Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Wise Quacks-Dean H.

Left page
Right page
An oil painting for James Parker's book which is a part of The Flying Moleskin Project. The painting on each page is approx. 8"x5". A fellow wildlife fan, James chose wildlife as the theme for his book. Hope you enjoy it, buddy!

Looks as though Mom is taking the class on a field trip. They just left a sidewalk where the little ones played "don't step on any quacks". They are very smart, high achievers...thus my title: "The Wise Quacks".

I added liquin to some of the slower drying colors. As soon as it drys, it'll be off to you Vern!


matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Santora Dana Cooper

8" X 23" oil on gessoed paper

This is my submission for Edward Burton's moleskin for The Flying Moleskin project. Edward's theme for his book was music so I knew that this group that I enjoyed watching and listening to would be my contribution. As a figurative painter I really enjoyed the body language of these musicians as they played the blues in the basement of the historic Santora building in Santa Ana, CA.
Like all the others in The Flying Moleskin project, Edward has always been a supportive and encouraging blogger friend...hope you like it Edward!
Click on image to enlarge.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Show Guide

This painting from a photo I took at the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden Baden, Germany, is for everyone's good friend Lizmeister Holm. I wanted to entitle it "Planning Their Next Voyage", but didn't think they looked the part...ha! Nothing like our sailor gal Liz. Not a full on portrait as requested, so I hope it passes muster.
oil on paper 8 1/2" x 6 1/2"


oil on watercolor moleskine sketchbook

The next few weeks will be busy ones and so the day I received this from Camille, I began my painting for Dominique. Through painting this, I learned that moleskine watercolor paper is quite durable because this went through a couple of wipe outs before I found a direction I liked.

Each summer I visit my hometown in SW Louisiana and my brother gives me a day where he brings me to different rural areas. Shane brings his camera & tripod, books, and sketchbook and finds ways to stay busy while I paint. When I'm finished, we pack up and head to another location. One of my favorite places to paint is called Lake Martin, located between Lafayette and Breaux Bridge. It's about 9,500 acres of cypress swamps, along with a rookery, and a nature trail. I've never been on the nature trail because when I visit it is alligator nesting season and the trails are closed. I'm always amazed at the number of alligators we see, and am very grateful they appear to prefer the water areas and not the area on land where I am painting. While painting, we are entertained by a number of different egrets, spoonbills, ibis', and of course the very loud mating calls of the alligators. There are always a few people fishing, some in boats and others alongside the banks. I've never been to Lake Martin where we have not run into professional photographers camped out in their cars with giant lenses waiting for the perfect picture opportunity.

I have collected a variety of photos from Lake Martin for future paintings and this is one of the many I've been wanting to paint.
On the opposite side of the swamp are a few private homes, a very eclectic mix. There is one home that is designed by it's architect owner and it looks like a tall, narrow fortress, the neighboring home is a farm with the friendliest horses and cows. There are several private dirt roads leading, I am assuming, to private residences, Dominique's painting is of one of those private roads. Take a minute and google Lake Martin Louisiana images, you will not be disappointed!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Next voyage - April 9

Everyones work is so varied and beautiful it's exciting to be able to see each person's  artwork before you.
Thank you all for making this project so special.

BTW -  Liz you win the most creative dare devil post this time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Liz Holm for Angela; Cat Nap

Mabel on Deck
S.V. Tamara
Grenada to Norfolk Voyage

Angela's journal theme is places. I don't know if it's spring fever or feeling a bit stuck in place or both, but I've had a bad case of wanderlust lately. I started thinking about the places I've felt most content, and realize most of those places involve the sea or companion animals or both.

