Sunday, December 26, 2010

Warm Wishes

"Pumpkin" 14"x14"

After the rush of the past few weeks I am a little weary, so I thought it would be nice to sit down next to my twinkling little Christmas tree and take stock. The shoppping is done, the gifts have been given and now I am seeing past all of that. Happy Birthday Jesus! You came to us on a cold winter night to be our salvation. So much to ask of one tiny baby. It really makes me take pause, no wonder we celebrate. But right now for me it's time for quiet contemplation. Last night I was on the internet when my computer down loaded a nasty virus, well 2 hours later the nice man in Saudi Arabia had fixed the problem. As we said goodnight he wished me a Merry Christmas and I had to wonder if he believed as I do, maybe not, probably not, but he had respect for my beliefs and honored them. It was a small gesture but meant so much. Jesus taught us compassion for those not like us, to help the less fortunate, patience and respect for all. These are the qualities I want to focus on more in my life. I think whether you believe as I do or not, these ideals trancend religion or politics and are just plain good. I will take them with me into the new year. Warm wishes to all!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Martha Berryhill Passes Away At 110

Three years ago I had the honor and privilege to paint a portrait of then 107 year old Creek Indian Martha Berryhill. At the time I was preparing for a solo exhibition here in Okmulgee. The name of the show was "Our Town, Our Land, Our People" it included local landscapes, a doctor, a judge, a state representative, lots of familiar people and places that make this town uniquely ours. Can you imagine everything this woman experienced in her life, the wars, the depression, TV, radio, the births and deaths of those she loved. I was so moved when I met her, I studied the lines on hers face the age in her hands and the soulfulness of her eyes. I went to her home and photographed her outside wearing her traditional dress. While I was taking pictures she began to pray out loud, while I couldn't understand much she was saying I couldn't help but feel like this is one of those moments in life where you never want to forget, and I won't. I donated this portrait to the Creek Council House Museum.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Workshop Announcement

I am excited to announce an upcoming 3 day workshop, March 18,19 & 20, 2010 with the Bartlesville Art Assoc. The workshop is open to beginner to advanced oil painters. We will concentrate on still life with an emphasis on painting flowers. I will be doing demonstrations and individual critiques daily. The workshop will take place at the Johnstone art center in Bartlesville from 9am-4pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The cost is $225.00. Please contact Dedra Morgan @(918)336-6033 or Jan Clark @ (918)336-4977 to sign up. Thanks and Happy painting!

Monday, November 29, 2010

My new studio friend


As some of you know we lost our dear Homer a few months ago, he was a great cat and a wonderful friend. He was my studio partner, he kept me company everyday while I painted. When he thought it was break time he would claw the back of my legs until I turned around and he would sit on his hind legs with his paws up so I could pick him up for some petting. He had a great personality, we were so lucky to have him and he is missed. When you work alone having companionship is really important. Well this is Henry, he is a shelter kitty and we welcomed him with open hearts. His personality is still developing but he is definatly a cool cat. He likes to hang in the studio, and only likes running water from the sink. I've been busy painting everyday and will post some new pics soon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

"Rocky" by Anne Spoon

28"x30" oil

I borrowed this antique rocking horse from a friend who collects all kinds of wonderful treasures. I have to admit it was a challenge thinking about pulling this off. Lots of planning before I started helped me to be free to just paint.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Whose Been Eating My Flowers?

10"x8" Oil

I went out to paint a landscape and painted a still life. The light on this bunny and the brilliant red of the cockscomb was too good to pass up. It's finally cool enough to paint out in Oklahoma. We have had an extra long and hot summer here. The OPA paintout is next weekend, Oct. 16 in Sapulpa at Pretty Water Lake. You don't have to be an OPA member to come and meet new painters.

