Saturday, December 31, 2011

HAPPY NEW YEAR!





































HAPPY NEW YEAR from AVID ART!

Thank you to every one who helped in all the successes in the past year.
And Thank you to all of my followers and visitors to my blog. Thanks for all your support.

Without help, hard work and interest from others we would just sit in our studios and go nowhere.

David-

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vincent Thomas Bridge #11-Containment 2























"Vincent Thomas Bridge #11 (Containment 2)"
oil on panel, 2011
8” x 6” (20.32cm x 15.24cm)

This painting overlaps two series
Bridge Series:
Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride. Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals they are a source of identity.
Containment Series:
A series on modern construction techniques. Today everything gets wrapped in heavy plastic or tarps to contain the work, a sort of cocoon, keeping dust from contaminating the surrounding environment.
Twenty or thirty years ago it was not done and open construction was more prevalent. Modern green thinking has changed our approach to not only recycling but how we do everything.

This view is of the outer perimeter of the containment area standing against the plastic sheet wall, looking at the bottom of the roadway.

My other painting,  "Vincent Thomas Bridge #8 (Containment 1)", is nearer the center so it shows the darker core of the containment area, with the light filtering in from both sides. This one, at the outer confines, is higher key in value , so it's brighter, and has more pops of color in the purple rope, touches of yellow and the warm toned concrete.

The red in both is the primer used before the iridescent green finish.
It is obvious from the red floor how much over spray would be lost into the environment if the work was not contained. I'm sure it serves the dual purpose of making the work easier and the work area more comfortable by defecting winds.161

See another similar view without containment here.

*Update
Thanks to a comment from a follower it occurred to me that this view mat not be obvious or understood. Having been there I did not even think about it. I can see the point. Here is a better explanation from my response comment: This painting shows the area inside the containment, think of it as a butterfly cocoon hanging off a tree branch, and is literally hanging off the bottom of the bridge, underneath the road way. Set up to paint the bridge as part of its maintenance.

Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Maniacal Snow Drift














































"Snow Drift" sculpture
foam, plaster, wire, acrylic paint on mat board

"Jobin Study" painting
oil on panel,
2011, private collection

Sometimes you just have to break away and try something for the simple pleasure of creating. Something outside of the normal scope of work.
Here's a fun little project I did as a Christmas decoration.

My inspiration came after seeing the Tim Burton show at LACMA. I just had to do something grim and maniacal for a change. I love doing projects like these. It takes me away from the usual art I do and has a way of feeding my creativity when I go back to it. So I find it artistically healthy.

The recipient is a fan of this kind of art. I sent her two emails, prior to giving it her, as a teaser of what was to come and to arouse her curiosity. They were hints based on my ideas. The first an old (modified) philosophical question that was the basis for the piece. The second a short poem I wrote for it.

The first email:
If a tree screams in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?

The second email:
Beware of Serene Scenes


Snow can be evil,


Snow can be grim,


It can rise up against you,


At its own whim.


The small cat portrait is of her (mad) cat,which isn't friendly to other cats, the mad catter you might say. Originally that was what I was going to give her. Upon finishing it I thought, how lame that would be to hand her that! But I still wanted to incorporate it into the sculpture though so I hung it as an ornament. It did not have to make perfect sense, this was all about the fun. No rules.160

Click on images for larger view

Monday, December 26, 2011

Marsh, Tanks, Power Plant























"Marsh, Tanks, Power Plant"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

Part of our modern urban landscapes, the mix of industry and adjacent natural areas. Not always good but hard to ignore. This view poses the dense, choked out man made structures against open natural areas. Encroaching sometimes, but always a fascinating juxtaposition.

This is similar in theme to my previous "HB Power Plant - Dusk". If we want to live in the scenic areas, like along the coast, we can't always choose what comes along with that, including the oil storage tanks since this is where the oil is found. At least until we figure out how to build lower profile supporting industry.

