Sunday, December 26, 2010

Judge Parker

The teenage drama/mystery continues...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Judge Parker Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Judge Parker style! As has been the tradition for the past several years JP and crew tip our pen points and salute the men and women serving in our armed forces across the globe.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Judge Parker

This week's Judge P Sunday--oh, those moody teenagers!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Secret Authority

Over on the Draw! blog I've posted some of my layout work on Authority #12.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Well finally the fall semester at school has come to an end and in really quite and enjoyable fashion, culminating with a trip to New York and the John Singer Sargent show at the Adelson gallery with the school chums and Dirty Palette buddies.

The show was worth it for me just for the two paintings above alone, but it's a great show over all and really worth the trip as there are many pieces in it from private collections and when they go back to the owners who knows when you'll see them again. The painting above entitled Home Fields is one of my all time favorite painting in the world and it was so great to be able to see it inches before my eyes. It is such a learning opportunity to see the original painting , so much is hidden and lost in reproduction. Sargent was not a "Thick" painter, there are thick applications of paint, but they are in selected placed to have the most impact, a group of swans dashed in with a bold white in the background, or the light mass of a face. The paintings were all in really great condition as well. You can feel the speed and deliberation at which Sargent worked and the fact he was really painting light and it's effects scattering along a lake, across a lawn, glinting off a glassy surface, and here he has the most in common with the Impressionists. Loose choppy brush strokes in the right place, in the right shapes, in the right color and temperature which create the sparkly mass of a tree in the sunny breeze, or the shimmering of silk on a dress.

You can also see in my opinion how many illustrators were influenced by this approach, illustrators like Haddon Sundblom and Andrew Loomis especially come to mind. Strokes that go along or with the form to describe it, Anders Zorn also painted much in the same fashion, it's interesting to study art by all of these artists next to each other and observe the common approach and influences. Frankly i was almost a bit drunk after seeing this show and I will still be processing and journaling about what I've seen.

After the Sargent show we all headed down to the Arcadia and Wendt galleries. At Arcadia we hit the Malcolm Liepke solo show, which was nearly sold out by the time we got there. I had a nice long chat with Leipke about his current work and his days in illustration and how much the field has changed. Its clear he is really energetic and passionate about his work present as well as past.
At the Wendt gallery we popped in and caught artist Casey Baugh just before he was about to leave his opening and head off and try and see the Sargent show as well. Baugh was another open, gracious and friendly artist with a show littered with the red dots of success. He posed with the gang for a quick picture and we all got free copies of his show catalogue.
We all beat it back to Philly, and the next day I had to get to finishing a painting--heck-even starting a painting for Scott Noel's class. So I decided to do an interior and really for practical reasons, with my schedule now its almost impossible to get enough consistent daylight hours to do something, so an interior made the most sense. So charged up from my Sargent sojourn as I watched the season 5 finale of Dexter I started slapping the brush around on this 20 x 30 canvas. This took me about 6 hours. and I had my laptop nearby with the pictures I had snapped of the Sargent paintings for inspiration and guidance.
I was kinda bleary-eyed when I hit school for my final two crits with, Pat Traub and Scott Noel.
Scott wanted this last painting to be a conversation with another painter and felt that my still life was a success and that following Sargent's example was a good choice for me. We had a long class discussion about illustration vs fine art and if painting was still valid or even important today. Obviously as painters we all felt painting was still vital and I think the growth of and the noted success of figurative painting as well as the growth of small schools and ateliers are just some of the signs of this.

Scott and I talk about my paintings.
Pat Traub reviews one of my fellow classmates work.
This is a shot of our studio from our open studio we had a week ago on the 4th floor.

So the semester has come to a grand end, friends like Dave are graduating and others are returning to home for the holidays. I have a lot of freelance to catch up on and a house that looks like a bomb hit it! So I have a lot to catch up on over the next week or so until Christmas, then i will be back in the studio full time to start that 8 foot painting and get ready to see what 2011 will bring me!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Judge Parker

This week's Judge Parker Sunday strip. Dinner with a moody teenager-what's up with Sophie? I have to admit I miss drawing Needy!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Week 15 fall Semester

The fall semester has basically come to an end for me, I have two crits tomorrow and one next Monday, but this pretty much in the bag, i have one last painting to finish for my class with Scott Noel on Monday and then I am done.

It's been a super busy semester, maybe my busiest between the freelance, teaching and classes at PAFA. But it's been a good one overall, I have a few gripes, but who doesn't, my main one is I wish I could have done more personal painting, but come the winter break I will be working full tilt on my own work, not class assignments. I learned to play with color more in the past weeks, the class at Incammanatti helped quite a bit there as they use a very chromatic palette. I definitely employed that on the painting of Jennine I did in Bruce Samuleson's class. Bruce also really encouraged me to just run with this one and push the shapes and colors. A lot of this paintings was done after the pose was over so I was painting the model in parts based on memory and what i had done before as there was no way to get that pose back. there were a lot of times on this painting, no, most of the time i was just winging it-going with the flow and it was fun. I know, in some places having fun in art isn't allowed.

