Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Monument Valley

Some think the desert is a mundane, colorless and lifeless wasteland. Those who have seen the Grand Canyon, Zion, Brice and Monument Valley know the wonders and variety of magnificent colors nature offers to those who are willing to open their eyes. The pillars of sandstone are monuments of volcanoes that once dominated the landscape in what is now called Monument Valley.

This 18x24 oil on canvas can be yours for $ 324 plus shipping.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Results

A few days ago I posted that I was commissioned to paint the house of  my client's mother and here is the nearly finished painting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Commission Art

I just received my first art commission! The customer wants a painting of his mother's home in time for Christmas. He emailed me an image of the house so I could analyze the work involved before quoting him a price.

We exchanged emails for about an hour in a question and answer session until I felt I understood what feeling he wanted the painting to portray.

While painting I'll send him images of the work in process, offering him the opportunity to inject his emotions into the piece.

When the painting is finished he'll be the artist while I became the brush that applied the paint.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Safety Harbor Arts and Crafts

I knew better but couldn't resist attending the Safety Harbor Arts and Crafts event on Sunday, December 13th. They had a large contingent of vendors and from the number of people walking by my booth they had a decent turn out.

They should have called it Safety Harbor Crafts show since the only artist present was myself, which left little competition for those art lovers that never showed up. Perhaps other artist learned from previous years that attending this event was not worth the work or cost.

Quite a few slowly walked by as if interested in the work I presented and other tire kickers came in for a closer look. Compliments on my work were generously given but when pressed about purchasing the age old excuses filled the booth - "I don't have the wall space" or "I have too many pictures already".

The next art show I'll attend will be the Cape Coral Art Festival in early January. This show will determine if I continue travelling the circuit for it draws several thousand people and if I don't sell enough paintings to cover the cost of attending, future shows will be cancelled.

I really thought having a booth was a sure way to move some of my paintings, but so far it has failed to do so.

Anyone out there have a suggestion?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Gulf Setset

18x24 Oil on canvas
The Gulf of Mexico sunsets off of Dunedin Causeway are spectacular! Storm clouds rolling in from off shore offers a dramatic effect.

 $325 unframed or shipping cost.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Brad Fishing

Good friend for many years Brad posted a photo on his facebook timeline that I couldn't resist. I asked if he minded me painting the scene and his only request was to show him the results, which I did throughout the creation.


24x30 oil on canvas was created by an inspiration from a sunset from the Dunedin Causeway.
In an effort to release my inner creativity I trying to escape m;y ties to detail of realism painting.

$504 without frame or shipping cost.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Osceola Art Fair

Monday morning and trying to recover from a hectic weekend.

Loaded up the U-Haul trailer Friday morning and headed to Kissimmee later in the afternoon. Using the bed of my little Toyota Tacoma to house most of the walls of the booth, I had plenty of room for all the artwork I was taking. From the fair's website they expected a large turnout and the beautiful sunny days should have helped.

Motel reservations were set-up through Verizon to use some of my accumulated points. I had selected a Howard Johnson motel not far from the event, but when we found, what we believed to be the right one, it wasn't, and they reported that there were three within two miles. Asking it they could call the others to determine which one had our reservation, we were told that they were independently  owner so they didn't communicate with the other ones.

Climbing back into our pickup, we headed down the street to the next HJ - which didn't have our reservation nor a helpful reservation clerk.

With the last location just down the street, we decided to call them to see if they had our reservation - nope, they didn't have a record of it.

By this time we had connected with our friend ,"Cynthia Creque", who drove from St Augustine to help us set-up and work with us on Saturday. The three of us decided to find an affordable motel near the venue, which worked out well, but the cost of the room was double even though the quality of the Super 8 matched that of the HJ - two stars.

We grabbed a bite to eat and drove into Kissimmee to check in and set-up the booth. Trying to find the allowable entrance to sign in and drive to our booth location was tricky. What I didn't expect was the truck's gear shift becoming locked in "P" park. A line was forming behind us while one of the fair attendants Googled for a solution. After twenty minutes and a nail file we were able to move the sifter into neutral and proceed.

