Friday, May 31, 2013

Now Showing in "Cool...Hot"


Saturday, June 15th from 6 - 8 p.m. for our "Cool...Hot" art reception 
of the Austin ArtSpace resident artists! 

Refreshments, live music, great art and fun times!

The show runs May 31 through July 6th,
so drop by to see a wonderful variety of creativity,
Fridays/Saturdays 11am -6 pm, or by appointment.

Austin ArtSpace
is located at 7739 Northcross Drive, off Anderson Lane.

Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Fire that Never Goes Out

The Preserve at Walnut Springs, Johnson City, Texas

After the recent tragedies we've faced individually and collectively in Newton, Boston, West and now Moore, I find inspiration in a longtime favorite tune by Mindy Jostyn. 

The lyrics remind us that no matter what has happened in our lives, we are loved, we are wanted and we matter. It speaks of the the fire that never goes the love in the heart of this great nation, and the flame of all humanity around the globe.

May you find comfort, peace and love, and the courage to live from the heart, wherever you are. 

Words by Mindy Jostyn & Jacob Brackman
Music by Mindy Jostyn

In His eyes, you're a fire that never goes out
A light on the top of a hill
In His eyes you're a poet, a painter, a prophet
With a mission of love to fulfill
Outside there's a world so enchantingly strange
A maze of illusion and lies
But there's never a story that ever could change
The glory of you in His eyes

In His eyes you're a radiant vision of beauty
A gemstone cut one of a kind
You're fine as a diamond, deep as a ruby
Rare as a jade in His mind
No need to believe all you may have been told
No need to live in disguise
You're brighter than silver, purer than gold
A pearl beyond price in His eyes

You're an innocent child in the sight of His face
No cause for blame or fear or disgrace
He sees only goodness, His vision is true
And nothing can change the perfection of you in His eyes

In His eyes, you're a fire that never goes out
A light on the top of a hill
You're a rose in the forest, a prelude from Bach
A triumph of heavenly skill
Outside there's a world that keeps breaking your heart
And tearing your dreams down to size
But guiding you homeward, piercing the dark
Is the lovelight that shines in His eyes

Now and forever, that light never dies
You're dearly beloved in His eyes
Johnson City, Texas

Friday, May 17, 2013

Part 2: Painting Progression of "Somewhere"

In the zone... painting this 3x5 foot oil on canvas I call "Somewhere."

I have a favorite brooding spot I go to in the middle of the night or at day's end...when I need a little TLC from Mother Nature. One day I was trying to recharge my not so happy thoughts with a little fresh air and a fast paced walk. I found myself looking out over this place listening to "I Don't Ever Give Up" by Patty Griffin. Pouring out the refrain, "Love isn't here, love isn't here, but it's somewhere", I looked up and saw a blue heart-shaped piece of atmosphere peeking out from behind a dramatic dusky cloudscape...not quite sunset, but going in that direction. I swallowed the big lump in my throat and gave the Universe a high five for the special moment. And, the idea for painting "Somewhere" was conceived.

Humble beginnings...a quick layer of the big shapes.
Several years later, I am finally getting around to this painting...starting with toning the canvas in cadmium red...probably one of all time favorite colors for it's passion and tonality.

From dark to light I begin to define the larger earthy planes.

Surrounded by my thumbnails, I primarily keep the far upper left one in mind but I occasionally refer to some of the techniques in the others...both as much as what to avoid, as what to do.

Working on laying in the sky shapes and reflected light in the water.

We still see a lot of the red background showing through the above image, and much less below. Overall the warmth of the red is still a strong presence. Perhaps the vanishing red is symbolic of the song that inspired isn't here...but it's somewhere!

I'm starting to add more lights and mid-tones now.
The sky is beginning to take shape and the grasses are starting to come to life,
but it still has a long way to go!

Stay tuned to see more progress in Part 3.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I Can Hardly Wait...!!!

I'll soon be livin' lite and hitting the road in my Camplite trailer!

I just ordered a Livin' Lite all aluminum Camplite trailer (my dad would love this!)...and I can hardly wait for it to arrive sometime this summer-- praying for end of June to mid July!!

I'm bursting at the 7 year dream to travel around the country with paints, camera and canine is finally coming true! I'll keep you posted on the progress and whereabouts.

Meanwhile, if you campers have any trailer travel tips for a first timer...leave your comments here or post on my Facebook page!

The inside will look something like this...minus the TV.

I'll be living in this 13x7' space...just right for me and my Corgi!

I'll be towing my new homestead via the Zanne-Van!

My Honda mini-van will be towing the 2400 pound, 16'6" trailer...wherever I get a wild hair. Want me to come visit you? Send us an invite! We'll be there with bells on...and I'll do your portrait!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Don't Get Caught...Without Your Road Map!

On the road to a new journey, you need a good road map, otherwise you're stuck with some guy who won't ask for directions, or some broad with a weird accent giving you bad directions...better known as a GPS. So on the road to any kind of painting, you need to know where you are going...or at least what you're aiming for. You need a road map.

Whether you want to paint a something or a somewhere, or just a big expression of feeling, the exploration of miniature paintings before going big...better known as the "thumbnail" sketch...can be a real life saver...or at least a paint saver!

I like to begin with a small value map, or a black and white tonal sketch, before I attempt to translate the colors into a thumbnail. The one shown above is about 3x3 inches.

I keep several pocket sized journals around to sketch ideas for future paintings. I may try a few value maps and then write in color notes to remember the mood.

Faced with this really large, 3x5 foot red toned canvas above, I quickly realize I need a clear idea of what I'll be committing to before I put rubber to road, or paint to canvas. And, the only way to do this was with thumbnails. I had only a sliver of an idea, a memory really, of what I could recall about what I wanted to paint from several years ago.

