Monday, January 24, 2011

Revisiting old Themes

Morning News, 8 x 10, oil on linen, 2011

Three weeks ago I got an email that my painting called Morning News was selected to be in a show and charity auction held in New York on the floor of the New York Stock exchange. I was very excited, except for the part about how that very painting had sold two days prior. I had that painting in galleries for almost 3 years and nothing, all of a sudden it is supposed to be in two places at once.
Since I had some time, I suggested I paint another similar painting for the show. They agreed. Above you can see the painting I did last week. The auction will be happening at the end of this week. 

Below is the older version, now hanging in someone home in Glendale. While I liked this painting, the new one above is better for a few reasons, one is just that the cup is a more pleasing shape. I think the colors are a bit more subtle. Plus, I am a better painter now. It was fun to revisit a theme and see how I could improve on it. The goal of both paintings was to make some interesting abstract shapes with the contrasting colors of the table cloth and the newspaper which reads a bit on the purple side. The arrangement forms three yellow triangles all of various sizes around the coffee cup. 
Morning News, 8 x 10, oil on linen, 2008-Private Collection

Juried, Charity Auction to benefit Susan G’s Komen’s Breast Cancer Research , in association with Susan G. Komen.
The NYC chapter of Susan G. Komen is having an event for their young professionals on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange, with a reception after.  There will be a Silent Auction, and The Brigham Galleries will participate.  We will have computers at the event so people can bid on a selection of artworks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Workshops in Iowa

My love for Iowa is well known and documented on this blog. If you are in Iowa, you are probably getting ready for my return which is less than a week away.

A handsome shot of me in Iowa, with a John Deere cap, in front of a field of corn.I shot a lot of photos in Iowa and everyone of them had a John Deere hat and corn it somehow.

I am heading north by north west again to do a few workshops: The first is an Illustration Workshop. I think this will be mostly for teens and young adults. 
The second class will be an Evening of Figure Drawing- the classical approach. Teens are welcome, but will need a permission slip from the parent to attend.
I thought I would post a bit about the classes here with a rough supply list for both.

Illustrative Iowans 
January 28 - 29- Friday from 6pm-9pm,
Saturday from 9am 5pm
A workshop on illustration where we will learn how to draw and paint:

·         -Stuff that doesn’t exist, like Dragons
·         -Events that you wish you had seen, like the time Lincoln sucker punched Zombie Napoleon.
·         -And things that will only happen in the future of your dreams, like a self portrait with a mustache. 

We will look at illustrators of the past to see how they worked.
Using these techniques we will create some illustrations of our own. These pictures will include:

·         A small pen and ink illustration.
·         A series of thumbnail sketches for approval
·         A finished drawing from the sketch and reference photos  or drawings.
·         Color study for a finished picture.
·         To finish on your own will be a final picture based on all of the previous work.
Topics covered will include- basic composition, drawing in line and mass, traditional materials, new technologies in illustration (working digitally), what to read and how to continue your studies.
Each student will receive a few illustration assignments to complete during this course.
Friday- Discussion of Illustration, it’s history, the job, and basic techniques. There will be a slide show. The assignments will be handed out.
Saturday- Assignment 1- Pen and Ink spot illustration: assemble your reference, do a sketch, ink.
Assignment 2- The cover illustration: sketch out ideas for approval, assemble reference, final thumbnail sketch, Finished drawing, color study. The overview of the class, discuss how to transfer the drawing to the painting, and start with a rough lay in. Discuss how to move the work to finish. 

Basic Supplies: 
-A sketchbook. It can be cheap paper for working out ideas. 
-A drawing pad with a good heavy paper- I like Strathmore medium Drawing paper- 80lb. 9"x"12.
-A variety of pencils, though a simple #2 pencil will work. 
-A kneaded eraser and a white rubber eraser.
-A tray of water color paints. 
-Drawing pens, I recommend  Sakura Pigma Micron Pens. They have sets which are nice, the Pigma Micron Pen Set of 6, Pigma Manga-Comic Pro Set of 8, or just get a few 005, 01 and 02        size.
-India ink
-A good drawing brush- I like the Raphael #2  -they are expensive but last a long time if you care for them. A similar but cheaper brush would be fine.
-Some Quill pens will be provided
-Gel Medium 
-Oil paints, a palette, and brushes.
An Evening of Figure Drawing

