Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Nacho Cheese Doritos"

I posted a blog last week on adding dark backgrounds because they sell slightly better then lighter backgrounds. This started a conversation between my brother and I on selling out in which he sent me a video of Bill Hicks destroying Jay Leno for doing a Doritos commercial several years ago.
That in turn started a conversation on Facebook where a friend of mine, Geoff S., suggested a painting of "Doritos and Gin", which led to this. I, for the moment, have left out the gin.

 I was actually amazed at how difficult they were to paint. My minnies usually take about six hours each, this one took over nine!
The fun thing about them was that I seldom get to use this many shades of yellow and orange.
After I was finished I Googled "Dorito Painting" and only a few images had come up. All of them had the bag in the painting. It is always nice when you can make a painting that no one has ever made before. Or at least very few. I remember when I first lined up all of my fruits and vegetables in a 12 x 40 format in 2005, I heavily researched it and found none. Now I see them everywhere.

 I deliberately toned my panel a bit darker then normal and added a touch of purple to it to compliment the orange. Each Minnie is done over two sittings. Aside from the chip on the left, this is what the painting looked like after the first sitting.

 Doritos left out on a table will attract ants. I have no idea why an ant would eat them, there can't be much nutritional value to a Dorito. Perhaps ants don't care what is in them, they just like the way they taste.
Ants will not cross water to get to food so I created this modified still life setup to make sure I could leave them on the table without having a thousand friends over for dinner.
It is 9 x 13 baking pan, with an inch of water in it. I then put an island in the middle of it raised above the water, high enough so that my wooden model stand would not get wet.

I always do a drawing first in burnt umber and white.
I bought a small bag of the Doritos. First of all the things are $4 a bag when not on sale so I got one of those mini bags for a buck, and yeah, I ate what was left. A long walk on the beach should offset it...
"Doritos" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Minnies Headed Off To Scottsdale Fine Art in Arizona!

 "Brie And Figs II" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
 "Baseball And Peanuts II" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
 "Baby Eggplants And Mushrooms" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
 "Strawberries And Cream" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
 "Pear And Blueberries" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel

 "Trio II" 6 x 8 Oil on Panel
"Red PearsAnd Blueberries"
6 x 8 Oil on Panel

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Green And Chilli Peppers

The last two auctions I posted were of paintings with dark backgrounds. I thought I would alternate and make one about the subject. I saw the pepper on the right in the store and immediately knew it had to be painted. I love the character in it! You can see in the photo below it really did look like that.
I was shooting for a mustard color with the background and it came out more brown but I liked it so much I just left it. I really like this painting, I think it has the character and personality I strive for...

6 x 8 Oil on PanelSOLD

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Does Illustration Hurt Your Fine Art Career?

Central Park - Colored Pencil 2001
I went to school for Illustration. I didn't have a choice. When I went for my interview at SVA, the person looking over my portfolio was a guy named Jack Endewelt. He quickly flipped through my book, looked up at me and said, "Well, you can draw so we can't put you in fine art" He then proceeded to make up my entire schedule. I just sat there and watched. 

All these years later and I still love illustration, but I have been told not to admit it. When I post Blogs on it my galleries cringe. When I put the Illustration page back on my website recently, one person I know had a heart attack. Oh my God, ( yeah I still spell it out) she said, don't you think it will hurt your sales?

 I don't know I said. Do you think someone out there is going to say "I would have bought those apples, If he didn't draw a cute cartoon dragon for that dentist in Seattle, ten years ago! That seems a little silly to me. 

"All Sorts Of Apples" Oil On Panel 10 x 24 2012

"Quinn" For Children's Dentistry Of Issaquah 2001
It is a conversation that has been going on for years. A great instructor of mine said that a conversation between a Fine Art major and an Illustration major goes like this:
"I love Andy Warhol"
"I love Norman Rockwell"
"You sold out"
"You can't draw"
"You suck"

"F#@k you!"

 Page one of an article titled "America's Bad Art", which ran in the New York Times Magazine, was a Norman Rockwell.

I am not considered an Illustrator, in fact when I get called one, it is usually meant as an insult. If my still life paintings get too illustrative, they don't sell as well.
But, fuzz the lines a little and put a dark background on it and it will fly off the shelf....

I am proud of my illustration work. In fact, I'll still take a job if someone likes it too and asks. I enjoy doing caricatures, and drawing out of my head, using lighting arrangements that don't actually exist, etc.

"Strawberries and Cream" 2013

This "Strawberries And Cream" painting to the left is an example of a work which has recently been  accused of being "too illustrative".
It's one of my personal favorites...

"Quimper" 2001

To the right is a sketch I did in 2001 while I was in France.
I really love the buildings there and think they lend themselves well to being cartooned.

I'd like to think that loving Illustration and making some once in awhile won't hurt my painting least I hope not.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

A Chorus Line Of Figs

I love painting Figs. Usually they are only in season during the summer and early fall.
I painted this one in September of last year but I have decided to make it available for purchase. The first fig painting I painted like this I sold in Australia during a workshop I was teaching in 2009. There are several different types of figs. The two dark colored figs are Brown Turkey, and Black Mission Figs. These are Black Mission Figs. Usually Black mission Figs are the standard blueish fig color. These looked like little solar systems to me and I immediately loved the colors of them.
I like the frame below but I can some people prefer gold or lighter frames so I have two options listed in the PayPal link.
The size is 6 x 12 oil on Panel. 

The frame is an imported Larson Juhl molding. Top of the line frame. It would cost about twice that at a frame shop.

Framed $750.00
Unframed $650.00


Friday, April 5, 2013

Daily Paintworks Interview And A Chance To Win This Painting

I  was recently asked by Daily Paintworks to be the featured Artist on their website this week. I gave them a short interview and then they give a painting of mine away to anyone who has bought a painting from the site within the last 30 days. Below is a link to their blog which has info on the contest and the interview. There were a few questions which I have never thought of before and were fun to answer.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Strawberries And Cream

 The very first still life I ever painted is still hanging in my mothers kitchen. It is a 5 x 7 of two strawberries with whipped cream on top. I'm not even sure how old I was when I did it but it was either high school or early college. Why I chose to revisit the subject matter all of these years later I'm not sure. I had alot of fun painting this one. The cream melts and moves so fast you are practically painting from memory.
6 x 8 Oil On Panel

Tuesday, April 2, 2013



The plums on the right are "Lemon Plums" but all of them are plums. I thought I would do something different with the background because I like the way the turquoise looks against the dark purple but it didn't look as good behind the yellow plums. I wiped it out and put the brown background behind it but that didn't look good behind the purple plums. Finally I just decided to go half and half.

 6x8 Oil on Panel

Monday, April 1, 2013

Mushroom Get Together

I started this one over the Holidays with a plan of finishing it with a background and reflections. Thanks to the usual craziness that time of year I was only able to work on it for two days and then the mushrooms rotted before I had a chance to finish it. The mushrooms just fell into that position and I left them like that. Because I work from life there is no way I can ever paint another one just like this!
I think it was one of those "happy accidents" that it turned out this way. I really like it as it is.

I figured I would make it available on the blog just in case someone else likes it as well.
Feel free to contact me about framing options.

8 x 11 Oil on Panel.

"Randy" ! - Some Images From My Recent Portrait Class In Stuart, Florida

A shot of my finished Demo 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas

The model here is my good friend Randy Orwig, the best model I have ever worked with. He doesn't move...barely even blinks.

The overhead light was really distracting. All of the lights were on the same switch so we had to put a cardboard box o
ver our model.

That's Jordan's painting on the right and a close up of it below.

I wish I had more time to finish it.........