Friday, January 29, 2010

on the rails (couple a day #14)

Today was a terrible day for pictures, but I think you can get the idea. This is "On the Rails" (oil on linen, 10" x 8", $300 (sold)); a study of wedges, rectangles, and stripes on stripes.

I finished something yesterday that has me tingly all over...something new I think. I'll post it tomorrow or Monday but I want to think about it a little more first.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

gentlemen farmers (couple a day #13)

Today's couple is "Gentlemen Farmers", lucky number 13. The posture of these two characters is what drew me to this composition...they're both sporting a very natty, casual attitude. My favorite thing, though, was the guy on the left's tie tucked into his overalls.

Genna's underpainting on this one is a subtle gem. Well, the color isn't so subtle, but when you get a good close look at it has an overall striping underneath the soft oil wash layer that unifies the whole surface. Click on it for a larger view and check out the right guy's hat brim and shirt and the bushy areas to the right and left of their boots.

"Gentlemen Farmers", oil on masonite, 16" x 12", $375

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

emerging (couple a day #12)

Today's couple is an image that is easily in my top five most visited compositions. Sometimes I call it a variation of "Emerging", sometimes "Native Azaleas". It's been as small as a postcard and as large as a barn door, vertical and horizontal, chaotic and staid, peaceful and frenetic. Today's is particularly perky and energetic.

The reason I visit this composition so much is it's an excellent vehicle for improvisation. The couple is a little visual anchor surrounded by space that can be shaped and colored any which way. I also love the thought that they're a naughty little couple caught emerging from the woods.

This one is "Emerging, Entergetic", oil on linen, 20" square, $600 (sold).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

luminous poolside (couple a day #11)

OH NO! I forgot to post my daily couple yesterday. Pretend today is Monday.

This is "Luminous Poolside", oil on linen, 36" square, $1800 (sold). I love this woman. She is so fan-tas-tically shaped.

I'm running behind today, so tomorrow we're going to pretend it's Tuesday.

Friday, January 22, 2010

striped in the alley (couple a day #10)

Every once in a while I make something that somehow I'm a little uneasy about. Maybe it's different in a way I can't quite identify, or maybe it's a little 'edgier' than the main body of my work. Sometimes those turn out to be ones I just never like and they get painted over. Other times they turn out to be pieces that are the beginning of a new direction. I think this may be one of those. I wasn't quite sure about it when I made it but it's growing on me steadily.

One thing I know for sure I like is that the couple has no paint whatsoever (what so ever?) on their flesh but are instead little people shaped windows into the underpainting. I love when that happens.

Happy weekend, everybody!

"Striped in the Alley", oil on masonite, 20" x 16", $450

Thursday, January 21, 2010

leggy on the water (couple a day #9)

As promised last week, here is another study of my beloved 'leggy lady'. This one is "Leggy on the Water" (oil on linen, 20" square, $600). I've always been fascinated with this photo and how much tension is created with that flexed, extended leg. I want to take it on on a bigger format someday but haven't worked up the courage yet as it's one of those pieces that has to be JUST RIGHT or it won't work at all.

In this woman's defense, I do have some very demure shots of her, but they're just not as good!

Also, I posted the more professional pic. of "Boys of Summer" on the website this morning.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

hottie vaca (vay-kay) couple (couple a day #8)

Today was absolutely nuts, but I still have a 'couple' for you. I made a version of this piece as a gift for Genna Christmas 2009. I think they're my sexiest couple ever! This one is "Hottie Vacation Couple" (oil on linen, 10" x 8", $300).

Our Kia Canada contact came to visit this morning with her COO (I have no idea what that stands for) and wound up at the studio at the same time as another client I had there discussing a commission. I can't tell you about the commission as it's currenlty a secret, but it's a much bigger thing than I originally realized. A few minutes before all of these people stormed the studio, I dropped a big plastic jar of clear gesso and it shot all over my pants/shoe/bathroom/in my sock. Tah-Dah!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

friday couple (couple a day #7)

For those of you who have come late to the party, I'm posting a painting of a couple every weekday from now until Valentine's Day. Today's offering is "Friday Couple" (oil on masonite, 11" x 14", $375).

