Monday, August 31, 2009
Here is Mars! A beautiful Chow mix, belonging to my friend, who probably thinks I forgot about her! I Had started this a long time ago, and last week I thought I would look again at the photos and e-mails from T....Good thing I did, because the painting I had started had the wrong dog in the painting! See my first draft, below....YIKES! WHO IS THE BLACK DOG?!!! I know T told me the story, but my delay caused me to forget....SO>>>Here is the REAL draft of Mr. Mars, and pending approval from T, it's her painting...
To you artists: So many of you tell me that you wish you had my energy...THANK YOU, but I wish I did not make so many mistakes that REQUIRE me to spend more time (and energy)at the easel, FIXING things! haha Honestly, the best way to be a good problem solver is to be nearly perfectly organized and smart...the SECOND BEST way is to make so many mistakes that you get good at problem solving, because you have a lot of PRACTICE!!!
Saturday, August 29, 2009
I am preparing a couple of paintings for a show coming up here in Austin. The theme of this show is "Bienvenidos", which means WELCOME in spanish. Here is a study...a painting from the other night when some rain came REAL close to us at sunset. I was on my way to the little drugstore for some Advil and Icy Hot for Mr. Football Player and this BRILLIANT sky loomed over the nearby ranch....The poor, sore football player had to wait a few extra moments, because lucky mama had her camera....I used the pics as reference and painted this welcome sight as soon as I got home....I will post the final painting next week...
*NOTE to artists...photos are fine, really, but use them RIGHT AWAY, before the impression of the REAL light fades from memory. As I occasionally judge art shows, I can TEL when someone only works from photos...it is a very obvious distinction..use your God-given appreciation for REAL LIFE LIGHT in your paintings. If you struggle with this, do more little studies outside....I DO!
Friday, August 28, 2009
This painting was one of my most requested ones of my "Last Year on the Farm". It sold FAST! I painted it THREE YEARS ago, today. I saw a similar scene at a nearby farm, today and it remined me that I promised myself (and a few collectors!) that I will soon paint a large version of this small study. I have the canvas ready, and a frame to put it in! The large original
will be 24 x 30 (or maybe 30 x 40...I can't decide!)...but, I also want to print a small edition of canvas giclees....My "farm work" remains my BEST work, I think. I published a small book with LOTS of pictures of the paintings. Order info is below...
A thought for my artist friends: Use your good studies as reference for larger works....this is what they are for! So many of the little "daily paintings" I do end up being re-created as larger works. Half the fun is trying to re-capture the freshness and brushwork of the study....the other half of the fun is selling the little study!
"Last Year on the Farm : A Story of Change..." THE BOOK IS HERE!
$29 plus 5 to ship. Total : $34
This exhibit of 365 small plein air paintings toured the country on exhibit in 2008. All of the paintings are up on my web site, and many are available for purchase NOW!
I put together a 50 page book, measuring 7" x 7", which is just FULL of some of my favorite images from my "Last Year on the Farm". There are two paintings for each month and a section showing two complete groups of "24 paintings in 24 hours" : "Fall Day...." and "Winter Day....". The book is available in paperback or Hard boound and includes a few of my thoughts and a short story about the project.
It is a WONDERFUL story of the end of a way of life in America. It's a story that touches MOST Americans as we say goodbye to small time farming.
Use the Paypal Button below, or CONTACT ME via e-mail if you wish to pay with a credit card. Or mail a check or money order to:
2606 Starling Dr.
Round Rock, TX 78681
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Sunday after church my son and a pack of his buddies went to Schlitterbahn to say goodbye to summer. (If you ever come to central Texas in the summer you MUST spend a day at Schlitterbahn...no matter how you look in a swim suit!)...I drove my son there after church and then went on to San Antonio by myself to visit the missions with some tiny canvases on hand. I have been working with some special framing methoods for these tiny canvases, so that I can send these little gems to my great galleries. I will tell more about these frames tomorrow...
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Everyone knows that Florence is in TEXAS! But not everyone knows there is a beautiful vineyard there!. I painted at The Vineyard, today, with a buddy artist and here's what happened....They are just about to harvest these little beauties.
