Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

A few more J.C. Leyendecker covers of The Saturday Evening Post.
I hope everyone has a fun and safe New Years!!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Recent Comission SOLD and On Its Way!

 Just finished this 10 x 20. It was a special order which I always love doing!
The client picked out the frame and I must say it was a great choice.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Few Of My Favorite Christmas Movies

I deliberately left off of this list, "Miracle on 34th St, White Christmas, A Christmas Carol, and It's A Wonderful Life" I figure everyone has seen or heard of those and you don't need me repeating the same list over again. Some of these listed below I don't even think many people are aware are even Christmas movies. I would also like to add that "Die Hard" with Bruce Willis, is also one of my favorite Christmas movies, but it didn't really fit on this list.

10.The Shop around the Corner
James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan
January 1, 1940
Many of the scenes in this one were copied directly by "You've Got Mail" but this one came first. Jimmy Stewart is one of my favorite, if not my favorite actors. I deliberately left "It's A Wonderful Life" off of this list because I figure most people have seen it already. But this is a great movie, and it's set at Christmas time. I could easily have put this at number one on the list.
Buy On Amazon


 9. In The Good Old Summertime
Judy Garland, Van Johnson and S.Z. Sakall
July 29, 1949

Nope, this one isn't a joke - it's a Christmas movie! A musical adaptation of the above "Shop Around The Corner" Starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. It's a very similar story, but the addition of the musical elements and the changing of the location from Budapest to Chicago make this one different enough from the original for me to say I like them both. Why it is called In The Good Old Summertime, I have no idea, the whole thing takes place at Christmas!
In The Good Old Summertime on Amazon 

8. We're No Angels
July 7, 1955
Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Joan Bennett, Basil Rathbone, and Leo G. Carroll
Another film with a remake that many people don't realize was set at Christmas...and how can you go wrong with Bogey!

 7. Holiday Affair
Starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh
December 24, 1949
A light-hearted story about a single mother who is trying to support her son, when she accidentally costs a store clerk his job. Although involved with another man she keeps bumping into the stranger over and over...
Holiday Affair on Amazon

6. Christmas Vacation
Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo

December 1, 1989
Although I tried to avoid the really big Christmas hits on this list, 
I couldn't help but add this one. Always enjoyable to watch around 
the holidays, I think this one will easily become a Christmas classic 
- if it isn't already.

5.While You Were Sleeping
Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman
April 21, 1995
Some of you might be wondering why I put this one on my list. But I have to admit it's a great Christmas movie. It's light, funny, and just plain fun!

4. The Ref
Denis Leary, Judy Davis, and Kevin Spacey
March 9, 1994
I love this movie!. It's funny as hell if you like that type of sense of humor, and the whole thing takes place at Christmas. Kevin Spacey plays a very similar character to the one in American Beauty. Dennis Leary is at his sarcastic best. My favorite line..."Your husbands not dead lady, he's hiding"

The Ref on Amazon

3. Christmas In Connecticut
Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis Morgan
January 1, 1945

"War hero Dennis Morgan becomes the object of a publicity stunt staged by magazine publisher Sidney Greenstreet. The corpulent print mogul announces that Morgan has won a Christmas dinner, to be prepared by the magazine's housekeeping expert Barbara Stanwyck in her own Connecticut home. The catch: Not only does Stanwyck not have a home in Connecticut, but she's never been in a kitchen in her life! She also doesn't have a husband (as her articles claim), so Stanwyck's erstwhile beau Reginald Gardiner is pressed into service as the hubby. As for the cooking, that will be handled by master chef S. Z. Cuddles Sakall. This solves everything, right? No way, Jose. Long dismissed as a lesser film farce, Christmas in Connecticut has its own irresistible charm, and has in recent years become a perennial Christmas-eve TV attraction. Pay absolutely no attention to the 1992 TV remake, starring Dyan Cannon and directed by Arnold Schwarzenegger."~ Hal Erickson


2. Holiday Inn
Bing Crosby and Fred Astare
January 1, 1942

 Music by Irving Berlin, songs by Bing Crosby and dancing by Fred Astaire.
A great all around movie and in my opinion even better than "White Christmas". My favorite this time of year!

1. Any Rankin Bass Christmas Special
I never get sick of these. Even though I am sure (and hope) that everyone reading this has already seen these a dozen times or more, for me, Christmas time would not be the same without them. Just looking at the stop motion animation makes me smile.

