Monday, April 27, 2015

The Beach Boy

The Beach Boy, 10x8" Oil on Gessobord

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." — Mother Teresa

Today's painting is a recently commissioned piece. The photo reference I worked from was 20+ years old and so faded there was very little color still visible in the well worn image. However I have found over time, that if I pay close attention and focus in on each and every individual value shift, adding color isn't really a problem as long as I apply the same values found in the reference. In this reference there were also sand dunes in the background, so using a little creative licensing, I decided to add the cooler blue-green ocean behind this little beach goer for added color and contrast to his sun kissed flesh tones, and to also mimic his luminous sky-blue orbs. 

When I paint a portrait, I really have to completely forget that I am working on a portrait and not even try to think about capturing an exact likeness, or I will freeze up faster than a drop of water landing on the apex of the North Pole. I try to work all over the panel focusing on and breaking it all down into shapes formed by shadows, mid-tones and highlights. Once I am able to isolate a specific shape and value, and recreate that same value, each spot becomes a piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Somehow when I adhere to this limited focus approach, magically a little boy begins to emerge out of the paint. I might not always get an exact likeness, but somehow the underlying spirit and energy seems to rise out of the chaos.

I am not a great painter, only a very insignificant artist struggling to survive in a world surrounded by so many other more talented and formally educated masters. My desire is to disappear into the ocean of my work and experience over and over the tides of joy creating at the foot of the Master. That is enough. 

Thanks for dropping in today!

To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Pondering on a Pond

"Pondering a Pond", 12x24" oil on canvas
There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
— Henri Matisse
I literally pause and let out an aah every time I pass by this watery oasis, which sits juxtaposed at the intersection of a major highway and a clover leaf exit off of a farm road, sandwiched between a business and railroad tracks. I've been driving past it for years, trying in vain to figure a way to gain access into this private sanctuary to paint it.

Swearing profusely that she never saw the "No Trespassing" sign until she was leaving, my friend Angela blatantly hopped a fence onto the property to photograph it after I casually mentioned my dilemma. A friend indeed, and to my total delight, the next thing I know she is sending me inside and close up photos of my masked refuge. This shot was earlier in the spring as the morning fog still blanketed the dried lingering remains of last years reeds and the barely visible new growth of water grasses softly emerging from its murky depths. 

How I wish I could live in a little cabin on the banks of this tiny haven and paint her ever-changing mirrored portrait over and over, day after day. I love the way the reeds, slumping over like exhausted guards, delineate the pond into channels of watery reflections of surrounding forest, sky and clouds. What a hidden gem coexisting side by side in the mundane of our busy lives...aah! 

Thanks for viewing my secret botanical garden. 

 To see more of my art or to contact me: Online Gallery  • E-mail  Website  •  Graphic Design Studio •  Saatchi Gallery •  Fine Art America