Category Archives: painiting

Finishing Paintings: A New Series Finds Closure

This painting was inspired by a ride in East Texas. I liked the grouping
of the drakes and the females looking on. It was a quick snapshot that turned into a long process of capturing a cool autumn day.

Since I started the painting, there have been many starts and stops. I have also had several times studying mallards at a local park to get the personality and eyes right on the males.

I aim to capture that relationship between characters in nature. When I go and study the ducks, they always know I’m there, they just keep their comfortable distance.

I was also aiming for the dark colors of autumn but the warmth of light on the reeds and the shiny green heads of the males. This is the first in the series, tomorrow I will have another I just finished: A hawk from a fence near Hagerman Wildlife Refuge.

Drakes

Fear of the Canvas

florida_intercoastal

I’ve just realized why I have been avoiding painting recently, not really avoiding it but just having a harder time settling down. Many of the works have been in progress for quite a while so getting back to them is often like picking up a strangers painting.

The amazing point is when suddenly you stop thinking about what you need to do and just start slashing at the canvas with purpose. There are unseen shapes and connections of shapes that come out of the surface of the paint and you fill in the blanks instinctively.

A stumbling block is the fear, especially when you like what you’ve started but there is no room for timid strokes in painting or anything else creative. Once you stop and think or attempt the safe way you might as well save painting for later.

Painting should be bold, excited and even a bit reckless. My thought is every painting is a potential mistake that will never see the light of day. This is the time you learn the most, when you are free to forcefully and confidently paint without fear of failure.

One particular technique that takes a lot of time going back and forth is the light on water, it starts out overly dramatic and slowly becomes more realistic. There are points where the light seems right, others when there seems to be a bump in the horizon and you have confidently fix the problems and continue to focus while you see the image you’ve been working on go from good to worse to good again.

Another aspect is painting objects, straight lines and architecture, something that often needs to be reworked and perfected. You are happy with the background and suddenly you’ve just destroyed it with the object that you overlapped-often the background needs to be reworked with the object as you work to perfect both.

I am excited about the process and while I continue to get bits of time to paint, I am adding to an already large painting list. Let me know what you think of the new images.
swallowspsd

Painting: Deliberate until something develops

undertheseasm

There are so many different feelings when you paint, sometimes it’s pushing paint around, sometimes it’s deliberate, even mechanical and sometimes it’s instinctual, tonight’s  sitting was a little bit of all of them.

I started with an under painting and it was one of the more deliberate paintings I’ve started, unfortunately I didn’t have the full picture, just an idea of clouds moving forward over the viewers head. The actual image is from real life, I have photographs for reference but I’m not completely sure where the clouds end and what the landscape looks like.

I painted the background with perspective lines, every form, every color and every space will be designed with the idea of perspective and I want the viewer to feel overwhelmed by the clouds overhead.

As I tend to do, I switched gears after finishing a monochromatic under painting I turned to the painting of a scene from beneath Shark River Inlet in Belmar New Jersey. This painting was inspired thirty plus years ago and it still stood clear.

I painted with a clear feeling of purpose but as suddenly as it began it ends and I wasn’t sure if I was done with the painting or should start all over. The problem is the idea and image is strong but the recollection is so hard to bring back to mind. I will continue to study it until I know it’s either done or time to start over.

Another thing about painting, sometimes you feel like you’ve created your best work and sometimes the same painting looks like a mistake. I got back to the grackles above the city, an image that I started at the end of the last series, again I had that feeling of instinct kick in and for thirty minutes or so I painted like I figured out the problem.

None of the paintings are finished but I feel like I’m shaking off the stagnation and getting in the process. The most exciting thing about painting instinctual is that images appear that you didn’t necessarily know you were creating they just come out of the details you’ve worked in feverishly.

I’m excited about this series and feel it will be a huge step toward my future painting style and feel.

Stay tuned, more paintings coming very soon.

gracklessm

Back to the Artists Studio

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Last night I finally started painting again. The excitement and inspiration spilled over into the next day. It is a liberating feeling after being stifled for so long and suddenly it all makes sense.

I think the only negative is that suddenly there are more ideas, images and concepts than I can get done in the time available. This is when my lists get overwhelming.

I first started on the third in a series of swallow paintings. The work is smaller than the two previous but more detailed, with a larger population of swallows than the previous paintings.

The name of the work is the celebration, it is a scene from a local bridge in Rowlett after the spring rain. I saw a swarm of swallows that surrounded the bridge and flew under and around the structure. There was a feeling of excitement; nature in celebration, the drought was finally over.

