Issuing the Call

Issuing the Call
Issuing the Call

Slide Show

Art Prints

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I use to be a Bear...

Bear Patrol (under Painting) 12 x 16
At the end of this summer I had the opportunity to attend a special adult training camp for the leaders of our Stake.  The training camp is called Wood Badge.  It was held up in the beautiful and stunning mountains east of Spring City and Mount Pleasant Utah.  We were at Camp Tifie, which is apart of the Mountain Dell Scout Camp.  I spent a week with my wife and many leaders from my Stake camping in tents and learning how to be better leaders and more how to be better people as a whole.  At the beginning of this experience when you first arrive you are given a name tag with a colored dot on the back.  There were for our camp six different colors.  We soon found ourselves divided into six various groups now called patrols.  Each patrol is represented by a different animal.  Beavers, Bobwhites, Eagles, Foxes, Owls, Bears, Buffalo and Antelopes.  Like I said we only had six patrols so no Buffalo or Antelopes in our wood badge course.  Now once you are assigned a patrol you are that patrol for life.  So my wife will always be an Eagle (she says it will be the only way she will ever be an Eagle Scout) and I will always be a Bear.
Well I decided to do a series of wild life paintings based upon the various animal patrols.  So naturally, since I'm a Bear I'm starting with the Bear Patrol.  Then of course next will be the Eagle Patrol, then I'll follow them in patrol order, Beaver through Antelope.

What we see above is just the under painting, painted in two colors, Burnt Sienna and Burnt Umber.  The whole thing is done quick and rough.  It is to do several things but mostly for me it is to setup the tonal range.   Next as usual I will be painting back to front and top to bottom.  So the sky and distant mountains is the next step.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Auction

Saturday, June 15th, My wife and I drove on up to Price, Utah for the Charity Auction for Reiss Timothy.  We had a great time.  There was plenty of activities for the kids and adults.  The live auction went well and the painting I made for the event sold for the highest price.

I just wanted to take this time to that everyone who put on the auction and event and to that Roger Christensen, a new friend for getting me involved with it all.  To the gentleman who purchased the print he was wondering what mountain I used for the background.  It is the north slope of Mount Lovenia up in the Uinta Mountains.

Here is the best picture I could find of the event with Roger and me.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Back towards the end of may I received an email from a gentleman about asking me if I would be willing to donate a print, of the painting "Homeward Bound".  He wanted to donate it to a charity auction for a little boy of three, named Reiss Timothy with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL).  After checking him out and making sure the charity auction was lagitamit.  I talk to my wife about it  Then after some pondering I decided that an original would be far more appropriate.  This is how this whole painting got started.
After some back and forth emails, Roger call me I told him I wasn't going to donate a print.  I waited just long enough to hear the disappointment in his voice.  That's when I told him, I'm going to donate an original.  Needless to say he was very excited about this.  Then I told him the rest.  After discussing this with my wife we agreed to not only donate the original but also for one year anyone who bought a print of the original painting.  I would donate 50% of the proceeds to the family too.  On the phone I could tell that this touched Roger deeply.

At first I was thinking of doing a painting a little larger then what I have been painting.  I've been doing paintings on board any where between 8x10 and 16x20.  I spent some time looking around my various art stores looking what they had in pre-gessoed boards but I wasn't happy with what I found.  So I started looking at canvas.  Finally I settled on a 18x24 canvas.  But when I brought it back to the studio it just didn't look all that impressive, even after i did the initial layout on it.  I did have these three canvas sitting in the corner of my studio but they were much bigger then I felt comfortable working on.  They were 30x40 inches.  But they just kept nagging at me to go for it.  So I did.  I took the 18x24 off my easel and made room for the much larger canvas and started over.
Pencil rough in.  Notice the Horizontal and Vertical Golden Mean

Pen and Ink stage

  • Roughing in and Inking
Once I roughed in the drawing, by finding the various horizontal and vertical Golden Mean.  Then I laid in the Pen and Ink of the main subjects of the painting.  That being the Elk, Wolf, Grouse, dead trees and large rocks.  Everything else I roughed in with pencil.  Then I gave it three coats of workable fixative to protect the drawing part from the painting part.

Under painting with a bit of green added

  • Under Painting
The next stage is the under painting.  This part is done very quickly.  First with a rag, I scrub in one color mixture over the whole canvas.  The color is a mixture of Burnt Seinna and Indian Yellow. Then using a clean bristle brush I get it wet in Mineral Spirits, that I use as a thinner, and remove the highlights of the painting.  Next I enhance my dark's by using Burnt Umber, then more so by using Ultra Marine Blue Deep. Then finishing the under painting with a thin layer of green where the grass will be to help set up the over all contrast of the painting.

