Thursday, December 13, 2012

Six New Naive Paintings to Close Out the Year

It has been a long time. I apologize, but I've been immersed in the publishing business. So immersed, I believe I figuratively drowned. Enough of that. I have started painting again, which always helps to salve any literary wounds.

My latest pictures produced last week are below. No theme, no message...just how I was feeling on the day.

"Bad Hair Day"
Acrylic on 8 x 10 Stretched Canvas

"Afternoon Tea For Madam"
Acrylic on 8 x 10 Stretched Canvas

Acrylic on 8 x 10 Stretched Canvas

Acrylic on 10 x 8 Stretched Canvas

"Coffee With Carol"
Acrylic on 10 x 8  Stretched Canvas

"The Captain"
Acrylic on 8 x 10 Stretched Canvas

"Bad Hair Day" has already sold on eBay. I'll paint more, of course, over the holidays. I'm well and truly back in painting mode. And The Writing Business can take a long, long vacation.

This season, my thoughts are with Squeakie. Hang in there, friend.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The wonderful, wacky world of Ken Oberholtzer at Coastwalker Folk Art

Today I'd like you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning primitive paintings of Ken Oberholtzer, a folk artist in purist terms who lives in Maine. His work is deceptive: first you notice his brilliant abstract backgrounds, then you see the crazy animals, the birds and fish, the bold flowers, and the humor. His use of color is a delight. For those of you (really?) who try to link your artwork to your interior design colors, you can't go wrong -- he uses every color in the spectrum, throws it onto his wood panels without reserve, impulsively, hugely confident in the stunning result.

If you're an abstract art lover, you'll want one (or two, or three...) of these. If you've always loved Folk, he's a master. You get 'em both with his work.. Of course, I had to get the painting below. This is literally the motto of my life (you know how much travelling I do).  I just can't accept it...

This last one has been sold, but I think it's my favorite.  If he ever does another one similar to this, it will be mine. Did I mention I bought a few of his already? So much for being a struggling artist myself...

I suspect that Ken paints every day. I'll wager that he's a funny, unpretentious, but philosophical kind of guy, but he probably doesn't need to hear that. I've probably embarrassed him with all this high-falutin' talk.

Go look at his Coastwalker eBay shop. You'll be well rewarded.

If you're outside North America, you'll have to throw yourself on his kind nature to have one mailed internationally. But he's such a nice guy, I don't think that will be a problem.

Until next time...

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Crazy Whimsy in Original Affordable Art -- Coco de Paris at Etsy

I've returned full time to my writing. You must have noticed that posts displaying my own art have become more diminutive. I'll paint now and then, but not as regularly as this past six months.

What I am going to do is feature other artists as I've done in the past. It's hard for a fiscally-limited painter/writer to buy other people's work, but I do. An image haunts me and I just have to have it. There's such a wealth of talent out there that it's impossible to collect everything I'd like, but I do enjoy keeping an eye on them, the special ones, and I tuck them away in my favorites list with the child-like hope that I'll buy an example of each of them eventually,

So, Mesdames et Messieurs, allow me to introduce Coco de Paris at Etsy, a mixed-media artist currently incorporating a variety of quirky images, especially humanized animals (correct term: anthropomorphism), on pages from “La Petit Illustration,” a 1920s weekly Paris literary journal.

Today's offering pleases both my artistic and literary bent, and the fact that the background is in French is enormously pleasing, as it's the one language I most aspire to. (After decades of self-directed study I'm still pretty useless, although I can read it well enough to get by.)

Isn't this the most unusual artwork? What a mind! It knocks my socks off. (And try translating that into French, Coco.) And it's all  so affordable - the true sign of Coco's generous, creative soul - you couldn't buy a couple of cafe au laits for much less.

You  must stop by this Etsy store. There are hundreds of pieces available. I challenge you not to find at least one "must have".

A la prochaine.

Postscript: Coco translated "It knocks my socks off" as "Mes chaussettes tombent par terre." This literally means "My socks fall by land." Who knew?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Letitia and Harriet - New Faux Colonial Portrait

Here's another little salute to Colonial Times. It's all I want to paint right now. I'm really enjoying adding extra texture to my canvas, using a broodingly-dark background - simulating (I hope) a well-aged picture that someone might have found in Grandpa's old trunk out in the barn.

If I were the kind of artist who concentrated on one kind of art, or even one subject, I'd go crazy. I need the variety, otherwise I wouldn't paint at all, which wouldn't be such a bad thing, because I should spend more time on the novel-in-progress.  But you'll note I have reduced my painting output. As the weather cools here, I'm in literary mode again. Writing during the day, and reading snuggled up in bed at night. (Kate Atkinson is truly amazing...)

So I'd like to introduce Misses Letitia and Harriet, at a small soiree -- Letitia's first, probably.

Harriet, the older sister, is meant to be the chaperone, otherwise Papa wouldn't permit Lettie to attend, but Harriet is proving to be rather popular herself, so who's chaperoning whom?

Letitia and Harriet
Acrylic on Stretched Canvas
9.5 x 13 inches

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"The Letter" - My Latest Colonial Portrait

The Letter is for Madam. She never gets letters. They are always for the master.

Good that he's visiting his bank today, so he won't be concerned.

Not that it's any of the maid's business, but it is a shame about the wax seal.

Cook is very good at steaming open envelopes...

I was in the mood for a bit of Colonial portraiture. At first I was going to have the maid carrying sherry, or tea things, on the tray, but suddenly the letter wanted to be there instead.

You've got to go with the muse...

