Thursday, December 31, 2009

With freezing rain and sleet possible today, it's a good day to be sitting and concentrating at the drawing board. Before today's work begins, wanted to post yesterday afternoon's bit of work. This is the stuff that gets me going . . . . . . texture, texture, texture! One upon the other upon some more. In the end, this windfall of textures is what drew me to make note of this reference material in the first place and which now, has pulled me into all the possibilities of using this as the setting for the current work.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I've sort of taken a break from doing some smaller scale works for posting to ebay, though there are plenty waiting in the wings for posting over the next several weeks so don't take that to mean that I am moving away from posting to ebay, and have begun a larger work (it will wind up being 10" x 14") which I have worked on for about eight hours already. Does not look like much accomplishment, I know. This one is going to be quite 'noodly' as I am fond of saying when working on a piece that is chock full of little details. And this one is certainly full of noodles!

I ask myself sometimes, as I have been into a work for a day or so, 'What every possessed you to pick such reference to work with?' I think I hit that point when I sat down to work today! What you see so far is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot more of that railing to come. Well, it is a challenge for sure and the fact that this material is the sort of stuff I have not worked into a drawing in a bit, makes it fresh for me.

I know I've said before that challenges, especially like working on textures I don't do that often, or working with subjects that I am not that familiar with, can give me pause when considering a new work. But then again, how do you grow as an artist if you don't challenge yourself every now and again?

The reference for this work has been sitting around for well over a year. I have looked at it now and again and scratched my head and wondered how I might ever make use of it; what subject might work well within the context of the image or what sort of idea or emotion would I like to evoke?

In this particular instance, by focusing in on just a small portion of the overall photo image and editing out some unnecessary details that would take away from what will be the overall thrust of the whole composition when completed, and finding the absolute perfect, emotive subject matter to have as a major point of interest, I have finally found a way to make use of material that, when I was there and photographing and making notations as to light and such, I knew instinctively would offer me a really good starting point sometime in the future.

It's good to stash ideas away and let time work its magic. I remember a comment that John Sharp, the marvelous wood sculptor, had said during his talk on being an artist when he received the Master recognition at the Birds in Art opening weekend several years ago. John spoke about his stash of wood chunks, logs and stumps and how it took time for him to 'see' what was there in the wood. Sometimes he would look at a piece of wood for years before finally the idea was revealed to him by the wood itself. I remember at the time taking to heart his statement about how he let the wood show the way.

Like many of my artist friends, I have discs full of reference material, some of it from as long ago as ten years or more. From time to time I just sit and spend some time wondering through a disc full of images and as often will happen, something just jumps out at me in an instant and I know there is something, finally, that will spark an idea. It then goes into a special folder on my computer which I call 'Working Ideas'. I won't tell you now just how many images are sitting there and awaiting refining and editing and careful study, but all of those set aside images will ultimately find their way into compositional arrangements for future works.

Surely more currently gathered reference material always sits at the forefront of my mind when considering ideas for a new work or two. But I never overlook images shot a year ago or two years ago or ten years ago. There was a reason, at the time, that sparked my need to capture that moment, that view, that light, that way things were arranged and as in this instance, there may come that perfect moment when, as Master sculptor Sharp said, it just reaches out and grabs hold of you.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I hope all those who look in on this blog enjoyed their Christmas. I will be posting two new works to ebay this evening, shortly after the two that close tonight, close bids. Check back after 8 PM (Eastern) to see what little goodies I will have up next.

As noted, here are the next two small works up for bid on ebay.

Click here to place a bid on 'Enchanted'.

Click here to place a bid on 'Winter Coats'.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

OK, I know it's only Christmas Eve but don't think it too early to wish everyone a . . . . .

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Here are the next two works being posted to ebay for bidding. Good Luck!