Sky done and working on the Mountain

  • Top Down Back to Front
After the under painting and when actually start painting I like to paint from the top of the canvas to the bottom and from the back to the front.  So here I started with the sky.  Which I just rough in with a very light color of blue and lots of white.  Keeping the blue color cool and letting the under painting color wear through over on the right hand side.  Next I paint in the clouds and once I'm through with fiddling with them I move onto the mountain.

Mountain is done and I'm working on the Trees and the Wolf

  • Mid Ground
One important thing to remember is that the mountain is there to support and back up the Elk.  The Elk will be an Orange color so the Mountain needs to be a Blue color, because blue is the opossite of Orange on the color wheel.  Also the Elk will be warm and very Chromatic, so the Mountain needs to be cool and dull.  If I didn't do this with the mountain, none of the things I wanted the Elk to be would show up.  Also I need to know what areas of the Elk are going to be in direct sunlight and what areas in shadows.  So I adjust the Mountain accordingly so.  For example the Neck of the Elk is in full sunlight, so the Mountain just to the right needs to be dark.  But the belly of the Elk is both dark and in shadow so the mountain at that spot must be lighter.  Also the legs of the Elk will be darker so the mountain and then the trees need to be lighter.  But with the trees they need to be a little darker then the mountain to help create the illusion of disance and depth.  As the trees get closer they need to get darker and more green and less blue.  It is all a carefully coriegraphed dance of Hues, Tones, Chroma and color Tempratures.

Done and signed

  • Fore Ground
Elk, Wolf and Grouse.  This is where it is all happening. This is where the narrative of the painting is created and presented to the viewer.  But remember, without the Mid Ground supporting, this part of the painting wouldn't be all that grand.  First i painted in the wolf then carefully wrapped the trees and the shadows around him.  So that we have an animal lurking in the shadows of both the trees and our imaginations.  To some (mostly non-ranchers) the Wolf is a misunderstood creature.  To others it is just a killer, a loathsome animal.  For this painting it is the unanswered question and the cause of contention.  Next I painted in the Elk.  For me personally the Elk represents what is noble, grand and good in life. Honesty, integrity and hard work.  It represents the good in all of us.  After painting in these two animals I turned my attention to the dead trees and then the grass.  The grass was the tricky bit.  I had to keep the shadowed parts cool and dull but not too flat.  Where as the bright warm sunlit area of the grass had to be just that, warm bright and sunny, but not so much as to take away from the Elk.  Next I painted in the various rocks.  Then I painted in the grouse.  For me the grouse represents home and mothers.  Protecting their young from the dangers of the world.  Once all these various elements were painted in I finished by adding a bit more color.  By adding in a few wildflowers.

Here is the finished scan

This is the Flyer for the Auction

Monday, May 20, 2013

This is how it all starts

Rough in Pencil stage

With every painting it all has to start somewhere.  But even before I get to the point of drawing on the canvas.  Many hours of work have already been invested in the painting.

 I've got to decide first on what I want to paint

    With this painting I knew it was going to be a Wildlife painting.  I've been wanting to paint another Elk too.  So I started thinking about Elk and their environments.  I watch videos on YouTube of Elk in the wild.  I also knew that this painting will be put up for Auction in Price Utah, so some place in Utah.  When I would talk to people about this painting, I would tell them about the Elk then I kept saying it will be in the Uintas somewhere.  So it is going to be an Elk in the Uintas.  Also after talking with a guy I work with at the Provo Temple.  I told Him I wanted some type of fury small animal hidden in the rocks up front in the lower right corner.  We tossed ideas around of various animals, weasel, ferret, wolverine, marmot, wood chuck and so on.  Then he came up with the idea of a wolf.  I suggested not up front being too large an animal there, but in the back ground, hidden in the trees.  So now I've got an Elk and a Wolf.  Having the Wolf will add a bit of tension and excitement to my painting's Narrative.  But I still need a small animal in front.  So after pondering about it, I came up with a Female Grouse and a nest of eggs.

Research Time

    Now that I know who, what and where it is time to do research into those areas. 
  •  Knowledge about the subject: history, location, structure, anatomy and so on
        I started by doing more research on Elk, Wolves and Grouse.  Also I did research into the habitat of these various animals and the Uintas.
  •  Plein Air
        I went out a couple of times to do some plein air paintings for this painting.  The first day I got chased away by a lightning storm ( I didn't want to get struck by lightning in the middle of an empty meadow).  Then on a second day I just couldn't find a place that had what I was needing.  So I'll just use some of my old plein air paintings as reference.
  •  Reference photos, both on site and internet
        While out getting chased by lightning I took plenty of pictures.  Also I spent a few hours on Google doing image searches.  These I just use as rough references.  I don't copy any of them.
  •  Early sketches
        Once I know roughly what I want, I start doing sketches to work out many of the problems of size and arrangement of the various elements of the painting.