By the time we finished setting up the tent, wall and hanging artwork, it was midnight - boy were we happy the motel was close.

At 9am on Saturday we arrived at the fail in Cynthia's car, since the gear shift was stuck in park. As we faced the front of our tent, the vendor on our left was an artisan of glass blowing and his work was excellent, which drew a great deal of interest. On our right was a photographer who printed his colorful pictures on aluminum. His work drew a great deal of attention, especially the outside wall facing our booth. We hung a few of my art pieces on our side, but unless we told people that we had pieces on the sides of the tent, they ignored my work to gaze upon the photographs.

Over all, Saturday was not very productive, a lot of tire kickers but not one sale. The turn out was lower than expected - the consensus of many vendors. We all hoped that Sunday would be better - I wasn't, but there were more people buying.

One customer, an older lady, purchased "Water Lilly" and she was very interested in another piece, "Egret Fishing", but she had to measure the wall space in her condo to see if it would work - if it works out it would make the two day trip affordable.

I thought one couple might buy "Fall Meadow" for they returned twice to view it, and they asked if we were going to be open on Sunday. They didn't return so my expectations of a land-fall weekend were dashed.

All in all we questioned if traveling to shows is worth the time and money spent. Today Lynne's Fibro is kicking up and she'll remain in bed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mountain Meadow in Fall

18x24 oil on canvas is a continuation of my efforts to present a new style blending abstract elements with the realism of subject matter. Pure abstract displays an artist's creativity since his work is not based on a known object, such as trees, mountains, grass, rock and other objects. His inspiration comes from within then transferred to his choice of platform, such as canvas.

The open, free flowing brush with a mixed color pallet merges well with the hand tremors of Parkinson's.

$195 without frame or cost of shipping.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Art Show at Kissimmee

The 2015 Osceola Art Festival in Kissimmee will take place this coming weekend, Nov. 14-15.  I've been assigned booth space #25, whose location remains a mystery. This will be my first festival without crafts so I am excited to see the difference between people who attend art and craft shows to those coming to see different forms of art.

I am trying to tame my expectations of doing well, but remain optimistic that my work will sell. For those in the Kissimmee area, please stop by and view my work.

Today was a recovery from yesterday when I received an email that I was not invited to attend the Sidewalk Art Show in Winter Park. It was strike two for Winter Park since I wasn't invited to their fall art show. But today I received an acceptance to the Cape Coral Art Festival, which is a very large affair attended by 100,000 people. It takes place January 9-10th of next year.

I believe my work needs to be more creative to be accepted by judges. It seems that the pendulum has swung back towards abstract art and away from realism, like it did in the fifty's and sixties. I find it difficult to approach true abstract art - it just isn't in me. I believe the closest I'll get is a blend of abstract and realism  - something less precise and more colorful.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Art Fairs - What does it take?

If you're like I was your wife dragged you, kicking and screaming, from a Sunday football game to attend a local arts and crafts fair. As you approached the affair the row upon row of white tents reminded you of a jousting match between knights.

Arts and craft shows are an accumulation of people's imagination and a testament of our free enterprise system. I marveled at the imagination and ingenuity of some vendors, but it never occurred to me what it took for them to attend until I became one of the roadies.

I bet you didn't know that for most shows the vendor must send an application along with three images (examples) of their work, as well as an image of their booth (tent), and application fee, which ranges anywhere from $15 - 35 dollars.

A jury of knowledgeable people will review everyone's application and images to decide which vendors get invited. From an artist's point of view the process is problematic for two reasons - money and planning. To attend a festival I have to apply months in advance and have to wait to hear if I was accepted.

I'm trying to attend one show every month, which forces me to analyze each festival, which entails looking it up on the Internet and review the type of show and how many visitors attended. There are two basic shows, Art and Craft and Art. Attending art and craft shows is less productive than going to art festivals. After attending a couple of A and C shows I discovered that they draw in a different clients than art festivals. Most of the A&C attendees are interested in the crafts and not interested in handing over hundreds of dollars for a painting.

