An artist's journal.
Here you'll find my paintings and musings, where the featured subjects could likely cover just about anything.
The last 4+ years I've been caring for my best buddy B during his courageous fight to live through cancer and it's complications. I'm tickled to report, he's getting better and I'm finding small bits of painting time again.

Looking forward to a daily celebration of life's gifts by using the brightest, happiest colors in the box!

Visitors looking for 'B's Journey', click here.

Friday, August 29, 2008

18" x 36"
acrylic on canvas
Click on picture above to see larger image.
Here's the new autumn painting i've been working on... it features Shortcake, my strawberry roan... she hasn't been in any of my new paintings since 2006 and i'm pleased she's in this one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

I've spent the last few days completely absorbed in an autumn painting... perhaps i'm trying to fast forward a bit, but late august almost always brings a longing for fall... we are close to the end of summer and sooo close to beginning our 8 month stretch of amazingly beautiful weather... cooler fall temps, mild winters, topped off with our magnificent springs... if you've never visited the desert in the winter, you should... it's quite nice.

Anyways, back to the autumn painting... i love it so far and hope to add it to my ebay store soon. One of my horses is grazing in a field, but i haven't decided if it's LaLa, the appaloosa, Firefly, the gray Chincoteague pony or Shortcake, the strawberry roan... in the past, my 'horse series' paintings have let me feature my friends, LaLa, Firefly and Shortcake.

When I was a kid I used to dream of having a pony of my very own… I read every horse book there was in the library... and although my wish never came true, i have discovered with the creation of these three friends, that it's never too late to have your own pony.

My paintings featuring LaLa, Firefly and Shortcake have a special place in my heart. I try to do several each year for EBAY and i think Shortcake is going to show up in this current autumn painting i'm working on.

Below are a few sold paintings featuring Shortcake, the strawberry roan...

24" x 24" x 1.5"
acrylic on canvas
Wingate collection, Tucson, AZ

"THIRSTY" 2006
20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Cardoso Iken collection, Manassas, VA

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

detail of 'EVANGELINA' portrait

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."-Michelangelo

16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas

I presented this portrait to Evangelina on saturday, july 19th, 2008, her 80th birthday!...this portrait journey began when her daughter, Rebecca, brought me a 60 year old photo and asked if i could do a portrait from it... if i had looked closely at that source photo and seen how poor the quality was, i might have declined, but i didn't... the challenges were great, but so too were the rewards... Evangelina was thrilled and Rebecca cried, saying i had captured her mother exactly as she remembered her as a little girl... a good day indeed!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Art War ~ a friendly competition 
My son, Chip, is also an artist, with a degree in visual communication from the University of Arizona... while he was still in college in 1995, we were both employed by the same company....about 75 employees worked there. One day Chip and I happened to be in the break room at the same time, along with several other employees... everyone knew Chip and I were artists, and on this particular day we were discussing our current art projects... well, this child I'd brought into this world, started talking smack about who was the better artist, me or him!... back and forth it went for a few minutes until someone there suggested we have a little 'art competition' to see who was the best... so a few guidelines were decided along with a deadline and the 'art war' began..

It was decided we had 30 days to paint a 16" x 20" black and white of any dead rock and roll artist... we would then display these 2 paintings in the break room and let all our fellow employees vote for their favorite.

The day of the unveiling was so fun!... I was completely blown away by Chip's painting of
Kurt Cobain and tickled by his positive reaction to my portrait of John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe... when the votes (60+) were tallied after a few days, Chip was the winner, by one vote!... I teased him that I had voted for him, so it was my vote that won it for him... then he revealed he'd voted for me!... what a sweet son!

16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas
artist: Jenna Millward

My painting was based on an Astrid Kircherr photo taken in 1960... George Harrison was in the original photograph, but he was still alive in 1995. Since this painting could only include deceased rock and roll artists, I had to leave him out of the painting.

16" x 20"
artist: Chip Cole

If you look closely in the shadowed area of chip's Kurt Cobain painting, you will see a skull.

