Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bird Brain doodles

In honor of the validation of doodling as a meeting survival and memory tool, I present you,  two silly ball-point pen sketches of a parrot and a pair of penguins done in meetings.  We can make a contest of it if you would like to send me your best idea for comments from the parrot and between the penguins.  Go down to the grey tool bar and click on comments and you can send me something.  I will screen and publish them.  I will give a small prize the best one as voted by the boss of the house, my wife.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

More Doodling research - I am justified

Above is a link to a Wall Street Journal article on the power of Doodling to help with memory and retention.  The gist being the act of doodling helps one retain information being presented in classes and lectures.  It seems to occupy different parts of the brain.  I like to doodle because it helps me stay awake in meetings.  I actually have been called out for not paying attention but I have been able to regergitate  the details of the meeting or lecture back to my challengers.   So take that Ms. Smith, which is actually the last name of my last accuser but is anonymous enough I can actually name her.  So enjoy some examples of my meeting doodles.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wood Duck

This is colored sketch of one of the most colorful ducks you will run across in the wild.  The male, as depicted above has very distinct plumage.  I captured these in colored pencil.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Another Tugboat sketch

Tonite's sketch is one I worked on last nite.  It is more of a practice sketch to meditate while I relax.  I added the JM initials on the stack for my late son, James Matthews.  He would have liked to have worked on one of these, during the day anyway.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Angel's Trumpet

This is part of what I worked on today.  This is a practice oil sketch of an Angel's Trumpet Flower.  I will tweak a few things to improve it but it will rest for the night.  

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sparkling Water - oil sketch

I try to paint or draw something art every day.  Some work better than others.  This is an oil sketch of water catching sparkles of sunlight.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Carolina Wren

Wrens are possibly one of the most interesting birds out there if you live in their territory.  And it is their territory, they have been know to nest in garages, boots, garden planters hung from porches.  We have had a pair raise a brood in a hanging basket on our porch here in Maryland.  We had another pair raise their "youngens" in the space between our back window and the storm window.  We cleaned them and then left them out.  A pair moved right in and built a nest.  We and the kids got to watch the whole process until they all left the nest.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Western Scrub Jay

If you are in the Southwest of the United States be on the look out for these cousins to the Blue Jay.  They love the desert scrubland and cottonwood hollows of the streams and rivers.  This is my quick sketch of one I saw.  I think he deserves a painting one of these days.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Clark's Nutcracker - colored pencil and oil

This is as the title states a Clark's Nutcracker in colored pencil and oil painting.  I worked out my colors and paint plan in colored pencil and then translated it to an oil painting.  Prints and cards of the painting are available at my Fine Arts America site.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Fjord Falls in Alaska

This is the painting I worked on in the second day of my oil painting class with Armand Cabrera.  Up top is the preliminary sketch I did to experiment with the design and values of the scene.  I then worked up the painting.  It is about 3/4 complete.  I will work on the waterfall, refine the snow bank better, and add some backlighting highlights to some on the spruce trees.  I will strengthen the brush and the beach on the right of the falls.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The start of Juneau Welcoming Committee Oil painting

Today, I will talk about part of the process to making art.  I do a lot of sketching.  Sometimes I end up developing some of the sketches into ideas for oil painting. This weekend I attended a two day oil painting class with Armand Cabrera at the Great Falls Foundation of Art in Great Falls, Virginia. I worked on this on Saturday.  I used the preliminary as a bit of a guide.  I then worked in the initial scrub of painting.  The background was too bright and I took Armand's advice and pushed the tones down by greying them into a fairly tight range and then adjusted them to draw in the low tide exposed shoreline.  I added the posts of the channel markers and the number board, then  I developed the water in the channel.  Overall, I am pretty happy with the results.  Late this week I will add the eagles.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Wheel Barrow

This is a quick sketch of an old style Wheel Barrow with pencil.  I spent the day at an Armand Cabrera Studio Painting working on technic and impressionistic painting.  I will post the initiate results in the days to come.  

