Thursday, December 31, 2009
Returning through the southwestern Great Plains, I have this last painting of 2009. It is my 1,006th daily painting...in a few days I will GIVE AWAY #1000, a painting I did a few days ago. Click to see it, then email me if you want to be in the hat to win it!
2010 looms, and here is what I will be up to, in brief:
Passing America: the Great Plains...I am preparing 150 new works for exhibit in the fall of 2011. This extensive project will take me through the Great American Plains a number of times. I will blog along the way and will also present some opportunities for folks to join me and follow the progress. You can start following the early stages NOW at http://www.vvaughanusa.blogspot.com/ I will post some neat photos and new thoughts about this recent trip in a few minutes. Please go see!
I also will do my usual 3 or 4 shows, a few workshops, and pay visits to the great galleries that represent me.
MAINLY, though, I will stay near the home front as much as possible.
It is a little bit too soon to mention this, but I have a new web site in the works. I cannot wait to "open the doors" to let you see it! My target date is January 4, the same day I will draw for the free painting! Remember to sign up! ...and have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I mentioned in yesterday's post that I snatched some of our "family vacation time" to paint a little bit, but the family drove off in the van and I left my brushes there. So yesterday's painting was done with a palette knife. This one above I painted right afterwards with a paper towel. I painted it from my memory of the night we drove in. It was just getting dark and the details on the mountain were gone, but the little cabin lights sparkled like diamonds on the snow. I especially liked the Christmas lights...
A word to you artists...LOWER your expectations when trying new things, like paper towel painting...some of you are still new to painting, so the advice applies OVER ALL...Keep expectations LOW and you will always enjoy yourself! I teach this in my workshops. Join me at the next one in Fredericksburg, TX in about 5 weeks, Feb 5-7. I will bring the Full Moon :)
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
In a few days I will update some info and photos of a trip I am taking right now...Passing America Trip #2. Please see my other blog about the project, and I will let you know when you can read the latest. We are on the road, and connecting is always a hassle. I have been trying for 2 hours with no success...except if you click on the BLOG image you will see a WAY HUGE version...ooops...the painting isn't half this size...but the brush strokes are interesting this big :)...this little painting above was done one the move, pasing through the High Plains of Texas. Happy New Year! Be sure to sign up for a free painting from me...one I will give away next week. See the blog post from a few days ago for info :) Be sure to send an email that you want to be in on the drawing. To firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, December 25, 2009
Agh! Computer monitor problems again, and I cannot tell how this one will come out on your monitor, but it's awful on mine!...Here is a couple of pack mules...bearing gifts, of course! Merry Christmas! Please e-mail me if you want the free painting I posted a couple of days ago...my 1000th daily painting will be given away to a lucky collector...January 4th. Here is my e-mail if you want to be in the running. (You will get an auto reply, because we are doing Holiday stuff and will be in and out) email@example.com MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!
Thursday, December 24, 2009
All those cypress studies lately were preparation for this large painting commissioned by my brother-in-law, Steve, to honor his parents at Christmas. Whenever I posted the studies, I had to be rather cryptic in my description of the work, because I knew they read the blog. Steve was great at reading between my lines as I posted comments about those little cypress studies, but refrained from details that might give it away!
Yes, my brother-in law is "Steve Vaughan" (not to be confused with Stevie Ray...) and, believe it or not, he is married to "Sarah Vaughan"...no joke! (You music lovers are now amused!)
MERRY CHRISTmas to all, on this wonderful night!
PLEASE see yesterday's blog post and respond if you want the chance for that free painting.....my 1000th daily painting!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
firstname.lastname@example.org.... click image to see larger
Boy have I been thinking about this a lot. This is my 1000th post since I started doing a painting a day. I am giving away this original oil painting - a "THANK YOU" to many friends who have been along on this journey with me. I decided to paint what I MOST LIKE TO PAINT: My farm...I looked through MANY files (I have over 10,000 shots from the farm.... one day, my dream is to produce a BIG BOOK with the farm paintings, lots of these photos,and some writings....) So I chose to paint a NEW DAY...a sunrise...full of color and HOPE! I want the painting to be a reminder and an encouragement to whoever wins it! I want it to be meaningful and as I thought about it I kept remembering something I was taught a long time ago. It is from the ancient writings of a wise King named Solomon, in a book called Ecclesiastes." Even if someone lived a thousand years—make it two thousand!—but didn't enjoy anything, what's the point? Doesn't everyone end up in the same place?"...the book ends with this "solution" to how to spend your life: fear God (revere and worship), do what He tells you, for this is the whole duty of mankind....
