Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Parsonage-6x8-SOLD

another off British Cemetary Rd. its the house next to the blue house with white awnings below.

Hurricane House- 6x8
if you like this one contact me or Down Creek Gallery and we'll get it to you
This is an iconic ocracoke cottage called the Hurricane House because it has a blow-by-blow account of the big 1933 hurricane written on the wall. its at the end of a winding road into the cedar trees and when youre here it looks like your on a deserted island. i'm painting this with the water lapping at my feet, so you can see its right on the water. what a view!
as you can see i'm on a knife kick and having a ball.i like changing up things. i get bored easily so changing up things keeps me excited. an unexpected side benefit is that it really helps your brushwork. you have to keep it simple early on with a piece of steel and this translates to doing the block-in, if youre brushing it.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Summer Cottage- Commission-SOLD

this was a commissioned piece for my very patient friend in austin tx. john. he likes my beach cottages. i made it lean just a tad and the floors arent quite straight. like lines on a persons face, these things tell the cottages story, give them their character and charm. i love painting them. old 2x4's for railings, anything that'll work for a shingle material on the roof, sagging rooflines from the weight after 40 years. i'm trying to describe a buildings vibe in paint. and no i'm not huffing the paint thinner LOL

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

View From a Dead End Rd.(Ocracoke Island)-8x10

gotta few finished today
If you like this one, contact me

this is from some VERY private property on the island. i managed to swing permission to get in here for a few hours to paint. i was happy with how this one came out. usually dont do lighthouses but this was too cool a view! some of the houses i'm painting this week are over 75 years old

Blue House on British Cemetary Rd. - 8x10
if you like this contact me

ive wanted to do some knife paintings since i got here, so i decided there's no time like the present. i love layering the rich colors into each other and letting the eye mix it a la cape school technique.
i'll be teaching a workshop on cape cod school technique in Jacksonville NC in june if youre interested in learning how to do it. the dates over on the right sidebar ----------->
The british cemetary has british sailors buried in it that died in a shipwreck here around the turn of the century and flies a british flag in it. its one of my favorite roads to paint on here. lots of old turn of the century cottages and houses everywhere you look.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Office This Week

the best way to get around and paint without being hassled for parking is these old beach bikes with a basket on the front. throw all the gear in there and away you go. you can find all kinds of small roads and alleys that you'd never find riding around in a truck. i can stay out all day with what you see me carrying here. i'm bumming the bike from my landlord and yes i know its a girls bike. i'm man enough to rock it regardless! LOL
not a bad place to have to work eh?

this reference photo will probably end up being a painting. gotta love the boat in the yard. i'll take the road and bend it back up towards the house to lead you into the painting.

i promise some pics of paintings soon! ive been painting like mad, but i havent tweaked them and finished any yet.

pre-key west, i used to rush the process, and try to get something posted online. that artificial time constraint kept me from doing my best work, so now i post em when theyre done (and not a minute before) you gotta look at em, think about em, play with em a little to be sure theyre really done and the best you can do. a painter i really respect says there are way too many average paintings already out there. why add to the pile?
going slower and not posting as often is working for me. i think i'm ending up with higher quality paintings because of it.

supposed to rain tomorrow so i'm trying to paint outside as much as possible before it does. i'll finish a few up and post them.

after getting several paintings done today i chilled on the end of the dock on Silver Lake (its actually a harbor of the sound) drinking a red bull. i see tony (the owner of the gallery i'm in here) and he calls me over to watch the sunset over on his sailboat. doesnt get any better than that!

the ocracoke lighthouse from private property. tourists dont get to see this view! its good to know some locals who can get you into limited access spots like this. thanks sally!

loved this huge cloudbank and took a pic to use as a photo reference, to add to a painting sometime.

i'm hard at work peddleing up and down the island of ocracoke nc. if you've never been you gotta check out this island vibe. you take the cedar island ferry over for two hours and once you get here park the car and get a bike to get around. it reminds me alot of the laid back attitude key west has (without the 18 hr drive

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bessie- 1993-2010- RIP

i finally did it. put bessie to rest. here's her replacement. found this sweet older highlander and wont have to worry about breaking down on the way to far flung locales painting and teaching.

thanks to jan for letting us use her pottery studio for the workshop. it rained almost the whole time but we did get outside for some plein air work the last afternoon.
i'll be heading out to ocracoke to paint for a week or ten days and cant wait. that island has such a cool vibe to it. i'll post em on here as i complete them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Inside the Shamrock Pub-5x7-SOLD

