Sunday, December 29, 2013

What I have learned this year:

Over the course of 2013, there are numerous things I've learned. I shall only list a few of them, as they are the ones that have affected me the most. Some of these things, I have to admit are extremely petty and sound like a high school Facebook posting, so don't judge me :-).

1. Time management: I cannot go into enough depth about this. I found that if I take every day of the week and attach an art project to it, I create more. For example, on Sunday, I'll have one or two specific projects to work on, Monday is the same, as is Tuesday and so on and so forth. I do this because I'm working on about 15 different paintings at the moment. Sometimes, it's easy to forget what you have to complete. This year, I've completed 21 paintings, last year, I believe it was half that.

2. Titanium White: You can never have too much of it.

3. Craigslist: When it comes to people getting rid of art supplies - paints, canvases, etc ... yeah ... Craigslist rules!

4. Forgiveness: There are some people who, no matter what you do, will never find it in their heart to forgive you, regardless of their own actions towards you. They'll make nasty comments about you online, run your name through the mud, even create fake Facebook accounts to bash you, and if you retaliate in any manner, they act as though you were the problem. Even if you cower and apologize, they find a way to play the victim. This is their problem, not yours. (yeah ... that's a real personal one there)

5. Indifference: People often say that hate is the opposite of love. This is not true. Both hate and love are an emotion. Indifference is the removal of all emotion. I don't think there's anybody I hate ... seriously. There are people and situations who I am indifferent towards, and have no emotion for anymore - both negative or positive. The only emotion I feel towards it, is that I wish I felt either/or for them.

6. Self Image: (This one is very juvenile) As an artist, it's difficult to get out of the mindset that people need to like you. I used to feel that everyone needed to like me. Unless someone is a customer, what other people think about me, what their friends and family think about me, really doesn't matter anymore. This has taken me YEARS to fully understand. But over the course of this year, I found things kind of changing. After an ulcer hit me back in February/March, things slowly began to change for me. It was around October that it finally sunk in. A person doesn't like me? Okay, thanks. What other people think about me is really none of my business. I have an awesome life ahead of me, I create phenomenal art, and I have goals and dreams I WILL obtain. It's kind of liberating to be honest.

7. Work for free - Never again. I find that people who pay have a tendency to not only respect what you do, but take better care of the work you do for them. When I do free work for people because I listen to their sob story (we're going out of business and are trying to make it, we're on a limited budget, *insert sob story) they tend to take advantage. For example: anytime I've done work for someone for a cost (book cover, logo, etc.) there are a set number of changes they're allowed to make before they accrue additional charges. Let's say that number of free changes is 3. By the time they get to the third change I can count on one hand how many times a customer has agreed to continue making changes. Usually, they have it down pat. However, when I do work for SSC (sob story clients) oh my goodness ... the number of changes they have to make can be downright staggering, one customer making almost 15 changes. Of course, when I told him that I would have to start charging, for some reason, he somehow didn't need anymore changes. Strange how money changes people's minds.

8. A new career, a new year ... don't mind if I do ... Happy New Year everyone!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Plumbob

For the fans of the game 'The Sims,' I present to you ... The Plumbob

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Plumbob In-Progress

Almost there ...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Plumbob In-progress


In progress painting of the plumbob from the game The Sims. If you don't know ... no biggie. I'm not into the game, but this painting is for one of their biggest fans.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Now this ... this is going to be a huge painting.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Ringwraith

Oil painting of a Ringwraith from Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings. With the exception of the horse's eye, the entire painting is titanium white and payne's grey.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ringwraith - In Progress

Just about finished. Have a few more finishing touches to put on.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ringwraith - In Progress

Here, I used a brillo pad and dotted the leaves of the trees off in the distance. It's not a technique I generally use, but I thought it would give off a nice feel to the painting. Personally, I like it a lot.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Ringwraith - In Progress


This is the beginning of my next painting. This was completed back in July, but I never got around to posting it. It's another Lord of the Rings inspired painting of a Ringwraith.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Imagine there's a person who you do absolutely everything in the world for. I mean ... everything. If they need help with bills, food, clothes, etc., you're that guy they turn to; but in the end, they use every excuse in the world not to be with you. At what point do you finally turn and walk away? This individual who may think there's some good in you, only has you around to use you, nothing more.

