Sunday, August 31, 2008

Five horizontal Coffee Cafes done!

I finished the framing today. Please click on the photographs to see larger images.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Five vertical Coffee Cafes done!

I've framed five of the Coffee Cafes. Now I have to frame the six horizontal ones - which I'll post later. Below I've colored my deck black.
If you click on these photos, you will get oversized images which show the individual paintings quite well. The red-brown color of the deck might clash with some of the coffees.

Only one of these paintings is coffee colored! (with a little cream)

My dad visited us recently

We had a great time fishing in Cumming's pond. The bass were active and everybody had some fun pulling them in.Earlier Papa held little Lana for the first time.
I have to sneak in a photo of Lana with her mom Lindsay, too.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Gazebo - part 2

Below is the gazebo waiting for me to decide how to build its roof.
I decided on a "roof" that would not keep out rain, but that would look good with the least expense. I was right - we don't go to the gazebo to sit when it's raining. (Notice the dead spruce tree to the right of the gazebo.)
I used a good white stain made by Behr which actually appears light gray now.
Below the pumpkin gives the time frame away - I finished before Halloween!
Below is the gazebo this summer with the model, ornamental gazebo in the foreground left. I built it on my wife's request - she does all the tending, dead-heading and watering - so I have some fun building a few things!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Gazebo - part 1

In the spring of 2004, I enlarged my wife's backyard flower garden. I searched all over Tioga County for stones. Below is the low stone wall nearly half done.
Below you can see the original line of the flower bed. I subscribe to landscaper Ford Hume's notion that curved lines are more fun than straight ones!
I used a truckload of top soil to fill the new section.
Our neighbor Sandi Yanochik thought that the garden needed a focal point - how about a gazebo? My wife liked the idea. I made a fuss, then got to work. Here is my idea of a gazebo (the floor beams and the uprights first). Below is the completed floor and the railings.
In the next post, you'll see the finshed project.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Library benefit a large success!

The 5th annual benefit at the Wren's Nest was a wonderful affair. Jamie and Christina Fry (with the help of their son & daughter) put on a great feast from 2pm until 5pm this past Sunday. See a short video on youtube by clicking here.
Mansfield's newly renovated library is below. It is one of the many Carnegie libraries built with the help of Andrew Carnegie in the early 1900s.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

New Night & Day series done

I've added a third color layer to the eleven Night & Days. I might have to do a little tweeking.
Below is the only blue moon.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Second color layer done

All eleven Night & Day paintings have a second color layer added. Keep in mind that I am trying to increase the variations from painting to painting.
Above is turquoise on yellow-orange and below is burnt-orange on cadmium yellow.
Below are all eleven together so that they can be compared before I add the third and final color layer.

Friday, August 22, 2008

First color layer on the Night & Day paintings

As you remember (?), I start with the lightest of three colors when I begin coloring my paintings. I rub the color over the entire surface, smooth it with a paper towel and erase areas with a soft, cotton cloth (t-shirts work well). Mostly I start with a shade of yellow, yellow-orange or orange.I have tried to make many variations in color and design in this group of eleven paintings. After the first color layer is dry, I seal the surface with another coat of gloss polymer medium.
Soon I'll work the second color into the textures.

A new project

Connie called from the Settlement House a couple of days ago. She has a customer who wants four "night and day - coffee cafe" paintings. Connie would like a few for her shop and the real Night & Day Coffee Cafe here in Mansfield could use a couple on its walls.
So I've started eleven. They are all plastered and coated with two layers of polymer gloss medium. Below you can see them drying in the sun on our back deck.
Speaking of which, when I built it about 12 years ago, everyone suggested that we make it LARGE. During the planning stage I told my wife that I would build the deck to the maple tree.
My wife thought that I should go past the tree and enclose it! The tree has grown and in a few years I will have to enlarge the opening for it.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What have they done to my lake?

I'm a lucky man. There is a boat launch just 3.2 miles from my garage where I keep my 17' bass boat. There is some mine acid that enters the lake by way of the Tioga River. For years very few people fished in this Tioga Lake. Lots of fish for me! The Army Corp of Engineers has drawn the lake level down about 8' for repairs and additions to my lake's sister lake. No one can launch now. Above and below you can see what's left of the Mill Creek arm of the lake. It is a "no wake" area that held many fish. (See the striper and crappie in previous posts.) I did a little shore fishing when I took these photos. I lost a big bass, but I caught a little crappie and a bunch of snags.
You may, at one time or another, have driven over the Rt. 15 bridge north of Mansfield.
Below is a view of the rock piles placed for fish habitat before the lake was filled in the late 1970s. I won't tell you where this area is!
Below is the boat launch minus the water necessary to float your boat!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Little red, orange heart

I missed one - didn't get this new painting posted with the previous post! I think it might be my favorite of the bunch.

Fund Raising

Sometimes I donate a piece of artwork to help local organizations raise money. They depend on their fundraising for the money they need to provide services to their communities. Our town library holds a benefit event at the Wren's Nest restaurant each year. This year some lucky participants will win: $50 worth of gasoline, a golf outing for two, a basket of wine or one of my paintings. (There are still a few tickets available - the event is Aug. 24th!) Below are some of the steps to make a possible prize.
After starting with yellow oxide and then a layer of cadmium orange and red mixed, I finished with a layer of burnt umber mixed with pthalo blue.
The final step is the framing. Because store-bought frames can be expensive, I usually make "slat" frames for my work.
Below is another new painting that could be given away at the library benefit. Alice Gotchall, who has been instrumental in the planning of the event each year, will choose one of my works to be given away.
Here are two examples of my work in commercial frames.
Commercial frames become can be quite expensive - especially larger ones. So below is an example of a larger painting with "slats" and a smaller painting in a frame.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Polymer lifts

As I've mentioned before, I adhere old magazine images to sections of some of my "failed" paintings. I recycle some of my work this way. Below is a large painting already cut up to some degree. The photo of Julie Christy is already framed.
The car photo on the right looks like this, up close.
A '65 Pontiac Grand Prix is on this piece of another "failed" painting.

Jeff Tice has been busy adding track & bridges

Jeff's train set just keeps growing and becoming more amazing each year. My dad and I were treated to the motion of a train running over the bridges and through the tunnels. But first we watched a train emerge from a cellar window!
From one angle our Tioga County hills provide the backdrop.
I should have counted the number of bridges! They are all done differently from one another. What a visual treat! Of course, I was trying to estimate the man hours put into this wonderful project.