We can design and build homes to blend into the surrounding environment, we can restore natural habitats. So someday we'll build industry that is green(er), contained and less visible against these natural areas. It's all about a proper balance.159

Click on image for larger view

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

'S' Curve and 'I' beam
















"Vincent Thomas Bridge #15"    SOLD
watercolor on paper, 2011
8" x 11" (20.32cm x 27.94cm)

When deciding on a painting I hardly ever settle on something randomly. Instead I thoughtfully consider each one beyond doing a mere depiction of the subject. Sometimes that is OK but I prefer to be challenged in some way. I would rather have to tackle some sort of problem, figure out what and how to say something, or choose a view that is unique to the subject. Now all the elements of image making can be used as tools to that end.

One of the best and most unique features of the Vincent Thomas Bridge is its signature 'S' curve (actually a reverse 'S') formed by the two approaches of the San Pedro and Long Beach sides.
This view from the Long Beach side of the channel looking west really exploits that 'S' curve from an unusual perspective.
The covered near tower, referred to by the bridge workers as the Long Beach tower, is seen through the supporting columns of its approach.

The sun behind one of the columns casts a dramatic shadow and adds a visual support to the top heavy composition.
I certainly could have chosen a different time of day and still had a good image, still shown off the 'S' but by selecting this late afternoon view I got a little bit more out of it. A composition that echos the construction of a bridge by creating an 'I' beam shape similar to its supporting beams without being too literal.
The shadows and light patterns also echo both the arch design of the bridge and sweeping curve of the approach above. I ended up with the image loosely constructed of the same elements that make a bridge.
That for me is the fun of creating.158

The overlay is a bit clumsy but still gets the point across.

Click on image for larger view
Click 'Vincent Thomas Bridge' Label below to see more from this series.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

BNSF Slogging















"BNSF Flooded Road"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
6” x 8” (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

Two of my favorite subjects, trains and rain.

A BNSF locomotive slogging through the rain near the top of the Cajon pass headed to the high desert in Southern California. Rounding the bend in a heavy rainstorm as shown by the flooded road in the foreground. An autumn scene with just a hint of orange trees showing through the fog.

The train, somewhat inconsequential within the composition and placed high in the picture plane, gives it a feeling of isolation and puts more emphasis on the landscape. But while that is true the lines of the landscape still all lead to the train.
With two thirds of the composition being foreground/middle ground this demanded the road have a strong design. The foreground and middle ground get divided by the rain water washing over the road. Each share similar angular shapes but vary enough in shape and size to keep them from becoming boring. It's really about avoiding design 'twins' and breaking up the larger mass into smaller supporting ones. That also allows for the recession of space, leading the eye through the weather to the locomotive.

For the engineer, this must be the most solitary part of their job, which is what this painting is about.
The design and the weather itself both serve as vehicles to that idea, instead of the primary subject. The smallness of the train against the larger landscape and the isolating nature of stormy weather.157


Click on images for larger view

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Winter Tree & Alien Landscape

"Winter Tree"
"Burnscape"








































"Winter Tree"
Pelikan brilliant brown ink on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
private collection


"Burnscape #7 (Hills, Path)"
Pelikan brilliant brown ink, Pelikan blk india ink on paper
Monte Blanc blk ink (looks green), 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE


A single tree in winter. Sometimes a simple object can be seen for its design and that is enough. I love the branches of the tree reaching up for the sky, the purest form of the tree seen only when leafless.
Setting the trunk against a dark background emphasized its graceful, delicate spiral.


This ink drawing/painting is from my Burnscape series. Living in Southern California and seeing so many wildfires it would be easy to focus on the destruction. My attraction for the burned landscape isn’t for its destruction... but instead how it modifies the landscape, turning it into a charcoal terrain... it is rebirth, the stripping away of old layers for a fresh start, the way Mother Nature intended.
It is how She manages her jurisdiction, by controlling dense undergrowth. We usually get in the way.
Man has traditionally prevented fires, the growth becoming so thick that when fire does occur it is devastating. Another topic on the Man vs Nature theme.

This was a result of walking thru a burned area. When areas that are dense with dry brush and chaparral finally burn, the landscape is stripped bare. Its former identity completely lost. Taking on the quality of an alien landscape.
The formally vegetation softened hills become a jagged harsh environment.155,156


Click on images for larger view

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Industrial Drapery























"CHOC Drapery #1"
oil on panel, 2011
7” x 5” (17.78cm x 12.7cm)

My Containment series on modern construction techniques. These days everything gets wrapped in heavy plastic or tarps to contain the work, a sort of cocoon, keeping dust and materials from contaminating the surrounding environment.
Twenty or thirty years ago it was not done and open construction was more prevalent. Modern green thinking has changed our approach to not only recycling but how we do everything.

