I haven’t touched the oil paints for almost a decade, but the unseasonal slowdown in my work schedule, paired with the wait for several upcoming projects to get started, inspired me to pick up the brushes again. I haven’t ever been this prolific with the paintings, even when I did a series of small works for my family in 2008. I’m still not very good at taking good photos of these (the colors look much better in person), but here’s a sampling of what I’ve been up to the past month, in the ‘physical art materials’ world. The first three I’m planning on entering in our Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts in a few weeks (this is something I have only tried once before in the forty years we have lived here), and are my favorites of the pieces I’ve done so far.
These paintings are all based on old snapshots that I’ve found on the internet, some were in black and white and some are grainy old polaroids. Below are a few more along the same lines.
The next few are still ‘in progress’, with a little more work yet to be done. The one of the two girls embracing, was a recycling of the canvas of the ‘purple sunrise’ painting that I included in my last ‘painting’ post (I was quite unhappy with that one).
I’ve also been doing some of the more traditional landscapes and still life paintings, and reworking others that I previous posted.
A tiny 9×3 horizontal of the Killarney National Forest in Ireland.
The Little Sable Lighthouse on Lake Michigan.
A shoreline St. Croix landscape (reworked from previous version).
And finally, a still life from a ‘painting party’ we threw several weeks ago with some ‘artistic’ friends of ours. Possibly more of this stuff to come, as continue to mark time waiting for the various book projects I have scheduled to get the green light.
For some reason, I found myself digging the oil paints out of mothballs (after a ten year hiatus) and have picked up a pile of new blank canvases and have started oil painting again. The one above is of the coast of Ireland from a trip we took there a few years ago, and below is one of a sunrise on St. Croix.
I still haven’t quite figured out how to take decent photos of the art, to best capture the colors and eliminate the glare from lighting sources, but I’d say those two on top of are the ones I’ve been the most happy with so far. Below are several other paintings that I’m still working on, adding various tweaks every couple of days.
Whatever the reason for my sudden interest in painting again, I’m grateful, as it has certainly been fun, and lifted my spirits tremendously in the past few weeks. Once the ‘big project’ shows up, I’ll probably end up putting all this on a back burner, but for now, we’re painting again…
This past weekend, we visited my sister, and I attempted to take a photo of a piece of art that I had given her around 30 years ago, and which has been hanging in her house since then. A little background on this piece, I had drawn this large pastel (24 x 30) based on a tiny antique photograph that I had found in a long forgotten junk shop (the original photo has long since been misplaced), for an exhibition at the Grand Rapids Community College back in 1988. The college bought the original piece, but my sister had wanted the same piece, so I ended up doing another original, nearly identical to the first, sold that one to the college, and then gave my sister the original one (or the other way around, I’m not certain anymore). I believe the other version of this still hangs somewhere in the college (or may be in storage somewhere, I don’t know). I tried to get a decent photo of it for my records this past weekend, but the way it was framed, there was no easy way to take it out from behind the glass. I managed to snap a few photos with my phone, and did a little photoshop manipulation once I got home (still not the greatest representation, but it’ll do for now). This was the piece of art that started me on my career. My first ‘real sale’, and planted the seed in my head, that I might be able to make a living at drawing pictures.
Still awaiting the ‘go ahead’ on a big project (announcement coming soon), but in the meantime, am working in the genre to keep limber and ready to go. My son and I have been working on a comics project together, and here’s one of the first pages (it’s sort of a science fiction/western featuring a trio of bug riding female desperadoes).
Still awaiting the green light to start a few upcoming book projects, so in the meantime, I’m working on a future project as a collaboration with my son. Above is another concept drawing, this time visualizing what sort of mounts our characters would be riding.
Also, while awaiting the ‘big projects’, I had a few quick turnaround pieces for Today Media, pictured below, one for Hudson Valley and the other for Delaware Today.