Friday, February 5, 2010

The Pear 2

This is a drawing in charcoal of one of my favorite fruits, the pear.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Pittsburgh Artist Registry

I found this cool site called the Pittsburgh Artist Registry and because I live very close to Pittsburgh I thought I would join.  Here is my link.

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Once a Rooster

Pastel on Black Pastel Paper, 11" x 14"

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Doggie Doodle

Here is a doodle of my doggies.  It's rough, but it is a study for a larger painting that I am planning to do as a gift for my wife for Christmas.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Moon Over Lake

This is a pencil drawing I did for my wife.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

My Tiny Messy Studio

I like to see the artists' studios. I think that an artist's studio gives some insight into their character as well as how they go about painting or doing whatever.  I've seen studios that are spotless and so neatly organized that you might think it's a display in some art store.  And I've seen studios that are so messy that I have to wonder how any of them actually make art.  I lean more towards the latter.

My studio space is small and when I decide I want to change media to do some other project, I have to "put away" my current studio and set up the one for that medium.  So I began to get canvas bags and organizing containers that contain the materials I need for whatever I might be working on.  For example, I have a canvas bag where I keep all of my watercolor supplies and one for all of my pastel supplies.  It's a good thing that I don't work with mixed media or I'd really be out of luck.  Anyway, I thought I'd share some photos of my space so you can perhaps get some insight into me.

Here is how it looks when standing in the entrance to the room.  

This view is from the closet behind my desk which is full of junk.  I have little room between my desk and the closet so trying to position my seat just right takes some energy. 

As you can see I've just set up a small canvas board and stuck it onto an large old palette which is acting as a backing.  My table easel does allow me to have short canvas like this because the top slides down only so far.  I am planning a still life of--what else--pears.  Three, I think, resting on a plain table or perhaps on a table cloth--still learning how to make fabric look good.

Okay.  So this is where I work.  Note, too, that there is no space, really, to set up a still life so I mostly do them from photos, my memory or just my imagination.

Anyway it would be cool to see your studio so if you like send a comment with a link to your blog or photo gallery.

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Monday, November 30, 2009

Cleaning Pastels

I have a bunch of pastels that I hadn't used in some years and because I didn't take care of them, many are covered in dust from other pastels and each looks dead and gray.  I read somewhere that you can clean your pastels by filling a cup or some container with rice, inserting the pastels into the rice and giving it a few shakes (with a lid on it, so I learned).  That worked pretty good, but it is a little inconvenient because you have to clean your pastels a few at a time, and my pastels tend to always be dirty.

So, my mind racing, I thought of a way of making a kind of tumbler with a motor that would allow for more rice and many more pastels.  But making something like this is a little daunting for me.  Then I remembered that about 20 or so years ago while vacationing with my family at Cape May, I found in some small shop near the beach a Lortone Model 3A rock tumbler, which they still sell.  One of my many interests is rock collecting and lapidary.  I've done neither, but finding the tumbler sparked my imagination and so I had to have it.

Back to the present.  I figured I'd try using the tumbler by filling it with the rice and placing in it a few pastels.  I let it go for a few minutes and it worked.  The harder pastels cleaned well, but the softer pastels not so much.  Part of the problem, I think, was that I was using the old rice I was using when cleaning them in a container. 
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