This painting of the new Children's Hospital Orange County also gave me an excuse to tie together my industrial subject paintings and the long tradition of classic drapery in art history.154

Click on image for larger view

Followers Gadget

For some reason Google's followers gadget is still broken, at least from my view.
Apparently they are fixing it but it has been on the fritz for a while.

At first followers would fall off or not always show, now (the last 3 followers) almost never appear any more. It's annoying. It supposedly has something to do with when they combined the Followers gadget with Google Friend Connect. Maybe one day they will figure it out, if not there's always WordPress.

*Update: Here's a link that may help...  http://starsunflowerstudio.blogspot.com/2011/10/help-for-missing-gfc-followers-gadget.html#

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Portrait of an Oil Plant






















“Oil Plant # 9 (Broken Pipe)"
oil on panel, 2011
6” x 6” (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

This is the third of my paintings in the  6" Squared Exhibition and Sale at the Randy Higbee Gallery , Saturday December 3rd through Thursday December 22nd.
The opening was packed as usual with lots of little painted gems. The real joy of a show like this is the wide variety styles and artistic approaches among the 500 or so artworks, including some fabulous watercolors and pastels. Impossible to pick a favorite. In addition to the art, meeting the collectors and other artists is always a highlight of the evening.

When I have a visceral reaction to something I sometimes have to pause, really look and figure out what it is I’m seeing. It is not always obvious. I initially responded to this view of the storage tanks for its clean, neat and tidy nature. Not too cluttered, no scattered remnants of the broken plant other than the broken pipe, which was my own invention.
What I eventually saw in this view was an industrial version of an old face, wrinkles and all... a portrait of the oil plant ... solemn, dignified. It reminded me of a man with most of his years behind him, who had a well lived life, worked hard, but is still vital, still fastidious and loaded with silent stories.153


Click on image for larger view

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Industrial Purgatory






















“Old Dredge”
oil on panel, 2011
6” x 6” (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

Here is second of my 3 paintings in the  6" Squared Exhibition and Sale at the Randy Higbee Gallery tonight, Saturday December 3rd, and hangs through December 22nd.

An old relic, left in the cold shallow waters, listing to the right, about to face another winter storm, half heartedly covered by the yellow tarp.

Hung up by the dock and unable to sail it’s stuck between two worlds in a state of purgatory. It’s no longer needed but not pulled ashore. It can’t sink anymore but is contained by jetties in the protected harbor so no storm will be able to put it out of its misery by dragging it to the bottom where at least marine life would have it as a home, an artificial reef.

Too outdated for work but neither is it salvaged to be put back into service in some new form. It is forgotten in plain sight.152


Click on image for larger view

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Herculean Muscle























“47 Bridge (Three Tanks)”    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
6” x 6” (15.24cm x 15.24cm)

Here is one of my 3 paintings that is in the  6" Squared Exhibition and Sale at the Randy Higbee Gallery this Saturday December 3rd.

The 47 Bridge, its design born more out of its practical need than aesthetics. The middle spans raise up to allow boats and ships to pass in the channel underneath, the reason for its boxy towers. The two near towers for auto and truck traffic, the two far ones for the railroad.

But its very utilitarian design gives it a herculean look, one of muscle. It is not a design to be admired for its grace or beauty. There are no sweeping curves of suspension cables or steel arches, no ornamentation. It belongs to no school of design other than its industrial purpose. So it stands disproportionately tall for the channel it crosses.

