Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well here it is the end of Christmas day. I was going to post the Christmas card I made this year, but I can't find it on the computer. I must have thrown it out. Oh well.

The day started early. At 1:30 a.m. the phone rang. You know a call in the middle of the night can't be good. After knocking half of the stuff off my end table I finally found the phone. It was my son's friend asking to talk to him. He is eleven. I said he is a sleep and to call back tomorrow. I fell back a sleep but at 3 a.m. to tell me he can't sleep. He needs to go down stairs and see the presents. He did, but still couldn't sleep. Every fifteen minutes or so he came back into my room. I told him to read or watch TV but he said he was too distracted by the presents. Finally at 5 I got up and started playing video games with him. He said he going to play until 5:30 then wake up mom and his sister. I got him to last until six when his sister woke up.

Anyway, it has been a long day and I am too tired to work on a new piece. I'm going to play some video games and go to bed.

good night

Friday, December 22, 2006

Pineapple Trio

So here it is, the pineapple trio. I still l wasn't happy with the results as I worked on this piece, but I wanted to finish it. I don't like not finishing a piece so I took it as a learning experience. But it is difficult to work on a piece when you are not into it. However, I like the pastel medium more and more as I work with it.

This is the first pastel piece that I worked on an easel with. I had quite a pile of colorful dust on the bottom of my easel when I was done.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Oh the humanity!

My wife bought a few pineapples the other day so I thought they would make a great pastel still life. As usual I jumped right in. It didn't take very long before I noticed this piece wasn't going well. I failed to capture the pattern on the pineapple. That is what happens when you draw what you think rather than what you see. Also that purple I chose for the background wasn't working.

Fear not. I grabbed another piece of paper and started fresh. Why belabor a piece that is not working. However, the new piece is not going well either so I drowned my sorrow in a bag of peanut M & Ms.

Here is the first piece that was not going well and a picture of the said pineapples.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A hand a day

I know I am weak with drawing hands so I have decided to draw a hand a day. I'm doing better than I thought. I'll keep it up until I feel really comfortable drawing hands. Once that happens I'll start drawing feet. My other weak spot.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Statue and Three Oranges

Second pastel piece under my belt. I didn't like this one very much. But the next day I didn't think it was too bad. I like using the pastels very much and will continue to work with them. Next piece will be some pineapples.

Monday, December 18, 2006

More Trees

I set up in the park again for more tree art. I had plenty of time and so I way overworked this piece. I was very unhappy with it and questioned my abilities as an artist on the way home. But I got over myself pretty quick and set up a still life for a pastel piece.

As I often do, I am not happy with a piece, but the next day when I look it over, I am happy with it. Or at least happier. This did not occur with this piece. I still think it is overworked. How ever, I have a plan to make a new piece using this one for reference.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pastel Shrooms

Here is my first attempt to use pastels. I was not happy with the results. But the next day I didn't think it was too bad. I posted it over at wetcanvass and got some very flattering replies. I am going to try some more pastel work.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Ballard Park Tree

Went to a local park and set up with an easel. I used charcoal. My first problem was the wind. I had to clamps holding the paper on top and nothing to hold the bottom so the paper kept blowing up. I'll start keeping a role of tape in my sketch bag.

So I had to work with one hand holding down the paper. I was unable to step back and see my work in progress, something I like to do. Second problem was the sleeve of my coat kept dragging on the paper blurring and making marks all over. Oh, the difficulties of being an artist.

Charcoal Shrooms

I just whipped this out in about ten minutes. I am much happier with this piece than the previous watercolor pencil piece which took me three nights. Next I am going to try this same image in pastel.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Three Shrooms

I just finished this piece. I used watercolor pencils and a dip pen. I'm not happy with it. Oh well, they can't all be winners. I'm not that good with watercolor or watercolor pencils. I did sign up for a drawing class at the Art Students League in New York City. I'm very excited for that. It will start in January.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

View Finder

I read an article about the use of a view finder when creating art out side. It helps you focus in on a composition. Being cheap I decided to make my own from left over cardboard. I love it. I use it too for still lifes. It helps me arrange a set up. To take it a step further, on difficult set ups like the one I am working on now, I tape some pieces of thread across it to make a grid. I then make the same grid on the painting surface and it make my life a lot easier.

I got the idea from Van Gogh who had a carpenter make a large frame on a tripod. In the frame he had a series of wires to make a grid.

Here is a picture of my view finder and my improved start for my painting.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


I started a new painting. We have a cool candlestick holder that I always wanted to render. I found a table cloth that I thought would go well with it. But it needed something else. I tried a few things and finally settled on a bowl. I wanted something small to take your eye down to offset the orange candles. The brown in the bowl I want to lean closer to the orange in the candles to tie them together.

