Thursday, December 31, 2015

Mother and Son

A few weeks ago a woman contacted me after taking a painting home from the gallery to try out in her home. The painting ended up being too big for the space so she returned it to the gallery and asked me to paint something smaller with the same Hadley cups featured. Her husband's mother had collected Hadley and they wanted something to remember her by. She asked that I just paint a cup or two to give as a Christmas present.
I thought it would be interesting to make a story out of it, to do a diptych of a mother and son having an afternoon drink. The mother having tea or coffee, the son having milk and playing with his truck.
Mother and Son, each panel 8"x6", oil on linen, © 2015 Richard Luschek
I decided to have the truck in both scenes and in different positions, as we all know if a boy has a truck he's gonna drive it through your space.

I thought I'd show a few stages of the lay-in process as I only had a few days to paint this to have it ready in time for Christmas.
Day 1
This was probably just done in a few hours to get the canvases covered. I wanted it to be dry the next day so I painted thinly and stored it near the furnace exhaust pipe in my studio to cook it dry.
Day 2
The week before Christmas was very cloudy and grim. So at times it was too dark to paint. I tried to just concentrate on drawing during those dark times. You can see things are starting to come into focus. For details I tend to continually paint them out and rework the area. Here you can see I got rid of the design on the right cup to work the form more.
I also added some milk to the boys cup.
Day 4
I tried to focus on the boys panel so I didn't have to keep moving the truck back and forth.

I flipped the panels on the easel so I could focus on the mother side of things. I added tea to the cup and changed the tea label from red to green. The label was actually green as it is Irish Breakfast blend, but I  initially thought it would look better red. I decided it was too much and changed it to green.

They were picked up a few days before Christmas. She seemed very happy with the paintings. They were still a bit wet as was still painting when she came to pick them up.
I had joked about drinking the milk when I was finished to celebrate, but did not look to appetizing after sitting in the studio for a few days- it was more cheese than milk at this point. Instead I went for a beer on the way home.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

30th Anniversary of Panorama

I will have a painting hanging at the Cincinnati Art Galleries downtown in their 30th Anniversary Panorama show. It is a benefit for the Cincinnati Art Museum. 

Doughnut and Coffee, 14x11, oil on linen, 2015

 This is a painting I did as a demonstration at a local art store, then finished in the studio. I wrote about the process here a few months ago. 

The opening tomorrow is a ticketed event, but the show will be up till the first of the year. If you want to come tomorrow, put your fancy clothes on, buy a ticket and come hang out with me over by the snack table.

Please join us Friday, December 4th from 5 pm to 8 pm for a special opening featuring paintings by artists of Cincinnati’s Golden Age.
This Panorama of Cincinnati Art is a benefit for the Cincinnati Art Museum. Opening night ticket sales as well as a portion of all painting sales from the month of December will go to benefit the Cincinnati Art Museum. Paintings by Cincinnati artists from the turn of the century as well as a few local Cincinnati artists will be for sale.
Reservations are required for the opening night benefit.
Exhibition continues through December 31st.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Greenacres Artists Guild Fall Show

Time for our 3rd annual Fall show at Greenacres Art Center
The show opens on Oct. 16th and runs until Nov. 15th, with various special events held throughout.
First, What is the Greenacres Artists Guild? From their website:
"Greenacres discovered that there was a void in the Cincinnati area for artists who are committed to the principles, methods, and traditions of Cincinnati’s Golden Age.  Therefore, we teamed up with elite professional living artists from the Cincinnati area who are focused on the traditional approach to art and formed the Greenacres Artists Guild.  Each member of the Greenacres Artists Guild was personally selected and invited to join the organization based on their abilities and approach to art."
Of course you wanna see the show but I imagine your main concern is "when will Richard Luschek be there?!"
While there are a lot of different events going on you can see here: Click me 
Here are a list of time when I will be there in my fancy clothes, or there actually painting- in my fancy clothes. I have six pieces in the show including the one being held by Eva Gabor in the photo above.

Greenacres is a very lovely place to visit on its own. It is a wonderful old Restored English Norman style manor house. It has formal gardens and fountains, a greenhouse and old barns with horses. 

