I also found some new still life material. These will be next in line to paint. Lately I've been inspired by mid-century modern items and this radio and typewriter definitely interest me. I found the radio on ebay and the typewriter was my grandma's.
Finally!!! I started this painting over a year ago and just finished it last week. As with most things, this piece took longer than I anticipated. I worked on it on and off through out the year. It measures 40" x 32" and as always, oil on panel. The "Coke and Cooler" painting is the largest painting I've done since 2011. The original plan didn't call for a lady bug, but I thought I needed something to get the viewer closer to surface of the painting. Hopefully, I can submit this to some local competitions, and then later feature it in my next solo show.
I really let time pass - it's been 3 months since my last post! What have I been up to? Well, I still haven't finished the coke cooler painting, but it's close. In the meantime, I painted a small commissioned piece for a family member, designed new frames for the paintings, and traveled to Jamaica for a honeymoon.
I'd like to share the small commissioned painting, but since it's a surprise, I don't want to ruin it.
On to the new frames. I'm tiring of my regular frames of the last 6 years. Also, I've had trouble reinforcing the mitered corners since the frame material is very thin. This results in some of the glued mitered corners cracking and coming apart. To fix this, I decided to ditch the old framing method and start using contemporary floating frames with spline reinforced corners. You can see how I did this in the pictures below with a spline jig I built to use on the router table. I also changed material from red oak to walnut. These frames definitely take more time to build, but I do like how the natural walnut looks with the paintings.
Lastly, Kate and I took our honeymoon in Jamaica on the last week of April. We had a good time at the resort where we stayed, but the bus ride to and from the Airport does make me grateful to live in the US. It's nice to be back home. We did take some photos, but neither of us got shutter happy. The last two photos are from the flight home. You can see that little assembly of tall buildings is all of downtown Chicago.
Yikes, it's been 2 months since I've posted here. Mostly because nothing exciting has happened since the wedding. I'm still working on the big coke cooler painting and it's progressing painfully slow. There is probably still a few more weeks of work needed on it. I did pick up a small commission from a family member. It will be a nice change of pace to start another piece.
However, last week I found out that I was awarded 2nd place in the 11th Biennial National Art Exhibition hosted by the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Florida! I have two pieces in the show, "Remembering Iwo Jima" and "Drinking Happy Bird". The drinking bird won the award. Check out Judge Steven J. Levin's comment:
"This is a stunning piece in all respects -- composition, drawing, color and modeling -- and it makes one smile."
I'm humbled to win this award and quite relieved to have my shipping expenses more than covered. It was expensive to ship two crated painting down to Florida. $111 for the pair, one way!
If you want to see what took home 1st place, click the link below. This painting well deserved top prize.
1st Place - Sandra Kuck
Yes, it has happened; in a relationship for 10 years, then engaged for another 2, and now officially married. I don't post much here about my personal life, but I think it's worth noting life events. For the last 6 months it has been nothing but wedding talk around here, and it has been making crazy! I was incredibly nervous to stand up there and say "I do" in front of 150 people. Drawing attention to yourself is an introvert's worst dream. However, as Dec. 9th drew ever closer, I felt fine. Not too much anxiety and feeling much better about the wedding than I thought. With a few drinks of liquid courage, I sailed through the big day with ease and comfort. My new wife looked beautiful thanks to my sister Kasey who is a make up artist - I'm not the only artist in the family. See her website here - Make Up by Kasey. Here are a few photos of Kate and I, finally married after all this time.
In the previous post you saw some work in progress images of the Rainbow Cone painting. I've been working on this piece off and on, but now it's finished. This is one of those paintings that I cannot believe I didn't think of sooner. Granted this is the first year I tried an authentic Rainbow Cone, two to be precise, but I have known for a while that this ice cream is a Chicago favorite. I was skeptical at first with this 5 layer cone of assorted flavors, but I really enjoyed it. However, you must go to the creamery and have them make you one for the full experience... it cannot be replicated at home.
If you missed the first part of this story here is a link to the initial post. http://www.nitpickyartist.com/blog/work-in-progress-and-new-painting-idea
I've decided to finish the rainbow cone painting before I get back into an other work in progress. It isn't done, but it's getting close with only the cone needing detail. Below are some images of the ice cream in progress. I'll probably go back and glaze a bit of color into the green ice cream. This flavor is pistachio and I think it could be a tad brighter. Maybe a glaze of permanent green light and hansa yellow will shift the color just a bit warmer. I don't glaze very often but I do find it helpful for color and value correction.
