Two New Still Life Paintings and Videos

One of the things I like about still life painting is painting seasonal things, so, a couple weeks back I sat and painted two still life pieces appropriate to the season.

"2 Pumpkins" 6" x 8" oil on canvas

"2 Pumpkins" 6" x 8" oil on canvas

A friend of mine has some small kids tending a little pumpkin patch in the backyard. These still life paintings are usually small, so I needed some small pumpkins and theirs were perfect. I purchased them from the boys and brought them home. My main intent was to carve one or both to paint, but before I potentially ruined them, I figured I should get at least one painting out of them. So I set them together and got to work.

That night, I carved up one of these with a traditional jack o' lantern face. These were small pumpkins, about actual size as portrayed on the panel. Carving small pumpkins is a bit tricky, but it was a simple pattern. My wife got a kick watching me carve this tiny pumpkin with an Xacto blade--we have never carved pumpkins together since we don't really acknowledge Halloween in our home. Therefore, I hadn't carved a pumpkin since the 80s. I kept the second pumpkin as a back-up in case I demolished the first.

The next day, I sat and painted a very different still life painting using just the one pumpkin. It appears larger than life on its canvas, owing to wanting it to fill the space more and having it closer to me as I painted so it just looked larger, too. 

"Classic Jack" 6" x 8" oil on canvas Available at Every Day Original

"Classic Jack" 6" x 8" oil on canvas
Available at Every Day Original

In addition to painting these two pieces back-to-back, I decided to film the painting of them. Adding some narration to them, they make nice little inexpensive painting demos. I think of it this way: buy me a fancy coffee and in the time it takes to enjoy it, I'll talk to you about art and you can watch me paint. There are two videos, though some of the concepts in each build on what is said in the other video.

You can see all my demo videos on my page at Gumroad.

Glossai Pyros II

Color study from first "Glossai Pyros"

Color study from first "Glossai Pyros"

When I painted "Glossai Pyros," I thought it might lead to other images. Given that it is already of a series with other similarly-titled works I've been doing, to then expand on any one of them starts to create series-within-series. That's fine, I generally have been organic with my various series over the years, with Hearts for Hardware being the only one that has been specifically planned out.

I didn't, however, think that if I did another, that it might include an infant. That sort of just came to be along the way, but once I got that idea in my head, I pursued it. The first problem: find me a baby!

Back in NYC, I had gotten to know a lot of families with toddlers and so on, and I had established my reptuation as a painter already, among them, so there was a pool of candidates to choose from, and if not, people who could give good references to their friends. Being newer out here in CA, I haven't made as many connections yet, and there were only a small handful of options. As it turned out, I have a niece the right age, but in the window when I had to do this, it was also going to be difficult to travel down to include her, especially because the odds of getting usable photos in one night were not good.

As with the first painting, this one was straight paint-to-panel, no pre-drawing

As with the first painting, this one was straight paint-to-panel, no pre-drawing

Asking everyday folks to model is always a little awkward, and I do get turned down by shy people. Asking everyday folks if I can paint their baby...well, better to pick from among people I already know. So I did, and found a great model locally.

In terms of actually painting, I had the benefit of having made color notes when painting the first one. I don't normally do this, but the couple of times that I have, it seems that intentionally or otherwise, I have needed to refer back to them.

Some of my personal works of Imaginative Realism can straddle illustration, given that illustration--even what is considered fantasy illustration--has evolved over time to be a bit more fine-arty than it used to. This one, however, seems far less illustrative than other pieces, and so it's filed under Imaginative Realism here on my site.

"Glossai Pyros II" 18" x 24" oil on panel

"Glossai Pyros II" 18" x 24" oil on panel

Cards Signed By Mail and Artist Proofs

Update June 2016: Artist Proof info added!

Artist Proofs:

I am no longer offering a shopping cart-style method of buying whiteback cards, but I do have a list which will live here. I'll update it at that link, so if you download a fresh copy, it's always the lastest.

Instructions in the PDF here!

Card Signings:

I haven't been doing many in-person events the past few years, but I am signing by mail. I am currently charging $.50 per card you want signed, with no limit. If it's worth your money to have me sign as many cards as you feel like sending, it will be worth my time to sign them and return them promptly.

USA residents: getting just a few cards signed?

You must include a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) with sufficient postage, otherwise your package will sit in the bin of forgotten cards and extra earbuds that came with various electronics, until that issue is rectified. Eventually, those may be tossed in the trash. I will sign your cards, put the package in the mailbox and it will go where you address it, provided there is enough postage to get it there. You're paying, so return is prompt.

I am sorry, but this few-cards method is only for the USA. However:

USA only: at $20 or more

If you s(p)end more than this minimum, then I will cover your postage for you. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home with delivery confirmation.

International: $50 minimum

For international requests, I have a minimum of $50 purchase. I will reuse your packaging and ship your cards home, airmail. I will pay for return shipping.

Why so much more for international? Because I have to go to my post office to send them, which means going there, standing in line, filling out customs forms, waiting for the postal employees to enter the info manually into their systems, and also I'm paying shipping, which can be very difficult to estimate.

Extra notes:

If you can't make the minimums, gather up cards from friends and send together. Still can't quite make the minimum internationally? Well you can just pay the extra to qualify. Either form of return mail will generate a receipt that the package was sent. I will not be responsible if the package is lost in the mail for whatever reason, but I'll guarantee that they shipped. If you require that your return package be insured (USA), then you still have to include an appropriately-done SASE including insurance. Why? Because if the package is lost, I don't want to have to go through insurance claims.

Send payment first, via PayPal at the links below. When payment is received, you'll receive the mailing address. Please do your fellow players a favor and don't post the address online--if people start sending me cards without following these directions, their cards will go in the Bin of Earbuds. Maybe the trash, eventually.

Once you're ready, click here, then increase to the number of cards you want signed, and pay. Include a printed receipt with your cards so I remember you paid.

You get signed cards and fund my coffee habit, ensuring new art gets made. Smiles for all.

Get your cards signed!


Today's release over at Every Day Original is the third in a series that includes Decidua and Arctis.

One piece remains in this little series, of course, and I'm planning on having that ready for June's release.

"Chrysaline" 6x8" oil on canvas panel Available at Every Day Original

"Chrysaline" 6x8" oil on canvas panel
Available at Every Day Original

These are small paintings, probably a size I won't be working at much more for my Imaginative Realism pieces, but they've been fun. In each case, I've dived in without a lot of pre-work--even the drawing is done straight on the white board. A lot of decisions were made on the fly in all three of these. I went in with a concept and some model ref, and from there it's been very seat-of-the-pants.

A lot of my EDO pieces have this in common: there is a high amount of experimentation involved in what I do there. I try out concepts, do little one-off things, and so on.