2013 journey starts__2014 it contiues...

Gallery of paintings under study with artist David Williams of The Plains/ Atoka road VA. I first started my classes the end of April 2013. I have been working three hours instruction and finishing one painting in 3.5 to 6 hours depending on the subject. My last painting #20 was done in two sittings. I totally changed the background to bring forward the flower colors.  I had a similar warm background like the chicken, but the chicken was so distinct, that it works there, but not in the flowers case.  Painting #19 was the Chicken and I am well pleased with this stylized rendition.  Painting #14 took 6 hours in three sittings. First one less than 3 hours in one sitting.

As the title suggests it is a journey in learning and discovery.  It is my first attempt at oil painting. I had a career in stetching as a landscape architect but no training in color or oil composition.  The experience under Mr Williams has opened a new world of color and values of light. My three paintings of landscapes; Little Washington winery view, the NM Sandia mtns and the funky buildings of The Plains VA village (en Plein Aire) were a hit with my two daughters.  They now have all been gifted to them.  My wife has the vase flowers on indian blanket and my oldest also has the study in bronz, silver and brass ware still life.  So it seems painting is not lucative yet. :00)) 

The last painting of cabbage was a joy and I like the result. The final barn painting showing all three weeks progression and it shows how reworking can enhance but you need to know when to stop. I loved this painting and it was special that my youngest daughter, Heather, liked it as well. She placed it in her living room along with the The Plains houses painting. The recent oil painting of clock was a test of pushing through creative block. Perhaps not my best work but a victory for facing demons trying to derail my positive confidence in pursuing this journey. 

Bananas in blue is in progress. I like the colors and simplicity of the composition. The final bananas in blue has better defined shapes and backgrounds. The recent Peonies in blue vase took two sessions and really came together for a soft colorful painting.  I also completed a plate of vegetables with peppers and tomatoes which caught the attention of my daughter Beccas friend Tocco Dixon.  She purchased this and was my first sale!   Then a visit by our great friends from NM Santa Fe days,  The Okerbergs produced another sale of my old clock and books painting  It now hangs in their living room in Albuquerque, NM.  Then my mother from Ft Myers Florida also visited and joined me for a painting class with David. She wanted one of my paintings for her condo and selected the fall color themed still life of dried flowers in a gray salt glaze jug.  She felt it would go perfectly in her home colors. 

I took a hiatus for grandpa roles while new grand daughter born to help care for grandson. So lovely to experience. The time away was good but painting hit a road block. The still life with basket and apples just got off center and painting never came together. Last attempt is getting me back on track. The white pail, lemons and green blue cloths still life is giving a chance to pull back into bringing a still life alive. I put the real photo in for comparison.

By my best count of finished and non-starters, am now up to 28 paintings. My target is to complete 100 paintings. David stated I could claim to be an artist after that. That's just 72 more to go. Guess that's job security for him--!!! :)

Worked on #29 defining a composition with only a few brush strokes.  Very good for capturing image with bold strokes.  Four studies done then a full detail done of vase with flowers. This #30 was so good Linda took to place in our living room!   Now trying to paint toys for my grandson Everetts room painting.  Invested 2 hours in the first copy now posted.  Will continue to refine next week 10/28/14. Now working on painting 33 (toys for everett) -- not all paintings have been posted--some will maybe never be finished.  Number #31 was painting of vase and purple cloth with fruit , #32 a study of bleeding heart flowers was sidelined. 

Painting # 33  is finished.  Will sign later.  May do small adjustment on shadows.  Very pleased with this painting.  It now hangs in Everetts room in Glenside PA. I then realized I needed a painting for upcoming granddaughter Elinore. Number 34 was a still life of beautiful soft flowers basking in a yellow room. It is now in Elinores room and a perfect fit in colors for her nursery. Then I started Painting number 35  and another true spirit of my style in still life's!  

I am finished now with #35 -- a still life of blue bottle and eggs on blanket.  This painting was donated to Warrenton Church auction and bidder who bought it was Julie Schupp.  Now working on #36-- another still life of beets and other veggies with brown stoneware jug.  This was completed in 2.5 hours  more to come though.  Christmas will provide a short hiatus then return in January 2015.