I was rushing like mad to add the last few touches on this painting in Scott Noel's class, this was a 4 week pose and every single week the light was completely different from the previous week, add to that the sun sets a lot earlier as well, and this is done in natural light--it was a battle most of the time to judge what I was putting down on the canvas because it was so DARK! It's always great to have Scott as a teacher, we don't always agree on points but he's really there for you, encouraging you all of the time and challenging you at the same time, my final crit with him on this painting was really great, he was very, very complimentary and still managed to toss out another challenge or two. First, to work in bolder shapes and group things more into the various camps or color/light envelopes. I get there, I do, but he wants me to be bolder from the start. I love doing a drawing first to block the shapes in, he'd rather have me just wing it and 'recover" the drawing on the fly. I think this is where we start to have the real difference as he feels my "illustrative' leanings and narrative work have a big influence on my work--and they do. I don't see it as a bad thing either.
I finally wrapped up the baby skull and pine cone three color conte drawing. I bought a few pastels a very pink yellow, green yellow and cool cream yellow to go into and add the whites and accents. With the conte drawing you don't get the rich, dark darks you get with something like a pastel, but you do get a great airy quality to the work.
This is a study for a painting I want to work on over the break as well as the Super sad one. This image came to me in a dream, so I'm just running with it and seeing where it takes me. I think this will also be a large painting, though not as big as the 8 footer I have ready to go. I actually wrapped myself up in plastic bags and video taped myself to get the feel for the image I want. What's next--performance art?

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Judge Parker

This week Sam and Abby get to enjoy a little picnic time together overlooking the farm now that for the moment there is no crisis...

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Week 15 Fall Semester

The fifteenth week of school was a busy one for me, there were 4 events this week on top of teaching and work, a memorial exhibit, the 128 gallery show and First Fridays.

I had to co-ordinate an Open Studio for my floor at school. This was just an informal, basically open studio just for the school, not the big one which will happen next spring which will be open to the public. I had to jump back and forth a few times hat day between my studio and teaching my Storyboard class down the street at Uarts. I think I went back and forth 6 times that day between PAFA and Uarts. I am the floor monitor for my floor at school. this year they decided that every floor at school should basically have a point person to deal with issues that arise in peoples studios and to be an interface between the students and the admin at school. They also pay us a nice little stipend for it as well which is nice.

So every week since november two floor a week have been having an open studio, this week it was our floor and the 7th floor.
I made a little sign to advertise it and bought some snacks to have on hand for visitors.

I also had one of my paintings accepted into the latest 128 gallery competition at school. I decided to submit my painting of the train in the 69th street station.It was also First Friday and there was a memorial exhibit and the Trust gallery for one of my fellow students, Chris Brennan who tragically passed away last month. Along with several of my friends we went to the show of Chris's work to show some love and support to his family. it was a nice way to celebrate Chris' life and art and I know must be a big help to his family to see how much people liked and remember Chris. Mike Gallagher who helped me guild my big support for my painting was a man above helping Chris's father frame a ton of Chris's work for the show. That's one of the great things about PAFA, we are a small school and pretty close knit, we also have great teachers like Mike who always go out of their way for the students.

Here is the big monster finally done, I have two more coats of gesso and then some oil primer and I'll finally be painting on this thing next week.

Mike helped me so much with mounting the canvas to the support, it would have been a lot harder without him.
The sign I made up for our floor.
Most of my studio mates and Dirty Palette buddies where there and we had a steady stream of visitors all night. There was plenty of apple cider and cookies too to go around. It was great to also get to visit other artists studios and see what they are creating.
I also painted a bit more on this experiment of a painting. The pose is over with the model so whatever i have to do now will be on my own.

Next week is the last week of classes at school, so it will be a busy, busy week.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Week 14

The Thanksgiving break has come and gone and so I am knee deep back in the last two weeks of school for the fall. This weekend with the help of Mike Gallagher I built the support for the larger painting I want to start ASAP for my Super Sad series. Mike is an awesome guy and teacher and he really did a great job helping me. Next I will glue the canvas to the luann, prime it and go! I hope I can be painting on it by Sunday. Its going to be a big painting, 45 x 85, so I will be using big brushes--and a LOT of paint.

Mike working away like a master craftsman!