Earlier this week I received an email from someone named Buttry Stephen, who saw his wife checking out my website. He also was impressed with my work and was interesting in making a purchase. I wanted to share these emails to show what a scam looks like pertaining to artwork. Here is the first email...
I was suspicious the moment I read it. There are several grammar errors and it's strangely worded as though it was sent through an internet translator. The most notable red flag comes from the last sentence, where he asks to, "confirm the availability for immediate sales". "Immediate Sales" is a awkward phrase. I also tracked the email and could tell it was sent from San Francisco, even though Buttry claims to be from Michigan. Though this email was suspicious, I decided to respond. Here is what I wrote...
Shortly after sending the email, I receive this...
Yet another email with incorrect grammar. I tracked the email again and found it was sent from Kansas, which is odd. Also, $1,000 - $15,000 is a pretty large price range. I wrote back with prices...
Here is a list of the prices for the paintings -
At this point, I'm just playing along. Where could this be leading to? This time his response came to me in my spam inbox.
Wow! Look at this one, he has all kinds of plans and stories in this email! Buttry is an Ocean Engineer on a training voyage who is from Michigan, and relocating to the Philippines?! What a joke! This is the point where I let him know I'm not sucker.
My gallery will be handling the transaction so contact them for sales. I don't deal directly with clients, there are a lot of scammers out there, and too high of risk for fraud - you know how it is...
I didn't hear back from Buttry after this. I'm not sure what the outcome would have been if I sent him my address. There is a good chance I could have received a fraudulent check. Or sometimes with these email scammers, something supposedly drastic will happen to them and they will have a whole new set of plans later on. One thing that is consistent with these email scammers is that they try to make a personal, relate-able connection with you. They usually have a long, drawn out story with ridiculous content to try and feed on your humanity. Buttry was pretty clever in using his "wife's interest" as a ploy to reach out to me. It's not uncommon for spouses to purchase art as gifts for each other. Be careful out there, use common sense when dealing with these idiots.
My other painting is much smaller, only 12"x8". It's of a famous south side Chicago ice cream, Rainbow Cone. This maybe intended for a bit of a niche market, but many people in Chicago are serious Rainbow Cone enthusiasts; some will wait in line for an hour to get a cone at the original location. I didn't grow up eating Rainbow Cone, nor have I ever heard of it until I started dating my fiancee, Kate. Her family goes crazy over this ice cream and like many Chicagoans, grew up eating it.
I ran into a bit of trouble with how to get one of these ice cream cones into the studio to be photographed. My initial plan was to make the ice cream cone here at the house; Rainbow Cone also sells the ice cream by the quart. However, the unique, patented ice cream scoop plays a major role in how the cone is made. I even emailed the folks at Rainbow to purchase a scoop, but they were unfortunately unable to sell me one.
With my plans scrapped to make the ice cream cone at home, I decided I needed to buy a couple cones at the Creamery and transport them home. Of course this would require some way of keeping the ice cream from melting. So I converted a cooler into an ice cream cone transporter. I made a cone holder to be placed at the bottom and a top rack to hold a block of dry ice. Remember cold air sinks, and hot air raises. Luckily, obtaining dry ice wasn't too difficult, many grocery stores around here supply it. I had no idea if this thing was going to work. Was the cooler going to be cold enough? Would the ice cream fall over during to ride home? Was the teenager making the ice cream cone going to create a worthy representation? A lot could go wrong!
The "Satisfaction" painting is complete. As mentioned in a previous post about this painting, I decided to invent my own sleeve for this one. So instead of a sleeve that has the record company's graphics, this has an electronic circuit schematic. The circuit is from the early 1960's Maestro Fuzz-Tone pedal, a simple electronic that created the distorted guitar sound on the record. The fuzz guitar tone is the result of Keith Richards plugging his guitar into this fuzz box that was then sent to a guitar amp. The tone is very distinct and it is the first thing you hear on the record. If you listen closely, you can hear Richards turn the Fuzz Tone pedal off and on throughout the song. Being a hobby guitar player, I picked up some knowledge of electronic circuits and came up with this schematic idea for this painting.
Here is the finished painting, 12"x 12", oil on panel. All that is left is to put a frame on it.
Kyle Surges's Oil Painting Blog
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