Sorry, I tend to think too deep sometimes...this is, after all, just a little bit of color on a canvas! I will take names of those interested until the drawing on January 4...Merry CHRISTmas!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
I painted fall color on some rivers this fall...here is one I forgot to post, but I noticed some cypress trees by my mom's place today...still loaded with "fall" color, though here we are on the second day of winter! Our fall color usually stays till about Christmas, here in south-central Texas, then we have about 3 weeks of winter...speaking of Christmas, my niece sent me a link where you can watch that great secret Disney movie I told you about a few days ago. It is an old classic animated cartoon. There are three parts, here is the link to part one. (parts 2 and 3 are there, too) Find someone to share this with you...it's GREAT!
Monday, December 21, 2009
I often paint the Presidio in Goliad, La Bahia. Well, across the San Antonio River is the mission which was one of the First in Texas. It is the place where cattle ranching got its start...wow, what HISTORY in this part of Texas, going back into the 1700's! This is a study for a larger work I am making of Mission Espiritu Santo Regalos de Espiritu Santo means Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and if you look at the bottom right, there are a few shadowy figures bringing gifts to the mission...common, this time of year! Merry CHRISTmas!
Eric R., and Linda just pointed out to me that this is ALMOST my 1000th daily painting Blog Post! I am amazed by that! This one is 998 and on Wednesday, I will post my 1000th. I have never given one away before, but I think I WILL give #1000 away. How about I let you see it first, and if you want to be "in the hat" for it, drop me an EMAIL at email@example.com . I will put all the names in a hat and have Linda draw out the name on MONDAY, JANUARY 4....you have till then to drop me an e-mail..this will be fun!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"Snow Pony"___6 x 6 oil study on linen___$150
Plenty of horses are having to graze under the snow these days...I hear...but not here in central Texas. I painted this from a photo I took last winter. Pretty soon I will be taking another trip through the plains, hoping to see some snow and livestock on the little farms there.
Merry CHRISTmas, y'all!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The cattle are still lowing...I have revisited the farm lately, via photos and a few small studies. Compare this "Low-er" with yesterday's. It appears that it is the same cow, and I think it is. Funny, as an artist paints, our eye records MANY things each time we look up. We take note of proportions, and negative space and lights and darks and all the art terms you can think of...These things stay in our memory bank, stored up to use later on another painting. While painting the "bangs" on this cow's forehead, I remembered painting similar shapes and textures in yesterday's work....same cow! To you art students: THIS IS WHY carrying a sketchbook is SO IMPORTANT. I worked from two different photos that I had taken, but did not remember or notice the similarity in the photos of the cows. Shooting pictures really does NOTHING to improve your art technique...but sketching does! Do you agree?
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
"Away in a Manger" is one of the best Christmas songs. The first line in the second verse is "The Cattle are Lowing..." so that's where I got the title for a little batch of lowing cattle I painted today...Like that movie I mentioned yesterday (The Small One),the song is a creative work which takes the real Christmas story and embellishes some of the facts, giving your imagination a moment of wonder. This is a season of WONDER!...Merry CHRISTmas!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Our "Good Dane" Romeo is not allowed on the couch...I just made life more difficult for myself for the next month or so by allowing him there, just now. Ah well, it's Christmas time...and my daughter's little dogs were on the couch in my lap and Romeo was just aching to join us..."well, OK, just this ONCE!"
I scanned it after my first 5 minute "scribble-in" (below). I think it's a good look at another way to sketch! Most of the time we start with LINES...but WHY? I will teach this "scribble-in" method at my workshops in 2010. It is a great intro to impressionism! Get out of the cold! Join me at the next workshop in Fredericksburg, TX, Feb. 5 - 7. email for info firstname.lastname@example.org
"That Couch Look_State 1, the 'scribble-in'"
Monday, December 14, 2009
I am still sketching a lot these days, finding it easier to grab the pencil than the brush...and waiting for a shipment of linen panels I ordered...they arrived, so expect a little more color to come :)
The focus of my recent workshops has been DRAWING...Drawing does not always mean "pencil work". ANY painting must be drawn first, whether you use line or shapes to draw is up to you! I teach all aspects of drawing as we paint...next workshop is February 5 - 7 in Texas! Join us if you can! E-mail me for details email@example.com ...yes, Barbara, this is a sketch of Frank :)
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I will try not to ramble, but...
