Thursday, December 30, 2010

Buildings here and there...

"PDX Spring Night"
(in progress)
36"x18" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


The buildings are starting to appear in the background, and the lines are a great suggestion of form, but no where near accurate.

I think the abstract part of the painting still needs a few more elements before I call it done.

At the moment I'm going over the playlist for tomorrow nights New Years Eve Party at the Eltrym Theater. I can't wait to see "The Cats of Mirikitani" and to hit the dance floor. Hope to see lots of people there.

Bri-

Monday, December 27, 2010

Northern Lights...

"PDX Spring Night"
(in progress)
36"x18" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I love the addition of the green to the sky, and have started to add elements of the Hawthorne Bridge and PDX skyline now.

It's all going as planned and can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Bri-

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Water under a bridge...

"PDX Spring Night"
(in progress)
36"x18" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


It's very exciting to be doing new things with paint, and my paintings. Today, I added elements to the sky and put down the start of the water.

Some of it soaks into the canvas quicker than expected and others stay wet and workable longer. No matter what it's doing right, I love it.

We'll see what X-mas eve brings.

Bri-

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The sky grows over the bridge...

"PDX Spring Night"
(in progress)
36"x18" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


Today at the gallery, I worked on the sky off and on. Some of the paint I mixed was darker than I expected, but it also turned out better on the canvas than it looked in the mixing cup.

Most of what I did with the silver works for me, but the upper right hand corner. I also think it looks more cloud like than I intended. At this point it doesn't matter too much because it will get obscured as the sky grows.

My friend Katherine calls the layers of paint, "History", and that's what's developing here. It's history in the making.

Bri-

Start of a bridge...

"PDX Spring Night"
(in progress)
36"x18" acrylic on canvas
SOLD

Here's the start of a new commission, that features the Hawthorne Bridge in Portland, OR. I love what's happening so far, but see there's way more that will be added to the sky, before any of the buildings in the skyline will come to life.

I should also mention that there will not be a dog in this painting. I guess I should have told you all to sit down before I wrote that last line, but it was already typed. If I start doing more of this kind of painting, I'm sure to create a blog dedicated to non-dog paintings.

Bri-

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Paco in the Big Bed

"Paco in the Big Bed"

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


After returning from a trip to Bend, I've had the chance to finish Paco. He'll be headed home for the holidays.

While, I'm sad to see him leave my studio, I do have a few new commissions that will not only keep me busy, but also keep me company.

Bri-

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The curls keep coming...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


Today maybe the last post you see for awhile, because we're off to Bend in the morning for the Art + Bike= LOVE show on Friday at Cowgirl Cash, that coincides with the Cyclocross Nationals.

Should be lots of fun. Maybe I'll get Paco finished before we leave though. We'll see.

Bri-

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The curls keep coming...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD

I continue to add curls to Paco's head. Just a few more and then to work on his chest and front paws. Then all he needs in my signature.

Bri-

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Paco's eyes...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I'm back to work on Paco after having taken time away to prep a new canvas and create another wood block polka-dot painting.

His curls and eyes are really coming out. I love the tones I was able to use to create his furry, cuddly look. A few more days and I think Paco will take off for home.

Bri-

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Snow filled Saturday...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD

Hope you bought some art for your loved ones on Black Friday and had a Happy Thanksgiving.

We again hosted the Baker City Turkey Trot, breaking the 300 barrier this year, and both the men's and women's course records were broken. Who would have thought, under such conditions? This was the first year that we had ice and snow on the ground. It seems like fun was had by all even with the cold temps.

Today's snow was beautiful, but I'm glad it didn't snow on Thursday.

Paco is continuing to take shape, and I love how he's coming to life. Before long he'll be heading home to Terri and Dennis.

Bri-

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Paco Time...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I finally got down to painting Paco today, but was bothered by a little section of the background so took a little detour to the background again.

Thankfully, I spent very little time on it. So little in fact that I haven't fully corrected it. When I get done with Paco, I'll finish that area.

Bri-

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just a little progress...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I spent much of today creating drawings for mugs Corrine is making for show at Cowgirl Cash that coincides with Cyclocross Nationals in Bend, OR next month. Of the three drawing two of them will be used, and when they come out of the kiln, I'll gladly post them.

I've been painting late into the night for the past few days, mainly because I've gotten a late start, which I did again today. The difference today is that we're headed to see Harry Potter now, and if I have the energy I'll do a little more when we get home.

