethereal, and this 12 x 9 inch canvas resulted. It was painted with the sky color first and the layers of light being added in a glazing fashion, with the lightest forms and edges added last. I think I used a 5/8 inch brush on the whole thing, which goes to show that those filberts can really dance when you need them to!
  Herculean two days of moving--I came home to a stressed out hubby and just tons of work to be done. My artist friend Nancy Cox and my sister-in-law came to the old house for a marathon packing afternoon.  Hmmm, I don't think I'll find anything for weeks! But the dining room table is in place, and we can sit down to a proper meal--which we did this evening. I've also spent a good portion of the day filling DVD orders that came in while I was gone. They are all going out in tomorrow's mail!
Coyotes are really howling tonight. All cats are inside and safe. $100
27 Happy Cat" (Bats in the Studio) Oh my!  Even though I'm still not completely moved over (easel and taboret are still at the other place), I couldn't keep myself from doing this 6 x 4 oil tonight.  Here it is almost midnight and I'm just hopping with joy at being able to lift brushes in the new studio space!  Today we brought over the big Tibetan Mastiff, and that was a fun move, as she's never left the old property for a long period before.  Tentative, she explores the new space, finding her limits for protecting us, and yet we're not sure she'll adjust. Now she sleeps at my feet, accepting the locale. Bats-the-Studio-Cat gives me one of those inscrutable stares that cannot be fathomed, and I paint him, looking relaxed and with the pleasure of being the resident king cat. Having the creatures again in my life brings a full circle to a close. Time for bed, and tomorrow a new exciting day!
 

to the collection of Elyse Hasznos of Parker, Colorado

28 "Moving Forward" How profound this painting is for me. Here I am in the new (chaotic) studio, and yet I keep my head focused on the future and the paintings that will emerge from this space, and voila! I make a definite keeper. This 6 x 12 oil is a marriage of Kentucky memories and horse language with the mare taking the youngster forward into greener pastures! I'm taking my art that way, too, with planned workshops next year and a full schedule this fall. Can we as artists paint our own futures? I think so. One of those lines for accomplishing something comes to me now, as I remember what I used to tell students, "Aim at nothing; you'll hit it." So I aim for a bright and positive future. Potholes on that road may slow me down, but, like the mare, I'm moving forward.

to a collector in Escondido, California

29 An interesting canvas came to light in the move today--I found an acrylic I had started a LONG time ago, and wanted to bring it out for you to see, because in looking at it with "new" eyes, I can see many things that appeal to me, and some major things I will be changing in the next couple of days. Before I begin, though, I need to tell you that this painting is 30 x 28 inches, not quite square, and not a small piece. That said, lets share the story: 

I painted this from life and a few reference photographs, and it was composed in the living room of the "old" house. The objects on the shelves include a photograph of my folks, who were alive when I painted it. That photo now sits on the mantel of the new house. The lamp is one of two that I now have, receiving the second one when Mom passed. So there is a lot of meaning in this painting for me personally. Design-wise, the painting is strong with horizontal, diagonal and curved lines--this painting is all about those lines--the cats are bit players. Check the curves of the shadows as well, reinforcing the sweep that takes you up into the composition with the strength of the grout lines in the tiles. The draped coverlet repeats those lines.  The books are all unique, yet repetitive, giving you variety. The brushwork in the books repeats the brushwork in the tiles. This is a PLANNED painting, not just an assemblage of objects. I will be working over many aspects of it in the next few days (if I can find my acrylics!), so I hope you'll enjoy the transition. It may be signed, but it sure isn't "finished!"
30 "Moving Clouds on a Breezy Day" Oh darn. I was supposed to paint on yesterday's painting, and well... we had company to the new house this evening, and all plans for painting in acrylics went out the window! So the result for today is this nice 6 x 8 cloud study. I like doing clouds, because it allows me to really "cut loose" with brushwork. Compare this one to the earlier one in acrylics to see a difference in both values and textures. My spirit soars as I look at it, and I want to paint more of them! 
 But I also need to put together the EASEL (yes it is finally moved!) and start painting on that larger acrylic lesson for you. $100