Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I promise that this is the LAST ONE!

Another photo from the KVIE green room. Next post will be art again. The devil made me do this! The goofy dude on the left id yours truly.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Three Hours of Fame!

Going on 15 years now, I have been an "art expert" on the televised annual PBS, KVIE channel 6, live art auction. Artists from all over the Northern California viewing area are judged into the auction every year and donate an art piece. During the three day televised event, each piece of art is on the air for about five minutes. I get my turn along with other art experts to talk about the individual art donations along side a celebrity auctioneer, whose job is to drum up the excitement to get viewers to call in their bids. This weekend, I put in a three hour stint working with three different auctioneers in three different hour time slots. Camera 3, ten seconds to live feed, your on!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Help make me a better workshop teacher

Last weekend, I conducted a watercolor sketch plein air workshop at Ledgewood Creek Winery...400 acres of beautiful vineyard nestled against the northern California coastal foothills. My students had an awful, awful time as you can plainly see! But with practice, I can get better! :-) So here's my sales pitch: If you belong to an art association or can get a group of friends together, you can hire me to do a weekend (or longer) workshop! To work out the details for a Lobenberg watercolor workshop (outside, en plein air or inside, en inside) for 2011, just shoot me an email at: sushi3@mac.com. Help make me a better workshop teacher!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fire or no fire, that is the question.

Randall is a very well known chef here in Sacramento, and I have just completed his portrait. QUESTION: How do you paint an interesting chef portrait? I went to his kitchen, and Randall did his famous atomic explosion fry pan cooking trick. Well isn't that just one hell of a cliche image! I took a few snaps to amuse him as testy chefs brandish sharp knives! Then I sat him down and had him hold a bare serving plate and told him DO NOT SMILE. Nary a question passed his lips as to why I took such an obtuse photograph! Artist don't brandish knives, but if you question them, they are wont to sob uncontrollably, and I think he didn't want to travel down that path! A few days later, I had his pastry chef spell Randall's last name in chocolate and marzipan on said serving plate, and I took a snap of that as well. From these two reference photographs, I painted Chef Randall Selland's portrait in acrylic on stretched canvas, 18"X36". Bon appetite!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"High Sierra", Sketch and Full Sheet Watercolor

The sketch took about 30 minutes on a 400 Series Strathmore 140lb cold press watercolor sketch pad. My sketches are drawn with a soft office pencil followed with non-water soluble black ink line over that. Next comes the final watercolor washes. Size: 9"X12". The full blown watercolor is 22"X30" on 140lb professional grade cold press watercolor paper. The painting was completed with a few strokes of various colored conte crayons. That 18th century Conte (a Frenchman) was a great inventor of some artistic mediums such as Conte crayon. Splattering with a toothbrush was added as foreground texture on both pieces. The sketch sells for $100 plus shipping and handling, and the watercolor sells for $400 plus shipping and handling. I haven't got Paypal set up yet, but if you are unterested, email me at sushi3@mac.com.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Lawnman is back!

On my June 4 post of an acrylic portrait I was working on of a gentleman that owns a large landscaping company called "Lawnman", I received a lot of very complimentary comments. A few comments also included some suggestions and critiques. These people undoubtedly will roast in ever lasting hellfire for for such insensitive comments! :-) Suggestions made were, and I paraphrase, "he looks like he's standing at a podium" and "it looks like he's standing behind a tombstone", and most hurtful of all, "the flowers are distracting". My wife agreed with all of this and subsequently, our divorce papers will be finalized this Friday! :-) Getting back down to reality or as they use to say in jolly ole England, "brass tax", I actually agree with these comments. As you can see, I've discarded the flowers and made the roll of sod he is holding less formally straight up and down. I could paint his fingers in FRONT of the sod, but in reality he was holding onto the inside of the sod (his thumbs on the outside of the sod facing his body and his fingers in the hollow formed by the rolled sod at his chest). I'll being showing him the painting next week, so I think he will be comfortable with the way his hands have been painted. Any way...am I making some improvements here?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ahh, what the hell.

I have no shame... so here are a few of my recent abstract acrylics on canvas. I'm not much of an abstract painter AT ALL! But I do teach some abstract water color and acrylic painting in my college classes and private workshops. I consider the problems working out a good abstract is ABSOLUTELY NO DIFFERENT than working out the problems (aesthetic considerations) of a successful representational painting. You have to work with such things as composition, color, value, shape, size, focal point (or lack thereof), texture, edges, etc., etc. Let's face it, to be really good at anything takes lots of energy, practice, and experience... and the challenges can be unending! I know there will be some more abstract painting in my future, and hopefully, baby step by baby step, I'll get better at it. My hat is doffed to all you good abstract artists out there.