Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Squash Study, and a class update

When I teach a class, as I did this past weekend, I grab a little panel and demonstrate the various steps of building a painting. I never know whether my demonstration will come to anything, because I am really focused on teaching, and that's where I spend most of my time. Sometimes I like my little panel, so I sign it.

I bought this squash in January and set it out as a potential model in every one of my classes, but no one chose it. It kept just fine in the refrigerator, and I grew fond of it. After I immortalized it in paint, I took it home, chopped it up, and made soup!

I have finished my series of oil painting classes. However, my students are collecting names of people who would be interested in taking classes in the autumn. When enough people have signed on, we will set some dates and get to work on more paintings. To get on the list, and to have a say as to class dates and times, contact me at

To see photos and read about my most recent class, go to this post on the Upstairs Studio Blog.

6" x 8" oil on linen panel

To purchase, contact me at

Monday, May 9, 2011

Soup and Crackers, in several steps

This is the third of a 3 painting commission. The other two were posted on the blog here and here.

This was the most challenging of the three. Everything in the painting is manufactured, and such objects have to be completely correct in detail, whether in their brands, fonts, and colors, or simply because they are made with precision. This painting also required me to show more kinds of materials and textures than either of the other two. Below are some progress notes.

The first application of colors; some parts still show the underpainting. I had to leave the cracker wrapping paper for later, since the translucence depended on the final colors of the objects behind the paper.

The monochrome underpainting.

The final drawing, arrived at in consultation with the clients. In hindsight I wish I had taken more time on this step, especially on the fonts. Later, I spent a lots of time adjusting the way the lettering moved around the curved surfaces.

A color study based on my color analysis with the Munsell chips. Some colors changed and became more complex in the final piece, but this gave me a place to start, and allowed me to show the clients the direction I was going.

The basic palette, though that deep yellow never got in. It was on a part of the cracker box that did not show in the final composition. I mixed these colors in quantity and stored them in plastic syringes. I was so glad later that I had taken the time to do that! This project stretched out over 4 months, but every time I sat down to it I could reconstruct my palette in minutes.

8" x 14" oil on linen panel

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Apple Study

When I am teaching, I usually demonstrate the steps of creating a still life by making a small study. I show each next step in the process for my students, then I spend time going around giving hints and help. So, the demonstration painting is necessarily quick and small.

This little study is what I worked on during the last class I taught. (I did work on it more afterward, I thought it was worth a little extra effort.)

There is still room in this weekend's class, which is the last I will teach for the time being. Please contact me at if you are interested in joining us!

6" x 6" oil on linen panel


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Link to an interview, update on classes

Artist Wendy Gingell is doing a series of interviews of Upstairs Studio artists. You can read her interview of me here.

Wendy is a wonderful ceramic artist. She makes the most amazing and unusual things! I recommend a visit to her site.

Even better, come see her work at the next First Friday (5pm - 9pm this coming Friday) at Upstairs Studio, 406 G St, in Anchorage.

I have just finished a long term project, and will post progress photos some time in the next week. Also, there is still room in my May 14/15 Still Life in Oil class. Please email me at if you are interested.

Some photos from a recent class:

Here I am demonstrating color mixing technique. Color management is a big part of the curriculum. Below are photos of student work. You can see that each completed a color study before going on to the final painting.

Erin's work.

Kevin's work.

Everyone learns a lot and has fun! This upcoming class will be my last until the autumn.