Friday, February 26, 2016


Once again, I am painting tea cups.  This is a good way to practice my craft.  I made an effort to pay close attention to my design concept. . . trying to make an interesting composition.  That was fine for this little still life, but the other challenge is executing the drawing and painting really well.  I paid close attention to modeling the forms in this one.  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pear in a Bowl

After viewing the exhibit by the impressionist artist Caillebotte, I wanted to replicate the brushwork that I saw.  Impressionists were famous for placing patches of different colors adjacent to each other. From a distance they read differently than up close.  My goal was to make the pear the focal point of the composition.  I think it was relatively successful.

Yesterday's Roses

It is a real challenge depicting roses.  I studied many artists -- one of the most helpful tools for me in this study was a video by Michael Klein. There is so much subtlety, restraint and mystery in his work. It takes constant study to paint well.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Gustave Caillebotte Exhibit

We live in Dallas, Tx. and have access to many fine museums.  I recently saw an exhibit of Gustave Caillebotte at the Kimbell Art Museum.  Now, when I was an art student, I was taught that the Impressionists were beyond reproach,  Hmmm, I wonder.  The impressionists were revolutionary and were rebelling against the strict academicians.  To them, art had become stale, dried up.  They wanted to breathe new life into painting and emphasized painting ordinary people and subjects en plein air capturing fleeting light as opposed to in the studio,  We can thank them for that.  However, did we need to turn our backs on the artists who preceded them?  Look at the work of Jean Leon Gerome or Adolphe Bouguereau, artists who taught at the Academie de Beaux Arts.  Their technique -- their tremendous skill was based on what had been developed over centuries of painting and drawing passed down by the great masters.   I may be getting myself in trouble here but can we go on.

After viewing the Caillebotte exhibit we walked over to the Amon Carter Museum where we viewed the work of John Singer Sargent.  Sargent was a contemporary of the impressionists but was not held in high regard by them.  He used their techniques -- spontaneous, alla prima brush strokes with great skill and to better render his subjects.  However, he was a master at painting and composition.  May I just ask the question of who could draw and render better  Please compare the artistry of Caillebotte with Sargent. Why has there been a return to academic education in painting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

C.W. Mundy Study

It is a time-honored practice in the learning process to copy master painters.  On my journey to becoming a better artist, I did a study of this C.W. Mundy still life.  I have a long way to go in learning how to render the solidity of the forms while portraying light.  The artist rendered these objects so beautifully in the original.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Hand Painted

This tea cup was found in a thrift shop.  There is a signature on the bottom by the artist, but I cannot detect much.  I love painting solid objects with structure, but am working on my ability to capture light and shadow.  I'm looking for simplicity, but less ambiguity in my work.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quang Ho Study

In order to improve my work, I attempted a study of a painting by a Master Artist, Quang Ho.  It is a challenge to try to get into the mind of the artist and understand what they were thinking when doing the painting. Doing this type of study helped me a great deal because areas that I need to work on became immediately apparent to me.  My work looks very rough when compared to the original.  I need to think more in terms of massing in large areas.  My brushwork needs improvement.  Moreover, I need to delineate more clearly areas of light and shadow.  Learning to paint is an ongoing, never-ending process.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Silver Pitcher

I have painted this pitcher many, many times.  I am always attempting to improve my technical expertise.  There are so many ways to capture the light and dark reflections.   I like the contrast between the green apples and the silver pitcher.