An obvious approach to support it’s brawniness would be a worms eye view but that would say nothing of its relative place in the bigger picture of the harbor mechanisms.
The high vantage point I’ve done here doesn’t minimize its stature but instead allows it to dwarf the surrounding area, both the background and the foreground tanks sitting low in the composition.151

Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tiger Stripe Shadows

"Train Bridge (w/ Shadows)"
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

I love this late afternoon view of the bridge. The shadows from it and the unseen section stretching across the pavement resemble tiger stripes, giving it a nice linear aspect. It makes for a busy composition so a limited palette serves it better than a more colorful one, which would have made it too chaotic.150

Click on image for larger view

Sunday, November 27, 2011

6 Inch Squared Show























Here is the announcement for the square format show and sale at the Randy Higbee Gallery.
Artists from all over the country are participating with all the paintings done in the 6" x 6" (15.24cm x 15.24cm) format.
The opening night and artists reception is December 3rd.
The show will hang until the 22nd.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Encina Power Station at Dusk 1 & 2

"Encina Power Station-Dusk 2"

"Encina Power Station-Dusk 1"
"Encina Power Station - Dusk 1"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
6 5⁄8” x 10” (16.83cm x 25.40cm)

“Encina Power Station - Dusk 2”  
oil on panel, 2011
7” x 5” (17.78cm x 12.7cm)

You won't see this palette from me very often. I have an aversion to pinks and most purples. However it was unavoidable here to accurately depict the time of day.
In "Dusk 1" I pushed the pink/purple as far as I could towards a slightly dirty earthy color, by adding burnt sienna, so it was not Easter lavender (yuck!).
In "Dusk 2", which I prefer over the two, zooming in allowed me to loose the pink altogether and again the purple is earthier, more like a dusty desert chaparral color. I then substituted an orange for pink at the horizon. The black helps to kill the 'pastel' palette too.

These are from my series on power plants.
Two elements of our coastal landscapes and a common motif in my work. The mix of industry and nature. Not beautiful to some but in scenes like these I see themes that go beyond the mere industrial or nature images alone. Themes in the tradition of Homer and Hopper.

Man and nature side by side. Industry has to be placed somewhere so it’s impossible to ignore. Since we like to live in beautiful areas we end up with power stations becoming part of the landscape.


Dusk 1 - This one shown in a panoramic view encompassing the lagoon with the station at it’s center.

Dusk 2 - Set in a palette of soft muted colors but contrasted with black. A calm lagoon and clear sky, it’s all there... maybe even therapeutic.148,149

See the nocturne version of Encina Power Station here.

Click on images for larger view

Saturday, November 19, 2011

UP Yellow

"Union Pacific Yard"

"Union Pacific 8381"


















 "Union Pacific Yard"
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

"Union Pacific 8381"
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

"Union Pacific Yard"  A simple watercolor broadly painted, large shapes. This view from across the street gave me the compositional device of framing the rail yard with fence, tree, pole and ground plane shadows, highlighting the bright yellow locomotives.

The "Union Pacific 8381" in the heart of the LA Harbor passing an industrial plant. Here is a great example of how the UP bright yellow locomotives stand out against the blues, silvers and grays of the harbor industry landscape as well as showing the gritty unglorified nature of industry without apology.

This is not a painting where the medium, in all its transparency, is celebrated. It is not flashy brush work. It is not pure vibrant colors that sing like a songbird.
It is the subject first. The medium takes a back seat. That inspiration comes from studying (and reading about) the watercolors of Edward Hopper who did not want the medium to overcome the subject, which he felt was more important and a notion I agree with.

This was done by applying the watercolor in repeated washes, more than is typical of the medium, and by scrubbing out then reapplying more washes, building a dense, solid almost inpenetrable wall behind the locomotive, which is placed low in the composition and establishes its place in the greater picture of industry. It is the engine in its environment, working, in the same way wildlife  artists might show a bull, an elk or a bear in its own harsh but true surroundings.146,147

Click on image for larger view



Wednesday, November 16, 2011

OMA Store 5























"Tree Nocturne (Downhill)"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2010
5” x 4” (12.7cm x 10.16cm)

This painting is the 7th of those at the Oceanside Museum of Art store. Click label below to see the others.
The nocturne ... its origin, mid 19th century French from Latin, nocturnus, meaning ‘of the night’.
Like most from my Tree Nocturne Series this is from a combination of imagination and memories, which lends it a subtle surreal quality. Working this way I allow things like the slightly off kilter street, the rustling tree wrapping around the streetlight, the distant harbor veiled in a marine layer. All to give it a more dreamlike quality.145

Link to value thumbnail here.

