Sunday, August 30, 2015

Storm Warnings

A Long Cold Winter
11x14 oil on canvas

The seemingly endless summer is at last giving signs of running its course; the winds and rains of the past two days here instantly remind us that we live in a gray and soggy land, something that had slipped our minds in the suspended disbelief of summer's long reign.  Some among us long for the return of the soft and muted grays of winter, easier somehow to lace with emotion on the canvas.  And the fires in the mountains are begging for rain.  Just give us, please, this one last month of sun, this glorious September that frequently combines the best of all worlds: children returning to school and dry, colorful days of leisure, souls uplifted and comforted before the harsh turn of season.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

For The Time Being, As Good As It Gets

9x12 acrylic on canvas
I have been using the excuse of dashing off sketches in order to convince myself that they didn't need to be "perfect" and that my scratchy brushwork was acceptable.  But I decided it was time to try for a more finished portrait, and I chose for a subject my youngest son, Zach.  Back from a trip to France, I picked up acrylics for a change, trying to find my sea legs after the hiatus, and they do dry faster, making blending a little harder, so maybe oils might have been a better choice for putting my skills to a real test.  And I wasn't about to spend days and days on this; it took about four hours.  I might dab at it some more, blending away some of the grosser shortcomings, but I think I really need to admit that this is about my skill level at this point: it's not a painting that will hang in a gallery, but it is a damn fair likeness, and that's been my goal all along, so I'm going to declare victory and move on about my business.