Wednesday, November 20, 2013

How Many Artists Does it Take to Paint a Chicken?

At some point in my journey to becoming an artist, I have gained enough confidence that I am finding that I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of painting in front of others and actually enjoy the challenge. The gallery that I belong to is an excellent place for a group of us to get together and let the creative juices flow.  This week CHICKENS were the main object of my friend Anna Norris and I's attention.  

Anna paints in a style that is so bold and thick and I am always amazed at her work.  She has been painting for years and has a colorful impressionistic style that I just love.  I thought she had actually finished her chicken that day but she completely transformed it when she got home later and I think she nailed it with this one.  I have attached her feathered creation below for your viewing pleasure.  To see more of Anna's work you can check out her website at 

Now at this stage my piece is only about half way finished I would say.  I paint with attention to more detail and have decided to include the background fence and foliage to the composition.  

I believe if you are interested in taking your painting to the next level it is very beneficial to find a group of fellow artists to paint with, spend time with and just enjoy the creative synergy that will undoubtedly follow.   

Enjoying an afternoon of painting chickens with friends at the Gallery

My painting after a couple of hours-all blocked in and waiting for it to dry so that I can start with the details

My inspiration photo- Now that is one fine looking rooster

The Feathered Creation of Anna Norris

Anna's inspiration.  Look at those amazing tail feathers!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

From Whiskers to Hair Bows

Don't ask me why in the past few weeks I've decided that my painting was to take such opposites but I have been focused on two portraits that couldn't be further apart.  I usually paint landscapes and have little experience with portrait painting.  Actually, truth be told this pretty much sums up my portrait experience so you can imagine the struggles I have faced with these. 

I wanted the toothless old prospector to be holding his gold bag tightly in his hand.  A twinkle in his eye and a smile across his lips showing his excitement for his good fortune.  As I researched old photos for inspiration, I noticed a number of prospectors actually had a dog as a companion and that is when I decided that this composition needed a furry friend to make it complete.  For the past week I thought I was going to call this piece "The Big Payout" but today I changed my mind and decided this one was going to be called "The Big Reward".  Not only was this old guy one of the lucky ones to actually succeed in making a fortune but he also has the rewards of sharing his excitement with his faithful companion.  You can just see the excitement on this dogs face as he showers this his master with wet kisses.  

"Big Rewards"- 12x16 Original Oil Painting

I started this piece about 2 weeks ago and have been working on it of and on.  My inspiration is my beautiful granddaughter Katherine.  She now has enough light blonde hair that you can pretend to put it in piggy tails and huge hazel eyes but at this age you couldn't tell for sure what color her eyes were going to be and her hair was really more about the lack of.  Her mother compensated by always having her wear giant hair bows. This composition grabbed me because of her little hand outstretched and so large in proportion to her face.  This piece had special challenges because trying to reach that smoothness and brightness of skin tone that infants have was a real stretch for my skill level. 

"Katherine all in Pink"- 11x14 Original Oil Painting
Both of these pieces will be available soon on my website and will be hanging at City of the World Gallery at 1229 S. Casino Center Blvd, Las Vegas, NV  89104 for the month of December.  I hope you enjoyed them and will check back as I've already started my next painting adventure.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nothing Like Gold in the Pouch and a Lick on the Chin!

"The Big Pay Out"- 12x16 oil
Finally I am bringing my old prospector painting to a solid conclusion. This is my third painting in my series Old Prospectors. There might be a few slight changes but it is pretty much finished and I'm ready to move to my next creation.  This piece has been a challenge for a number of reasons- 1. The face is larger than any face I have painted up to this point, 2.  Hands are tricky and it was difficult to find reference material to use and finally, 3. I've never painted a dog so again finding the right reference material was a challenge.

I've decided to title this on "The Big Pay Out".  Not only has the old guy been successful finding enough gold to fill up his little leather bag he coutches tightly but his excitement is being met with loving devotion by a face full of kisses by his little companion.  He is one of the lucky ones as most left empty handed. 

 "The Big Pay Out" will very soon be available on my website at and prints will also be available there if you are interested.

"Taking a Break"- 18x24 Oil

"Just One More Pan"- 16x20 Oil