Sunday, July 18, 2010

Paintings at the Naked Winery

Do you like wine and art? 

Naked Winery is a family-owned winery based in Wishram. They have a tasting room in Hood River, Oregon that's seen several expansions. Every time I visit it's a busy place.

Recently the owners agreed to feature my paintings exclusively. For this artist, that's a dream-come-true! In late June we installed the first group of paintings. They include the Angel and Eve series of figure works, along with selected florals.

As with any installation, there are details to work out. We have to revise our show cards (they're too big), and make more table cards so that people can easily learn about my work and see the names and sizes of the paintings.

I've read a bit about the winery business, specifically challenges small wineries are facing in this economy. People are being conservative in what they purchase, and often eliminate luxury items like wine when dollars are tight. But Naked Winery seems to be sailing with flying colors. The are expanding their tasting rooms, and every time we've been to Hood River, even on weekdays, the place is hopping with activity.

I'm not a business person, but I think credit is due to the out-of-the-box marketing strategy they've adopted. It intrigues people so much they can't not check it out. The fact that the wines are fabulous keeps them coming back and telling their friends (which is exactly what I'm doing)! Surf their website and see if you don't think it's creative marketing at its best.

It doesn't hurt either that their tasting room staff are about the friendliest and most accomodating people I've ever met. They know the wines, they know what people like, they make them feel at home, and now they can see my artwork!

The support the Naked Winery owners have given my artwork has been the coup needed to return me to what I've always loved best, figure work. Thus, I'm almost finished with a new Eve painting that we plan to hang soon, and one-by-one, we'll replace the florals with new figure works.

I only uploaded a few pictures here, but you can see the complete gallery on flickr.

I hope you are able to make it into the Naked Winery tasting room in Hood River one of these days to enjoy my paintings, and of course, the wine.

I'll get back to painting now, that's what I love best!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Blood Red Angel

Blood Red Angel - 24 x 36 - oil on canvas, topStudy for Blood Red Angel  #1 - 9 x 12 - watercolor, middleStudy for Blood Red Angel #2 - 9 x 12 - watercolor, bottom

all are available

My angel series continues in this recent angel inspired entirely by the intense red cloth falling over her reclining form. In looking for a counterpoint accent to the intensity of the red, my mind obsessed over a fruit with similar visual and alliterative qualties: a Blood Red Orange, which subsequently inspired the title.

Placement of the orange was the most challenging aspect of this painting, as you can see from the two watercolor studies. I wanted the orange to compliment the composition, not lead the eye out of it, as I discovered was happening in the middle image. I also did two separate watercolor studies (not posted) of the orange itself. In order to do the orange studies I had to peel, paint, then eat several oranges!

To create the yellow gold background area I used Daniel Smith metallic Pale Gold from the Luminescents line, the only metalic oil paint I've found that sufficiently mimics gold leaf (without the expense of gold leaf). To simulate an antiqued surface I glazed over with thinned Burnt Sienna and Sap Green.

After evaluation, I think the orange itself is the focal point of the composition, in that you cannot help but wonder, why is it there? What does it mean? To which I say, only the viewer can answer!

Also, in terms of the recent popularity of vampires, blood or any related medieval concept made popular by the entertainment industry, I have to stress that this angel is not of that genre. My angels are gentle, kind and oftentimes, sleeping!

More Angels

Friday, July 09, 2010

Pet Portraits and Floral Commission - on the customer's wall!

I don't always get to see how my paintings look after shipping them unframed to the customer. This time I got to see the final result!

Recently I completed several pet portraits and floral studies in watercolor, along with an oil floral. I'd never done pet portraits before, and don't really advertise my watercolors, so I was really happy that the customer liked them enough to send pictures of them framed and hanging in her home!

The top image shows the pet portraits: Buddy and Tator - here's the original blog post, done on hot-pressed watercolor paper and framed by the customer. She did a nice job! Below are close ups of each framed portrait.

The last image is the watercolor study for a larger oil painting of Hibiscus blossoms - here's the original blog post. I did the watercolor to show the customer what her finished painting would resemble, and allow her to make any changes to the color scheme and composition, before I started the oil version. She liked the watercolor study so much she purchased it too!

It's nice to know that my artwork is making someone happy! Thank you to this special customer for sending these pictures to me.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Painting at Entiat Park

Entiat Park - 9 x 12 - watercolor
done en-plein air at Entiat Park in Entiat, Washington
 Video: Watercolor Painting at Entiat Park

Have you ever tried to capture the hills and valleys of Eastern Washington? It looks easy. It's not!

We took a trip to Wenatchee to watch a baseball tournament and research family geneology. I'd been to the area 15+ years ago but didn't remember much. The surrounding towns of Leavenworth, Cashmere, Waterville and Entiat were quaint, picturesque and small-townish in a good way. Lake Chelan was beautiful but we didn't have time to stop. The weather was perfect! There was even a Bavarian festival happening in Leavenworth

So one morning we took a drive along the Columbia River and ended up at Entiat Park. It was as scenic as the Columbia River gorge. The view I captured in my painting is pretty much what I was looking at from a park picnic table anchored to the grassy bank. A park ranger on what looked like a mini-humvee motored by several times to check us out, while rowdy picnikers and waterskiers seemed to be having a great time. I wasn't able to finish though; had to do that back in the hotel room, which I did.