Monday, October 17, 2011

A Beautiful Autumn Day.

What a day!  Morning fog was replaced with afternoon sunshine and Mount Hood in all her glory.  While I was sitting in my chair concentrating on the mountain, Gracie, our seven-year old cat decided to pose.  I got a lucky shot of her sitting still.  Finally, the late afternoon light made the bottles of adult beverages look too good to leave out.

And speaking of adult beverages, I believe I'm going to call this a "wrap" and treat myself to a tasty autumnal libation, just to salute this wonderful day.  Hope yours was a good one, too.  One final thought;  Is anyone besides me getting worried about Harry Kent?  I don't plan on bothering him, but I do plan on keeping my fingers crossed that he is in good health and just very busy making more great art.

Update on Mr. Jerry Wacknov's portrait:  Myrna and Jerry just returned home from a road trip and she  passed along his thoughts about the painting in an email.  Myrna gave me permission to post his words:  "Gary thanks.  That's really, really me!  I like it a lot.  If Myrna would let me buy paintings (no more wall space) I'd buy it in a minute.  Hope to meet you one of these days."  Jerry.

In a word;  Whew!  I just knew he must be a wonderful human being!  Thanks, Jerry!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Myrna's Husband, Mr. Jerry Wacknov

While cruising Myrna's blog a few days ago, I clicked on one of those clever links to other posts, "you might also like...".  They were at a reception with Myrna standing beside one of her paintings and there, by her side was Jerry.  He looks like a very nice gentleman--he must be or Myrna wouldn't be hanging out with him.  Anyway, I couldn't resist the lighting on his face and his hat.  May I present him to you now.


I cropped the photo to get a bigger image of him and made this small portrait from LOOKING at the print.  Only looking--no math, no anything.  I posted two photos of the painting taken under different types of lights.  

From The Mirror, Before and After.

Looking at my "from the mirror" version of the chilly runner, it definitely needed a do-over with respect to the darks.  For purposes of compare and contrast, I re-posted the washed-out version along with the same painting following a little adjustment.  Wow!  I just finished adding the two photos and they both look rather washed-out.  I don't know why, exactly, but trust me--the 13 Oct version is much richer.

11 Oct 2011
On the left is the 11 October version, painted under bright north light on a sunny day.











13 Oct 2011


To the right, is the re-worked painting, done under north light on a cloudy day.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

From A Photo versus From Life; "Runner" and "Runner II".

I have the original "Runner" self-portrait hanging in my at-home studio and it should be immediately obvious that it was painted from a photo.  In fact, looking at the painting, you might think there was a  "fish eye" lens on the camera when the image used for this work was taken.  Back then, I religiously adhered to what I saw in the photo, failing to recognize anything which a painter from life would know was "wrong".

All of this made me think it might be interesting to paint a new version of this work, but this time, from life.  As I type this, the two paintings are hanging on the wall in front of me and the differences are, to me at least, amazing. 
Since the weather here has been rainy and cool of late, the jacket in the original painting was readily available, as was the cap.  I painted this new version at home, with natural north light and a small, hand-held mirror mounted on a beat-up old Japanese three-panel screen.  Now that the sun sets much earlier, I only worked on it for a couple of hours a day.  Between the fading light and heat from the jacket and hat, a couple of hours was about all I could stand.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ms Myrna Wacknov

Many of you may know Myrna.  She's an amazingly talented, incredibly creative and inventive artist and teacher.  I should also add that she is an inspiration to everyone who sees her work or attends one of her workshops, including yours truly.

I found her blog about a year and a half ago and met her when she was here in Portland giving a workshop almost a year ago.  She was having lunch amongst her workshop attendees, but took the time to chat with me for awhile.  I thoroughly enjoyed our time together, seeing her work and snapping a few photos.  I "threatened" her with a portrait someday and that day has arrived.

I've been working on it for a couple of weeks, mostly when the self-portrait had me stumped or frustrated.  It's one of the new group of paintings I'm working on without using any upscale of the photo.  Just giving them a go and adjusting until they look something like the subject.  In the case of Myrna's portrait, many "flaws" will be seen, but I still wanted to post it.  I know she will forgive me my many transgressions since she encourages her students to experiment and just go for it.

You can find Myrna's blog on my list in the right hand margin (Creativity Journey) and I urge everyone to visit if you enjoy creativity, boundless imagination and countless ideas to broaden your artistic horizons.  She's quite a lady and she has most certainly inspired me.  Thanks, Myrna.

Update:  Here's the photo of Myrna I used to paint her portrait. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

The Jeanette Jobson Challenge.

A week ago today, the evil and conniving fine artist from Newfoundland, Canada, Jeanette Jobson, challenged me to do a quick self-portrait without thinking about it.  I accepted and promised her I would post such a work on October 3rd...today.

It was a struggle, to say the least.  I agonized over every aspect of this challenge;  Composition, palette, lighting, pose and canvas size.  Before I knew it, it was Sunday and I still had made no decisions about how to proceed.  Ah-h...it took me back to my college days where I majored in procrastination.  But I digress.

So, last night, after dinner (which included my standard glass of wine) and a short nap, I re-charged the old battery with a cup of coffee and decided it was time to get to work.  It was after ten PM.  I found a 12 x 16-inch canvas, loaded the palette with raw umber and white and got after it.  After some searching, the best location proved to be our guest bathroom.  I situated a chair in the room, put the palette on the sink and began to sketch the face in the mirror.

Once I had ensured my face would not all fit on the canvas, I began to add paint.  The weapon of choice was a Princeton Art and Brush Company number 12 round.  Since I was supposed to paint this loosely without thinking about it or making many corrections, this brush seemed perfect for the task.

I worked on it until about 1:15 AM, cleaned the brush and other stuff up and went to bed.  This morning my only sin was adding a bit of white to my mustache.  Other than that, it's a three-hour self-portrait, painted under extreme duress with little thought or re-work--Just as Jeanette ordered.