Saturday, January 31, 2009

Youth Gone Wild

I have had the pleasure of discovering many birds-of-the-feather through numerous artists blogs over the past 3 or 4 months when I began posting my work. One of which, is my friend Douglas Hoover who I seem to share MORE things in common with than either of us should so openly admit :>)- Doug recently revealed through "7 unusual things"about himself that he was a bit of a Glam Rock aficionado- (see #5 of Artistic Comrades) from back in the day. Being a bit of an instigator- I challenged Doug to post a picture of himself in full regalia (with my own damaging pics on the table as collateral). Soooo, here ya' go Doug! Anyone is welcome to join the party...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Stepping Away— Fri. (just friday)

Do you hear that??? THAT is the call of adventure! (oops, I was wrong it wasn't adventure on the line, it was my spouse back in Ohio saying the road trip fund has been depleted!) The battery is charging for my camera, as I have decided to take a mid-winter road trip with my two boys (7 & 2) to San Diego (err- Roswell/White Sands for a daytrip)- just to break up the routine, spend some quality time and see everything there is to see between here and there! My seven year old was having a blast looking at the map and picking out places to stop along the way last night. (Im hoping he'll forget about all of that when he see's UFO's and aliens everywhere) The boys have never seen the Pacific (Im sure it will still be there when our house eventually sells back in Ohio), so tomorrow we are loading up some snacks and pointing the wagon in a westerly (southerly) direction. 

I am open to any suggestions y'all might have- especially since we are trying to do it all on a shoestring budget (It's as much about the journey as it is the destination). The only thing I had in mind (in addition to seeing the ocean) was a visit to the Zoo and maybe a museum as we make our whirlwind visit. The weather looks good: Sunny/ 72°—75°. I look forward to sharing our stories with you when we blow back into town! -Tom

My thanks to you all for your help and to RGarriott for some timely suggestions for alternate destinations! Like a candle in the wind I am... :>)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Virtual Valentines

I used to love getting Valentines Day cards out of my home-made/decorated shoe box. Even though they were always from the kids in your own classroom, it was still fun to give and receive. That was my crude segue >>>  I am flattered to have been tagged by my new friend Carol Horzempa. Carol may be new to the DSFDF blog, but she is not new to creating some really fantastic work! Her painting from the Portrait series was just whetting our appetite for things to come! I was tagged a couple of months ago by my friend RGarriott- so I will just list seven other wonderful artists I have discovered recently, and refer you to my earlier post regarding the "seven unusual things" about me if you reaaally want to go there :>)

Here are seven more artists you're going to LOVE:


Different Strokes- Gone "Edgar Allan"

I believe all of the aliens flying around the previous challenge on DSFDF have gotten to me (or inspired madness)! The victorian subject for this weeks challenge made me think "Poe". So this is my tribute to "The Raven" (and RGarriott)  :>)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Different Strokes- Jefferson Memorial Challenge

Let me quickly divert your eyes from my attempt at Neo Classic architecture, to the drama of the lights, tormenting an otherwise placid sky! (This is my latest submission for the DSFDF blog) This was a great exercise for me to test my resolve on staying with large brushes when painting difficult shapes (like the curve of the dome). I used to do a lot of noodling with smaller brushes- that always seemed to kill the simplification of forms and unnecessarily muddy the colors. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monday, January 5, 2009

Painted Desert Sunset — NFS

I recently had a friend commission me to paint a landscape that serves as a permanent warm memory of evening hikes in the New Mexican desert (and a bright accent for some earth toned walls). It was originally intended as a Christmas gift, but unfortunately- the final is STILL drying on my easel! Instead, a small color study I made was given as a promissory place holder. 

This was a fun project to do, because it involved a little creativity and imagination to get it done. The original photo reference was shot at noon (last image), and my friend was looking for more of a sunset scenario/with the color scheme leaning heavily towards the warm reds and yellows of dusk. He also wanted to include some southwestern flora in the foreground (aside from the desert scrub pine), like the beautiful golden Chamisa. Last- he also wanted the mountains to be more prominent on the horizon. 

Before starting the larger final painting (20" x 16"), I made a smaller study (7" x 5") to figure out a color scheme and come up with some ideas for the foreground flora (middle image). The first image above, is the final painting. With the last rays of sun just brushing the top of a chamisa, the desert shimmers like a golden jewel. Cool colors in the foreground create depth and push your eye out to the sun-basked mountains on the horizon. It was fun for me to watch this painting evolve from a photo and some simple verbal direction, into a totally different scene.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Different Folks — NFS

I participated in another painting challenge at DSFDF and had a blast doing a portrait swap with Akiko Watanabe. She did an amazing job with my portrait, so I had to TRY and keep up. It wasn't until she had posted my portrait, that I was able to figure out who she was, so I had the advantage of being able to do a little research on her blog to learn a little more about her. I discovered through her blog that she is an avid animal lover AND that her favorite flower is the Poppy. I had originally planned to paint a mini gallery of her animals in the background- but it was too busy/silly, which did not match the mood of her picture, which is that of an intelligent person with a quiet dignity and reserved smile. The poppies seemed to match her perfectly. I'm afraid the likeness of Akiko ends at the juxtapositioning of her next to the signature painterly brush strokes seem to make her look older than she really is! Sorry Akiko! A very happy new year to you all- Tom