Saturday, September 6, 2014

                                                      CHANGE IS IN THE AIR
Here we are in September already. A change of seasons is beginning in parts of our country. This year is flying by, and yet it seems like not much is happening in my part of this world. Maybe that is because I have been hiding in my cave painting. With the heat of the Arizona summers I can't get out much at all and not out to paint even a little, my breathing being as compromised as it is with asbestos, makes routine things I never even thought about next to impossible now. Consequently, I have become a studio painter exclusively.I have known this was coming, but somehow did not think it would be so soon. Apparently the "Golden Years" are not what they are said to be. That to can change and I am planning on it.

Now with that negative sounding start, let me tell you I am doing my best to make a change in my career and turn this to the positive. One of the first obstacles is subject matter. I have always painted real locations in my landscapes, but over the past few years, I have exhausted most of my material. Plein air pieces, photos, and the like. So what to paint? Well I believe I mentioned previously here or somewhere, but I can do people pretty darn well, I can do florals and still lifes, I can also use some of my previously used material to do a few landscapes. In fact for the winter season here in Scottsdale, I am working on a 36x48 Grand Canyon. I have painted the Canyon so many times in the last 30 plus years I can almost do it in my sleep, so using a photo here, a part of a plein aire oil sketch there and knowing the Canyon features and formations as I do I have put together a brand new painting different from my previous ones. Composing it was kind of like putting together a jig saw puzzle with all the partial images in different scales, size wise. This as you can imagine made for a lot of drawing! Several days, nearly a week before picking up a brush to put a wash over the white linen. I received a bonus from this exercise and that is sharpening my drawing skills after doing very loose, but to scale "outlines" done with a brush and very thing transparent paint. This big jigsaw puzzle made me pick up the charcoal pencils and get to work.

I don't like showing a large painting to people unfinished and having to explain what I have done and what I will be doing, as most of it they don't know what I am talking about because further work is all in my head which they are not privy to. Thankfully. but for a blog I will do it and remind all who see this, this is only about half way through and a lot of painting, adjustments in color and value are yet to be done. Some areas, particularly the foreground tree is barely blocked in and only because I needed some reference points of what in the Canyon would be showing and what wouldn't be. I do not want "ghost" brush work in the shape of formations in the dense dark leafy areas of the tree. Being that it is shadow for the most part these "ghost" marks would really show up under gallery lighting. Not to be making excuse.... well, not that much of an excuse this photo was taken on the easel, quickly, as I just realized I had not taken a picture yet to post here. I did not bother to adjust any studio lights and it is to dark outside to use natural north light, so that is glare on the left side as you are looking at this, and no Photoshop correction have been done. OK! End of qualifiers and excuses.

NOTE: I have removed this photo. Every time I look at the photo the glare on it looks worse, so I made an executive decision and removed it. The picture did not do it justice and I learned my lesson not to hurry photos for publication. This one unfairly misrepresented the painting and what I am capable of doing. Sorry.............John

36"x48" Oil On Linen
At this point, I am working in areas that will be seen through the tree foliage and branches. Lots to be done,but from this point the changes will be noticeable and start bring color and values together I am basically working from a roughly 8x10 pencil sketch since trying to handles and keep track of each individual area which maybe a painted panel or a photo and maybe only a small part of a photo is needed.

Alrighty, while still on the subject of landscapes here is a landscape painting I did for my catalog piece for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Show at the Old West Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming this past summer. and I will follow it with four smaller landscapes that are available at Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs, Colorado at this time, but I am getting ahead of myself.

                                                      "Misty Morning At Firehole River Falls"
                                                              18"x24" Oil on Dibond Panel
This painting was in transit and apparently was dropped very hard, as it split the left side of the frame moulding. The painting being on Dibond was not harmed at all. It now has a brand new frame, identical to this one in the photo and is now available from my studio, for now. When I take other paintings into the gallery at the end of this month this will be in that consignment group unless sold before hand.

This next painting is brand spanking new, and I am very happy with the way it turned out. I am considering the possibility of making a Giclees of this piece. I feel it is one of my best floral pieces. It is shown here in the frame it will be on display and offered for sale, but it need so dry more so I can varnish it and instal it in the frame securely. It is just sitting in the frame and a small piece of wood propped against the back of the panel so it looks as it should for the picture. I am getting a lot of good feedback when it was shown on Facebook yesterday. I feel this one will sell quickly, so if anyone is interested in owning this piece, contact me soon. Like the landscape above, if it does not sell from the studio before the gallery delivery date it will be at Biltmore Galleries here in Scottsdale. (480) 947-5975 or and ask for Maureen Husberg. You will find the ladies in both galleries extremly helpful and a joy to work with.

