Transferring Designs to Canvas

I routinely transfer designs as I rework subjects in various mediums. There are several standard methods for transferring designs to a target surface. One long-used method was to prepare a cartoon to the exact dimensions of the target wall or canvas. Once the design was fixed, it would be transferred by one of the following methods: Covering…

Turpentine Tip

Put some Venice turpentine  into your everyday turpentine (10:1 turpentine to Venice turpentine). You could substitute larch turpentine or Canada balsam for Venice turpentine, both of which are easy to obtain. The admixture of Venice turpentine firms the turpentine without overpowering it. I sometimes use the mix to thin paints, and as an additive in…

Spray Varnish

Varnish is a sore subject. I’ve nearly spoiled some of my own paintings with poor varnish, and I’ve had so-called ‘professionals’ ruin paintings (one frame shop owner in Trenton, NJ left brush hairs in the varnish coat then obliterated the painting’s surface trying to get them off—grrr). Any artist that draws with smudge-able material, such…

In the Studio 2/17/2013

A productive day with a lot of good sunlight.  I finished two self-portraits this morning (a gouache and another pastel-gouache), almost finished the drawing for a new still life (oil), then worked on the oils in the accompanying photo this afternoon. Why so many self-portraits lately? It’s not because I’ve developed a new found self-fascination–hell…

Aside

I visited Cleveland State U’s new gallery space on Euclid today.  Neither of the two show–Animatopoeia, and Dante Rodriguez: New Works–warmed my winter-insulted bones, although Animatopoeia has some interesting sculpture  I would provide a link to the gallery’s web site but the site provides minimal information.

Gaertner at the Cleveland Museum of Art

I’m an idiot, but you already knew that. After writing about discovering Frederick Gaertner in this post, I belatedly realized I had seen–on numerous occasions, no less–one of his paintings at the Cleveland Museum of Art.  For some reason, I never connected that Gaertner with my Gaertner discovered at the Bonfoey Gallery. The Museum’s “The Furnace”…

On the Easel Feb. 10, 2013

Picasso said he became an artist because he wanted to have his own collection of paintings.  That sounds apocryphal but if he didn’t say it, he should have. I’ve been working on these pieces these two days.  Working on a painting about being on The Betty Jane and fishing is especially apt on a cold…

Julie Friedman at Busta Gallery

In her show, Perennial Shift, at the William Busta Gallery, Julie Friedman exhibits a print maker’s love of process.  Initially, the pieces (a useful generic term) reminded me of the silhouettes you can have made at Coney Island or Cedar Point.  Like those silhouettes, these are cut-outs; most are black on white.  On closer inspection, they are the product of a labor-intensive, and…

In the Studio 1.27.13

Lake Erie finally froze this week.   When the Lake freezes, a giant marker highlights ‘winter’ and shouts WINTER.  Often, after many storms, the snow and ice are thrown into huge mountains that reach amazing height and transform the Lake into a silent, alien world. I took this shot from the studio window at first light. …

Book Thief

We were poor when I was a kid.  My father changed jobs frequently, and we moved around a lot.  Early on, my younger brother and I were far down the wrong road.  By the time I was in second grade, I was experimenting with cigarettes and acting the thug. In the summer before third grade,…

David Hickey’s Air Guitar

Do you like to read?  Me, I’ve always been a voracious reader.  Like other autodidacts, I let my interests take me where it will–I read what I damn well please.  Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of art theory  (Foucault, Panofsky, Derrida, Johnson) and criticism, which brings me to Hickey.  I recently finished two of…

Carl Gaertner

Yesterday was a lucky day–I discovered an artist new to me: Carl Gaertner (1898-1952).  Gaertner’s reputation is almost entirely local  to Cleveland, as  Robert Smith‘s is confined to Dayton. Gaertner was born in Cleveland and lived in and around there until his death.  He taught for many years at the Cleveland Institute of Art.  The Bonfoey Gallery…

Love Everything About It

I love everything about art making.   This has always been the case for me, but when I was young I was more impatient.  I also had an elevated view about the role of artistes.  As a consequence, I was sometimes careless with my equipment.  Brushes could remain brush-down in turpentine for days–horror!–until I got around…

Thomas Frontini at the William Busta Gallery

Yes, the Frontini show really is at the Busta Gallery.  Frontini is not listed online among their stable, but I was there–I saw the show with my own eyes.  Apparently Busta has given up on its online persona; their Flash-encrusted Web material is haphazard and their blog hasn’t been updated since 2011. Anyway, according to the…

Aside

I missed the Toledo Art Museum’s Manet exhibition.  As consultation I am reading Foucault’s “Manet and the Object of Painting.”

On the Easel 1/6/13

“The Gift” (large painting on the right) and several smaller paintings.  “The Gift” is 48″ x 48″.  The smaller ones are from a batch of new canvases I stretched and prepared during the holidays. The ground is snow covered but the light is good for January.  Over the past several days Lake Erie started its…

White Paint–in Praise of Lead

The most important color–by far–is white.  White oil paint comes in three flavors: Zinc white (zinc oxide, PW4, usually called Chinese White when used in watercolors).  Although known from ancient times, its common usage is relatively modern, dating from the 18th century when it was developed as a replacement for lead white, which was long known to be…

Thumbs-up: Bonnard; Thumbs-sideways:Vuillard

Vuillard Have you dated someone whose online profile scored highly, only to be disappointed upon meeting her/him?  I’ve never used an online dating service (my wife has strong opinions on this subject), but my relationship with Vuillard feels like a disappointing blind date.  At different times I’ve studied him closely.  He has a beguiling profile filled with attributes I admire: he’s…

Oil Paint Brands

I’ve used oils paints from almost every producer known to man, or at least those known in the US.  This photo shows my two paint cabinets.  The one on the left has tubes of blue, green, yellow, and earth red.  The top-drawer, for example, contains only yellows.  The barely-visible cabinet on the right contains reds, whites,…

In the Studio 12.16.12

For a Sunday during December in NE Ohio the light is good. Here’s a photo taken in the studio today.  I’ve been painting since 7:00 and now it’s time for lunch and the Brown’s game on T.V. The large painting on the right “Garth and Jane” was finished yesterday. The portrait on the left–“Garth in…

Painting: Mother Nursing Infant

This is an older painting from the gallery. Working on a painting, I get it to a certain point then put it aside.  I rarely finish a painting, even a small one, in a single sitting.  The task is to remain objective without becoming over critical of oneself, which can ruin a painting. This is…