A record snowfall for the month of December here, outside Washington, DC! Momentarily, I will trudge out the front door and begin shoveling out. I know, to those of you who look in from the upper Midwest, or mountain states, you must be having a chuckle at how we mid Atlantic dwellers are all hyped up about the snow. But, this is the most snow I have seen in five or six years and not something typical in the recent past. Delightful yes, and I am glad I don't have to go out of the house to work come tomorrow morning!

And a reminder that tonight I will be posting one or two more new small scale works to ebay so check back later this evening to see what I shall be offering for this coming week.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

' Oh the weather outside is frightful -
and since I've no place to go -
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! '

Enjoying this quiet morning, no sounds outside as the snow continues to pile up. What a great day to be inside, watching from the coziness of the studio. I imagine something cold and wintery developing on the drawing board today!


(posting at 1:30 PM) Been snowing for about 15 hours now with no signs of letting up. Lunch break, time for peanut butter and jelly and a nice hot cup of tea. Sitting at the kitchen table and watching the birds at the feeders in the back yard. Glad I filled them the other day. It truly is becoming a Winter Wonderland out there!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

As noted yesterday afternoon, I completed this little work about twenty minutes ago. This one weighs in at 3 1/4" x 3 3/4". Look for it to be posted for bidding on ebay this weekend. Later this evening, I will be posting another new work, subject . . . well best kept a surprise for right now! So, come back around 8 tonight!


OK, I have just posted (at 8 PM) the next small work up for bid on ebay. If you would like to place a bid on 'Fred and Ginger', click here .

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I've just, well about twenty minutes ago, completed the next small work that is going to be posted on ebay tomorrow evening for bidding. Not going to give away what it is just now, so you will have to come back tomorrow evening to see!

As there is still some studio time available to me this afternoon before I have to do a few things before dinner time, I wanted to post what will become another small work for ebay. This is actually the first ten minutes of work on this one. What I am doing now is just blocking in tonal values and establishing 'break points' where light meets dark, bright meets shadow and trying to set in some lines of reference for the long and flowing hair as well as establishing some mid tones of grey to try and start modeling the animal, giving dimension to it. Anyway, I thought it would be fun to post this ten minute study so far. I would come back to it after dinner time but this evening is a broadcast from the Met of one of my favorite operas, Tosca, and that is not going to be missed! This little work, about 3" x 4", will have to wait till morning for finishing up.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

'It's beginning to look a lot like . . . '
Well, no roasting chestnuts here, no nipped noses, no carols being sung and certainly no Eskimos wandering about. But, later on this evening, I will be posting a new work to ebay for bid. That should be around 8 PM (Eastern) or so; you might want to check back and take a look at the latest little work, then. The two currently listed works will be closing on Thursday evening and I will be posting one more work at that time with all of the new pieces to close bid on Sunday evening this weekend.

If you would like to see the new work just posted (at 8 PM) to ebay, then simply click here and take a look, make a bid, good luck!

Here's a sneak peek at a little bit of the new work!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Here's a little twist on the ebay thing . . . I've posted two more small scale works for bid but if you want to know what they are, you'll have to click on the links below to take a look.

Click here to see the first of the pieces and to place your bid.

Or, click here to see the other new work and make a bid on that one!

Good Luck!
Both works SOLD

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You know it's winter when the birds start congregating around the feeders. After refilling the other day, the neighborhood cardinal pair flew in and then the ever present mourning doves arrived. A late afternoon few minutes of bird joy. I may have found some inspiration for one of my Birds in Art submissions for next year. Never too early to start thinking about that deadline.

Monday, December 07, 2009

The past weekend, Germanton Gallery's 17th Annual Miniature Show opened in North Carolina. They have set up pages on their web site showing all the available works, including four of mine. Click here to go to the site and take a look. The show will run through January 1 and you can call the gallery if interested in any of the works.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

As promised, here are the first two works being posted to ebay for bidding. These auctions will run for a week. Good luck!

Click here to place your bid on 'Flamingo Grace #2'.


