Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I'm a terrible procrastinator. I was supposed to paint mini-paintings all spring and summer, and update my blog as I scanned in new paintings. I did the painting part, but very little of the scanning and uploading. For now I'm going to upload just a single photo with a few snippets from the last few months. These paintings range in size from 3x4 to 8x10. All of them were painted from life. (Click to enlarge so you can view individual paintings.) If you're curious about a painting, or just can't make out what it is, just post a question for me.

Figure Art, and a contest

As promised, I will post highlights from this past year's figure art. (Click on an image for a large view.) I'll start with one of my favorites. This 24x18 vine charcoal drawing creates, at least for me, the effect of intense reverie.

I intended to enter the above drawing in a contest for "people and figures" in International Artist magazine. However, I couldn't get a print that looked right in the short amount of time I had before leaving on vacation, so I didn't enter it.

I did enter three others in the contest, however. Here is another vine charcoal drawing, at 18x24 inches.

I also entered these two paintings:

The pregnant model is about 1 week away from delivery in that painting. The focal point is her tightly distended belly...I decided not to detail her face, which adds more emphasis to her fertile appearance. The other model's pose creates a unique perspective, considering that she is six feet tall and dramatically foreshortened.

Although I'm happy with the mood, contrast, and colors of these pieces, I hope my figure art eventually will show a more accurate understanding of anatomy and a stronger feeling of structure. I'm not quite sure how to achieve this...I'll update when I "figure" something out!

Cowboy Museum

I thought I had better do some catching up in my blog before my viewers think I have disappeared forever into some Tennessee "holler." I'm visiting my family in Kansas, and I'm about to leave in the morning for Colorado. I plan to do much plein air painting.

As part of my visit, we went to the Cowboy Museum in Oklahoma City. We spent about four hours looking at mostly paintings, and barely got out before closing time. I saw my first original Bettina Steinke, and I tried to learn as much as I could from the large, luscious strokes that defined the glowing skin and sparkling eyes of her subject. I also had my first viewings of many original landscape artists: Scott Christiansen, Matt Smith (be jealous, Kevin!), Aspervig, and Bill Anton. Scott Christiansen's waterway scenes glowed in a soft, natural light at a distance, and up close the "offhand," blocky brushstrokes were amazing in their accuracy. I loved Kuhn's scratchy-textured, well-structured paintings of cougars; I had never seen acrylics look that way before. I was mesmerized by "Shoofly's" incredible pencil drawings. He uses swaths of pencil scribbles as single brush strokes, often with no apparent layering or touch-up, and always nailing the value. By the end of my visit, I was completely exhausted, with a headache and sore neck. My mom and I are in this picture, and even the cowboy looks tired.

For the most part, we weren't allowed to photograph paintings, but here is an exception...a "huge" exception! My dad and I are the two little heads in the lower left. These particular paintings are part of a permanent collection at the museum, and I will edit this post when I remember the artist's name. They really are stunning to see in person.