Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flowers and Del

Last year I posted a painting for my neighbor. She wanted another one for the opposite wall. I don't do flowers so it took me longer than I want to say to finish this 30x40 oil on canvas. She's happy with it and that is all that matters right?

She invited me and the kids to a Bar-B-Que when I delivered it this weekend. While there, I noticed one of her guests lounging and texting so I did a quick sketch.

Turns out, Del is 18, just graduated high school and plans to get into Law Enforcement after he finishes college. He was visiting my neighbors with his family and lives in Phoenix. He also has wanted to learn how to draw better.

I asked what his favorite subject was, [thinking to myself it had to be cars, babes or something else young men adore] and he replied "Dragonball Z".

I had to make sure my memory recalled correctly and was proud of myself for not doing a 'spit take'. So I went across the street and printed some Dragonball Z images and had a drawing lesson. Del is quite smart and learned a few pointers quickly and was drawing very well after awhile.

I left him my 6B pencil and special eraser and told him to keep studying hard and to email me if he had any questions regarding drawing or Law Enforcement. It's so encouraging to see young men who really will help to make this world a little better for all of us.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

DSFDF challenger- Boater

For my newer visitors, I've been trying Karin Jurick's blog challenge for several months now. I was a little intimidated with the process of interpreting a photo because the huge pool of talent that was already involved.

Even though it is not a competition, you cannot help but be humbled when you compare your work with some amazing pieces. Forcing myself to get involved has blessed me with a whole group of artist pals who have the biggest hearts in the world. They visit and encourage the participants and are always so generous with sharing their techniques. Joining in the challenge is one of the best things I've done since I've started painting professionally.

Please check out the original photo and the other fabulous entries at Karin Jurick's Different Strokes from Different Folks blog.

This piece is 6x8 oil on canvas

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dr. Kirby revisited

You may [or may not] recall the sketch I did of Kirby Cooper PHD during the Open Studios a couple of weekends ago. I finally did the painting I wanted of this man last night. I think it looks more like him because it features his piercing blue eyes and his beautiful white hair and beard.

Oil on 11x14 canvas

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pakistani Kitty Trio

These are the three cats my friend in Minneapolis has. She used to have them move back and forth with her when she lived 6 months in the States and 6 months in Pakistan however, the quarantine period has gotten too hard for them.

So Cleo, Muffin and Simon stay in Pakistan full time and continue to spoiled by housekeepers and others. I thought their portraits for Mary's Stateside home could keep them company while she and her husband are here.

These are 9x9 oil on canvas.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Another day at the AlbaStudios

I spent a day [and into the night] at AlbaStudios again. Benny taught me how to properly gesso a canvas. Even after three coats, I still had some pinholes so I haven't quite got it down yet. We went to Blick's Art Supply Store in Berkeley and she taught me about the different brands of paint and essential colors.

Tuesday is Enamel Group night so I was able to work on a couple of pieces. The far left is a 5x7 sort of whimsical piece with some millefiori that Benny was so nice to give me. The "grass" are shards of glass threads. I also made some medallions for my kids. I thought they would like it jangling in their pocket.

This is a 9x9 oil on canvas portrait of a pet for my girlfriend's friend in Minneapolis. This dog has her own bed in a boutique she owns and must wear green booties so she doesn't slip on the hardwood floors.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A new lesson and a gift

I went to the Alba Studios yesterday and learned a new skill. As you can see from the result, even though it took about two hours the staples have to be realigned and maybe more of the canvas trimmed.
I have never seen canvas stretched and I'm sure it doesn't usually take as long as I took or leave the scrapes on my knuckles like I have. Of course this lesson is for me being able to stretch huge canvases for Benny Alba and also for myself so I better start doing grip and strength exercises.
Benny did surprise me with a "little'" gift. She asked if I was planning to do any big pieces and since I was asked if I had any big brushes. She gave me this monster of a brush/broom as a gift. How cool is that?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Kirby Cooper PHD

Kirby (as he allows me to call him) was visiting his artist friend at the Open Studios last weekend. Even as he limped along with his cane, I thought he seemed to be an interesting person and had an even more interesting face.