Click here to place a bid on 'Misty'.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Not quite a winter wonderland, yet . . . but snow nevertheless. The weather guys were right for a change.
That wonderful bronze avocet sitting on the sill is by my sculptor friend, Pete Zaluzec; one of my favorite pieces of sculpture in my small collection of artist trades. The little cluster of clay guinea fowl were picked up near Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe ten years ago.

The first little ebay work will be posted tomorrow evening, so come back then!

Friday, December 04, 2009

Just a quick update on last Friday's posting . . . I will be posting the first small work for bidding on ebay either tomorrow or Sunday, so please check it out this weekend. We are expecting our first snowfall tomorrow here in the DC area. Remains to be seen if it will happen, and how much. Shovel at the ready, just in case! Ah Winter!

Friday, November 27, 2009

In time for consideration as a special Holiday gift,
or to just add a little gem to your own collection . . .

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Enjoy your fowl!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Before I get to it today, I wanted to post this . . . as after dinner last night, I decided to work a bit more on this one. There is such a dirth of anything worth watching on TV on Saturday night! So, spent some time 'in the water' last night. For someone who complains, often bitterly, about doing water, once into the wet stuff, it begins to take on a life of its own.


(Posting at 4 PM) Here is the finished work. OK, not a very original title, I agree, and maybe not the most original of compositions either, but I am quite happy with it! Again, the image is 5" x 7".

Saturday, November 21, 2009

A new work which I started earlier this afternoon, this one is going to be completed, I hope, by late on Monday as it is a replacement work for 'Furled' which was to have gone to my Annapolis gallery this coming week. That work, posted in the last entry here, sold yesterday so needs to be replaced in the line up of works to go to the gallery on Tuesday. This one will be 5" x 7" when completed. Looks kind'a messy right now but that will change as the work progresses. Right now, all I am trying to do is set some values across the image concentrating on the water and trying to get some even tones. This is being accomplished by methodically laying down soft values (using fairly sharp 2H, 3H, H and 6H leads) and going back over them with ever more pressure to fill in the 'gaps' on the surface of the Bristol Board that I work on. This process, talked about many times before here, is something I have referred to, somewhat tongue-in-cheek, as coloring as it is an ongoing series of lines, cross hatches, more lines, more cross hatches, continuing till I achieve the desired overall value of grey that I am looking for. As I have also said times before, water is my least favorite texture to render! So what, would you ask, am I doing with so much of it in this little work? Nice to have a challenge every now and again!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A new small work which I started yesterday afternoon. This one, 7" x 5", will head to the McBride Gallery's currently running Small Gems Show which runs through the end of December. Small scale works from the gallery's artists will be in abundance, just in time for consideration for Holiday gifts. I will be bringing additional smaller works into the gallery next Monday. If in Annapolis over these next few weeks, stop in and take a look!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Returned from the 'Party' that was the Waterfowl Festival last evening feeling, at the same time, both tired and joyful. Tired because it is tiring sitting all day long for three and a half days, occasionally rising to walk the exhibition floor and see what artist friends are doing. Tiring because being 'On' constantly all day long does drain one's energies by the end of a long weekend. But then, joyful too as I was fortunate enough to have been one of the artists selling fairly well.

Now granted, I did not make a ton of money and to say that one was able to sell art in this economic environment is saying a whole lot, but things certainly have changed from the way they were ten, twelve, fifteen years ago. That party has been over for some time and I was wondering to myself as I drove across the Bay Bridge last night, mesmerized by a most gorgeous orangy hued sunset before my eyes, if we artists will ever see that sort of level of sales again?

In times like the current, do people really need art? In times like these do people even have an appreciation for art? In times like these do people even consider spending a small amount of their hard earned dollars on art?

It was obvious this past weekend that . . . yes . . . there are many who do see the value in having beautiful things around them at a time of great retrenchment and an obvious need to be surrounded by things that can help to brighten an otherwise lusterless and scary world.

