Monday, June 23, 2014

The Painting Knife of the Party

"Jazzy Crow" 8x01 oil on linen (for sale at Framed Image Gallery)
Happy Summer everyone! It's going to be exciting painting week. Today I'm getting ready for a three day plein air workshop in beautiful Evergreen, Colorado later this week with with landscape artist Dave Santillanes. It's going to be a challenge but I'm looking forward to it!

In the meantime I wanted to post this new painting and offer my thoughts on painting with a knife-- one of my favorite oil painting techniques. FYI, I consider a palette knife to be a mixing knife. But really, one could mix/paint with either and I often do. And artists seem to use the terms interchangeably.

The knife has been of my favorite painting tools for years. It works wonderfully (most of the time) for adding texture or thicker impasto paint layers in the final stages. And sometimes, as with my crow painting today, I paint the entire painting from start to finish with the knife. 

Even if you prefer using a  brush (which I mostly use as well) I think having some knife skills are very useful for oil painting. Painting knives, for example, can be used to quickly rework or scrape a section. This scraping often results in exciting sections of interesting broken color effects. Note that scraping over wet paint and scraping over dry paint render different results so be sure to try to both.

My favorite painting knives have two key features: An "soft grip" rubber handle (I do use wood handle knives but not as much) and a pointed “diamond shape” tip for control. I most often use the RGM knives Regarding size—just like brushes the bigger the canvas the bigger the knife size.

There are several oil painting books that feature knife painting as a key approach if you want to explore this technique: Susan Sarback's Capturing Radiant Color in Oil, Lois Griffel's Painting the Impressionist Landscape, and How to See Color and Paint It by Arthur Stern--which has fantastic painting exercises. 

Thanks for stopping by! Finally, I’m happy to share that this painting (along with 3 others) will be featured in an upcoming show in Denver at Framed Image Gallery. For more info, please visit my Events Page on my website.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

O is for Owl

"O is for Owl" Mixed Media on Gallery Wrap Canvas 30x40
First, thanks to everyone who helped me over the weekend or stopped by to say hi at the Summer Art Market in Denver. Painting is often a solitary and isolated activity but these weekend events take a village! Thank you students, friends, neighbors, and fellow artists!

I’m very appreciative the Denver community is so enthused and supportive of creative events like this. Saturday was very busy! And despite some cooler and rainy weather on Sunday (you just don’t expect to be under a snuggie in June!) I sold many paintings which is always fantastic.

I’m often asked what sold after a market like this. Of course each venue is unique but over the weekend I found birds continued to be a popular. This is good news for all us bird painters. (In fact a blue jay bird theme was picked for the official Cherry Creek Art Festival poster this year).

I was also happy to see that my horse paintings were selling well—another favorite subject. And as always landscapes were popular at this event. (Denver is home to many amazing landscape painters.) But I did notice paintings that include water seemed more in demand which was interesting.

All year I’ve heard that buyers are looking for larger paintings and from what I could tell watching shoppers walk by and in my own booth (I sold 3 out of 4 of my largest works) that seems to be true.
In the next few weeks I’ll post some of my smaller pieces (there were some very nice “leftovers”) through my Daily Paintworks gallery

June’s going to be a great art month. I’m headed to Dave Santillanes plein air landscape painting workshop in Evergreen. In fact with some of my market profits I just ordered the new Strada mini easel which I can’t wait to try (I have the Coulter system now and I like it but wanted a lighter option.)

I thought a plein air workshop like this would be the perfect way to kick off summer painting. Speaking of painting now that I’ve rested a few days it’s time to get back to the easel! Thanks everyone and have a colorful summer week!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Summer Market Sneak Peak

"Pepper Prism" 16x16 oil on gallery wrap canvas SOLD
Nothing spurs creativity more than a deadline. (Mary E. Whitehill)

Welcome to June!  The Denver Summer Art Market is only days away--I can see the finish line! My goal was to have about 75 paintings ready (this includes small studies). Have you ever painted four paintings in a day? I know some of you have—maybe in a a workshop or class. I did it yesterday--Amazing but exhausting!

As you can guess creating and preparing 75 paintings requires a great deal of attention, concentration and energy. (Does anyone enjoy matting?) But it’s also a luxury to have an excuse to paint so much. That being said you can’t do everything during these intense work spurts. Certain things have gone by the wayside…

My car hasn't been washed since last fall. I think my driver’s license expired a few days ago. My laundry is pile is gaining elevation. I owe a close friend a birthday card...Sometimes I think you have to give yourself a pass when you have a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal).  Thanks again to everyone--my friends, students, collectors and followers for your support and patience this time of the year. I couldn't do a weekend event like this without you.

"Crow Confab" 18x24 oil on canvas panel SOLD

Next week I know I'll return to a more balanced existence (included a regular teaching schedule) but in the meantime I'm going to enjoy a week of indulgent creativity. Today's post features just a few of the paintings I've been working on. I had a great time working on these colorful Pearl Street farmer's market peppers as well as these "murder" of crows from Wash Park.

Finally, since I've been so busy I didn't have as many posts in May as I'd like so I'm extending my blog contest for a free print or phone cover into June. Just comment on any May or June post to be entered. Cheers everyone and hope to see you this weekend!