I am back at painting again--in 2015 and finished beets #36.  I like this painting and will keep in my collection for awhile.  It was selected for showing in the OAtlands VA arts barn show. Then,  I took on a request from daughter Rebecca to paint photo of a sunset reflected in her local stream.  The result is "The Golden Brook" finished in mid February #37.  May sell this one if price is right, but Rebecca may have room for yet another painting--where I  do not know.  Then my brother Bill Thompson let me know that his favorite painting was #37.  After checking with Becca she consented and I gave Bill this painting for Christmas 2015.  He proudly placed over his kitchen table . 

I then plowed into #38, still life of folded cloth and bold backdrop with fruit .  I have now finished trying to salvage this one, Not!   So I went on. I started on #41 -- another still life of green picture with tub bottle and onions. I call it ---  "Washing up for Dinner of Onions".

I discarded the three other paintings: #38 basket and apples, #39 jar and fruit in purple cloth and #40 an experiment with photo of bleeding hearts. So if you count those I am actually on 41 with this green picture and onions painting.  I have framed and keeping the onions in my collection.  

Today I just posted number #42. It is done from a photo of crocus taken at my senior clients home.  I liked the photo so much I made it my Facebook profile page  I then said could I possibly capture this in oils,  so I dove in and three sessions later in David Williams studio I think I got to a good place in capturing some of the vibrancy.  Painting is so interesting because what you create is so unique unto itself  it is more than the subject -- it is a reflection of your journey to capture what you see in the subject.  I like it. I kept in remotely of Senior Fred who passed away June 4, 2016. So onto number 43...

Number 43 was a rapid painting during a 2.5 hour En Plein Aire session with David Williams  It will benefit from a few added touches but the essential painting composition and color values of the wheel barrel and garden tools are set  it was a great day to paint outdoors.  It is not finished yet though  

Returning from Aruba I asked David to instruct me on loosening up my style, colors and brush strokes. He then had me capture in one 2 and 1/2 hours the essence of a vase of flowers and pears. Painting number 44 is the result.  I like it and think I am starting to get painting in oils of multiple colors. This #44 was donated to the USFS retiree auction in Albuquerque NM and bought by Karen Carter (ex colleagues in USFS-Cibola NF).

 Continuing on Still lifes I tackled the lantern fruit and Silver Cup with drapery for number #45. this painting became my nephew Jacob Melvin favorite so I gifted this to him for all his great achievements in his life.  It was also one that made the Art at the Mill show in Millwood VA  

It was a definite challenge to get each unique object characterized in the right way.  For number #46 I am now working back in 16x20 canvas format and trying for that loose style.  Need to build drama into my painting and shooting for this effect on this still life.   

I worked the green pitcher of yellow black eyed daisies for three weeks  you can see the progression as I cooled down the background colors and highlighted warmth of flowers and light in the vase  --number 46 is done I say.  

I started number #47 with much doubt  it was a still life of filtered light coming tom a light in back of an orange parasol  the intensity of this light on all surfaces was amazing.  Then after two sessions I produced this painting  I think I should not play with it too much more. On to number 48...

On number # 48, of the little red church in the woods is my return to landscapes and buildings.  Still seeing how best to finish this one  I have been seeing in my last four paintings a progress in creating excitement and drama in the painting. I think it is all about the lighting and brush strokes . My #45 Silver cup and lantern painting won a place in arts how at Millwood VA and the #36, Farm to Table jug and carrots won into Oatlands.  So far though none have sold (except gifted #45). but oh well it is still just a hobby of my heart--  on to 50...

Number 50 was a new effort in building interesting backgrounds and shadows. I find I am not a real detailed patient painter so my flower dish was left rough abstract.  I think I am done with this one.  I moved onto #51 and tried to paint this still life in 2.5 hours.  I am happy with result.  I liked the colors and Tuscan feel of the stoneware and blue bottle. I believe I will focus on small quick paintings of this size, 11-14 for awhile. It gives me greater satisfaction and I have about enough patience for this time frame. This next one will mark halfway mark to 100... 