Bri-

Friday, November 19, 2010

Look what's back there...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I had a wonderful day talking painting, and technique with artist Katherine Treffinger. She inspired me to try abstract backgrounds as I've blogged about recently, and today she graciously opened her studio to share how she works.

The use of a color wheel was the second best piece of advice she gave me. The best was to let go of the parts of a painting that seems precious. It's a great reminder that Corrine was taught in pottery, and she shared with me several years ago. She even used it in the classes she's taught. After creating a well formed bowl or vessel she'll just smash it in front of her students.

The lesson is that if we aren't open to pushing a form to it's limits, we'll never grow or develop our abilities.

So after dinner I got into the studio and put what I think to be the finishing touches on the background. I was even able to put some paint on Paco's forehead. Who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Bri-

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nothing exciting, just wonderful painting...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I spent the day painting at Short Term Gallery again today, and had very few customers or distractions. You could say another day in paradise.

I darkened the background more today, and depending on what light I view it in, it looks just right. Well, almost right.  There are a couple of areas I will make a little lighter again. I think I'm about 5 to 6 hours from working on Paco.

The headboard, the environment outside the window, and the areas around the edges of the canvas need a little work before the fun begins with Paco.

Bri-

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lock the doors, get a dog...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD



First off I'll tell you about the painting, and then I'll tell you about the title of this posting.

Paco hasn't changed in days, but the background is becoming exactly that. Background. Looking at it tonight with Paco's owner Terri, I mentioned how things need to go darker back there. As a fellow artist she agreed, which always makes me happy to hear confirmation of my ideas/decisions from other artists. Early in the day I didn't think it needed to go too much darker, but now I think it needs to go about 20% darker. It's time consuming painting this way, but the results make it well worth it.

Now to describe the title of the posting.

Yesterday morning started the way our normal mornings start with Zephyr waking us up. The difference was that he woke us by barking. Barking at the door to my studio, which is about 10 feet from our bedroom door. 

Using our usual command to get him quite and to lay back down wasn't working, and since Corrine had just finished in the bathroom she poked her head out to see why he wouldn't stop barking. "Brian! I think there's someone in the house!!!" "What?" I said.

So I too popped out of bed to see what was what. Sure enough there was someone in my studio, and it was a woman I'd never scene before. She looked really nervous, which really didn't put me at ease, but I had a big barking dog next to me so I was a little more secure than she was.

I cracked the door and asked "Can I help you?"Which prompted her to ask what my name was. "My name? What's your name, and what are you doing here in our house?" She told me her name very slowly, and then I saw she had brought a pair of our hedge trimmers into the studio with her. Most of you are probably thinking "Oh my God, she's armed!" but the reality was that she wasn't holding them. She had set them down before I had even come to the door. I was thinking "Oh no, those are resting against a canvas I'm working on. It could be denting it." 

Luckily for her sake they didn't leave a mark. I gently and slowly reached for them and put them inside the kitchen, and Zephyr and I slipped into the studio with her and I closed the door behind me. She then reassured me that she wasn't violent, but she was very cold and had been trying to keep herself warm in our bushes out back. 

My first impulse was to call the police, but the more I saw how nervous she was, I thought it might be a better choice to call Mayday, a local place that helps victims of abuse. She didn't have any physical signs of abuse, but she kept repeating that she didn't or couldn't every go back there. She also wanted to know if I knew certain people and how long we had lived here. 

One of the people she was asking about worked at Mayday, so I suggested we give them a call. She thought that was okay, so I went and got our phone, and closed her back in the studio. Corrine was watching from the other room, ready to dial 911 if necessary. I was hoping it wouldn't come to that, but at this point I wasn't sure what would happen, so I kept a close eye on her, and all her movements.

I got a hold of a woman on the crisis line, who was willing to come and get the her or just talk to her on the phone. The woman in my studio wasn't ready to do that yet. She wanted to talk to a specific woman at Mayday who wouldn't be in the office for another hour and a half. Not cool. Not cool for me either. I had planned to go running, but I sure wasn't going to leave this lady in my house.

One reason besides the fact I didn't know her, was she kept mentioning how her kidney's might shut down. No, no, no, not in my studio. After asking the Mayday worker to get in touch with the person that this lady knew I hung up the phone and sat there with Mystery Woman.