Greenacres Arts Center, 8400 Blome Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243 United States
Occasionally people get scared away by the signage and the appearance of a fancy residence. But look for the signs directing you to the Arts Center.
Opening Night is this Friday, Oct. 16th of the Greenacres Artists Guild 'Fresh from the Farm' Art Show. This event is free and open to the public. Please join us from 6-9pm at the Greenacres Arts Center as we celebrate some of the finest Cincinnati artists. Log on to or call 513-891-4227 for more information. Facebook Event

Greenacres Family Fall Fest
October 24 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Join Greenacres Artists Guild members Will Hillenbrand, Clem Robins, CF Payne, Loren Long, and Richard Luschek as they highlight the world of illustration in a family-fun fashion! Watch Clem and Richard work on art right before your eyes. Learn about the world of sketching with CF Payne. Hear Loren Long talk about how Otis came to be, and Will Hillenbrand speak about the process of creating picture books. Attendees will also be encouraged to enjoy hayrides, story time, book signings, make and take art activities, and more!
This event is free. Ill probably be drawing monsters or knights or knights being eaten by monsters.

The next two events are the ones I am most looking forward to, but they do cost some money.

Greenacres Art and Beer Tasting Tour
Friday, October 30 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Local breweries will be there to offer tastings and discuss their beer. Plenty of food and drink and art and me. I will be painting a still life- set up very close to one of the breweries so I can drink and paint. Should be interesting. Tickets are $50 and can be bought at the door or ordered here.  Feel free to come in costume, as this is the day before Halloween.

Greenacres Art and Coffee and Tea Tasting Tour

November 14 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Instead of being tipsy on beer, I will be all hopped up on coffee, probably painting a still life with some coffee. Local coffee roasters will be there with coffee and treats.  Tickets are $20. They can be bought at the door or ordered here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Art Store Demo Doughnut

Yeah, I even blog on my birthday. That is how devoted I am to shameless self promotion. Honestly, I have not been great about keeping up with the blog, but I am a year older, so lets see how things go blog wise this year.
I was asked a few months ago to do a demo in the local art store, Plaza Art Supplies. I like to demo, and while the painting that I do is generally not stellar, I do like to talk and discuss how and why I work the way I do. It was a fun experience and was attended by a great crowd of attentive and inquisitive art folk.

The still life was pretty simple- a few objects in front of white screen. I have said it many times in person, while teaching, on this blog and in my dreams that it is never a good idea to compose quickly and without thought. Showing up in a new location in front of crowd does not result in brilliant composition, but I thought I had some interesting things going on- like a glazed doughnut.  I did do some online research concerning the correct spelling of doughnut vs donut. Apparently both are acceptable, though donut is a more low brow spelling and also may result in free advertising of Dunkin Donuts- the McDonalds of doughnut shops.
I did pick up a Crispie Cream doughnut at the gas station on the way to the demo. It ended up being a nice "red" center of interest. Unfortunately I also go some terrible coffee to drink during the demo. Who would have thought gas station coffee would not be delicious.

Crappy 3 hour Demo Lay-In
This is the lay-in I had at the end of the 3 hour demo. Not my best. Again, I spent a lot of time trying to sound clever.
This canvas sat in my studio for a few weeks before I decided maybe I should try to finish this painting. I wanted to set it up in the studio, get a new doughnut and fix the composition. While I was using many of the same objects and table cloth, I was basically starting from scratch. Day two went better as I was not trying to be cute and clever to a crowd.
Here is the re-lay-in in the studio.
Day Two Lay-in in studio
Much better. The values were better due to the natural light and the design was a bit more interesting and clustered around a strong center.
After this first studio day I got busy with some other deadlines and was away for a bit. A week of studio heat and bugs necessitated me getting a new doughnut (Also just a good excuse to get doughnuts in general- I need doughnuts for Art!)

Day 3- Doughnut #3
I was not fond of how the table edge ended close to the lower left corner, so I painted the corner of the table in to keep the eye from running out of the picture. As you can see from the set up above, the corner was not actually in that spot, I just painted it where I wanted it. While I generally try to set up and paint exactly what I see, occasionally some 'artistic license' is needed.

Day 4
Day 4 my wife was complaining that the doughnut looked 'obscene'. Too many bites. I argued there was nothing obscene about biting doughnuts, but I did sort of get what she meant. I noticed that the two bites and the unbitten part were 3 equal, boring units. A weird series of equal sized shapes is never good in a painting. The doughnut also did not really have much of presence. Also, the sprinkle distribution was weak. It was a wimpy doughnut. The rest of the painting was coming into focus.
Time for More doughnuts!

