Wednesday, March 4, 2020

An Agricultural Relic

I'm not sure where my love of old tractors comes from but I sure enjoy them.  Maybe it comes from playing in my Dad's wrecking yard when I was a kid, being exposed all summer to old, mechanical things, stuff that most people looked on as junk, but for me it was a playground, probably not legal today.

abandoned tractor Oilver rust farm machinery
Abandoned Oliver Tractor
Click on image to purchase

I always get excited when I see an old tractor sitting in a field, or in a barn while traveling the rural backroads of Utah and take plenty of photos.  That wasn't what happened with the subject of this palette knife painting however.  I found this old Oliver Tractor in Mcbride's Wrecking yard in Grantsville, Utah. Unfortunately pressures from the city caused Mcbride's to be closed a couple years ago.  I spent a couple hours walking around that yard and this is the second painting I've done based on photos I took there, I feel lucky I had that opportunity.  Obviously I moved the tractor to a more rural setting, a farm field in the background and tall, dead grass in front and backed by a group of trees.  This painting is also on the large side for me, 18" X 24".

Sunday, March 1, 2020

More Demo Videos

Another week on YouTube and three more videos to share with you.

This one is a little different in that it's a sketch instead of a painting.  I use a Copic Multiliner pen and Tombow brush pens to do a simple black and white sketch of an old, abandoned Chevy farm truck.  I saw and photographed this truck in Wallsburg, Utah.

I stepped up the complexity on this one a bit by adding a couple barns to make this a rural landscape.  Structural objects with well defined shapes can actually be a bit of a challenge to paint with palette knives.  I also approached the process just a bit different.  I did make a brush underpainting, intstead I blocked the painting in using a more thin layer of paint using the knife.  The painting is loosely based on a photo I took in Spring City, Utah.

This one bumped up the difficulty level considerably.   Barns are relatively simple shapes, but old vehicles are quite complex.  I decided to take that challenge on anyway by painting an abandoned early 1950's Chevy truck in an open grassy field.  Barns are primarily straight lines and very geometric without many details, whereas an old truck can have organic curves and lots of details.  This one really pushed my skills, especially since I had to do it in one sitting under a camera. The truck that served as the model for this composition was based on a photo I took at the Erickson Ranch in Wallsburg, Utah during the Antique Power Show.

That's this week's videos, I hope you watch and enjoy them.  If you do please click the "like" button, and if you want to be alerted to new videos when they come out hit the subscribe button and the "bell" notification icon.  Also, I'd very much appreciate any comments.  Thanks.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Wanna Watch Me Paint?

If so, now you can!  That's right, I've started a YouTube channel.  My videos will all be painting demonstrations, now you'll be able to watch my process from start to finish.

art demonstration tutorial video palette knife
Click here to go to my YouTube channel
As for the day of this post I have three videos uploaded.  The first was just a short time lapse of a landscape painting of open country using palette knives.

The second video is a long format of the first, I even include commentary for a couple minutes at the beginning where I talk about my reference photograph, my composition decisions and show you my palette and name off the colors I use.

The third video is a mix of the first two styles but is a different painting, a back country autumn scene. There is no commentary on this one and it's shorter because much of it is sped up a bit but parts of it run in real time as well.

I plan on making two videos a week to be published on Wednesday and Sunday.  I'll also upload the occasional bonus sketch demonstration video.  If you enjoy these videos make sure you "Like" them, "Share" them and subscribe and click the bell icon if you want to be notified when I put up new videos.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Recovered Landscapes

I recently cleaned up my studio.  Things were piled on top of things that were piled on top of other things.  The clean up became studio archeology as I pulled out paintings that I forgot I had.  I decided many of these paintings are ready to go into my Etsy store while others needed to be reworked first.  Here are a few these recently recovered paintings.

