Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Site and Home for my blog

Hey everyone . . . just launched a new site that will now be home to my blog and news updates (Called Journal). Go check it out. Hoping to keep it updated much more often.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Abbotsford House

I had the privilege to work with Richard Schmid and West Wind Fine Art to film and edit this short video for Richard's recent masterwork, "Abbotsford House, the home of Sir Walter Scott." All the footage here was shot either in Scotland, where he painted several studies from life, or from the American unveiling and exhibition that was held in Wichita this past September. Enjoy!

Putney Painters - from back in May

I'm finally able to play catch-up from a busy schedule and I wanted to post a couple pictures from a long past Putney Painter day (I've got a lot of posts to write till I catch up with the present!). Half of us painted outdoors underneath a grove of apple trees behind the barn and the other half were inside finishing up paintings that they had started the day before.

Richard was fairly inventive with his landscape and used all the information around him to create the start of a great composition. The orchard was on a slope and he was positioned at the very bottom. There was a good hundred feet of trees and then a clearing where the sun was bursting through.

Richard started with an underpainting that was all about harmonies and large, interesting shapes with the light cutting through the top third (which he wiped out to the white canvas with a paper towel). His underpaintings have maximum randomness in the colors, textures, and transparency . . . this really helps to carry a natural feeling throughout the rest of the painting.

It's obviously been a while since this day so I can't remember all the details past this initial impression, but hopefully the following photos will help you out and give you some inspiration.

Here's a look at what they were doing inside!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's official, I'm a "Putney Painter"

I had a great painting session with my friends up in Putney this past Saturday. We painted a 15? year old boy that had such a great contemplative demeanor (and a cool nose). Richard started the day with a really unexpected announcement where he invited myself and Leigh Brady to be official Putney Painters. It's such a privilege to learn and paint with these people and this association is the icing on the cake -- I hope my paintings and character will be a reflection of the generosity that these amazing artists have shared.

Here is Nancy's start (about 50 minutes in I think). You can see my start over there on the left.

 Here is Richard's painting at about the third sitting. I love looking at his paintings close-up . . . he has an amazing economy of brushstrokes and his colors are always so pure and vibrant which breath life into his paintings.

Here is my painting about 3/4 of the way through. I kinda wish I would have just fixed a few things and stopped here. The grandparents of the boy wanted the painting and I thought it only right to take it to more of a finish.

Here is Nancy's painting at the end of the day. The biggest thing I learned (which Nancy does so well in the hair for example) is that in the dark areas (and especially the darkest darks), it is always better to plan ahead and carefully place the strokes and then leave them.

You need to make sure that you apply them in a way that leaves some of the canvas showing through. It creates a luminosity that works to your advantage, letting the semi-transparent darks sit into the background and the opaque and thicker paint jump to the front. This illusion is something that I haven't been keeping consistent (having both transparent and opaque darks) which hurts the illusion. To create these transparent strokes, you can use either a dry-brush approach or use thinned paint -- the trick is to use a bristle brush and use a lot of pressure when you make the stroke.

Here is my painting at the end of the day.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Artists on Art Magazine

I have had a secret project under wraps for the last two months and it went live today (maybe you've noticed the lack of blog posts from me).

I have been busy working with some of the top artists around and creating a new quarterly art magazine that will hopefully fill the gaps in the traditional publications.

Here's a synopsis:
Artists on Art magazine connects readers to master artists, their work, and the connoisseurs who embrace it. Readers enjoy a direct, thought-provoking, connection with today’s top artists; learning their techniques and hearing their ideas. Each issue contains at least ten robust articles richly illustrated with high-resolution photography, step-by-step guides, video, and interactivity. Our digital-only model combines the best of print with the power of the web, giving you constant access to your subscription from anywhere, on any internet-connected device.

Here is our Promo Video:

And some previews of the Premiere Issue (which has over 15,000 words, 300+ pics, high-resolution images of paintings and so much more)

This premier Winter Issue has articles written by: Carolyn Anderson, Daniel Sprick, Casey Baugh, Julio Reyes, Douglas Fryer, Libby Whipple, Dan McCaw, Daniel Keys, and Susan Lyon with Scott Burdick.

Check out the site and subscribe at:

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Putney Painters - Nov 13

Artist Katie Swatland posed for us this past Saturday and Richard set up a pose that was both a great study on whites and also design. In my painting below, I never got to the whites, but I'm really looking forward to finishing up this painting and learning more about the colors and temperatures I can play with.

Richards glasses got destroyed on the road outside the Barn the week before and his new glasses hadn't come in yet . . . so, he basically couldn't see the model or his painting. Because of that, he tried to start a painting but ended up wiping it out after a session and then did a quick monochrome for Katie. I was able to snap a photo of each -- still pretty good for someone who couldn't see!


Below are two in-process photos from my painting. I'll definetly be finishing this painting sometime in the next couple weeks and will keep you posted.

To close, artist Charlie Hunter jumped out to the front steps of the Barn to do a little sketching. This guy has such a great sketchbook, each little drawing deserves a frame.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Busy Week

This past week, my friend Daniel Keys was up in New England for some painting and his one-man show at West Wind Fine Art.

On Monday I caught up with him, Kathy Anderson, and a few other artists for some painting at a little roadside farm in Connecticut. It was a day of good painting and great company . . . something I can never get enough of.

