Saturday, June 27, 2009

006: Palette Knife Tomato
size 11x14 inches
oil on stretched canvas
SOLD


If this tomato looks a bit off to you, it's because the entire painting was created with a palette knife. "No brushes were dirtied in the creation of this painting." A palette knife is a tool artists sometimes use to create rough, quick paintings. It looks like a thin triangle shaped piece of metal on a handle. It allows paint to be scraped away and thickly applied. The result, as you can see, is heavy texture with a lot of personality. This tomato was picked from my own garden and now that I've painted it I plan on eating it for lunch.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

004: Forest at Dawn
size 11x14 inches
oil on stretched canvas
$80.00

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003: Rosemary Seedling
size 11x14 inches
oil on stretched canvas
$100.00

Click here for more views or to buy:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Painting A Day

Lately I've been feeling like I'm more of a factory than an artist. Selling hand-painted glassware is my bread and butter, and while it's crafty, painted glasses are hardly "fine art." So to combat my insecurities as a lazy artist I've taken on a challenge. I'm going to paint an oil painting a day. That's right. From start to finish, a painting a day. They are obviously going to have to be small, but I think small might be better anyway. The giant 5 feet canvases sure are a lot of fun but honestly, who has the wall space for a 5 foot painting?! These paintings will all be small enough to fit on any wall, and they'll be ready to frame when finished (and dried of course). I'm not alone in tackling this challenge. I've seen a few other artists doing the same thing. They mostly sell their works on ebay for anywhere from $100 to $500. The work is impressive and I was shocked to learned that each painting was done in one day. Well, I'm now two days into my challenge and I can't believe how much fun I'm already having. It's so rewarding to start with a blank canvas and then just a few hours later have a finished piece. Even just two days in I can already feel myself becoming more atune to art in everyday things. A ripe green lime and a few garlic cloves look more like a still-life than guacomole ingredients. I'm excitied and nervous. Please try and keep me on track. If you notice I've missed a day or two--say something! I would love the encouragement and any comments you'd care to share about the daily work. Each painting will be available for sale on Etsy. I also won't be creating prints of any of the paintings. So once it's purchased, that's it. This is going to be fun...

001: Blue Hydrangeas
size 11x14 inches
oil on stretched canvas
Sold



002: Beer and Peanuts
size 11x14 inches
oil on stretched canvas
SOLD

Sold

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Father-Daughter Paint Night


The oil painting above is 4x5 feet and was painted in 3 hours. Normally a painting this size would take me months.

It starts with a quick home cooked meal. Crab cakes and a simple salad. I open a bottle of wine and listen to the gurgle of the first fast pour. Dad cracks the pop of a cold PBR and takes a satisfying sip. There’s excitement in the air because tonight the two of us are going to create a painting. It a giant white canvas--I mean this thing is big. It rests directly on the floor and leans against the wall. No easel could support it. I turn The Stones up a little louder on the stereo while dad adjusts the lighting. The room is now very bright and it’s late and dark outside. We’ve done this a few times before. Sometimes we start with a photograph, the painting above we call Elk Creek. It’s on property our family owns in the mountains of North Carolina. The photo was taken in early fall just as the leaves were really starting to change. Or sometimes we’ll create something totally abstract--just because it’s fun to sling paint and see what happens.

There aren’t any real rules. Dad will sketch out the horizon line. I’ll squirt some green and blue paint onto my palette. Pick out a paintbrush and GO! It’s fast and furious. We paint like crazy people. The music is loud, really loud. No close neighbors out in Hillsborough to complain. I’ll create leaves on a tree that hasn’t been painted yet while dad fills in the deep rust color of the ground. After about an hour it’s starting to take form. It takes that long just to get paint over most of the large canvas. We’ll step back ten feet to get a good view of our progress. Make some suggestions, grab another beer, change the CD and hit it hard again. About two hours into it I’m covered in paint. All I can smell is the nutty linseed oil and the sharp note of oil paints. It’s really starting to take shape and I’m having a hell of a lot of fun. Dad starts critiquing my paint application and I tell him to shut-up and work on his shading. Somehow in the midst of it all, a random blob of yellow ended up in the creek. Neither of us know where it came from, probably a glob of yellow paint intended to be a leaf but fell onto the blue of the water. We decide that we love it and leave it to be. Sometimes art creates itself and you just get to be a part of it all. After 3 hours neither of us can believe how incredible our painting looks. Maybe it’s the booze, maybe we’re both high from all the paint fumes. But each time I’m incredibly shocked at what we’ve created. I would never have been able to paint this on my own, and the same for my dad. We each bring something to the canvas that is special. My mom can usually tell who painted what, but she’s known us for our entire creative lives. Others can’t tell all at. Somehow our brushstrokes and color choices are able to work together, as different as fingerprints but all on the same hand. We’ll price our paintings out loud. “This one is definitely worth $3K easy!” “No, there’s no way I’m letting it go for less than 5.” But we’ll end up donating it to a charity auction. The one below is being sold at A Tasteful Affair this year, a benefit for the Ronald McDonald House if you’d like to have a look in person.



One day dad and I hope to have a gallery showing of all our joint paintings. We’ll wear black and sip martinis and pretend that we knew exactly what we were doing every stoke of the way.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Art of Boredom.

When I was a kid complaining of boredom during those long lonely summer days before drivers licenses and boyfriends, my mother would say “Honey, intelligent people are never bored.” Even then—bitter from the lack of sympathy--I knew she was right.

To this day, that simple truth resonates with me during my long lonely days of solitude. Now that I work from home as a full time artist I don’t have a boss to hand me work. I don’t have focus groups to keep me on track, no co-workers to fill the social void and the most foreign, I don’t even have a reason to get dressed for the day. I--like one in six people my age--don’t work for anyone. This recession has hit everyone hard. Thankfully I have a way of supporting myself. Art has given me a means to an end. I’m probably one of the luckiest people out there. I call all the shots and I can call them while in my pj’s after I roll out of bed around noon.

Most people stare at me with jealous awe when I tell them about my typical day. While more practical people instantly say, “I could never do that! I wouldn’t get anything done.” And they are right. It takes a certain kind of personality to be able to work for yourself. You’ve got to have an inner drive that never shuts up and you have to have a desire to create, produce, market and grow. Some days I don’t feel any of those things. Some days I just want to sip my coffee and think about all the other things I could be doing, rather than doing nothing at all. And then I start to feel sad about my lack of production, which turns into melancholy, and by the time I’ve poured myself my 3rd cup of 2pm coffee the boredom and depression sets it. Here I am. 28, in my pj’s while the rest of the productive world is working making money.

“Honey, intelligent people are never bored.”

The message hits my numb brain then slowly starts to sink in. My brain starts turning, my adrenaline squirts a little creative juice into my bloodstream and I begin. I start with something fun, painting bamboo cloth napkins. I’ll finish, photograph and post them for sale. Two days later they sell and I’ll have made $60. Inspired from having created something beautiful and profitable I’ll move to something more intense, a canvas painting or a new line of dinnerware. It’s addictive, creating that is. Once you’ve started—it’s nearly impossible to shut it off. The next time I look at the clock, it’s 10pm, I’m starving and thirsty for wine. I have an entire days worth of work to show for myself and it feels so good. So rewarding. I’m excited for tomorrow and I feel good about myself. So the next time you feel stagnant or bored. Remember my mother’s words. “Honey, intelligent people are never bored.” Get off your ass and do something. You can even do it in your pajamas.