art oil painting spring nature parkway green landscape
Parkway Spring
One of my few oil paintings "Parkway Spring" is based on a photograph I took while out for a walk in the Jordan River Parkway.  The Parkway can be very green during spring, a nice painting to look while we endure winter.  (click on image to purchase)

art painting rural landsape barn farm
Barn by the Tracks

"Barn by the Tracks" has been one of my "love/hate" projects for some time.  I always liked the idea and the composition but not my execution of it.  When I pulled it out of my discard pile while cleaning up the studio I decided it wasn't so bad, except for one problem, it didn't match my current style.  So, I fired up the palette knives and painted over the whole thing using the existing brush painting as an underpainting and guide. I'm much happier with it now.    I don't remember exactly where I saw this scene, somewhere in Brigham City I believe.  (click on image to purchase)

art painting landscape oak tree open land ranch Utah
Lone Tree
The painting "Lone Tree" was inspired by a visit to Fairview, Utah, a fairly remote, small, ranching town a ways south and west of the Salt Lake City area.  Fairfield is surrounded by open ranch land. On the west side in particular you might see plenty of cattle feeding amongst clusters of old oak trees that often have pretty odd shapes.  Odd natural shapes you say?  I'm on it. I focused on one interesting tree in particular for this painting based on photographs of the area, however I'll admit the real landscape around Fairfield isn't nearly as green.  (click on image to purchase)

art landscape painting green nature tree open land
"Tree Stand"
This painting might look familiar, that's because "Tree Stand" is a scaled up version, (16" X 20") of "Tree Stand Study" a smaller, (8" X 10") painting I posted earlier.  The painting was inspired by a cluster of trees I used to pass by every day on my way home from work.  Of course these trees were stuck in a commercial area, storage units in the background in fact. Well that won't do so I "planted" those trees in the open countryside, in this case a fabrication of my imagination. (click on image to purchase)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Some More Small Works

As mentioned in my previous blog post I uncovered a few small paintings during my studio clean up and as promised I've been gradually adding them to my Etsy store.  If you would like to see the full collection of small works CLICK HERE  or just read about some of the recent additions below.

art painting autumn landscape abstract
Autumn Dance

"Autumn Dance" acrylic, 8" X 10". I made this painting nearly four years ago as an experiment in simplification and playing off complementary colors against each either.  The result was a fall color scheme with a semi-abstract composition.  (click on image to purchase)

art painting landscape original autumn fall nature
Firey Bush
"Firey Bush" acrylic, 6" X 8".  The painting was made over four years ago when I first started experimenting with painting with knives.  I wanted to see how small yet detailed I could go.  Since then I've done knife paintings as small as 6" X 6" or 5" X 7", should I try even smaller?  (click on image to purchase)

art painting original landscape palette knife open land
Country Meadow
"Country Meadow" acrylic, 6" X 6". This is one of those even smaller paintings I was talking about. I'm not sure when I made this, somewhere between one and two years ago.  It was covered under a bunch of other stuff, never even scanned.  I wasn't happy with it at the time but looking at it with fresh eyes my opinion changed. I just love the open spaces of the countryside. (click on image to purchase).

art painting original landscape rural knife shed barn
Country Shed
"Country Shed" acrylic, 8" X 10".  This is another painting I rejected at the time I made it, also hidden inside a pile of stuff, never scanned and again looking at it with fresh eyes my opinion has changed.  Like the others this was palette knife practice, lots of thick paint and texture. What is it about these quiet, little corners of the rural countryside we find so appealing?  (click on image to purchase)

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Blue Thunderbird

The Thunderbird was Ford's answer to Chevrolet's Corvette.  For the first three years of production the Thunderbird was a sporty two seater personal luxury car.  In 1958 the Thunderbird grew in all dimensions and gained a back seat but was still considered sporty, personal upscale transportation, while Chevy's Corvette remained a two seater and actually become more of a sports car every year, making 1955 through 1957 the only years the Corvette and the Thunderbird were direct competitors.