On Saturday, I drove up to Vermont for a portrait day with Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik and the rest of the Putney gang. I only painted in the morning and then headed out to Cape Cod after lunch. I wish I could have seen the paintings at the end of the day -- everybody was doing a really good job.

Nancy's start 

 Richard's start

 My really quick sketch

A few hours later, I showed up on the Cape for Daniel's show which was really nice. I've only seen a couple of his finished "Studio" paintings and it was great seeing ten of them side by side, all with amazing brushwork and textures. If you ever get a chance to see his work in person, I would do it . . . you can't get a sense for his thicker brushwork and color harmonies from the photos.

Although I couldn't stay, Daniel did a demo on Sunday and Kristin Thies of West Wind Fine Art was kind enough to share a couple photos with me (us).

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Putney Painters - Oct 1st

This past Saturday, I again had the opportunity to paint with my friends in Putney, VT. Because of some rain, we had a still life day and had a great time together in the barn.

Richard started a wonderfully loose painting and demonstrated to us all how to paint both accurately while still taking artistic license. Below are a few progress shots.

Dennis Sheehan spent the day preparing for his one-man show coming up at Susan Powell Fine Art. The opening is Oct. 14 if your anywhere near Madison, CT.

Dennis completed 3 block-ins (just a little further than the photo below) in about 4 hours! He is a greater painter and above that, an artist that has a vision and unique look within todays market. Seeing his paintings from life have always been a great experience -- you don't get a sense of the thick paint and beautiful brushwork from the digital images.

Kathy Anderson was doing some really good work as well. She wrapped up this floral which as you can see, she totally captured the color and values.

To top it all off, Richards birthday was October 5th and we had a little (3 cakes and ice cream!) celebration for him. Happy Birthday Richard, may you have many, many more!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Weekend with the Masters - Final Day

This re-cap has taken a while, but we are finally on to the last day -- I can't wait to start blogging about some other things (if you have any recommendations, just let me know). This Final day was very light and I only have a few photos.

I spent the majority of the morning watching Quang Ho's still life demonstration. He painted two small demos, and like his other paintings, he first blocked in the darks and shadows. He then worked around the canvas adding various shapes of color.

From talking with Quang and watching him paint over those few days, I have realized that he loves applying some mystery in his painting. I'm not saying that he leaves things in his painting that are a mystery (although that may be true), but that as he's painting, he avoids or leaves things to a later point. He will build up random shapes and colors and then all of a sudden create that one needed silhouette or edge which will just bring an object to life. He did this both in his still life (with the fabric table cloth) and in his evening duel (where he painted the arm and hand hand as loose shapes and then added the edge between the arm and dress - making it pop into reality).

As I was leaving the demo, I jumped across the hall and snapped a couple pictures of David Leffell's demo (I'm sorry I didn't stay longer or get any of the canvas . . . I believe it turned out really well)

After a somewhat relaxing lunch and doing a little work for the event, I jumped into David Spricks workshop and had an hour and a half to do a little drawing.

And that's it -- After a short sleep and a long plane ride, I was back at home and back into the grind (while being energized and excited about this next year of painting and what it will bring).  I'm already looking forward to the next event . . . thanks for sticking around and being interested in the journey.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Weekend with the Masters - Day Three

I'm starting to forget the exact details of each day and it's all starting to blend together (I have the worst memory!), so I'll do my best to re-live it. These last two posts might be a little light on text, although most of you might prefer that anyway.

I started out the day watching Carolyn Anderson's morning demonstration. She started with a few placement lines (top/bottom of head, tilt, hair/profile lines) and then jumped right into painting the main shadows. From there, she moved around and built up the painting with the right color, in the right shape, in the right location. I am always so impressed with Carolyn's (and Quang Ho's) style and ability, I have probably said this before, but I believe that if someone has really figured out how to paint, they will embody some of this style and technique -- it's all about complete control and accuracy of the components of painting -- knowing what needs to be there and omitting the rest. That being said, I sometimes wish Carolyn's paintings had a stronger or more refined center of interest . . . something that a viewer could really grasp on to. 

Hopefully as I grow as an artist, some of these qualities that are seen in Carolyn's work will be seen in my own paintings.

After watching most of the demo, I jumped around to the other portrait workshops to find a place to paint in the afternoon. I spent a few minutes in both Scott Burdicks and Nancy Guziks workshop, snapping a couple pictures for you.

I decided to paint with Nancy that afternoon and Richard came in to see how the workshop was coming along. During his visit he drew a quick sketch of the models younger brother (the girl in the above picture) and then also played chess with the model. This little girl was really good at chess and had most of us scared to play her. I'm not sure how I would have faired, but I figured I should just stick to painting.

Friday night (day 3) was the last of the evening events which was a duel between Quang Ho and Daniel Sprick. The two are friends from Colorado and are both represented by Gallery 1261 in Denver. Both artists were engaging and painted well. Quang spent the first 20 minutes discussing his thought process and ideas while Daniel got a much needed head start. As mentioned before, Daniel's style is much more refined (verging on photo-realism at times) while Quang is much faster and simplified. It was nice to see two very different approaches to the same subject . . . something you usually don't see in these types of events.