I made my 52nd painting a quick lesson from David Williams on Plein Aire painting and abstracting a landscape into the key features to paint, like the purple trunk.  I took liberties with the color pallet and the composition to create this painting.  I think it still needs some greater details and more definition on leaves and trees.  It was a quick sketch type painting in 2.5 hours  onto next challenge . It is still not finished  

Today november 17 2015 I went back and finished the Tuscan Wares painting #51 that  I started with a 2.5 hour quick session.  It had the blue bottle again from earlier paintings.  I then moved on and started on #52, a still life of new colors and basket designs.  I will add drama to this with darker shadows, Bold warm highlights and some accents on the feature elements of the persimmon and green jug.  Still not finished  

Today was last day painting in DWilliams studio on Cottage street house in The Plains, VA.  Next two weeks start in Marshall VA community center.  I started in Marshall in a well lighted room to do #53 painting. It was a pewter pot and vase of flowers in yellow light. I liked this painting and finished it.  The Marshall location will be my fourth studio location with David.  I like the new adventures in Marshall  but we have not always had the best lighting condition. ... Footnote still not completed 50.

The next session started at Marshall late and had a poor location to paint a skull format still life.  The result reflected my mood but that was #54 and will try again next year (not posted as not worth showing). 

2016 started early at the studio and I secured a good spot to begin painting number #55.  This is a colorful still life with cloth, pots and multiple oranges.  I am seeking ways to add more sense of place and drama into this painting  I posted both natural light and interior lighted photos with abit of enhanced effects.  I will continue on this next week and may return to #50 painting if time allows. I have still not fully completed #55 of oranges and blue pot. 

Then I painted #55 and posted my first session results.   I am good with most of it  I am struggling now with feeling in doldrums and maze of my paintings and my style  taking a two month hiatus till April.  I started and completed a restart of #53 painting of pewter pot and vase of flowers in yellow room.  I took it to next level and found a buyer for this from our friends in NM.  About the same time one of our friends in Warrenton wanted one of the blue bottle paintings.  I donated one to the Race for the Cure auction and she was beat out by another young friend in bidding.  I told her there was another #51 that had same blue bottle and she quickly bought this one private sale.  That was the first sales of 2016.   Time to buy more canvas and paints! 

I have completed first session for  #56 a basket of vegetables with corn, but have not finalized. My daughter Becca wants me to finish it but I am in a funk of it still. Number #57 is again in process and very complex set of fruit and vegetables. I think it will require a lot of finish work on fruit and lighting/shadows. May be more than I want to do. I am still waiting to return to this #57 painting  I think it has promise, just need some motivation. 

Number 58 was a successful two session painting of sunflowers in vase with peaches. It is still in my brisk rough style but consistent and shows real depth in the painting. I think I may try to hold on to this one. It may still benefit from darker shadows and glas highlights.

So, painting is a Pasttime like the book I just read from Winston Churchhill. He really found creative peace and restoration from his busy life in his hobby of painting. I am still searching for that peace and passion, but do enjoy my social painting classes with David and the Tuesday morning bunch. So now I have 42 more to go...Cheers

I took my failed skull with cigarette painting and repurposed for a new start --this will be#59.  David had put up vase of beautiful flowers to paint.  I dove in and produced this painting in 2.5 hours  may need to enrich colors but basically done.  I like it and so does Linda! I added highlights later and now ready to sign.  I may still add some highlights for greater depth.

Returned October 4 to start new painting of veggies reflecting into steel pot. This will be # 60.  I am trying to load onto the site, but system not uploading.  It will take another 2-3 hours to complete this complex arrangement.  When I finish I will upload. Well I never finished but I did load  perhaps one day I will finish it.

On October 6 I gifted the Spring Crocuses in Purple to my friend Vicki Dixon as she retires from 38 years of federal public service.  I am so glad this will be given a home with Vicki as she cares for her aging friend Bob.  

I returned to paint and got stuck on a new effort to paint the rooster in a new composition.  I put two hours into it and not happy  it is not shown, number 61.  I was feeling in rut and just not wanting to paint  I had a similar experience earlier in fall with watermelons and copper plate but never got this one past go so no number.  Painting can be so exhausting and fickle and then the next moment exhilarating.  How is that possible? 

So I cam back in January 2017 and spent two weeks on number 62.  It is a study in blue vases on blue cloths  it was intended to make work on our values, tones, shadows and hues.  It turned out to be a very good exercise.  I realized I need to take photos of these still life's and continue to finalize before I move on, or just forget the rough draft and start a new one.  This feeling of blues and greens really spoke to me and I was motivated to finish.  In fact after I posted on Facebook I had two friends respond and one has bought the painting.  Wow!! 