                                                                   "A Rose For Rose"
                                                                  12"x20" Oil on panel

The following paintings are available through Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs.  (719)577-5744
or at www; and ask for Krista Steed-Reyes, the gallery director.

                                                                    "Moose Falls-Yellowstone"
                                                                        12"x16" Oil on panel

                                                                 "A Yellowstone Morning"
                                                                    12"x16" Oil on panel

                                                                       9"x12" Oil on panel
                                                                      "Autumn Moon"
                                                                     9"x12" Oil on panel

 These landscape paintings in this post, will be some of my last landscapes for some time as I will be concentrating on other subject matter which may mean a couple more galleries for me, that handle subject matter I will be doing. I want to be a good fit and do a good job for the gallery and myself, of course. I am, in a manner of speaking moving to the next season of my career, and would like to close this final summer season of this year by finding homes for these paintings. It will be good for the galleries and good for me not only monetarily, but somewhat emotionally. Placing these in peoples homes will make space in my studio for all the new work and make wall space ni my galleries for my new work. It is always a challenge to begin something new, particularly at this later stage of my life, but I am ready, willing able and excited to do so. It means meeting new people, maybe new galleries added to my two fine ones representing my work. It will be fun.

I truly believe that this coming work will be better than the last, it is my true forte and as much as I love landscape painting, it is somewhat my second choice now. I always tried to put my best effort forward and always used the best quality materials and practices in each painting. That will always be at the foundation of my work. I promise good things are coming very soon. Stay tuned to this channel........John                                                                    




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

 "I Dream Of Jenya" ......and more

It's been several months, about four, in fact since I last posted. Between some health issues and commissions with deadlines to meet, I almost bit off more than I could chew. But, "Here's Johnny!" Still down on energy, but much better than I was. (Thank you VA Healthcare.)

The two commissions I did presented challenges. Neither had a live model to work from and both had to look like the persons they depicted. The hardest one was a portrait of a father and child. The photo was old grainy and a flash was used to take it, but it is the only photo available. I know better than to take commissions with this kind of reference, but the client s are good friends and it was to be a Christmas present for one of them. The father depicted is 40 (at least) years older and lives in Southeast Asia now. The child shown at about age two, is now middle aged, so you can see my problem. No people to work from, bad reference material, no choice in composition, and having to fake a lot of things. Here it is in progress. I took this one evening after dinner still on my easel. Because of my health issues I was up against the deadline and unfortunately I did not get a photo of the painting finished. Since I know the people and they live in my area, I will get a photo, hopefully the next time I am over at their home. It is quite different finished, as you can imagine.

As you can see, I still have a long way to go and starting with finishing the toddler.

This painting is done on Dibond 24"x18", that I sanded lightly to take the shine off the metal, primed and put an oil ground on it. I really like the finish to paint on. Paint goes on like when using oil primed linen but without the linen texture. No adhesion problem as I prepared it pretty much the same way I used to prepare aluminum race car bodies for a custom paint job. Yep, I was a car painter in another life, doing race car paint jobs.

My second commission was for another friend and a tribute to a model and photographer. Again, I had no access to the model, or the photographer. Normally, I do not use other peoples photos. No matter how good they are, and in this case excellent, they are not mine or my "vision" of the subject and how I wish to paint it or her, in this case. Also almost no compositional choice as my friend wanted this pose and lighting. It is also more risque than I normally do figurative paintings. Consequently I am only posting the drawing in progress here, but the finished painting is in my figure paintings tab on this blog. Please understand I recommend, adults only. Yeah I know, that statement just invited every kid who looks at this blog to take a look, but how else to tell people?

This is also using Dibond as a support. It is prepared the same way as the previous commission. This is the drawing in progress. It is to scale on the Dibond.
Hmmm.... Maybe I should have placed a black censor strip across the drawing. Well we're all adults here. Right?

The painting is titled "I Dream Of Jenya." It is a 36"x24" oil painting. This image is being done with a charcoal pencil. It is a painting of Eugenia Diordiychuk, a Ukrainian model who is now living in Los Angeles and working for Playboy. She is also the model for some video games, does work for an American fashion company.

Doing this painting is not my normal practice, but I did it, for a friend. I do have to admit it was a joy working on this and paying tribute to her beauty and the incredible photographer, Pasha Lisov, who's name is listed with mine on the front and back of the painting This is one of the most beautiful ladies I've seen in many years and would love to work with her someday and do all original work of my own.

I will be posting more often now, but the subject matter will be paintings for my gallery, Biltmore Galleries in Scottsdale, Arizona, and for a group show in Wyoming this coming July. The catalog painting for this group show is nearly finished, an 18"x24" landscape. No naked ladies for this show, folks.