Friday, March 04, 2011


I've pushed the date for my Gyotaku workshop ahead to April 16th.  The registrations weren't high enough to warrant me delivering it on March 19th and I have a minimum number that I need to make it functional.

Workshops, money, apathy, timing, everything plays a role in workshops meeting the needs of everyone.  I know that gyotaku is a specialized and yes, kind of strange, form of art that may not appeal to everyone.  But often exploring the unknown leads to amazing things.  It has for me.

You can register for the Gyotaku workshop on the Workshop page of this blog.

Of course by moving the date, I now have to re-market it in terms of visuals and media work.  So between that, the new website, finishing some gyotaku, painting, and hectic day job I'll be busy for awhile!

This morning and while watching the news I knocked off these two sketches, about 10 minutes each.  There seems to be a chicken theme going on here with this post and the last.  Perhaps because I'm considering getting some more laying hens this spring.  If I could just figure out how to keep the mink out of the barn, the decision would be easier.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Like a chicken...

Its just what I feel like this week.  Racing around like a chicken....well you know the rest.
This week has gotten away with me with deadlines and pressures from all sides.  As a result the blog and art has taken a backseat except for little doodles here and there that haven't amounted to much.  I hate it when that happens because it adds to the stress even more when I can't paint or draw.

I've bitten the bullet and am working on setting up a website.  I've resisted this for quite some time as the blog fulfills a lot of the online function that I need.  However, as things move ahead for me, the need for a static online presence seems to be a required function.  This, as many who have already done so know, takes time to develop and populate with text, images and links.

There will be some changes to the blog as a reflection of the website, but they should interlink well. The biggest change will be the placement of more important pieces of art on the website and the smaller pieces will remain on my blog and/or Etsy. I hope to have the site  up and running within the week and you can let me know what you think.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Portrait winner chosen

I've made the drawing for the winner of an original portrait using a random number generator from 209 entries.  These were from names of subscribers to my newsletter, my artist page on Facebook and from direct emails responding to why they would like a portrait. The winning number was 192 and I will contact the winner by email.  The winner's name will be announced in my March newsletter. Thanks to everyone who participated!
This little jug was a study piece completed for the Daily Paintworks Challenge to help concentrate on values. The piece can be purchased here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Landwash Update 4

A wintry weekend has given me the bonus of more time to spend on this painting and its moving along more quickly than I anticipated.  I've worked more on adding definition to the piece within the wave, reflected light on the water surface and by adding more layers to the sand in the foreground.  Its at a point where the work is a bit repetitious and can be monotonous to a degree.  The water surface reflections are like a puzzle, but perfect placement isn't a requirement so I have a bit of leaway in that. 

Tonight I'm having a little break from water and working on some other things.  Its good to have a couple of pieces in progress at the same time as it gives me a chance to go back again with fresh eyes every day or two.

People have asked how I achieve this effect with acrylics.  Acrylics aren't a medium I was ever very comfortable using or pleased with the results, but I've played around with them more frequently over the last couple of months and there are elements I like and dislike about them.  I may be doing the next piece in oils which will have similar techniques to my current use of acrylics.

For acrylics I sometimes use a slow dry blending medium in passages of the piece that give me more time to blend the values.  However, often I simply use a series of thin glazes of paint using just water as the medium.  I use a 'scrubby' or old short bristle brush to work a layer of paint and immediately top it with another value, blending the edges.  I find this gives me the best control over the paint and not leave hard edges.   To the viewer, acrylics or oil use in a finished piece, would be very difficult to differentiate from.  As with many different mediums, there are certain mindsets that reject one over the other or deem a finished piece as more or else valuable.  This, to me, is part of the art world that I do not like and smacks of some individuals wanting to feel more superior in a claim that one medium is 'better' than another.  To me, its in the final product.  I don't care what the medium is.