The composition is a little tricky (for me anyway). I took my time, tried measuring and such, but still couldn't get it right. So I gessoed the panel and will try again. One thing I learned is if it isn't right from the start, it will never be right. The best thing to do is start from the beginning.

Here is a picture of the set up and the failed drawing.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Candle over kill

I worked on the candle last night and way over worked it. I was able to glaze the blue area to my liking, but the candles got over worked. Oh well, on to the next piece.

Monday, November 27, 2006


My son plays Magic the Gathering. He goes to a comic shop and meets up with other kids to play. To keep myself busy while there, I took my sketch pad. Here are a couple of sketches I did. The first is in graphite. They are sitting around a table drafting cards.
The second is my son and his friend playing the game. I used a conte crayon.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Candles part 1

It has been a while. I have not been been creating art in a long time now. I have been getting together with a friend who plays drums, so I have been practicing guitar lately.

Anyway, back to art. I have been wanting to try my hands at acrylic painting. I picked a simple subject, two candles, and went to town. I used canvas paper.

I painted like a deamon. Very intense. I thought I spent about two hours working, but when I looked at the clock it was only half an hour. I didn't like the canvas paper very much. I also didn't like the painting.

The next day I took another look and saw some merit in the painting. Started to think about changes I want to make. Then thought, I never have painted with acrylics before. I have not painted in a number of years. I only painted for a half an hour. What was I expecting?

So, I am going to make some changes to this painting and learn. I am going to try a couple of glazes over the blue to tone it down. Then I'll bring up the orange in the candles.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stipple no more

After working on the stipple piece for about three hours (an hour a night) I decided it was not for me. In fact I hated every minute of it. But at least I tried. I'v got that out of my system. Posted is how far I got before I couldn't look at it anymore. After I scanned it in I started a charcoal of the same set up. I'm much happier now.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Stipple Started

As stated above, I started the stipple piece. Set up the still life, got the bristol board out and filled a 3x0 rapidograph. Now I just have to start applying the ink. No pictures yet.

I think something is clogging my 2x0 rapidograph. I cleaned it out after I finished the last pen & ink and now I can't get it back together. I can't get the wire back into the point. I'm afraid some small particle got in there and now I can get the pen back together. Rats! That was my favorite pen. I may have to suck it up and buy a new one.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I was working away on the conte piece last night when I stopped abruptly. The only thing I could do was overwork the piece so I called it done. I think it came out pretty good.

My next piece will be a pen & ink stipple. Stippling is where the drawing is created from millions of little dots. There are some great stipplers on the wetcanvas site. I have called them crazy for all the time and effort they put into their works. In turn they said it is no worse than the time and effort I put into the Daisies piece. So I am going to give the stipple approach a try.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Still Life #3

Saturday night I went to our local fireworks display. It was pretty amazing. They do a great job in our town. But we got home pretty late and so i didn't work on the new piece.

Sunday we went to Lake Compounce. It is the oldest amusement park in the country. It is half water park and half rides. They have a great wooden roller coaster called the Boulder Dash. It is built into the side of a hill and takes you through the woods. It is my favorite ride. When we got home I was too tired to work on the conte piece.

Monday I was back to work. So no excuses. I worked a little more on what I am now calling Still Life #3. So far I have only used a black conte crayon. Tonight I will start using brown and white.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

So Far So Good

Here is the work in progress. I like it so far, but I have a lot to do.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New set up

The long weekend is throwing me off. I forgot about softball yesterday and didn't bring my gear to work. Fortunately I remembered it was Wednesday and went home to get my stuff. The other team was only able to field eight guys. The umpire gave us a choice, win by forfeit or we could play the game. You are suppose to field at least nine guys, but the ump was in a good mood. We chose to play. They didn't field a second baseman. We won 18 - 1.

Later that night I set up a new still life. I'm going to use conte crayons again. This time I'll use different colors and try to loosen up a little and just try to have fun with it.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

July 5th

After four days of barbecue's I've had my fill of hot dogs and hamburgers. The long weekend went well. It was good to have the break from work.

I finished the drawing of he statues and pot. It came out alright. I stayed with my plan of only using white. I tried smudging the conte crayon and didn't like the results so I took away the blends with a kneaded erasure. The pot came out with some depth but the statues are flat and look that way in the drawing. I want to do another using black too and maybe gaining some depth in the statues too.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Getting Ready

I know it has been a while since my last post. I have been having a hard time getting into my next drawing. I have been playing guitar at night instead of drawing. But last night that all changed. I got set up. It took me a while to get everything to where I liked it so I didn't actually draw, but I'm ready to go.