SCICTT cover.jpg

To see a list on: Amazon


I hope everyone enjoyed looking at the list and maybe even found one or two movies they haven't seen.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Two Commissions And Two Masks Off To The Galleries

"Pears In A Row" 10 x 20 Oil On Panel

I just finished this one for Scottsdale Fine Art's Annual Holiday Show
The gallery specifically asked for it so I considered it a commission even though it is available for sale.
Available through Scottsdale Fine Art -
(480) 990-3100

10 x 20 Oil On Panel

When a client asked for "plums, brie and figs" the first thing I thought was that none of those things are in season right now, except for the brie because as far as I know there is no "cheese season". The second thing that occurred to me is that those items would make a rather flat painting. This gave me three problems to solve. One, where to find figs. That one was easy, the grocery had them. OK, one down. The second, was not so easy. No one had plums...no one. I searched about a dozen different grocery stores, markets and specialty shops. nothing.
Finally, I mentioned it to my grandmother, who just happened to have some plums in the fridge from the summer! What are the odds! She said they were a little shriveled, I said, they won't be in the painting, ship em out! So she mailed me three month old plums.
Problem number two solved. To solve the last problem of the flat composition, I moved the objects in and out as much as possible and then sliced one of the plums for a variety of color. The client wanted a lavender background so I knew in advance that this painting would have a very harmonious color scheme. All of these things were on my mind when I delivered the painting but the client loved it, and that's all that matters!
"Reels" 28 x 32 Oil On Canvas
Berkley Gallery in Virgina has decided to hang "The Jester" And "Reels"!
For info:
Berkley Gallery
40 Main St, Warrenton, VA 20186
(540) 341-7367

"The Jester" 18 x 24 Oil On Panel

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Few MORE Of My Favorite Christmas Illustrations!

J.C.Leyendecker - What a happy Image!

Haddon Sundblom




Norman Rockwell

Ok, so maybe the one to my right isn't one of my favorite Christmas Illustrations, but I was shocked to see it. Because I love old movies I am aware that pretty much everyone smoked back then. Seeing a young Ronald Reagan, or any president, surrounded by cartons of cigarettes however was still surprising...and funny. I just thought I'd share it.

 I love scenes of trees covered by big piles of snow in winter. Although I have seen hundreds of them, when I searched online I could only find two. If anyone reading this feels like posting links to more - please do!
 Aldro Thompson Hibbard (August 25, 1886 - November 12, 1972)

The above painting is a Michael Godfrey. I have never met him but we both show in the Berkley Gallery in Virginia so I see his work whenever I stop by. Although all of his work is impressive, I love his winter scenes especially.

I have no idea where the image above came from. I saw it online and instantly loved it, made it my desktop for the Holidays. I don't know if it is even a real place, it looks Photoshopped to me, but I'm a painter not a computer guy...

The two above images are from Disney Artist Michael Peraza. I love that he did the sketch in pencil with so much work being digital nowadays. His work is amazing and he has a great Blog I am following: Here is a link:

Hope you liked these, Happy Holidays Everyone!!!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Yorkshire Wensleydale With Cranberries And Other New Minnies!

 "Yorkshire Wensleydale With Cranberries" 6 x 8 Oil On Panel

With Christmas so rapidly approaching I went to the market looking for something that would have Christmas colors in it, but could also be hanging all year round. As soon as I saw this cheese, I knew I wanted to paint it!

Scottsdale Fine Art in Arizona requested Pears, so the above two paintings are available through them! The paintings below are available at Berkley Gallery in Virginia.

 The cheese was fairly expensive so the more paintings that can be made from it, the better. Originally I had wanted to do it on a reflective surface, and I still plan to..but time and the Christmas rush just didn't allow for it.

The above "Hanging Grapes II" was a request from the Berkley Gallery because they sold the first one so fast!

Here is a story I probably shouldn't tell...Sometimes I get bored with painting painting I have already done. Scottsdale Fine Art had requested the pear painting pictured above and so when Berkley gallery also requested pears I thought, I really need to do something different.
I had purchased too many pears to begin with, so I ate one. I took a look at after a few bites, and thought it looked really interesting just like this - I loved the shapes the bites had made.
Since I am always looking for a story, I pointed all of the stems of the other pears as if they were looking at the one who had been eaten, like he had nothing on.
I decided to title it "What Happened To Stan?"...I think the gallery is going with "Pears"...I'm not sure they found my title as funny as I did.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Currently On The Easel...

Just two process shots on the paintings I am working on right now.
Both are 10 x 20 oil on Panel