 Getting back to my original train of thought, attending shows, I'm forced to send applications, and money, to at least two shows, which costs me about $775 a year just in jury fees. The real expense is getting accepted. The cost of renting booth space, 10x10 is dependent on the show's draw. A popular show, like "Arts and Apples", which takes place in Michigan, will cost $500 or more. Most charge 250 - 275, which isn't chicken feed. For me to attend a show I must rent a trailer for a long weekend - $75 and I can't forget the cost of accommodations - $200-300 or food.

To maintain an inventory to sell, I have to paint four or five paintings per month and build frames - cost of canvas, paint, and frames vary but adds to the cost of my habit.

If I don't sell two or more paintings per show, my expenses are not covered, which makes it difficult to justify future shows.

Two days prior to the show I get my booth and its walls out of storage and set it up in order to do any necessary repairs, as well as determine the layout of pictures to be hung.

Next time you attend a show, take into account what it takes for that vendor to show you his wears.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fall Meadow

36x48 Oil on canvas
Born and raised in Michigan, October brings back memories of how beautiful autumn was. Inspired I paint a meadow in brilliant fall color. The leaves on the red tree on the left is a composite of Indian red with bright red over lays. The shadows are Indian red mixed with Alizarin Crimson, which presents a darker more robust red. The the brilliant yellow trees on the right are a mixture of lemon yellow, bright red, orange and the shade is a mixture of raw sienna and cadmium yellow.
The sun is behind the scene, casting shadows across the meadow, as well as shadows on the red brush. The pond offers interest from the green grass and colorful foliage.

Using the shadows on the brush, I added the top of trees in the foreground, which gave depth as well as reduce the dominance of the dark-red shrubs. Allowing the pond to run off the canvas confused the viewer, was it a pond or a stream. To define the pond I placed grass and cattails along the bottom of the canvas.

$1200 unframed plus shipping.  

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Brook

18x24 oil on canvas - Another image taken by Brian - I tried to capture the magic of water tumbling over and around rocks.
$295 plus shipping

Beer Glorious Beer

24x30 oil on canvas - Painted from an image taken by my cousin Brian Zingler and it speaks for itself.  $500 unframed, plus shipping.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

First Abstracts

Oil on 18 x 24 canvas - cabin in meadow

Waves in Bay 16x20 oil on canvas

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Rain, rain go away

I prepared for Fallfest in Chapel Hill, NC for a week - wrapping each piece of art to protect them during the 10 hour drive. Driving my 4 cyl, 1996 Toyota and hauling a 4x8 foot trailer took longer than usual; without cruse control my right leg muscles were locked in position.

Rain was off / on without any real heavy downpours, which always creates white-knuckle fun. During the trip my family called to inform me of the bad weather conditions I was driving into. The hurricane was a possible threat since they forecasters couldn't agree on when or if it would collide with the east coast.

All art and craft shows state that their event will take place rain or shine so vendors either show-up or donate the cost of their booth space. Regardless of weather conditions I was going to show up in order to protect my investment.

Rain and wind started to become an issue on Friday so I called the contact number for the event to see if they were going ahead or cancel. I was told they would make a determination later that afternoon. With time on my hands I drove into Southern Pines, NC to visit with my art mentor, Frank Pierce. I removed some of the art from the rear of the trailer to show Frank and receive the head nod and smile indicating his approval.

Without uttering an critical word, he pulled a 8 x 20 inch piece of mat board from the trash and proceeded to demonstrate how he paints trees and their adjoining limbs. He handed me the brush and said, "your turn", before walking away. Throughout the afternoon we took turns adding elements to painting until we ran out of room.

I asked his gallery manager, Nancy, if she would check the Fallfest website and as expected they cancelled the event. They would refund the cost of my booth space, but the expense of driving from Florida to NC and back again would fall on me - worst yet, I wouldn't sell a painting.