This being 4th of July weekend and all the barbecues we are invited to, I don't know how much drawing I will get to, but I am ready.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Men in Black

Just a quick conte drawing I did on canson paper. It is 9.25" x 5.75".

Friday, June 23, 2006

Blog Change

I am going to change the address of my blog very soon. So those of you who have book marked my blog the new address will be:

The reason for the change? The old blog was which was associated with the web comic I used to do. Since I have stopped working on the web comic and am concentrating on fine arts I figured i would change my blog name too.

I didn't work on anything last night. We took the kids to a local carnival and got back too late. Tonight is my movie night so I will not be working tonight either. I have Brazil rented. This is an older movie that came out in the 80's. I liked so much I saw it twice in the theater. I have not seen it since then. It will be interesting if I still think it is good.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ugly Game

My softball game last night was exciting for a while. 1-1 going into the 5th inning. Then we fell apart. We made more errors in one inning that the rest of the season. It's amazing how we do everything as a team. We hit as a team and slump as a team. One guy makes and error everyone else feels obligated to make an error. Oh well, guess you can't win them all.

I was able to scan in the Daisies last night. It is so big I had to make four scans then piece it together in photoshop. I couldn't get it to quite align properly, but this is not too bad. The final size is 18.5" x 12". I did it on Strathmoore watercolor paper series 500. I was going to color it when done but I think color would ruin it. The watercolor paper is not ideal for pen & ink. Next time I'll use my standard bristol board with a smooth finish. Oh, and I used a rapidograph 2 x00.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Done!!!

I finished the Daisies last night. Came out pretty good. I couldn't scan it in because my wife was working on the computer. I'll get it scanned in tonight.

Looks like a nice night for softball. We had thunder storms the past couple of nights.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Hot Flea Market

Worked a lot on the daisies over the weekend. It is almost done. I should be able to wrap it up in the next couple of days.

We went to the Elephant's Trunk flea market yesterday morning. The weather was suppose to be 95 degrees so I wanted to get an early start. Man was it hot. The flea market is completely in the open sun, no shade. My daughter bought an umbrella to shade herself. I was on the look out for African statues for still lives. There weren't that many, but I did find one. Here is a picture with the ones I already had and the new one. The new one is on the far right.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Getting Old

Not only do I have to wear my glasses when working on the daisy pen & ink, (my first time having to wear them doing art. Normally I only wear them on the computer). But last night while reading Mad Magazine (yes, I'm still a subscriber) I could no longer make out the Sergio Argones margin cartoons. I tell you, it's all down hill after 40 :-)

Busy weekend. My daughter has a softball game Saturday morning then we are taking care of our friends children Saturday afternoon while they are at a wedding. Sunday we are going to the Elephants Trunk flea market. I want to look for some african art. I have a few pieces now and want to do a bunch of still lives of them. Somewhere in there I need to finish putting in our underground hose. It is suppose to be in the 90's this weekend so I'll probably work on that early in the morning before the heat kicks in.

Yesterday after lunch I went out to sketch. There is a sculpture piece in the park dow the block I have been wanting to draw. When I got there it was crowded and I couldn't get a seat. I walked around until one opened up. I was laughing to myself because the guy sitting next to me kept trying to look at what I was drawing without me noticing that he was looking. Part of the joy of outdoor sketching. This wonderful piece was drawn in about two minutes.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Back on Track

We won our game last night. 12 - 7. I think we got all twelve runs in the first two innings, then dried up. And they didn't get any runs until the 4th. The game almost slipped away, but we held on.

I slacked off last night and didn't work on the daisies. I was tired. I watch a show on TLC called Medical Mysteries. It was alright.

Here is the last of my oil paintings that I did a rotten job of photographing. It was from a picture I took. I later added the guy sitting at the table.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Victory no more

Our softball winning streak is done with. And in ugly fashion. Enough said.

Went to the Aldrich Artists only thingy on Saturday night. I was surprised how many people showed up. It was fun. People just walked up to you and said., "show me what you have". It was fun to show off my work and get different people reactions to my work. I even saw some friends I hadn't seen in years. It was a pretty good time.

Still plugging away at the daisies. I don't want to rush it at this point so I'll keep plugging away and finish it whenever it's done. Meanwhile here is another oil painting. What I also discovered is if you click on the image the large size image will pop up.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Friday update

My game did get rained out. We will be playing the same team this Sunday and the weather looks good.

Saturday I am going to Artists only open house at the Aldrich Museum. We are suppose to take a small portfolio of our work and meet with fellow artists to show off our work and talk about what we are working on and so on. Should be a good time.

