Thursday, August 25, 2016

Marker Drawings 30 - LAAF Thank You's

Envelope drawings
Sharpie markers, Magnum, fine point, ultra fine point, 2016
(top) envelope 3½" x 6½" (8.89cm x 16.51cm)
(bottom three) envelope 4¼" x 5¼" (10.795cm x 13.335cm)

More marker sketches drawn at Laguna Art-A-Fair. I have done some watercolor painting in my booth too but I do enjoy doing these for their quickness.

I draw directly with the markers without any pencil lay-in. It's a good way to work because it forces me to think differently than painting. Similar to working traditionally in watercolor I really have to plan ahead to preserve the whites.
I generally have some vague idea of what I will be drawing and just start blocking in the large dark masses to find the graphic shapes for compositional purposes. From there I look for suggestions of smaller shapes and forms and let it develop on its own somewhat. Drawn from my imagination, and of course plenty of experience in industrial subjects, I am using no reference of any kind.
Satisfying simple drawing.

The top one done on a white envelope (my photo is off a little in its tint) and as the large Magnum marker begins to die I can get these great soft edges. Love it.
The other three were done on a heathered putty gray envelope.

Why am I drawing on envelopes and signing them unlike the sketchbook marker drawings? Because these were given as Thank You's for various reasons. To collectors, a supporter of Art-A Fair and fellow Art-A-Fair artists who did me big favors.455,456,457

Last weekend for Laguna Art-A-Fair! Don't miss your chance to pick up some great art or just visit and have a relaxing day near the beach.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Marker Drawings 29 LAAF

Sketchbook/pamphlet drawings
Sharpie markers, Magnum, fine point, ultra fine point, 2016
LAAF pamphlet 4¼" x 11"(10.795cm x 27.94cm)
sketch page 5" x 8"(12.7cm x 20.32cm)

More maker sketches done while down at Laguna Art-A-Fair.
The top one done on the cover of the LAAF pamphlet simply because it was what was at hand.
I do like the yellow showing as it does in the drawing.
The other sketch was done on a page torn from Moleskin sketchbook.453,454

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Laguna Art-A-Fair Seal Sculpture

Thanks to artist and friend Amanda Fish for the pic of me painting the seal sculpture at Laguna Art-A-Fair yesterday. The seal was donated then brought to the fair so artists could donate their talents to embellish the seal as a tribute and to raise awareness for the health of our oceans.
There are additional pics of various artists at work on Art-A-Fair Facebook as well as a contest to name him.

This Saturday August 20th the seal will be moved to its permanent home at The Pacific Marine Mammal Center in Laguna Beach.

I'll post some pictures of my work and the other artists later so stay tuned.

*I added a second pic from Amanda.

Monday, August 8, 2016

New Work Cityscape at Laguna Art-A-Fair

"Old LA 1"    SOLD
oil on board, 2016
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

You can always find the mix of the old and the modern in the city.
It is endlessly fascinating, richly layered and textured from time.

I left out quite a bit from the actual location, which was far busier, like wires, clutter on the left sidewalk and a huge railroad crossing signal in the background. Instead I focused more on the vertical strip compressed between the power pole and building with all the intricacies of the fire escape, the hint of the yellow sign, the AC unit hanging from the side of the building, the stop light and pedestrian crossing light and especially the strip of sunlight piercing the buildings shadows. That was where all real visual action took place.

The freeway, multitude of yellow poles and fencing, signs, streetlight and utility poles, antennae and left side buildings have a similar intricacy and although laid out across two-thirds of the composition are dwarfed in scale by the entire right third of the painting.
I played down the whole left side slightly while the deep shadow, high contrast, harder razor-like edges gave the right side the punch it needed to describe the compression of time I was seeing crammed into such a small area of the scene.452

Friday, August 5, 2016

National Watercolor Society Paint-Out

This Saturday is the National Watercolor Society Paint-Out  at artist Rirkrit Tiravanija's water pavilion in Van Nuys as part of The Los Angeles Biennial Current: LA Water, a citywide summer event held at various locations.

The paint-out is open to all NWS artists as well as anyone who wants to participate.
Saturday August 6, 2016 from 2:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Sepulveda Basin, 6300 Lake Balboa Hiking Trail, Los Angeles , Ca 91422

I will be there painting away the day along with the site co-ordinator Juliana Lujan from Tiravanija Studio.
Come on out and join us for some plein-air painting or just to see artists at work.
Hope to see you there!

You can read more about this cultural event here.