Click on image for larger view

Monday, November 14, 2011

Update-Previous Post & Acres of Books









*I have posted an update on the demise of the old Art Deco Building from my previous post 'State of Limbo' and the watercolor painting above "Acres of Books (backside)".

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Burnscape Series - Black and White

Ashen Landscape

















Singed Tree

















"Burnscape #6 (Ashen Landscape)"
watercolor, Pelikan blk india ink on paper, 2011
6" x8" (15.34cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE


"Burnscape #5 (Singed Tree)"
watercolor, Pelikan blk india ink on paper, 2011
6" x8" (15.34cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE


Burnscape Series - Living in Southern California and seeing so many wildfires it would be easy to focus on the destruction. My attraction for the burned landscape isn't for its destruction... but instead how it modifies the landscape, turning it into a charcoal terrain... it is rebirth, the way Mother Nature intended.
It is how She manages her jurisdiction, by controlling dense undergrowth. We usually get in the way.
Man has traditionally prevented fires, the growth becoming so thick that when fire does occur it is devastating. Another topic on the Man vs Nature theme.



TOP: Certain vegetation produces white ash resembling snow. I sometimes refer to these as California fallscapes, winterscapes or snowscapes. Also revealed in the barren terrain are these odd lunar like holes (animal burrows) usually concealed under the growth.


BOTTOM: Grassy vegetation turns a charcoal black. Fire passes some trees when the grass is low to the ground, the heat turning some leaves brown but leaving other parts untouched and green. For composition and design reasons I focused on the pathways left by the fire trucks.143,144


Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Atomic Number 16 & Caterpillar Yellow































"Sulfur Piles #3 (w/ Palm)"    SOLD
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)

"Cat Hydraulic Excavator 320C"
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x8" (15.34cm x 20.32cm)


Two of my recent watercolors, and different approaches, in the industrial genre.
On top is another view of the sulfur piles in the port. The high chroma bright lemon, sometimes cad yellow piles are quite a sight among the more earthy and somber colors of industry. A subject I simply can't pass up.

Below, in this one I let go of an absolute realistic depiction, having some creative fun. Wanting to give it something extra I decided to place it in a setting that looked more like a play in both lighting and staging, imparting some drama. A dark background and artificial type lighting to accentuate the bright yellow Cat and orange web fencing.141,142

Click on images for larger view

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thank You Again

Again I would like to Thank those who have joined/followed my blog, Thank you!
As I said before the whole google friend connect/send a message doesn't make sense to me. I have never been able to figure out how it all works.

In fact, it's all screwy... at times followers avatar/favicons/photo URL's fall off the followers list only to re-appear the next log-in or refresh, I don't know why. I finally gave up, deciding I was put on this earth to make the art, not figure everything out.

I do notice and appreciate everyone who takes their time to visit and/or leave comments.
I know how busy I get and how little time there is in a 24hr day.

David-

Friday, November 4, 2011

Urban River 1












"Santa Ana River #1"
oil on cradled panel, 2011
12" x 24" (30.48cm x 60.96cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE


Urban nature is a sort of oxymoron. It took years to come to terms with seeing our rivers encased in concrete banks as part of the natural world. I could never quite call them rivers.

But this is how we modify nature as it passes through our cities before being returned back to nature and into the ocean. There is a push and pull of man/nature going on. Concrete and manicured rock banks, then natural silt islands and vegetation growing in the middle. Nature briefly contained and on display. Ebb and flow.

I do see the beauty in both, the smooth hard man made surfaces and the delicate organic forms of nature. They simultaneously compliment and contrast each other.140

Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OMA Store 4























"Tree Nocturne (Billowing Tree)"
oil on panel, 2010
5" x 4" (12.7cm x 10.16cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here is another of my small paintings at the Oceanside Museum of Art Store.

The nocturne... its origin, mid 19th century French from Latin,
nocturnus, meaning ' of the night '.

My Tree Nocturne series. I've kept the series compositionally simple, focusing on the tree and usually an unseen light source.
This painting breaks from that slightly.

There is more of a surface showing in the street, the cracks and buckling of decades old concrete, before asphalt. The sidewalk, hints of commercial storefronts and power poles all adding to its more urban setting.139

Link to value thumbnail here.