I've worked with this image several times before and always enjoy it. It's an excellent showcase for a big swatch of softly striped underpainting up top and features lots of tiny little figures in the periphery that I like to arrange and rearrange from one piece to the next.

Tomorrow is a big day...I have a client meeting at 10, brown bag lunch at the studio with some artist friends, and our Kia Canada contact is visiting sometime during the day to see Genna's setup and choose some pieces for the Kia Korea president to take back to Korea. Whew! I'm still going to squeeze in a 'couple', though, so see you tomorrow!

Monday, January 18, 2010

into the woodwork (couple a day #6)

Today's studio time has been a bit of a failure thus far. I just spent an hour gridding out and drafting a brand new image on a 24" x 36" canvas before figuring out that it just wasn't gonna work. Drag.

However, I banked a few 'couples' at the end of last week, so today I give you "Into the Woodwork" (36" x 36" oil on linen, $1800). This was my first large scale piece of the year, and it felt pretty darn good!

I've been thinking about why I enjoy painting couples so much and have come up with a few ideas. Because my figures have little detail in their faces, their main method of communication is body language. That is what attracts me to a photograph...the tension between figures and between those figures and their surroundings.

When there are only two figures in a composition, that tension is totally pure and draws much more focus. In today's piece, for instance, the gentleman is leaning back just slightly into the woman. In a more complicated, multi-figure composition, that would most likely be lost. Here, it's the crux of the whole image, echoed over and over again in the trees and other forms behind, all leaning into the middle.

I know I said a few ideas, but that's the only one I want to talk about right now.

I'm crossing my fingers and heading back to the easel (easle?). Wish me luck!

enough about me (or) kia pots update

It occurred to me that I never let everybody know how our Kia US order turned out. We shipped more than 630 pieces to almost as many seperate addresses with NO BREAKAGE thanks to one of my new favorite people...Mike at the LaGrange UPS Store. What a pleasure to do business with someone who consistently goes above and beyond. Mike himself came to the studio and transported all of our babies to UPS where they were carefully packed and shipped. Many, many thanks to Mike.

Anyway, Kia was very happy with their order and have already followed up with an order for a large vase they gave as a gift to a visiting Korean dignitary in December. They wouldn't tell us who it was, so I'm guessing the President of Korea (aim high, right?). Here's what we sent them:

Funny story about that. We were at my parent's place for Thanksgiving which is in the middle of the woods and gets horrible cell reception. Genna got a call on his cell phone. Listening to his side of the conversation, I could tell it was a telemarketer. After struggling to understand her for several moments of a really bad connection, he says (in a not very nice, actually pretty mean tone of voice) "You know what, this is really not a good time for me. You're gonna have to try me another time." Then he listens for a few more seconds with an irritated face before going completely pale and launching into the 'I'm so so sorry' talk. It was Kia America President Ahn's executive secretary calling to thank us for a gift we sent him and trying to place an order. HA!

So, Kia America was happy enough with their order that they recommended us to Kia Canada for a similar project. Genna is a few days away from finishing up throwing 230 vases for them. Here is a sample of what the finished product will look like:

If we play our cards right, maybe we can just work for Kia from now on! It's definitely easier than the Art Fair Circus.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

boys of summer on the easel

Hi guys! I'm on a 'couple' break for the weekend but still in the studio. Before I left yesterday, I began a new version of my grandpa and his navy buddies on the beach. It's a big one, 48" x 60", with a beautiful 'sunset striped' underpainting courtesy of Genna. Here's what it looked like this morning:

I like to paint the lightest lights and darkest darks first thing so that I can see the overall composition through all of the screaming underpainting. My first thought when I looked at this this morning (which actually was more like noonish!) was that I loved that stuttering blue stripe running through the center of the figures and wanted to hold onto that if possible. To play that up, I painted in a similar blue between the bottoms of their legs:

After separating their figures with some changes in skin tone and filling in the shirt and towel shape, I believe I'm about 95% finished:

I'll post the properly photographed finished piece on the website next week. I'm tempted to call this "Smokin' on the Beach" as they're all hot and holding cigarettes, but cutesy titles make my skin itch. So, she's either "Boys of Summer" or "Sunset Quintet Redux". Probably "Boys of Summer".

