Open Studio Invitation
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If you live in the Bay Area or are going to be visiting during the dates in the title, please come by my studio for a visit. There will be LOTS and LOTS of artwork on display, a demonstration or two, great munchies, wine and plenty to talk about. It is a biiiiig event in this town. There will be some 270 artists exhibiting . . . half on the weekend of the 4th and 5th, the other half on the above dates. MY STUDIO IS OPEN THE 11, 12th and THE 18, 19th. The address is 105 Geneva Court in Santa Cruz. Join us!! We’d love to see you!

There Has Never Been . . .

oil on lined on panel, 6″ x 8″

Today, I caught myself looking at a geranium blossom and admiring the colors. “I should paint that,” I said to myself. Then I heard a whisper, “You can’t! it’s too complex!” Having never painted a blossom like this before, much less in oil paint, I listened to the whimpy little bugger who lurked back there somewhere talking to me. I picked another, less complex blossom. Then, I thought to myself, “I just caved in to That Insistent Little Voice!” (here after to be known as TILV.)

As I walked into the house with the lesser, and less colored, blossom, I found myself hearing some voices from my class participants last week: “I can’t” . . .”if I wasn’t here I wouldn’t” . . .. “It’s always been that way. I just can’t.” That attitude of giving up before trying . . .or giving in to TILV . . .just gets my goat! And here I was falling for it! Right on my own turf . . .where absolutely nobody was watching.

“Enough Already,” I chided myself! It isn’t that I C-A-N-T . . .it is that I don’t have the experience, YET! And how does one gain experience?” Well . . .I guess there is only one method . . .and I sure as hell know better than to fold before the game is played!

To my knowlege there has never been a painting, or any monuments, or any statue, or bronze plaques, anywhere in the world, dedicated to the victory of the CAN’TS ! . . . . EVER!

Personal Symbolism

oil on linen on panel, 8″ x 6″

This piece speaks very loudly to me on a sentimental level. The wine vase belonged to my parents and was an always present ornament in our house when I was a child, fifty years ago. The other piece was made by my daughter while in high school. The two vessels, side by each, hold generational symbolism for me. . . . my oldest daughter and her grampa caring for each other. For you, maybe these are just different pieces of pottery. For me? Well, I know you understand.

That Insistent Little Voice

“Hiding Jalapenos”
oil on linen on panel, 6″ x 8″

Well, it showed up again today. That little voice which says, “Don’t paint thaaaat. You don’t have the skills for that. Impossible! Pick something else. You’ll never be able to make this work. Etc. Etc. Etc.”

I battle the voice day after day. Every day. It comes in shouting and is as unwelcome as an escaped felon into my house. But it comes anyway.

This is one of the reasons I believe art to be a great avenue to ‘finding one’s true self.’ By standing up and not listening to the ever present doubts . . .and gradually overcoming ‘the little voice’ . . . .one begins to develop a confidence . . . .an attitude of “Shuddup, already! I can do this!” We all have the voice. That is to say we ALL have one; The nay sayer who sits back and tries to sell the idea of accepting failure. The difference between people is how they respond to the dark sniping negative that chases us everywhere, no matter what we attempt.

Here’s my response to the voice: Shun it and do it anyway!

This morning’s painting said a thing or two to that voice. Nuff said!

Found Em In A Drawer . . .

“Dad’s Darts”
oil on linen on panel, 5 1/2″ x 8″

Yikes! The produce drawer was empty following a big mother’s day dinner. I needed to go shopping. There was ‘nothing to paint.’ Looking for something, I opened a drawer that is rarely bothered and stumbled onto these little guys. My dad kept them in his desk at work and apparently used them on recalcitrant (izzat how you spell it?) employess when their back was turned . . . Wait! . . .That is meant to be a stab (get it?) at humor. Seriously, these were his when he was alive. By themselves, the composition didn’t do much for me, but shadows brought the painting to the level of ‘facinating.’ They do look terrific in a frame and would go well in someone’s family room, den or bar. Or even an office (with a warning to employees under the frame 😉 ) . . . .Ahem!