Day 5- Doughnut # 4

Doughnut #4 from Graeter's was a winner. The icing was pink in areas and had a lot more sprinkles. I am hoping someone from Graeters sees this posts and gives me free stuff. The Doughnut was bigger and the color more exciting. I ignored the sprinkles at first trying to squint and paint the general look first.
I got to a point where I was not sure if I was done. I had my friend Carl Samson have a look and he smacked me around about there being too may sharp edges. He was very much on the money so I spent the day trying to get back to the 'big look', seeing the thing as a whole, rather than focusing in on ever edge, everywhere.
I also decided the view of doughnut was not quite right, as I wanted the doughnut hole to show more.
More doughnuts!
I bought a stand-in for the hole of the doughnut rather than changing it out. I just set it nearby and painted the hole of the new doughnut on the old one.

Below is the finished painting. The added bit of red and yellow to the center of the doughnut really helped. I tried to keep the sprinkles soft and not too strong. Only painting a few strongly towards the front.
I finished it fast enough this day to be able to eat the whole, hole stand-in doughnut.
This was an 8 day, 5 doughnut painting.

Doughnut and Coffee, 14x11, oil on linen, 2015

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Fall Landscape Class- Needs more Red

If you have been thinking of taking some painting classes now is the time. Trust me you'll like it. Below is a description of the class, list of supplies and how to sign up.
Here is an example of what the class will not be.
Fall Landscape Painting Class
Saturdays, September 19th thru November 7, from 10 am to 1 pm.
Come enjoy the cooler weather and the fall colors.  With "Cincinnati's most charming painting teacher", we will meet at various  scenic parks around Cincinnati to learn to sketch and to paint with oils. Drawing on the ideas of impressionism, you will practice the techniques needed to complete painted sketches, including basic composition, value, pattern, color spotting, and covering the canvas. Then, building on those skills, you will complete a larger fully realized landscape painting that will capture the impression of light and color of the Cincinnati landscape. In case of rain, we will arrange in parks with overhead cover. Details and directions to the various locations will be given in class. No experience necessary. $199; supplies are the student’s responsibility. A list will be sent with your enrollment confirmation or see  Click here.
Location: First class will meet in my studio in Eden Park; then at various parks thereafter 
To register go to the following link and sign up now.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Strike One

I was recently interviewed for a local PBS show called Arts Bridge. It will air sometime on July 4th. Though if you are like me, and I hope you are, you never watch TV during it's regularly scheduled time. I mean, its not 2004 for goodness sake. It will eventually be online to view at your leisure- like right before you start binge watching Breaking Bad.
It is good timing, as during the interview they filmed me starting a  painting which will be hanging in a baseball themed show at Cincinnati Art Galleries opening on July 11th. Don't worry, I'll remind you about it later.
Honestly, the interview date snuck up on me. I forgot to do two things: first to loose some weight for TV, and to set up a still life to paint during filming. Thus my fat self had to hurriedly set something up the day before. Composition can rarely be done quickly. Let me rephrase that- Good Composition can rarely be done quickly.
So, the final painting a bit different from the one I had started.
Here is the initial 'bad composition' lay-in. It was a pretty good start and should look interesting during the TV spot.
Now, I sort of knew this had problems. It looks like an awkward "V" on the canvas. There is no real center of interest. You have the hat shape on one side, the glove/bottle design on the the other. The dark of the glove looked like the bottle was showing through. The hat and glove just barely touch. Basically the design sucked.
I worked on it one more day like this. Unfortunately, sometimes you have to do some work before you realize how bad something is.
Even the Halloween skeleton seems horrified. Things had to change. I had the bat scotch taped into position. As I was painting the tape gave way and the bat crashed down like a sign from the heavens.
My process from here on out is to start with tons of cursing and self denigration. Maybe a coffee break. Do some push ups. Then get back to work.
So, I moved things around a bit, to strengthen the center and get things back on track. Also a stronger tape job was in order.

I scraped the offending areas back to the canvas, wiped out what I could with a turpentine soaked rag and started back in on the 'improved' image. Instead of being all flayed open, this arrangement feels more like a grouping of objects. Even the skeleton seem happier.
I would say this new composition feels quieter and more hopeful- like a summer afternoon. Man, that was downright poetic what I just said. I should raise the price.

