Sunday, November 23, 2008

Van Gogh Self Portrait Nutcracker

8" x 10" Oil on linen panel.
In Private Collection

Fullerton, Ca.

This painting mashup is styled after the Van Gogh Self Portrait from the Chicago Art Institute. I saw this painting in person at the Kimbell in Ft Worth during my trip in August. It is a stunning piece that changes greatly depending on how close or far you stand. To execute this painting I laid it in from just the nutcracker. Then I looked to both the Van Gogh and the Nutcracker to finish it out. I must admit I did not paint as many little dots as Vincent did. That said, it still took a couple of evenings work.

So, I want to know from my visitors whether this painting is creepy or not. What do you think? It actually has grown on me since I finished it last night and I kind of like it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Walker (painted upside down)

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.
$100 - Shipping to US included.

This painting was painted upside down as requested for Different Stokes. The idea is to concentrate on shapes without thinking about the subject. It is a good idea for checking proportions and spotting errors in drawing. That said, I haven't ever painting the whole painting upside down. It didn't really feel that different. I did still find an error that I had to fix after I had my first photo taken. That's another trick (along with using a mirror) that finds errors. Seeing the painting on screen is often when I find those little mistakes I want to fix. Like the white bit on the mouth of the nutcracker from my last post. I've fixed it now, too.

One thing that struck me about the photo Karin presented was that the woman looks like she has a heat ray coming out of her eyes like one of the Fantastic Four!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


8" x 10" Oil on mounted canvas.
In Private Collection

Fullerton, Ca.

I don't think we want to cancel Christmas after all. The decorations have already been in stores for a while. A popular kind the last couple of years has been the decorative Nutcrackers. This one is from a pair of soldiers that I picked up last year. In handling the paint I was thinking about how Van Gogh would have laid down the strokes. This was a lot of fun; I really like the result and I want to explore the subject further.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I painted from the Different Strokes from Different Folks image again. This time I decided to take a "different" approach with my underpainting. Here is a progress photo where you can see the contrasting underpainting I used. It almost looks patriotic at this point.

The finished painting is closer to the reality of the photo Karin provided. I wanted the bright sunlight areas to have a blinding feel from the white over blue. I am happy with how that effect came out.

10" x 8" Oil on mounted linen.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thistle Flower

5" x 7" Oil on mounted canvas.

Here is a little "daily painting" of a thistle that was down on the bank of the river. I was surprised that there were any flowers still blooming in our gray world. The economy and gloom of the Northwest rainy season are making me SAD. Maybe a little white snow will help in a few weeks.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fall Harvest

14" x 11" Oil on mounted canvas.

I don't know what exact kind of squash these are (maybe someone could clue me in on it), but they have a wonderful color scheme with the orange splashes ringed with green. The orange mainly resides in the creases on the sides, but it is uneven and varies from one squash to the next. Almost everywhere the orange bursts from surrounding green. While painting, it was important to keep the orange and green clean so they did not "gray" each other where I did not want it. This painting was a fun still life that kept me up late working on the color, shape, and lighting effect.

It's fun when the painting looks better the next morning when I get up.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

US Capitol

10" x 8" Oil on mounted canvas.

Thanks to Karin Jurick's Different Strokes challenge, I was painting the US Capitol on election night. We didn't watch the returns at Sky Valley Studio, but did catch the montage at the end of the CBS coverage. It was well done.