The second painting I work on was a brand new painting called calvary The last time I went to church, I had an amazing image of calvary surrounded by stained glass. This is going to be one of my most colorful paintings and it is a bit of a departure from previous works.

I’m very excited about finally getting back to work and I can’t wait to see the new views as they become real.

So much to learn, So little time: 5 of 5

newgarden

Back to the original post, it takes time. There are shortcuts to find and retaining clients but there are no shortcuts to knowing them. You can’t fake relationship with a potential client, you must be there for them as they are for you.

I speak with the metaphor of a gardener and being one, it seems appropriate. Disperse seeds, don’t expect a quick pay out but realize why you are in the business in the first place, do you care about your customers?

If you don’t care about them, they will quickly not care about you and your product. I believe in laying the future, getting to know people, having more people realize you may something they need and living life with a passion that pays when others endeavors don’t

In the end, I have no doubt that I will reap the benefits of the broad garden of pictures, thoughts and ideas which will one day be book covers, stories in e-books and paintings on walls, it just takes time, did I mention it takes a lot of time.

You just need to use your time wisely. Do what you love and do it well and often and share it with as many people who care about what you are selling, the rewards will come much like the garden that grows from the seeds you planted in the spring, and it will be beautiful.

 

The Sublime Magazine article on Artbygordon

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See full issue!

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Kayaking Lake Murray Oklahoma

Saturday evening was cold and windy, after a two hour drive up highway thirty five we get to a spot    near Tucker Tower to put the kayaks in and the wind is ridiculous. It took much of our will to get the kayaks down and get the water shoes and actually commit to going in, especially since we only had two hours or so to be on the water before sunset but we decided to go ahead with it. My first problem, getting hung up on a stump while the wind pushed me the opposite direction-very awkward I must admit-an awkwardness I haven’t felt for a while after getting more used to fishing ad kayaking. In the beginning it was a very awkward process-I’ve lost a rod or two and even snapped a rod in the first try at it but I’ve gotten more comfortable over the last few months and every time it seems to be more enjoyable and I get more accustomed to the process.

It was a rough week, too many stressful things happening in the news-we all know what happened just Friday and here I am in the middle of a lake trying to relax and get past it. There is something about sitting in the middle of a beautiful lake just as the sun is going down. Lake Murray is particularly beautiful, I have vacationed there for years but had never been able to boat across it and it was an amazing experience. The water is emerald green and you can see ten feet to the bottom, it is surrounded by trees and huge limestone cliffs. There are loons, bald eagles and great blue herons that are regular visitors and on Sunday afternoon I even saw a kingfisher fly by. Suddenly everything that stresses you out just melts away and all that seems to exist is water, lots of water and the sound of the wind-which after we had gotten in for an hour or so, calmed down to a soft breeze. I heard an owl on the edge of a grove of cedar trees and it’s one of those amazing sounds that is both soothing and haunting.

I studied the water between cast in lures and made mental notes for future painting. Tucker Tower loomed above us shining a light across the water as the clouds covered and darkened the sky. We stayed in the water into the evening, the sky reflected in the water and the moon was a ghost behind the clouds. I have many sketches in my mind of several scenes-I will definitely have future paintings of the trip very soon. I realized as the sun went into its final position beneath the horizon, I was relaxed and peaceful- a feeling I have aspire to for the last few years and have known it only as an illusive state that I barely remember. It’s hard to stop and watch the sunset but on a kayak, you have no where to go, no one is pushing and prodding you. Time seems to slow down and you are suspended out in the middle of an amazing lake with nothing to do but relax.

We didn’t catch anything-maybe a cold but still-no fish-I’ve heard it’s harder when it gets colder to find the schools but the areas that we fished seemed prime for  smallmouth bass and nothing. I still enjoyed every moment of it and my son and nephew both agreed as well that it was one of the best times and the most beautiful lakes we have been on. Catching fish is a fun and wonderful addition to a trip but just being out there away for a short amount of time replaces something that time and age seems to take from us, some intangible calm we can’t find anywhere else but the outdoors. We had the lake to ourselves all evening and even the next day after sleeping over, I came home rejuvenated, I can’t wait to visit ten lakes in the coming spring break-we will go to ten lakes in eight or nine days.

You can’t control what is happening in the world, you can’t change the bad things that happen in society but you can get away from it for a while, you can get a different perspective even if it is just for a weekend or even just an evening. We need to stop, enjoy the beauty around us and hopefully we’ll find the peace we tend to overlook-  until next time get out and explore-it’s what freedom is all about.