Today is day two of three at the New Bern Workshop. yesterday we spent the whole day talking about values and their importance. great group of folks and theyre eager to take their paintings to that next level. a complete understanding of values and their importance is the ticket! values are to painting what ingredients are to cooking. you cant have a light shape unless there is a mid or dark surrounding it. imagine trying to find a white car in a snowy field. change that car to black it sticks out like a sore thumb. a gray car in a snowy field would show up, but less so. same principal in painting. its the proper relation of lights,mids, and darks that make the scene comprehendable. its so easy and oh sooo hard.
a special thanks to jan francouer for opening up her house and studio for the workshop. she's so gracious and such a great artist.
Note: ive got a workshop scheduled in wilmington, n.c. coming up. if youre interested better sign up now because there's only one slot left. we'll paint around downtown some and around the river i'm sure. it'll be a blast.
its the last workshop i'll be doing in NC until november
september- (ten days in tuscany)
october- maryland, rhode island, cape cod.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cape Vignette-8x10

Headed to Rowley Gallery- if you'd like it contact me or the gallery and we'll get it to you.

Step One- Charvin brand paint that sort of looks like burnt sienna. i make washes of it with yellow and orange in it for the light shapes and blues and purples for the darker cooler shapes. Drawn on with magenta acrylic paint so that if i have to wipe off the oil it wont wipe off my outlines. sorta discovered that by accident and now its part of my in-studio M.O.

Stage Two- putting in the darks and the lightest light (the sky and the road)

Stage Three- more of the lights and breaking large shapes into smaller shapes. click this photo and look at the big tree to the right with the flowers on it, to see what i mean.

hope you enjoyed this demo.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I Heart the Beach-6x8

Headed to Rowley Gallery- contact me or them if you'd like this one

Things come together once you lay in the lights. the tough thing is to keep it loose but not sloppy. i like the burnt orangeish shadows against the light flesh. kathy webers been saying in her blog that the figures look good when you lighten up the shadows on the flesh, so i tried to do that in this one. tried also to have a nice variety of warm skin tones and cool ones. the people in the middle-ground were fun to describe in a few strokes.
making sure the shadow shapes are always darker than the light shapes makes life easier! i also kept this very high key by not having any dark darks. this gives the illusion that light is bouncing all around, and its really sunny. like at the beach right?

Beach People

here's a beach people painting i'm working on today. i love doing them! theyre a great change up from landscapes and boats. i get bored doing weeks and weeks of plein air and studio landscapes. but in the past i felt very insecure because figurative painters really work hard at their craft, like us landscape painters do concentrating very hard on a narrow subject.thats how you get good at what you do. but i like variety and want to change it up once in a while. will i ever be a great figurative painter AND landscape painter. no. but i love doing them and want them to look good.
check out kathy webers site, my friend and fellow painter in Rhode Island. she's awesome at figures and landscapes! she just told me about a site calle where you can draw animation figures, change their poses and there's even a timer, so it changes on you ready or not! great for these gestural poses.

one the top left i gridded it in to warm up. then i set the timer for one minute and did more gestural stuff

doing them quick forces the mind to find little shapes that are properly related and look fluid versus taking your time trying to get the outline right. thanks for helping me see that with posemaniacs, Kathy! youre the best!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Gathering-8x10

Headed to Rowley Gallery on Cape Cod. if youre interested in it you can contact me or the gallery

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Paint On! My show at City Art

Paint On!
New works by Mike Rooney and Kristin Gibson

i'm in a two man show at City Art Gallery showing my latest works since i got back from Key West.
Kristin (the other artist in the show) and i will be doing a demo in the gallery from 6-8 tomorrow night at the reception. if youre in the area come check us out!

Alley Chat-10x8
if you like this one contact me or Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass.

Waterfront Glimpse (revised) 10x8

if you like it contact me or Rowley Gallery, Orleans, Mass.

Had to do a few small changes to this one. see if you can see what changes i made. the original is the May 7th post below. kinda like those puzzles where they hide an object and you have to find it.

on another note: i still have spots left in next weeks New Bern workshop. you can do one, two or all three days. contact me if you want me to hold you a spot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Step by Step Demo-Calico Creek

This is the perfect time of year to plein air paint. its not too hot, humid, or buggy. the light is clear and colors are fantastic because the growth on the trees and grasses are new and really saturated. as the summer comes and goes the greens dull the longer theyre out in the brutal sun. ive wanted to paint an afternoon on Calico Creek at the golden hour since last year, so join me and lets get out there and paint!