Somebody once said, "There comes a point when you have to realize that you'll never be good enough for some people. The question is, is that your problem, or theirs?"

This statement is something that, as an artist, I've come to realize in both my personal and professional life. If I were to jump through hoops to devote my time, energy, and emotions to someone who, no matter what, refuses to accept me into their life, is it my problem or theirs? For me to find the answers, I have to do a real, thorough, unbiased self eval. I have to stare at myself in the mirror and wonder if what I'm doing is the right thing for me.

I only bring this up because of a recent professional incident with my art. Every artist ... I repeat, EVERY artist desires acceptance. It's why we create. It's why we do what we do. We put a drawing, painting, or digital art piece on canvas for a reason - we want people to like/enjoy it. Art is a struggle. It's almost a cutthroat business, and unless the passion to create is there, it's a hobby ... nothing more.

Very recently, I did some work for a clothing company out of Texas. I helped structure their logo, clothing designs, etc. The concept was to do the work and as the business took off, more work and employment opportunities would come my way. For the record, I absolutely LOVE freelance work. It's a great way to turn a fast buck and add to your portfolio. But every so often, an individual comes along and will use you to their advantage. This generally happens early in an artist's career, but less and less as he or she progresses. None of the work I did was ever good enough for their production, and yet, I kept getting asked for more work, only to be told that it was rejected. I found out not too long ago that the work I'd completed was being turned over to another designer on their staff who would change enough of the image to make it different specifically for their brand. I realize now that nothing I will ever do for that company will be good enough. The question remains - is that my problem or theirs?

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Great Smokey Mountains

This was the view from my hotel room. The sun was just peeking over the mountains, casting a beam of light that was just too beautiful not to capture. This oil painting is 16x20.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Great Smokey Mountains in progress

Almost there. The fog and sun was shining over the mountains. The fall colors were just brilliant.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Great Smokey Mountains

Charcoal sketch of the Great Smokey Mountains.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Change

Later on this week, I will be posting maybe an image or two of some of the drawings or paintings I did in Gatlinsburg at the Great Smokey Mountains. It was such a pleasant, almost intoxicating feeling to be in that environment, away from ... well ... life.

After I post the paintings, much of my artwork will seem to shift in nature. This is something I've been struggling/wrestling with for so long. Just this week, I've gotten maybe 20-30 emails asking when I'm going to be posting more oil portraits. The answer to that is simply - I don't know. I've kind of strayed from oil portraits, and have moved into the more creative realm of painting. So very soon, maybe around the end of the year, this will be shown in my artwork. My realistic portraits and landscapes - though I'll continue to do them - will take a back seat to some of the newer work that I've been inspired to create.

I hope you enjoy ... I sure have.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Great Smokey Mountains II




This ... was ... heaven ...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Great Smokey Mountains, Gatlinsburg, TN

Imagine waking up to this in the morning. You're in the very top floor of the hotel and your room overlooks the Great Smokey Mountains ... the sun is just beginning to rise, and the fog begins to roll in over the mountains. This place is very nice. And I shall post some more photos either tomorrow, or Saturday. I was given the opportunity to head up into the mountains and do some amazing artwork. Most of it was charcoal sketches and pastel, but there were also some nice oil paintings of the mountains that I completed as well.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Annual Christmas Cards - 2013

Well, here we are again, another year has gone by, and we're offering our limited edition Christmas Cards. The card is based off of a painting I did earlier this year. Each year, I begin a painting in January, and by June/July, the painting is generally finished. The painting is then scanned and put on cards. There are only 100 cards this year.

Most of the time when I do a Christmas Card, it can be opened and either photos can be placed inside, or written on. This year, I decided to do something slightly different. This is a post-card style card, meaning that it does not open and close. So on the back of what you see above, with the exception of my logo, it is completely blank. The cards do come with an envelope and can either be ordered with a personalized greeting, or left blank. The personalized greeting will be hand-lettered in calligraphy at no additional charge.

