Sunday, February 27, 2011

SV vs SV

SV vs SV___from my sketchbook
This weekend was a big baseball tournament hosted by our Round Rock Dragons.
We played 5 great games, and only lost one. We played some of the best teams in the state.

I sketched my son, Sam (SV) while he pitched against a school called Smithson Valley (also SV) thus, the catchy title...While sketching, I also kept his BASIC pitching stats, right there on the sketch! I ACCIDENTLY did this last year, and liked the result, so here it is again. He would NOT like me showing this on my blog, so please don't tell him! If you can read a baseball scorecard, it is OBVIOUS that he had 6 good innings. A NO HITTER in those six innings, but that dang third inning, was a team effort of miscues, including his! He finished strong, and that was good for his first full game of the year! (spoken like a mom, right?)
The sketch looks like him...he is very tall!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Study for...

San Xavier Monsoon - study____8x6 oil on linen___available when I am done with it __$190

I like to work out my paint problems on a small scale, before diving into a large canvas. This painting has been "brewing" for a few years as I have traveled through Arizona...

I am working from my own reference: photos of the Mission San Xavier, pictures of monsoon clouds in Colorado, and sunset pictures from is a work in progress!
Took a quick trip to Kansas this any of my blog friends know anyone in Salina, or Wichita, KANSAS...just curious!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Joe Sketch

Joe___pencil sketch on paper___rough fora painting, soon
Pretty soon, I will do a painting of our left-handed pitcher, Joe. My son has played on a team with Joe since Little League, and they are good friends. The painting I will do is for Joe's mom, who bid the highest on an original work of art which I donated for a baseball fundraiser. The highest bid will get a special work of art of their ballplayer, which I will paint especially for them! Joe's mom won, so I took my sketchbook to the game today to practice on Joe. Lucky for me, he pitched well and stayed in the game the whole time!
We are the Round Rock High School Dragon Varsity...with a LONG and successful tradition of baseball in Texas! Many of our former players are in the pros right now!
My son, Samuel, a "righty" will pitch tomorrow....prayers, please!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Egret Sketch

Little Egret Sketch___graphite on paper...a small one
Before I "turn west", I have this one little egret sketch to post...Starting tomorrow I will be working to finish works for "Cowgirl Up!", one of the premier shows for women and Western Art in the country. The show opens next month...
...and, it's baseball season for my high school senior! The team has a big tournament starting tomorrow, so I will be there sketching and working on my tan!

Monday, February 21, 2011


"Single"___12x6 oil on linen panel___sorry for the bad photo (my glare and blur technique)!
This is the only photo I have in my camera tonght...something I promised to send via e-mail to a collector I just met at the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC. I hope they look at my blog, because for the moment I forget who they are! I am sure I have it written down in my show stuff, which is packed and on the way home...but I am "stranded" in Charleston with my daughter.
If you are a skier, you understand the title of this little painting. While standing in line at the ski lifts, the lift attendant will holler out "SINGLE" to let skiers know there is ONE available seat headed up the mountain. Most skiers travel in pairs and ride together, but the ones that ski alone get paired up on the lift to make the lines move faster....unless the lines are short, then the single skier gets to ride in my little guy in the painting!
I'm Embarrassed to say that I accidently botched our return flight plans. It is a strange feeling to show up at the airport and have them tell you that your flight is for Monday, MARCH 21. Oh sheesh...This is a NEW botch for me (I thought I had done ALL of them by now)!! So, we checked into a hotel by the airport, rode the bus to town, and tromped around Charleston all day! much for my show profits!!! Delta Airlines will NOT get anymore of my busness, by the way, thanks to a snarky lady in Cincinnati named...
...d a n g ....I forget...sheesh...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

South Carolina Sky

South Carolina Sky___8x10 oil on linen panel___sold at SEWE

I painted South Carolina Sky yesterday as a demo for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition here in Charleston. It was done from memory of the ACE Basin Wildlife area near here, a place where I have frequently gone to paint after the show. Last year there, I saw this lone palm on a narrow reach of land above the estuary...farther down the road I photographed the FULL moon's reflaction, and thought about a composition like this...I never got around to painting it till this morning! I usually do a demo with something more familiar in mind, so this was risky to try something I had never worked through. One of these days I will probably embarrass myself with this kind of "bravery". Unfortunately, I am the type person who doesn't stop for driving directons. I get lost a lot, but I do it with great confidence!
If you love South Carolina, you are familiar with this view of a palm tree with a crescent...the symbols on the state flag!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

ACE Egret

Egret Quick-Draw at Southeastern Wildlife Exposition____18x18___sold
Many art events have a "Quick-Draw" event. Artists get one hour to complete a painting, a few minutes to frame it, and then the works are auctioned off for the benefit of a charity or the event itself.
I LOVE these quick-draw events because they feed my competetive nature. Competing against the clock, on a fairly large painting(18x18 canvas size) is a little bit of an adrenalin rush!
This one above is an egret nestled aagainst the grasses in the low country at ACE Basin, near Charleston, SC where I painted last year after the show :)
Tonight was the soire....AHHHH, OYSTERS!!

