Friday, February 25, 2011

Shot of Espresso

 Espresso with Cream, 5x5, oil on linen, © Richard Luschek 2011
 Thought I would post some new work. I am in the process of setting up some bigger still lifes, which always takes me a while. So, until I can figure out the designs of those bigger pictures I have been painting some little guys. I enjoy working in these smaller formats, as it is easier to play around with the arrangement of the stuff in the square. It calls for closer and more intimate viewing.  Plus I can finish them in a day or two.
I wish my stuff looked better in photos, I swear to you this looks better in person. I am not just saying that.Go to the gallery and see for yourself.
Apples and Tea- 12:30, 5x5, oil on linen, © Richard Luschek 2011 (left Painting)
Apples and Tea- 1:08, 5x5, oil on linen, © Richard Luschek 2011 (right Painting)

 When I was studying in New Hampshire a frame shop in the building of the studio went out of business. We got to pick through the left over junk. I grabbed a few nice things. One of my favorite things was a simple horizontal pencil holder that I keep on my palette to hold brushes. While I am working I can set down a brush and not worry about it rolling through the paint on the palette.
The second acquisition were two keystone shaped silver leaf frames. I have tried to paint for them before and have failed on two separate occasions. I think I finally did some paintings I am happy with to fit in these frames. I set up a light lunch scene and did a before and after kind of thing. The apple was delicious.
I enjoy the slight change of view point from one painting to the next. I zoomed in on the apple core-which I had to paint fast as it turned brown within 30 minutes. I try to compose them so they work together, but make sure they work well on their own. I also thought I would try painting them on a very rough canvas. I really enjoy the texture. I can be almost like working with pastel. You can adjust colors with subtle scumbles and build up a nice surface.
Again, these look better in person.
All of the paintings will be on view at Rottinghaus Custom Framing (513) 871-3662

1983 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45208 
 Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

 Apples and Tea Framed© Richard Luschek 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Honkin' Frames

Soldier at the Crossroads, 5x3, oil on linen, 2010, ©Richard Luschek 2011 

I just had some new frames made for some of my smaller works. Having shown small paintings in tiny frames, the work seems to just get lost on the wall. They need something more substantial. I have even had galleries refuse to show smaller work for fear of them being shop lifted. So, some big, heavy, honkin' frames should prevent that. Lately I have been moving a bit more towards wood frames for my still life paintings.

I am really enjoying the wood frames I have been getting from local framer Joe Stewart.

Espresso with Pink, 5x3, oil on wood, ©Richard Luschek 2011      

The above frames are both 4" profiles and are pretty substantial in thickness. They are made from quarter sawn oak with a nice deep finish. I think these frames have a simple Arts and Crafts feel to them and work well with the typical decor of today.
Joe has a few classic looking profiles to choose from and can pretty much do any color or finish you are looking for. He can even do multi-paneled frames and some custom work. 
He is great to work with, turn around time is quick and they are very affordable. Order your Honkin' Frames today. Contact Rottinghaus Frames to order some Joe Stewart frames of your own.

Both of these paintings in their fancy new frames are now on view at:

Rottinghaus Custom Framing (513) 871-3662

1983 Madison Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45208

Normal business hours are Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Luschek Reveals All in Record Setting Auction

"Sold for $520 million to Scarlet Johansson in the front row!" 

Unfortunately for you, I have yet to unleash my collection of life sized nude self portraits on the world. We can only imagine what a smash hit that would be. Records would be broken I am sure, but the above simulation of this fantasy was staged just for this blog post. Thanks to Sotheby's for their cooperation.

Actually, I do have some work in an online auction. The auction is being hosted by Brigham Galleries online. A percentage of sales go to Susan G. Komen for the Cure, an international charity raising awareness for breast cancer []

While a preview of this auction was held last week in New York, the auction is still going on. If you are interested  log in and place a bid.

Above is the painting available for auction shown in its frame. Let the bidding war begin!
I discussed this painting last month in a post, basically explaining how complicated life can be.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Luschek Frame and Sargent Palette

Thought I would share a few projects I have been working on at home.

I have been making a few palettes for friends. I made this one out of birch plywood from the hardware store. Not to sound like an old curmudgeon, but 'the dag nab plywood just ain't what it used to be'.  Actually, the quality of all wood at hardware stores has drastically gone down hill. Took forever for me to dig through the stack to find anything acceptable.
In any case, I found two good sheets and made these magical palettes. This palette is traced from my palette, which was traced from another palette, that was traced from a palette that was traced from of an original Sargent palette. It's a John Singer Sargent palette three times removed.
So, this shape was on Sargent's arm. It's a nice, comfortable shape and has plenty of painting area.
I traced it on the plywood so the grain runs length wise- A 2' x 4' panel will give you 2 palettes. The off fall I will cut into squares to glue canvas onto for panels.
After shaping the palette with a rasp, rounding over the edges, and shaping the thumb hole so it is comfortable, I sand it till it is smooth all over. I wipe it down with a tack cloth and then apply a few coats of tung oil (please note: tung oil has little, to nothing to do with your tongue).  The photo above shows it after a second coat. I let it set up for 15 minutes then wipe it down with a soft, lint free cloth. After it dries I lightly sand with 220 paper and then rub it with fine steel wool. Repeat till you get a smooth surface. The palette can  be oiled with linseed oil or even baby oil (a fragrant and cheap mineral oil). The palette is ready for use.
If you want to use the Sargent palette on the Sargent palette have a look at this link

The other project is all Luschek- though I think Sargent would be impressed.
I designed and made a frame a few years ago for a series of still lifes that I wanted to be joined together in  a chain-like configuration, so I made a frame that was hinged between panels. Just in case, I made a pine practice frame to see if it would work. It did work and this prototype has been sitting around the work room for a while. The final, 5 panel frame was made out of oak.
This one did have a few accidents with the router, so I had to do some filling and sanding. I decided to go with a flat black finish. I will probably gold leaf the inset later.
Here are the painted frames  ready for assembly. The hinges are connected with long screws. The openings are around 8 x 10.
The Luschek Hinge Frame © 2011
In addition to looking cool, one of the nice things about the hinge frame is that it is free standing. I am not sure what I will kind of picture I will paint for this frame, but it will certainly be two paintings that play off  each other thematically. Maybe something like a handsome self portrait on left, and a handsomer self portrait on the right, staring lovingly into eyes. Seriously, it will probably be something less creepy.
Any ideas?