'Thanks', simply does not seem strong enough a word to say to one who digs deep into their pocket to pull out a few dollars to buy a small work of original art, especially now when so many don't even have enough to sustain themselves day to day.

These are very hard times for us all and I am grateful to every single person who dug deep into their pocket this past weekend to spend a dollar or two on my art work and that of so many other artists, sculptors, carvers and craftspeople in Easton.

Making art is both a joy and a struggle at the same time. Selling art is also a joy and a struggle, and to those who have added a new work to their collection or to those who have bought their first piece of original art, know that you have not only gained a little more beauty in your life but you have helped to validate we artists' need to create and make that beauty.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

The work is done, all but two pieces are framed and I am breathing a much deserved sigh of relief that my 33 works are almost ready to head to this year's Festival. Easton is a great place to spend a fall weekend and especially the one coming up next! Plenty of great art, sculpture, crafts and carvings to see. Friday and Saturday from 10 to 6 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Check out the Festival Website for details, directions and more information.

Also, on Friday evening, November 13th, Troika Gallery will host a reception for its big Anniversary show with new works from all the gallery artists, including yours truly. Troika is located on South Harrison Street in the very heart of downtown Easton.

Friday, November 06, 2009

19th Annual Invitational Small Works Show Opens at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Washington State

The 19th Annual Small Works Show has opened at the Howard/Mandville Gallery in Kirkland, Washington. Included in the array of fine works spotlighted there are two of mine. The reception and sale take place next weekend but all works will be on view this coming week. Here is a link to the page showing my works along with those of some of the other artists included in the show. There are some mighty fine works of art represented there, take a look . . . you never know what might strike your fancy!


Posted at 2:00 PM, this could be the last work for the upcoming Waterfowl Festival, depending on how I feel once I review all the work earmarked to go later today. This one is 5 1/2" x 9 1/2'.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Show Time!

Yes, (hum to yourself now as we go merrily along, to the tune of 'It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!') . . .
It's beginning to look a lot like . . . Show Time,
Ev'rywhere I look,
Take a look at the studio floor, piled high with work galore,
See this photo, which this morning I took!

And, still more to do this week before I feel like it is done! At least there is light at the end of the tunnel. Now, I must get to the drawing board!

Monday, November 02, 2009

A moody little piece today. I started this one about 10 this morning and finished it up just five minutes ago. This one is a tad over 4" x 6" and will be accompanying many of the recently completed works to the Waterfowl Festival next week. This, being my last full work week before prep for departure to the eastern shore of Maryland and the opening of the Festival on the 12th, I shall be, as they say, burning the midnight oil to get the last few works done.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

'The Last Picnic'

Busy guy today . . . new work just completed, begun late yesterday afternoon . . . this one also going to go to Troika Gallery in a couple weeks . . . image on this one 6" x 4".

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This is a small work (5" square) that I started late yesterday afternoon and finished up about ten minutes ago. It will be heading across the Chesapeake Bay with me in the middle of next month for Troika Gallery's big Anniversary Group Show that coincides with the weekend of the Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Got right to it today and this one is ready for a frame.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Today's work . . .

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Let's Hear it for The King

I have begun a new work today, again on the African theme that I have been trying to get myself back into lately. This work brings a bit more to the doing than simply a depiction of a lion on the rocks. I have been reading, lately, of the devastating plight of the African lion and how they have been killed in frightening numbers in these last several years. The 'King' of beasts is truly in harm's way.

I remember how, on my first trip to eastern Africa 37 years ago, we saw lions aplenty. I can actually recall by the beginning of my second week on that three week trip, hearing others in the group bemoaning the sight of yet another group of lion . . . 'Oh, just more lions! How about a leopard?' Little did we know.