 'Ready to Play', 16X 20, oil on linen, © 2015 Richard Luschek

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Portrait of a Soul

I just finished a portrait for a special exhibition opening this weekend. The fancy unveiling is on Friday with the exhibition opening to the public on Saturday morning. Portrait of  a Soul is a project started by Lee and Sue Schaefer. They've gathered local artists to do portraits of children with craniofacial issues. As someone born with a cleft lip myself, this project we definitely something I had to be part of. 
When I was born, way back in 1969, the hospital photographer did not take my picture as was the normal procedure. I mean would want a photo of your deformed cleft lip child? Don't worry, I got over it, my Mom owned a camera.
The surgeons at Children's hospital did a bang up job and I sculpted me into the ruggedly handsome man you see now. Times have changed and this project proves just that.
I was paired up with 18 year old Kenton, a student at St. Rita's School for the Deaf and a big sports fan who brought his Bengals orange sweater to wear for his sitting.


He was very excited about the process and was willing to sit for six different 3 hour sessions. Kenton is deaf, so I had to converse and make any posing adjustments through his mother Julie, who was standing off to the side.

 This was our first session where we figured out the pose. I painted a quick color study.
This project was challenge- though all portraits are, and I was still painting on it when Sue and Lee knocked on the studio door to pick it up last week. I doubt they were thrilled to be carrying a wet sticky painting home with them.
I will write more thoroughly about this when I can post an image of the painting after the unveiling this weekend.
You can see more about this program on their website and facebook page.

Below is some information on the event and the location. The Friday is event is a fundraiser with limited tickets. Call the gallery if you are interested in attending.
Feel free to stop in Saturday morning. Some of the painters will be there to talk about their work.


PORTRAIT OF A SOUL unveiling and artist reception this Friday June 12th 6-9PM 

The Eisele Gallery of Fine Art is honored to host the 2015 Portrait of a Soul unveiling and exhibition June 13th through July 3rd. 
A limited number of tickets are still available to attend the Artists Opening Reception and unveiling ceremony on Friday June 12th 6-9PM at the Eisele Gallery. RSVP are required to attend the Opening Reception.  
Be there when the children see their finished portrait for the first time. It will certainly be a night to remember. The unveiling ceremony begins at 6:30PM and will be emceed by WLWT TV5's Jennifer Schack.
Call the gallery at (513) 791-7717 to RSVP.
A donation of $100.00 or more to Portrait of a Soul is appreciated, but not required to attend the opening reception on Friday June 12th.
Exhibition opens to the public on Saturday June 13th 10AM-3PM
The portraits in this exhibition are not for sale and will be given to the children and their families.  Copies will be displayed at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Nuts and Bolts of Love

I am a romantic. My wife does not really read this blog very often so I can proudly say that without anyone obvious disputing my claims in the comments below. I am not really romantic in the 'obvious' ways that folks go on about in magazines like Cosmopolitan, Glamour,  or Cat Fancy. I am romantic in that other way- the arranging objects from the hardware store and painting pictures of them kind of way.

I will have some seriously sexy paintings on display at the Cincinnati Art Club's Signature Member Winter Exhibition.
A Wrench in the Relationship, diptych, each 2.5"x3.5", oil on linen, © copyright Richard Luschek 2015
I enjoy using inanimate objects to represent social interactions. This is not the first time I have done this this very subject. Or the second. Or the third. Or the fourth.
Jeesh, maybe it should be the last?

Of the above diptych, the panel on the left is subtitled 'Husband' and the one on the right- 'Wife'. Of course this is obviously a love story. The relationship between these two pieces of fastening hardware are destined to be together, but at the moment a wrench is separating them. Will they realize that the very thing coming between them is the tool needed to really tighten their relationship? The romantic in me says "Yes. Yes they will!"

Seriously, are you crying right now? If you're not, you can't possibly have a heart.

The point is of course, that if you're like me, and not 'obviously romantic' but romantic in that way that involves scenes of things purchased from Home Depot- and you have forgotten that this weekend is Valentines day- and you are freaking out right now because you have not yet purchased your sweet heart anything- these paintings will be available as the perfect gift for your Nut and/or Bolt.

At this point you are probably thinking- "For the love of all that is Holy! When and where can I buy this relationship saving piece of art?!!"

Here is the postcard from the show with all the information you'll need:
And yes, they did use a painting of mine for the postcard. That was a pleasant surprise. Thank you to whomever put this together.
Please note- I will be at the opening on Friday to offer any relationship advice* you may need.

*purchase of painting is necessary