Sunday, October 13, 2013

Small Treasures
Well, I have been missing in action on this blog lately. A couple of personal issues, and painting, mixed with procrastination of typing. A lot of that, in fact. Hey, I'm a painter not a writer. So finally, here goes the latest installment.

Recently, I became aware of a number of known artists selling small drawing and paintings for very reasonable prices. The reason for the price reduction is the gallery commission is not added in and the works are unframed. The actual artists cost and labor is not reduced other than the framing.

With gallery closings leaving me, like others in search of new galleries to represent us and new ways of marketing our work, I decided this is not a bad idea. Then there is the issue of my own situation of not being able to get out in the mountains or desert anymore to do plein aire landscapes and having to do my work mostly in the studio using models and still life set ups became one more mark on the plus side. It is a win/win situation. I work in the studio, painting what and how I want and it gives friends, past clients and collectors as well as potentially new clients a chance to acquire a piece of my work at a very reasonable price.

This initial "roll out" will not be the last. I plan on making this a regular offering both here and on my website . Each month I plan on having another group of new paintings to add in the "My Store" section of my website.

As most who know me or my work and the work presented here, I am a versatile artist. I believe an artists need a strong drawing foundation and to go along with that able to see shapes and proportions and put them down on paper or canvas. What this does is allow one to draw anything they can see. Now obviously if someone is not familiar with some object, they may not paint it as well, but once the do understand what they are seeing, they are likely to be able to do it as well as their other subjects. Understanding the subject is part of the craft and the learning process.

For me this has allowed me to paint all the things I enjoy  and hopefully convey to you the viewer and collectors what I see and feel and we all make a connection in that way. I hope you enjoy this new and ongoing project of mine. If there is something you would like and don't see it here or on my site, contact me and let's talk about it. I can probably help you with what you need.

The sizes are below each painting. The commission and cost of frame have been subtracted, but because of the rules of use, the actually price is on my website. Sorry about that, but I want to follow the rules I agreed to.

 Grand Canyon Morning
6"x8" Oil on panel

Incoming Tide- Big Sur
6"x8" oil on panel
White Rose
8"x6" Oil on panel
Full Bloom and New Bloom
6"x8" Oil on panel

 Staghorn Cactus Blossom
6"x8" oil on panel

A Tasty Snack
6"x8" oil on panel
8"x6" Oil on panel

6"x10" Oil on panel
Calla Lily
8"x10 Oil on linen panel
8"x10" Oil on linen, panel
Cactus Blossoms
8"x12" oil on panel

Woodland Falls
8"x 12" Oil on panel

Loose Flowers
8"x14" Oil on stretched linen 

Flowered Branch
8"x12" Oil on panel

French Bread
9"x14" Oil on panel

Canyon Lake Pillar
9"x 12" Oil on panel
Oriental Bowl
16"x12" Oil on stretched linen

Now, some of you will see that some of these are already posted else where on this blog, but I am including them in this first offering of Small Treasures.  Take all you want, I'll make more. Thank you for looking and I hope you enjoy them                                                                                                                                 

Friday, August 2, 2013

 August 2,2013
 It has a busy day slaving over a hot blog today. Not only did I post some new miniature paintings in the Still life and Landscape pages, I finally got my first WIP, "How I Do What I Do", on the painting techniques page. With the distractions and dealing with some unexpected items of real life outside the studio, I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find time to do the text to go with the photo that have been ready for almost two weeks! I hope you find some interesting information that may help you in your own paintings.

Along with the miniature paintings I posted and there will be more coming each week, on average. I say it that way as there will be times when I am working all week on a large painting, or have responsibilities away from the studio. Being sort of a one man band, can  over load a person at times.

Back to what I wanted to say about the miniatures I was speaking about posting today. These are all gallery quality, but of subjects unlike what I show at Biltmore Galleries, here in Scottsdale and Hayden Hays in Colorado Springs. The subject matter will be still life's, floral's, a few small landscapes and seascapes. There is likely to be a figurative piece soon also, since I am beginning to paint more of these. What you may find interesting is I am taking a page from a few other known artists who are selling oil studies at an  affordable price that most people can afford when they can't afford a major gallery piece by these artists. The difference in what I am doing is painting finished, gallery quality originals and offering them at a price less the gallery commissions and the cost of a frame. By offering these unframed drops the price even more.  The paintings can be seen here and in the "Store" on my website,

As a teaser here is a couple without going to the still life and landscape page. Hopefully you will though.

                                                                      Oil on Panel

                                                                   "A Tasty Snack"
                                                                    Oil On Panel
I enjoy painting these miniatures and feel they are a way to not only fulfill my creative needs with things I can set up and paint here in the studio now that I am pretty much a studio painter now and expand into some new markets and introduce myself to new collectors. I really hope you like this opportunity.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Harder Than It Looks

WOW! This blogging is harder than it looks. Maybe it is because I am not used to doing it, but I find it funny that rarely am I at a loss for words until I start to write something for this new blog. I suddenly become a babbling idiot with fingers, white knuckled and frozen in fear over the keyboard, even though an hour ago I had all kinds of great ideas for it. I'll need to work on my way of doing this and maybe write down those great ideas when they come to me. Maybe this is why I am a painter and not an author.

Anyway, I just finished a small Grand Canyon piece and have a few words to say about it on my Painting Techniques page, you can see on this blog. This painting is similar to my last and even the same size. You will see and read what I am talking about. Fortunately one of my best collectors purchased this painting and is waiting for it to get dry enough to put a light coat of varnish on and ship to him. Thank you Peter.