It is disturbing to me to watch reports on TV and read in print of this massive attack on the lions of Africa and I continue to look for ways to make a difference. Recently at a gathering here at my house, artist and collector friends were discussing this very issue and trying to come up with some ideas of how we might help to get the word out. Perhaps by my bringing this work, when completed, to the upcoming Waterfowl Festival next month, I will have an opportunity to talk to those enjoying the Festival, and make as many others as possible aware of what is happening to the lion in the hope that a broader awareness might help to change the current course of events and save this majestic animal from possible devastation.

The 'King' does indeed sit in a precarious position.

As I read just this morning in an on line posting . . .

Lion population down almost 90 per cent from two decades ago.

In the minds of many people, the lion is what comes to mind first when they think of African wildlife. The sad fact is, the 'king of beasts' may not be found in Africa for much longer.

Dr. Laurence Frank, a wildlife biologist from the University of California, says that based on a study he did in Kenya, the current population of lions is 23,000. Twenty years ago, it was close to 200,000.

Frank says "People know about elephants, gorillas and rhinos, but they seem blissfully unaware that these large carnivores are nearing the brink. It's not just lions. Populations of all African predators are plummeting."

Dr Frank blamed the decline in predator numbers on a problem that occurs world wide, not just in Africa. People killing them to protect livestock.

"People have always killed predators," he says. "But there's only so much damage you can do with spears and shields. Now everyone has got rifles and poisons."

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Today, I'm going to post another 'one day wonder' as some have called them. Here is the beginning of a small work, started about ten minutes ago, let's say just about noon for time-keeping sake! I'll try and update every hour or so and we'll see if I finish up by dinner time.

(1:08 PM posting) One of the little guys just about done. Hard to see the subtle variations in the 'black' coat of this guy, but maybe when it's all said and done and I photo it outside in natural light, all that will show up.

(2:12 PM posting) Building up some whites now on this foreground guy. Time to make a cup of afternoon tea!

(3:08 PM posting) Well, this one has gone a lot faster than I expected. I guess I am on a roll today! Anyway, appears to be another hour or a bit more of work and this one will be done.

And here (4:30 PM posting time) is the completed work. Image size on this one is 5 1/4" x 5 1/4"

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hard to believe that it's forty years since George Harrison penned that phrase! (I was a mere tot!!!) But, after four and a half days of rain in these parts . . . it was wonderful to wake up to sun rays streaming in through the blinds this morning! Thanks sun . . . Thanks George!
An additional note this morning - my good friend, Paula Waterman, has risen in the wee hours, gotten bleary eyed onto a big jet and flown to north-central Wisconsin to begin a week long residency at the Woodson Art Museum. Without question, I have always (as do many, many others across the globe) felt that Paula is the preeminent proponent of the scratch board medium. I don't say this because she is a friend. I do say this as I believe that her talents with little scratchies and scuffies and such, when painstakingly applied to a clay board covered in black ink as she does, result in some of the most wonderful images in shades of black, white and grey that you can imagine.
If you are in the area of Wausau, Wisconsin in the next week, do stop into the museum and watch her in action. She will be doing a series of teaching lessons with school children, teens and adults over the course of the next six days and you can check out the schedule here. Also, Birds in Art, that incredible annual event, continues to hang at the Woodson through the middle of next month.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An interesting morning, this . . . while having my cup of tea and munching on a bagel and thinking about the approaching ten o'clock time set for the closing on my house purchase, I was surprised to find, upon reviewing early morning and overnight entries to Facebook pages, a posting from the Woodson Art Museum with a link to the home site of the Wausau Daily Herald newspaper. The link was to a photo essay on the currently hanging Birds in Art exhibition at the museum and amid the ten photos, this one caught my eye as there was my piece being discussed! Evidently one of the museum docents is talking about my piece to a group of grade school students touring the exhibition. Well, there was my five and a half minutes of fame!

And now, to read through the pages and pages of documentation from the closing and try to figure out just what I signed for this morning!

(photo by Corey Schoth of the Wausau Daily Herald)