Welcome to my studio

How would you like to pull up a chair and watch over my shoulder as I paint? Well, it’ s probably not going to happen. That is exactly why I created this blog. I cordially invite you into my studio on a regular basis to watch a painting in progress. I find it difficult to paint in front  of people unless I am doing a demonstration for a student or in a workshop setting. The real Truth is that no one has ever seen me paint on anything other  than a demonstration piece.  I truly enjoy the privacy and intimacy I feel while creating in my studio.

Through his blog you will be able to to follow me as I create. “no cheap seats for you”  you will be right in the front row. I will show you my inspiration as well as progressional photographs of the  painting as I am working on it. You may even whiteness an occasional failure, but then if everything I paint is  a success I wouldn’t  be pushing myself to grow as an artist. Wolf Kahn, a German-born American artist, wrote “The Moment you know how to do certain things, you should by all rights stop doing them. You will be ceasing to search and starting to preform. You will become your own expert and your art will become an exercise in self-congratulation.” Those words have always resonated with me very strongly. I hope to  show you how I create and not offer you an exercise in self congratulations.

So here we go. This fist image is  a collection of succulent plants that I have growing in my front yard. I was fascinated with the textural differences. Big round, sharp pointy, long skinny. You get the idea. I photographed the pot from many angles, looking to see which would make the best composition. So here is the picture I will be working from. I will keep you blogged on the process .

My fist step is to do a pencil drawing that is in proportion to my watercolor paper. I do this drawing no gray paper that is in proportion to my watercolor paper.The reason I use gray paper will become clear in the next few steps. This initial drawing is done in the style of a contour drawing . I divide the picture plane into i

nteresting ,interlocking shapes . With the use of a simple grid I transfer the drawing to the watercolor paper.

Next I do a value study directly on the gray paper that contains the initial sketch. I use only black and white watercolor paints. An infinite number of values can de achieved by diluting the black and white paint. When completed the pure black areas represent all the dark values in the painting, the white paint represents the white or lightest areas of the painting, and the unpainted gray paper represents all the medium value paints.

So, let the painting begin. My painting technique is quite simpleI keep my value study  and my original photo or actual object close by. Since I am only thinking about interlocking shapes it is not critical where I begin. Each shape is a small painting unto itself. I apply paint directly to dry paper adding the water to make it flow. I do all of my color mixing directly on the page.

As the individual  shapes become painted the painting starts to develop. Every painted shape eventually meets another painted shape.When all the shapes are painted the painting is complete. Naturally some fine tuning may be necessary, but I caution you against “overpainting” . In most cases “less is more” is a good mantra. I like to give my viewers the opportunity to visually add in any  missing detail for themselves.

So that’s it, not quite “in a nutshell” but perhaps short enough to hold your attention and give you the basics of how I make a painting.

Here is the completed painting.

53″ x 40″