Friday, January 15, 2010

saucy duo (couple a day #5)

Today's offering isn't technically a couple, but I think they share enough of the same spicy attitude, palette, and compositional similarities to make a really great diptych. Check out that shape echo between his elbow and her leg, yum!

The photo I used for the lady piece ("Leggy", oil on linen, 10" square, $300(sold)) was from a large lot of photos I bought on ebay years ago. I have many shots of this same woman and she REALLY liked her legs. I'm working on another couple that features her leggy-liciousness today.

The male half of the duo is "Harley Guy", oil on linen, 10" square, (sold).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

take five (couple a day #4)

It occurs to me that I've committed myself to something like 26 'couple' paintings. Yikes.

Today's is "Take Five", an oil on linen, 10" x 8", framed in black for $300.

I'm starting to itch for a larger format, so maybe next week there will be some bigguns to see. Have a great day, everybody!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

bushes portrait (couple a day #3)

We're at T minus 23 work days and counting to Valentine's Day, and I give you "Bushes Portrait" (oil on masonite, 9" x 12", $350).

I am so in love with the composition of this piece that I think you'll see it much larger some time this year (maybe 30" x 40" or 36" x 48"). I like the way the branch shapes mimic the shapes in the gentleman's jacket.

Now, these guys could could be brothers, father and son, neighbors, what-have-you...but it's two figures so I'm counting them as a couple for the purposes of my exercise!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

patterned couple, (couple a day #2)

Hi guys,

Here we are with my 'couple a day' numero dos...counting down to Valentines Day. I've been sitting on the reference photo for this one for ages and finally felt like I was up to the challenge of her striped dress (which is really the whole point of the painting). I'm into the patterning thing right now, reference yesterday's "Beautiful Music".

This is "Patterned Couple", oil on masonite, 16" x 12", framed in black, $400 (sold).

See you tomorrow!

Monday, January 11, 2010

my funny valentines, or 'a couple a day'

Hi everybody! I just gave myself what amounted to almost 3 weeks off from work and am now struggling back into studio life. Hope everyone had a brilliant holiday season!

Sometimes when you've been out of the 'creative loop' for a while, it's tough to get back in. I'm starting off this week with a number of new couple paintings. Pairs of figures are absolutely my favorite thing to paint...married couples, mother & child, siblings, father & son, whatever. I figured I'd ease back into the painting groove with some small couples (8 x 10 or so), and just in time for Valentines Day!

Borrowing loosely from my friends Scott & Kathrine's brilliant 'cupcake a day' idea, I'm going to try to post a 'couple a day' from now until Valentines Day. I have no idea if I actually have the self discipline to pull that off, but I guess we'll see!

So, Day 1 Couple is "Beautiful Music", oil on particle board, 10" x 8", $300. Genna treated this board for me by forcing paint into the grooves in the wood, sanding it smooth, and sealing it with a clear gesso. I love, love, love the look of the particle board between the shapes and how it plays into the patterned nature of this little couple.

I'll be posting the 'couple a day' paintings soon on our webpage or you can email me anytime at to make a purchase.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Congratulations to "Inspirations" Winner!

A much belated congratulations to Kimberly Beavers who won the painting "Trike Girls" (30" x 24" oil on linen) at our 16 Patton opening in November. We were thrilled to meet Kim at our reception in Asheville and to find out that she was already an enthusiastic supporter of our work, having purchased two pieces previously through Danna at 16 Patton.

I think it was fated that Kim should win her painting. The photo she submitted was of her mother as a child with a friend on a tricycle. Her mother was a twin (although she wasn't with her twin in the photo), and Kim recently gave birth to twin girls. Kim's girls are blond and brunette, as are the girls in the painting. Kismet, no? Kim's friends and family were as charmed as me by all of these connections and she won the email vote by a landslide!

Many thanks to Danna Anderson at 16 Patton. Danna is a model gallerist...professional, friendly, hard working, consistent, and pro-active. An article she solicited about the show in the Asheville Citizen Times was my favorite ever written about our work. Unfortunately, it's no longer on their website. I'll try to get it to share with you guys...