Friday, July 16, 2010

"Make A Wish"

22.25"x12" Oil on Linen

These are not your normal Dandelion puffs. These grow at least five times the size. The first time I tried to pick them they flew into pieces on the wind. I went home and got the Aquanet hairspray and gave them a good spray just so I could cut them. These are one of my favorite things to paint and draw, at least once a year they find their way into a setup. They have form like a solid yet they are not solid, I also think that these evoke memories for a lot of people of childhood and making wishes on them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Reocurring Objects

"Special Things" 6"x8" Oil

I was in the middle of setting up a still life when I realized how I reach for certain objects that I have painted hundreds of times before, for example, Christmas ornaments, ribbons, a couple favorite old vases, pansies, and clementines to name a few. It's not that I don't have enough stuff to choose from, my favorite hobby is looking for more stuff. I think it's that I'm naturally drawn to these objects, and what they can do in a set up. I wonder if this is a crutch or just my style and the thing that makes my work recognizable? I wonder if any of you do this also and what do you use over and over?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Workshop Demo

This orchid was the last demo I did at my workshop as our time was running out. I wanted to show how you can carve out the negative space around an object with paint to to get an accurate drawing. I thought everyone did a great job. I forgot to bring my camera to take class pics to show you, I will not forget next time. Thanks to everyone who was patient with me as I got past my nerves. I will be giving another workshop in Bartlesville, OK in January, this will be a 3 day class and doing a demo in September for the Edmond Art Association. Happy painting!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

At The Easel

This was so much fun to paint! Hope everyone survived the tornadoes last night and has electricity. I love spring but not that part or the allergies, ugh, my eyes are puffed and my nose is red.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Good Idea

This idea came from one of my favorite landscape painters Marc Hanson, it's so good I thought I'd share it. Marc did a painting a day last April and needed a place to store them while they dry.


I thought that you might be wondering what one does with all of the paintings. When I started thinking about doing this in late March of 2009, I thought about what I would do with all of those panels once they had wet paint on them and needed somewhere to dry and stay safe (from the cat... Sargent). I went to a the music store and measured the DVD wire racks. The tallest one holds 50, the shorter two hold 32 or so. They work out perfectly and would even work for 6x8's if you put them in there the narrow way. There are about 95 paintings in this photo.
Posted by Marc R. Hanson

Monday, May 3, 2010

Up and Running


"Clearly" 6"x6" oil

I haven't forgot about you, we have had soooo much computer trouble. We think it's fixed and then it's not, meanwhile life goes on in cyber world without me. I had no idea how dependent I am on the computer. I would run down to the library to check my mail daily. So hopefully we are done with repairs. This painting was done while I was at The Waterstreet Gallery last week. It was fun to do. I didn't want any definate lines around the bulb, just mass against mass with some places that just melded into the background.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Workshop date set

Demo form Water Street Gallery

I had fun doing this demo, it is not a finished painting but I think the idea is there.I was nervous, performance anxiety you know. There was a good turn out and a few signed up for my 2 day workshop. The date is June 26 & 27, it's a weekend for those of you who work. It will be held at The Water Street Art Gallery, 16 Water Street, Sapulpa, OK, from 9-4. The focus will be on still life in a smaller format. Painting smaller and quickly is a powerful way to rapidly improve your skills. I will provide handouts and info on blogging and selling on ebay among others. We will study composition, drawing, color, and harmony. I will demo and there will be individual and group critiques. The class is limited to eight and the cost is $160. If you are interested call me at (918) 756-7516 or email me or A $50 non refundable deposit is required to save your spot. Thanks and happy painting!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Demo This Thursday

"Copper Pitcher and Egg"
I will be doing a demo this Thursday, April 15, at 6:30pm. It will take place at the Waterstreet Art Gallery in Sapulpa OK. I havn't figured out yet what I will be painting, nothing like waiting for the last minute! Wish me luck.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Still Life w/ Kumquats"

Oil 5.25"x 12.75"

How is everyone today? I just got back from San Antonio yesterday, Spring is in full gear down there. My aunt, Sr. Bridget, yes she is a nun, is 91, and lives there. Sr. Bridget has been one of the most influential people in my life. She left Ireland at age 15 to become a nun, she is kind, sharp witted, has a great sense of humor and is the wisest person I know. We had a lovely visit. I visited the Greenhouse Gallery while I was there, wow, What a great gallery! 12,000 square feet with some of my favorite artists, Walt Gonske, Sherrie McGraw, David Leffel and Daniel Keys. Daniel is a young artist with huge talent, he is a still life artist and is in this months Art of the West magazine. The gallery is getting ready for the Salon International Show next week, over 300 paintings were juried in.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Out of the Box Promotion

