Apr 292010

I just finished a new painting in acrylic called “After the Rain.” It is one that I have been wanting to paint. I have not painted mist in the air or fog before so it was a challenge. Being a self taught artist every time that I try something new it stretches me. I can remember the first time I painted water, I thought that I would never be able to get it, now it is second nature and only takes a fifth of the time it did the first time with better and more realistic results.

The afternoon that I took this picture it had just stopped raining and the sun had just come out. It was one of those moments that you just grab the camera and hope you get out there before that fleeting moment passes. This time I happened to get there in time. So often it is just a passing moment, that last only for a few seconds, that you wish you already had the camera in hand and didn’t have to go get it. This painting was inspired by one of those moments that I was able to capture with the digital camera.

After the Rain 800

This painting is 18″ by 18″ famed. I will be offering signed and numbered limited originals prints on canvas with the retouch done my myself. Each signed print will be protected by two isolation coats of a Acrylic soft gel and then two top coats of a polymer varnish with UVLS protection. If you are interested please contact Fred by going to the link Contact Fred to the upper tight hand corner of the blog page.

Apr 282010

This is a new release that I have been working on for a year and a half. I started it in November of 2008 and put it away for a wile. After painting the last twelve paintings for this season I decided to pick it back up again and finish it, really for my wife. She has been on me for years to paint a spring scene with lots of flowers. This is a natural for me since I love, and have always loved, to garden. Not vegetables as much as flowers. I used to do both but a few years ago when I got so busy, I had a decision to make. I gave up the vegetable garden and only do flower gardening now.  I have a great love for gardening that I got from both of my grandmothers. At this time I have five separate flower gardens and a couple other flower beds. One of which is a garden room that has a bench and a table and chairs. I also have two and soon three breading beds for daylilies that I have been hybridizing. With this years intros there will be a total of over fifteen hundred unique seedlings from the three year total. As you can see painting flowers is something that I have always wanted to do and comes natural for me.

A Perfict Spring Day. 800

This painting took between 250 and 300 hours to complete. I enjoyed doing it but, just like any rather large painting that you are painting almost entirely with a paint brush the size of the head of a sharp pencil with this kind of detail, it was challenging and time taking. The house that inspired this painting is in a near by town but I took a little artist license. It was beautiful with all kinds of flowers and flowering treas around it. It had three trees in full bloom in front of the porch almost blocking it completely. It was also in a town with houses all around it that you could see on both sides. I changed the color of the house from green to taupe. The large tree to the left of the house and the ones behind the  house were there but I added some of the pines and the two dogwoods on the sides. I also added the rhododendrons and azaleas in the garden that surrounds the house. They were taken from pictures that I took of the rhododendrons and azaleas that are in the gardens around our house. I took photos of them in bloom a couple of years ago for future reference.  The wicker furniture was on the porch of the original house but not in the same position. I added two robins from a photo from our yard taken the day I finished the painting and also a bird feeder with three gold finches.

You can’t see the detail much in the photo above so I will add a cameo of the painting below.

A Perfict Spring Day. Cameo #2

I will be offering Limited Original Prints, signed and numbered, on canvas of this painting in two different sizes. There will be 125 the same size as the original 24″ x 32″ for $395.00 each and 250  that will be 18″ x 24″ for $249.00 each. If you are interested please contact me with the contact Fred link to the right of the post. They are called limited originals because I take the print on canvas, apply four coats of spray to lock in the ink, add paint to it in such a way that it is different than any other print, sign it and number it, then apply two isolation coats of an Acrylic soft gel medium and finish it off with two coats of a polymer varnish with UVLS protection. It should last for generations. When I saw a Thomas Kinkade limited original print a few years ago it was retouched by a different artist than Thomas Kinkade. The retouch on these prints will be done by myself, personally.

Mar 222010

This painting is of the Erie National Wildlife Refuge and is also where I saw a Bald Eagle flying in the wild for the first time in my life, up close and personal. It was a magnificent, magnificent sight. I could, at that moment, just imagine what the first English settlers felt like when they looked up and saw a Bald Eagle flying for their very first time.

This area of the Refuge is right off of a busy road but if you could block the road out of your mind it reminds you of the wilderness and you can imagine what the early settlers would have experienced in their day.