Thanks go out to Rirkrit Tiravanija and his studio from all of us at The National Watercolor Society for his invitation to this unique Public Art Challenge.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Duck duck at Laguna Art-A-Fair

"Duck Duck 1"
oil on panel, 2016
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

Here is a new work for Laguna Art-A-Fair.
The worlds largest rubber duck and her duckling when it visited the Los Angeles Port in 2014.

If you know my work you might wonder, a rubber duck? Well yeah, if it's 61 feet tall, weighs 11 tons and sits in the Los Angeles Harbor. It's a no-brainer! And it's a nice complement to what may be The Worlds Largest Pumpkin, "Smilin' Jack", which I also painted.
Fun industrial.
Suitable for all ages.
I-N-D-U-S-T-R-I-A-L !
Have a newborn? Duck Duck is perfect for the new nursery!
Have a 5 year old? Smilin' Jack is it!

At that size She had a certain presence.  I wanted to have a little fun here so I painted in the yellow halo and kept the paint application crystal clear with high chroma and saturated color to give it that presence for the paintings diminutive 5"x7" size.451

Friday, June 24, 2016

Preview Night Pics

My booth just before the floodgates were opened.

Friends on the big night!
Painter Wendy Wirth, Terry DiLisi of King of Frame, Painter Amanda Fish,
Myself, Artist/Concept Designer Larry Bates and Designer/Painter Anthony Salvo.

Wednesday's Preview Night at Laguna Art-A-Fair was packed again and these pics don't show how chock-full it was in the aisles at times. The overall atmosphere was one of festive celebration by us artists and the patrons I'm sure in part due to our 50th year Anniversary.
You can see the professionalism of the artist booths, their work and especially the grounds themselves which requires a ton of hard work by a lot people who don't get credit publicly but work behind the scenes nearly year round to make it all happen.
Laguna Art-A-Fair is largely volunteer so the hard working dedication of the staff is especially appreciated by us artists on the big nights like these!

Second pic down some friends and I managed to get a group shot in Amanda Fish's booth to kick off the first big night of the festival season.
Amanda is a great still life artist and the friend who encouraged me to apply for Art-A-Fair last year, so when you visit be sure to stop and see her work, right around the corner from my booth.
Acrylic Landscape Painter Wendy Wirth is across the street exhibiting at Festival of the Arts so make it a day and visit her too.
Laguna Beach has so much great art to see, especially during festival season so get down, or up, or over here!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Laguna Art-A-Fair Preview Night

Here we are again, all ready for Laguna Art-A-Fair 2016, the 50th year Anniversary!
Preview night is tonight, the public opening on this Friday June 24th then the opening weekend.
The show looks great with many new artists this year so the first weekend will be exciting to see.

With my watercolors juried in this year as an additional medium I have not only been extra busy but I am looking forward to showing patrons I'm not a one-trick pony.

See LAAF's calendar to plan your visits around the many events and live entertainment scheduled.

Start your engines... see you there!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Marker Drawings 28

Sketchbook drawings
Sharpie markers, Magnum, fine point, ultra fine point, 2016
envelope 4¼" x 5¼" (10.795cm x 13.335cm), sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Marker sketches, having some fun experimenting with the huge Magnum marker, especially at such a small scale.
The top two sketches are on gray envelopes.
Yeah, I started doing these at Art-A-Fair last year and here we go again for the 50th Laguna Art-A-Fair as it is now known and I'm still doing them.
I can't believe it is already upon us. 447,448,449,450
You can see my page here.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Splash 17 Release

Splash 17: Inspiring Subjects published by North Light Books is due out this July. You can pre-order the book here on North Light Shop. My previous post here of my above watercolor accepted into the book
Special thanks to Editor Rachel Rubin Wolf and Sarah Laichas Editorial Coordinator of F + W Media.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Laguna Art-A-Fair

I am back in Laguna again this summer for the Art-A-Fair festival, now known as Laguna Art-A-Fair. It is the  50th Year Celebration so there are all kinds of events planned during the festival so visit the website and plan your trips around those or visit all summer long!

I was juried in for a second medium of watercolor this year so I am excited about hanging my watercolors alongside my oil paintings. So much work to do still so pardon me if I rush off and don't chit-chat right now... I promise more updates soon!
Paint, must paint... now.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Marker Drawings 27

Sketchbook drawings
Sharpie markers bullet, fine point, ultra fine point, Dick Blick Studio markers, 2016
sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Well, I can't seem to stop, for now, with the marker sketches so here are some more. I keep telling myself to jump to another sketching medium for a while like pencil or india ink but I am able to get into these on a moments notice. Just uncap and go. Perfect when I am out and about. I know that is also true of other sketching mediums but I like being able to go pure black with just a swipe of the tool. No pens to fill, pencils to sharpen etc. I also like ballpoint pen for its quick and permanent application except for its fine-point-only limitation. Markers, from thin to bullet to nice wide swaths of tone. Black with no fuss, no building of tone. Commit to it and lay it down.