the Classical Approach

January 30th, Sunday, from 3:00 to 8:00
$40 / person (includes cost of model)
Contact me or Pat Bereskin if you would like to sign up for the class.
Learn the greater art of “seeing” as practiced by the Boston School of painting and how it is applied to the figure.
Working from a live model, students will learn the basics of the pencil sketch and then move on to a finished charcoal drawing.
Participants will begin by learning the basics of the visual language, the craft and order of drawing in traditional media.
Focus of class: to provide initial or further introduction to the steps taken and principles applied to the art of drawing.
This includes:

i.         the basics of composition and gesture.
ii.       setting up a pleasing pose.
iii.     using the tools available (charcoal,  good paper) and creating a comfortable setup
iv.      the execution of a start, the idea of  the light and dark, and flat shadows    
v.        Main focus that Drawing is the interpretation of form
vi.      The use of these drawings as a means to completing finished paintings.

for more information:
Call (513) 479-3322 or email:
See more work at Richard’s Website

Basic supplies (Some supplies can be shared):
  • Some sort of easel- I would prefer you stand an an easel rather than sit
  • Drawing pencils- you can use what ever you have. A perfect set would contain various soft and hard pencils.  4H, 6H, & HB would be plenty.
  • Sketch book (8x10, 9x12, or 11x16)
  • A hard rubber eraser- for pencil drawing.
  • A drawing board made of a flat smooth sided material that will hold pushpins. I often use a ceiling tile for a drop ceiling as a drawing board. Get the smooth kind. They are cheap and can easily be cut to any size.
  • Pushpins
  • Three grades of vine charcoal (Hard, medium and soft)
    -you will mostly need hard, so I recommend a few packs
  • Medium-fine sandpaper on a small board ( I will bring a few with me), you can buy the pad, but I find them too small. They will work if that is what you have.
  • Kneaded eraser- for charcoal
  • White charcoal paper (I like white or ivory colored Ingres Fabriano)
  • Plumb bob (basically a small weight on a string- fishing weight, washer, or a key.

  • A 24 inch ruler
  • Mirror
  • Black mirror (Claude Glass- glass with back painted black or black plexi) I will have some with me. 
  • A mahl stick. A simple dowel rod will do. It keeps your hand off the paper surface when drawing.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Mona Lisa Curse

I thought I would post a wonderful documentary by Time Magazine art critic Robert Hughes. It is a fascinating and depressing look into the contemporary art market that has led to piles of shallow art and armies of ignorant art collectors only concerned with making money on the investment. You will meet one of these intellectually asleep collectors in part 11. I have posted all 12 parts below.

As a painter today I am trying to figure out how to survive in today's market. Honestly, I am not sure what to do with this information just yet. The only idea I have come up with involves building a time machine to go back to the late 19th century, but that seems like a lot of work. 

A more realistic idea is to keep painting with the idea of creating beauty that will hopefully connect with people. I also hope to win the lottery.

After you finish this series, I suggest you also watch Hughes series called American Visions, also on YouTube.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Packing for a Show

A Monster Attacks at Breakfast, 22" x26", oil on linen, 2010

I finally finished and signed my newest painting. This painting was a bit of a struggle, I almost quit after a week and ended up putting it on hold for over a month. I did a few paintings in the mean time. After the holidays I got charged up and finished it in a few days.
I like to take photos of the work as it develops. I have about 18 photos of the painting as it progressed. In my next post I will show all the steps involved in this picture- except for the temper tantrums, though honestly they would be entertaining. You can see from the first post on this painting, I has gone through quite a journey.

The Monster painting will be part of still life show opening in a few weeks. This week I am busy packing up about 18 of my paintings to deliver to The University of Saint Francis in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The show will have the work of 4 other painters, including my good friend Jonathan Queen.

Objects of Interest: Five Contemporary Still-Life ArtistsJanuary 22, 2011 – February 27, 2011
Opening Reception: January 22, 2011; 7-9pm
This exhibition will feature five artists working in the genre of still-life painting. David Carpenter (Bloomington), Andrew Conklin (Chicago), Richard Luschek (Cincinnati), Helen Oh (Chicago),
and Jonathan Queen (Cincinnati). Each artist will bring a slightly different and unique approach
to the tradition of still-life.

2701 Spring Street   Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808       call for info 260.399.7999