Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Work in Progress- 22x28 demo

starting a 22x28 today and i know how much y'all like seeing em in progress like this, so i'll try to remember to shoot pics all along the way.
above i'm beginning to lay in the big shapes with lots of reds and oranges (and lots of Liquin) on my underpainting. want to get the white gone asap and then start to flesh out the values some. on this one with all the blues and greens in the upcoming top coats i think i'll lean towards all the warmer colors underneath (red,yellow and orange- even in the shadows)
i used the two 50 cent brushes i buy from the hardware store. makes me stay loose and big. i modify the cheapest bristle brushes they have by cutting the tops off about a third and then round them a bit like a filbert is shaped. i love em for biggies like this painting! i underpainted this whole painting (drawing too) in less than an hour. I'll wipe it with Liquin on a rag once it's dry and then i'll start putting down more realistic colors into the shapes.

here's the plein air study i'll be using as reference

Monday, October 29, 2012

SOLD-PTown Glimpse-6x8

Hurricane update: Sandy slid by us slowly this weekend and (today) with nothing but wind and rain here on the southern end of the north carolina coast. i'm afraid it'll make landfall further up north (maybe NJ?)  maybe when it gets in the colder water up north it'll lose intensity and just be a rain event. hope so. 
this one's from my trip to cape cod back in the late summer. a sweet little glimpse of an alley in Provincetown heading to the water. the light in the morning there is wonderful. and no i didnt almost get arrested doing this one!
just taught a workshop in rocky mount that was awesome. i learned so much from all the other painters. i'm always asked are my w/s's for those very new to painting. and the answer is yes. i like teaching beginners because they are very teachable. they soak up the instruction like sponges and are highly motivated to learn and dont care if they paint a masterpiece. seems like it can be often be the more experienced painters in a workshop that can sometimes get easily frustrated if they arent painting the way they think they should. but remember that you shouldnt paint anything decent in a workshop because youre learning something totally new.add on top of that that youre in unfamiliar waters and that brings a certain level of anxiety with it. of course youre not going to paint your best. relax and learn the concepts and method and dont worry about the end product. thats what you pay for, not to paint something youre proud of at the end of the day, right?

upcoming events
Plans are in the works for me to teach at the Art Guild of Purple Isle in Key Largo this march. i think its only going to be available to members of the guild but if you live in key largo and would like to join the guild i'm sure they'd be agreeable to that. shoot me an email for details as they come available. my upcoming workshops in the next couple of week are on the outerbanks, and Art of the Carolina's in Raleigh. email me for info or to sign up
i'll also be attending the Holiday Show at ArtSource in Raleigh Thurs. Nov. 15th from 7 until? i'm bringing new work with me to hang so if youre in raleigh come and see me and say hello!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Shore Drive Duo-6x8

email to purchase
love this tight crop shot of two shore cottages.its in the golden hour when shadows abound and the clock runs three times as fast! you gotta get that block in done in no less than fifteen minutes if youre going to have any chance of capturing the color.

note: last chance to sign up for this weeks w/s in rocky mount nc. two days- thur. and friday. cost $200.
also the fast approaching Outer Banks workshop. and there's room in the cottage for you to stay so you dont have to arrange lodging. contact me if you can make the three day workshop in Duck NC, November 4th thru 6th. Cost is $300 plus a little for the cottage. We'll cover values, color mixing, plein air techniques, and lots of easel time outdoors on the dunes and waterways of the outer banks. email me to sign up.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Break in the Weather (maine)-6x8

email me to purchase
painted near Mt. Desert Island in maine a few months ago. the weather had been bad all day and i was itching to paint but couldnt. then late in the afternoon there was a break in the clouds where some light could hit the landscape. i was all over it!
now for todays lesson: changing the values and adding contrast
note: i didnt photoshop correct either of these photos so you can see a comparitive difference in the changes to values i made
here is the original 8x8 that just hasnt been able to find a good home. i analysed it trying to figure out what it was. maybe it was the stupid shape of a house in the background? maybe it was the values wereall to close? maybe both?
so i made the changes below

i lightened the sky to make the other objects more of a silohuette. then i darkened the values on the tanks and side of the barn. then i darkened and simplified the junk under the left hand tanks and make the road wind back around the barn for more of a lead-in to the composition. then, you cant tell, but i added a hint of green (for a little more variety) into the dead tree in the foreground and darkened its trunk. last i did away with the house shape in the background and made a stand of dead tree color to simplify the painting.

