Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear All,
Here is a sculpture of a lioness I am currently working on.  It may go into a couple of shows this fall.  This is made of clay, including the base, and is based on a series of photos I scrounged from some traveling friends who take good pictures plus some other references.  This cat is fired and what you see is what you get except that the finish on it is not complete.  I am fiddling with some golden highlights or maybe a more tawny color but am inclined to keep the color close to what you see--the natural fired clay color.

I think she looks like she's surveying her kingdom from a rocky hill and will probably name it something to do with that. 

I have finished the two paintings I did with the plein air group I took out in July and will get those on the blog soon. 

The Coppini, where I do a lot of my studio work, is closed for the month of August, so I am a little slowed by that as I've been taking the extra time at home to do a few long-standing projects.  But I have plenty to put on the blog and now might actually take the time to do it. 

Hope you are all well.


Monday, July 16, 2012

Dear Blog Readers,
I am back after too long with the promised painting of the spring verbena at our place.  This was done before the last posted painting and shows the small pasture at our place in early spring when the verbena were just getting started.  Note how sedate the colors and the abundance compared to how loud and lush it got later.  Actually, I like this one better.  It rings a tad truer just because it is not so garish.  But the other one is true too, just wilder color because that's the way it was.  We may never see verbena like that again.

I've been busy painting and working on sculpture and have more to show you and plan to get it on the blog faster than I have been.  I get going on the blog and then I think I am overwhelming people with too many posts, and then I get lost in what I am doing and forget about it.

I did give a demonstration last month to the Trinity Art League in San Antonio and enjoyed it very much.  I talked to the group about how to put a plein air kit together and what colors to take with you, and then showed them how I amend plein air works I have done in the field.  I was gratified to have 8 people sign up for a half day workshop plein air and seven of them actually show up.  We worked on a scene along the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park.  It was of the old Number One Pump House which was built back in the 1800's as a source of clean water for the city.  It is now overgrown with foliage and is quite picturesque and very paintable, although we are told it needs desperately to be renovated.  I'll send that painting along soon.  I just finished the one I started at the workshop and will photo it soon. 

I am always appreciative of any feedback you have to offer.  If nothing else, it lets me know you have seen the blog.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Spring Verbena

Gentle Readers,

Here is one of the promised paintings of the prairie verbena at our place this year.  This is the run-in shed in our small pasture and this is truly the way the flowers were.  A perfect storm of circumstances led to this spectacular display, including a bad grass-killing drought the year before, a mild winter with plenty of rain, and no horses on this pasture.  The lack of grass allowed the verbena plants to grow with no competition and they really took over the place.  I have one more painting on this subject  I'll post later. It  was done earlier before the flowers were hitting their prime and it's a tad more sedate.  

I hope you like this one.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Plein Air

Dear Readers,

This piece was done a couple of years ago at the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne Texas.  This is the Cibolo creek as it wanders through that reserve.  The cypress trees are common along Texas waterways in the hill country and you wouldn't think such water loving trees would exist where drought is so common, but they do.  

Have been busy painting out before the weather turns too hot, so haven't gotten back to the blog as much as I had planned.  Just turned three in for a show in Tilden Texas, the heart of the new oil patch.  I didn't get the chance to paint an oil rig yet, but I hold out hope for the future.  

Hope you are enjoying your own spring with lots of flowers and enjoyable temps.  

Best wishes,

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Big Bend


I know I said I'd post more sculptures, but I forgot I had this painting which I thought needed to be posted. It's an oil, done on gessoed canvas, and is 16x20, which is all different from my usual painting base.

Several of my artist friends and I made a couple of trips out to Big Bend in the late winter a few years ago and while most of those plein air paintings are sold, this painting, done from photos taken on those trips, is still around. Actually, I did this about a year ago after attending a workshop by a famous western landscape artist who came to the Coppini. She works from photos and I decided to try that, since I rarely do that at all. I think she had a good influence on me.

