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.
This painting is 100% done now that it is oiled out and framed. You can see in one of the images where I only oiled out the center of the painting. It has the same effect as varnishing a picture, but without the bother of a final varnish layer. Note that mid to dark tones only benefit from oiling out - I left the white foreground alone. My oiling out medium is 1 part stand oil and 1 part walnut oil. All oils can yellow with linseed being the worst. I like stand oil because it doesn't yellow as much, but it's too thick, so I thin it with walnut oil. I apply it using my finger and spread it around as thinly as possible. Alkyd mediums are a good option too, but they dry quickly, so work fast!
I stopped varnishing my work ever since a negative experience a few years ago. I always felt uncomfortable with the procedure. If something goes wrong, there isn't a good way to correct it... so I stopped varnishing. If I do want to add more protection to the painting, I will frame it behind anti -reflective glass or apply a cold wax medium. See my review of these products below.
I also submitted this piece to a large competition in Wisconsin -over $8500 will be given out in rewards. I have entered this show every year since 2013. Hopefully this painting gets in!
I just finished up my "Drinking Happy Bird" painting. The cocktail he is sipping is an old fashioned. I found that once you start drinking these, you really don't want to stop, which pairs nicely with the slogan on the box. Originally the liquid in the bird was red, but I changed it to match the color of the whiskey. I took a bit more artistic license and changed the words on the box from 'NON-INFLAMMABLE' to 'INFLAMMABLE'; he is drinking alcohol of course. The painting is oil on panel and is 14" x 14". I'll be painting the frame for it today.
Kyle Surges's Oil Painting Blog
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