Friday, February 18, 2011

""Mighty Quin"____watercolor and pencil on acid free board___Lloyd Collection

Not a great picture, but look at this carefully and you will see my friend Quin Lloyd in action (a few years ago!) His wife, my greatest friend, Pam, commissioned this watercolor and pencil artwork, a montage of his athletic passions...I was not as "experienced" an artist back then, and would love to make compositional "fixes" but will have to just make BETTER ones next time! If you know a "hero" (husband, wife, CHILD...) and can send me lots of pictures, I would love to paint something like this for YOU! Please e-mail me if you want more info

I am in Charleston RIGHT NOW for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. GREAT weather and crowds and wonderful southern hospitality! (It's REAL, y'all!). I get to do a couple of demos today, so I will be posting new works tomorrow!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Lorraine Sketch

Lorraine Sketch from the Rockport Workshop____5 minute sketch with oil on linen
Monday and Tuesday I taught a workshop in Rockport, TX. Our focus was capturing impressions QUICKLY. I worked in color in the morning demo, then gave some instruction on "seeing" to sketch is a favorite topic of mine. Maybe because as a young artist, I am sure I was the slowest artist in the world: very deliberate and obsessed with PERFECTION.
Yes, I was perfect ... :) ....NOT!
But my detailed drawings were pretty dang close to the photo I copied line for line, value for value...and the eraser was my friend!
I am very glad I spent so much time being technically accurate. It trained my eye! A very young artist NEEDS THIS, because they have very little experience in ANYTHING. This is why they are generally impatient with verbal instruction in large doses. They prefer to DO IT, rather than analyze it! I reassure my adult students that they HAVE experience, even if they are new to art! Experience like GEOMETRY, science and physics...these go a LONG way in helping define certain art principles!
My group this week learned a few things in our sketch sessions. I hope they are PRACTICING! :)

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Men's rebuttle

Cove Harbor Sunrise__6x8 study/demo_____$150 unframed
The trees weren't really there, but it was a good teaching moment when I dropped my loaded brush on the canvas...right in that spot. I could have scraped it off, but it was more fun to show the group how to make "lemonade with a lemon!" As usual, we had amazing sunrises at Cove Harbor!

Artist Chatter....
After Friday's post I EXPECTED some hefty comments from my man artist friends! ...And I got a few!
Many of us have had this discussion before! Are men artists better? Then why are there more men showing in the "big" shows?
Some of the women say there is a gender bias (and that is why they sign their name as an no one will know the gender. Like V....Vaughan).
Some men say that women's art is often too...."pretty", with nice soft pastel colors.
It is true that a strong piece of art usually has more powerful contrasts of value and texture and that women tend to "see" color better, so they push it differently.
My PERSONAL opinion is that there is room for both, but that MOVING FORWARD is the job of every good artist. (I also think that good strong value contrasts make for a better painting!)
Women might claim the bias, but the men artists I know claim to walk an even tougher road than the women, because often they have to be the main breadwinners of their family.
One thing ALL artists have in common. None of us just stumbles onto success. It is hard work, and takes years of development and "dues paying"...there are no shortcuts. Good thing for us is that there are as many different tastes for art as there are artists. That's why I often pray for the people coming to my art shows....If I feel like my work looks bad, I remind God that even people with bad taste need art too, and hopefully they will come by my booth! (wink!)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Boat Study

Boat Study___6x8 oil on linen panel___for Caro and Don
Ahhh! I just enjoyed a WONDERFUL couple of days painting in Rockport, TX with a fabulous group of artists who let me pretend to teach them! As usual, we met at my favorite haunts..this demo was a quickie at the Cove Harbor Boatyard....I got home a few hours ago and went straight to a ball game. (It is now baseball season...the first scrimmage was tonight for the Round Rock High School Dragons! No pressure, guys, there were 4 pro scouts in the stands with their radar guns and note pads!)
Yes, this is what I would describe as a perfect day!
But it came after a very sad weekend. One of my great friends and the best boss I ever had died suddenly on Saturday. Susan Owen was the principal at Round Rock Christian Academy where I taught for 19 years. She was just a few years older than me, a YOUNG woman :)...even younger at heart! Her great gifts were gifts of the Spirit. If you ever wonder what Jesus was like, her name would be at the top of the list: Gracious, and FULL of real love and real grace and real mercy. And no one I know who knows her EVER saw her deviate from this type of goodness. Can you imagine having a boss whose door was ALWAYS open, and who ALWAYS was ready to hear you and to laugh or cry with you? And to watch her work with children was a work of art. Of course, being the principal, she often had little "law breakers" in her office. Susan had a way of correcting them with love and RESTORING these little renegades, rather than heaping on them with a guilt trip. They usually skipped away from her office, and were determined to do better just for Mrs. Owen!...I could go on and on, and I will miss her TERRIBLY...I hope you will meet someone like Susan some day.
I am sorry to be behind with e-mail replies...will catch up tomorrow

Friday, February 04, 2011

Trout Ready

Trout Ready___8x6 oil on linen panel__available at Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, Feb 17-20, 2011

SEWE is in Charleston, SC. It is my FAVORITE SHOW each year, for so many reasons! For the next few days I will depart from my Great Plains project posts, and show off some of the small works I am taking to The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in a couple weeks. Of course, as my blog buddy, you have the first chance to claim it, if you are interested in a purchase. Please e-mail me!