Still plugging away at the daisies. After about an hour I get tired of looking at it. I may do a couple of other pieces and come back to it. Maybe not. I really want to get it done but I don't want my weariness of the piece to start to show. I'm getting close. Here is a picture of my set up.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

No rain, no rain...

Tonight we are suppose to play the other undefeated team in my softball league. But it is raining and supposed to get heavier as the day goes on. I have a makeup game this Sunday against the same team and the weather looks good for that one. We'll see.

Still working on the daisy pen & ink. Meanwhile here is another oil painting. The field is from a photo reference. The man is from memory. I saw him in a similar field. When I got home I drew a sketch from memory then used that for this painting. The colors don't look very good because of bad photography, but you get the idea.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Daisy update

It was a busy weekend so i didn't get much work done. I saw Dickey Betts and Great Southern over the weekend. They were great. Sunday we had our annual block party. Monday, back to work on the daisies. Here is my progress so far.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Holy Cow!

We won again last night. This time 25 - 2. This has been an incredible season so far. I went 4 for 4 at the plate. Next weeks game will be a good one. We are playing the only other undefeated team in the league.

I'm still plugging away at the daisy pen & ink. But meanwhile here is another painting. I did this in a painting class I took many years ago. I had already painted something on this canvas. I finished another piece I was working on in the class early an had some free time so I started this over the old painting. My teacher would only let me paint with a palette knife. I still like painting with a brush better.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

Had a nice long weekend. My daughter and wife marched in our local parade with the girl scouts. Played poker with some friends. I won around $10. Woo hoo!

I kept plugging away at my newest flower pen & Ink. It is very slow going. I scanned in what I have so far. The final size will be 18.5" x 12". What I have so far is about 5" x 12". My original plan was to color it when I was done, but I might let it stand as is.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Quick Charcoal

My wife had these two plants in the house that I have been wanting to draw. Yesterday I did not see them and asked her where they were. She brought them outside to plant. I quickly grabbed and made a charcoal drawing of them.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

5 - 0

We won yet again last night. This time 17 - 5. This is amazing. Only a couple of years ago we were the league laughing stock. We couldn't get a hit if you paid us. Maybe because most of the team is pushing 50 and started taking geritol?

I have been plugging away at my new flower pict, but it is very slow going. I started inking last night and will post a work in progress soon. Meanwhile here is the last oil painting I completed.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


My mom saw the orthopedic surgeon yesterday and she does not need a pin in her thumb. He said it will heal just fine as it is. She is very much relieved.

Worked on the new flower piece last night. Man, it is taking me a loooong time to finish the pencil sketch. I'll post a picture of it once I start the inking process. I should be able to finish the penciling part tonight.

Meanwhile here is another painting.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sunday Double Header

Had a softball double header on Sunday. We won both games with big leads. I can't remember the last time we hit so well and consistent as a team. It must be ten years. I broke my no hit slump and went 7 for 8. Normally after our Sunday double headers we have a barbecue after the game. But the wind was so bad we all just went home. The wind made for interesting games. Hats were blowing off of heads. Pop flies were never a sure thing. I would have to pitch at the batter and the wind would blow the ball over the plate for a strike.

When I got home I was very tired. I lied down and started to fall a sleep. The phone rand and it was my dad with a sentence that will wake you right up. "I'm at the emergency room with your mom." My mom fell down the basement stairs and cut her thumb open. They couldn't stop the bleeding so they went to the emergency room. She had two deep gashes. They also x-rayed the thumb and found out it was broken. Other than that she is just bruised a little. Lucky that is all at 67 years of age.
She has to see an orthopedic surgeon this morning to fix up the thumb. They think she will need a pin. Oh, and typical for my dad. He called from the emergency room to ask name to tape desperate housewives. They didn't want to miss the season closer.

On to art. I photographed my painting over the weekend. The sun was much better than the flash. Here are the other two paintings that go with the onions.

Friday, May 19, 2006

The allergies are coming, the allergies are coming...

I started feeling my allergies kick in yesterday. I'm allergic to tree and grass pollen. My allergies aren't strong enough to react to just one, but when both are out at the same time I get whomped. Last year they got so bad I had to get an inhaler, pills and eye drops. So far so good. But last year my allergies didn't kick in until Memorial Day Weekend.

I made my famous chicken soup last night. Didn't eat it yet, I make it for lunch. I'm the only one in the family who will eat it. I'll reveal for the first time my secret recipe. Take the left over chicken carcass and boil it in six cups of water with 1 chopped onion and a teaspoon of salt. While that is boiling look in the fridge for some vegetables. Chop up what ever vegetables you can find plus two cloves of garlic. If the garlic has turned brown and soft, don't use. But don't throw it out, it just might get better.

