Saturday, May 29, 2010

Barnyard Scene

Finished the above picture last week, hard for me to believe but my first painting featuring a pig. I like pigs and most farm animals in fact, but my experience with them has mainly been through the anthropomorphic creatures encountered in storybooks and TV shows, (Wilbur in "Charlotte's Web" and Arnold Ziffel of "Green Acres" being two favorites). The pig is a loaded symbol for sure, waste, greed, pity, humor can all be projected onto this animal. In the sketchbook mine started out as the typical "top hat with cigar" variety, I kept playing with this version until I got the idea to put a chicken on it's back. Now I had a slim narrative, no more hats, breakfast. The bacon strip was added last, tough decision. The kid's thought it was weird, but to me it added a bittersweet quality and stretched the narrative just a bit, so it stayed, plus I really wanted to paint some food. Whadaya think?
Above: Friends Contemplating The Future (that was the working title) 20x22 oil on panel 2010

For a brief moment, when I recently walked by this church sign in the neighborhood, I thought they were promoting a Bar B Que fundraiser or something, had pigs on my mind I guess.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


A recent article in the Wall St. Journal highlighted the winners and losers of the spring auction season, some artists trending up, some down. The soaring prices at auction are a fantasy to those of us out here in the suburbs of the art market, (a fantasy that is hard to shake). This Friday, collectors in Atlanta, Nashville, Dallas, New Orleans... went to openings and purchased works of art. They won't express it openly but in the recesses of their mind there is the notion that what they bought will increase in value, maybe even spectacularly. Over the years dealers have mentioned to me the whispered complaints of their clients, "Why isn't my collection worth more?". A touchy subject indeed, so lets be honest, 99.90% of art produced and sold, in any market, will likely end up just being wonderful decor to be passed down to lucky family members, but don't let that thought stop you from buying. My advice to the "local-collector", avoid the trendy hybrid, educate your eye to spot an original and most importantly, buy from the heart, passion versus investment strategy. A work of art you love is life enriching, (believe me, that is valuable). Your tastes will change and so will the ever evolving art market, plus, you never know...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

UGA Grad

This Saturday over 40,000 friends, relatives and proud parents crowded into Sanford Stadium to honor the 225th graduating class of the University Of Georgia, the first ever under the lights. A beautiful day, an entertaining commencement address by Alton Brown and a fireworks display to end the ceremony, our daughter, Bailey, had become an alumnus of UGA.

Top:The Processional
Above:3+ hours later, fireworks

The happy grad. A job?, that is a discussion for another day.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baroque (adjective)

Emphasizing dramatic, often strained effect, bold curving forms, ornamentation and the overall balance of disparate parts.
I had this term in my head as I began this picture. The painting started off much lighter though. So, to the background I kept adding a mix of earth tone glazes ( black, raw sienna, burnt umber), with a brick red highlight thrown in for dramatic effect. I rarely employ glazes in my painting process but picked up a better understanding of their use while working on this one. That handy knowledge will benefit future pictures. The only problem, dust! the oily mixture attracts it like ants to a spilt co-cola.
Above: Tulip (Baroque) 28x25, oil-canvas, 2010