Friday, July 18, 2014

Chimney Swift

This is a Chimney Swift.  I probably have the best stories on this type of bird.  They use to nest in hollow old trees before the Europeans settled the U.S.  When the Europeans came and built chimney's they moved right in and built in the house hold chimney.  The wife and I have removed a young swift which went down our kitchen chimney and ended up in the furnace.  Our cats notified us of his presence and we were able to remove him with a screwdriver, a loosened flap on the flue, and a hastily emptied plastic large snack jar.  The bird in the jar was safely escorted through the cat obstacle course and out to the yard. Our house has three chimneys so we have had them nest in the spring and another bird flew down and throughout the house.  Its perfect cat entertainment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Happy Birthday, Barb

Today is my wife, Barbara's birthday.  She loves The Day of the Dead motif.  I always do something in the style of the Mexican Holiday.  So Happy Birthday to my Muse, Best Friend, and companion for the last twenty two years.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird sketch

This is one of my colored pencil sketch I did as a preparation for a painting.  It is a male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird.  

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Prints for sale

Above is the link to my Fine Art America Page were you can purchase prints in various sizes of some of my original pieces of artwork.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Beach Kite Girl

A couple of weekend backs, I took the wife to a local Chesapeake Beach called, Flag Pond State Park, Maryland.  I know its a beach without beach in the name.  So besides sunburn, beach combing for sea glass, and this sketch of a little girl flying a kite on the beach.  I colored it after returning home.  Beaches are always interesting but hard to get something which has not been done a hundred times.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Today's Art - Fall Foliage Tree

This is part of what I worked on today.  It is an oil sketch of fall foliage against a deep blue sky.  This is about half finished.  I need to work on the foliage and the foreground but this is a good start on this experiment.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Ore cart

Tonite's art is a pencil sketch of a ore cart, much like would have been seen in an Old West gold or silver mine.  It could have been pushed by hand, pulled by horse or mule, or in the rich strike by an electric locomotive.  This is a fun sketch for de-stressing after a day at work and fighting traffic on the way home.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Moonlight in the Everglades

Sometimes the best results come from the experiments or the risk taking.  This is a small oil painting I did from an art book.  It was unusual colors and something I would not have thought to do on my own.  Which you should always be looking for new ideas and sources of information.  I am always trying to figure out how to translate something into a painting.  Seeing something is terms of light and then translating it into paint pigments is not easy and you must take your lessons and tricks from where you can find them.  Plus practice and experimentation is the only way to grow.  Not all of these things work, and many will never been seen by anyone else, but some times they work and can be added to the lessons learned, or saved to be re-worked or retryed another time. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Afghanistan Men

This is a pencil sketch of men gathered against the cold in Afghanistan.  I did this seven years ago and today I would clean up the design by enlarging the men, capturing the tree differently with better highlights.  I would simplify the wall and the tree shadows.  This is the secret of the artist to take the scene and consciously improve the design, this is too much a copy of the actual scene.  Future tasks await me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Afghan Girl Part 2

SO no thunderstorms tonight, not like last night, I had to shut down the computer and wait for the power to go out.  (Not too long though).  Tonight is another pencil sketch of an Afghan Girl with a shawl.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Afghan Girl

This is a pencil sketch of an Afghan Girl holding her sister.  It will be a painting one day, but for now it is in the sketchbook of ideas.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Weekend Work - South Dakota

This is an oil painting I worked on over the weekend.  I had previously blocked in the basic colors but I had trouble with the shadows and rock work.  I think i have mostly fixed those and now will work on the design of the horses running on the ridge line.   I am not satisfied yet with my experiments so I will plan them out and then add them.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

What I did on my Fourth of July

Our daughter Kerri had my wife and I come to her work at the Rolling Hills Country Club to watch the fireworks.  I took advantage of the waiting time and sketched Kerri working the Bar at the tenth hole.  She was busy making drinks and hustling around for supplies.  I practiced memory sketching and catching glimpses of her profile and the rear 3/4 head shot.  The front 3/4 head shot did not work and has been erased from memory and the world.  I did these with a drink, a mechanical pencil, and a small sketchbook.  It was a great evening.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Aspen Reflections

I nice quiet pen and ink for a nice quiet day.  I worked on oil paintings and some practice exercises.  I should have something to show by the end of the weekend.  For today, this is an exercise in using ink to capture landscapes.  It is not my design but is one to practice to improve technique.  I was very happy with this and plan to use the style on some landscapes I have planned out.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Palm Tree

For the impending holiday, the 4th of July, what could be more American than a Palm Tree blowing in the wind?  While not the normal image, it is very beachy and if you are in Florida or other southern coast areas you will see and enjoy palm trees blowing in the breezes or maybe even a hurricane.  This is a pen and ink rendering of a sugar palm.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Lope eared rabbit

Long day at work, so here is a sketch of a lope-eared rabbit.  This is more of the practice for improvement.  Every bit counts.