Since my agenda was freed-up, I asked if the art lesson Frank usually offers on Saturday mornings was still on the calendar. It was cancelled, but the event they were going to attend was also dropped so we agreed to meet around 11 am to paint together and work on abstract art. Why? Because most interior decorators are looking for this type of art with various color combinations which works well with any room color scheme.

I emphasized I didn't want to stray too far from landscapes, which are my passion and fuels my creativity. From his small library of art books he selected a couple artist who paint abstract landscapes, which helped me visually grip the concept, but my real challenge would be training my mind to transition from realism to abstract.

A 18x24 inch canvas was purchased on my way to the gallery and Nancy kindly offered me the use of her paints. From one of the art books I selected a piece I could connect with and started to lay it out on the canvas. I had started painting in the sky as I usually do until Frank removed the brush from my hand. He proceeded to demonstrate the technique for painting abstracts. After a dozen or more strokes with a heavily laden brush he handed the instrument back to me and said, "have fun and remember big strokes with lots of paint".

I finished my project and Nancy offered me several 16 x 20 canvases to practice on - Frank grabbed on and I watched as he went crazy with bold colors and swirling shapes that seemed to flow from his creative center. When he finished I took the challenge and decided to capture a section of a wave using thaloblue and green, a touch of yellow and white. As I worked I became less connected to my work and decided to wipe the canvas and start over. While removing the paint I began to like the image that remained. I began working on new found image when Frank stopped by and commented he like my start, then proceeded to pickup a pallet knife and demonstrate its use in doing abstract art. Handing me the knife I debated between plunging it into his heart or into the mound of paint piled high on the pallet.

I decided on painting, a wiser choice. We then turned our attention to using acrylics rather than oils, since the drying time for acrylics allows the artist freedom continue working on his picture.

I'll post my work after I download the images from my i-pad.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Chapel Hill's Festifall

For those living in NC I would appreciate if you would put the word out that Chapel Hill's Festifall will be taking place Oct 3,4. I'll be exhibiting my wares at location B13, which is on Franklin St.

15% of the gross sales of my pieces will be donated to the Michael J Fox Foundation - I call my project "Art For Parkinson's".

I'll have over fifty paintings with a variety of pricing, sizes and composition to select from. My next show will be in November in Kissemmee, Florida

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Mountain Sunset

Created as a composite from photos taken while working for the National Park Service. This 30x36 is oil on canvas and sells for $520 plus shipping. The photo does not capture the detail in the sunset portion of the work.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Marketing My Art

I'm now a member of the "Max Grumbacher Art Gallery", which you can visit by clicking on this link Coxen Creations . It is yet another outlet to get your artwork out where people can view it. Over the past years I have found that artist and authors are a dime a dozen. Some are better than others, but it doesn't matter. There are two things that make you successful; tenacious marketing and dumb luck.

Throughout my life I was told that hard work brought success - not true. I believe luck plays a larger roll than most people think. Perhaps working hard will enhance ones chance of being discovered, but often it comes down to being at the right place at the right time.

I've worked hard at everything I've been involved with, one would say I given over 100% effort, which is impossible, but the only thing I've received recognition for was 100% attendants when I was on the safety patrol in grade school.

I'm not complaining, although it might sound that way, no I'm stating a fact of life. Immediate recognition is like the lottery, out of millions of people your chance to obtain recognition are about the same odds of winning "Power Ball". However, like the lottery, you can not win unless you play. So each day I try new avenues to expose my work to as many people as possible. Perhaps one day I'll hit the jackpot - but time is not on my side, I have two things working against me, age and Parkinson's.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mixing Colors

There can be a great deal of confusion on the part of new painters trying to understand the color wheel and mixing colors.

While many paint manufactures offer a variety of premixed paints, I prefer to mix my own to attain the hue and value I'm looking for. To help newbies grasp an understanding I'll try to explain - in doing so I do understand other artist use what works for them.

