Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Almost Spring

    It's funny but there has been waves of warm weather. My brother was even wearing shorts the other day when we went out for a visit. Then I wake up this morning and there are heavy flakes of snow falling. You can still see green grass in patches and the daffodils are only slightly slumped, but it was kind of a fun way to wake up.

    This past week I finished my largest machine painting yet in the T-Rex and then I added another to the Bear and Whale series. Here are some photos of both.

Hopefully my hand can give a sense of the scale here. He's a big fella.
First pass at the bear on the board.
First layer for the Right Whale.

Its kind of hard to see here, but I think that the barnacles might be my favorite part. Very subtle, but also very important. I also love the nonchalant way that the bear stares right out at you.

Thank you for looking.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

T is for Triceratops

Last week I was a first grade teacher. It was nice because I was with the same class for the whole week. We had a lot of fun... and they learned something in the process. Here is the post I should have made last week. My triceratops.

 Original sketch. Now if I can only color inside the lines.
 Sketch detail.
 I knew orange would be his color before I started.
 Some blue highlights.
 Preliminary shading.
 More shading...
 Shading nearly done, almost ready for glasswork.
Finished piece. Glass painted and then the light hint of tubes on the other side of the glass.

Thank you for looking.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mobile Tangent

Occasionally, after a painting that requires intense focus I need to take a break. Recently, I have been playing a bit with making mobiles. I had a dream about constructing a wing. Here is what followed.

I started with this image that I snapped from the internet. I sketched what I saw at the scale that I had envisioned.
I cut out the pieces and selected several woods that I thought might be complimentary. I used the paper as templates.
Then, I shaped the wood using our belt sander and a dremel. Each of the separate feather pieces I attached using a dowel. I cut the dowel down the center using the bandsaw so the feather could fit.
Several coats of wipe on polyurethane and some work with #14 gauge wire. I balanced the wing with an egg that I carved several months ago.

I'll post a picture later when I have hung it in my new studio space.

Thanks for looking. Cheers!



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

H is for Horse

Some of the work that I have been doing in this off season has come from requests that I get at the shows. Alot of people love horses and so it is pretty often that we are asked if I have any horses. Here is a first try at a horse:






Thanks for looking. Cheers!



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

S is for Stegosaurus

Well well well. I have been a bum. I have been working like crazy since mid December, since I was able to extricate myself from the elementary school, and yet I have not posted once in this space. I have thrown some things out on instagram, but other than that nada.

Anyhow, my new resolution is to try to get back in to a once a week posting. Likely, for a while I'll post two-a-weeks for a time to share some of the works that have been missed.

This first posting is a new possibility. A long time ago I had a notion to make a stegosaurus machine. I collected some images for study and considered how appropriate a dinosaur seems with my machine constructions. As of this post I am drawing out a triceratops and then I know that there must be a T-Rex.

Here is that stegosaurus idea fully formed:

I began, as usual with an outline sketch of the figure I plan to sketch. Sometimes I work from several photographs. Most of the time I have a mental image of the animal. Even as far as the direction that the animal should face.  
The machine parts come out in several different areas first in my minds eye. Often, I connect bits that I did not realise would be together as the machine grows on the paper.
Once all of the machine parts have been sketched and most of the original outline has been erased I start adding color.
Depending on my mood, I sometimes work all in one color until I have blocked in all of that color that I intend. As I work, I visualise colors that will be a part of this creature. Generally I have the pallete in mind before I begin.
I knew, with this work, that I would use yellow-green, orange and purple. I cannot explain how I knew that these were what the colors should be.
After all of the base colors have been laid down, I begin to apply the layers of darker colors. I always leave the glass tubing for the final layers. Something about the glass just seems to bring it all to life.

I took this photo to try to give an idea of the scale that I have been working at. This is my third painting that measures 16" by 20". It's funny, but I struggle to imagine how I used to fit these beasts into smaller space.

Thanks for looking. Cheers.





Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Black Mountain Leaf

     Last weekend I was in Black Mountain for the Sourwood Festival. Sunday afternoon I was at the back of my tent when I saw a woman carrying a leaf. I asked if she would mind if I took a photo of her leaf. Here is that picture:
On Monday I decided to make a painting of it. Here is the process:






The original photo next to the finished piece.
This series of progress photos is my favorite so far. I'm pretty pleased with this one.
Thanks for looking.







M is for Marlin

     Last week I completed a Marlin for the alphabet book. Here are the process photos:
I decided to do a grey wash and here you can see the beginnings of the machine works inside my sketched outline.

I decided to make my central colors blue and green with golden accents.



Not the best photo of the finished work, but there it is. Right now it is at the print shop, so that I can have it for the show in Banner Elk this weekend.