Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dear All,
I just love horses in action. I am lucky in that there is a racetrack near me, Retama Park Racetrack, and I can go there to photo horses doing their thing. These two paintings are from such photos. I think this style of oil painting lends itself to action and movement. The backgrounds are a loose wash of oil color and the figures are done more opaquely to draw attention to them and to make them stand out a bit more. These two are small works, 8"x10", and are done on gessoed board. They look pretty good in a gold frame.
Hey, I just learned that if you type Jay Lauver's Art Blog in the search engines, this blog will now come up. I guess we've been on the WEB enough now. That sure makes it easier, eh?
Again, thanks to all of you who have been so supportive of this publishing venture. You all make me feel pretty good about it. I admit to still working on the nuts and bolts, but I'm getting better at it. And I remind you that you can email me at if the comments section on this thing excludes you, which it should not but does anyway.
Ta for now,

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Hunter

Hi Y'all,

This is one of my very favorite animal paintings. I did it last year after a visit to Charleston SC where we did the tourist thing at Magnolia Gardens. Amidst all the beautiful Spanish Moss draped trees and lovely flower beds and gracious lawns, here was this American Egret poking about in the shallows of a swamp. He was oblivious to my presence and stayed long enough to let me do several photos of him. In fact, he was still there when I was done photographing. Obviously he was used to tourists.

I was a little dubious when I started the piece as I wasn't sure about two things--one was composition, which I felt might be too simplistic, and the other was the challenge of painting a bird, something I've avoided until now. I used to work closely with lots of birds for many years and I came away from that experience feeling that the feathering was too complicated for me to paint. I've always been somewhat intimidated by those who paint birds well.

But I don't think my worries were justified. I like the composition on this. And my rather loose style worked with this particular bird, I thought. Would love to hear your opinions on it though! By the way, this piece is 8"x10", oil on board and is framed in a wide gold plein air frame.

Let me know if you are having trouble still with postings to Jay Lauver's Art Blog. I'll see what I can do.

Have a great day!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Personal Friends

Any artist with pets sooner or later makes them subjects of their work. I am no exception. I want you to meet two of our co-habitants who held still long enough for me to get a useable photo for painting purposes. On the right is my very good friend, William. This is his puppy picture. He looked just like this when we got him at 3 months. He is an adoptee from the Animal Defense League in San Antonio. He is the guy who got us into agility way back a long time ago. He is now ten and retired from competition but remains top dog in the household and one of the sweetest dispositions in a dog I've ever met. On the left is Louise, now about seven. She and her brother Bo came to us as street urchins as kittens. She never stopped eating when she moved in. This painting is enhanced somewhat in that I made her look a little thinner than she actually is. Sort of what you hope any artist would do for you too.
My objective when I do any animal, besided just loving to do it, is to create a piece of artwork, not just a record of that animal. I want the work to stand on it's own as something anyone would appreciate, not just animal lovers. I try my best to apply all the elements of art to these sorts of work-- composition, lighting, color, edges, etc. Thus I am not aiming for a strictly photographic likeness, but more of a feel for the animal. I think this gives the painting life.
I have finally competed my photography project and will now be able to put more of the existing work on the blog. I'm looking forward to showing you more! Keep those comments coming, please!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Gentle Readers,

This rather fanciful image is of a horse I had been commissioned to portrait. After the portrait was done, I was intrigued with the wild abandon of his cavorting, and decided to try to capture that. It's a fairly large piece, done on canvas and was selected to be in a show at the airport where it was seen by thousands of people walking by. One of those people happened to be a friend of mine who was taken with it and eventually purchased it for her home. This tickled me on two fronts. One, artists always like to know that their work is appreciated. Second, I get to see it!

