Thursday, January 31, 2013

Cloudy Drive on the 101 - 5x5

Here's one of the reasons I've never taken to plein air painting, I get inspired at the most inconvenient times! It's hard enough just to catch of photo, let alone pull over and make a painting. Although I did see an artist doing that once, painting on the side of the freeway that is. He was awesome and kind of insane at the same time. 

Oil on panel, 5x5 inches

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lone Crow - 4x4

A lone black crow,  I liked his shadow and the reflection on his shoulder. 

Oil on canvas panel, 4x4 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sailboats - 4x4

Another small painting today.  This one was especially fun, the small space kept me from worrying about every detail in this cluttered harbor scene.  

Oil on panel, 4x4 inches

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

White Christmas - 4x4

I found a bunch of these tiny canvases in my studio and thought they would make a fun project.  I thought I could work on these as kind of a "warm up" everyday before I continued work on a large commission I was painting.  And the best part? I'll be posting these little guys up for auction with super low starting bids!

Oil on canvas panel, 4x4 inches

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blue and Gold - 6x6

This is the last of the storm series, I had a bunch of extra paint when I finished yesterdays painting and  I thought I might as well have some fun with it. 

Oil on panel, 6x6 inches

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Solvent Free Studio

For the last 5 months my studio has been completely solvent free! I didn't know how easy it would be to make the switch! For anyone that paints alla prima I recommend this method 100%.  If you like to paint in a glazing or layering method this might not work for you.  I pretty much only used the solvent (Gamsol) for thinning the wash to tone the surface at the very beginning of the painting, and to clean my brushes, both while I was working and for clean up.  As for thinning the paints, that's never really something I do, I always just use a touch of walnut oil to loosen them up a bit.  

Well apparently you can also use walnut oil to clean your brushes! (I didn't believe it was true until I tried it).  Did you know they sell walnut oil in giant containers like this? 

It was kind of expensive ($28 I got mine at blick) and I was expecting to have to use a LOT of it to get the brushes clean. But that wasn't true at all. Turns out I could fill my solvent container with only about 1/4 cup of oil, and that quarter cup has lasted me 5 months so far.  Turns out $28 wasn't a bad price at all! (update: that first quarter cup of oil lasted me for 7 months! Finally just broke down and changed it.)

To clean my brushes I just wipe the excess paint on a paper towel or rag, and then swish in the oil the same way that I would the solvent.  It totally works! And as an added bonus the condition of my brushes has improved immensely since I started working this way. I haven't even been using soap and water afterwards like I usually did when cleaning with solvents. 

I also went through all of my oil colors (and there were a lot of them) and removed the colors that have potential toxicity (cadmiums, cobalts, ones with lead etc).  I felt like I was in a chemistry class again, there was some very dense paperwork to go through.  

But after hours and hours of research  I'm confident that the pigment in my chosen paints are safe.  But just in case I've also been wearing gloves while painting :) 

And now all my paints (mostly M. Graham) fit in my sweet little carrier.  I like the M. Graham brand since they use walnut oil as the binder. 

So why this sudden-ish concern for health? Well one reason is because my new studio isn't as easily ventilated as my last one, and the other (more important) reason is that we're expecting a little one in June! :) and guess what? 

it's a girl!!!

Denver Thunderstorm III - 10x20

I love painting these large skyscapes, pretty much the only thing I like to do on a larger scale :) 

Oil on canvas, 10x20 inches
Sides painted

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Denver Thunderstorm II - 14x18

I'm enjoying working with the same subject on different painting surfaces, rough and fine canvas, panel, and linen.  It's amazing what a different look some of the surfaces create. 

Oil on stretched canvas, sides painted
14x18 inches

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

DIA Abstraction - 8x10

Decided to have fun with this one.  I loved the colors and drama in this scene and painting it loosely was a nice change for me. 

Oil on canvas panel, 8x10 inches

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thunderstorm and a Highway - 6x12

I loved the contrast of the car lights against this dark sky, it's something I've continued to play with throughout this series. 

Oil on stretched linen, 6x12 inches

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Denver Thunderstorm - 8x10

Starting a new series.  Thunderstorms are one of my very favorite things, so I'm thankful when Colorado gives me a few when I visit there in the summer.  The view of the storm from I70 was amazing this particular day, and that's what this current series will be drawn from. 

Oil on canvas panel 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Avocado with Purple - 5x7

The last of the still lifes for now, this one almost forgotten on the drying shelf. 

Oil on panel, 5x7 inches

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Bluffs Path, Sunset - 8x10

It's been a while since my last post! I took a long break for Christmas and New Years, very refreshing :) But now it's back to work, there's so much to do, including a very large commission (the panel of which is currently staring at me, trying to intimidate me with its size!) 

I painted this piece long before Christmas but neglected to post it until now. I love the bluffs at sunset, all these wonderful purple blue shadows appear cooling off all the yellows and oranges that are usually present. 

Oil on panel, 8x10 inches