"Would you like to call someone?" I asked, because she had started to go through the phone book, jotting down particle phone numbers. "Yes I would" So I dialed the number Mystery Woman wrote down for me and handed her the phone. "Hello" she said to the person on the other end of the phone very slowly, and strangely I should add. Which didn't seem to phase the person at all. Well, not until, she started talking, in what seemed to me as code. "It's DONE, it's done." Said Mystery Woman "And I'm never going back." 

Now I was starting to get nervous. Did this woman kill her husband, and has she been wondering around since then trying to decide what to do next? Then she told the woman she was talking to not to tell her husband or anyone where she was. Then we heard a police siren. "Maybe my house is burning down now?" Her friend was now starting to get confused, and started to ask questions that were upsetting Mystery Woman so she hung up and handed the phone back to me.

The phone rang and we both jumped. Mayday was calling back to let me know she could get ahold of the person Mystery Woman was looking for. Did we want to get ahold of someone else or did she want to go down to the office and talk? "No" Mystery Woman responded, she wanted to talk to a woman from the hospital now instead. So once again I hung up the phone and sat there with Mystery Woman, as she wrote incomplete sentences and phone numbers on a piece of paper. Harmless, but my heart rate was still elevated. Who needs to go on a 3 mile run when you have a stranger in your house?

When Mayday called back the news wasn't good. The workers from the hospital weren't on duty. Great. Who else could we get in touch with for her? Mystery Woman asked for someone else, and also agreed that we could try talking to the police. YES!

I dial the non-emergency line and got dispatch on the phone. When I tell them that I have Mystery Lady sitting with me the dispatch officer gets very excited, and wants to know where we are, and if Mystery Woman is safe so they can take her home. No, no, no she indicated by shaking her head. "Tell them Mayday, Mayday" So I tell, the officer that no matter what she doesn't want to go home, that she will go to Mayday, but she's said over and over again since she's been in my studio, she never wants to go back there and be a caregiver. The officer reassures me that she won't be taken home and that an officer will be sent to our house, but first we'll be called by them. Great.

Ten seconds later, the phone rings and without looking at the caller ID, I answer it. "Is Mystery Woman there? Is my wife there? Do have my wife there?" "Um, I don't know what you're talking about." I say. "My friend, gave me this number and said my wife just called her from THIS NUMBER." I repeated I didn't know what he was talking about, and hung up the phone. The whole time Mystery Woman was shaking her head muttering "I knew it, I knew it"

30 seconds go by and the phone rings again. F#@*! Her irate husband is calling back. On the plus side, she didn't murder him. This time I check the caller ID, the number looks familiar. Mayday, calling again. Whew! Unfortunately, unable to reach this latest requested person. Then the dogs start barking. The police must be here. As I continue to talk with the woman from Mayday the dogs barking turns vicious, and Corrine screams for my help. I hand the phone over to Mystery Woman and dash to the dinning room where Zephyr is trying to protect himself from the crazed Bettini who's repeatedly lunging for his throat. Plus, there's a man I've never seen before on our front porch. Is that her husband. WTF.

Once the dogs are safely separated and I keep all my fingers, I open the front door to a man that identifies himself as a dectetive. Oh really? Can I see your badge please? Which he promptly shows me. I quickly lead him to Mystery Lady, and then leave the two of them alone in my studio. Feed the dogs, and quickly get dressed.

As Mystery Lady peacefully leaves with the  police she inform me that she dropped her NASCAR lighter in our bushes while trying to keep herself warm. Thankfully she didn't burn herself and the bushes up. She also tells the officer that she left a note in our garage behind a rake, and this is my only real regret of the whole event. I handed the note over without reading it. What was on that paper?

By the way this was the long short version of the story. See me in person and I'll fill in the gaps.

Bri-

p.s. all of the doors are locked now, every night. No more hanging out in our garage Mystery Anyone.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hair cut, and pillow change...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


The title of the posting gives away what I did over the past few hours. I trimmed away some of Paco's right ear, and darkened the pillow cases to push them further away into the background.

Sitting back and looking at it now, I think they still need to go darker, but I'll decide tomorrow.

I may not get to painting tomorrow because Corrine and I are heading to LaGrande to see the "Season's Fair" show at the Nightingale Gallery. When we were out of town at Wildfire in Bend, I was awarded Best in Show at the opening there. So I wanted see the show before it comes down on Thursday. It's a real honor to be awarded something like that. The painting was "Zephyr's 1st Ride".