At the same time I also imagined what the area would have been like during the time before the settlers arrived in this country. A time when Indians would have enjoyed the sight of the Bald Eagle flying just as much as I did. I have Cherokee Indian in my ancestry. My great, great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee.

I have seen a Bald Eagle at this location about twenty to thirty times since this first encounter.

Colors 800

This painting is 20″ x 26″ framed.

Mar 062010

This is a new release that I just finished on the 4th of March. It took a while to get a good photo because of the blue background and a couple other set backs like saw dust falling off of my tripod. It has been a busy couple of days.

In this painting I wanted to get the effect that you could see down into the water and see the stems of the lily pads as they disappeared into the water. When you place the painting on a flat surface, put a light over head and look down  it gives you the illusion that you are actually looking down into the water. As always, the original is soooooo much better than a photograph or print!!!!!

October Lilly Pads 800

This painting was done from a picture I took last October when I was taking the pictures for my fall paintings like “Where the Bald Eagles Fly”. The next painting that I will be starting today was also taken at the same time.

This particular painting I have wanted to paint for a long time but hesitated because it is only 11″ x 14″ which is somewhat small but is labor intensive. About four years ago I painted a row of grapes from a vineyard in Northeast, Pennsylvania and a fence post which was also of a fall scene and it took a long time as well because each grape leaf was a different color just like these lily pads. Below is that picture.

Abundant Harvest 800

Art can be so fun. On this painting of the lily pads, I painted for fourteen straight hours the third day but after it was finished I couldn’t go to bed until 2:00 am because I was so keyed up.

Feb 272010

This painting was just finished today and took about twenty four hours to paint. It has loads of color and a lot of different detail. It is of a scene in Crawford County of the beautiful Erie National Wildlife Refuge where I saw my first Bald Eagle flying in the wild. I was there taking a picture of this very scene in the middle of winter and was pleasantly surprised when the eagle flew overhead. It lasted all of one minute but my was that bird magnificent. It is so good to see them make a great comeback after almost becoming extincted.

Where the Bald Eagles Fly 800

This painting is Acrylic and is 18″ x 30″ framed.

Feb 232010

Let's Climb the Willow 800

In this post I want to give a brief description of the process of painting the Original Acrylic Painting “Let’s Climb the Willow”. This is a scene in Crawford County in Pennsylvania that I have taken pictures of on several different occasions. I just love this tree. It is a Willow, at least I think it is a Willow, and reminds me of the Weeping Willow that I used to climb when I was a kid. I would climb up until I could see over the top of the tree. I would see ten city blocks away. What a view, I remember it like it was yesterday. This painting was finished on the 22nd of February.

french creek #27b 800

This is the photo that I took and printed out with the same process as I stated in an earlier blog post. The photo is 16″ x 20″.

Let's Climb the Willow 800, transferring the image

This is a photo of transferring the image.

Let's Climb the Willow 800, the image transferred

I laid the color in on this one before I transferred the image because the sky needed to be done first.

Let's Climb the Willow 800 , after tree painted

The painting in the tree and doing the detail of the tree took about seven hours. After I did this step I almost turned it into a winter scene because I didn’t want to paint over any of the tree’s detail. I just fell in love with this tree.

Let's Climb the Willow, Camio 800

I included this cameo in the post because I wanted to let the viewer see the detail. The photo of the at the top of the blog of the finished painting is not a clear as I would like to have it. It is a little blurred and does not show the detail. I took about twenty photographs of the painting but this was the best one and I didn’t have the time to keep trying to get one that was not ether blurry or had a glare.

I purposely did not comer the main limbs on the tree with leaves because I love the tree so much. If you look at the real finished painting you see the tree much like the photo of the tree without the leaves. It just doesn’t come across in the photo of the finished work. This in one of my favorite paintings that I have ever done. The photo does not do it justice.

Feb 202010

This original artwork was finished on the 19 of February. It is a painting of the Historic French Creek in Northwestern Pennsylvania. This scene is located near Wilson Shutes in Crawford County, near Meadville. I love painting the whimsical aspects of clouds in the sky and water with its various reflections! This is number eight out of my goal of forty for the season.

Summer on the Creek 800

This painting is Acrylic on Hardboard and is 18″ x 16″, framed.

