I took the photo used for this in the early 1980s while visiting Easton, MD where my parents retired to. My brother Joe lives in nearby St Michaels. Pictured are my wife Jill on the right and children Elin (on left) and Marin. The Wye Oak in Wye Mills, MD was the largest white oak in the country and was the State Tree of Maryland. It toppled in 2002 at age estimated to be 400 years.
The picture is done in pastel with lots of watercolor pencil and dry brush watercolor. Dimensions are roughly 15″ x 21 1/2″ and the paper is Wallis sanded pastel. Since I wanted to get it ‘just right’ I printed a very faint image of the photo on the paper and began work on the upmost middle portion and fiddled with it till I was pleased.
The frame is white birch and was gleaned from Marc Dalessio‘s website. I made it on my table saw in three pieces (the third is in the back and builds up depth for mounting artwork). The cuts are simply 1/8″ x 1/8″ depth and width of saw blade. Finish is clear satin.
Shown below is the source photo
Sharing my recent effort to ease working conditions. The basic idea was kindly offered by Shay Davis, of Denver, CO who moved back home from San Diego area where he worked for years.
I fashioned a 48 x 48 inch steel panel so that I could easily shift items around to work on them. Also incorporated is a vertical handrest to double as leaning post and to house a Parallel Palette. Shown is a 38 x 30 inch canvas that is a work in progress. It is from photos I took many years ago on Chelsea West Hill, Vermont. In front is my rolling palette cart.
The sheet metal is 26 gauge galvanized steel and was glued with contact cement to 1/4 inch luan plywood which has stiffeners in back that are attached with hex screws through the face.
Shown is another WIP that has magnets in the back of the stretchers (offset panel illustrates the ability to move canvases around). Hex screws fastening the panel to the stiffeners behind are evidenced. Inked in grid with Magic Markers is to simplify positioning.
Sliding handrest and its application. The aluminum angle is 1/8″ x 3/4″ x 1 1/2″ to create the slide and the upright material is 3/4″ red oak and 3/4″ birch ply. Magnets with screws protruding in upper picture show how they can be secured to the rear of the stretcher bars.
Rolling Palette Cart
While watching a well done Brian Blood demonstration video I thought his palette and work table were just what I needed. Having this between myself and the piece on the easel would help keep it at arms length. The cart is on casters and was made from a 3/4″ in. sheet of birch ply and softwoods that were on hand, with 1/4″ luan ply for the drawer bottoms. There are also a few slots in the bottom to store panels. It is 18″ x 54″ x 30″ high with a 2″ facing of pine around the top edge. The 1/2″ edge showing around the top is for obvious reasons. Materials and tools go in the pedestal drawers. A glass pallete is under the 1/4″ plex covering it, and under that is a scrap of plastic laminate. There will be drop in cubby boxes 15″ wide on each end but they are on hold till the configurations occur. The studio is a 10 x 10 foot square Caravan Canopy.
Michael and Dove Master – oil on paper 16 1/2″ x 15″
Old friend Michael Ball astride his horse Dove Master. Michael and I worked together and shared a studio long ago in the Mad River Valley in Vermont.
Photo Ops – oil on canvas 22″ x 18″
Fun in the sun and balmy waters of Waikiki Beach. Jill’s favorite pastime is catching waves aboard outrigger canoes.
Sketch done from an old photo. Painted on oil primed (Daniel Smith) 1/4″ luan plywood. The road was to the right as we look at this scene. I stopped, wondering what more there was to see, and skirted below to see more of the fine stone structure located in Starksboro, VT along what is now called States Prison Hollow Road.
Marin and Tevis the Wonder Goat – Oil on linen 30″ x 24″
Done from a slide taken c. 1977. My aim was to stay loose and think strictly in terms of a picture rather than being picky with myself and striving to get everything ‘just right.’ Marin was so happy to have her very own goat and Tevis always received royal love and care. Barn cats did all right, also.
I was in Balboa Park to see the Joaquin Sorolla exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. I went a little early and snapped these photos on the way to the show. Nikon D300 with NIKKOR 18-200 lens
Flowering Cactus in the Cactus Garden
In the Rose Garden
Make a Wish (you’re already flying)
We were recently in Hawaii and I spent a morning at the Honolulu Museum of Art. There was a show called ‘Real and Unreal’ and displayed are two images I found fascinating. The Morales Roadrunner, done in 1996 is approximately life size and the Israel Rhino I would guess is about 24″ x 30″ Forgive the handheld images, but they are better than what I found on line.
Roadrunner by Rebecca Jo Morales – watercolor and gouache on Vellum
Rhinoceros by Marvin Israel – pencil and ink wash on paper
Isola Bella, Lago Maggiore, Italy
Ponte Vecchio, Florence, Italy
Recent efforts done from slides taken in Italy some years ago. These works were done utilizing Photoshop. The photo images were changed from color to a state showing a dim vestige of the original shot, containing just enough information to work from. The result was then printed on paper to begin the final image. I have used a grid method in recent years. In earlier times before computers I used a proportional scale and dividers for placement and sometimes projected onto the working surface. The piece with the tree was done in pastel and pastel pencil. The bridge scene was done in watercolor pencil, dry brush watercolor, and pastel. I prefer free hand, however when the desire is to have the many parts in correct scale, this time saver really takes the pressure off. Both pictures are on Wallis Sanded Pastel Paper.