Color can be described in three basic characteristics: hue, value, and chroma. Often “hue” and “color” are interchangeable, although, “hue” from my experience, is more transparent than permanent colors, which contain additives, such as cadmium, which make the colors cover better.
Colors are further classified by their characteristics, such as; dark and light, warm and cool, dull and bright. As an example, all reds from pink to maroon, from fiery red to wine red are part of the color family of red. The variation of a color can be further identified as “value” and “chroma”.

Red, yellow and blue are the three primary colors, which form the basis for mixing all other hues. White is often used to lighten the value of a color, and it is natural to think that black is used to darken a color, which is not true in every case.

Using different values of the primary colors produce colors that range from dull to bright. If you use the same value of red to produce both purple and orange, the purple may look dull, muddy. It is best to use two different values of reds, such as one from the warm side and other from the cool side. 
So what are warm and cool colors? Warm colors contain variations of red – (think of fire), while cool ones contain vary amounts of blue – (think cold blue). Mixing together a color’s cool and warm sides will produce a neutral color. An example; using a cool rose red mixed with blue will make purple and a warm orangery red mixed with yellow will make orange and in both cases the colors will be brighter colors. This process is called the “split-primary system”

Cadmium Yellow medium is warm, while  Lemon Yellow Hue is cool - why? Because Cadmium Yellow has a touch of red, while Lemon Yellow has a bit of blue

Cadmium Red Hue is warm  - more on orange side        Permanent Rose is cool has blue

Thalo Blue is warm - touch of green                            French Ultramarine Blue is cool


The three secondary hues: orange, green, and violet are bi-products of mixing the three primary colors – Blue and Yellow will make green, Red and Yellow = orange and Purple is a mix of red and blue. 
When mixing primary colors it is best to start with the lighter color and add small amounts of the darker one until you obtain the color you’re looking for.
Orange: Cadmium Yellow Medium + Cadmium Red Hue
Green: Lemon Yellow Hue and Thalo Blue
Violet: French Ultramarine Blue and Permanent Rose


Are made by mixing a primary color to its secondary color – Yellow + Green = yellow green or Blue +Green = blue green

A color is either on the light or dark side. A color’s value is said to be higher the lighter it is, while its value decreases as it becomes darker. To further confuse the your understanding, lighter colors are called “tints” while darker ones are called “shades”. 
A color's higher value is obtained by adding white, but shades are more complicated. Some colors can be darkened using black, which can be made by mixing the darkest value of secondary hues, But it can not be used to darken lighter colors because blacks are a blend – To prove this fact, add yellow to black and you’ll get a green. 
So what does one do to darken lighter colors? Use earth tones: Yellow Orchre, Burnt Umber, and Raw Sienna are replacements for dark yellows, while Burnt Sienna is used as a dark orange. Thalo Green and Alizarin Crimson are used to darken greens and reds.

YELLOW OCHRE: Is mostly yellow

BURNT UMBER:Used to darken yellow, but you’ll have better results using Yellow Ochre and Burnt Umber

            RAW SIENNA: can be used to darken warm yellows, which are ones that lean towards the orange hues

BURNT SIENNA: can be used to darken orange and can be added to bright colors in landscape paintings to soften them.

            ALIZARIN CRIMSON: Is a deep red used to darken lighter reds

            THALO GREEN: Can be used to darken other greens and is often used as a base green and is mixed with a variety of different light colors. I was taught to use Sap Green, which is a more neutral green so it can be mixed with blues to get blue-green or yellow for yellow green. I found using Thalo Green as a base offers a variety of bright greens, whereas Sap Green is less intense. 

Yellow-green is darken with Thalo Green
Yellow – is darken with Yellow Ochre or Burnt Umber
Blue-green is darken with Thalo Blue and Thalo Green
Blue-violet is darken with French Ultramarine blue and violet
Red-violet is darken with Alizarin Crimson and dark violet
Red-orange is darken with Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna

Yellow-orange is darkened with Raw Sienna and Burnt Sienna

Next time you look at your color wheel, notice that it is divided in half  between warm and cool colors. This become important as ones painting becomes more fine tuned.

