I had fun making the videos. But now it is time for a break. I am taking time to finish long-overdue commissions, and prepare for Art Trails, the open studio event held in October. I'd enjoy seeing you in my studio. I am not sure when I will resume making videos.
Also, as many of you know, I have left Gallery 1870 in Yountville. Paul, Kassia, Kim, and Gail are wonderful people, and they made the experience of being in a professional commercial gallery fun. The only reason I left was because my life priorities shifted. (Thank you, Paul and Kassia, for your supportive understanding.) In October, I turn 60. Ten years ago, I retired from a 28-year law enforcement career that was exciting, interesting, fulfilling, and at times, a lot of fun. I jumped full-time into creating art, and did that for almost ten years. What I didn't do was spend much time on my hobby - model railroading.
At 60, it is clear that there are more days behind me than in front of me. I have been building model railroads since I was ten, never having finished any of the layouts. I know, in reality, they are never finished no matter what you do. But I envisioned a fully landscaped layout on which I could run the locomotives and cars I've been collecting since 5th grade. Some of these cars were my grandfather's, and the oldest were built in the early 1930's at the beginning of HO scale model railroading.
I have shifted my focus to model railroading, with painting taking a back seat. I will continue to paint, and at times, offer them for sale. But my production will be significantly less than the last seven years, and will focus on promises to friends, commissions, and donations to important non-profits.
Thank you for your support in my art venture. It's not over; it's just a little bit slower, as am I....
I live in a free country because of the sacrifices made by so many others. A heartfelt thank you to them. This is for you. The original was painted as a gift for a friend who earned the Purple Heart in Vietnam.
This is a painting that is based on a beautiful photo taken by my friend, Don Hasemeyer. I started it months ago, and will finish it within the next week. This video shows finishing details added to the locomotives. Next, I'll paint the containers, which are distorted due to the heated exhaust coming from the locomotives. If you don't know Don, or haven't seen his photos, it's worth seeing his work on Instagram (dhasemeyer) and on Flickr. Great stuff, particularly if you enjoy trains.
I've painted this wagon several times before, but always with something inside. It is a small toy that Peggy's Mom received as a promotional item decades ago. Peggy has had it since she was in middle school. It looks great by itself, and brings back lots of memories of pulling kids in a much larger wagon, which now serves as a planter in our garden.
Again, I tried to use my airbrush to create shadows, but it didn't work. More practice is needed!
"Sophie the Giraffe" is a baby's toy that was originally made in 1961. It is one of the most common toys ever made. I got the idea to paint this from my good friend, Mimi, to honor April the Giraffe, who gave birth to a calf a couple of weeks ago. The birth was watched on camera by millions. Now we await the naming of the calf.
This painting challenged me in several ways. First, I tried using an airbrush for the first time. I placed a frisket (mask) over the pencil sketch, then cut out the frisket where I wanted to apply paint. I practiced a bit before painting on the actual panel, but I needed more practice! I did not succeed in feathering the paint like I had hoped. And, the paint was semi-gloss, which does not work with the flat colors of the subject. I painted over the airbrushing. But the frisket left edges, and those remained. I was unhappy with how dark the giraffe turned out, so I repainted it. In the process, I paid little attention to the shadows, which grew way to large! So, the backdrop was painted a third time! Three paintings in one! What a bargain!!!
I'm pretty passionate about my political beliefs. At times, I find myself dehumanizing and vilifying those with whom I strongly disagree. I forget that they, too, have their reasons for what they believe. Becoming dismissive does nothing to help all of us move forward. Here is a painting to help remind me that we all have much in common!
This week, I used pieces of my old Erector Set as props for a painting. I placed the pieces directly on the painting surface and traced them. Then I painted, kind of like advanced coloring! The wheel is not perfect because it would actually be a slight ellipse from the viewer's angle. However, I bet most people won't notice. What I enjoy most about painting something that is meant to look like it is real is the application of shadows and highlights. The painting suddenly becomes 3D.
The Santa Rosa Police Department is filled with talented and committed employees. Some of the most committed are Field and Evidence Technicians. They perform many functions, including crime scene investigation. They collect evidence from the most gruesome crime scenes, autopsies, fatal collisions, etc. It is tiresome, tedious and critical work. But they do it, and they do it well. This badge says "Field Support Technician," which was the title until some years ago. Thank you to SRPD and to all the FETs, past and present, for your dedication! You truly make a difference.