The are sketches from an earlier post
Couple of oil studies of Elk with different painting techniques

  • What size
    Well I knew I want to go bigger then what I usually go with, because this was going to help this sick little boy.  Bigger is better.  After spending time looking at canvas of various sizes I first decided on the standard size of 22 inches high by 28 inches wide.  But as I thought about it maybe bigger was better.  So now I'm going with 30 by 40 inches.
  • What am I going to paint it on
    At first I wanted to painting this on a board.  Either canvas board or Hard board with 4 - 5 coats of Acrylic Gesso.  But I didn't have anything of the sizes I was looking to paint on laying around the studio.  So I went out to see what various art and craft stores in the area had in stock.  But no had what I was looking for in boards.  So I went with a canvas instead.  Plus a canvas at that size (30 x 40) will be much lighter.
  • Time of day
    Evening, magic hour.  A time of warm light and cool long shadows.
  • Direction of the lighting
    Right to left with the sun way off of the canvas to the right.
  • What will be the narrative of the painting
    I'm still not completely sure of this.  But it is taking on a life of it's own as I place the various animals and elements in the painting.  For me personally the Elk represents a feeling of grandeur and noble strength.  The Wolf hiding in the shadows of the trees, darkness and ill intent.  The Mother Grouse sitting on her eggs, innocents and motherly protection.
  • What over all feeling am I looking for
    I'm just going to see where this one takes me.
  • What two main colors will be represented in the painting
    Yellow-Orange / Violet.

Meditation / letting all this information just sit and Stew

Hours spent just sitting and/or laying on my back thinking about and visualizing all the various elements of the painting.  This is the goal setting part of the painting.  If I don't know where I'm going how will I get there or know when I've arrived.

Once all this is done and I've rough the painting in I'm finally onto the next stage, Inking.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Add more vitality to your collection

These are the techniques I used to enhance the print, "The Field is White".

30 X 40 Giclee Print with frame

Many of us have in our homes pieces of art to add beauty and vitality to our lives.  For what ever reason you have art in your home, very few of us have original art work on display.  Most of us have various types of prints.  From the high end Giclee Canvas to the low end paper poster.  There are various ways to enhance these prints that artist have used to increase their value and beauty. 

   One is for these artist who created the original piece of art to take a Giclee Canvas print and to paint directly on it.  This does several things.  First it makes the print unique.  No two brush strokes are the same.  I have tried to paint two paintings identical side by side at the same time trying to match stroke for stroke.  As each brush stroke is put down they each are different.  Thus making the painted on Giclee unique.  Plus it is something the artist has taken his time to like the original put something of him or herself into.  Thus adding to the vitality of the piece.

  Another way to add uniqueness to a print is for the artist to sign the print with his hand written signature.  Also to increase the value of this process is for the artist to limit the number of prints he will do this, thus making it a signed and numbered print.  Back when all printing was done on what is called offset printing.  Metal plates were used for the ink to stick to.  As these plates were used, over time the plates would wear out.  So the first prints were sharp and cleanly focused.  But as
hundreds and even thousands of prints were made the image would become blury and dull.  So the earlier prints were worth more and so they had a lower number. 

Today many prints are digital Giclee printed on canvas or archival paper.  So the first one is just as good as the ten thousandth one.  So to add value for the collector of these prints, artist will still run limited batches and sign them from one to five hundred or so, sometimes more or sometimes less.  Plus it is interesting to note that over time the artists signature will get worn out and muddy as the number of prints go up.  If you think I'm being silly, just sit down and sign your name five hundred times at once then compare how signature number one looks compared to signature number five hundred.  I once had an artist friend of mine tell me that his publisher had him sign ten thousand prints all at once.  His publisher placed him in a small windowless room for eight hours a day for a week.

Another technique to add a unique feel to a print is to use a product called, Gloss Gel Medium from Liquitex.  The product looks like white glue and has the feel of whipped cream.  Anyone can use this easy to apply product.  You don't need to be the artist to do this.  To use this product, just apply it with a brush.  I like painting with Flat brushes so I used a medium size brush, about one inch.  Now despite how the product looks it dries clear and glossy.  But unlike other varnishes this product keeps the brush strokes you use as you paint it onto the print.  So when dry your print will look like a hand painted still wet painting.  So when applying this Gel product it is important to think about the kinds of brush strokes you will be using.  I recommend using the painted "X" brushstroke.  You literally apply it like you are just painting lots of little over lapping "X-es".  Once this is done, you can if you like go back in and use some enhanced brush strokes.  This is done by pushing the brush more firmly onto the print and then as you make the stroke you pull gradually away.  This gives the illusion of large heavy brushstrokes of paint.  Plus as the light moves across the print, these heavier brushstrokes will stand out more and so attract the eye of the viewpoint to them. 