Today is my middle child's (son) 24th birthday. After a big feast (my first attempt at crab legs...I forgot the utensils to crack them, so we set the table with hammers and scissors...worked just fine, thank you!) we all loaded up and went to my mom's nursing home and their great Christmas bash! Entering the door, we were met with one beautiful Gospel singer, Judy Arnold, in the middle of a lively version of the Christmas spiritual "Children Go Where I Send Thee" . Judy is a performer in Austin and is amazing. She has a voice so loud and clear that it feels like it's coming out of the deepest part of your own lungs! My mom was in the background, beaming and she and Judy had a little "connection" going on. I saw tonight where my emotional attachment to the arts comes from....mom! Mom falls in love with great talent and boy is she a fan of Judy's now! After the song, Judy came and held mom's hand and thanked her for the "love" she felt. It was a real sweet gesture by a talented artist toward a humble little lady in a wheel chair who cannot move her arms to clap, but cheers with her eyes. ..I want to grow up like my mom!
(Oh, yes, that is a beehive hair-do...part of a great act!...I drew this from memory...apologies to Judy Arnold.
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Again, no "boundary lines" or "outlines" or "contour lines" to start this sketch. ..I learned to draw the hard way...trial and error and LOTS of erasing. After MANY YEARS as a busy artist, I now SELDOM use an eraser! It is my opinion that ANYBODY can be proficient with drawing...while teaching art for 19 years, I saw MANY students who approached every drawing with contour lines, or the "outline"...this SEEMS easy, but is the worst way to get a good drawing, unless you have a GIFTED eye, and can naturally solve problems of proportion, scale, perspective, and all those difficult things. Since not many are THAT gifted, I teach PRACTICAL lessons for ANYONE who wants to draw better! THERE REALLY ARE SECRETS and SHORTCUTS!...I will be teaching a FEW workshops next year...not as many as I have in the past. First one is Feb 5 - 7 at Fredericksburg Artists School, in Texas. Click the link and scroll down for info...MERRY CHRISTmas! (Happy Birthday, Tanner :)
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Max is our neighbor at the family place in Colorado. Fred owns him, but Max owns the canyon. As soon as we are up moving around, here he comes for a treat (my mother-in-law started all that and Max depends on it, now). After his treat, he hangs around. When I was up there painting a couple months ago, Max spent every morning with me while I painted....speaking of my morning painting, I found the image below, which I have not posted till now. I put down the main color notes in this one, then moved on to another painting as rain came up the canyon. Somehow I never went back to this one till the next morning. The canvas had been out all night and a little mouse visitor came and tromped all over it. See his toe prints all over the left side and on the white part of the right side? I was really tempted to leave them on this canvas, but decided to photograph and fix the painting.
Mouse Toes on the Landscape(unfinished)___6 x 8 oil on canvas___This one is now cleaned up and finished and available at Act I Gallery in Taos, NM
Sunday, December 06, 2009
It's good t sketch a lot (I say that because I have been sketching a lot :) As a young artist, I DREW a lot, and my objective was PERFECTION: scale, perspective, proportion values...I LABORED HARD over these...now, I take on every sketch with a freer hand, usually just scribbling in mid values and then punching in some dark values at the end! I save those "commitments" for last. Her hair was really black, but I wanted her eyes to have those darkest darks! I can always go back and make the hair darker later if I want, but haven't committed, yet.
We sketch a lot at my workshops, ...Next workshop is in Fredericksburg, TX Feb. 5-7 Email me if you need more info firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, December 03, 2009
I went out with our painting group, Plein Air Austin, this morning. We met at Boggy Creek Farm, a small organic farm in the middle of east Austin, not too far from where I grew up. The most amazing thing this morning was when I first stepped out of the car and walked up their path, the smell of tilled earth met me and BOY did it feel like home! I had a whole lifetime of memories in that one little breath, and realized that not only did it smell like my childhood, but also those 30 years on the farm. You see, the farm I just moved away from was within 6 or 7 miles of my childhood home, and it's all in the same 10 mile radius of Boggy Creek. Huge century old pecan trees, black dirt, crisp air...ahhhh!!! I was a bit overwhelmed by it all and ended up chatting with the artists and doing a few sketches of the local chicks. I still have my clucking skill and kepth the poultry interested in me while I sketched them.
Speaking of agrarian things, I was recently interviewed by CattleNetwork.com. It's a nice take on my farm story. click link way below to read it!
