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I painted it at my brother’s woodland house above Albuquerque, which he had kindly lent us for a couple of nights. I was working at the dining room table engrossed in the trumpet when a bump against the window caught my attention. That was as close as I’ve ever seen a live bear. He as only about six feet away peering curiously in. I wasn’t terrified, but I felt very, very alive and my brain when into hyper-drive. The windows on the bear’s side of the dining room were closed, but just on the other corner they wide open. So I stood up to close them, and the bear turned and lumbered away looking back over his shoulder just before disappearing into the forest. I closed the rest of the downstairs windows just for good measure.
I told my father and niece at breakfast at a local cafe and got a raft of neighborhood bear stories. The most amusing centered around a bear reaching in through a kitchen window to sample a birthday cake. But mostly the bears just want garbage and quickly learn which neighborhoods put out their garbage when. I think mine was mostly curious. “Look at the funny people.”
Prints of both paintings are available here.
A portrait of a friend’s clarinet. She can make it sound like candy too.
Or purchase a fine art print.
Don’t know what a Flugelhorn is? Neither did I. But I can now tell you it not only looks but sounds gorgeous. Imagine a smooth buttery trumpet and you won’t be too far wrong.
This particular Flugelhorn (and the silver trumpets too) belongs to Mac McGowan of Faerrabella. Faerabella is a fabulous jazz trio consisting of Dana McCarty (vocal), Paul Marche (bass), and Mac (flugelhorn and trumpet). The sound is swing with a dark alternative rock feel to the lyrics and phrasing. The songs are all original. Dana’s voice is nothing short of luscious. Click here to hear them play. If you like what you hear, Amazon has their first CD here.
Mac was kind enough to lend me his horns for half hour or so at the Oregon State Fair where the trio treated us to a couple of fabulous sets. This is the first of what I hope will be several Flugelhorn paintings. Mac’s brass is beautiful and a joy to paint. One of these days I’d like to paint the whole band.
Painted on Aquaboard and finished with clear satin polymer varnish, this painting may be framed without glazing like an oil, or matted and framed with glass like a watercolor on paper.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a fine art print.
I have a confession to make– I accost musicians who like my work with pleas to let me photograph their instruments. I’m not proud. I prey upon the amateur and professional alike. At art fairs where there is music, I bring a white blanket just so I will have a soft protective surface to lay instruments on and against. Nothing beats sunshine for photographing brass and silver.
This painting comes from a series of photos I took at the Oregon State Fair’s Artisan Village. It’s the result of just plain begging a fellow vender to bring in her trombone, euphonium, and trumpets in for me to photograph. The clarinet I asked a girl friend’s daughter to lend me to use as a foil when photographing brass and sliver. I think they make a lovely pair.
I’ve recently begun painting on clayboard. I love it. But, may of the juried competitions I’d like to enter require that watercolors be on paper. In response I’ve been repainting some clayboard paintings on paper. “Ompa Rainbow” is a paper repaint of “Big Boy.”
The results of all this repainting have been what I think are often better paintings, though not better in every way. Practice makes perfect is of course part of this equation. But beyond that, looking at the finished work allows me to make serious design choices.
In “Big Boy” the idea was to make the tuba very large by looking up into a sky dominated by tuba. In “Ompa Rainbow” I wanted to make the colors pop. I slid the tuba to the left to give it some space around the bell, but the big change is in the background. “Big Boy” is set against a blue background, resulting in a very cool painting, all blues, greens and yellows. To make those cool colors really pop, I gave “Ompa Rainbow” a very warm background. I also paid attention to color theory. At the top, where the tuba gets blue the background is blue’s compliment, orange. At the base, amidst all that glorious plumbing, the background becomes purple the compliment of the predominating yellow. It’s a very warm red leaning purple though because red sets off green which is the other color sharing dominance in the lower half of the tuba.
I made several deliberate changes when I repainted “Brass Wind and Shadows” as “The Color of Music”. First, I backed up on the subject a little and allowed all the trombone bell to show. The colors are deliberately brighter. I lightened up the shadows. In retrospect I like the lighter brighter colored version better but I think the tighter crop of the first painting works better.
I did very little to the composition when I repainted “Bouquet of Reeds” as “New Orleans Reeds,” but I did deliberately change the mood by intensifying the colors. I also reversed the basic value plan of the painting by making the background light rather than dark. I’m not sure I like either painting better. It’s the mood, not the quality that changed.
With “Jazz Buddies” and “Taking a Shine to Each Other” the later is to my mind a much better painting. With “Jazz Buddies” I intended to really show off the way the bright sun washed away the sax. I think I accomplished that. With “Taking a Shine to Each Other” I went for drama and I got it by really darkening up the instruments and complicating the dark colors.
Prints of “Ompa Tuba” and the other paintings shown in this entry, are available through my print-on-demand shop.
And here’s the completed painting.
This painting has sold, but
Trumpet and trombone share fabric space on a mirror. This little painting has sold. But prints are available through my shop at Fine Art America.
Trombone bell resting on the bells and facing a flute. My daughter says this one has a Christmasy feel to it and I think she is right. In any case, I like the red and gold.
This painting has sold, but prints available through my print shop and Fine Art America.
I painted this little baby yesterday at the gallery. I like the contrast between the silver and gold, but I wasn’t really happy with it until the shadows went in.
This painting has sold, but prints are still available through my print shop at Fine Art America.com.
A brighter version of Bouquet of Reeds. Painted a little larger–this time on paper.
Prints available through my FAA shop.
This is another painting resulting from my photo shoot at Weathers Music. I brought a number of things with me including table cloths, flowers, and fruit. In the end though I mostly limited my fruit use to grapes and pears. The pears are my favorite. I think the shapes of the pears have something to say the bells of the horns, don’t you? I hope so, because the pears are repeated over and over in the horn.
Mounted on a black wooden cradle frame and finished with clear polymer varnish, this painting may be hung as is or framed.
Or purchase a print through Fine Art America.com.
Today I set up my booth for the Silverton Fine Arts Festival. It will be the first showing of my instrument paintings in mass and only the second time any of them has been shown in public. It’s fun to see them all hanging together. I’m in booth #71 right next to the information booth.
The fair runs Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free.
The tuba painting pictured is not Big Boy. It is still big, but this painting is smaller. Painted from the same photo as “Big Boy.”
We’ve been traveling in Southwest Colorado and New Mexico the past few weeks. I have tons of photos for Southwestern paintings. But while I was gone, I went right on painting instruments. I did this one at my Father’s just outside of Albuquerque.
Painted on clayboard, finished with clear acrylic, and set on a black cradle frame, this painting is ready to hang.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print.
Painted in Florida, from a moody shadow shot. Once more I’m having fun with the keys.
Like the other Florida paintings, this one is a little smaller, only 8 x 10. It is painted on aquabord and finished with a clear coat of acrylic, and mounted on a black cradle frame. Ready to hang. Original available in November at Art in the Valley, Corvallis Oregon. Or purchase a print through my Shop at Fine Art America.
While painting this instrument series, I have been fascinated by the keys. So this time that’s just about all I painted. I like it so well, that I’ll probably do a few more, just keys paintings.
Another painting on clay board, this painting is finished with a clear coat of acrylic, and mounted on a black wooden cradle.
This painting has sold, but you may purchase a print through my Shop at Fine Art America.