The purple verbena here is still a riot of lavender color all over our place. I've had a couple of groups of painters come out to paint but I can see that the plants are starting to get leggy and it won't be long before Steve will insist on mowing it all. Well, we need to let the grass, such as it is, grow without being shaded out by flowers. Texas is really nice when the rains come regularly.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Entomologist

Dear Friends,

Here is another early sculpture piece. The title is self explanatory. This cat is inspecting a beetle ( which, by the way, is superbly rendered if I do say so myself ), but has no intention whatever of actually touching it. If you have cats, you know this situation. This piece is about 12" high and a tad longer. It is made of water based clay, fired to stone hardness, and it sits on a base of hand rubbed wood.

I've entered this in a couple of shows and it's done well, receiving good reviews and winning prizes. Judges seem to like the looseness.

I did this one early on in my sculpture learning process and I hope I've improved some since then. But maybe not. You'll have to be the judge as I present the pieces as they came later. There are some horses and those will come along in the blog soon. I hope you like this.

Our place is a riot of purple color right now. Since the bad drought last year killed off much of our grass, even the native stuff, the fields have been taken over by the weed species. In our case, at least the weeds are beautiful purple prairie verbena. I should post a photo just so you can see it. Maybe I will.

Best regards,


Friday, March 9, 2012

The Sneak

Dear All,

I am trying to keep my promises to post more often so here is a cat I did a while ago. I like this particularly because of the finish on it which makes it look like old copper. The piece is about 6 inches tall and about a foot long counting the base. It is fired clay painted to look like the oxidized copper. It has been shown in a couple of big shows and has won prizes in both.

The base wood is hand finished with hand rubbed oils and is almost an artwork itself. Made by my art friend, Kathy.

This is one of my more favorite pieces as I think it captures the essence of the stalking cat and it has some nice decorative values to it.

It's for sale too, if you know anybody who needs a cat to decorate their place.

I have lots more to show you so keep tuned and I promise to keep up the contacts. If you are tired of receiving these as emails, let me know as I have others who would like to be on the list and I am limited in how many I can send to directly.

Have a great spring. We already have mounds of prairie verbena covering our place. Of course, that's because we have no grass after last year's drought. We'll take the verbena.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Faithful Reader,

Here is one of the sculptures I've done over the past year or so. This is one of the reasons you haven't heard from me. This African elephant was done from a series of photos taken by a friend of mine who was lucky enough to travel to Africa a few years ago and go on a photo safari. He was kind enough to let me use some of his wonderful work as model for this young African.

The piece is about a foot tall and about the same in length. It is made of fired clay and then painted to get the golden color I like on it. The tail, which I'll show in a later blog is made of wire covered with material and then also painted. This waterbased clay fires hard as a rock and is very durable. Will it break? Yes, if you smash it hard enough, but not under normal treatment for sculpture.

To answer a common question, yes the tusks are also fired clay.

I had a ball doing this piece and it sits in my home right now. But it is for sale at $350. You pay shipping. If you have questions, please feel free to ask. I have lots of pictures of this one.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dear All,

I can't believe it's been so long since last I put something on the blog. Yes, I'm still in the clutches of a less than cooperative computer and between that and the lack of interest in photographing my work, I've had no enthusiasm for putting new entries out there. But I get complaints. So here is a piece I've had done for a while but it should be new to you. This is Louise, one of my own cats, sitting in her favorite spot--a sunbeam.

I do have plenty more oil paintings to show you, but I wanted to tell you that I am still doing sculpture and that is also a reason I've fallen off the face of the blog world. It's just too much fun. And it's time consuming. I've been learning a lot from Trace Guthrie, my instructor, and have even had my work accepted into a few sculpture shows and have even won a few prizes with it. I am sticking to what I know, meaning horses and dogs and cats. I want to show these pieces to you soon. One I am particularly happy about is a group of four horses running together. It doesn't sound like much, but my intent was to give an idea of the power and grace of a running horse and I think I've at least touched the edge of that. The problem with it is photographing it. It's fairly complicated. Eventually I'll get something good enough to put on the blog.

Here's hoping I get something else on the blog before next winter sets in. Please let me know you've heard from me.