In the late 90s, lifetimes ago it seems, I helped a friend's mother bring her Alberg 37 from Grenada to Norfolk. We made the trip in one shot, no stops, across the Caribbean and then up the Atlantic. 20 days at sea. It was just the two of us, and sweet Mabel the cat.  During calmer weather Mabel would wedge herself between the air vent and companionway hatch, and doze in the shade. During bad weather, she'd snug in the cabin, and during my 3 hour sleep shifts, she'd bunk with me for company.  Tropical Depression Danny hit us just before it was upgraded to hurricane status.  Gusts to 60 and sustained winds of 45 were a challenge at the helm. The week before we landed the forestay snapped (which holds the mast upright), and we had a thrilling rollercoaster ride down some huge seas while we wrestled the head sail out of the surf and hooked up an emergency forestay.  We also hit the doldrums-- endless days on glassy seas.  The water tanks fouled, we ran out of propane, and blew an oil gasket that needed repairing.  It was one of the best times of my life. Every day was new, and the colors of the sea and sky changed hourly. On calm nights, I'd lie on deck.  Millions of stars above reflected in the water, and it felt like floating through the universe.  When the wind was fair, and we'd make good headway, dolphins would show up and play around the bow wake. Bliss.

I don't know what happened to Mabel once back in the States, but like to imagine she's living out another of her 9 lives, belly full of fish, dreaming of far-away lands.

(a few photos on my blog)

Camille Olsen

"Beautiful Girl" (Do-over In Progress) I'm no Carol Nelson, that's for sure. I decided I had to try again on this portrait, which is still in progress. Hope this is okay to post -- and if anyone else has redo's on any artwork you've done here so far, I for one am interested to see. I know I'm surely not the only one who has moleskin mailer's remorse sometimes? My goal was to work on making the colors more interesting as well as shooting for a better likeness. Trying to make her as gorgeous as she really is is quite a feat! Sometimes we have the opposite situation as portrait painters so that's a credit to the model. And if you already commented on the other version you're off the hook for doing so here, just wanted to share the attempt at redemption. Any further progress I'll save for my own blog. 14 x 11 oil on Ampersand board.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Beauuutiful Girrrrrrl...

... iiis liiiike a melodyyyyyyy, as the song says. That's how I felt about the girl in my reference photo who is very special to Dominique Eichi. Such sparkly eyes, such a big mesmerizing smile, such amazing cafe-au-lait tone to her skin...

However, three weeks had passed and I hadn't worked up the courage/inspiration to paint a landscape for Dominique's book -- I know she wanted trees and I was going to do it, oh yes I was. But after a busy-basket (thank you, Adebanji) several weeks it wasn't happening. So at the 13th hour, I decided to go with my usual preferred area -- people/figurative, and out come the acrylics (so I can mail it soon) and I have the book flat on the table and can't really see the proportions well but I've promised it will be FedExed tomorrow... okay, enough with the excuses. So I'm calling this a study for a later oil version and am honoring the expectation to post this, even if I have barely touched the tip of the iceberg regarding my subject's beauty and feel this portrayal of her is well below my expectations for myself.

While I'm here, fellow Flying Moleskin members, please remember that I revised my theme to be No Theme, just put something in my book that is what you're in the mood to do. Do what you feel you do well or that is your forte' or that is your current comfort zone. You can stretch yourself some other time on your own paper! Just kidding but I hope you know what I'm saying... do what moves you that day or even what just sounds fun. Thanks! And now to think up a dream idea for Dana...

ADEBANJI ALADE- "Peter and Paul"

This is my entry for James Parker's world of wildlife. I know James is funny, so I decided to draw these funny looking twins for him. One of my discoveries from the London Zoo.

I don't know what they are called, so someone needs to help me out! All I know is that they looked funny and interesting, so I decided to take a play with mixed media, to animate their strange looks.

For this piece I have used, acrylic, wax crayons, ball point pen, pencil, ink, tom bow wash brush-pens and my beloved oil based pencil on an off white cardboard sheet.

This is now on its way to Dean. All apologies for sending this late, I got trapped in the busy basket and I'm not free yet....!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"The Violinist" By Irit

This is for Edward , his theme is music. I am a travel agent working with many rock/pop stars.Owen is one of them and I love his music.