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Revamp - Improving My Painting "Small Talk"

I often go back to an earlier picture and revamp it. I'll change the color of a wall, for instance, or a girl's dress. Sometimes I just know when something isn't quite right.  If something  doesn't sell over a period of time, I question what the problem is. It can't be price, because I try my best to be reasonable. Certainly few artists recoup the time they spend on their art, and few expect to. We love what we do, and all we ask is that you love it too, enough to want to own it.

So I took my picture, "Small Talk", completed (I thought) in February, and added some more details. The Before and After pictures are below. I think it works much better now.

Before, with closed windows.

After, with open window and two young girls phone-chatting.

This is something I do all the time during the novel-writing, of course. In fact, it's exactly how I  produce a book. And we are never satisfied - always needing to add a bit more, tweak a paragraph or two. Right up until a book is published, I'm sure there are writers still longing to check out that third paragraph on page 201 that wasn't quite perfect.

And I do exactly the same thing with my paintings. I won't bore you with all the other revamps I've done to my work over the years, but there must have been a couple of dozen. And you will never know how many I've simply painted over completely, with a base of white paint, and done something brand new. Waste not, want not. Canvases are too expensive to be lying idle in the cupboard.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Neighborhood Yard Sale - It's That Time of Year

Everyone loves yard sales - car boot sales, garage sales, flea markets, whatever you call them. It's good to get there early to find the gems, but they say it's best to drop by just as they are packing up at the end of the day for real bargains. I seem to get them somewhere in between. "One man's trash is another man's...." Anyway, I dare you to leave without something.
It's some time since I produced such a busy, detailed 16 x 20 painting. I manage one about twice a year. This kind of art takes a particularly long time to paint, although only a very sharp eye will catch it all. I kept coming back to it, adding a bit of this, and a highlight here and there. This is painting out of pure sentiment, because I was feeling nostalgic for all the treasures I’ve found in the past.

Even as I look at this now, I am reminded that a friend is still waiting for me to do another quilt sale painting. Be patient a little longer please, Squeakie

Monday, March 5, 2012

The End of Summer in this Hemisphere - and My Painting Tribute.

Today I noticed that the light outside was changing, that first little nudge that summer is almost over. We don't get too, too cold here, but people tend to stop going to the beach anyway. In Toronto we would go down to the lake even when it was freezing.

This little painting is just 10 x 8, but - I hope - gives the impression of a full-sized window. I painted much the same thing some  years ago - in Toronto, and in the winter - but it was a huge canvas and really did look as if I had a shutter opening onto my own private beach.

Yet there was no glass of wine in that earlier picture. I wonder what that means?

"Beach Hut"
10 x 8 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

Happy Autumn!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Abigail" Small Colonial-Style Canvas - My Latest Painting

8 x 10 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

I loved painting "Abigail". If there was a true market for these little works, I'd do them all day long, but, sadly, they appeal to only a small group. But I'll keep doing them. While I paint, I feel as if I've moved back into another time, a wandering artist who's stopped by at a big house to offer my services as a portraitist for the family.

That's how they used to do it...

Friday, March 2, 2012

Gift for Jess...Her Horse "River"

This is my second horse picture. It's a gift for my horse-owner friend, Jess.

It's more difficult to reproduce a real animal, from a photograph, rather than allowing the imagination (and some general image research) to be given free rein (!) but I think "River" is lovely and as close as I could get to the original photograph.

I've attached the photo too, to prove the result.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Small Talk - Newest Painting

I enjoy catching up with neighbors. I rarely see mine, which suits my hermit-like tendencies, but when I do, it's a pleasure, and we really have something to say.

This is my salute to such casual encounters. It's largish at 16 x 20 inches, and I considered a smaller canvas, but I thought it would be more effective on the wall at this size.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

"La Vida" - Life - Newest Painting

Here's the city apartment multi-view I was working on. Although it's quite large at 16 x 20, it was particularly intricate to do, with so many tiny people and actions. It was fun coming up with each window idea, but I won't be trying this kind of thing again. It was the equivalent of doing 11 miniature paintings (including the pigeons) and one large (detailed, with those shutters) background.

I'm not sure how I feel about it. It works as a decorative piece, would suit a modern interior, but doesn't pop the way I prefer. I really do prefer the serenity involved in painting landscapes, but they are less popular than my quirky folk paintings. Interesting to see if this one sells. It's listed on my EBay, of course.

What do you think? Your feedback would be appreciated.

Postscript: Already has a bid, which is almost an instant sale. I like  this kind of response. And yet I was so uncertain...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Two New Paintings - Back To Smaller Canvases

Here are two new ones - "Soccer Mums" completed yesterday, and "Sunrise" today. They are quite unrelated, and I like that kind of change.

"Soccer Mums"
10 x 8 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

12 x 9 Acrylic on Stretched Canvas

"Sunrise" 12 x 9 inches

I've started the rough outline for a large city folk painting. Should have something to show you by Friday. I'm trying to go for a kind of chaotic multiview of tenants-in-an-apartment-building. We'll see if it comes out that way.

As an aside, I listed my "Gran in New Orleans" directly on the eBay Canada site. Figured a lot of Canadians head South for Fat Tuesday, and would be familiar with the premise of the picture. And who bought it? A nice woman in France. You just never know who'll be looking, do you?

See you next time.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Australian "Country Boys" - My Latest 24 x 18 Painting

I said I would post more regularly, rather than adding a great stream of pictures in one blog, and this painting is my latest.

A lot of my work is related to the number of years I spent in Canada, but out of the blue I realized that I hadn't - ever - attempted one reflecting Australian skies and land.

What do you think? It's up for sale, but I almost hope it won't sell, because I'd like to keep these goodlooking guys around. Time will tell. (But I really have to stop collecting my own paintings...ridiculous.)

Post-Script...I kept this painting. Do you blame me?