A shot of part of my studio. We are having an open studio night on our floor this week, this is a way for people to come in and check out what we are all doing.
I have one more week on this painting in Scott Noel's class, I have had 3 weeks so far or about 4-5 hours total as i end up skipping out early to teach every week.
I am still chipping away at this painting in Bruce Samuleson's class. I really just find my self going with the flow here and I don't have any solid idea where this is going. I wanted to do something more abstract and it's funny, because people at school really seem to like it! I am kinda' indifferent at this point, but I will keep at it for the last two sessions we have in class and then I will see where I go from there. I might keep working on it after class while we are on Winter break.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Judge Parker

This week's JP Sunday strip, the Judge isn't happy with his royalty checks from his latest book, I know the feeling!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Week-13 Fall Semester--more Baby Skull! Thanks fer' Nothing Break

The turkey is in the fridge and the stuffing is ready to go along with the Yams and the holiday break has officially started!

And boy--how I can use this break! Things have been cramming at all side here this week, this weeks of Judge Parker strips had to be delivered early and I had two crits along with teaching, my Monday portrait class and freelancing Magnus and more. I feel a bit behind due to missing a few days of class while I had to sit home while the furnace was repaired so I am a bit behind painting wise, but by next week I think I'll be back on track. There are just two weeks of class left, really just one full week for classes and then the crit week. Some teachers forgo an official critique and use the last class the draw or paint. I'm all for that as I really feel unless its a one-on-one with the teacher, the peer crits are as useful as grits on 100 degree day.
I inched a bit more along on the baby skull drawing in Pat Traubs class, I don't think I'll get to finish it in class but I can probably finish it from the photos I shot of the set-up.
This week we started blasting in the color on the portrait in the Incommanatti class. this pic is a little blown out as I snapped it with my iphone, but its really hot anyway. It honestly was a fight to wrestle with their chromatic palette which is based on the teachings of Henry Hensche, who Nelson Shanks studied with. Kerry Dunn was really pushing me to blast that color in and then you can work up or down and neutralize the color. I have two more sessions on this to try and get it as close as I can. I also lost a bit of the drawing here and need to go back and re-establish that.
I also made a lot more headway on this painting for Bruce Samuelson's class. It's probably the most abstract piece I've done to day besides the one I did last year in the Medium and methods class. I don't know where this piece is gong yet, I'm actually sailing without a compass but Bruce gave me some good feedback and I figure i just have to wing it--if it works great, if not--oh well.
This is the painting I have going in Scott Noel's class, I have two more passes at it, this week the light was very different so I had to go back and repaint and adjust some areas and colors. This is almost a speed painting class as I have to cut out early to teach that afternoon. I don't know if I'll get as far as I want to go on this with the time left, but the class has been great--i get a lot out of just debating whether Nicoli fechin is a "show off' as Scott would call him.

I feel like I am in seperate worlds or domains of painting some days. Mondays i go from tight pencil rendering with Pat Traub to Scott's painting class in the afternoon--too Incommanatti in the evening after teaching--and the very different approach there.

Henry Hensche vs Degas or Lennart Anderson, one of Scott's big influences. It really keeps me spinning on my feet and palette. Some of these ideas stand in direct conflict or contrary to others and its up to me to decipher and apply those concepts as I feel they apply to my sensibility as a painter. Some days it's easier than other---that's for sure.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Judge Parker

This weeks JP, the first time I get to draw sam in his office and Gloria his secretary. With this story line I'm getting to draw more of the cast which is interesting and fun.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Fall Semester 2010 week 12

Just wrapped up my 12th week of the semester so there are just three more to go and then its the winter break. The portrait above is the last one we are doing in the class with Kerry Dunn I am taking at Studio Incamminati. This was the second sitting, the first week I wiped out the block-in three times, I was so wiped myself by the end of the day I just didn't like what I had done. Now I get three more weeks with it to see where I can take it.
In Bruce Samuleson's class I decided to try something different this time by fracturing the figure. Honestly I don't know how this is going to go, but I figured why not challenge myself and see if I can do something different. If I don't like it--oh well, I can just chalk it up to progress. I am not a big fan of abstract painting or much modern art, but I also didn't just want to paint a person standing there and Bruce really encourages the student to use the model as a point of departure.
This is the start of the last drawing I will do in Pat Traubs class, its a red pencil, sanguine and white on Rives BFK. I will slowly inch my way across this still life over the last few weeks of class.
This is the last set-up in my class with Scott Noel, I just got most of my block-in this week as I always have to cut the class early to teach, next week I hope to really get some more thick paint on this thing. Scott has been talking a lot about Sickert and Valazque in class, as well as Orpen. He's really urging me to go thicker with the paint and to move quicker.

I have missed too many classes due to freelance and maintenance men in the last 2 weeks, Between my heater being busted and waiting for them to take 4 trips to fix it and for the water company to take 2 trips to replace a water meter it seems like I missed 2 weeks of school. The next big thing is to build my big canvas for my big painting, and I mean big, 48 x 85. I will do that this weekend. I'm also burning the midnight oil on Judge Parker and Magnus and Draw! 20.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Judge Parker

This week's Judge Parker Sunday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Old Con Sketches

While cleaning out some old files and such I came across these two sketches I did a while back and thought I would post, I think both are from Philly Wizard con.