Archive for the 'Ramblings' Category
June 29th, 2012 by Donald Smith
As some of you know, I won a battle with cancer in 2010. It’s been a long recovery, I’m still getting my strength back, so that fight is still on. PRAISE THE LORD! My checkup yesterday was good. I had a CT Scan and blood work and it was fine.
I’m starting to paint more, when I can find the time. I’ve got a busy summer planned but I’m making the time to work on a few paintings and I’m trying to get out and paint some plein air. I bought a Blick Julian French easel earlier this year and it works great for painting plein air. I’ve only been out with it once, but I like it better than my pochade box. Don’t get me wrong, I like my box too. I made it way back in 2004, and it’s worked great. I’ve have many hours of happy memories painting with that box. The biggest limitation is the pallet is so close to the canvas, I can’t get my brush down at the bottom like I want sometimes. The French easel allows me to move the painting up away from the pallet and work more freely. For long walks, the tripod and pochade box are lighter.
I’ve been focusing mainly on Southwestern and Western are lately. My daughter went to a Rodeo Bible Camp and I got to take a lot of photos to use as reference photos. I’m hoping to get a series of paintings from the photos.
The latest painting I’ve added to my Western art gallery is a 16×20 gallery wrapped canvas of Two Feathers shooting a buffalo. That reminds me. Do you know what one buffalo said to his son as he was leaving the heard to get a drink of water? The answer is “Bison” I like a good pun. I hope some of you are either laughing or groaning.
Well I just wanted to share the good news from the doctor and up date you on my latest art goals.
Have fun painting,
July 24th, 2010 by Donald Smith
Sorry I haven’t written lately. This cancer has been kicking my neck. I”ve got in a feeding tube, and manageing to maintain weight a little. Figures! I just get the computer booted up and a thunderstorm is rolling through. I bet it’s pretty outside, the sun was shinning when I took the mail down to the box.
Well, I better sign off, no paintings to show. I’m working on 5 ATC but haven’t gotten much past cutting them out, and putting down an imprimtura.
June 30th, 2010 by Donald Smith
I always thought I was strong and healthy, it came as a total surprise to learn that I had tonsil cancer. They did surgery and pulled the offending tonsil, sent it off to learn that it wasn’t good. So now I have the pleasure of taking chemo and radiation treatments. This is only day 3 and already I’m wishing it were over. 2 treatments down, 33 more to go. I will survive, and I pray that it never comes back. All the pills they give me to counterbalance the chemo, make me feel worse. I’m reminded of the song by Ray Stephens. Doctor Doctor have mercy on me, your cure is worse than my disease.
Well that’s all for today.
Please pray for me and my wife. She is such a wonderful woman steadfastly going through this journey with me.
June 15th, 2010 by Donald Smith
The reason I haven’t written lately is I had a Tonsillectomy, and I’m still getting over the worst sore throat of my life. On top of that, they did a biopsy on the tonsil and it is malignant. So, I get to go see another doctor this week. If I miss more of my normally scheduled blog posts, it’s because “Life Happens.”
On a positive note, I’ve been experimenting with oils and painting a few abstracts. I still haven’t got it to look like I want. Maybe I’ll post a photo if I do.
I’ve been looking at “Two Feathers” and it needs more work. So, I’ll be touching it up in the future, and I’ll let you know when it’s finally finished. In the mean time, it’s time to get back to doing my Solvek exercises. While I was recouperating, I thought I would feel up to making the three painted blocks I need to paint one of the exercises, but I was wrong. I did watch a couple of DVDs about painting though.
Well, until next time, have fun painting,
May 29th, 2010 by Donald Smith
Life has been so crazy lately. At work, we’ve been migrating over 250 computer to Windows 7, at home, we are in the middle of adopting our second daughter. Then my web page screws up, and portrait photos show up landscape. I am of course painting, and doing some painting exercises. Then to top it all off my left tonsil has swollen and the doc thinks it could be Tonsil Lymphoma. Adoptions are expensive enough! Now I’ve got doctor, and hospital bills to boot. Still God is good and He will provide! I’m scheduled for a Tonsillectomy on Thursday, so I wont be making may Thursday post. One Tonsillectomy in a lifetime is enough, wouldn’t you agree? Well WAY back when the earth was new (1962 or 63) I had a Tonsillectomy. I’m NOT looking forward to a second one. If the first doctor would have taken all of it, I wouldn’t be having this problem now.
Thank you for your prayers! God is lifting up, my family and me at this time.
On a good note: We are almost finished with the migration at work, and I’ve got my photo problem in my blog fixed. Sometimes updates are a BAD thing, cause the mess things up. Two Feathers is coming along nicely, I’ll add another WIP soon. OH!, they have determined I don’t have Leukemia, and my biopsy was inconclusive, so I may not have Lymphoma after all, and something else is causing the problem with the tonsil and the masses in my neck.
Through it all, I’m in good spirits (I don’t mean alcohol either..
Have a Great Memorial Day! I plan to.
May 25th, 2010 by Donald Smith
There is nothing I would enjoy more right now, than to pack up, fly to Scotland, and spend the next month painting and photographing the villages and landscapes. While I’m there I would take in Ireland too. What I find funny about that, is I’m sure there is an artist in Scotland or Ireland that would love to pack it all up, come to Missouri and spend a month painting the farms, towns and landscapes here.
