unique wall art

Transformation of an idea...

Old Idea, New Painting

A year or so ago, I did a painting that was sent to the gallery in Charleston that represents me (Mitchell-Hill Gallery). It's title was "Through Gates of Splendor". The painting was inspired by a photo I had of a road through coastal pines (originally taken on a road on the central California coast). Living now in the south, I tweaked the pines and transformed them into gnarled old oak trees. Now it's reminiscent of a road to any number antebellum plantations (pretty tricky, eh?)

Well, I recently had some clients from California and they loved the original painting, but asked if I would be offended if the color scheme was changed to a more "autumnal" feel. I explained that I am NEVER offended when I client gets involved. That's really the fun of a commission -- people can have a hand in their artwork and then it's not just "my" painting -- they have ownership of it as well.

There is this prevailing idea that artists are super-sensitive about their creations (because by and large, people are very reluctant to ask me to change this or that in their painting). The opinion seems to be that since I am an artist, I am probably temperamental (hence the term 'temperamental artist'). "You are the professional, and you painted coastal evergreens and maybe it would insult you to ask for autumn colors (since pines do not turn orange and red, hence the term 'evergreen')." But as an artist, I can look at a beautiful road through Monterey coastal pines and see southern oak trees. Why couldn't we bring autumn's mantle to the trees? That's really the joy of being an artist...you can create.

So NO, I'm not temperamental about taking an idea and tweaking it. I do that myself all the time, and at least in this case...I am extremely please with the result.

"Through Gates of Splendor"

"Through Gates of Splendor"

"Autumnal Arms Enfolding"

"Autumnal Arms Enfolding"



Beginning my "marathon" painting: Cullasaja Falls

Where do I begin?

Because my panel is actually larger than any canvas I can get my hands on, I had to prep the panel itself to receive the texture, inventing the gloppy substance that will readily receive the texture I will apply. So here's the recipe:  1 c. gesso, 1 c. wood glue, 1 c. modeling compound plus a tablespoon of secret sauce. Mix thoroughly (no tasting), pour into paint pan and roll on the panel. Viola! (see -- half artist, half mad scientist). 

My Marathon

Future "Cullasaja Falls"

Future "Cullasaja Falls"

Bigger is Better

Have you ever decided to do something and then wonder, "Oh my gosh. What was I thinking?"

A few days ago, I ordered a 6' x 8' panel for a new project I want to undertake. I knew it would be big. Then today it was delivered.

Oh my gosh. What was I thinking? 

This thing is truly huge.  At 6' x 8', this monster is the largest painting I've ever done. Most paintings take between 3-4 weeks. This one will take six months. I wanted something larger, more intricate and more challenging than anything I've ever done before. I'll take you along step by step until it's complete.

"Is this a commission?" you ask. No. I'm just doing it. It will hang in my Asheville studio until someone adopts it.
"WHY are you doing this?" you ask. "Are you crazy?" Yeah well...

You know how some people get into running and they end up running a marathon? If you ask them WHY the HECK they'd do that, a lot of them will simply answer "to see if I could do it".

So that's my answer. I want to see if I can do it.

This is what I am painting...Cullasaja Falls, North Carolina.

This is what I am painting...Cullasaja Falls, North Carolina.