I shared this painting thought with someone in my workshop lately, and it came to me, again today:
Approach your painting time with NO idea in mind about HOW it ought to look….
Any thought you have about what it ought to look like is just you IMAGINING SOMEONE ELSE’S PAINTING, anyway…”grown ups” tend to do this more than youngsters, because we KNOW good art when we see it. The reason why we WANT to create is because something impressed us “out there” and we want to do it, too! ….after a lot of brush miles, good complements, and helpful critique (even if unwanted, it’s ALL helpful), we become our own artist. And it is THEN that we can approach a painting with an idea in mind….So, I no longer think of my teachers…like “How would Kevin paint this”…or “….Rick Howell”….well, I STILL wonder how Rick would paint it..!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When I lived on the farm, I spent a lot of time sneaking up on the cattle egrets as they grazed alongsidr the cows. They always saw me, but I could take a seat and sit still and they would come back after a while. Their head and neck feathers would change to a yellowy color at certain times of the year (spring, I think). Here is a "lesson": Study the birds and animals before you create a composition, especially if you plan to change the setting. You might put Spring plumage on a winter bird, and that would be embarrassing if one of your collectors noticed! Just remember: the reason someone will buy your art might be because they JUST LOVE or are VERY FAMILIAR with the subject. They will be the first to notice if you haven't done your homework.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Sitting on C and D's deck over the bay, I enjoyed hearing the rustling of this palm so much, I decided to paint it.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
We have our very own Colorado River flowing right through Central Texas to the Gulf of Mexico. I walked alongside it last week with my friend, and this pretty bend caught my eye. This time of year there is a never ending spiral column of buzzards riding the thermals above the treetops. I like that. It LOOKS LIKE TEXAS!!!
I found out today why the Colorado River was flowing so hard that day....they are releasing water from the lakes near Austin to send downstream to the rice farmers who desperately need it. This is why the Colorado River was dammed up in the first place, ...for FOOD, y'all....the boating and water sports are a "new idea" and way down on the list of priorities....Our lakes are terribly dry, but one good tropical storm will bring them back in a hurry!
Monday, August 17, 2009
North of Taos, NM is a little town called Questa. There are some tall mountains and open fields there. When I drove through last fall, clouds hung heavy over the mountain tops. This is another study for a larger painting that I will start soon. I prefer to paint on location, but photos work just fine since I have spent a lot of time paintig in the area.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
YES, it's still hot in Texas, but a little farther north, the season is mellowing out and fall color is about a month away! I am getting ready by working from my many photos (I trekked through the Taos and southern Colorado area last fall and have been dying to paint there again!)...A note to ALL artists who plan painting trips or workshops...whether you teach them or take them: PAINT before you go! Working from photos is NOT a criminal offense! It's a good way to "polish" your eye to see forms and color. It warms up the painting muscles and stretches those art ligaments!...and when you finally get out "en plein air" you will NOTICE the difference between real life and photos, and making adjustments is easier. ...The little painting above was painted quickly, and I noticed a "broken art rule" that WORKS! See the "sky holes" at the base of the tree? Where the grass is seen between the trunks? Well, the "rule" says that sky holes should be darker than the color of the main area of grass. Well, you can plainly see that these specs of grass are brighter than the field of grass, but I LIKE IT that way...in this case, IT WORKS!...maybe because this is a bright sunny scene and the sun might be shining on that patch of grass? ....now, go break some MORE art rules!!!
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
A few weeks ago we left Taos as the day was leaving town. I love the time of day where shadows are long, and in Taos, they are always crisp and COOL shadows!...speaking of cool, we FINALLY got our A/C fixed...just as the clods came and it got below 100....whew!...NEXT WEEK, I will be on the Texas coast....heading down to paint for a few days. Any suggestions? SERIOUSLY! If you tell me what to paint, and I paint it, I will let you have first "pickin's" on the small studies! ...hit the comment button, and I will get my colors ready!!! Be sure to leave your e-mail address! email@example.com
Thursday, August 13, 2009
All of the individual studies I have posted lately, were used as reference for this painting. After I frame it, I will send it out to it's "home" at the Fourteen Mules Ranch on the East Coast. Of course, the "focal point" of the painting, is the group of mules and their reflections. See the detail of them, below....and see if you can find all fourteen mules! (I will let you know when it's on the way, M. :)
...I bet I can paint a mule with my eyes closed, now!
