I did this painting in 2000. Sometimes what I do is read about other artists and immerse myself in their work. I study it and think about it. A couple of my favorites are Andrew Wyeth and Georgia O'Keeffe. Then I think, what it would it look like if I tried something like what they did.
My dad was talking about selling his farm. I thought, "Someday this will all be different." I went around and took pictures of everything. This painting is based on one of those photographs. My dad never made any art, but he'd unceremoniously display the antlers of every deer he killed. When I looked at these, it reminded me of Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings of skulls and bones. So I thought, I'll draw them Andy Wales style. I was really fascinated with the affects of time and weather on the barn boards, rusty hinges and bones. Now somebody's got ugly shiny metal siding over that beautiful barn.
The technique is called pencil and wash. I really like doing them. You do a finished pencil drawing, then stain it with watery washes of watercolor. I learned this trick from an artist of putting down a border with masking tape. Then when the painting is finished, pull it up. You get this crisp clear border. I put them in frames without mats, because I'm usually too broke for such luxuries.
This is where the magic happens! Here are some pictures to provide a virtual tour of Eclectic Studios, otherwise known as my basement, across from the laundry room. It may look a little rough, but I'm very thankful to have a place that is just for my art.
This is something I made as a final assignment for a class I just finished. I especially enjoyed illustrating the ideas and theories of Howard Gardner and Thomas Armstrong as I was learning about them myself.
These are some sketches from a Robin comic. It's not easy to draw a scene that is essentially just two people talking. I wanted to learn from the artist some novel approaches to this task. I liked how he constantly changed vantage points, almost never using the same one.
This photo shows me and the Boy Scout troop my sons and I are part of. During summer camp, one of our projects was making a new sign for the climbing pavilion, which the scouts have nicknamed "The Man-Cave". Dan and I sketched the design out and started the carving with a router. Then each of the scouts used hand carving tools to finish the design. The camp loved it and it will be hung from the rafters of The Man-Cave!
Update: The photo at the top of the post shows what our sign looks like now that it's installed.