I took another hiatus for my wife's cancer treatments. I did rework the #55, oranges and blue pot on blue cloth. It is now hanging in my morning room.  I gave starting a new painting a try and did come back to try hand at another stilllife of artichokes and other fruit  I did a good 2.75 hours on it but just not happy with the composition and colors  It is number 63.  May not work more on this one.  I then returned again when linda was in start of chemo to paint over an earlier painting #56 a basket with corn and veggies and three peaches  πŸ‘  I have worked on this more than three hours and think I maybe close to done.  Things are slow as attention is paid to linda during her chemo.  

I started number 64 as a still life of pots and garlics.  It is not finished. I placed the Orange Parsol and Hydraengeas to sell in Zig Zag gallery show.

I painted #66 as a venture in my artist license.  Both the artichoke and this pots painting remain unfinished  I will return to studios tomorrow and see here I go from here  perhaps a pallet knife?

When I returned end of June 2017 to start a wine bottles and glass still-life I found I was slowly entering a painters block.  I am frustrated with my inability to find desire to finish a painting once I leave the studio.  Anyway I proceed. I finished #66 in one three hour studio session.  I think it might need a small amount of fixing but I love how lighting and hydrangeas came together. 

I think my next painting #67 is similar still life on smaller canvas.  I like it as it has an old time character to the setting.  

I am now on my last painting #68 which is the landscape of Goose Creek in the fall.  I feel it needs more work on sky and trees but a good effort. But I am laying down the brush and leaving the unfinished canvas.  I have taken a hiatus till the passion returns  

I am now at 32 more to go, But who's counting.  Well I am hoping the desire will return as I still am on path to get to 100 before I can call myself an artist per Sr. D.Wiiliams!

I returned on June 4 and painted a lovely potted arrangement of succulent plants sitting in the corner window of David’s studio. I took two sessions to complete and then I was challenged to try the pallet knife  

my venture into the pallet knife was a quick study of fried eggs in pan and fruit  it was a learning experience to say the least,  I was not happy with results and how to build paint without having it bleed and mix into undesired colors.  

My next four sessions were some of my most explosive painting  I started with an ocean scene and worked on it in for two sessions, changing the nature of it in and evening class that then empowered me to tackle another wave scenic scenic in 30 minutes, resulting in perhaps one of my best expressions on canvas  I then switched on fifth session to tackle a Shenandoah barn science and I think really nailed it with perspective and bold colors.  My final session before taking some time in summer 2018 was a bucolic rolled hay bale in rolling fields around sky meadows state park in crooked run valley Virginia.  

So with pallet knife I have knocked out around 74 paintings.  I have already been solicited by my daughter for the potted succulents so I decided to gift to her for her 37 birthday .  I understand she plans to hang in the living room.😊😍  I have also had numerous requests for the pallet knife paintings and asking I continue in that medium.  I am not ready to part with these last four paintings though Linda my wife, has made clear I must keep Shenandoah barns for her.  

When I return 8/27/18 I will continue my journey to complete and 100 paintings, only 26 more to go to gain status as a true artistπŸ˜‚

Postlude...I just lost momentum and its now November 2018 and no anima to hit the canvas again.  maybe later.  nom my drawback are my knees that need replacement and David Williams current studio is on second floor 20 steps. Till that changes or knees back in good order I am not doing more classes.  I find that without that incentive I languish.  And so, perhaps i never make full artist level, but its been a good ride to date, smile!

I returned after knee surgery to discover David was closing shop in August 2019 an moving his studio painting to La Coitat, France. I bought two of his paintings and returned for studio late June to paint the jongals daffodil with pallet knife. I was in much pain afterwards and hAve since not returned. I may try for his last class on August 6. In any event David has been a great influence on my painting confidence to try new things. I wish him well and much success in France.

Well I did return to paint yet another pallet knife canvas, this time a commission from the Taylors to paint Situate lighthouse MA .  It was a very challenging subject but I took liberties to add elements and eliminate others to arrive at this interpretation.  I am ok with the result as it is my style.  

The class of Charlie, Melissa, Jeannette and myself finished our last Tuesday class with David on August 6, 2019.  This makes just over 6 years I have been in study with David   He has moved his studio now five times, and now his sixth is in La Coitat France.  I wish him much success.  I found much good chemistry painting with Melissa, Charlie and Jeanette  I hope we can find a new instructor and studio  ....October is target to restart, but my knee surgery in 9/16/19 may relay my return.  I want to keep on though  ...

God bless! 

It's all good!