anecdotes

Baseline yourself

Regardless of where you are in your career, you will do well to establish a baseline for your oil-painting toolkit. The baseline provides a powerful framework that you can use to analyze materials and techniques. At some point in your journey, you begin to question the received wisdom that guided you at the outset. This…

Turpentine diaries 2/3/19

I finished these three paintings today. Yeah, that’s a lot for me. But all of them have been ‘almost’ done for some time. Paintings can represent problems to solve and after I solve them, if that doesn’t finish the painting, I set the painting aside. Either the solution didn’t solve the painting, or other paintings…

Venice turpentine

David Davis was an art supply dealer in New York. He closed before the turn of the century–well before, so I have no idea how old this Venice turpentine I found this morning is. At least 20 years old. At one time, Peal Paint and David Davis were art supplier royalty in NYC. I spent…

Two paintings today

I used to think speed is important in art making.  Speed relates to spontaneity–some say–and spontaneity guarantees authenticity, if not creativity.  While spontaneity is important in art making, it’s not fundamental.  Even if you insist that spontaneity is essential, you can’t make the same claim for speed.  Speed is simply irrelevant. Another important idea for…

Studio journal 6/11/17

Good day after a bad day. I was so excited to get into the studio yesterday, I was mixing my medium at 5:30 AM. I make my medium fresh every day.  It’s very drying and if I prepare it beforehand, it’s too firm. But I do prepare one of the ingredients in advance–the varnish.  I…

Pastels on canvas

These two recent pastel drawings are on canvas. Primed canvas is an unusual support for pastels or charcoal because it’s not absorbent enough.  Pastel chalk falls off too easily.  I originally intended to use these canvases for paintings.  I had actually started painting on the larger of the two (the gray area in the lower left),…

In the studio 7/31/16

Playhouse Square Trip is, as the name implies, part of the Playhouse Square series.  The design is based on several photos I took during one of my photo sessions at the Square.  As readers know, I’ve been working on the series for a year or thereabout.  The Square is heavily frequented by office workers, visitors, and theatergoers…

Visiting the Republican National Convention

Living in NE Ohio, I had to the visit the RNC. I spent two hours yesterday in downtown Cleveland. I took a lot of photos but I was still surprised when I got home and discovered that I’d taken 1300 photos!  I’m always taking photos for use in my paintings, of course, and I was…