Today I am photographing. Maybe tomorrow I'll get some of those on the blog. Stay tuned.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

More California Paintings

Dear All,
I am sending along a couple more of the California paintings done Plein Air. The tree was done at Carmel, along the beach. And the surf painting was done at Point Lobos, which is near Carmel.
I am so sorry to have not gotten anything on the blog the past couple of days and am grateful for those of you who have shown such an interest. I'll try to keep up with it in a more timely fashion.
These paintings are both done in oil on 8"x10" gessoed board and are framed in gold Plein Air wide frames. They were almost entirely done on location but were adjusted a little in the studio.
The trip to California was a couple of years ago and was a golden opportunity. I went with a group of other Texas artists and we were there just to paint. We went out every day from our home base, a rented house in Carmel, and painted at least one painting each day, and often did two or even three. It was a great experience. We saw seals and sea lions and various species of dolphins and whales, not to mention the western bird species I had not seen before. I kept a pair of binoculars on my chair while painting so that I would not miss any chance to see all the wonderful wildlife out there.
I've sold many of those paintings but still have some left, including these two. I'll post some more at a later time. In the meantime, I am working on three dog paintings I am excited about. I can't post them until the dog owner sees them, but I'll keep you informed on how those are going.
If you are having trouble making comments on this site, please just send me an email, I have tried to change the comments section so anyone can do so without having to sign in, but there still seem to be problems for some folks.
We are enjoying Dolly rain right now. Its' a sad state of affairs when you welcome a hurricane!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A few animals

Well, I promised animals, but I didn't get any of the dog, cat, and horse portraits on the computer yet. I thought they were there but they are not. Must have been on my old computer.
Anyway, these two pieces were done in the last couple of years. The gulls are California seagulls who were sitting on a dock at a shipyard in Monterrey. I loved the sun on them.
The cows were part of a group who were watching my friend Peggy and me as we painted landscapes plein air on a ranch north of here. The entire herd came to see what we were doing. That included a very large bull. It made us a little nervous to have these large beasts looking over our shoulders, so we shooed them through a gate to the other side of a fence. They seemed content to go but this cow and a few of her friends kept watching us. The calves got tired of the whole thing and lay down to take a nap. I could not resist the photo. The painting is entitled " The Babysitter", which is something I learned that cows do. I had not known that before this experience.
Anyway, since the calves were not laying in a good composition for me ( animals are so uncooperative) I took liberties with the composition and moved them around some. I thought it came out rather well. Well, at least it made me laugh every time I looked at it. Several other people laughed too, and sure enough, someone was so amused, he bought it for his new house in the hill country. I have a couple other paintings of cows from this same day so now I'll have to get those on this blog.
I am delighted to have received many many positive responses to my email and plea for your attention yesterday. One even came from folks in Florida I don't know! My aunt Jacqui referred them to the site. Welcome to Jay Lauver's Art Blog everyone! I hope you'll put the http address on your favorites list so it's easy to find me.
Plainly the next project for me is to get more paintings photographed. And a better job of cropping them so you don't see the frames. I'm working on it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The Window in the Chisos

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to get more paintings on the blog as soon as I can. I still have to create a file of just the paintings, which are numerous, but in the meantime I thought I would add this piece from a trip to Big Bend two years ago. Again this was done plein air, which means out in the open, on location. Two of my art friends, Peggy Thompson and Irena Taylor, and I went out to the national park for a few days of intense painting. We stayed in the Basin at the Lodge, an incredibly beautiful place, and did day trips around the park to paint. It certainly was not hard to find painting locales. Everywhere one turned was a different gasp-worthy view.

My next post, hopefully, will have some of the animal paintings I have done. Dogs, cats and horses. Did you know that I have two covers on the Chronicle of the Horse magazine? Hmm. It's been a while. I should submit something new one of these days.

Happy painting!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Prize Winner

This is the painting I described in my first post on this new blog. Sorry. I'm still learning how to work this thing.

This painting was done on location on Evans Rd. north of San Antonio along the Cibolo Creek. The old house is still lived in, but remains very much the way it was when it was built. An old family cemetary exists not far from the house but I don't know if the residents are related to the cemetary family. The painting is small, 8"x10", is framed in a wide gold "plein air" frame and is available for $500. Buyer pays shipping. I have another version of the same house, painted the same day, but with a slightly different composition, which is also available.

As I become more accomplished with the blog, I will publish a great number of my paintings so that they can be viewed as a body. Please look for that when I get it done. If you have comments or questions, please do respond as I am interested in what you have to say about the piece. Besides, I'd just like to know if anyone is looking at the blog.