Thursday, March 29, 2007

What was I thinking?

Hi Everyone,

Thursday is studio day for Carlynne and I. She called me this morning and asked, " Why is it that one day you can paint and the next day you can't do anything right?" My reply, " I don't know, but if we knew the answer, there are probably a lot of artists out there who would pay to know it."

I went to bed pretty happy about the foreground of the painting I am doing for the workshop Saturday. This morning I looked at it and thought, "What was I thinking?" I had to stop myself from wiping all the paint off the canvas. So the question I add to hers is, "Why can't we be objective about our own work?"

It seems to me the artist's life is full of emotional ups and downs. Everything is going well one minute and the next, everything turns to crap. We must be strong and most of all, not be too hasty to throw it all away, whether it be your painting or your whole career. We frequently tell our students that the piece they are working on is just going through an ugly stage. Things do get better. I am very thankful that I get to do what I do. It is sometimes very hard and sometimes even depressing, but if you truly believe in the work you are doing, good things will happen.

Peace and love,

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Technique and Possibilities


I have been busy working on a painting for the workshop that Carlynne mentioned we are teaching this weekend. We really like the new Interactive Acrylic paint. It has a longer open time than the regular acrylics and allows easier blending. It is not quite like oil, but not your mothers acrylic either.

You might be wondering how we teach a workshop together. We take turns demonstrating different techniques and then both of us help students accomplish what we have shown them. Sometimes we both work on one project and sometimes we do two different ones. Our goal in a workshop is to give our students as much information as possible to allow them to go home and do even more with what they have learned. Our workshops are not about the particular painting that we are working on. We are teaching technique and possibilities.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Rocks in the head.

Passage 6
Mixed Media
Another piece in this series. There are nine in this particular series and they are all done on gallery wrap canvas. The painting continues on the sides of the canvas. I like having multiples in this size because they can be arranged in any number of ways. This group of abstracts is loosely based on rock patterns. I have a box full of rock slabs in my studio that I use for inspiration.
I really do have rocks in the head.... I should be getting some work done for next weekend's workshop instead of playing on the computer. Kelli and I are teaching a class on the new Interactive Acrylic. If you haven't given this stuff a try you really should. The more I work with it the more I like it. We have a few more workshops scheduled over the course of the year. We'll let you know what's coming up.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Abstracts too

Mixed Media

Yes, I paint abstracts too. I like to have more than one thing going at once. Working in series allows me to develop a theme. Working on 2 series at once allows me to 1. satisfy my need to experiment and 2. take a break from the first series and return to it later with fresh eyes after having worked on the second series. There are a lot of artists out there that work in more than one style. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Your thoughts?
The piece above is torn paper collaged with acrylic and oil.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Hi everyone. Although we have written magazine articles and a book, Carlynne and I are new to blogging but very excited about it. I look forward to sharing my thoughts as well as my artwork with you. Please write to let us know how you feel about what we are doing.

As much as we really enjoyed writing the book, we were doing mostly tightly rendered, realistic pieces for a long time and both of us seemed to need to loosen up after the book went to press. I am currently working on a number of pieces I call my "beach series." They are all about texture and are representative of water and sand, but not a literal interpretation. I am having a wonderful time exploring the world of texture and color. I'm using many different texture gels and other acrylic mediums on gallery wrapped canvas and cradled boards. We will be doing a workshop on this very subject in June, 2007. (More information will be available in the future).

I love the way the paint flows over the mountains and valleys in the texture peices. I have ideas on using other natural subjects for more textures. I have never been so excited about a series in all of my art life. In fact, this one has so much potential, I can see it going on for years. However, I always seem to go back to working on paper too. I used to use mostly watercolor and colored pencil on paper, but now I am adding acrylic to the mix and sometimes a few other things. Right now I am looking for some flowers that really grab me.

If you are an artist who is concerned that if you use more than one media or paint more than one subject, you will be considered unfocused as an artist, stop worrying. Art by it's very nature is experimental. If you work for many years, you will change. It is a natural evolution for artists to seek out the new. Carlynne and I are the quintessential experimental artists. We cannot resist trying new things and that is one reason we work so well together. We influence and give each other ideas. It is a fun way to work and we encourage you to try one of our workshops so you, too, can see how thrilling it is to try new things.

Until later,


Saturday, March 17, 2007

This is one of Kelli's paintings from her beach series. I just love the textures.


Welcome to our studios. Kelli and I are busy painters, teachers and now new authors. We wear many hats and of course our favorite is the painter. I love being in the studio. If there's a day when I can't paint because of other obligations I'll at least visit my studio. Even standing there looking at what's on the easel can be a creative boost. I can think about the next step in the painting knowing that I'll be back in there soon. In the last few years I've been doing a lot of mixed media techniques and loving it. I think I want to use every art material in existence. There are certain combinations that are especially dear to my heart: watercolor with colored pencil on hot press watercolor paper and acrylic with oil on canvas. I'll be posting examples of these works, some finished and some in progress. After being a purist with colored pencil for so many years I really needed to branch out and do something new. Although the techniques are new the subject matter hasn't changed that much. Natural forms are still my inspiration whether it's realism or abstraction.
As Kelli and I both post we'll be filling you in on our painting progress, up-coming events and classes/workshops that we're teaching. The painting you see here is Banana Flower and it's watercolor with colored pencil. Kelli has some wonderful textural pieces that she's doing so I'm looking forward to seeing her pieces posted.
Til the next time,