I suppose I should post some of my works in progress, something I don't do very often in part because I don't usually think about photographing them as I am working and because, well, I usually hate the way they look in progress.
This is especially true of my watercolors. Maybe its me since I enjoy seeing watercolors in progress from others but don't see mine the same way. Mine in progress are just scary. I don't like looking at them and will push them as quickly as possible through those beginning stages. If I didn't know better I would give on them early in the painting process. But I do and just keep pushing until I can bare to look at them.441,442,443,444,445,446

Monday, March 28, 2016

Marker Drawings 26 - Juries

Sketchbook drawings
Sharpie markers bullet, fine point, ultra fine point, Dick Blick Studio markers, 2016
sketchbook 6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Juried and Jury Duty days.
I always have the sketchbook in the car and when I can or have waiting time I'll sketch. No problem concerning the word jury. It means waiting. Just cooling your heels as my Dad used to say.

Surprisingly though when I was called for jury service I ended up with less waiting time than I expected. Good? No. I was called to a court room for the interview process almost right away and was sure I would get seated on a jury and I nearly did but 'escaped'. I really don't mind jury duty, I have sat on 3 cases over the years. I don't dread it except for the loss of income. This time I could not afford the time. Whew!

The jury room sketches could be better but from where I was sitting all I could see was the backs of peoples heads. I had just begun drawing from my imagination, the third page down, when I was called up.
The top page I was sitting outside at the cafe' for lunch and had a nice view of the old courthouse which I thought was being re-furbished. Then I later overheard it was being demo'ed, demolished, razed, hence the notation correction.
As I returned inside to the courthouse after lunch security took away my wide marker. They had missed it in the morning but not this time. I guess the wide ones are not allowed because of the putz taggers who like to graffiti where ever they can get away with it, mostly in the bathrooms.

I thumbed this new courthouse when it was being built, see this post, so it was fun to be able to sit at it drawing the old one now. The top thumbnail from it would be roughly the same view looking back the other way from the old courthouse. In it, I would now be sitting right about where the far right of that angular structure meets the ground, looking back at the old courthouse. Does that make sense?

My other brush with jury was jurying in a second medium for this years Art-A-Fair. Drop off in the morning, pick up in the afternoon. In between, wait.
I drew the hillside and rock formations across the street from my car for a short while but dang-nab-it it was one of those days when it just wasn't flowing so the bottom sketch is all I have to show for it. The other sketches just died on the page.
It's okay though. I was in Laguna, art galleries galore. I visited a couple of those, including two painters I got to know at Art-A-Fair last year and also had the chance to visit with a third friend who was sitting in her artist co-op gallery for the day.
If I could not make the art I could at least talk it.

On a good note the second medium was juried in! Watercolor.
It is Art-A-Fair's 50th year so I am happy to have two mediums in my booth for 2016.
But that's a story for another day!437,438,439,440

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mid-show Night at the Muck


"Steel Bundles"

"Colored Tanks"

"Steel Bundles"
"Colored Tanks"
watercolor on paper, 2016
6” x 8” (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Here are my other 3 paintings I have in the NWS Plein Air Exhibition and sale at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center. Today, Thursday March 3rd from 7:30 - 9:00 pm the Muckenthaler is hosting a mid-show gallery tour.
Several artists including myself will be there doing demo's and/or talking about our work. It will be a perfect night to attend if you can make it.

These 3 are the most orderly of my six. Part of that reason is the view I choose and the way I presented them, straight on and compositionally horizontal. Industrial subjects often are chaotic but even when so I can usually find the view that is less chaotic.
When the subject is busy as in "Colored Tanks ", with so much going on in the painted surfaces the straight on view as well as simplification helps make a better painting.

My other 3 in the show are made up of more angles and diagonals compositionally, which I usually favor, but they are simpler to begin with so they needed the perspective views to keep them more interesting.

We see these attached to every industrial building. Seen in endless configurations these kinds of machinery are called scrubbers. They clean or scrub the air inside the warehouses, factories and industrial plants. Very similar to my power pole series there is a lot going on with them. With their boxy structures, angles, valves, pipes, wires and ducts it’s their forms that attract me. Sometimes oddly proportioned, gangly in appearance, rusted, worn and weathered they can take on an anthropomorphic character and are irresistible to me so I must paint them.