Detail of "Fourteen Mules"........copyright V....Vaughan
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Here is mule #7, a study for the seventh mule on my big painting, "Fourteen Mules". I will FINALLY post the BIG ONE, tomorrow, and you will be able to see all 14 mules "in context" :). Now that the painting is done, I can FINALLY let the studies go, to whoever asks for them "second". I am permitting the patrons who commissioned the BIG ONE have first "pickings" of the studies. If they decide to NOT take them, then they are available to anyone else who wants them. Please let me know your preference! See all the painted studies on the blog this week, and see the sketches on the blog archives in November and December of 2008. http://www.vvaughan.blogspot.com
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Yesterday I posted Mule #5 from the real painting, so I am posting the STUDY of Mule #5 below. Take a look and compare them...you will see the difference :).... While painting Mule 6, I decided to hold the canvas in my hand while painting. I OFTEN just hold the canvas in my hand, even en plein air, or teaching. I like the flexibility of being able to turn it upside-down or sideways to get a better brush angle or to check composition. But for this one, I was just being lazy, because I wanted to sit on my high chair while painting. Well, when I leaned back, the back-rest part of the chair broke and I fell straight back. All I thought of was "don't hit your head", and "save the painting!" (not in that order). Since I accomplished both. I was pretty relieved!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
4 mules down...10 to go...actually I will show 7 mules one by one, and then the rest of the "14 Mules" I will show in a group...These individuals are studies. The "real mules" are together in a group on the BIG painting. By the end of the week, will post the big thing...inless I melt. The AC is still out (upstairs...we have another unit that cools the downstairs, so please do not feel too sorry for me. Texans used to survive entire summers without AC!)
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Mule 3 of 14...only 11 to go! ...If you watch this blog, you already know, but I have been working on a VERY large commission. A painting for a client in South Carolina. I even posted an early version of the final painting and some of the sketches. The paintings I am posting for the next few days are individual color studies of the various figures in the larger work. I am JUST aout ready to finally let these little studies go, as I wrap up the big painting after working on it WAY too long!
I like to break down a large painting into small bites. Here is one I hope you like!
Friday, August 07, 2009
I will never gloat about Colorado, again.
I will never gloat about Colorado, again.
I will never gloat about Colorado, again.
It is 105 here and our air conditioner went out. It's OK, though....they can fix it on Tuesday.
If I move only very slowly, I hardly sweat at all.....oh, yeah, and I have a computer problem, too... :)
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Back from Colorado now, but I have been busy the past few days....mostly missing the mountains and moping! Am finishing up some important paintings so will be posting the studies and sketches for these this week. I have to hold the mule works for a few more weeks to make sure my work is done, then I will have them available for sale. If you want me to remember you for one of these, just drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, August 02, 2009
While we were in Colorado, I needed to scrape my messy palette and put on some fresh color squirts. Rather than throwing out the "palette droppings", I used them to paint the cottonwoods below our place. There is about $150 worth of paint on this one, so that's the price! Click the image to see the details!
Saturday, August 01, 2009
This canyon wall is across the river from the house, and looms over the river. I like to sit on the porch and paint, so this was my challenge earlier in the week. When I started this painting, some visitors came by so I left the porch and got distracted for a few hours. A big storm came in and rain and wind blew hard and I forgot about the painting!. When I went back to it, the raindrops had made an interesting pattern on the blocked in canvas, that I just HAD to take a picture of it!! Take a look at it below. THIS is why I am an oil painter, and thankful that oil and water don't mix!!...I left it alone, the Colorado air dried it out in no time, and finished the painting above.....I will miss the rain. Hoping it follows me home as I am travelling home to Texas this weekend.