If this helps, let me know - next I'll address Chroma

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Visit My New Facebook Page

To separate my artist information from my personal, I created a new Facebook page Coxen Creations

Friday, September 11, 2015

Egret Fishing

From a photo taken at Bush Gardens of a egret fishing for dinner. Oil on 24x36 canvas captures the delicate and graceful nature of a white egret.  I still have some finish touches to make, but couldn't wait to post what I have accomplished over the past week. When the paint dries, I'll add a light glaze to add depth to the submerged rocks.

This is the final product after 60 hours of work - give or take a couple. Adding the palm leaves in the upper left gives the piece a feeling of intimacy and the grass in the bottom left corner gives depth.  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


I took a photo of the daisies in my daughter's garden thinking they would make a great painting, which they did - however, I didn't figure in the number of petals I had to paint to obtain the composition I wanted - Yeps

 Oil on a 20x24 inch canvas  $240 plus freight (a deal)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sun Setting

Oil on 18x24 canvas - the photo was sent to me by my daughter Heather. In the original photo the foreground was silhouetted against the water. This worked in the photo but not for an oil painting. I added sand, which added interest to the foreground.

$259 plus freight

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ocean Waves

A couple of years ago I painted "waves" on a 24x48 canvas and got great reviews from those who visited our home. My wife liked it so much, she wouldn't let me sell it. After a suggestion from my oldest daughter, "why don't you paint another one?" So I did! It is similar to the first, but like finger prints, they are not the same.

This offering is on a 24x36 canvas and it goes to the highest bidder starting at $650 plus freight. Why is more expensive - because there is two and a half large tubes of titanium white paint, which adds another 60 dollars to the material cost, and don't get me started on the time took to paint it. This is why painters starve or cut off ears while waiting to be discovered.

Monday, August 24, 2015


This 16x20 oil on canvas was painted from a photograph taken by my sister last winter. You'll notice that the cardinal is just off center and takes a position in the upper 1/3 of the canvas. I used a blend of sap green, phathogreen green and blue to give the needles the blueish cast of the Colorado Blue Spruce.

This photo does not show the detail given to the snow.


Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I love the Iris - they remind me of my mother

18x24 oil on canvas painted from a photo taken by my sister.

$320 plus freight

Monday, August 17, 2015

The Garden

Using a photograph I took while golfing, I expanded the picture by adding rocks in the foreground and a fence in the background. The eye is drawn to the trellis then follows the fence line where it is stopped by the tree and moves to the flower garden.

18x24 oil on canvas $259 plus shipping  - for more information contact me through the comment section

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Fall Color In Morning Mist

Painted from a photograph, this 18x24 piece is painted with oils on canvas. I was drawn to this composition because of the tree on the right. Its long branches are like tentacles reaching out. The misty backdrop sets the stage for the three trees in the foreground,  however, the eye is drawn to the bush, which I placed off center. The branches keep the viewer actively involved.

$ 250 plus shipping

Fence Post In Ivey

Oil on 18x14 canvas was painted from a photograph taken by my sister. I loved the picture's composition and the transition from sunny meadow to the shaded fence post. The red berries add color to the predominant green foliage.

$192 plus shipping


This 16x20 oil on canvas board was painted from a photograph taken my sister. I used an acrylic gel to build up the paint in order to give the flowers a three dimensional appearance.