"Steel Bundles"
Bundles of steel girders, wood haphazardly stacked on top and overlooked by most. I find these kinds of repeating forms a great subject to paint, especially when the stacks are not perfectly arranged. In the simplest form they represent the industrious and hard working as well as both organization and chaos.

“Colored Tanks”
Industrial subjects have more color than most realize. The colorful palette of hues can range from the more earthy to the bright and highly saturated. Then they take on the rich patina of the time worn and sun faded. This one had the two sides of its gates painted at different times and in two different reds. The blues tanks too were faded, its paint water stained in various degrees. I waited for a full sunny day to paint these to accentuate the lively palette.434,435,436

Friday, February 19, 2016

My Work at The Muck

"Storage Yard Sun"

"Railroad Crossing"

"Powder Magazine"

"Storage Yard Sun"
"Railroad Crossing"
"Powder Magazine"
watercolor on paper, 2016
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Here's three of the six paintings I have hanging at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center.
All were painted for the NWS plein air show, an exhibition and sale. The bottom two I painted just prior to the show opening.

Most often I am already familiar with the site and at different times of day. I walk the location, choose a view and proceed to do small, quick but careful studies of complicated subjects, capturing both my perceptions and an honest depiction of any information I see as important. These studies, done in a near journalistic fashion, allow me to get familiar with the subject and later serve to inform my studio work. Through later editing I am able to present my thoughts and views on the subject.

"Storage Yard Sun"
Another of my Storage Yard Series, an all encompassing term for the many industrial sites that I paint that don’t fit any category like refineries or warehouses. This particular day the sun was bright and was bouncing reflected light into the shadows giving the scene an animated quality. I set out to capture that before the light could change and even played it up a bit to give it some life.

"Railroad Crossing"
I often paint railroad locomotives, bridges etc but I also find a certain fascination with the common everyday railroad tracks, crossings and signals. I liked this particular view for the tracks splitting in two directions and had this site in the back of my mind for some time. I knew I wanted to paint it either in the early morning or afternoon to take advantage of the shadows to provide darks for the composition, finally deciding on the afternoon.

"Powder Magazine"
Easily overlooked, what looks like an unassuming little stone and brick building is actually a Civil War era powder magazine built in 1862 for Camp Drum in Wilmington CA. It’s odd to see in the middle of a residential neighborhood down near the LA Harbor since we don’t associate the Civil War with the west coast.
I have driven past it for years and finally needed to get it down in paint. With this study, as well as some others, I plan to develop it into a larger studio painting.431,432,433

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Marker Demo Drawings

Here are some marker sketches I did for the demo at Blick Art Materials in Fullerton.The purpose of this demo was to show how to layer bright colors over a value marker sketch.
I used the Blick Studio Markers set of twelve which are mostly bright colors over the warm grays set of twelve (9 values + 3 black markers in the set) for a 10 value scale as well as the Blick Studio Brush Markers set of 24 which has the same colors as the bright set plus some non-bright colors.
I had several papers to demo. These here were done on the Canson Pro-Marker Layout Paper.

Markers are similar to watercolor in their transparency so are easily layered. The benefit with starting with the value sketch first is you focus on the design then add color.
The sketches with color are all value underneath. I started with a page of the value sketches then added color for the demo leaving some to show the difference.
It is fairly easy to knock down the saturation of most colors by coming back in and adding more of the value marker on top. If you compare the yellow in the bottom page middle sketch to the untouched bright yellow of the top page bottom sketch you can see what I mean.

I like working with markers for preliminary sketches and thumbnails for their immediacy to get right into it with any mixing of paint colors and sometimes you need to strike while the iron is hot.
Another aspect I like is as you really wet the paper with the marker over and over it will take on the look of watercolor somewhat with that characteristic blotty puddle we associate with watercolor.
See bottom page middle sketch.

Markers are not just for tight advertising and design renderings. They can also be used in a more painterly organic manner.429,430

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Marker Demo at Blick Art Materials Fullerton

I am excited to announce I will be down at the Blick Art Materials in Fullerton tomorrow, Thursday February 11th from 2:00-4:00 pm doing a marker demonstration with Blick Studio Markers on Canson Pro-Layout Marker Paper and Canson Artist Series Illustration Pad.
If you are in the area stop in, say hello and take advantage of the big sale too.

Thanks to Jan Godachy of NWS for her support and recommending me for the demo.
Additional thanks to Ed of HAMELIN Brands, Blick Art Materials Retail Events Co-ordinator Todd and Fullerton store manager Buffy for their help and support in arranging the demo and supplying the materials.