Friday, May 31, 2013

My Favorite Beetle

My Favorite Beetle 
Oil - 6 X 6

Growing up in Detroit, I was confused by the lack of consensus as to what "Up North" meant.  In our blue collar neighborhood, Up North meant anything north of Grand Rapids.  To others, its literal meaning was Michigan's upper peninsula.

I spent many happy weekends as a teenager driving about 250 miles Up North to Traverse City  (almost the UP)  with my cousin in his yellow VW.   A thermos full of coffee, homemade baloney sandwiches on Wonder bread (yuck), and a very loud radio made the four hour trip effortless.

Gas was cheap and lodging was free (we slept and ate at my aunt's house).   Life was good.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day
Oil - 8 X 10

Okay, so I need to move his left eye over a bit....  I'll put him on the tweak pile.   This could be a good painting if I LEAVE IT ALONE for a while.

By the way, he prefers Honeycrisps.

I prefer breakfast at O'Connor's with my favorite artist buddies:  Alla Prima Portland.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Good to Be Green

Oil - 8 X 10

Well, after looking at this painting in the morning, I decided to just leave it and move on.  I could fiddle with it, tweaking the darks and the reflections, but it's just practice.

Seeing it with fresh eyes has helped me avoid repeating the same mistakes in the next few paintings.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Great Quiet Weekend

Tim was out of the house attending Yer Za Vue's oil portrait workshop at Studio 30 in St. Johns with a bunch of our breakfast buddies (Alla Prima Portland),  so I went down to our home studio to paint.

Aside from having fun with alcohol inks, I did manage to finish two oil paintings over the weekend.  A Michigan artist once recommended putting paintings aside for a few days and then looking at them with fresh eyes.  That's some of the best advice I've ever received.  I'll post them in a day or two.

In the meantime, here are Tim's live model portraits from Saturday.  They are workshop studies and not finished paintings.

Tim also said to stress that he had lots of help with these from Za Vue.

Oil - 10 X 8
Oil - 14 X 11

When he finally gets his blog going again, Tim plans on writing a glowing review of this workshop.

Friday, May 24, 2013

I Hate Snakes

Alcohol Ink

I just learned how to put a long dent in Yupo paper with my fingernail...

Anyway, I'm looking forward to spending the next two days in the studio with my oil paints.  Tim is taking an oil portrait workshop this weekend from Yer Za Vue, a former Disney animator and current professor at the Art Institute of Portland.

In August, Tim will study with Thomas Kitts, whom we met at an Alla Prima Portland meeting months ago.   (Thomas also has an awesome Facebook page.)

Yes, it is because of Thomas and other seriously talented Portland artists that we will be taking the plein air plunge this summer. I'm planning to post the "Plein Air Chronicles" as they materialize. A funny coming attraction video is even in the works. Tim has promised to edit out the part of me screaming when I see the snake.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Alcohol Ink - 3-1/2 X 5

Kristen Dukat created a monster.  I'm having too much fun with these alcohol inks.

The good thing is that doing them has energized me, prompting lots of ideas for oil paintings.  

Speaking of oils, away we went to Multnomah Village this morning for Alla Prima Portland, a wonderful breakfast meeting with other local artists.  I think my days inside the home studio are numbered.  Tim just went out to get a couple of easel umbrellas and some bug spray.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New Dawn

New Dawn
Alcohol Ink - 5 X 7

The perfect way to start the day - an alcohol ink.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Back to Normal (What's Normal?)

Canyon Cove
Alcohol Ink - 5 X 7

We just had to pull out the alcohol inks after coming home from the airport.  I came up with an abstrac-y memory of our trip to the southwest a few years back.

Kristen is right; the finished pieces are cleaner and fresher in person.  Can't wait to try some more.

Well, after we cleaned up the ink, our friend Elizabeth came over for dinner armed with an abundant supply of wine, some delicious garlicky bread and dessert.

This combination of ice cream, melted bittersweet chocolate, and a sparing sprinkle of sea salt is perfection.

Trust me, we ate much larger portions last night.  This is the breakfast version.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Kristen and Kelly's Trip to Portland - Going Home

We had an easy drive to Kristen and Kelly's hotel this Sunday morning.

They were ready (almost) to go to the airport, and it was a leisurely drive with lots of smiles and promises to come back.

When Kelly and Kristen arrived in Portland, they came bearing gifts.

Alcohol Ink - Kristen Dukat

Earrings by Kelly - SO much more beautiful in person

They also brought a box of Dietsch Brothers gourmet truffles, but it mysteriously disappeared before I could photograph it.

When they left, we were gifted with this beautiful framed glass piece by Kristen,

more alcohol inks / supplies, and personal notes that brought tears to my eyes.

Thank you, guys, for adding so much to my life and my art.

See you soon.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Kristen and Kelly's Trip to Portland - Saturday

While Kelly was back at Bullseye Glass for the workshop finale, we headed out for a rainy day at Cannon Beach.  Rain does not seem to deter any outdoor activity around Portland or at the coast.

We started off at Ecola State Park, just a little north of Cannon Beach.  We were glad Tim brought a couple of extra warm coats.

Oops, wrong photo (took this one last summer).

This is what the beach looked like today.

All that walking made us hungry, so we drove over to Cannon Beach for lunch.
There were people and dogs all over the place, as usual.

Since we were bundled up, we took another stroll on the beach after lunch.

Haystack Rock

Okay, we're bundled up and she's barefoot.

So, she's barefoot, too.

There's a possibility there might be a barefoot person here.

He's barefoot, but that doesn't count.

This is a scary piece of driftwood - doesn't look like he has a sense of humor.

So, we got back in the car for a short drive to Hug Point.

It's not unusual for people to sit on the beach and watch the storms roll in,  

...but I've never seen anyone foraging before.  I'm getting hungry again.

I think he's digging for clams.  What time is dinner?

This is what Hug Point looks like in the summer.

This is what it looked like today.

I guess Kristen and Kelly will have to come back...

Friday, May 17, 2013

Kristen and Kelly's Trip to Portland - Friday

Today is Friday, but I'm just getting around to describing our Thursday travels. 

Kelly was back at Bullseye Glass, so Kristen, Tim and I went to the regular Alla Prima Portland meeting in Multnomah Village.   Everyone was very interested and impressed as Kristen introduced herself and shared samples of her artwork with us.

After the meeting, Kristen suggested we check out the Grotto, a beautiful Catholic shrine / botanical garden in Portland.  Tim and I had never been there before, and we were not disappointed.

Thankfully, the rain was holding off, so we decided to run over to the Japanese Garden, also in Portland.

After dinner, we headed back to the waterfront for a relaxing drink, and were treated to watching this family of Canadian geese get a snack before bedtime.

It was the most calm, meditative day of the trip.

Kristen and Kelly are meeting with other friends today.

Tomorrow we head for the coast.