Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The St Petersburg Pelican Finds a New Home in the Mayor's Office

Well that was fun....

 I've recently started a series of paintings featuring the local flora, fauna and creatures in the St Petersburg area. 

One of the mayor's employees purchased one of my art prints of a pelican and proudly displayed it in the lobby of the Mayor's office. From what I was told by one of the shops I have art in, the mayor has a few of my dog art prints in his home.  

Three cheers for small victories ;-) Speaking of which, I also had my first international Etsy sale this week. No big deal for old pros but for a relative newbie like myself it's quite a feather in my cap. Apparently the appeal of the pug transcends all geographical boundaries ;-) 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Goth Kitteh Finale

Viola! Finished with this kitty pet portrait. Black fur is a big challenge but I think this worked out alright. I love that this cat actually has the little vampire teeth. I think this slightly dramatic background really brings out the eyes and teeth. What say you? 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

How to Paint a Ragdoll Cat

This week one of my pet portrait commissions is from a California client. It's particularly challenging because the reference photos are a little hard to work with. I can't quite work, compositionally speaking, from the shots I have. Fortunately, with a little skill I can re imagine this girl in a more classic pose. I've been doing pet portraits here in the Tampa area for over a decade now. I've had to try this before. 

Another request the client had was for me to use more local, conservative color. If you've ever seen my work you'd know that's the opposite of what I normally do. Fortunately again, I have years of experience painting classically toned murals so I can apply the same technique here.

 So far so good! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Goth Art Weekend Part One

As a devoted fan of both Loveline and the Film Vault I was elated to hear that Anderson pulled the trigger on his crowdfunding campaign to generate funds for his movie. I donated a 16 by 20 sized pet portrait as a raffle prize to help raise money. The winner, a really cool guy named Marc, has an adorable little cat with vampire teeth. 

I decided not to go full Halloween with it. I wanted a bit of a dramatic flair but also to retain a feel of elegance and formality. I've gone with some abstracted violet drapes to impart a feel of regality. I think the deep tones will really make the eyes and teeth stand out as the stars of this show.

I was then inspired to start a painting of my girlfriend who is also of the goth persuasion. So far so good. I've been doing a lot of these little face paintings lately to try and loosen up with my painting technique. I'm looking forward to doing some more this week. Maybe Ray Liotta?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Cigar Magic

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away...OK...It was Tampa...and probably just feels like eons ago today....I did some faux painting and murals for some great clients. The fun part was that the husband spoke Spanish only so interpreting his design ideas required some creative hand gestures and a whole lotta guessing. I actually enjoyed reading his satisfaction with our work by reading it on his lit-up face. He had a very expressive "thumbs up" as well. 

One of the areas I remember him being particularly fond of was his game room. It was replete with card tables, billiards, beer fridge and a humidor stocked with his signature favorite cigars. The problem was the walls were flat, beige and boring. We decided to spice things up...or at least I think that's what we were saying....and we agreed on a cigar-toned suede to add a warm, masculine flair to the room. 

Then...he pointed to this. The ugly ol' fuse boxes. 

It took a little caffeination and inspiration but I came up with this solution. Unless I read my international cues incorrectly I'm supposing his beaming smile meant that he was happy with the fix. TaDa! 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Faux Wood Painting in Tampa

This was a fun little project from a few years back. A chiropractor in Wesley Chapel, Florida wanted some faux finishing on the front reception desk to add a little warmer welcome to arriving clientele. I love faux painting things to look like wood and it seemed to me the obvious solution would be to continue the cherry wood finish from the nearby bookshelves. Here's what it looked like before. 
 And here's how it turned out! I kept the faux wood graining finish simple so as not to distract or overcomplicate the look. There's a slight sheen to it that makes it feel nice and clean. 

I faux painted the rest of the office in a warm fresco finish. I felt that added an organic, elegant feel to the office that balanced out the clinical feel. All in all, a simple solution that I feel has a nice impact. 

Monday, February 27, 2017

Patchin' n' Paintin'

Look, I'm no magician (although I do aspire to someday be a wizard) I do take a special sort of pleasure in producing a little paint magic now and then. Now and then I will get a call from a client who seeks to fix, match or patch some faux painting that was done years, sometimes over a decade, ago. I have no idea what colors, type of paint and glazes may have been used. I find it takes quite a bit of sleuthing to detect the basecoat color lurking beneath layers of paint colors.

I find the healthiest attitude I can take when doing these projects is to imagine I'm in some weird gameshow and this is one of the challenges. I also enjoy the puzzle or challenge of figuring it out as it tests my color knowledge in a unique way. I may be a bit of a masochist. Aren't we all in some ways?

This project was similar to this one from 2013 in that the paint had been applied a million years ago and there was no way to track down the formula. The wall had been severely dented and the patch was clumsy. After cleaning the wound (cleaning all the excess spackle off the wall) I mixed and matched the autumn tones and golds until I thought it looked as good as possible. Nothing is perfect, of course, but upon seeing these pics again I declare "not too shabby".

If you ever find yourself in a situation like this I find that it's useful to work in some additional areas of interest near the actual patch to draw the eye away. Also, don't let your OCD kick in. One thing I've learned over the years is that people aren't inherently scanning for mistakes. More often than not no one even sees the patch. Learning to step away and see with fresh eyes is an art unto itself. But that's a post for another day.