Saturday, December 27, 2008

Portrait of an Artist

Portrait of an Artist | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

This is a painting I just completed of a total stranger. Who is this woman with the lovely smile?

I was paired up with her on the Different Strokes from Different Folks blog. 130 artists submitted a photograph of themselves and in doing so, agreed to paint a portrait of one of the other artists. So this fine lady has been given my photo to create a portrait of me as well. I'm anxious to see it.

What is she thinking about as she studies the colors, curves and lines of my face? As I painted her, I tried to bring out the lively artistic spirit I sensed in her photo. I painted this on the standard 5x7" panel that I have been using for most of my blog postings. In hindsight, it may have been easier to paint this on a slightly larger size. I hope she likes it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Star of the East

Star of the East | 4'x8' | oil on Upson board

Something a little different this week. This is a Christmas scene that my grandfather, John Vander Stelt Sr., painted over 50 years ago. It was originally painted as a Christmas decoration for our church here in Maurice. After many advent seasons in the church, followed by many years in storage, I acquired this painting.

It is 4'x8' and painted on a heavyweight cardboard type of material called Upson board. It is framed in a shadowbox frame and lit from below with a fluorescent light. Then trimmed in garland and adorned with blue lights. The star is a single clear bulb. This is now on display in front of our house. Amazingly, it is in good (not great) condition for its age.

I love the fact that he painted this so many years ago and it is still proclaiming the good news of the Christmas story all these years later.

I'd like to thank all of you who have been viewing my work this year and for your words of encouragement. Your comments are appreciated and motivate me greatly.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." - Matthew 2:1-2

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Blue Bully

The Blue Bully | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

The cardinal posting last week inspired me to paint another bird this week. While it's tough to beat the striking red color of a cardinal, one of my favorite birds is the Blue Jay. Granted, the Blue Jay is a bit of a bully around the bird feeder, but I have always thought they were a great looking bird. They were one of my first subjects to draw when I was a kid.

I enjoyed painting a bird again. It was surprisingly easy as far as subjects go, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I just got lucky with this one. Sometimes the paint just flows out of the brush and things come together. While I like the blue in this piece, I really like the whites and shades of gray in the bird's breast feathers the best.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cardinal Red

Cardinal Red | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

It's been a busy week and I haven't had any time to paint, so I'm posting a small painting that I did last year and gave to my Mom for her birthday. Or was it Mothers Day? I don't remember.

Her favorite bird is the cardinal and they are few and far between here. It is really a treat when you see one outside your window. What a beautiful creature. This hangs in my parent's kitchen, so with this painting she gets to see a cardinal every day.

I'm not a wildlife painter, but I do like the way this turned out; especially the abstract shapes and patterns of the background twigs and blurry gray day.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mickey's Diner - No. 2

Breakfast at Mickeys | 5"x7" | oil on hardboard

Eggs, toast and a good cup of joe. A great way to start the day. Hopefully you can tell these are cooked just the way I like 'em. Sunny side up. This is a breakfast I ate some time ago at Mickey's Diner.

I think the angle and the tight cropping adds to the visual interest. It creates some nice shapes.

And for some reason, there are few things that are as good looking or feeling as a thick. heavy, curvy diner mug.

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