For you artists, below is a conversation with an artist pal Robin Cheers. We had a chit chat, today...everyone can relate to it! If you look at Robin's work you would never guess she EVER struggles with ANYTHING!

R...instead of painting, when I have a real painting to do, I do other things, look for the perfect image to work from, change my mind, etc.
Here is the reply...and a DISCLAIMER: It is ESPECIALLY for my WOMEN artists!
V....Every artist does that!!…some days it just rolls out of us, and then when we REALLY Want to do a good one, we fall into a “hold” or “circle pattern”…hovering and agitating and hearing voices that say “what do you think you are doing…??”
One of the most amazing things I have noticed about SOME artists (usually a man) who picks up the brush and BOLDLY slaps on the paint and thinks that each stroke he makes is brilliant and presents a loose, high contrasty thing and immediately sells it!!...with cockiness!! They just don’t seem to anguish like we do…but they GET AFTER IT AND CONQUER IT! We tend to try to “love” our paintings into quality…they aim to “CONQUER” it, and end up with stronger works many times!

Hmmm….as I type this I am thinking I should go “CONQUER” something right now!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Snow Spread Before Shelby

Snow Spread Before Shelby___6x8 oil on linen___for Passing America...exhibit
The snow was deep and covered every inch of the plains...deep! From Minnesota to Montana!! We saw a lot of animals struggle through the drifts: coyotes, deer, foxes...and bald eagles flying above!....And domestic cattle and horses huddled together, too, but they all seemed used to it! I REALLY LIKED to see a herd of deer gathered around some hay bales nibbling their lunch...
This was the last painting I did "en train air", on my Amtrak trip through the Great Plains. I have a number of other "starts" from the train, and a few I did while spending a couple days in Great Falls. But for now, I have to earn a living and paint for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition in Charleston, SC. I have some nice ones prepared for the show...I will begin to post those tomorrow, and you can see them FIRST! (and buy them first, too, if you want!)
***GOOD NEWS! My cancelled workshop in Rockport, TX has been rescheduled for THIS MONDAY, Feb 7. Monday is an odd day, but why not come! The details are below.
V…. Vaughan
1-Day Plein Air Workshop: Sketching and Pushing Color from Dawn til Dusk
Monday, February 7, 7:00 a.m. to noon,and 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Bonus (optional) Sunrise Sketching Tuesday, February 8 at Charlotte Plummers. Be there at 7:00 to set up. DONE by 8:30
$100 for members, $125 for non-members
$50 deposit reserves seat, balance due by workshop;
Please call to enroll. Supply list available.
I will share my methods of seeing and sketching FAST. We will work with pencils and sketchbooks, but will also sketch with brush on canvas or panel. The day starts at sunrise and we will work all morning, then take a break after lunch and come back for another session, ending with the moon at sunset! You will create many small sketches and color studies…lessons to take with you into the studio! BRING your plein air gear, a sketchbook and plenty of small panels (6x8, 8x10). Monday 7 am – 12 pm …Meet at Cove Harbor at 7, sunrise demo and boatyard plein air sketching. Topic: pushing color…Break for lunch and talk about art, marketing, etc. Meet for a crescent moonset 5 -7 pm or a little later if the moon and sky are interesting … we can paint the crescent moon and sunset till about 6:30 pm Those who want to can meet at Charlotte Plummers for a BONUS session on Saturday morning at 7 to paint the sunrise there

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Pawnee Morning Star Ritual

Cold Crescent__11x14 oil on linen___available at Act I Gallery, Taos, NM next week.
A few days ago I posted a study I did on my Amtrak trip of The Morning star. An artist buddy quickly wrote to me about The Morning Star ceremony of the Pawnee Indians -a ritual sacrifice of a young girl in the spring. It's a shame that such a beautiful phenomena is associated with such a terrible ritual. I prefer the Bible reference to "The Bright and Morning Star" as a special name/description for Jesus.
Michael Ome Untiedt , a great artist and friend told me all about it and sent me some info. He also mentioned that there is a place in Ireland where there is evidence that their ancient peoples followed the movement of Venus, (actually a planet and NOT a star). They followed its very course in the solar system, and studies indicate that they had to keep track of this for some 400 years, handing down their observations to the next generation without the benefit of WRITING...So fascinating that I caught myself "wikipedia-ing" for part of my morning and had to hustle myself back to the Plains....

I decided today to make a larger version of the Amtrak study, and altered it a bit...can you tell how???

My workshop in Rockport this weekend has been postponed. They are expecting BAD WINTER WEATHER there for the next day or two. We are pushing it forward to next week, so NOW YOU CAN plan to come! It might be Monday, Feb 7...maybe Friday Feb 11. I will know the new date on Thursday.

PLEASE e-mail me if you are interested...maybe you can caravan with those of us going down from the Austin area.