                                                        "Sunset Near Powell Point"
                                                           18"x24" Oil on Canvas

Another thing I will write about and give some short basic information on is limited palettes and some of my practical thoughts for their use. I would not attempt to out do the extremely fine and informative article by James Gurney James Gurney's Blog has some outstanding information on just about anything one would like to know about art and painting and done in an entertaining and interesting way. It is one of my top recommendations whether you are a beginner still trying to figure out which end of the brush works best, or an experienced gallery and museum quality painter. It's good stuff!

So now, it is past time that I should be at my easel doing my best to figure out what the heck am I doing.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

June 22 2013

Don't all of you plein air painters love this commercial? I get a laugh out of it every time I see it, as I have experienced everything they show and plenty more when painting outdoors. The only one I haven't is the tide coming in as the one place I have not had the opportunity to paint in plein air is the sea, but all the others I certainly have.

I live in Arizona so a dust storm, or a sudden downpour is not unusual. Or like this past February we expected a cold from with rain, but actually got a snow storm that laid down three to four inches of snow in Phoenix, of all places!. Anyway, I thought they did great with this ad and the kicker at the end with his lady hanging the picture upside down. Here is the full length version, last a full minute, not just the 30 second spot shown on TV. Enjoy.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Journey of a Working Artist

Since I became a working, selling, gallery represented artist, there have been several changes in my art work.
I began as a watercolor artist, painting American historical scenes of the west. The first change was primarily
to improve and expand effects and the quality of my work. Oils offered the ability to do many things that I found limiting for me in watercolor.

"HedgeHogs" Sold

I know different now as my knowledge in handling both mediums has improved, but the secondary reason for changing to oils was marketing. I was selling in areas where many people were traveling and did not want to deal with the issue of glass over the watercolor painting. Clear plastics were just not an option as a substitute for the glass needed to protect the watercolor painting.

So the first change was from watercolor to oil. I still painted the historical western scenes, but phased in the oils and phased out the watercolors. Not a big change really.

The next change was in the subject matter I chose. I became more aware that I had an increasing desire to paint just the landscapes I went out to paint and photograph with the intent of using them as backgrounds for the western scenes.

I began doing a few pure landscapes. As long as I kept them small, the gallery that represented me would hang them along with my westerns. Soon, the landscapes were out selling the westerns and the more I painted them the more I wanted to. The gallery wanted me to keep doing westerns even though they were a secondary subject for me. This precipitated a change in representation for me. It was a blessing in disguise. It was 1984 and O'Briens Art Emporium, a 140 year old gallery took my landscapes and began selling it
immediately. At that time O'Briens represented some of the best artists working in this country. I was with them for 14 years at which time circumstances caused them to close their doors.

"Morning Magic" Available through  Biltmore Galleries
Since that unwanted change in gallery representation, I have been involved
with three galleries locally since moving to Arizona over 30 years ago, all good galleries and several others nationally.

Now, I am at another crossroads. this time it is age and physical limitations. Since 1999 I have had to deal with a number of health issues. Some are military service related, exposure to asbestos, heart problems and age related joint problems. Admittedly some are due to the old saying, "If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself. I have no complaints though. I loved being in the service to this country, I loved my years in the sport of auto racing and I'm still glad, after all these years to be on the green side of the dirt.

I have always been able to adapt. So the change I am making now is just an adaptation of the situation I live
in now. It is really just a new chapter of my career and if it goes like the last chapters, it will be even better. One door closes and another opens.

I learned early that if one learns to see and draw shapes and pays attention to color temperature and values, they should be able to paint anything they wish. This lesson has served me very well, but not as well as it
"Pima Canyon Saguaros"  Sold
serves me now. Since realizing a couple of years ago that hiking the Grand Canyon or going deep into the Rocky Mountains was not a good idea for someone with joint, heart and breathing issues, I have started looking around for other subject matter that excites me to paint. One of the things I quickly realized when I did this is something I have known for many years. The world is full of great and exciting subject matter.

One of my pet peeves has always been the way galleries and some clients want to put artists in a specific "box." What I mean is they like an artist to specialize in one subject matter and one medium. There are a few artist out there that have escaped being placed in the "box." I am not one of them. This new change is also joining these "free" artists. I have decided that since I need to make a change to more accessible subject matter for myself and I have always found many subjects interest me enough that I want to paint them, why not do just that. This means changing from the more predominantly western galleries to galleries with a wider scope of subject matter as I "open" my scope of subject matter that I paint.

"Reverie" Available through  John Cox Fine Art
So this change is somewhat bigger in ways than the others that were almost a natural evolution of my work. This is a wholesale change. I will be changing the type of galleries I work with, I will be painting subject matter such as still life's, people, both nudes and people in everyday life. I will be doing florals and a few
landscapes as well. I will work mostly in oil, but my true love has always been watercolor, so I intend to "listen" to the subject and paint it in the medium best suited to show others what I saw,felt and why it excited me enough to paint it. This is a change in gallery representation, subject matter and some change in mediums, as I will paint in both mediums as the subject dictates.

It has always been my goal to produce the best paintings I possibly can. Many collectors have given me the blessing of making a living doing what I love. I owe them as well as myself, the very best work I can possibly do. I truly believe that this change will take me much closer to that goal than any of the other changes I have made. In the near future I will list the new galleries handling my work.

It is my hope you will enjoy this new chapter in my career. I want to thank all who have contributed to helping me come to this place in my career, through purchase of my paintings, gallery promotion and moral support, other artists who have generously shared their knowledge with me and the good Lord for blessing me with this desire and ability to share His wonderful world with others. John Cox, Phoenix, Arizona 2013

"Colorful Lady"
12x12 Oil on Canvas