Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Storm Painting Commission

For me, a painted study for large paintings is crucial.  Pencil sketches help me develop the composition after the subject of the painting is decided.  From these sketches one is chosen for the study that satisfies all the compositional criteria and "tells the story" I intend to communicate to the viewer.

After discussing, at length, what type of scene this client wants in his commissioned painting we decided on a dark, brooding sky filled with ominous clouds with stands of Sabal palms and sawgrass blowing in the wind.  He and I both lived in Miami, Fl and are familiar with the storms that blow across the Everglades, so this was a perfect fit for us both.

The study posted here is 9"x12", which is 1/4th the size of the final painting (36"x48").  The client has approved the study, the canvas is on my easel, and I am anxious to get started. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Artist Reception at the Backus Museum

Fallen Palm on the Silver River
The Artist Reception for the "Tribute to Backus" at the Backus Museum and Gallery last Friday night in Ft. Pierce was a huge success.  The Museum was packed with people arriving before the official opening time and not leaving until well after closing.

It was great fun to see long time friends and reminisce about the past.  I lived in Ft. Pierce for almost 20 years, so there are lots of stories to remember.  However, the night was about Bean and I thoroughly enjoyed sharing my personal memories about him with people new to the area.

The paintings were not only on exhibit but also for sale with a portion of the proceeds going to support the Museum.  These are two of the 6 paintings of mine that found new homes.  The show will hang until March 8 so you still have an opportunity to see it.  While at the Museum be sure to see the permanent collection of Backus paintings, you will understand why he is known as the Dean of Florida Landscapes. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Backus and Me

Bean Backus and Jackie Schindehette (Circa 1988)

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute commissioned Bean to paint two large paintings for their hospital in Miami, Florida.   This is one of the paintings.  I was fortunate to have been working with Bean at the time and got to see him create these fabulous paintings.

I don't know about all artists, but I get a bit intimidated when facing a very large blank canvas.  Surprisingly, Bean also got a bit nervous contemplating these large paintings and procrastinated for some time.  Once he got started the magic flowed through his hand.

I photographed each stage as the paintings progressed but they are "old fashioned, hard copy" photographs.  Hopefully I can get them into digital form and post a few. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Personal Story with Beanie

 Albert Ernest "Bean" Backus
Photograph by Tom Baumker 

The "Tribute to Backus" Exhibit/Sale at the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Ft. Pierce opens today.  So, I thought it appropriate to show a few of my personal photos...and memories... of this very special man. 

 The photo on the right was taken in his home-studio in Ft. Pierce, Florida.  Yep, that is me with Bean.  I remember the day well.  We both were painting all morning and sat down for a while to chat and listen to his jazz records, Bean's favorite kind of music.  Some times he would play the music as we painted, listening for a while, then dancing together occasionally.

My easel is behind Bean just over his left shoulder.
Just being in the studio was wonderful, but painting with Bean was magical.  I am grateful to have had this exceptional experience that progressed into a career and the gift of Bean's friendship that still warms my heart.

The top photograph of Bean was taken by highly respected photographer Tom Baumker.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hand Painted Tray for Fund Raiser Auction

The Backus Museum asked me to paint something on a tray for an upcoming auction with the proceeds going to the Museum.  Of course I didn't hesitate to say yes.....although I have never painted on a tray or piece of furniture before.    Ok, Ok, soo.... I did paint on a life sized horse ...but that was another fund raiser and another story.

The Museum supplied the tray which turned out to be really neat (does anyone say that anymore?).  It must have been purchased at a thrift store because it has $3.95 written on the back.  What a steal!  It is also marked Calvin Klein, is solid wood not plastic,  and put together with dove tail joints not staples.

 After sanding, the wood spoke to me and yelled....SANDHILL CRANES!  I didn't want to overdo the painting image and chose to keep it simple.  I hope those attending the auction like it as much as I do.  I might even offer a silent bid.  If you want to bid get in touch with Kathleen at the A.E. Backus Museum.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Good Lesson to Learn

I was in the Thornebrook Village Art Festival last October 2012.  As I was packing up to go home on the last day of the show a charming young man stopped by my tent.   He raved about my work, looking at each painting and print.  Well...I was ready to fold my tent and go home after being there all weekend, but made myself spend time with him and answer his questions.

He emailed me a couple of days ago to ask about visiting my studio.  We arranged a day and time.  He was delighted to be able to see my studio and learn more about how I work.  He, again, looked at all my paintings and giclee reproductions........and, yes, he selected one to purchase. 

Anthony went home with "Lazy Days of Summer" (shown here) and a big smile on his face.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Finished Painting for Backus Museum

Tadddaaa!!!    Just finished "Summer Solitude --  Back Country Pines", 24" x 48", this afternoon.  Knowing when to stop painting is always a challenge for me.  Seems like there is always one more little dab of paint needed somewhere.  Or.... maybe... NOT!

I was trying to decide if I wanted to put Sandhill Cranes or a Great Blue Heron in the landscape and opted for a single Great Blue.  They are such elegant birds, I think this guy lends an air of dignity to the painting.   Of course, I still have a week before I deliver the collection to the Backus Museum so,.........   I have been known to paint a bird out and repaint another bird in if I keep a painting a while.

Tribute to Backus

I am still adding paintings to my collection for the "Tribute to Backus" exhibit/sale at the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Ft. Pierce, Florida that opens Wednesday, January 16.  The 24"x48" painting on my easel WILL get finished today! 

There are lots of things yet to do:  get the stamps on announcement post cards and mail, paint a few more 4"x6" paintings, finish painting the wooden tray that will be auctioned by the gallery and schedule a time to deliver all by January 12.

I took time off for Christmas and New Years and am now paying the price!  Actually, I don't mind the last minute push.