Put a pot in the sink then a colander on top. (from experience, if you forget the pot you have wasted an hour and some vegetables) Stain broth into pot and put back on stove. Boil the chopped vegetables for ten minutes. While boiling add what ever spices strike your fancy. Also add chunks of chicken that look good from the colander. At the end I add some organic brown rice that I cooked while the chicken was boiling.

Viola!!! Randy's famous chicken soup.

On to the painting. I tried taking a picture of a large painting, but the flash kept making a mess of the image. I'll have to try this weekend outside and see if I can get better pictures. Meanwhile I took one of my smaller paintings and scanned it. This came out all right. I tried to color correct the image but the room our computer in was too dark to do this with any accuracy.

I painted this in 1997. It is about 11" x 14" I have two others that are the same size and style. We had them hanging together in our kitchen. I'll scan the other two this weekend.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

And the winner is...

Has a softball game last night. We were down 8 - 2 going into the 6th inning. Then we exploded for 10 runs. We ended up winning 13 - 8. I worked a little more on the new flower piece but I was so tired I only worked for about 15 minutes. Since this piece is going to take a long time I am going to snap some pictures of my oil paintings and post them, but not today.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A new flower starts

Spent last night painting an 'X' on the back of the masonite boards. A friend told me if I didn't do that the boards will warp because of the gesso only on one side.

When I finished I started a new flower pen and ink. My last few pieces were a set up still life which I like doing a lot. It was weird to go back to photo reference. This piece will be much bigger than my previous flowers pieces. I want to push the ink aspect of the drawing more this time. We'll see how it comes out.

My wetcanvas fellow artist Stoy Jones added my blog to his blog links. Thanks Stoy. When I get the time I will update my link to the right and add Stoy's and some other blogs I frequent.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Yup, it's done

Took a last look at the piece last night. Made a couple of small changes and called it done. Then I had some free time to organize things and put some gesso on a bunch of masonite panels that I cut out to use for painting.

Monday, May 15, 2006


I finished the fish piece last night. And none too soon. My sepia pencil was down to a nub and I don't have another one. I want to take a fresh look at it tonight before I really call it done. It came out pretty good I think.

Saturday night I went to a friend's 50th birthday party. He sings in a band. During the night people started playing guitar and singing. A drummer started bringing in pieces and played too. During the night it could be one person playing guitar and singing to six people playing and singing at the same time. Met some new friends and had a great time. I never had the guts to get up and play too. I've never done anything like that before so I chickened out.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fish update

We had our first softball game of the season last night. The weather held up. We won 21-2. I went 0 for 3 with a walk.

Worked on the fish some more. It is coming along pretty good. I took a digital picture of my progress, so the image is not that great, but not bad either. I noticed in the image I took that the bottom right shadow seems a bit dark. I'll have to check that out tonight and see if it really should be that much darker. I'm guessing not.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Rowayton Arts Center

Did some sketching in the park yesterday during lunch. Some guys were playing bocce. I thought it would be great to capture the game. But as I started drawing the players some people started gathering in front of me and I couldn’t see the game anymore. So I started drawing the people around me. Then it started raining and I left.

I sent in my check today to become a member of the Rowayton Arts Center. It has been a long time since I have displayed my work. I feel it is time. I went to an opening there over the weekend and they had some great works there.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Sepia Pencil

I started the new drawing with the sepia pencil. Right off the bat I didn't like the feel of it. It has a raspy/scraping feel to it that I don't like. Other than that I am happy with the piece so far.

I wanted an over head view of the fish I am drawing so I have set up on an easel and have to stand while I was drawing. My legs got pretty tired after and hour or so. I took a walk and then came back to work a little more. This piece will be a little slow going. Here is a pict of my set up.

Sunday, May 07, 2006


One charcoal owl for my daughter...done. Did it in one sitting. Now I am off to draw some fish with a sepia pencil. My first time with the sepia pencil.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Flower update

I pulled out the Flower of Paradise and tried to fix the background. It's okay. Better than before anyway. My daughter wants me to make and owl for her room so that will be my next project. I'm going to do it in charcoal. She found a picture on the web that she wants me to copy.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm calling it done

Had my first softball game of the season last night...well, almost. There was a cold drizzle when I showed up to the field. The head umpire said the game wold go on. So we practiced in the drizzle for about a half an hour when the same head umpired called it and and told everyone to go home. Maybe next week.

Later that night I started working on the pots again. I had some good advice from the people at wetcanvas and wanted to give this piece another try. I'm calling it done. It didn't come out too bad.