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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.
I’ve been been playing around with digital drawing and collage the last year or so. I began by drawing silhouettes with the mouse. I then use the silhouettes to sample various watercolor backgrounds I have painted and then photographed. I’ve been using the results to make design mugs, tees, smartphone cases, ties and other things on Zazzle for sale in my Paintbox Silhouette shop. Just lately though, I’ve been taking this a step further and creating digital paintings or collages. This image includes five watercolor backgrounds and four hand moused silhouettes and over twenty digital layers.
I began with simpler but more graphic images like these:
These simpler images involve fewer layers by utilize the same hand drawn silhouettes and watercolor backgrounds.
All of my digital collages are available here as prints on paper, metal, or canvas.
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.
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.
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.
This is a larger and more colorful version of “Brass, Winds, and Shadows.” I liked the first version, but I like this one better. Besides enlarging the painting and bumping up the color, I expanded the field of view to include more of the flute. I also made the shadows more transparent. I think all of the changes are improvements.
Prints available through my shop at Fine Art America.
I painted this in my usual palette of cobalt blue, phthalo blue, ceruleun blue, hasna yellow, new gamgee, burnt siena and dioxian purple plus a new addition, phtalo green. Like phthalo blue, phthalo green is extremely staining and very transparent. Even on clayboard and canvas it’s hard to lift. Typically, I mix my greens rather than pour them out of the tube, but there’s something metalic about phtalo green that can’t be mixed and it’s the perfect color for depression glass.
When I finish this one, my mother-in-law commented that she admired anyone who could paint glass. I will tell you the secret about painting and drawing glass. There’s nothing any difficult about glass than any other subject. The only trouble is psychological. If you just paint the shapes you see, no matter how abstract, when you step back, it will look like glass. It’s only when you worry about making it look like glass that it doesn’t. The same thing is true of metal.
Painted on aquabord and finished with a clear coat of acrylic, and mounted on a black cradle frame.
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.
I painted this one specially for Salem Art Association’s Salon: Art2 exhibit. All of the artwork in the exhibit must be 16 x 16 inches inclusive of frame. I had to think carefully how to meet the size requirement. I didn’t want to fit a watercolor on paper into a 16 x 16 inch frame since the artwork would end up being 12 x 12 at most. I didn’t have any 16 x 16 inch aquabord either. So I stretched watercolor canvas over a 16 x 16 inch frame and gallery wrapped the edges.
It has been quite some time since I tried painting on watercolor canvas. Paint lifts from watercolor canvas even more easily than it does from clayboard. The surface feels like a cross between clayboard an yupo (a plastic paper) to work on except that the unlike board or paper the canvas gives a little to the brush. I like the canvas’ linen texture, but I’m not sure I like the painting experience as much as the board, though that may be just a matter of getting use to the new surface.
This painting has sold, but prints are available through my gallery at Fine Art America.
Another instrument still life painting. I did this one mostly at the gallery yesterday working on little details between customers. I love the way the shiny brass pops in this painting, when I finished it yesterday morning I was both vaguely dissatisfied with it and puzzled over where to put a signature. You see, I had planned the painting to be hung horizontally with the big trombone horn at the bottom, and the so the whole bottom edge was busy and full. Then it occurred to me that since the view was straight down, it could just as logically be hung upside down. So I tried all four angles. I like this upright view much better than the horizontal view I planned. It has more visual energy, and the eye enters from the bottom left hand corner, which is the most natural entry point.
Once again painted on Ampersand’s aquabord. This time I painted on cradled board which mean that the clayboard rests on a two inch thick wooden frame which I have painted black. The painting may either be framed like an oil or acrylic without glass or, for a sleek modern look, hung as is.
This painting has sold, but you can still purchase a print from Fine Art America.com.
Another painting from my instrument shoot, though in this case the daisies steal the show. Painted on Ampersand’s aquabord, coated with clear acrylic, and mounted on a black wooden cradle. Ready to hang.
This is the second painting from my mirror and instrument shoot, this time from a more conventional angle. The color choice is rather more conventional too, a complementary scheme of yellow and purple with a little bit of the neighboring complements, blue and orange.
Or purchase a print from fineartamerica.com.
This is the first in what I hope will be a series. It all began a couple weekends ago when I was taking pictures in Corvallis. The instruments in the window of Gracewind Music caught my eye and I snapped a few pictures inside. All of that shiny brass made me want to paint. After wondering around admiring a little, it occurred to me that the bread and butter of many music stores is student rentals and that I might not have to buy the instruments to paint them.
After some negotiation I left the shop with three instruments of dubious music merit, a trombone, a flute and a trumpet which had been marked “for display only.” None of the instruments is is great condition, but they are all pretty and shiny. And a month’s rental of all three cost me less than what a single month’s rental of just one playable instrument might come to.
I have since borrowed a clarinet and a bells from a friend’s daughter.
Last week I took a whole series of photos of the instruments on a 42 x 64 inch mirror we had down for a remodeling project. Spread out across the floor it added an intriguing double take on the instruments. I got out some of my blown glassware, a couple of silver vases, some fabric from my quilting collection, and mat boards for background a and began shooting. The guys doing the remodeling must have thought I was losing my mind, but I had fun.
I painted this first one looking down at the instruments from above. However, the white ceiling reflected in the mirror did not provide the best background, so I painted in a dark reddish brown to set off the lighter instrument.
Mounted on a black wooden cradle and ready to hang.