as you can see the bottom painting is much improved by lightening the sky and darkening the barn and tanks. the other things just help it even more.

so dont be in such a hurry to paint over a painting that isnt working. try to analyse why its not working (or selling LOL) and make some changes and see if that doesnt help. and remember some will never be saved and make great kindling wood for your fireplaces or outdoor firepits this winter.
Workshop News
my upcoming workshops are Duck on the outer banks, georgetown s.c., Art of the Carolina's in Raleigh, and two days in rocky mount, nc

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Triad on a Table-9x12

Triad on a Table-9x12
email for availability and price
my attempt at some still life. dont mind em if i can do them outside in the sunlight!
next myth to explode: that artists that make their living painting are happy with everything (or most of what they do)
on this one i will in no ways speak for anybody but me on this topic.  
as for me, i'm only completely happy with only a percentage of what i do. a small percentage. now there are different degrees of happy. i say that because i think you rarely hit a homerun on all aspects and problems you were working out on a painting
.then there's the matter of when am i being asked if i like it or not. 9 out of 10 times (on the ones i know arent  complete crap when i finish),  i like em right after i do them. but its funny that as days go by the shine wears off. then heaven forbid they come back around after six months or more. Oh my. some you wonder what you were thinking to even let it leave the studio and hang it somewhere in the first place.
then there's the "wall of shame", i have a place on a wall where paintings i'm working on (that arent going well) hang. i can see them from my couch. they mock me constantly from over there. blasted things!
as far as i can tell there are two schools of thought on what to do with the unsold ones that have been around awhile. one camp says never ever gesso over them, somebody somewhere, at some time in the future might buy it. the other school of thought does the below.
what do i do with the ones i get back that have been around forever and seem to be doomed to be orphans without a good home somewhere besides mine? on the bigger ones i hold up a frame cut out of cardboard looking for smaller paintings i can cut the panel into. hey $75-$100 is better than painting over it or using it for firewood right?
the ones that didnt have 6x8 inches of potential saleability get the electric sander on their face and get gesso for makeup. as i'm painting the gesso on, i have one of two feelings. on a painting you wonder why it didnt sell, the sorrow of watching a good friend leave town for good.
 OR on the ones that you are flat out ashamed of, the joy of watching an ex leave town for good!
ive heard of some artists cathartically having bonfires and burning the paintings that start piling up and becoming pesky bothers to their soul. i'm too cheap to waste the boards, thus my sand/gesso tradition.
would be curious what you guys do with paintings you doubt will ever sell. comment below. we might give each other some new ideas.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

SOLD-Outer Banks Skyline-4x6

caught this sweet little scene heading to manteo last year. lots of atmosphere in the bright sunlight made everything glow!
now to continue the series dispelling myths about painting/painters. Myth: painters get to paint all day, everyday. this is a commonly held belief by many but its just not true. to be in this business there are tons of tasks to be done that take us away from painting. here are just a few.
 travel to and from painting locations/states/galleries we sell in, framing stuff up, calling or running for paint supplies, inventorying work on databases, taking pics of work for publicity purposes, scheduling demos and shows, emails, and on and on. you get the idea. to be honest i spend over half my day doing the marketing side of the business on a good day. some days its all day. some weeks especially when i'm teaching alot, i dont paint but once or twice, except for demos. that has its own inherent problems. sometimes its really inconvenient but i force myself to work in some small painting on super busy days. ever heard the saying "when i go a few days without painting i can tell it in my work. when i go a week without painting the galleries can tell it, and when i go a few weeks without painting the collectors/buyers can tell it! thats definately true. Most of us take bits and pieces of vacations but i dont know many who take a few weeks off, just because it feels so weird (like youre rusty or something) when you start back up again.
so we juggle a ton of non-painting related duties with painting and it all seems to work out. i dont know about anybody else out there, but i dont paint nearly as much as i wish i could (or thought i would when i first started). hey i just had a good idea! anybody wanna be my agent? LOL 
note: again i'll state that i am in no ways complaining. i love my job! just giving a look into the life, thats all. hope you enjoy!