Because these are not traditional, and are the post card-style cards, instead of $3, the cards are $2. If you order a set of 6, the price will be $10 for the 6 cards. Payment can be made via paypal or check.
Go ahead and place your order today!!

If anyone is interested in purchasing some of the cards from last year, there are a few remaining. Below is the image from last year's cards. The cost for those is $4.

Fireweed Forest

See what I mean? I should've stopped on the second painting. I just had to keep going. This is one of those paintings where I wish I didn't have to look at every day, but then again, maybe I'm being way too critical. Those beautiful mountains off in the distance that I really, really love ... you can barely see them now.
Anyway, the painting is 18x24, oil, and will be framed in six months, once it is varnished.
Email for purchasing information.

Monday, November 4, 2013

In Progress Painting - Fireweed Forest


This is a perfect example of a good painting gone bad. I absolutely love mountains. My time in Alaska, Tennessee, Washington State, I loved the mountains. This painting should've stopped right here ... but noooo ... not me. There's an old saying we used to have in the Army, "If it's not broke, fix it till it is." This painting ... this painting is a perfect example of that, which you will see in the upcoming days. Again, I should've stopped here, but I didn't.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Religious Wall Mural


This residential wall mural is a little different than what I usually do. I generally work in realistic works of art. This one, not so much. Artwork from the Renaissance had so many religious themes, and this one is no different. Alan Lee is an extremely gifted artist who worked on The Lord of the Rings set, and has completed some amazing, visual creations. I was inspired to use some of the templates from a book 'The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook.' That being said, let me explain what is going on here. The top portion are rams head. For those who read the scriptures, the ram is very symbolic. The ram that was caught in the thicket when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, was a representation of Christ. There are two rams heads. One is a literal ram, the other is what that ram represented. In the circular celtic pattern at the top, there is a star, which is a representation of the star that the Wise Men followed. The tree in the center is outlined in 24 karat paint - there are 66 leaves on the top of the tree for the 66 books of the bible, and 12 leaves on the bottom two branches - for the 12 tribes. In the center of the chair, another star - one of the names for Christ in Rev. 22, the Bright and Morning Star. Of course, sitting on the throne is Christ. The painting of Him is very medieval looking. I tried to give Him some brown in His skin, as I don't think Christ was this pasty-white Euro inspired visual that we've been fed. He has to have had some tan to His skin. Finally, under His feet was supposed to be a serpent, but that was scrapped at the last minute. The sketch for the serpent can still be seen. Maybe at a later date, the owner will have me paint it in.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In Progress - Residential Wall Mural


Close Up shots of the sketch.

Monday, October 21, 2013

In Progress - Residential Wall Mural


You see that little bald patch beginning to come in on the top of my head? Ahhh ... let the balding commence.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Progress - Residential Wall Mural

Yet another Wall Mural about to unfold. If you look closely, you can see some of the sketch at the very top.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Christmas Card 2013

This is the final image. After I come back from Tennessee, I will be sending this off to be printed and ready for cards hopefully by November 1.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Christmas Card in progress

If you'll notice, I got rid of the little cabin. I felt it would take away from the tree that will be in the center.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Christmas Card Painting

Every year, I try to do a Christmas Card. I started last year with the one below, and plan to continue the tradition this year.
At the top, the small painting is on a 9x12 panel, and you can see the outline. I decided to begin the painting in January and work on it periodically. I just finished it about a month ago, and I am pleased with the outcome. As with all of my artwork, I am posting the painting in progress. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Studio

This is my studio. Yep ... this is where the magic happens. This place is my own personal fortress of solitude. Imagine having the opportunity to peek into the studio of Picasso as he worked, or one of my favorites, William Bouguereau who, in my opinion, was one of the greatest painters who ever lived. Well, those of you who view my art blog, this is where the next greatest thing happens.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Commissioned Portrait for Raymond Goode


This is the completed portrait for author Raymond Goode. Photographs will come at a later date of his book and the book signing. This oil portrait was commissioned for the cover of his latest book. I will post them once I get them. Due to surgery, I was unable to attend the unveiling and book signing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013