Tuesday, November 19, 2013

GRIT (24x30") Finish

Finished and framed this (24x30") oil on linen painting that I titled, "Grit"...I posted the study not long ago.  This is my usual practice...I typically do a smaller (often (6x8") oil study to check drawing, composition, value, color, edges, etc to make sure it's all working.  When I think it will translate to a larger version, I may take that leap and give it a whirl.  Ya never really know, sometimes I'll think it's going to work as a larger painting and I'm dead wrong.  There are paintings wear I felt I wasted my time and should have simply been complacent with the study.  Anyhoot, I like this larger version of "Grit"...It's some of the richest color I've managed to paint in a while.  The Orange and Blues make this one sing.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bucket Hauler (6x8") underpainting study

Here is the "Bucket Hauler", (6x8") oil on wood panel underpainting study for a larger version I did as a (16x20").  Funny, I did an underpainting for the larger version and meant to color it but thought it looked just fine in it's brown and white state.  I think they look like old photos at this stage.  Very nostalgic and pulls at my memory heart strings.  For me, this little study had some breakthrough take-aways like the simple abstract shapes of the background landscape.  I was looking at the backgrounds of some master painters and seeing how they handles foreground, middle ground and background...I was smitten by some of nineteenth century figure painter, George Clausens figure works and how if you took your hand and covered the main figure, the backgrounds seem so simple and devoid of detail...adding more visual importance the figure in the foreground.  Click here to go to Mathew Innis fine blog Underpaintings post about Claussen..note how simple some of those landscapes are as peripheral elements...astonishing work!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Oarman underpainting

This is a 9x12" oil painting study I did on a masonite panel that I titled, "The Oarman".  The model is my good friend Johnny Hames again.  I used this smaller version to complete a larger painting with full color of the same title, you can see that (here).  
At the risk of sounding conceded, I will tell you that I like this little monochrome study just the way it is.  For this reason, I felt no need to add color (As I had done that with the larger version anyway).  For some artist, they cannot fathom the idea of doing a study first then working on another version of the same painting. For me, the smaller one is simply a study exploring values and design in an effort to achieve a larger, more finished painting.  On some occasions, I like the study enough to call it a completed work and will sometimes frame them.  Winslow Homer did over seventeen versions of some of his paintings, reworking compositional elements and exploring ways to push it or look at things another way.  I think thats a healthy way to proceed and push the limits of what a design can do...I will paint something if it's still in my head haunting me to resolve it another way.  For me, the process is a blast.  Sitting in my studio with music and simply painting is almost too much fun.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sea Dog (5x7") oil on wood

"Sea Dog" (5x7") oil on wood
I thought I would post this small (5x7") oil on wood study I did of my brother Bobby that I titled, "Sea Dog".  I used this study to complete a much larger version at (20x40") that I titled "Old Salt", you can see that (here)
I learned that I love painting really small or really large paintings.  The large ones force you to stand back to absorb the breadth of the work in it's entirety, whereas the smaller ones require you to physically move in close, almost nose-to-nose with the art.  It's more intimate.  I heard someone refer to small paintings as almost jewel-like...the really good ones maybe.  For me, the joy comes in making them, getting up close and painting from my chair for the small ones and backing up ten feet or more in my studio for the larger ones.  Great fun.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

Plein air painting with the Dirty Eleven

Todays post is cut and pasted from the blog of my good friend and mentor, Donald Jurney.  With his permission, I have simply reposted his post from a mid October outdoor painting outing trip with eleven scalliwags.  I must tell you that I derive great energy from being around other painters, I love the cameraderie, talking shop and all the nonsense that goes with it.  Donald invited not only some good natured fellows but some damn talented painters...I was in my glory and am looking forward to the next outing.  I wanted to post this simply as a record of the memory.  A thousand thank you's to my good friend Donald for putting this together and thinking of me.  You are indeed one of the good ones my friend....Here is the post as it appears on Donalds blog:

The Dirty Eleven

Riparian Fellowship

Eleven painting friends convened at Deer Island today, in the middle of the Merrimack River between Newburyport and Amesbury, Massachusetts, for some fresh air, laughter and, yes, some painting.  Thanks to Todd Bonita there were plenteous muffins and, thanks to Tom Bailey, a vat of hot java.

There was river fog to begin, but soon it brightened up, becoming a sunny day at 72 degrees. Here's a photo of the view downstream, toward the ocean.

And a photo of the assembled group...

L-R, Back Row: Barrett McDevitt, Stan Moeller, Frank Hyer, DJ, Tom Bailey. L-R, front row: Brent Rosko, Alastair Dacey, Chris Volpe, Todd Bonita, Nick Corvinus, Mike Dorsey

Barrett, Stan, a sliver of Tom, DJ....all hard at work

Todd, Frank, Barrett, Chris, and a sliver of Stan...all equally hard at work.
Mike, Chris, Tom, DJ, Brent?, and Alastair, discussing the meaning of life.   

Todd demonstrating that real men aren't bothered by high tide

Chris and Alastair

What's His Name
Nick getting his feet wet


Apologies to Stan and Tom, to whom I didn't say goodbye as I slinked off.
Thanks to Nick for his great photos.

We shall do it again.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Study for Grit (6x8") oil on wood

This is a small (6x8") oil on wood panel study I did of my good friend Johnny Hames.  He modeled for me and was a great sport at putting on fisherman's clothes and cooperating with my art directing nonsense...great fun working with my old chum.  It's common practice in my studio to use these small studies as reference for a much larger version.  These paintings can be so time consuming, I find if I can sort out composition, values, drawing and color on the small scale, then I stand a better chance at putting all of my gusto into the larger version.  I'll post photos of the larger 24x30" when it's complete.