Monday, October 8, 2012

SOLD-Old Galaxy-6x9

this was a breath of fresh air for me. i did this one strictly because it was cool and i wanted to paint it, without a thought about whether it would sell or not. as hard as i try to not let that be a consideration when i'm looking around for something to paint, my mind is always thinking about the financial aspects of painting. need to think about that less and follow my muse more often. i can remember not too long ago, selling paintings of tractor trailers in parking lots and a buildings loading dock.
Workshop Update
ive got a few openings in the Duck/Corolla Outer Banks workshop on Nov. 4-6 and there is room available at the cottage for you to stay as well. email me if you'd like a plein air workshop on a beautiful barrier island in NC (called the Outerbanks)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Paint Box

Dennis Cottages Demo-6x8
Proud to announce my new paintbox/easel set up is now for sale. i took a bunch of them around when i was teaching up north and already sold about a dozen of em. it sets up in about two minutes and is extremely lightweight. ive been using the prototype for several years and love it!
the mixing area is glass with a medium gray color and is a big 12x16. there are two large "wings" that close so you can throw the box in your trunk or back seat without getting paint all over everything.you can use the wings for additional paint mixing or as a table to keep stuff on. the panel holder will hold a panel up to 12" high.if you like to paint stretched canvas you can replace the two bolts with ones that are longer. the angle of the paintbox is changeable using the legs of the tripod. it has a money back guarantee (until you put paint in it of course!) Get yours today!

note added on 3/14
I don't offer the photo tripod setup and panel holder anymore. I sell the box and a Napoli tripod easel (which is what I use exclusively)
to attach the box its as easy as putting the first aluminum "z" around the first leg of the tripod
here it is with the other "z" on the box in the 2nd leg of the tripod and let it drop down. if you want less tilt (i prefer the tilt myself) lower the length of the back leg.

here's how the panel holder attaches. lift the latch on the quick release receptacle, put the square piece on the wood panel holder into the square receptacle on the tripod, and push the latch back down to secure it.
so ditch those hard to set up french easels and those heavy and expensive pochade boxes. buy this affordable, time tested paintbox and go out and paint up a storm!

contact me at rooneystudios@Hotmail.com to purchase

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

SOLD-Overcast Arrival-6x8

a little ditty from maine several weeks ago.
this weeks posts will probably be a little longer than the last several months. ive been out of town alot and i realized my posts were getting a little too generic. thats what happens when youre an itinerant artist trying to make a living up and down the east coast. youre in a different bed every few months (and nights) and the road kinda saps your strength after awhile. not complaining, mind you just tellin' it like it is. so the posts sorta get shorter and shorter and less personal.
folks always tell me in emails that they like the blog because it gives them insight into the inner workings of the art business when youre fulltime and make every dollar for your bills off your art (or your teaching). so for the next few posts, i'll try to make some honest observations about this life.  before i do let me first say that when i write about the frustrations or not so hot things, that i'm in no way complaining about the life just telling the good AND the bad for those that are interested. and i dont want to make this about me so i'll generalize and say that i think most artists making their living doing this will agree with alot of the things i allude to? i'd be interested to hear from everybody and anybody in the comments section!
Todays mythbuster: that making youre living painting is slightly glamorous or romantic
not so. its nerve wracking. we have bills like property taxes, kids in college, you know, all that stuff, but unlike folks that get a weekly check, we dont know if we'll have the painting sales to cover them when they come due. i know i go to the mailbox every few days hoping there's a check in there and not a spider with a full blown web constructed. or if i go to my emails hoping for a love note from Paypal (saying someone bought a little study) but instead there's a note from Microsoft informing me that my friends arent doing anything interesting, i get nervous.
if i think too hard on this fact i get scared. so i dont think about it, i go paint instead, or make a few calls about business, or make a to-do list. something, anything to be doing something that has to do with the business. its like, if i think about how sketchy this all is, i'll fall off the high wire i'm on.so i really try hard to not think of it. you know how they say "dont look down!" when youre way up high and scared? same thing.
but yes, it is a cool lifestyle full of adventures, intrinsic benefits, and the risks (butterflies in your stomach) make the sale of a painting more than the sale of a painting. its a celebration that you went and did what you do, even tho you were worried about surviving. and someone who was equally worried about surviving (and eating) thought enough about the painting you did to give up a piece of their security (dollars).they wanted it bad enough to want to own it and take it home and because of that i get to paint again next week! how cool is that?
tomorrows myth to be dispelled- that painters get to paint all day, every day. i cant wait!