Bri-

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Working the sheets...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


I decided to make a change to the sheets today. Not in my bed, but in this painting. I work from photographs, but I'm not trying to recreate the photo. I of course want my paintings to feel life like, but I have no desire to copy to photo. Improving upon what's in the photo is my goal. Something more alive than the two dimensional image I work from.

The quilt on the bed in the photo is beautiful and intricate, I see no reason to duplicate it in paint though. The real subject is Paco, and the viewer doesn't need to be distracted by the details of a quilt.

An artist friend named Ann, gets very upset with people who think that the only art worth anything, is works of photo realism. I think sometimes that any kind of realism bothers her. I think of my work as somewhere in between the two styles.

I also worked on an abstract background today, and I'm feeling the pull toward those even stronger. I think that will be my style of choice for the foreseeable future. Stay tuned to see if that holds true.

Bri-

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Table lamp...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


We had a great time in Bend at the Wildfire Pottery Showcase. Good sales, and good times with friends.

Now that we're back I'm back in the studio, and here's an update on how the picture looked just before we left.

See the lamp? I told you it was coming.

Bri-

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paco gets a nose...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


The quilt gets a bit more texture and Paco received a nose on his cute little face. Tomorrow the lamp might get a base.

Happy Halloween everyone.

Bri-

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Bed comes to life...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD



I spent much of today working in my studio and helping Corrine do several raku firings. Both were big successes.

The bed in the painting is coming to life, and I'm itching to be painting more of Paco. "All in good time my painter friend." I have to tell myself.

For the past 6 months I've been working on small canvases or wood blocks, it's nice to be painting large again. It's great how quickly the story unfolds with a large brush. Then when all of the imagery is in place I go back to add the details that bring the story into reality. If my paintings were a book or movie, they would be done in flashbacks.

Bri-

Friday, October 29, 2010

The start of Paco...

"Paco in the Big Bed"
(in progress)

20"x16" acrylic on canvas
SOLD

Here's a new commission I just started today. The cute pooch in this painting is named Poco. He loves to hang out on his owner's bed and chew on socks.

I love the smile he has on his face and in his eyes.

Bri-

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Two Hound Polka

"Two Hound Polka"

3 1/2" x 5" acrylic on wood
SOLD


It's a new day and a new painting is finished with new ones being started.

I'm getting a little rush of commission work, yeah for me, and have a show I'll be part of next month. Busy, busy.

Back to the easel.

Bri-

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Two Hound start...

"Two Hound Polka"
(in progress)

3 1/2" x 5" acrylic on wood
SOLD

I spent much of today in a meeting and then doing some design work, with a GF pizza with Corrine and friend Steve, thrown in there.

Then I got put a little paint on this new one. I spent about 45 minutes to an hour on this, and it made me realize I didn't actually spend 4 hours yesterday on the Mama painting. I spent a little over 4 hours doing creative work, drawing Mama, these two hounds and sketching a painting idea for a client (a non dog related painting, don't tell anyone). Doing all of that work from the same chair, it seemed like I had been painting for 4 hours.

That's a good thing. I really do love creating.

Bri-

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mama Dot

"Mama Dot"

3.5" x 5" acrylic on wood
SOLD

I had forgotten how quickly the wood blocks soak up the paint. It's strange to have the paint dry almost instantly, as if it were a hot windy day and I was painting outside. It forces me to paint in a very different way then I have been in the past month.

I either have to mix the paint in the palette before putting my brush to the wood, or I have to paint really, really fast on the wood to mix it there. It was also strange to paint small again.

I also started a second one today, which I hope to post tomorrow.

Bri-

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Flora Abstraction (final)

"Flora Abstract"
(work in progress) 

12"x12" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


After taking a couple of days off, I spent most of today finishing up Flora. After reviewing some of the other photos I was given as references I decided to call her owners to check wether or not I had gone dark enough with her fur. I think if you look at the other posts you'll see we decided to go a little darker.

I really enjoyed creating this piece and loved the way it turned out.

I also put gesso on wood blocks today, so you might see some of those in the next few days.

Bri-

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

not today...

"Flora Abstract"
(work in progress) 

12"x12" acrylic on canvas
SOLD


So I didn't get any painting done today, but yesterday I spent hours working on Flora. Is she done? Well no.

I think I have a few more days of work, which is great because then I get to spend more time with her, but I'm also itching to start something new.

Bri-