Click on image for larger view

Friday, October 28, 2011

Burnscapes - Man vs Nature

"Burnscape #4 (Charred Pine Stand)"

"Burnscape #8 (Charred Cactus)"


































"Burnscape #4 (Charred Pine Stand)"
watercolor on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE


"Burnscape #8 (Charred Cactus)"
watercolor, Pelikan india ink on paper, 2011
6" x 8" (15.24cm x 20.32cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here are two recent watercolor/mixed media's from my Burnscape series. Both were at my solo show at the Randy Higbee Gallery. See previous posts.

Living in Southern California and seeing so many wildfires it would be easy to focus on the destruction. My attraction for the burned landscape isn't for its destruction... but instead how it modifies the landscape, turning it into a charcoal terrain... it is rebirth, the way Mother Nature intended.
It is how She manages her jurisdiction, by controlling dense undergrowth. We usually get in the way.
Man has traditionally prevented fires, the growth becoming so thick that when fire does occur it is devastating. Another topic on the Man vs Nature theme.

Top - #4 Trees are meant to survive fires where brush is low to the ground, the fire sweeping through too quickly (and frequently enough) to wipe them out. This pine stand didn't look like it would survive so to accentuate this I set its blackened silhouette against a background of unburned green.

Bottom - #8 As fire sweeps through dry brush, here... all that's left of a thicket, sometimes all that is left behind is high water content vegetation like cactus. What caught my attention was how the left side of the cactus clump seemed to have leaned away from the fire.137,138

Click on image for larger view

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Harbor Line - Bridge Shadow
















"Pacific Harbor Line 20 (Bridge Shadow)"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

The Pacific Harbor Line, the workhorse of the LA  Harbor. This newer one is part of the low emission line of locomotives for the move towards a greener port. Black and shiny as tar with striking graphics, they don't blend in, they stand out. Not graceful looking, they look like they mean business. The back end diagonals point down, the front point up to distinguish front from rear when seen head on. Its side panel graphics angling forward. So a nod of beautiful work to the designers of these burly beasts of burden.

My Pacific Harbor Line series. This one, the #20, is a remote control locomotive and is often parked here near the base of the Vincent Thomas Bridge.
Here it sits in the afternoon at the shadow of the Vincent Thomas Bridge as the marine layer begins to settle in over the port.136

Click on image for larger view

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Matrix 2
















"Power Plant Interior #2"
oil on panel, 2011
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

Here is another view of the power plant interior, the first here and a drawing here.
I could do dozens of these and not tire of it, even slightly different views. In fact I have a larger 24" x 30" in progress. I love the limited palette of muted ochre/yellow and sienna, with punctuations of earthy greens and reds.

One of the most fascinating buildings...several stories high...the interior nearly wide open... a matrix of pipes, valves, steel... deep and cavernous.

The light and colors seen here are faithful to the actual site...the walls and pipes painted in these ochres and creams, the floors a mixture of reds and greens, worn and distressed...deep earthy orange reflected light, then the translucent glass filters the outside light...a cool pale yellow.135

Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Vincent Thomas Bridge #5 - Color study























"Vincent Thomas Bridge #5 - Color Study"
oil on panel, 2011
9" x 6" (22.86cm x 15.24cm)
For Sale at Daily Paintworks, CLICK HERE

Here is another version, in oil, of the watercolor / gouache study from an earlier post.

On this one I experimented with a different color and value scheme to cut back the amount of lime green that shows in full sunlight. Throwing a soft shadow across part of the bridge allowed for multiple greens, from the lime green it shows in bright light to its signature chrome green and into a deep bluer green. The roadway a chocolate brown, the foreground structure a warm olive green.
Doing that also changes the design of the value distibution. With the towers in light and shadow a stronger more dramatic composition is achieved.134

Thursday, October 13, 2011

777- Google's 7 Dynamic views

The Seven Dwarfs, The Seven Samuri...
and now Google has introduced 7 new different ways to view blogs.
And while they are still working on it to allow for better customizations, blogs can still be viewed in them without switching the template over. Click link below to view Avid Art in any of the seven Dynamic views starting with Flipcard. Each has its own characteristics. 


http://davidteterart.blogspot.com/view/flipcard


You can also at any time click the link 'Google Dynamic Views' in the right hand column at top.


