Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Thought

It's Christmas Eve, and I wanted to thank all of you who have supported me this past year, particularly those who have recently purchased items from both ebay and etsy. As a result of your generosity, I have been able to pass along the creative energy in the form of another Kiva loan, this time to a 57 year old woman in Tajikistan. She is a widow, trained as a nurse, but selling furniture in a retail environment to support her 4 children. Thank you! Your purchases mean more than just the acquisition of a pretty decoration.

Have a joyous season.

Best Regards,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Study: Vietnamese Pot

Wooden Spoon with Vietnamese Pot
5 x 7, oil on gessoed bristol

I've been painting on a daily basis since my work hours were cut back to one day a week - a blessing in disguise. This little painting started out with just the red vase, the eggplant, and a Vietnamese cooking pot tied with string. But once I got going on it, I realized I had an empty space on the right side. I went to the kitchen and the wooden spoon seemed to be the perfect element. I ended up liking this painting and decided the composition would hold up in a larger version, so I started one 22 x 28.

I've recently added the PayPal option on my website and started offering paintings for sale. You can visit by clicking on Paintings From The Oregon Outback. Tell me what you think - my prices include free shipping.

I've also been experimenting with eBay and Etsy. I've recently sold paintings using both services and I think I like Etsy a bit better. But the jury is still out. I've also been working on building an identity that generates curiosity and easy identification on the eBay auction site. It's extremely difficult to catch the attention of the right person when you're in the middle of so many thousands of images. I'm also exploring 1000Markets, which uses Amazon Payments instead of PayPal. There seem to be many choices, and each requires a different marketing approach. I'll keep you updated on what I discover.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Red Onion, Amber Jar

Red Onion, Amber Jar
7 x 5, oil on gessoed bristol

This little painting started out as a real challenge. In fact, half way through I was sure I was going to have to throw it away. The jar looked opaque and not at all transparent, the light reflections looked like smeared fingerprints. The onion wasn't making any visual sense at all. But it's just gessoed bristol, I'm telling myself, no great cost if I throw it away, just keep painting to see what you can do. And then something happened, I'm not sure exactly what, but the jar started to resolve itself. Transparent - yea! highlights looking -- real -- double yea! But that onion...I have a bad habit that whenever I feel that a painting is just boring I pick up the palette knife, load it up with lots of color, and then just go for it.'s like frosting a cake and just adds to my misery, but sometimes it's the perfect ending to a nice little painting. Anyway, I like it a whole lot more than I did half way through painting it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paintings From the Oregon Outback: Smith Rocks #3

Smith Rocks #3
From the "when Space Could Breathe" landscape series, focusing on places in the Oregon Outback once populated by Indians, trappers, robbers and bandits...

Smith Rocks got it's name from the old homestead tale of a man named Smith who was chased by either a posse or Indians ( the details differ depending upon who's telling the tale.) When he realized he was trapped at the top of these giant cliffs overlooking the Crooked River, he decided to jump rather than face impending capture.

Smith Rocks #3 is 20 inches high and 16 inches wide, on canvas mounted to hardboard.
This painting is now being offered at auction. To bid, visit here.

Or, just go look for the fun of it!
But...if you love it, I hope you'll buy it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Along the Old Post Road

Along The Old Post Road
Available at auction for 7 days
If you would like to see more, please click here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Studio Tip for December

Don't you just hate putting gesso on raw canvas? Well, here's a tip that really works for me.

I started using a 3 inch foam rubber roller. It comes in a kit that includes a tiny plastic tray that doubles as a storage container. You'll find it in the house painting section of your local home improvement store - the one I found is made by Rubbermaid but there may be other brands available.

After putting a small quantity of gesso into the tray, I roll it on the canvas or board. It's so quick you'll actually enjoy the chore, and the best part is that you get very even coverage without the annoying brush marks -- unless you want brush marks, that is. I usually do two or three thin coats, alternating the direction each time. Then, if I want more texture, I'll use a gesso brush for the last layer.

Clean up is easy, the roller lasts a long time, and replacement foam is available.

I can tell you, this really saves my shoulder when preparing a large canvas.

One warning, though -- this method splatters gesso around, mostly on your hands and arms, so be sure you protect any surfaces that are in the line of fire. Those little dried specks of gesso are a real bear to clean up...