Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old Train Station at Berkley Springs, WV

Train stations.....there are a lot of interesting old ones out there. (Not here...they tear down all the good old ones in the big city.) I remember a lot of really nice ones taking a train trip from Boston through Connecticut and New York on the way to Washington, DC. This particular station I found on a trip to Virginia. My wife and I stopped for the night after a particularly long drive. We used the GPS to find a motel. The GPS sent us back a few miles out of Maryland and into West Virginia to a small town, Berkley Springs. We looked at their antique stores and had dinner. Getting up the next morning and on the road, this was the scene I saw about 7 AM -- the light cutting across the scene at a low angle. I goofed up the picture I shot of the movie theater in the town "The Star" or I'd have drawn that too. This is graphite -- 6B pencil -- on paper. If I remember right, I did a watercolor of this scene but didn't like it. I've done several scenes in oil or watercolor, even pastel and done them again in another medium. Try it -- you'll like it. I will be trying to get this into a show called "Shades of Gray" coming up in November.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Down time

This is a pencil drawing (or am I supposed to say "graphite" to sound more professional) I did in a small art class I teach while the others are busy. It's done with a 6B, my favorite. Sometimes I like to go back and not have to deal with color and surface texture and just draw. This is a scene from along the road in Wisconsin on Highway 12 near Cambridge (east of Madison). I've done a large painting of this marsh and these are just a stand of trees near the road just a few feet from the water's edge.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Gas Depot

This is a little watercolor study (that looks a lot better in person) that I did the day after the Superdawg picture. The gas station sits across the street from the woods at the edge of the city. I spent less than an hour on it and sat in the car as I worked.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is a small plein air watercolor I did this morning. The place is Superdawg, and has been at Milwaukee Avenue and Devon for many years. The two hot dogs are the main feature, although they do have service that will bring your hot dogs to the car. There may be other places you prefer to get hot dogs, but this one has the edge in architecture. I spent about 30 minutes or less on this -- although I did not check the clock. The scene was lit from behind by the morning sun. On another tack....I have four paintings in the "Influences" show at The Next Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, Illinois. There was (disappointingly) a small turnout. The four paintings I did in the late 1970s and literally had to blow the dust off of them. I've never had any of them in a show before and it was good to see them hanging on a wall -- gave the gallery a museum-like look of the old masters. I will try to remember to take pictures later -- I fogot to bring the camera to the show. I am getting ready for two upcoming shows -- so matting and framing and creating some new work too.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Secret Life of the Artist part 5

This is the final version of Farm at Honey Creek. Honey Creek is along route 20 in Walworth county Wisconsin. The picture is maybe a little out of focus, but that's maybe OK -- I don't want my online art thief stalker having my artwork at their disposal. The secret has to do with the last two months. My wife and I have had to deal with difficult family things just like everybody else. It has meant dealing with things you don't want to, not getting enough sleep and not being able to work while all this is going on, but it has to get done. I did have four of my paintings accepted into a show at the Next Picture Show Gallery. The show is called "Influences" -- like which painters influenced your development as an artist. My paintings are my copies of work by Rubens, Rembrandt, Thomas Moran and Frenk Tenney Johnson. Here's the other part of the Secret Life of the choices reflect my growing interest in being able to do portraits, multiple figures in a painting, landscape and landscape with a figure and animal. As a painter you have to look ahead to what kind of things you can come up with to challenge yourself to go beyond your current level of skill. Those were huge challenges for me then as now. The Influences show opens tomorrow, August 5th, with the traditional wine and cheese reception. I will be making the two hour drive to meet people and answer questions. So....there's a little...or quite a lot about the secret life of the artist.