Monday, October 30, 2006

ParkHill Road

Oil on wood 16x24 image slighty trimmed.

This is up in Santa Margarita down an pretty funky back road. There was a labyrinth of old cars and trucks behind the hand made fence. I wrote a little story about another view that in in my SLO adventures about the gentlemen on the property next to this one informing me he was armed.

I was struck by the big dark hill and the sliver of light blasting on the fence. I also love boats in front yards. I think there is a subtle giant wave behind it in the form of the hill.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Satan's Junkyard

Here is another in the Junkyard Creep series I did recently. I re- worked this one so much I almost trashed it. Some of the paing looks like crap, it's so thick it won't scan right. This is a love/ hate one, there is something redeemable about it I hope...
I kind of like the dragged out of the swamp quality on the old truck, it didn't look like that... I just painted it that way for some unknown reason. 16x20 oil on Ray mar linen.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Birds on a Wire

Here's a little painting I did because I wanted to, but also to try and impress CW Mundy. He's one of my favorite living painters and is judging the Ray mar painting contest. I have no idea why I thought he would like what I did, I didn't copy his style, but I keep him in mind as I did it. He might just click right by it when he sees the subject. (cut and paste)

I really was thinking "harmony" working with commentary colors. This is just across from the last Junkyard painting. Glad I took a shot it was gone next time I stopped by. I find more and more I like these little simple ones best...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Peck Pit Junkyard

This is about a abstract as I get at the moment. This is a spot that basically the intersection of Temple city, El Monte and Irwindale off Live Oak Road. Not a lot of live oaks on Live Oak, just industrial places and the occasional palm tree. I found this next to this huge Gavel pit lake where some one rents out fenced off sections of junk areas where the junkyard type store old cars, run little hauling/ construction/ demo business... Basically a place to park you excavator if your a freelancer. I wasn't supposed to be there but most folks let me be as they were probable illegal types in some way. Funny how reduced small it looks pretty real. The original is loose a melted Goose.

This is 10 x20 oil on an ancient "Blue Boy" Canvas board. My Dad was a painter for fun and old bought the cheapest of supplies, so knowing him it was old when he bought it. Anyone remember this brand?

Friday, October 20, 2006


There are many like run down junkyard towns off the 99, below Fresno and above Bakersfield. I'm not 100% if this was in Fowler, but I like the town name and it was close to there. This barn like place was empty except for some junky office equipment and the feel of the immanent wrecking ball in the hot dank air...
As I was driving around these little towns I would often see a house smashed apart with a trailer dragged up on the property in the midst of the rack and ruin. Meth labs go BOOM!
I was listening to the Black Keys cranked up as I toured these backwaters, somehow sublime in combination. If you like Cream mixed with Credence and old blues, check out Rubber Factory. Saw them live, they were as good as any of the best groups I've seen.
12x16 oil on linen board on top of a beltsanded old painting.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A WIP! and Shed and Los Feliz

I hoped my little story could make up for a lack of exciting paintings this post. That clearly didn't work, so I'll try another angle with a WIP.

I hate doing these in case I choke, but what the hell live life dangerously. This is a 12x16 the usual Linen Ray Mar. first I did a wash on Gamsol and Alizarin Crimson, Venetian Red and Indian Yellow to get a cool red to warm red to yellowish tone. This is done keeping in mind the cool mostly darker complementaryish cool colors that will go over the top. After that’s dry, I then come in with a brown mix for the drawing. This is a bit more drawing than I usually do do to the complex perspective. I'll add to this post as I go. The observant regular will note this is a slightly closer and bigger version of "Engine." We will cleverly refer to this one as Engine #2.

the darkest darks and lightest lights. You have to establish them to judge the rest of your colors and values. Of course my battery started to die in the camera at this moment.

Could this photo suck any worse? at this point I worked on this a little longer than I planned as I was waiting for the battery to charge, so got a wild hair up my ass from looking at Edgar Payne a bit to much lately and wanted to try some "broken" Color on a more fussy level than I usually do just to make thins painting different form the other engine. But the main choice of what was next was my next biggest areas of darkness, the foreground shadow.

Another bad photo. Put the sky in and added more secondary mid- tones. Fixed some of the details in the darks... Feeling a bit on the fence on all the little fussy brushstrokes, I have no idea way I chose this one to try it out on. Maybe I like to crash and burn in the public arena?

Didn't like some of the choices I made so I got out the knife and did some scraping back mainly on the trains on the right and the bridges. I also did a little knife work on the ground and some rail detail. Generally stated to tighten up adjusting some spots. Next photo will most likely be the final.

