Painting Over Old Paintings

I don't make a habit of trying to salvage panels from "failed" paintings. At least not for the economics of it. If I do, it's for the possibility of incorporating some of the old painting into the new by letting it survive in a few places. 


For example, my latest painting here, (Shadow Patterns - 8x8" oil on birch wood) I used an old still life that I wasn't happy with. You can see little bits of yellow ocher, blue and mint green in various spots of the stucco wall. I think it makes for an easy and organic way to add texture. 


The only thing you have to be careful about is making sure you don't have any obvious shapes showing through from the texture of the old paint. This technique works best on birch wood or gessobord since you can lightly sand any problem areas. 


Day Trippin

My wife loves this painting but asked me, in its initial stages, if anyone would buy it based on the subject matter... meaning, two strangers walking in a public square with no ties to any potential customers. After pondering this question, which was actually a good one for me to consider, my answer is YES! I think there is a market for it.


Figurative paintings are slices of life. Simple compositions of everyday activity. Here in Day Trippin, we have two people getting on in years, holding hands and sharing a Saturday enjoying the local scenery. To some, this might touch an emotion, maybe remind them of their parents, or just bring a smile to their face because of the sweet nature of it. To others, the subject matter is irrelevant. It's about brushwork, shapes, temperatures and values. And then there are those that simply love the body of work and want whatever the artist has to offer. 


Consider what the "Masters"chose to paint. A women washing clothes, a butcher carving meat, or a fisherman tending his nets. Nothing majestic, for the most part. In fact, pretty mundane stuff. Now maybe they weren't thinking about whether or not someone might buy it, but I think most successful artists simply paint what moves them, not what sells. The latter usually takes care of itself in those cases.


To purchase Day Trippin, please click here.


Desert Floor Sunset

In the high desert of west Texas, twilight is the beginning of life. Oppressive heat gives way to cool, dry air and things begin to happen. The "day" is just beginning for most of the local denizens.  

Spend the night out here and you will hear things. Lots of little sounds of life. Scurrying, digging, howling, hooting and munching. But have no fear. It's like the best "sounds of nature" soundtrack ever. 


This is the view from Paint Gap Road, a primitive camping area in Big Bend National Park.


Desert Floor Sunset -  8x10-inch oil on stretched canvas. To purchase this painting click here.


Beauty in the Weeds

Common Wild Petunia - 6x6-inch oil on canvas panel.
Common Wild Petunia - 6x6-inch oil on canvas panel.

"A weed is a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


We've all seen countless paintings of roses, tulips, daffodils and the like. But what about weeds? I think it's high time (pun intended) to give them their due, so I have decided to start a new series called Beauty in the Weeds. These paintings will feature various weeds found in Texas yards, farms and other locations where their existence might not be as appreciated.


Many of these so-called weeds are actually useful. Horse Herb, for example, makes for a great ground cover in shade. And where poor soil exists, they weeds are extremely important for preventing erosion.


But this series will really be about appreciating the beauty found in their flowers. 


With that intro I present the Common Wild Petunia. I found this one in my yard, but I don't necessarily consider it a pest. It seems to grow where my grass won't. 


Blue Jay

There's something about a blue jay's loud jeer that brings on a nostalgic feeling I can't really explain. Our senses have a way of doing that, of taking us places in a form of time travel.

Like smelling freshly mowed grass or holding an old book read to you as a child and pausing over one particular illustration for some unknown reason. Tasting butterscotch pudding or chili made from your Dad's recipe. 


These little sensory memory cells hold bits and pieces of us for a lifetime. Waiting to be summoned at a moment's notice.


Blue Jay - 6x6-inch oil on canvas panel.