Dont you love to see how other people go about starting their paintings?
there's no right or wrong way to start one, and it seems there are as many ways to start as there are painters. i know ive got about half dozen ways to start a painting in my "tool bag". i was excited to get out on Calico Creek with my brand new Travelling Monet full size french easel i got at Jerrys Artarama. it has wheels on the bottom and an extendable handle (like your luggage has on it) for rolling along. the easel had dovetail corners, a nice wooden palette to mix my paints on, and i thought it was really well made. you've heard me brag on Lukas 1862 oil paint before, i know, but i love the stuff. its creamy coming out of the tube (its the bees wax they mix in) and dries in just a day or two. lots of pigment too, so they cover really well.
on this one i'm going to start it with a multi-colored toned background. it was actually a painting i did a while ago (that i really didnt care for) that i sanded down and applied a little thin magenta acrylic to (in some places)

Here ive laid in all the big shapes in the proper hue, value, and saturation. Notice how cut out the shapes look. you dont worry about edges at this point. if you do this (or start adding details) you'll fall in love with it and not change a shape(s) that isnt correct, for fear of losing the work you've already done.

see how ive added subtle changes to each shape, varying each one with tiny value, temperature, and saturation changes within each one, using what's in front of me (and also what i know will make the painting better).

you know i'm a big believer in the "paint,paint,paint" technique to improve your painting. all that painting goes into your memory banks and you can pull out a technique you know will make the water look good, or make the grass more believable. if you havent done the painting you dont have it up in the old noggin' to pull from.

hope you liked this post and that'll it excite you enough to go grab your stuff, and get out there and paint!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

New Work in Progress

i started out with a few sketches to check the composition and play with the values a little bit

then i took some gouache and did a color study as a dry run for the oil painting.
if you go thru my 650 posts prior to my stay in key west you never saw a drawing on any painting i ever did. see a scene, jump out paint it! bOOM! no thought or designing (in my head, but not on paper), just painting and hoping for the best. not the best way to do a great painting. a really good way to MAYBE get one tho'. and i did get some good ones that way but i want to make sure every one i do is the absolute best i think i can do at that time.
not to say that your painting will be great just because you think it thru, sketch it out, or plan it. but you have a waaaaay better chance of doing one if you do, right?

Friday, May 7, 2010

Waterfront Glimpse-10x8

This one is headed to Rowley Gallery in Orleans, Mass.

Step one: painted magenta acrylic washes over all the shadow shapes and yellow ochre and orange over all the warm shapes. then i put the shadow colors on in the somewhat realistic colors

step two: paint the "sun shapes" value/color/temperature correcting as i go. had to resize the building on the right, enlarge the house and car in the background, and drop the distant land mass down to correct the drawing right after this pic was taken. compare this one to the finished top photo. all you have to do is scrape the offending shapes off with a palette knife wipe it dry with a paper towel and then redraw with magenta oil (thin) and repaint with heavier paint to correct. dropping the horizon made all the difference in the world.
step three: add variety with subtle changes to all the shapes. up a little and down a little in value, warmer, cooler, less saturated, making every shape different from every other shape.
Break edges and its done!
this scene is in Provincetown and i painted it with my friend and fellow painter Linda last year when i was there on my 10 day paint trip. i love the views down to the water thru the alleys. cant wait to get back up there in july and paint provincetown!
Just got in a big shipment of my instructional DVD's i did for Jerrys Artarama. the titles i got in were: painting a boat scene, painting a rural barn scene, painting beach houses, and one on painting an urban scene plein air. you can order one for $15 or two for $24.99
Add $5 for shipping. drop me an email if you'd like a DVD.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More Pc.s for the Show

These will be heading to my show at City Art Gallery in Greenville, NC next week. the date of the opening reception will be Wed. May 12th from 6-8. if youre in the area stop by and say hello!

Inner Banks Beauty-9x12
this was done on a painting trip a few weeks ago over in Oriental

Capt. Charlies by the Sea-8x10

A scene from the highest point on Bald Head Island looking down on the lightkeepers house

Coastal Rooflines-8x10

this is from Flora's Bluff on Bald Head Island. gotta love looking down on the ocean and the roofs of cottages!

on another note: i'll be teaching in Wilmington, NC the 21-23 of June. the cost is $300 and we'll be at Thalian Hall on that monday and the Arboretum on tuesday and wednesday. if you'd like to come drop me an email and i'll get you up with the sponsor (barbara). there's only two slots left so dont wait.

i have two pieces for sale at Outer Cape Auction (Provincetown, Mass.) this Saturday May 8th. bids start as low as $200 on a 12x16 and you can bid over the phone and theyre now offering a new live internet feed where you can watch the auction live and bid. if youre not on Cape Cod for the weekend, its almost like being there.

click here to preview them and just look up rooney in the alphabetical artist listing to preview my paintings