I saw this video on Fine art Views and thought it was a unique idea for self promotion. Perry has combined his art with his life and set it to an appropriate tune. By the time we're done watching we feel as if we know Perry, and he seems like a real likable fellow. This kind of connection is so important in creating lasting collectors. He has thought outside the box and has created a successful marketing tool. I wonder how difficult it would be to do something like this ourselves? The video dosen't quite fit here, but if you double click it will take you to full screen on you tube.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Art for Art Sake Leaves Me Hungry

Study in Pink and Green Oil

I remember when I was in art school many moons ago, all of us baby artists struggling with the idea of what it meant to be an artist. High morals and righteous attitudes were in no shortage, "art for art sake" was the mantra. The thought of selling our art for money was looked down on. Our art was an expression of ourselves, part of us, selling a painting would be like selling our children. "We're not in it for the money" we would say. Money was looked down on, true artists didn't care about cash, trust fund kids would dress the worst, grow dreadlocks and hide the fact of who they were. Easy to do and say when mom and dad are footing the bill. But in the real world there are bills to pay and would you rather sell your art or wait tables? I always looked at it from a different perspective, I felt that finding the one person who connected with my painting and wanted it in their life was the natural end of the creative process. It is an honor for someone to love a painting enough to dedicate a place in their home for it, and to compensate me for that is a privilege. So for that privilege , my obligation is to produce the highest quality most beautiful painting I can, and to help that painting find it's owner. I think a lot of artists find that selling their art and themselves to be no fun. It can't all be fun and games, when we wear all the hats in our own business there are going to be some things we need to do that aren't always fun. With the introduction of the internet it has become so much easier to reach our people, and you know, collectors like to meet artists, it furthers the connection to the art. Besides, who knows more about your art than you. I think we should embrace our customers and want to know them, after all they are buying our children.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Workshop Announcement

"Ruby Red and Pansies" 11"x11"

Hello Everybody, sorry for not posting recently. I have been working on some nudes and it occurred to me that this subject matter may be objectionable to some of my viewers, so I haven't written. What's your opinion on this? Hey, I am going to give a two day workshop toward the end of June, hopefully a Saturday, Sunday at the Water Street Art Gallery in Sapulpa, OK. It will focus on still life in oil, and I've got some fun ideas for us. If you think you might be interested let me know and I'll put you on a list for further info, or just stay tuned here and more will come. Are you ready for Spring? I am, but I can't complain, my mom in NY had 3 feet of snow last week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"A Day of Art, Friends and Fun"

I had so much fun last Saturday in my studio. A group of 8 painters and one model joined together for a day of painting and drawing the human form. Our lovely model was brave, as temperatures hovered around 18 degrees and snow flurries flew, she held her poses and didn't complain, even when one of us just had to go outside and let an icy breeze sweep in. We worked from 10am until 4pm. and I was tired by the end but exhilarated as well. It is a privilege to be in the company of like-minded friends striving toward the same goals. What hard work, so many decisions to be made, so many measurements to be taken. I hope we can do this again soon. Below is the start of a painting I did today based on the studies from Saturday. I'll keep you posted with the progress.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

100 Stroke challenge

I set a challenge for myself today, paint a portrait in 100 strokes. Why would I want to do this? Well, I admit I heard someone recently talking about this and I got really excited by it. To say as much as possible in as few strokes as possible. I think this is the goal of most painters. After doing this I realized many things. #1, most of my portraits have a whole lot more than 100 strokes, and #2 in order to be economical, I needed to connect shapes in one stroke. To do this, a lot of paint needed to be loaded on my brush so I would be able to complete the stroke. I created some neat effects by not totally mixing my paint on the palette and having different colors show up by twisting the brush on the surface, especially in the hair. Also, you would think that it would be pretty quick just painting 100 strokes, but no, every stroke had to count, every stroke needed to be thought out carefully and placed precisely. 3 hours and I have to admit it took me 112 strokes. Yeah, I cheated, I couldn't help myself. I was having some chin issues. No, It's not ready for the framer, this was just an exercise, I was being a student today. It's not the best thing I've ever done, but I am not embarrassed to show you my experiment. Take this challenge yourself, it doesn't need to be a portrait, try a landscape or stll life, be a student, and let me know how you did.

4 srokes

12 strokes

26 strokes

54 strokes

55 strokes

75 strokes

89 strokes

106 strokes

112 strokes