As he was about to leave, I struck up a conversation with him and learned how he teaches enlisted soldiers 'Sadistics' [Statistics] at Travis Airforce Base and his cousin is a Juliard Alumni who now plays trumpet for the likes of Michael Buble and the Jonas Brothers. Jumaane Smith has the unique ability to hit a 3 chord note, something his mentor Wynton Marsalis cannot even do.

I did a quite sketch from the many photos he allowed to take of him using the 2 inch view finder screen on my camera. I gave him the original and that is why this photo is not the best quality of the 8x10 pen on paper rendering.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mug Shot

8x10 oil on canvas

You know I've always had a fascination with faces. Perhaps because of all the composite work I did or all the mug shot line-ups I used to have to compile. I even had one mug shot line-up involved in a hit and run case go all the way to the Appellate Courts because the Defense Attorney claimed it was prejudiced against his client. The State prevailed because the courts deemed the line-up was not prejudicial because it was based on the appearance of the subjects and not the race.

I used to have access to huge file drawers of mug shots for line-ups. Now all that is automated and an officer can bring up a line-up of subjects using similar descriptors. The DMV data base then gives the officers several choices to use along with the suspect's image. I found a site of mug shots and was just perusing the faces when I came across this man arrested for Obstructing an Officer. I didn't include the bloody lip and made his gaze look up a little more. He doesn't look like a suspect just because of those little tweaks now does he?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Open Studios

I was busy this weekend helping out Benny Alba and her open studio with 11 other artists. It was such a great learning experience and I loved being able to meet with other artists and talk about their work.

The best part of my part of the helping was being the meeter/greeter. I met so many interesting people and a handful let me photograph them for possible future pieces. By far our most interesting person on the last day was a young man named Jack Passion. He came in the room and it was so obvious but I was the only one who commented on his magnificent beard. His beautiful girlfriend Alexis was quick to point out Jack is the current World Champion in the Natural Full Beard division of the World Beard Championship contest. I believe he's only 24 years old so that means he probably has not shaved ever since he started being able to grow a beard. I've also been working on a couple of pieces and hope to share them with you soon.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Linda's Precious Poppy

Many of you may know Linda from The Briar Rose Gate blog and her beautiful art work. I was saddened to read that her dear Poppy had passed on. I just wanted to make a little painting to show my vision of Poppy happy and frolicking and looking over Linda.

6x8 " oil on RayMar

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Commission Piece for Anniversary

This was commissioned by a now blogger friend who found me in Etsy.  Valerie Cesari and hubby were going to  celebrate their first anniversary this month and she asked to to do a painting of an image she had for her present to her handsome hubby.

She was a delight to work with and we together came up with this 8x10 watercolor on Fredrix board.  The beetles represent the couple with their respretive Alma Maters on their backs.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Modern Pakistani Art

I mentioned my friend has a large collection of Pakistani art.  She and her husband live in Karachi half the year and the other half in Minneapolis.  Their walls are filled with modern art from local artists from Pakistan.  I especially loved this one with four nudes.

Here is a link for more info on art from that part of the world that I am now discovering.

And here's a link about their amazingly decorated buses and cars in Pakistan!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Minneapolis Trip

pen on paper (click to enlarge)

                             I'm back from my trip and here are a few sketches from those flights.  I have a few photo images I need to go through to see if they can be used for some paintings.  Minneapolis is amazing!  My friend also has a large collection of Pakistani art too so that was interesting!  Glad I'm back though.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Follow up

I love Suzanne Cabrera's Blog.  She cracks me up with her sense of humor and outlook on life.  When I saw today's entry I just had to laugh.  Then I remembered I should follow-up with my nest watch too.

Remember this?

Now look what's there:

Feast or Famine

6x8 oil on canvas panel- DSFDF challenge
8x10 oil on RayMar- Memorial piece
6x8 oil on Ray Mar- Annie
11x14 oil on wrapped canvas - Rocky and Linen
8x10 colored pencil, marker and pen on paper

So the Kabrian piece I did last week for someone's 7 year old.  I had two in progess pieces I finished yesterday (Rocky & Linen, Memorial).  Then I went start to finish on Annie when I realized I needed to do the DSFDF challenge because it is due today!  Along with a couple of sick kids, I've have neglected my blogging and I apologize.  

I will also apologize for the next four days because I'm leaving at 5 in the morning to catch a plane to Minneapolis to visit a friend whom I've known since I was two.   I'm sure I'll be back on a regular course after that.  Hugs.