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.

Today’s Painting

Oil on linen on panel, 5 1/2″ x 8″

This daily painting idea is terrific! I have always done something in the studio nearly daily. This just confirms my belief in compressed experience. This was a fun one!!

The Value of Blogging

A few weeks ago I dug through the archives of Jeff Hayes’ blog (link in the list). Jeff had photos of a shadow box he built for the purpose of painting still life.

This was a revelation to me!! I could not believe I had never heard of one of these tools before. I looked very carefully at his photo and tried to find out more about the tool . . .but, alas, all he had was one post. Another artist also picked up on it and set up a temporary arrangement with foam core boards ‘n stuff. I was fascinated.

After looking carefully at Jeff’s set up, I made an emulation from a cardboard box painted flat black. Here’s a photo.

Mind you, this is not intended to look like the Taj Mahal. Its purpose is to regulate light . . . . . . . . . ..especially reflected light and light coming from other sources. My studio has can lights in the ceiling and track lighting . . . .thus providing MANY shadows and no discernable pattern of light. As you can see here, the flood light shining into the slots above the subject and the ceiling of the box (and walls) make for one source of light and shadow. The recessive darkness into the back of the box gives the subject more depth and interest. Above is a photo of how the subject looks from my easel.

You can see that the subject receeds nicely into the dim light and the portion of the subject that I wish to emphasize is lit up like a Christmas Tree. Wow! No guessing here.

All I need to do is move the flood light (you can see the lip of it in the upper left corner of the shadow box photo) to the side, or the rear or forward to gain the kind of light I want.

I have spoken here of making the mundane extraordinary . . .and this tool does it! Thanks, Jeff, for being so generous with your information. Apparently, other artists have used similar arrangements if they paint still life paintings, but I sure had no clue!! There is a ton of vital information about almost any subject in the blogshpere. . .art in particular. Aren’t we lucky to be granted this privilege of these accesible resources on the internet?!