Monday, September 3, 2012

Red Dirt Tales

This is my first journey into writing and illustrating my own children's book (for ages 4 to 10). For you native Texans from my generation, you may relate to some of these stories.

Red Dirt Tales  is a collection of four odes to subjects that may not be familiar to kids today. Each story has ties, in some form or fashion, to the “red dirt” soil found throughout the northern plains of Texas along the Red River. Told with humor and rich illustrations created from the childhood memories of the author.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Hill Country Cumulus

Hopefully, after years of learning what it takes to accomplish a successful painting, one can go back to take a look at older works of art to see where they may need improvement. While watercolors aren't great for any after-the-fact fixes, there are occasions where weak areas can be helped a bit. After looking at "Hill Country Cumulus" (previously titled "Hill Country Stream") I determined that the value of the distant trees was too light so I decided to darken them up (at the risk of creating a muddy mess). I think it helps bring out the shear brightness of the cumulus formation and gives some distance and separation with the foreground.

Here are the before and after images:



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Homegrown Still Life

There's something satisfying about creating a painting of stuff you've grown in your own garden. A truly complete creation from start to finish. This was my first still life since probably high school art class many years ago.

Homegrown Pepper and Garlic - 8"x8" oil and gessobord - $195 

I grow my own garlic and save back a few bulbs to replant each Fall for an unending supply. My yard is rather shady but pepper plants seem to love it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Paint Historic Waxahachie

For a better look, here are the scans from a few of my plein air paintings from this year's event.

10x8 oil on Gessobord  - $225

10x8 oil on stretched canvas - $195

10x8 oil on Gessobord - $195

10x8 oil on Gessobord - $225

Goldfish Pond

I finally finished this painting that I started en plein air during the "Hidden Gardens of Fort Worth" tour from several weeks ago. 8"x8" oil on Gessobord.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

First Place - Paint Historic Waxahachie

The 'Paint Out' awards were presented Friday night and I was thrilled to find that I had won first place for my oil painting of College Street looking north. It's a working title.

The show was judged by artist, Rusty Jones. This was my last painting before the Friday 2 pm deadline which I finished on Thursday night. It took me two separate evenings on-location to finish it because I lost my evening sunlight on the top of the tallest building on the first day. That light is what attracted to me to this scene when I drove by here earlier in the week.

I was actually torn as to whether or not I should include this among the five selections I was limited to.  Needless to say I'm glad I decided to keep it in. Without the car and the people in this painting it would be difficult to understand the size of these buildings.

Tomorrow at 5 pm the sale wraps up and a People's Choice winner will be awarded by popular vote ballots... so get out there and vote!

On a side note, I had the pleasure of meeting and talking with ECAA volunteer Cynthia Nance today at the Sale. Cynthia's daughter, Samantha Shelley Nance, was murdered in 2009. Shelley was a beautiful young lady and a very talented artist going to school to further her talents in art. I was very honored that Cynthia purchased four of my pencil sketches today during the sale.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Paint Historic Waxahachie 2012

'Paint Historic Waxahachie' is underway as of Friday. I managed to crank out 6 oils over the holiday weekend. All of them are 8x10.

I started my first painting by setting up near the Katy (M-K-T) trestle just to the east of the depot. This is a beautiful location with lots of shade from huge cottonwood trees (unfortunately in bloom) and the weather was hot but dry and breezy. This trestle crosses Waxahachie Creek which is out of view here.

The next morning I had to be at the Waxahachie Downtown Farmers Market for a Quick Draw event. I, along with about 20 other artists had 2 hours to complete a plein air painting within a few blocks of the Market. I chose this scene showing patrons under the roof of the previous lumber yard that existed here for many decades before they moved elsewhere and the City bought the property. All of the paintings were offered for sale in a silent auction afterwards. It was fun but most people looking for a good buy on snow peas weren't looking to go home with original artwork.

My third painting shown here is 'Awning Shade'. I've painting a similar version of this before, but from a different angle. I love painting this old building.

Number four is from the 2nd floor of the city's parking garage looking west, just after sunrise. This is a tricky subject to attempt, but I throughly enjoyed it. The location of my easel was in the shade and it was quite breezy up there. This spot gives you a little better angle of the courthouse and is less of a strain on your neck as you look straight on instead of up.

That afternoon I headed out to join fellow artists Olivette Hubler, Debob Jacobs and my friend Doug Clark who were set up near some sunflower crops about halfway between Waxahachie and Ennis. This setting is so spectacular right now that the PHW committee decided to include this area for the competition. All I can say is if you like sunflowers you will have many to choose from during the sale. This view of a dirt road gives you a pretty good idea of how isolated it was. There were literally sunflowers as far as you could see. Olivette, Debob and Doug all came up with some nice renditions.

And finally, my last painting... Doug and I headed over to Rio's Barber Shop on Jackson Street near sundown. I learned that it's a good idea to have fellow artists give you some suggestions since we sometimes get so focused on the task that we don't take time to step back and see what might need fixing. Doug suggested a few things about my painting and I had one or two on his. We took each other's advice and I think we improved our paintings. The old, can't see the forest...
The awards and dinner will be this Friday at the Chautauque in Waxahachie. I can only submit five of these for the competition so I'll have to eliminate one... any suggestions? 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Medium - Oils

"Extreme Caution" 12x9 oil and canvas board.
 This is my first oil from a photo reference. My 3 previous oils were all en plein air. I took the photo this weekend trying to get a nice sunny/shadowy shot of my very white Jack Russell mix. He was investigating a piece of swiss chard that was a scrap from a recent harvest. Shortly after I shot this he flinched in fear of it. It must have moved. He's rough and tough alright.

I'm still very new to this medium, and this is by far the best of my attempts. The others are not worthy of posting.

The image here is a bit shiny since it's still wet. I'll post a better one when it's dry.

Reference photo.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quick Study of Tanya

I'm really into sketching faces lately. Fortunately for me my model here likes to read every night so it's a perfect time for me to sketch her. And, she has a beautiful face so that's always a bonus. She hates the way she looks here but I like the drawing... so don't mention to her that I posted this.

I'm looking forward to doing some oil portraits in the next few weeks but before I paint my wife's portrait I need to find some substitutes for linseed and turpentine since they make here ill. I'm thinking about using walnut oil and citrus thinner. Will let you know how it goes.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Front Porch Sketch

Pencil sketch from my front porch during the 2011 Gingerbread Trail Tour of Homes and Paint Historic Waxahachie Plein Air event. In the background is one of the homes that was on the tour. That's fellow plein air artist and friend Douglas Clark on the left - capturing the scene in oils. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quick Studies from today

These are some very quick studies I did from some old photos on my computer. I opened up a few and sketched them on a really cheap sketch pad while looking at my monitor. The photos are from 2004.
My wife and son. Graphite.

Eating a mango

Friday, February 17, 2012

Brewed in Texas - the collected works of Kent Brewer - available for $12.95 at MagCloud.

"The collected works of artist Kent Brewer features 44 paintings from 1990 to 2011. Watercolors and pastels of Texas and the Southwest."

Here's the link: Brewed in Texas