Feb 152010

Here is another painting just finished today. Loving winter because I have more time to paint. I have a goal of painting forty new originals this winter season which for me is from Thanksgiving to the end of May when the daylilies are planted. This one was fun to create and paint because I love, love color. It is number seven out of forty!!!!!!!

Moving River 800

This Original Work of Art is titled “Moving River” and measures 18″ x 20″ framed.

Feb 152010

This is a new painting of a willow that I took a picture of on two different occasions. This tree stands out to me every time I drive past by. The view that I painted reminds me of a childhood memory of playing in an old garage  in our back yard where I had my first pigeon loft. My what good memories! The purple martin bird house also grings back good memories!

Tree on a Hill 800

This is an Acrylic painting and is 20″ x 20″ framed. It is of a  scene located in Crawford County, Pennsylvania near French Creek.

Feb 062010

In this blog post I will discuss the techniques that I use to paint the shy and water in the painting “Thoughtful Spot”.

First let me point out that I use Golden Fluid Acrylics exclusively and LOVE them. They are the best on the market as fare as I am concerned. They are a creamy consistency that has all of the pigment as a heavy bodied Acrylic. This allows you to thin them with water in order to get the type of detail that I like to get in a painting, and still keep the coverage and bonding ability. Fluid Acrylics are a must for anyone painting detail!

One thing that I have learned after doing it several times and then being disappointed is, you do not need to put a lot of detail into the background of a painting that will eventually be covered up with detail in the foreground. Even though I have learned this, I am still guilty of putting too much detail into part of the painting that will gust be covered up later on in the painting process.

In this case the sky in “Thoughtful Spot” will be covered up for the most part with the tree limbs, branches and leaves. Because of this, it is not necessary to put a lot of clouds in the sky. This particular sky is a very, very pale blue, as is in the photograph. Most skies are lighter at the horizon and deeper as you get to the top of the painting. If you work from a photograph as I do you can easily see this. With this painting being only 12” x 24” the shy is not all that large, however when your are painting with Acrylics they dry so fast that it can be difficult to blend from the lighter to the darker parts of the sky. You can use a Retarder which will slow down the process but you have to go by the directions on the bottle or the paint will become gummy and not dry. I prefer to not use a Retarder myself but just work fast. I have a four fluid ounce bottle of Retarder that I have used for the past ten years and still have a third of it left.

When I first started painting skies I had to paint them over and over until I got the look I wanted. Some times it took me two or three hours just to get it right but that was part of the learning process. One shy took over four hours but I found myself going to hat painting over and over again just because I could loose myself in the sky. It was just perfect to me and I learned more in those four hours from that experience than I had learned my whole life until that time about painting skies. You too, will learn a lot by just doing. This is how you will develop your own technique.

In this painting I mixed my darkest blue for the shy on one side of a Styrofoam plate and put a small pile of white on the other side of the plate. I left the blue in my brush from mixing the paint and mix that with pure white and begin the sky at the horizon adding more of the light blue, which I have already mixed up, gradually until I reached the top of the painting. By the time you do this the paint on the horizon will already be dry and you will not be able to go back into that part of the painting or it will mess it up. You have to work with the wet edge as quickly as possible.

Thoughtful Spot Sky and Water 800

This is the technique that I used with this sky, in this particular painting. I also used this technique in the water reflection just in reverse, with the lighter sky area at the top of the reflection and the darker sky area at the bottom of the reflection. In this particular painting I did the sky and the sky reflection of the water with the step of laying in the color as in the early blog on this painting. This is a short cut for this painting because the shy is simple and the water is only the preliminary painting that will just have the reflection painted over it at a later time.

There are a lot of different sky techniques that I have used and I will discuss them in a later blog. Some with a wet technique like painting with water color and some with a dry brush technique depending on clouds and what affect you are looking for.

The best thing you can do with painting skies is just practice and practice. With my first few paintings, after not painting for twenty five years, I found painting the sky and water always the most challenging. But to me, the finished effect of the shy and the water is the most rewarding as well. I find the most challenging things about painting the most rewarding once you have mastered them. Painting water was my greatest challenge at first and the sky being my second greatest challenge.  I don’t know if that will be the same for you or not but it was for me. Jump right in and tackle the thing that you fear the most with your painting and you will find that will give you the most reward in the future. Good luck and happy painting.