Monday, June 29, 2009

Acrylic Abstract IV

This was an experiment combining abstraction with realism. There are some things that I like about it and some that I don't. I used a black gesso to prime the canvas which has a very matt finish which I do like contrasted with the varying shine of the acrylic paint so I decided not to spray a finish on it because I would lose that effect. I like the idea of combining the two concepts within one painting but I think I need to make them relate to each other a little more.

It has been accepted into the Orange County Fair and will be on display from July 10th-August 9th. For more info on the fair, go to

I would love to hear your feedback on this painting.

Acrylic Abstract II
Image size 20" x 20"
Unframed-gallery wrapped canvas, no frame needed

Monday, June 22, 2009

Acrylic Abstract III

This is a small abstract done in acrylic on a board coated with "Absorbent Ground" acrylic medium that is manufactured by Golden Acrylics. When I heard about this medium, I didn't think that it would really have a use for me personally. It's purpose is to give the artist a support with the same absorbency as a piece of watercolor paper. So I thought, "why wouldn't I just paint on a piece of watercolor paper instead of going through the extra work of prepping a support that would give the same effect?" However, after having painted on this medium I can see that by applying it with varying textures I will be able to achieve some nice effects. This piece is fairly smooth though. The experimenting will come later.

As I started this painting, I was trying to paint a representational subject. That didn't work for me on this medium so I just started playing around with it in a much more free manner (a very difficult thing for me to do) and I am very pleased with the result. It looks like an abstract forest to me.

Abstract Acrylic III
Image Size 7" x 9"

Monday, June 15, 2009

First Figs

Our figs are starting to ripen and I'm fighting the local wildlife for them. I love how colorful and textural the insides are and wanted to capture that. I have a lot of small mat boards that I have prepared with pumice gel just waiting for a pastel to be applied. I haven't worked with pastel for a very long time but I thought that medium would make this subject translate well. I like leaving the rough strokes when I work with pastels which is very different from my style with other mediums because I usually like everything to be blended. For those of you that work in pastels, you can probably tell that I'm left-handed because my strokes are going the "wrong" way.

First Figs
Image Size 4" x 6"

Monday, June 8, 2009

Spanish Style Wisteria

I took the reference photo for this painting at a house down the street from our house but I wanted it to look like it was down in Mexico. I don't even know if Wisteria will grow in Mexico but in my mind they can. I love the power we have as artists to alter reality, even if it's only in our minds and on paper (or canvas). Wisterias are so beautiful but for such a fleeting amount of time, I wanted to capture their beauty and my love of Mexico at the same time.

Spanish Style Wisteria
Image Size 16" x 12"

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I've been painting a "painting a week" for a year now and I think it has really improved my paintings. I'm not ready to take on the challenge of a "painting a day" like so many artists but I wanted to share why I think doing a painting a week has been valuable for me for those artists out there that are thinking of taking on a painting challenge.

1) I am more likely to take risks with a painting because I know that if it doesn't turn out the way that I want, there will be another chance to correct my mistakes on the next painting, next week. Each painting is less "precious" to me and I don't agonize about trying something new.

2) If I decide to do a series (I'm working on one now but won't post the paintings until the series is finished), I know that it will be possible to complete it within a reasonable period of time. The one I'm working on now is an idea that I originally thought of in 1995. Because I wasn't painting consistently, I lost my momentum.

3) My energy and excitement levels stays high. I love when I can't decide which medium to use for a subject because so many of them would be fun.

4) By keeping painting and art at the forefront of my daily thoughts, I feel that I am moving forward in my artistic career. It has motivated me to enter contests and contact art galleries where before I would say to myself, "well, maybe next year I'll be ready to do that".

5) Blogging is fun! I look forward to posting my paintings each week and am thrilled when I get comments from viewers.

As I enter my second year as a "weekly painter" I plan to push myself even more and hopefully you will all see some really exciting paintings and explorations.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Monster Kumquats

We have a small kumquat tree in our backyard and the first two years it had regular sized kumquats on it. Since then, they have been about 3" long and 2" in diameter! I have never seen another one like it. I've asked a couple of people at nurseries if it is possible for it to have cross pollinated with the meyer lemon next to it but they claim that is impossible. Whatever caused it, I just glad it happened. They are great sliced thinly in salads or just to eat by themselves. That way, I can get rid of all the seeds since I really don't like crunching on those. It also makes a great conversation topic since nobody can guess what kind of fruit it is.

Monster Kumquats
Image size 9.5" x 7.5"
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