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
After a couple of days of Romeo sketches, I found a great photo of him at the farm. Here is my sketch from that photo. He is in "full Howl", but I forgot what he was howling at. It was either a far away ambulance or some coyotes...A great feature of Great Danes is their big jowls...they blow in the wind and flap around when they shake their heads. In the past few days I have sketched what I call "woo"...when the dog "talks" to you by making a growly "woo, woo" sound. When a Great Dane does it, his "lips" pucker up, sort of and it's the only time they don't flap around. The "full howl" is an extreme version of this. ...I know...This is more info than you wanted on our "good Dane". If you are reading this on my blog, please scroll down to see yesterday's post. I forgot to hit "publish" yesterday. If you get my daily mail, then you saw it! If you would LIKE to get the daily mail please EMAIL ME at email@example.com and I will sign you up.
IF YOU LOVE DOGS, you will LOVE this sweet video<>
Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
If you look him in the eyes (at eye level , by the way), and say in a deep voice, "w o o o o", then our "good Dane", Romeo, will "woo" back at you. He is a real lover boy and loves it best when you look him in the eye and say "woo"...
web site: http://www.v-vaughan.com
USA blog: http://www.vvaughanUSA.blogspot.com
I have a new shipment of my book Last Year on the Farm: A Story of Change
Great for Christmas gifts! Be sure to ask me to sign it $34 soft cover $39 hardbound...INCLUDES shipping
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Many cardinals have been hopping around between the trees in our back yard these days. They seem to show up better this time of year....I love the cardinal's song. It is very distinct and LOUD and clear! My Grandpa Pedro (a wonderful Italian man from the Old Country) rescued a little cardinal in his garden. Gigi lived in a cage in the house and would sing every morning...LOUD! When Grandpa would go outside, he would take Gigi's cage, open the door and let him fly away...Gigi always returned for the night. This went on for years and is my fondest memory of Grandpa Pedro.
web site: http://www.v-vaughan.com
USA blog: http://www.vvaughanUSA.blogspot.com
I have a new shipment of my book Last Year on the Farm: A Story of Change
Great for Christmas gifts! Be sure to ask me to sign it $34 soft cover $39 hardbound...INCLUDES shipping
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I saw these turkeys at Palo Duro Canyon in Texas last year...This is a pretty quick sketch and a reminder to all that I hope you will have a nice, happy Thanksgiving...remember to give thanks...we have so much to be thankful for....
Monday, November 23, 2009
A sketch from a recent trip...I liked the massiveness of the trees and the shadows they cast!
Something I "preach" a lot at my workshops is the great benefit of sketching. We all have heard it from art teachers our whole life: "sketch, sketch, sketch!"...here is why>
Grabbing a camera and snapping a photo has NOTHING to do with improving your skill as an artist. It's like filling your plate with food and putting it in the freezer without even tasting it!
Studying a scene, evaluating shapes, simplifying the idea, grouping the values, then putting your hand to the task is GUARANTEED to improve your eye and skill. The food analogy would be like looking at each dish CLOSELY, so you can FEEL the steam, and smell the aroma, till your mouth waters, and then TASTING it enough that there is nothing left for the freezer! (Thanksgiving onthe brain, y'all).
Bottom line: Carry a sketchbook and use it a lot! Happy Thanksgiving!
Check my new blog! http://www.vvaughanUSA.blogspot.com
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Last summer in Arizona, I kept a sketch book along the way. I liked this guy as he tended the pots and pans on the grill. He was in his element and didn't notice me there. What is it with men and their grills? I think it's great, because grilling created the best smells and best food! I hope you enjoy something grilled this weekend!
Once again I will ask if thee is ANYONE out there getting a garbled e-mail from me? It seems that I have fixed my problem!...please check out my new blog, "Passing America..."
Friday, November 20, 2009
Texas sometimes does not even get fall color, but this year we have had some. They came earlier than usual, but the cypress trees are just now past prime along the Guadalupe River. Late in the day, the light was on these tree tops...
Now, I just put up a new BLOG last week. Please visit when you can...somewhere in the process, blogger asked if I wanted to use the new setup, so I thought I would try it for my new blog...BUT, It changed this OLD blog, too, and as I copy the content and send the mail to my GROUP, I am hearing that there are glitches. PLEASE, help me fix this by letting me know if your mail from me (at the google group) has glitches.