Today’s Painting

“Vinegar and Onion”
oil on linen on panel, 6″ x 8″

Today’s piece is a slight shift away from food by including a decanter. The onion was very interesting to paint . . .a boring shape, it is. So, I had to use the light to give it some life . . .AND . . . .as is always the case when we paint something, I noticed a LOT of different colors in the skin I had never seen before. How many onions have I handled in my life and never seen the colors? All of them!!! I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I did creating it.

I have to break outta the house today. Gotta go to work! Nursing my wife has been a good experience for both of us . . . .but cabin fever and the need to answer my clients is compelling. A short day at the office then back here to insure all is well.

The Garlic . . A Closer Look

“Garlic Roaster”
oil on linen on panel, 6″ x 8″

So, here is a better photo to see the detail a bit easier from a few posts ago. Every painting is a trial . . . . .an experiment . . .this is one subject that I will probably do again and again.

I had a quick thought about the subjects I have chosen for still lifes . . . Diana and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen together . . .there is something universally appealing (besides just hunger!

😉 ) about food. So many ways to cook . . .so many ways to use the different tastes of the ingrediants . . .cooking is indeed an art form, too!

Mother’s Day

In the course of blogging (and all else) one must pause to pay homage to those who gave us life . . . and life’s lessons . . . our moms. I am formally tipping my hat to all you moms out there. IN so tipping, I also bow to you because you ladies have a presence here on earth like none of us males. You manage patience and hold to a code of protection that is so consistent. We males could learn much by those special blessings you wield. Were it not for our moms, we would be but mere animals! Eh, Guys?

On another subject, my webmaster phoned late last nite to inform me that the blog is now a link on my website. So, now there is a synergy between the two places in cyberspace. For those of you in Europe and other parts of the world who visit my site, let me say thank you and welcome here to my blog. This is a little different than the site, because it is mostly devoted to oil painting and a painting a day in that world . . .sometimes watercolor . . .but it is intended as a place for sharing knowlege. If you have a comment or two, please feel free to make note of it here. Another point . . .you might want to consider subscribing by using the link in the uppermost left corner of this blog.

If you are a mom who is visiting, know that all of us here in the USA honor you and all that you have done for us! Happy Mom’s Day!!

(Incidentally, I will post a close up of yesterday’s garlic painting for you who would like a better look-see.)

Saturday’s Painting . . .

“Garlic in Roaster”
Oil on linen on panel, 6″ x 8″

You saw the post two days ago about the shadow box. And you saw the subject and how it was lit in the shadow box.. Here is the resultant painting . . .and this was a challenge! The subject is all one color! Well . . . .not really . . .but it seems so, at first. I had to look hard at shadows and reflected light as well as the direct light to gain a sense of the subtleness of color and value changes. This painting will be shown without the frame when it goes to EBay later. This photo is shown to give you the viewer an idea of how these little jewels look in a frame. And they look classy !!!

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Because Diana is down and out, the family is convening here for a big dinner. My sense is that there won’t be any painting tomorrow. . . . . at least I don’t think so! Look for something on Monday.

I have to admit I am suffering from cabin fever while I look out the windows at the gorgeous weather. It will be good to get out in the air and be part of the scenery.

In Spite of Discouragement

Oil on Linen on panel, 6″ x 8″

Some days I start out wondering if I can make it happen. Others seem like a snap. Today, it seemed like my patience was closing in on me. While I painted these little morsels of edible fungi, I wondered if it was ever going to come out right. At one point I remember my thoughts, “This just isn’t working! I should throw this one away.”

I often recall, when those words come up (and they often do), that ‘somehow’ it will work out if I hang in there and keep working the challenge. I hung in. This is no masterpiece, but each of these that I do confirms there is more to learn and more to master . . .but these little paintings are great big lessons. This, all done in shades of white and tans, was an exercise in using the light and shadow to suggest shape and form. And they look like I could eat em right now! Every day is a learning experience!

My wife is doing better, but is still flat on her back . . .visitors come and go . . . .this daily exercise is definetely a test of the depth of my commitment. And I am moving ahead . . .at least I am today. In spite of the doubts that show up, I just put one foot in front of the other.