Flip card is best for seeing all images currently on blog at once and allows for sorting by Recent, Date, Label, and Author.
One of the best features all share is infinite scrolling, no clicking older or newer posts.
No matter where you are in scrolling you can access the drop down menu by edging the pointer just over the black line under the title.
Hover over the arrow next to Flipcard to see others.
Have fun with it.
Click on blog title 'Avid Art' to return to this template.




PS- I'm not sure why some images do not appear in Flipcard and Mosaic. But the image is still there to click. On others, images are missing, maybe a result of this being a preview and not a selected template.
Also there seems to be some spacing issues in the translation.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Problem Solving- "Vincent Thomas Bridge #4"























"Vincent Thomas Bridge #4 - Catalina Express"    SOLD
watercolor on illustration board, 2011
11.75" x 8" (29.845cm x 20.32cm)


Here is a fairly common view of bridges. But a good one because there is a great sense of height when seen from the ground from underneath.

This is the finished painting of one I posted (here) back in March as a work in progress. One intended for my October Show.
It was one of those that at the beginning I had a clear vision of what I was going to do and how it would look. A quick painting, in a method I had done many times. I like those, they are fun and satisfying.

Then about halfway through I realized (OH NO!) it isn't working... it was just sort of dying right in front of me. So much for fun and satisfaction. This one is going to battle me. Should I panic? No... not really my style.

Problem solve, no problem. Think fundamentals, that is where most trouble lies. It's not the flooring, the curtains, the sofa etc., no, no, no... its the foundation, the framing or the roof. No point moving forward till I figure it out or I'm in for some wasted time.
Most of the time I know what to do... that is to 'let it go' and keep painting, keep forging ahead. Not this time, I sat back and stared at it and for the life of me I had no idea where it was failing. Ok, it's only half way done I thought soooo... start checking... the drawing or perspective of it really isn't off, maybe a little, but thats not it, those kinds of minor corrections take place as I refine the painting, working to the end.

It's too premature to really judge the color, or more specific... color relationships. If everything else is working; design, values etc, then color is usually secondary.
The point of view? nooo... god forbid otherwise the whole thing gets scrapped. Bad choices you can't fix.

The composition? ... uh... maybe... shoot, that would mean significant changes.
Forget texture or detail or surface... technique, these are usually more superficial, usually not the make or break of an image, more along the line of the refinements/corrections, at least the way I work.

I don't always know where things went wrong, right away, but I know WHAT TO DO.
That is to STOP looking at it. Put it away, turn it around, don't think about it, work on something else. Come back later for a fresh look.

So thats what I did. I came back to it, (more than once I might add), with a fresh eye...then it hit me! like a ton of bricks! It's lifeless! Stupid thing! Duh! I remember thinking  " ...it's dying right in front of me" the opposite of life, how did I miss the connection?
OK! Now what? Give it some life.

Sometimes, fundamentals or not, if I have an image that starts slipping away it unconsciously affects my enthusiasm and I start to lose interest which shows in the painting. The sooner I identify that the better. Then surprisingly few changes need to made.
  • Start by introducing the warmer tones in the sky, it's far too cold in color temperature. 
  • Too much residual green from my initial lay in, the early washes, substitute blues in place of greens.
  • Break up the silhouette and soften edges. I was going for a strong graphic pattern from the start but now that I see it, it's too rigid, even for a bridge.
  • Extend the foreground a bit, it's too slight to visually support the bridge
Whew! It wasn't that far off... looks like I won... HA, HA, HA,   it did not defeat me this time.133

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Vincent Thomas Bridge #8 Containment 1

















"Vincent Thomas Bridge #8 (Containment 1)"
oil on panel, 2011
5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)

Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride.Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals they are a source of identity.

This painting also overlaps into my containment series, a series on modern construction techniques. These days everything gets wrapped in heavy plastic or tarps to contain the work, a sort of cocoon, keeping dust from contaminating the environment.

Twenty or thirty years ago it was not done and open construction was more prevalent. Modern green thinking has changed our approach to not only recycling but how we do  everything. This painting shows the painting of the underside in progress.