Michael James Owen Pallett  is a composer, violinist, and singer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and winner of the inaugural Polaris Music Prize.

Pallett is best known as the principal member of the band Owen Pallett (formerly "Final Fantasy") which is essentially a solo project.

This is oil and I wish I had more time to work on it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Michelle Burnett - Daydreaming

This is my contribution to Dana Cooper's sketchbook for her theme "Dream", done in colored pencil. I also added a favorite quote: "Go confidently in the direction of your the life you've imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ON DISPLAY ! Dominique Eichi

 This is for Irit's moleskin, her theme is places, where you live. Well I can't say I went very far
     This is a wall outside my door that has flower pots and such.
      I enjoyed doing this, it became very relaxing.    Here are some Details

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Edward Burton - For Dean

This is my contribution to Dean Haven's moleskin. He left his subject matter open and since I know he is a big animal lover, I thought I'd do a painting of a cute little dog that was in my dog's training class.

James - Going to Peaces

When I first began this piece, I didn't have any clue what I was doing. When I finished this piece, I didn't have any clue what I did. I haven't done many landscapes, and the ones I have done, kinda make ya want to stay indoors. This is for Camille Olsen's Moleskin...her theme being "PEACE". Angela had begun the journal's trek with the adorable beagle that exuded such an element of peacefulness that we should find a couple of dogs like that and send em to the leaders of Iran and North Korea. Well, anyway, what to paint for Peace? I started to open a can of peas, put em the blender and paint them...then call it "Envision Whirled Peas", but thankfully, I nixed that. Finally, I decided on a medley of stuff...a peaceful scene, a peace lily, a peace symbol, a peace rose, and a dove. Mixed em all together and slapped it on the page. I think it works if no one mistakes the fall foliage for a forest fire.
I hope Camille likes it. She's a sweet, little Texas girl who would probably like it even if it stunk like week-old sauerkraut. I'm now going to stand out by the mailbox and await the next "Mission Improbable"

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vern Schwarz's book... a bit of Glamor from Sheila

A Bit of Glamor
for Vern Schwarz's Moleskin
10x8 oil on gessoed paper

Vern Schwarz was nice enough to leave the subject to us for his book. This sometimes is more of a challenge to me than to have a theme. I thought I would go way off the charts and try to paint an homage to the 40's/50's era Hollywood glamor. I love movies from that era. The cinematography was beautiful and the women were always dressed to the nines. This image is based very loosely on a photo of Gene Tierney.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Michelle Burnett's moleskine theme is souvenirs and postcards. I went back and forth thinking about the only 2 homes I've ever known: Louisiana and Texas. Every idea I came up with for either state seemed a bit trite and then I thought about stretching Michelle's theme a bit, hence Souvenirs of My Childhood.

As a child, I loved our set of Golden Book Encyclopedias that Mom bought at the grocery store each week. Do ya'll remember these books? The covers were highly illustrated and the inside, had a lot of simple drawings. For a little kid who loved to draw, I spent a lot of time looking at and copying those pictures, constantly discovering new pictures and drawings.

For Souvenirs of My Childhood, I decided to copy two of my favorite covers and in the background I included drawings that I did when I was about 6 or 7 years old. Looking at these books now, I realize how simplistic and dated the content is, but I have to tell you, I still love those illustrated covers.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A Warm Bed - Vern Schwarz

I would like to thank Adebanji for choosing such a relevant theme for his moleskin book. Homelessness is certainly not a popular topic, but I feel here in Winnipeg more and more people are stepping up and trying to help out. I know our own hockey group donated a sizeable amount this Christmas to our local Siloam Mission, and I personally will continue with aid throughout the year.

Monday, March 1, 2010

"A Kiss In The Dark" Dana Cooper

7" X 7" oil on gessoed cardboard

This is my latest entry for The Flying Moleskins art project. This book belongs to Sheila Tajima, and she asked that the participants create something they love in her book. There are many things that I love, including the idea for this book, but a kiss in the dark is really special...need I say more?