Price $192 plus shipping

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Every Artist Has a Story

Every artist has a story describing their journey on becoming an artist, mine spans sixty years, and includes a few art lessons, and a second place ribbon in an art show.
 I was born with artistic ability and an imbedded need to periodically express it. God given talent is a blessing and a curse, for the recipient often takes their ability for granted, and under states the quality of their work. I arrived at this conclusion after reviewing some of the art I produced over the years.
My artistic creativity came in spurts, often years separated my sudden desire to produce works of art, which prompted me to explore different mediums; pencil, charcoal, pastels, water color, acrylics, pen & ink and finally oils.
The cycle was severed in 2010 when I decided to take lessons from Frank Pierce, owner of “Eye Candy Gallery” in Southern Pines, North Carolina. His style spoke to me so I signed up for six lessons. By the sixth lesson I had learned the technical skills necessary to develop my own style, but there was more. The talent I kept locked away was released, and along with it a way to reduce my symptoms of Parkinson’s.
I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005 but with medication I was able to control the symptoms and continued to work as a technical writer for four years. By 2009 the stresses at work exacerbated my symptoms, making it impossible for me to function. By July I stopped working and filed for Social Security disability.
By the end of my art lessons I had developed a regiment of painting every day. I soon discovered that painting improved my ability to focus and it brought a peacefulness that encompassed my soul and reduced several of my symptoms.

Believing I had reached a level of painting that is marketable, I searched the Internet for art galleries that may be interested in displaying my work. I happened upon the Art Design Consultant’s website and read their pitch for artist to submit images of their work, as well as their website. I decided to take a risk and stick my neck out in order to determine what art professionals thought of my work. I was pleasantly surprised by the positive response I received and decided to add my name to their list of artist.
I find it interesting that most of my life I searched for business I could call my own and after several failures, the answer was under my nose.

Monday, July 13, 2015

The West Coast

Roots twist around trunks, they bury their roots into the earth to defy the wind. 24x36 oil on canvas $ 625.

Old Barn

Painted this old barn in black in white

24x30 oil on canvas $ 325  SOLD

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Sea Grass and Shells

Walking on a beach near St Augustine at low tide, I happened upon clumps of sea grass along with various sea shells. The composition was interesting so I took a picture which resulted in this painting.

Oil on a 24x30 canvas $375 + shipping without frame  

Monday, July 6, 2015

Sea Grapes

Oil on  24x30 canvas   $370 + shipping

The sea grape bush is common to Florida. Its leaves are large and leathery and could be used as a fan. In early summer green fruit hangs from the branches, which are similar in appearance to regular grapes. My neighbor has one in his yard, which I found interesting and studied it in order to paint a life like representation.


Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunset Over The Savannah

The sunlight filtering through the dark clouds washed the Savannah foliage yellow, while turning the stream into road of gold. I used an 18x24 canvas to present mother natures gift.

$335 unframed plus shipping

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Icy Stream

Another one of Brian's photos. Oil on a 16x20 canvas. The red tips of the bushes and the raw sienna reeds add color to the normally dull gray landscape, common during a Michigan winter.

Winter stream

Painted from a photo taken by Brian Zingler. I cropped the image in order to focus on the five trees along a stream. Oil on 16x12 canvas available for $155 unframed plus shipping

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Aspen In Color

22x28 Oil on canvas

Brown Pelican

Strange thing about the pelican
His bill can hold more than his belly can.

22x28 oil on canvas can be purchased for $375 unframed plus shipping.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The aftermath

Two days of melting heat and humidity ended Sunday at 4pm with an approaching thunderstorm. I wish I collected a dollar for every, "Beautiful work", "I love your work", I would have left the show with money in my pocket.

I relate this experience to fishing. I sit in my fishing kayak, knowing hundreds of fish are swimming around me, but no matter what bait I put before them, not one strike. When I asked Sid and Lee, the couple who ran the booth next to ours, how his day was going, he just displayed a disgusted look. He returned the question and I replied, "Everyone just kicking tires".

Most of the paintings I've posted on my blog were offered as bait, most received accolades, but two works caught everyone's eye, "Two Willets Feeding"

and "Pines In The Mist"

Not that either one sold, but I have three interested parties in the 36x48, black and white Willets, which would make the show break even. Each party said they would call me with an offer - I rather have one in hand than three in the bush.