A broad view of the containment area shows all of the working tools and materials needed to paint the bridge.
A platform is hung underneath then everything is wrapped in plastic; wall, floors & suspension hooks. Nothing allowed to escape into the environment.133

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

'Lines and Colors'

I am happy to announce and thrilled that Charley Parker over at 'Lines and Colors' has done a post on my work here.
I have followed his blog for some time and it is a great place to discover artists, both past and present, as well as museum websites, art related events, products etc.

Be sure to check out his other websites on the left hand side under 'My other sites' as he also does website design, comics, iPod and iPhone apps and cool dinosaur stuff.

Thank you Charley!

"Vincent Thomas Bridge #13"























"Vincent Thomas Bridge #13"    SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
7" x 5" (17.78cm x 12.7cm)

Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride.
Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals they are a source of identity.

A bright day and back lit, a close-up of one of the towers partially unwrapped, the painting recently completed. A small pulley is used to haul up tools and materials from a platform below that extends out from under the bridge roadway.132

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

One Man Show Opening - Randy Higbee Gallery

Me and Jennifer Teter-Mitchell
just before the show opened


Artist Wendy Wirth and Me



































The opening night of my One Man Show at the Randy Higbee Gallery looked fabulous.
The highly professional presentation is the norm for the Gallery but is never as easy as it appears. It is achieved through lots of hard work by the entire staff there; from the framing to the hanging, the advertising and right down to the little finishing touches. All done with smiles and enthusiasm.

Here are some iPhone pics of the opening night. I'll post more pics soon. Here's a link to more art in the show, which will hang until October 15th.

Here at Avid Art, before it even becomes a show, there is the same hard work happening behind the scenes.
Jennifer Teter-Mitchell, who handles all the marketing and graphic design at Avid Art, deliveries, ephemeral material and far too many little but equally important tasks was tireless.
And Susan Laumen, who handles all the accounting, inventory, and archiving documentation, typing and the same... multitudes of minor details, was also tireless right up to the end.

None of us can do it alone, it requires a concentrated effort by too many people to mention individually.
So I thank every person in helping to make the show a success.

Monday, October 3, 2011

One Man Show - Seascape















"Seascape #5 (Rock Outcrop)"   SOLD
oil on canvas, 2011
24" x 36" (60.96cm x 91.44cm)

Another of my seascapes that is hanging in my show at the Randy Higbee Gallery and was sold on opening night. The show will hang until October 15th so there is still time to see it.

This Painting is loosely based on a real location off the California coast. Viewed from above but zoomed in for a slightly closer look so I could paint a classic seascape. That meant making certain compositional decisions and thus throwing out elements from the actual location to achieve that goal.

The foreground rocks, slightly soft focused, were designed to lead down into the composition.
The water surrounding the outcrop of rock had to be completely invented to really work as a convincing seascape so I carefully observed the actual behavior of the water and how it interacted with the rock, making sure to use my knowledge of art fundamentals as much as what I was seeing in real life.131

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Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vincent Thomas Bridge and Containment

















"Vincent Thomas Bridge #6 - Gold"   SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
16" x 20" (40.64cm x 50.8cm)

One more for the show tonight...

Bridges carry a certain civic pride much like state and country pride.
Their primary function may be utilitarian but for locals they are a source of identity.

This painting is from my Vincent Thomas Bridge series as well as overlapping into my containment series, a modern construction method of covering structures entirely while building and maintaining them.

Presenting the bridge in various lighting conditions allows me to show it without having to always use its signature chrome green color.

Late on a hazy day and with the east tower covered, no green at all is present but the bridge is still recognizable by the architecture of the west tower.130

Click on image for larger view

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Temper Tantrum














"Seascape #9 (Angry Wave)"   SOLD
oil on panel, 2011
24" x 36" (60.96cm x 91.44cm)

One of my larger works that will be in my show at the Randy Higbee Gallery this Saturday  October 1st 2011, (See previous posts for more info). And a nice contrast to the harder edged works I do.

We like to give human characteristics to inanimate objects and the sea is no exception. Here I experimented with a soft edged focus to play against the somewhat angry wave violently slamming down like a child throwing a temper tantrum.129


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