Below is a detail of my painting for the competition... I love painting guitars...heck, I just love guitars... look at Stuart's big ole Hofner hollow body bass and John's famous Rickenbacker Capri 325.... I am currently learning to play bass guitar and loving it, but that's a story for another day.

Monday, August 18, 2008

8" x 10"
acrylic on canvas
Van Riemsdyk collection, Tucson, AZ

i've had an artglass studio for 22 years... and i loved creating beautiful artglass panels... i simply love the glass!... i have a studio full of beautiful sheets of glass that i have collected over the years just waiting for the perfect panel...

the painting "TIFFANY'S VIEW" came from an idea i had to capture the essence of the skies in many of Louis Comfort Tiffany's landscape artglass panels... he not only did artglass, he was a painter first, and when he started making his own glass, the glass he created for each panel was perfectly suited for the window he was creating... many of the sky portions of his works look like paintings, but are actually glass...Tiffany created the glass by swirling various minerals into the molten glass thus creating the colors he wanted for the beautiful skies found in his panels.

i think i captured that soft muted Tiffany sky feel in this painting... and in the wooded area i used colorful transparent glazes with darker outlines to slightly mimic the look of artglass... i like the results and plan to visit this style again in future paintings.

'TIFFANY'S VIEW' is one of brian's favorite paintings... he calls it 'the hobbitt painting'.

Below is a Louis Comfort Tiffany window that illustrates his remarkable custom glass making abilities... panels like this and other Tiffany landscape windows were my inspiration for 'TIFFANY'S VIEW'.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"AUBREY" 12/2003
acrylic on canvas

Of our 9 grandchildren, i have done portraits of 6... all painted in 2003...portraits of our granddaughters, emma and lauren, appeared earlier on this blogsite ... my son's youngest 3 still need portraits painted.... i know, i know... so many grandkids, so little time... this is a portrait of our granddaughter, aubrey, taken from a photo of her when she was about 4 years old... she looks like she was up to something when the photo was snapped... maybe she was hiding something behind her back...all i know is i just loved her impish expression so much i had to paint it... when aubrey saw her finished portrait she asked me "grandma, why aren't i smiling?"... "oh my little miss aubrey, that is a smile, an impish smile, and you are absolutely adorable!"... aubrey is 8 now, smart as a whip and still adorable... she was teachers little helper within 5 minutes on the first day of school.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A wife was making a breakfast of fried eggs for her husband. Suddenly, her husband burst into the kitchen. 'Careful,' he said,'CAREFUL! Put in some more butter!
Oh my gosh! You're cooking too many at once. TOO TOO MANY! Turn them! TURN THEM NOW! We need more butter.
Oh my gosh! WHERE are we going to get MORE BUTTER? They're going to STICK! Careful. CAREFUL! I said be CAREFUL!
You NEVER listen to me when you're cooking! Never! Turn them! Hurry up! Are you CRAZY? Have you LOST your mind?
Don't forget to salt them. You know you always forget to salt them. Use the salt! USE THE SALT! THE SALT!'
The wife just stared at him. 'What in the world is wrong with you? You think I don't know how to fry a couple of eggs?'
The husband calmly replied, 'I just wanted to show you what it feels like when I'm driving.'

Brian sent me that joke today and it reminded me of this story...
When brian and i go out together he almost always does the driving... and i almost always, i mean, i occasionally help from the passenger seat... one of the things i love about my relationship with brian is the sense of humor we apply to our differences, so rather than be annoyed with my occasional, i mean, rare offers of side seat driving help, he found a wonderfully funny solution to help me tone it down a bit... he hid a rolled up sock in the car's center console compartment... while driving one day, probably after i had asked him again if he was sure we were taking the easiest route, he pulled that sock out of the console and handed it to me with a twinkle in his eye... i laughed so hard!... ok ok, i'll put a sock in it!... that sock only came out occasionally, but worked wonders when it did.

