Every couple weeks or so we pack up the family and drive up to Springville, CA to visit my parents. They have a glass kiln. Two weeks ago I started to experiment with botanical inclusions in glass. These are some wildflowers my sister and I picked and pressed. In theory, if you sandwich pressed plant material between two pieces of glass with some frit (crushed glass) and fire it, you get a ghost image of the leaf or flower in the glass. So I gave it a try.
Sadly, all I managed to do was make dirty bubbles in the glass. But I think the technique has some potential. If you look very closely around the clear bubble near the center, there are some lines that show where the petals connected in the center of the flower. My guess is that the flower I used was too small. The glass circles I cut were about 1/2" in diameter. I'll try again at some point using bigger flowers or leaves. I might also try using the flower as stencil to sift colored powdered glass over.
This is one of the pieces I'm working on now. Barring any process disasters, it will be part of my Parks Project. It's based on a photo I took in El Malpais National Monument in New Mexico. It's the first piece I've done on a full sized door for a while. Excuse the slightly wonky pictures. It's hard to get a good picture of a piece this size when it's laying on the floor.
Here it is right after I poured the paint and added the rock salt.
This is after a couple more pours and a bit of drying time.
And this is where the piece currently stands, dry and re-stretched. Somehow I managed to warp a door, which I've never done before. But it lays nice and flat now.
It's always interesting to see how a piece changes as it dries. The red here mellowed out quite a bit, which I was happy with. The red paint was nowhere near that red when I mixed it.
I just finished a new piece in my Parks Project series. It's called Sequoia National Forest No. 1. Yes, I went to a park created to celebrate the world's biggest trees, and painted a succulent less than and inch and half across. Typical.
I did a pretty good job taking in progress photos with this one. Usually I don't think to do that until the end.
I've done some pinstriped paintings before and wanted to try it again. The first step was to put down some artist's tape.
Next I mixed up a chromatic black, thinned it down with water, and poured it over the surface. The textured bits shown in the picture is rock salt to give it some mottling.
Here it is after it dried, with the tape still on (left) and without the tape (right). I was surprised by how well the tape blocked out the paint. I thought there would be more bleeding around the edges.
Next, I did another round of staining with a chromatic black. I used more water in the second batch of paint so that the stripes would still show. (I forgot to take a picture after this step).
Then I started painting in the plant.
Here's the finished piece next to my source image! I think the end product captures the feeling of the moment when I took the picture. I was clambering over the rocks in the Tule River at the time and just happened to look down to see this little flower. It was a quiet pause in the middle of a bunch of activity.
Towards the end of 2015 Art Design Consultants, based in Cincinnati, Ohio, bought one of the paintings from my appaloosa series and commissioned another for a corporate project. Their client was PricewaterhouseCoopers in Columbus, Ohio.
They purchased ScSSc+ SdS_ SvS_ No. 1,
and commissioned ScSScS SdS_ SnS_ No. 1.
Here they are installed.
Well, we’re more or less finished with our move to California. I just got the table saw up and running, so over the weekend I chopped some reclaimed doors down for panels for new paintings. I turned this:
Now I just need to block the ends off, paint them, and start stretching canvas.
I got a piece into a show in Laguna Beach! Here is the information for the show:
And here’s the piece that got in:
I'm a featured artist on Expose Art Magazine! Check it out here.
I got this one finished up tonight. I think this is my last comparison drawing. The rest should just have one horse in them.
Here’s what I worked on tonight.
This one is almost done. I just need to clean off the sketched lines and put a coat of varnish on it.
This one gets one more layer. I had one professor in grad school tell me my colors were too “polite”. I think I’ve left that behind with this piece. It’s kinda hard to look at right now.
Painting and Drawing