Here are two poor little lost PA's that have found there way onto the bolg that needs to be fed while I wait for other paintings to dry in this cool weather. Both are 6x8 on linen oil. The shed was done one morning in Tuolumne behind the house of the owner of the Vault Gallery in about an hour tops. Sheep watch me for about 20 minutes before they go board and shuffled off.

The other is a view of the the overpass for Los Feliz, painted on the upper part of the LA river with J- Mac.
A shirtless, belly scared, sag titted, (but nicely tanned) thousand year old man came up to me and accusatorially asked if a pile of trash (about 50 feet from us,) belonged to me. Despite general respect for my elders, I sternly cut off his coming reprimand by acting shocked and insulted he would dare imply we were homeless trashs makers. I told him he was the half naked one and was closer to the trash pile, there for a far more likely a suspect for leaving a pile of garbage than the fully dressed two of us. He back peddled and offered his credentials that he had been walking this river for 25 years. I told him that was impossible as I painted there every day for 30 years and had never seen him before. I let him blink and sputter a few times before I told him I was pulling his old chicken leg. He than told me in prideful detail about his many operations and his golf game, despite that I still got though my painting and enjoyed the morning.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Prop Storage and Horse Trailer

Now that I've recovered from the SLO thing (and writing about it,) here are a few PA's I did before I left. I've been panting pretty steady since I got back, but those paintings still have to dry. No stories to tell on these, they are both done in a little equestrian area just off Los Feliz near Chevy Chase. both are 9x12 oil on linenboard. I usually work small in PA , but was warming up for the SLO deal.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

SLO part 3, Rebellion has it's cost and redemption that keeps giving.

At the Saturday morning quick draw everyone set up at the prescribed area of the downtown park and mission, except me. Being the rebel, I just didn't want to do what everyone else was doing, mainly because everyday I drove into town I saw this White 1970 Cadillac Hearse sitting in a driveway for sale, just few blocks down the street from the park. I want to paint it every time I saw it so I shut the logic center of my brain off and decided to do it.

I was a little late when I stated and had very little time, Well I've painted cars before, but not this much a close portrait, under tight time and changing light. I struggled, almost quit and then finally did what I felt was an acceptable job for less that 2 hours of painting.

It was now 11:30; I was supposed to be in the park. I packed up and drove over realizing I was parked as close as I was going to get anyway, I drove back to my spot that was now gone, found another farter away. Cursing a blue streak and running the blocks to the park with my painting I soon realized everyone was displaying their paintings on their painting kits. I had to go back to my car again, got the kit, set up, stated talking to some nice people who wanted a card. I realized all my cards I brought for the show were in my car. By the time I got back form my car, my painting was gone. They had grabbed it for the auction. Now I realized why you painted in the park, a one stop set up.

Feeling a little sick that 1% of the crowd got to see my work, I was vexed that during the auction the public was not allowed to look at the art despite the 3 hour estimate that the auction would take. The good news was it was a good sized crowd and they were doing a great job of doing strong introductions of the artists and descriptions of the art and the auctioneer was funny and worked the bidders well. The art was selling and selling at good prices. The crowd was engaged for most of the auction, but after a few hours the long set up for the sales wore a little thin and the buyers started to go home. It was alphabetical and I was dead last. They chose to make the closing announcements before my piece was auctioned so along with the subject being off beat, everyone was gone. Off beat/ modern is one thing, but a lot of collectors are retried, do they want a piece of art depicting death? What was I thinking? No bids until my friend and fellow painter Danny Griego snagged it for the opening bid at the last second.

It was so upset yet I had brought it on myself. My poor planning, along with some bad luck had it's cost. I now had to run back to the farm I was staying at because I had promised my girlfriend we would go to the lake that afternoon. I was already way later that I expected I would be and when I got there we still had to get gas in the next town as Santa Margarita doesn't have a gas station so by the time we drove out to the lake it was basically time to go back the farm and dress for the auction/party for the paintings we did all week. I was feeling discouraged and a bit sorry for myself, guilty about making Sharon wait around so we dragged our feet at the lake and showed up at the party late.
I was still feeling embarrassed about the Jerry Lewis style debacle of the Quick draw so we snuck in the back door. As I stuck my head in I realized there was a ribbon next to my train painting... I had won the Artists Choice award! People started crowing around congratulating me; there were bids on the train and the most modern painting of the drive in. Everyone had been selling; the night was a success for most of the artists! Two Nice collectors named Mary and Bill bought the drive in painting because it was so modern! The president of SOLAC won the Train painting. I left feeling redeemed. I assumed I didn’t win any money for the artists choice award, but that didn’t matter, I was honored that my peers had voted for me.
train pic is from a photo, scan later.