I'm beginning to believe applying to art festivals would be a better investment than arts and craft shows. I would be competing against other artists for customers, customers who are there to purchase art. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Red Tulip

11x14 oil on canvas painted from a picture I took on mother's day. NOT For Sale

Monday, June 1, 2015

Church Gate

16x20 oil on canvas - painted from photo taken while visiting a small village in Monaco. What caught my eye was the partially open gate which seemed to beacon me to peek what was on the other side. NOT FOR SALE

Appalachian Sunrise

16x20 oil on canvas painted from a photo taken by my son Christopher

Mother bird and babies

Oil on 16x20 canvas board - painted from photo taken by Brian Zingler

Sailing into the Fog

Painted on a 16x20 canvas from imagination NOT FOR SALE

Water Lilly

Painted from an image posted by a photographer in Southern Pines involved in what is known is double take. The photographer post their photo on a website and local painters select from the photos posted and paints their rendition. In early spring the art gallery hosting the event hangs the framed photo next to the artist's painting. I was taken by the colors and composition of this photo and when it was placed next to the photo, the color of the flower petals matched. 24x30 inch canvas

Live Oaks at Sunrise

Painted from a photograph I took of live oak trees at sunrise. The light made the trees look white, which contrasted well with the dark shadows and blue sky. It is painted on 17x32 piece of masonite

Sand dune at sunrise

Painted from my imagination on a 24x30 canvas

Yellow Iris

Painted from a photo - oil on 12x16 canvas

Longs Peak at Sunrise

I worked for the Park Service for a couple of years and my time was spent on trail crews. They maintain over 500 miles of trails on the Eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park. The mountains take on different moods through the changes in sunlight and clouds. This painting was painted from a photo I took showing the western face of the mountain at sunrise.

30x24 oil on canvas

Friday, May 29, 2015

Corey Ave Arts & Crafts

My second Arts & Crafts event will take place June 6 - 7 on Corey Ave. near St. Pete Beach. I decided to rework the walls of the tent after the pegboard showed signs of wear after just one show. Looked into buying commercial art display panels until I discovered the cost.

Making your own display walls on U-tube and found a couple of alternatives using a polyethylene woven material, which could be purchased at a home improvement store or Joanne Fabrics. Discovered that the home improvement option required the purchase of exterior shades, which was expensive. Joanne Fabrics didn't carry what I was looking for, but found another possibility on the discount table  - 10 yards for 19.99 - but upon checking out I was told it was the price per yard - I let the employee return it to the table.

At Home Depot I happened across outdoor carpet that was 6 x 8 feet and on sale for 17 dollars. Quick math told me I could carpet four panels with one roll. I purchased one in order to test the viability of the project. My first two panels favored the iffy side since I stapled the carpet to the pegboard, then used a razor knife to trim off the excess - couldn't hold a straight line and the staples didn't penetrate without using a hammer.

Wondering what 'Tool man Tim' might do, I decided to cut the carpet using scissors and use spray-on adhesive. Discovered the carpet adhered with a heavy duty commercial grade adhesive, but not so well with hobby adhesive.

Over all it took me three days to complete the project, but the carpet really improves the look of the walls. I also re-engineered how the walls would be assembled, since they were wobbly. Knowing that the up-coming show was close to the beach, wind would be a factor. I figured out a way to secure them to the frame of the tent and with the new weights I made to hold the tent down in wind, the added weight of the walls should hold up against heavy wind.

I'm optimistic that the show will be profitable - although, I am concerned with pricing my work. According to other artist, the rule of thumb is $1 per square inch - unframed. So the question is, 'do I price according to clientele attending or for what the work should be worth?'  Not knowing the volume or type of customers attending this show, I at a loss.  I have always told my children, "Something is only worth what someone is willing to pay."

I have decided to leave the large pieces at home since they would command a thousand dollars or more, and I would be surprised if there would be people walking around with that kind of cash burning a hole in their pocket.

If anyone out in cyber land  would like to weigh in on this, I would welcome the comments.

When I assemble the new booth I'll post pictures.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

The Greenhouse at First Snow

16x20 oil on canvas from digital image - one of the most detailed works I have done. I love the shadows and contrast  of light.

Sand dune at the Beach

Painted from memory on 11x14 canvas

Trail To Misty Mountain

16x20 oil on canvas painted from photo taken in Alaska by Brian Canaiy