If you want to be in the google group that gets my daily painting in your e-mail, Please let me know :) Click e-mail below :)
web site www.v-vaughan.com
My new project blog: http://www.vvaughanUSA.blogspot.com
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Passing America: The Great Plains http://www.vvaughanusa.blogspot.com/
Friday, November 13, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
I have been painting this week, but not well enough to photograph the cow painting I began as a demo Tuesday night...Actually I lost most of the day, doing some heavy duty house cleaning and solving a self inflicted cell phone problem...TOMORROW I will finish and post the Angus painting. I am on the verge of creating so much anticipation that I hope it's not a let-down!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I am still sketching the angus this week, preparing paintings, and working out problems, all while re-configuring my studio...I FINALLY finished that project today!
The demo I did last night was a good start! (Notice I chose to NOT post it, yet). There was a good crowd of at least 40, so I chose to work BIG, though I only had about 45 minutes...I hope to post it tomorrow!
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
We have water in Texas now....ahhhhh
I am moving my studio downstairs this week...what a chore! I don't have an easel I like down there, yet, so twill be sketches this week!
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Romeo, my "good" Dane does not leave my side. He just had a birthday last week, making him 6, which is real OLD in Great Dane years. As I sketched him, he fell deeper and deeper to sleep and by the time I was done, that right ear was on the floor, along with his drooly jowels...
Well, I was wrong about the football game being on national TV....but son Samuel did get his opportunity and played all but a couple of plays in a great game against Texas' 10th ranked team. They held them off for most of the game, and except for a couple of missed big plays, the Round Rock Dragons did well in a 14 - 31 loss! Sam threw a couple of touchdown passes and had one good run! ...He is sad that his football season is over, so guess what he did today???...went to the batting cages for some baseball action...Happy Sunday!
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Monday night was a beautiful full moonrise, and some of my artist friends and I met to paint it. I could not stay long, so ended up with a study while there, which I worked on in the studio today.Couple a bad photographer (me) with a bad monitor (mine) and you have an explanation as to why there are two versions of this painting today. It's the same painting, but I cannot tell which one looks closest to the original, since my monitor is unreliable these days. So, pick the BEST one, and that's what the painting looks like!
Our Central Texas moonrises are the BEST! Maybe because there are sweeping views of the distance and one gets a good feeling of the majesty of creation. I will be teaching a workshop in February at the beautiful Fredericksburg Artists School. We will take on the moon! ...and probably a couple of sunrises and sunsets, too. Come if you can, Feb 5 - 7. Click the FAS link for info.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Grandmother Helen was a fearless cook, and often tried new recipes. But Pappy's favorite dish of all was Grandmother's cherry pie. She told me the story about how one time, neither of them could sleep, so they went outside together, in the moonlight, on the front porch at 8 Sunset Trail, Sunset Valley, south Austin, TX...a sleepy little community, established over 60 years ago...a place where the yards were big enough that they had a small stable full of horses in the back. They sat in the metal chairs there with Pappy eating a big piece of cherry pie...she in her robe, he in his birthday suit! I couldn't get this image out of my mind and HAD to sketch it. ...haha!!....I have been looking for the sketch to share with the family, but didn't find it till today...too late for the funeral.
To FULLY understand this, please look back at my blog from a few days ago, where I tell about the passing of a great lady, Helen Vaughan, my grandmother (for the past 33 years).
Our family came together for Grandmother Helen's funeral, yesterday in San Antonio. The cemetery there is just full of family, and walking among the headstones was, somehow, comforting. ...In my blog post few days ago There is a photo of Helen and her best friend/cousin, Dorothy, who also passed away last week. What a moment to see Dorothy's fresh grave right there by Helen's. The stories and memories were flying and a few new memories were made...especially for the youngest kids in the family.
I will always have this vision of midnight pie, and probably will not be satisfied till I paint it someday.
Monday, November 02, 2009
I worked this study from some reference photos I took in Maryland last fall. There was a pasture full of Canada Geese grazing, and flocks were flying over at the same time. I have been to the Eastern Shore several times in the fall and am always amazed at how many birds gather there. I am still not sure if they are there for the winter, or are just passing through on their way south. To me, Maryland is "way north".
Since I have two more years of high school football, I will not be going to Maryland in the fall (or any place for that matter) till 2011. Till then, I will stay close to home and in the studio! As fun as travel is, and as exciting as art selling and painting all over the country are, there is NOTHING to compare with watching your own young "chicks" prepare to fly out on their own!...I FINALLY believe what everyone told me: "They grow so fast!"