The next day when I picked up the last of my paintings at the art center, Karen the director asked me it I had picked up my envelope? I said no, what's that? She tells me with a sly smile, it's for the Artist Choice; you get a free half page ad in Southwestern Art. Wow! I didn’t think it could get any better.

Back at home I find an E- mail from the Just Looking Gallery I had stopped in SLO to admire the frames. I'd had a nice chat with one of the owners about frames and the show itself. Turns out after we chatted his partner, and some other artists form the gallery went down to the show, and they all liked my work enough to ask me to join their Gallery. I'm putting together some paintings for them now and you bet I'll be adding a link to their place today right here! Yahoo!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

SLO Part 2 Hope, doubts and losses.

We had lovely weather the entire time, I was well positioned being in Santa Margarita as it was inland and got more sun that the coast. Some artists when to Morro Bay in the mornings and had to deal with fog. All I ever had was a little grey on one moring and some patchy clouds with sprinkles one day. I did a few paintings I didn't like that I might post after I fix, but hit my stride with this little one done down a back road in Santa Margarita where it was very rural, just my kind of subject.

When I walked up on this property, the owner was working on his truck with a buddy who swung around at my approach. I apologized for startling him, he said," I wasn't startled, I got my gun right here." I smiled and said he had me at a disadvantage as I was unarmed. After being sure I didn't work for the government, they let me paint there.

Another morning, I did this farm, my most blatant attempt at trying to do a typical painting that I assumed was expected by the typical collector at this kind of event, in this town, for this kind of show.

One two separate afternoons I tackled a larger, more ambitious version of the Sunset Drive in (at sunset) thinking it would be my big show piece, but in the end it ended up as a back up as I didn't care for it as much, to much mush painting where I felt lost and off my game.

Finally on d- day Friday, I went to the SLO train station and tried another big painting starting early I worked really hard and felt that I had pulled it off. Everyone at the station was nice to me from the stationmaster to the engineers to people who came by. I almost sold the painting on the spot. Buoyed by the positive feedback, I knew I had done about the best I could do under the circumstances, if I was going to win, this one would be the one. I only have a photo of it,I will post it on the next entry.

They tried something new this year, a collector's preview night where collectors had to pay $100 to get first shot at our paintings. I entered the smaller inside sunset driven- in for my Modern side, the Farm painting for tradition and the Train painting as something in the middle. We mixed up the times and got there too early, but were recruited to help with last minute posting of titles and that was kind of fun.
First came the awards judged by two very nice collectors who liked traditional tight work except for one wacky fun choice.
That left me in the dust, but I rationalized to myself I hadn't really expected to win on my first try anyway. I received lots of compliments for other artists, about the Drive in painting and the train, but the auction went slow, the paintings with awards did well, but frankly the rest of us with a few exceptions heard the crickets. I was told this was an experiment, that tomorrow the quick draw auction always did well and the "regular" auction would bring out the rest of the collectors. I tried to ignore my negative thoughts and think positive. Tomorrow would be bettr... right?

Monday, October 09, 2006

SLO Painting diary, part one

I'm back from the SLO painting festival, my first big time painting competition, complete with a week of painting on location, three auctions and some moments of joy and frustration, but ending on a high note. The weather was great everyday, quite a contrast form my vacation in Cambria at the same time last year.

Day one was a check- in getting canvas's stamped to prove I painted them there and a welcoming party in a lovely house at the edge of Moro bay. Everyone was friendly and the party ended on an optimistic note of encouragement from the old pros they laughed when I asked if the Sunset Drive-in in SLO had ever been a painting subject and they strongly affirming no one had ever painted it. The day ended on a lovely visual note of an amazing sunset. We stayed at a nice vineyard on Santa Margarita.

For the next few days I painted two paintings every day starting with the trailer shot below. That afternoon I went to the local drive in I question, not liking the light at the front of the drive- in at 3:00, I went inside and tried this off- beat view, excuse the photo, I don’t have a scan yet. More in the next post.

trailer #2

Well, I'm back form SLO with a long story to write, ( some downs and some big ups) Oh the drama in my little world. In the meantime, here is another trailer in my series, enjoy. 16x20 oil on wood. From the same park. quik quiz: what part is from and old paintiing and what element did I scrape paint over compleatly?