For the record though, that sock worked so well, that, when he missed his turns or wasn't sure where we were going, he lamented he sorta missed my help... now the sock is gone and i didn't take it.

A few days ago, i was doing the driving, and in true side seat style, he was asking me if i was sure i wanted to take that route... we just looked at each other and grinned... it's gotta be the seat!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Below are a few photos of a wall niche mural i painted.

This niche was over the stove and the mural complimented perfectly the decor of the kitchen and house... and this was quite a house! Janie McCourt occasionally requests my work for some of Tucson's upscale homes who commission her amazing wall design services.

The niche was relatively high up and required I worked from scaffolding. I enjoy these occasional breaks from painting at my easel.

Detail of ~'au petit jardin'~ niche mural.

Monday, August 11, 2008

'BRIAN' 2002
20" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
private collection, Tucson, Az

In 2002 i came across a photo of brian onstage in early 1997 opening up for 'Three Dog Night" and thought it would make a neat portrait... i once did a series of black and white portraits of various musicians... hendrix, lennon, harrison, harry chapin, ian anderson (jethro tull)... perhaps in later posts i'll feature a few of those old paintings in this blog... including the results of an art competition between my son and me in 1995...

Brian has been a local Tucson musician since the '70's... in a variety of great bands including... Hobbitt, Aftermath, Hit and Run, Tunesmith, Trilogy, The Billy Shears Band, Raven and his current bands, Still Cruisin' and Chuck Wagon and the Wheels... he also fills in as a guest guitarist in several local bands... some of his favorite gigs are the ones he does with John Ronstadt(guitar, vocals), Jeanne Ronstadt(accordion, vocals) and Bill Ronstadt(bass, vocals).......he is also a guest guitarist for The Desert Sons.

Still Cruisin' played for Palo Verde High School's 40th reunion last saturday and it was a blast!
That class of '68 knows how to party! ...and there were a lot of really good musicians in that class who sat in with the band... lots of fun!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

16" x 20"
acrylic on canvas
private collection, Tubac, Az

I like painting children... this was a portrait commission taken from an old 1970's polaroid. These little ones are all grown up now and their parents were delighted with that moment in time captured for posterity in a painting.

Friday, August 8, 2008

acrylic on canvas
private collection, Dragoon, Az

Elliot and his daughter, Caitlyn, share a moment in the shadows of a willow acacia tree... this is another one of my favorite portrait commissions.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

"LAUREN" 12/2003
acrylic on canvas

Here is a portrait i painted of Lauren taken from a photograph of her at age three... she is 13 now, the 2nd oldest of our nine grandchildren... a beautiful and talented young woman, she recently made the national junior honor society... she also plays a mean game of jacks, but has yet to beat her grandma, although she's coming close... i am also especially pleased to have captured her mom's piano and music books for posterity in this painting, as that piano is now gone and missed.

When i'm painting a portrait, there is this moment of magic that happens...when the subject's eyes come to life in the painting...
When they seem to be looking right at me, smiling and saying "thanks...I like what you've done."
It gives me goosebumps every single time.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Been a bit under the weather for a few days and i am incredibly grateful to brian and annie for their love and support, hugs and kisses, roses and ginger ale... feeling a whole lot better so i'm going to be putting some paint on canvas today!...
Below is a 2005 minimalist painting of brian and annie... i like this style quite a bit and actually have a minimalist work in progress right now... "a fair evening" is it's working title and gently hints at it's subject.....
I start by adding unusual texture to a canvas (messy and fun)... then i paint multiple layers of richly colored glazes for beautiful skies and landscapes to accent my itty bitty subjects...
18" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
A magnified detail shows that annie and brian are quite accurate, even though they are REALLY, REALLY SMALL on the canvas... brian is only about an inch high... you can see some of the neat texture on the canvas as well.
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"There are days when I feel I could've painted the Sistine Chapel and, then, there are the days when I'm not sure I could trace a stick figure.... the only difference between these days is my state of mind"~ Jenna Millward Corkill