So, grabbing a few photo references of clouds to refer to, I then started something completely new for me...which was to paint from memory. I pulled out the watercolors and pastels and went after it until I'd found the mood I remembered and could commit to painting on such a large canvas. After all, I wanted to be pretty confident with that much paint at risk!

This was not quite the time of day I'm after...and the heart was too obvious.

 Time of day is better, but again not what I'm after.

Ok, I can say I tried this idea and

Hmm. I might be onto something here if I try other colors.

 Ok, nice and stormy...but I lost my inspiration which was the heart in the sky.

This is getting closer to what I might be looking for...Wolf Khan inspired.

Bulls eye. This is what I'm looking for.

With the final small color painting sketch in hand,
I have my road map and am ready to begin the journey
of telling this story!
Stay tuned for Part Two...

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

NEW: Tip of the Month




Attention Artists, Galleries and Shop Owners...


Need subscribers? Get rid of that guestbook and get Guest'd...try downloading a guestbook app to your tablet and/or phone. You can carry it with you and ask clients to sign in at your studio, gallery or store front. It goes right into your contact lists, or wherever you tell it to. No paper to lose or handwriting to decipher...and, it looks very professional.

My favorite guestbook app, so far, is called "Guest'd"...for about $10 you can install it on both your tablet and phone. Guest'd is also a great marketing tool. Instead of using their backgrounds you can upload your own artwork, photos or products...then put it on the slideshow mode to rotate through your images!

There are plenty of other guestbook apps out there, and a couple of free ones. What's your fav?

Share your favorite organizational biz or art apps with me on Facebook.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

China Cove: Kaleidoscope of Color

China Cove, 10x8" oil

I had the thrill of painting in the stunning Point Lobos California State Park last month. My painting above depicts "China Cove"—  a cozy little secret beach tucked away from the world, except for the many curious tourists and over-the-shoulder lookers that appeared throughout the day.

The view was overwhelmingly's the cove late afternoon.

The ranger at the gate was nice enough to recommend this far away place on the map as an ideal painting spot... and she was right!  By the time I got set up in the late morning and finished around 4pm, I'd say I painted about 3 or 4 hours...which was quite a luxurious amount of time compared to the rest of the windy blow-and-go kind of week I had been having.

This has the makings for a future the complimentary colors of red/green here.

Protected from the wind, I even found a bit of shade to paint in...what heaven! The light completely changed a million times on me...but I was so enchanted with the place that I didn't want to leave. It was literally a emerald kaleidoscope of light and colors, all day long!

Secluded and protected, it's the perfect a baby seal nursery.

 The colors where spectacular as they reached the many shades of emerald to chartreuse. See the mommy and baby could watch them nursing from just around the corner. But the world seemed to stop and congregate at my painting spot that day. You can see why!

Here's the cove looking out into the ocean. Almost looks like Maui here!

I wish I'd taken photos in the morning as well, but when I scouted out the area I didn't have my camera in hand as the hike was pretty intense...and I had my painter's thinking cap on...which tends to be a different mind-set than photography. You constantly think, "Hurry up and paint...the light is changing!"

Here's the cove seen from the opposite shore...about 5 or 6 p.m.
At first, I thought there would be no way I'd carry all my paint gear up there. Then I found the handicap ramp on the way back down to my car (gotta love California for that!!) and was able to throw my gear in a suitcase and pull it all up the ramp to my painting spot! So, I made a mental note to prepare for future traveling with much lighter stuff...but hey, you do what you have to with what you've got!

Detail of the other side from where I'd been painting.
There were so many great views of the cove I could have painted from. Thank goodness I didn't find this one until after I'd finished my painting or I may have spent the day in undecided anguish!
And, I can paint this one now.

The actual painting inspired view.
Here's the approximate spot I was painting from. I took out the pine tree in the foreground which was nice enough to offer me her shade for the day, and cropped tight into the rocks above, eliminating the sky. When I started, the rocks on the left were in masses of shadow with dappled light changing the forms into a curtain of colors that you see in the actual painting. And, of course, the sea weed took on different shapes and colors minute by minute. It was quite a challenging scene to paint...but what a great day!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Last Weekend of the WEST Austin Studio Tour

No Bull, 11x9" pastel, $495

Customers outside of the U.S., please contact me for shipping price adjustments. Also, local customers, if you wish to pick up the artwork, please contact me before making your purchase.


Don't miss the last weekend of the WEST Austin Studio Tour!
May 4-5, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For the second consecutive year, the city of Austin is featuring the galleries and studios of artists west of IH-35 in the "WEST Austin Studio Tour".  Number 12 on the tour, I am showcased with 40 other artists at the Austin Art Space Gallery; you can download a studio tour map online.

Austin Art Space Gallery & Studios
Located at Northcross Center behind Northcross Mall
7739 Northcross Dr., Suite Q
Austin TX 78757

May Special Offer

Quiet Cove, 6x8" oil

Hot off the easel is this month's May special offer...

I will have a special "members only" opportunity each month for newsletter subscribers and blog followers. This month I'm discounting one of my new works painted en plein air, on location, in California. "Quiet Cove, a 6x8" oil unframed original was painted in Monterey Bay. This little jewel regularly sells for $280...and is now on sale during the month of May only,  just for you followers, for just $100 plus tax and shipping. To purchase, subscribe to my blog or join my monthly newsletter (in the right column) then click on the PayPal button above.

Monterey Bay, CA where I attended the 2013 Plein Air Convention last month with about 800 other artists from all over the world. We are taking advantage of the momentary warmer temperatures and lesser winds here. To the left of the painters is the approximate focus for the above painting, shown in more detail below.