I find we often miss opportunities that are right in front of us. I lived in Oklahoma most of my life, and never really appreciated it’s beauty. Now that I’m landscape painting, I remember Oklahoma and would love to go there and spend more time painting, the same for Arkansas. Oh, I don’t get tired of Missouri’s beauty. I see scenes all the time that I wish I could stop and paint. I’m usually in a hurry to get there. I think THAT is the lure of going some place else. You’re on holiday, there isn’t a job to rush to, a yard to mow, you can put all your cares and troubles behind you, and spend the day painting away, happy with out a care in world but “where is your next scene to paint?”
So, what place would you love to go paint?
Until next time,
April 15th, 2010 by Donald Smith
Let me start by saying, “I’m Sorry!” This post is WAY off the fine art blog path. I’ve recently been introduced to Bruce Campbell, by watching “Burn Notice.” My son told me about “My Name Is Bruce,” and I just finished watching it. A bit crude in spots, but some of it was so corney, I was thinking, surely they wont go there, but I was wrong. It was so funny in spots it was hard to keep from laughing out loud and waking up my wife and kid. Does watching corney horror flicks while my wife and kid are asleep make me a “closet lover of corney horror flicks?” Does telling you, my readers, mean I’ve come out of the closet? I don’t know. That is an interesting question, but I’ll not waste any more time on this blog pondering it.
Just a FYI, I am incooperating my block studies into the Charles Solvek exercises when I have the opportunity. So, I haven’t given up totally on my Wednesday Block Studies exercise.
Until next time! Have fun painting!
April 1st, 2010 by Donald Smith
One of the other videos I’ve purchased stars Kevin Macpherson. This video was made for TV, and it has Kevin painting Plein Air in France. I own both of his books, and I’ve been trying to buy one of his videos on ebay but I keep getting out bid. I’ll have to sell one or two of my other videos so I can bid higher. But I digress. In Kevin’s books, he recommends painting 100 6×8″ paintings in 30 minutes, then another 100 in 60 minutes. The idea behind the 30 minute painting is to get the 10 to 15 shapes painted so the canvas is covered. Then if the clouds roll in and the scene changes, it doesn’t matter, you’ve got your value structure on the canvas, all that is left is to remember the scene before the change and finish painting it. Painting like that is called “Indirect” it uses an under painting. In the video I watched, Kevin was painting with the “Direct” style of painting. Each brush stroke is placed directly on the canvas. At one point it looked like a bunch of splotches of color dabs all over the canvas. As he continued to fill in the canvas, the painting began to look like the scene behind the easel.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both Direct and Indirect painting. One of the great things about being an artist is the fun we have with experimenting. So, rather than tell you the about my experiences with both methods of painting, why don’t you share yours. If you haven’t tried one or the other, then please, give it a try. It may take several paintings before you feel comfortable with the new method. Please don’t give up after one failed attempt. Both methods are good ways to paint, we should master them both.
I look forward to reading your comments!
Until next time, have fun painting,
March 30th, 2010 by Donald Smith
I’m sorry I haven’t written lately. I’ve been exploring “Video Workshops.” An Art Gallary dealer suggested I take some painting workshops. While I would love to be able to spend the thousands it would take to go to a Kevin Macpherson or Scott Christensen workshop, they are beyond my financial resources. So, I thought, why not buy a video or two, which I’ve done. I’ve purchased a videos by both the above artists plus a couple of others. Since some are for my birthday, I will have to wait to watch them, but I did get to spend an interesting four hours (instead of working on my blog or painting) and watched Scott enlarge one of his paintings. It was interesting to watch a professional artist paint, and finish his painting.
Two of my favorite authors on art are, John F. Carlson, and Edgar Payne. Scott quoted both of them more than once, during the video. I don’t remember him quoting any other artists. I’ve read John’s book, and I’m reading Edgar’s. Both are full of great advice for artists.
I have finished a couple of paintings I need to get posted as well.
This is a 4×6″ painting of a foggy day. The photo was taken in Arkansas back in 1988 when I first moved to Arkansas.
Until next time, have fun painting!
March 2nd, 2010 by Donald Smith
I would love to go to a workshop by a big named artist. Someone like Kevin Macpherson, or Richard Schmid, Kenn Backhaus perhaps, or a couple of my favorite artists, Marc Hanson or Larry Seiler. Some of these artist will get around $1000 for a week long workshop, plus travel and expenses for me would mean a serious cash outlay. I don’t sell enough of my paintings to cover those costs yet, someday I hope I will.
While my skills are improving, I read a lot of books, and work through their exercises. Lately I’ve been buying used DVDs off Ebay, I think it’s the next best thing to a workshop. While I may not get specific advice that will help fix some error I’ve made, I do get some ideas reinforced and it is interesting to watch how they paint.
My latest DVD purchase was “A Brush With Life” with Kevin Macpherson. It turns out that A Brush with Life is a TV show, and they were focusing on Kevin on this DVD. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, but in what little I’ve got to watch of it, I learned a few things. This was reinforced, “Every good painting starts with a concept.” Another way of saying, “What inspires you to paint that?” What ever “that” is becomes your concept. Next you have to figure out how to make it the main character on your canvas, and everything else helps to support it, and not steal the attention. You can have two areas of interest, but the second one must support the main one and not compete for the attention.
So, now that I’ve discovered the world of art DVDs, I have to be careful. I know me, and I’ll want more and more of them. I know that about myself, because the same is true about art books. My wife keeps asking, “Do you really need another art book?” I reply, “Do you really need another pair of shoes?” She gets her shoes, and I get my book and we are both happy. I love my wife! She is a great artist and encourages me in my goals.
Until next time, keep your brush on the canvas,