Hopefully now as you look around your home you will start seeing the possibilities with this product to improve to look of your print and poster collection.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

It all starts somewhere

Sunday I was contacted through email by a gentleman named Roger, wanting me to donate a print of my painting, "Heaven and Earth" for a charity auction.  The Auction is for a little boy, who is 3 years old, lives in Price, Utah, and has been diagnosed with Acute Limphoblastic Leukemea-ALL. He will be undergoing numerous procedures to battle this disease such as spinal taps to inject Chemo into his spinal fluid, blood transfusion, etc. over the next 3 years.

It all sounded legitimate but these days I'm a little leery about being asked to donate art from close encounters with some scams.  So I asked for more information into who he is and what is his affiliation to the family putting on the auction.  He asked if we could talk on the phone and I decided that would be easiest for me too. 

Before he called I did research into the boy.  I Found the auction event and a blog right away.  I read it all and found it to be very legitimate.  So when Roger called I was ready.  He told me how he and his family met the Timothy family, through softball and staying in each others homes.  He told me a little about his background.  Then told me how he found out about my art through the Brimley Studios website and that he and his daughter just enjoyed the "Heaven and Earth" painting. 

I told him that after discussing the issue with my wife that I decided not to give a print to the auction but to instead paint an original Wildlife painting and give the original away to be auctioned off.  Needless to say he was very excited.  I also told him that anyone who buys a print of that painting, I'll give 50% of the proceeds to the family up to a year after the event.  This made him greatly touched. 

Roger currently works for a framing company so I don't need to worry about a frame.  Which I'm excited about.  I'm always looking for contacts with good framers.

So I've been spending the last couple of days working out an idea of what to paint, the size and what to paint it on.  I think I'm going to go bigger than my standard size.  I'm thinking around 24 x 30 inches.  A good chunky size.  With a frame it will be a nice auction piece.  I'm going to paint it on canvas board.  As to the subject, an Elk.  I've been wanting lately to do a painting of an Elk bugling.  So now I'm off and sketching.  Working on various ideas.   Whether I include a few cows or keep him solitary is yet to be determined by the overall balance and feel I'm looking for.

Early sketches of elk painting

Over the next month or so I'll be blogging about the progress of this painting, the auction and the reception of it.  So I guess I'm inviting you all to come along with me through this blog and see what it is like to be an artist as I work on this project.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Spring Lake Smiling Barn

    I enjoyed painting the Saunder's old barn so much that I decided to go and paint it again.  On Saturday, late in the morning I headed out.  This time I set up across the road to the west in the grass next to the fence.  It was a clear sunny, warm spring day.  After I had just started working.  I heard someone ride up slowly on what sounded like a four-wheeler.  I had my back to the road so I couldn't see who it was.  I had just drawn in the large shapes in Indian Yellow, when they approached.  It was the older brother of the guy I talk to the last time I was out there painting.  He had one of his young daughters with him.  After asking me how much, he basically bought it there on the spot, without having not seen it completed.  He told me to bring it by his house when I was finished with it.  Which is what I did.  He loved it.  He told me that the barn is called by the locals, the "Smiling Barn".  Which you can see in the painting of the barn.  In fact when I was working on the painting.  I got to the part of painting where a long board sticks out just under the windows.  I thought to myself that it looked like the barn was smiling at me. 

    While I was out painting the Jersey Cows on the other side of the fence, a little ways off decided to nonchalantly come over and check me out and what I was doing.  Then once they had all gathered on some unknown signal to me they all at once stopped eating and just stared at me.  Just as quickly as they came they moved on.  Soon the horses decided that the cows were up to something and they didn't want to be left out.  Also casually made their way over.  Once again stared and then moved on.  While the cows were there I got out my camera and took some picture of them. So I could put them in the painting later back at the studio, which as you can see I've done.  Now that it is scanned I'll take it back to the new owners of it.

    One of the things I learned from this plein air painting trip was that I need more business cards and brochures.  So that people who stop by can instantly see my work.  I've also created a QR symbol that will be going on all my printed stuff too.  I had several people stop and look from their cars.  One lady stopped by and talked with me for a bit about what I was painting.  Which I enjoyed. 

12 x 16 oil on board "Spring Lake Smiling Barn"