4 x 9 feet, oil on board.
Please enjoy a slide show of some paintings I created over the last two decades. A hike in Big Bend, Country Nurse, Trading Up, da Vinci’s Rooftops, LeTourneau Mural, Vastergotland, Doorway in Salswedial, First Encounter, Young Dentist, Vastergotland, Oil Field Road, Dr. Ray Vet, Whale Mural, Musician, and Robinhood’s Bay, England. Hope you enjoy!
It is really important to have a plan and process in your work. Here are two images that show part of that in the painting titled Musician. I started with thumbnails, followed by photos. Then photoshop to build graphic ideas such as the glow and streams of light coming from Levi in his angelic form. Notice the implied wings and ancient text, with gold leaf. Then came a full size grid to enable a very accurate drawing. That is the small set of squares on the illustration board on the right. Using a soft 4B graphite pencil, I hit the shadows hard leaving most of the mid-tone areas and highlight for the paint. After sealing it with spray fix, I wash it with oil and terpenoid, and erased out the highlights with a kneaded eraser. Finally, I painted traditionally with oils. Gold leaf was last. You do that glue sizing and lay a thin sheet of the gold leaf on it and gently rub it down. If you want a highly polished, well rendered painting with a story that is clear, don’t forget PLANNING AND PROCESS.
I created a mural a few years ago for a local Doctor’s Office. It is 9 foot tall by about 14 ft wide, oil on canvas. The skin was the fun part. I painted the canvas hot pink, by adding red to the gesso. Then, I painted a one foot wide strip down the middle, to establish the method for the various areas. The tropical plants were done with midtone bright green, shadow dark green, followed with a lime yellow highlight. The skin was created with a mid tone warm brown/gray, followed with the dark brown for wrinkles, then a light warm highlight. The reflections followed the mirror image of the animals, broken up with light blue waves, reflecting the sky. It was a fun job. I rolled the canvas on a pvc pipe, outward after it dried, and after transport, stapled it to the wall. A carpenter, (Danny Patterson) met me on site and created the frame, which he chopped and painted on the spot. Art in public places is great. We should have more of it, don’t you think?
This painting was a result of research on the boom town in East Texas, named Kilgore. In 1932 oil was struck and a town of 800 people changed overnight to 8000. So many came that needed mail, the postmen were forced to modernize to Automobiles. I wondered what it must have been like to ride the trusted horse into town for the last time. So here is my image of that moment when Postman Laird traded up. A “Land Man” is on the right with land plots in hand. In the background, oil wells are shown pumping away. So many oil wells were drilled in town that you could get from one end of town to the other without touching the ground. The streets were muddy well into the 30s. On the left I depicted one of the cafes from the early days, and on the right, the first feed store in Kilgore. Laird is dressed in the uniform required by Kilgore’s Postmistress, with mail satchel over his shoulder.
The country of Iceland is thermal vented with steam and hot water. It sits atop of one of the largest fault lines on the planet. It is very active and growing. We will be in Reykjavik for 2 days on our cruise.
They’re coming soon. School is about here and my summer adventure is drawing to a close. It was an action packed 3 months that included Germany, with a great show, and Galveston with my family. Time to get back to work at training young minds in the way of art. I love it still! The new semester will include art history, drawing and some painting. It must be one of the greatest jobs ever.
Today as I wait for the show opening, I walked around Hilmsen, Germany. Quick watercolors did the trick. It was really fun, and I met several people. The Hildebrandt family invited me in and fed me lunch after a tour of their gardens. It was wonderful. Mrs. Hildebrandt and her daughter Aila Nette were great hostesses. I could not believe how hospitable they were, and it reminded me of how nice the people of German have been to me.
At a wonderful Cathedral we set up the museum show today. it was in Salzwedel at Monchskiche. The exhibition is in a beautiful room with vaulted ceilings and floor crypts with ancient typography upon them. The opening is tomorrow with a concert by Shelia Swift, (No relation to Taylor) this museum was formerly a church built in 1280, or rather was first mentioned in a document at that time as a monastery. It was converted to a Protestant interior in 1581 and graced with an altarpiece by Lucas Cranach the younger of a Latin teaching of Martin Luther referencing workers in the Lords Vinyard. Several discoveries were made in the late 1800s of painted masks, and murals including one of St. Gregory and Mary.