Painting of “Photographer” Hands | Stage 2 Demo

When we left off of stage 1 of my painting of my “photographer” hands, the image was just beginning to evolve. Below you can see that I have been working on the hands applying several layers of paint to create the three dimensional feel. The gears in the background are also finding their places in the composition.

I am liking the combination of the clock gears with the hands appearing to turn the vertebrae as if they were a camera. How are you reacting to this juxtaposition?painting photographer hands

In this next phase (see below), you can see that I have applied a few layers of paint over the gear shapes. This is to push them back and not have them compete with the hands. The bones of the vertebrae are starting to become more articulate. (Our vertebrae are complex bones and not easy to draw!) Mixing the colors for this was a challenge because I wanted the bones to be evident, yet not get lost in the painting. [Read more…]

How to Begin Painting for a Show?

painting for a show

Prepared panels awaiting paint!

Painting for a show is quite different from painting day to day. First of all, there is the adrenaline rush and excitement of creating for a specific venue and event, along with being chosen to do so!

Then there are the parameters within which the work will be created and displayed. Such as the:

  • Number of paintings needed
  • Dates of delivery, the exhibition and the corresponding timeline
  • Opening reception date
  • Theme
  • Other participants
  • Venue itself and the wall space
  • Costs in creating a body of work
  • Promotion and marketing schedule

Last November I responded to a “Call for Artists” from the Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, my home town. They were asking artists to submit an idea for an exhibition with several examples of current work. In December, I was notified that my work had been accepted and that I would be exhibiting with Ken McGowan. I was jazzed. We were paired together because our paintings spark curiosity and juxtaposes subject matter unexpectantly. There is a twist of surrealism, and lots of intrigue and color harmony. One of our goals is to inspire the viewer to ask questions. We decided that the title of our show would be “Beyond the Surface.”

I knew my work would focus on my “Windows to Wellness” paintings. I had been working on this theme for several months and now I needed to hone in on the images I wanted to create for this upcoming show.

How was I going to do this? What was my approach going to be? What was my message…. my vision? [Read more…]

Painting of “Photographer” Hands | Stage 1 of demonstration

“Where do you get your ideas?” is a frequent question I am asked. For this next painting – featuring the hands posing to hold a camera – the idea sparked from having a vertebrae in my studio while completing a commissioned hand portrait of a chiropractor. See my post demonstrating another painting of hands.

painting camera handsI found this facsimile of a vertebrae fascinating. While in my possession I took over 30 photographs of it with a variety of light sources and at many different angles. I kept asking myself, “How could I incorporate this into a painting?” For my upcoming two-person exhibition in May, entitled “Beyond the Surface,” I wanted to compose a painting using it within a composition.

Because of its complex shape and spokes, it reminded me of a gear and then ultimately, I thought it could be held like it was a camera. Many years ago, I completed a pencil drawing of my hands operating a camera. Off I went to my photo storage and, fortunately, found the many photographs I have. You can see a few here. painting camera hands

Then it became a drawing exercise of manipulating the vertebrae image so that it appeared to be positioned within the hands as if it were a camera.

Meanwhile, I have longed to include the gears of a clock into a painting. There is something about their variety, rhythm and delicacy, as well as symbolism, that intrigues me. Recently, I had taken apart an old table clock giving me ready access to actual examples. I also used a favorite resource of mine – the internet – to find images of clock gears.

Once I decided on the size of panel I wanted to use – 18 x 24 – I then created a sketch, as seen below, to fit that proportion. I use the grid system to transfer a sketch onto my painting substrate.

painting camera handsAfter I textured my panel with a few layers of gesso, it was time to apply the underpainting which you can see in this photo.

[Read more…]

Watch the Custom Horse Painting Demo of ‘River’ | Stage 6

When we last saw ‘River’ in Stage 5 of his evolution, he was nearly completed. Based on input from Beth and my own need to tweak here and there (sometimes, we artists have a hard time of stopping….we keep seeing things in a painting that need a little of this and that), I believe ‘River’ is ready to depart my studio and head for home in Florida. What do you think?

custom horse painting

‘River,’ 24″x28″x2″ oil on wrapped canvas

Beth wrote saying that I have “captured him beautifully!!” She had described her vision as one that arrived while she was practicing yoga and that River was telling her, “I feel great, I can run again!” Previous to his death, River had been quite ill, in pain and unable to run.

I, of course, could not be more pleased knowing that I have transformed Beth’s vision. I will miss him and his spirit in my studio. Way back in the beginning, the challenge was one that I was not too sure I could tackle, though I do love a good challenge. I am grateful for this opportunity and for Beth’s faith in me and my artistic skills.

Horse lovers, how did I do? Do you feel his glee at being set free in horse heaven?

Please share this post with others who may be interested in the painting process.