So, a little automotive history to give some back story to my latest painting. I'd just be repeating myself for the thousandth time to say I love classic cars, most all of them.  I have some favorites but no brand allegiance per say, so while I love Corvettes, I find Thunderbirds appealing as well.  When it comes to a subject for my art though, the design of the car needs to be appealing as a painting as well.  It's not just about the car, it's about the composition.  I know most people will love an image of their favorite car regardless of composition, but as an artist I have to think beyond the subject. That's why I enjoy doing close crops like this, nearly any classic car has an angle that makes a good composition if closely cropped.

classic car thunderbird ford sporty pastel blue
Blue Thunderbird
Click on image to purchase

I chose pastel colors for the whole painting, a popular color palette of the 1950's. Painted in my usual semi-abstract style using mostly knives and thick paint, with very little brushwork.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Small Works

While I continue to work on automotive paintings which tend to be on the larger side, (for me anyway) I do enjoy painting the occasional small landscape painting.  Actually I've been doing quite a few small paintings lately, not only that, I've uncovered some older paintings during my studio clean up that stand the test of time though I had forgotten about them. I've created a "Small Works" section in my Etsy store for all these small, affordable paintings. The sizes range from 5" X 7" up to 9" X 12" and prices range from $50 up to $145.  If one of my paintings puts a smile on your face well that's a small price to pay to have something hanging in your home that put's a smile on your face every day.

small paintings art affordable inexpensive
Small Works
Click on the image above to see the full collection of small works currently available in my Etsy store. I'll be adding new paintings often, in fact daily for a few days and then probably at least weekly as I make more.

Here are a few examples from the collection. (click on the caption below the each image to purchase).

art painting landscape autumn fall color poplar
Into Autumn

art painting landscape autumn fall season color
October Field

art landscape painting nature summer tree gree
Tree Stand Study
art painting vintage flatbed truck 1936 Ford Abandoned
Blue 1936 Ford Flatbed Truck

Sunday, January 26, 2020

That One Distinctive Feature

Most classic cars have one, that one design element that immediately tells you what make, model and year the car is without seeing anything else.  The 1959 Cadillac tailfin with it's bullet taillight lenses, the 1957 Chevy headlight with the vent screen in it's surround, and the 1971-73 Buick Riviera's with their boat tails.

classic car buick gm boat tail original painting palette knife texture art
Boat Tail Buick
Acrylic, 16" X 20" on 1/8" panel
(click on image to purchase)

These unique design elements are what I hope to focus on in my close crop paintings like this one of the aforementioned early 1970's Buick Riviera.  Actually the whole car is distinctively designed from front to rear.  I chose to focus on the boat tail in this painting because that is my favorite element.  The profile of these cars is nice as well, but I'm not too much of a fan of the front end, the design makes it look like it has the overbite of a great white shark.

I have to admit though I don't hate the front end as much as I used to, it's grown on me a bit.  If one this nice showed up in my garage I definitely wouldn't kick it out anyway.

Here are some close up detail photos of the painting so you can get a good look at the texture.  (click on the images to enlarge them.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Close Crops

There are a couple of ways to abstract something yet keep it representational.  You can alter and/or simplify the shapes but not so much they become unrecognizable.  You can obscure the object with abstract marks.  Or you can use unexpected colors, or any combination of the three. A fourth way is to focus on only a portion of the subject rather than include the whole. That's what I chose to do with these two paintings, that and alter/simplify the shapes slightly which is an automatic result of using knives to paint instead of brushes.

classic car studebaker bullet nose champion painting art automotive
Orange Studebaker Champion
Acrylic, 16" X 20" X 3/4" cradled panel
(Click on image to purchase)

The 1950 Studebaker Champion has a very distinctive front end, the center of which is often referred to as a "bullet nose" so of course I composed the painting to focus on this feature.

car hot rod model a Ford engine horsepower painting art automotive
Tri Power
Acrylic, 18" X 20" X 3/4" cradled panel
(Click on image to purchase)

Subject number two is a Model A Ford coupe modified into a fenderless hot rod equipped with a Chevy V8 engine sporting three, two barrel carburetors, hence the name "Tri Power". I showed more of the car in this one, nearly half, because I felt there was more story to tell.  Obviously that hopped up motor is the focus.