1958, the year of chrome. This is a 1958 Cadillac that I photographed at a car show in Monterey, CA. The big dual headlights, chrome bumpers, and trim... this car by itself is a work of art.
I started this watercolor with the yellow car paint. This is Naples Yellow and some Neutral Tint. While the initial washes dry, I started on the chrome. The pink on the black rubber bumper is liquid frisket
Chrome is like a mirror, or water. The difficult part about them is to make them reflective while giving them mass.
At this point the yellow car paint is complete with layers of cad yellow light, and Naples Yellow. For me, the chrome reads best with layers of washes, dark into light. Then, on top of that after the washes are dry, is a high contrast change of color.
The left headlight is complete and the right one is just under way. The pink is liquid friskit.
One of the challenges was the grill. In a painting about chrome, the grill is a mat, unreflective metal, but light is bouncing around all over the place inside the grill. I painted it as a value study using just one color: Neutral Tint.
And here it is complete. Thanks for looking. Please let me know what you think!
1. It's about the drive, not the destination, unless it's Disneyland.
I love sketchbooks. Somehow, it makes me feel smart carrying one around, and it's a great place to put stickers. I wish I could say I take it with me everywhere, that I'm always ready to sketch at a moments notice, that I'm always sketching a non-stop flow of ideas. But, I'm not. I have to be more proactive, deliberate and intentional. I have a small stack of empty sketchbooks, because every time I'm in an art store I have a hard time resisting them.
A friend recently asked me about my sketches. He said he would really like to start a sketchbook, and asked what I would recommend.
1. Keep it Simple. Less is More.
I've tried carrying around lots of pencils with all the different lead weights, or pens with different thicknesses, watercolors and brushes... It drove me nuts. I couldn't keep track of it all, I lost stuff, dropped stuff, and tripped over stuff.
So now I carry one pen, a Bic ball point. They last forever and are cheap. It's pretty easy to get a range of values, and they're cheap. They're nearly indestructible, and they're cheap. They are universal, like McDonald's. If your pen runs out, chances are you can find one wherever you are.
2. Keep it Accessible.
I keep my sketchbook where I can see it. That way, it can remind me to take it with me. If it's out of sight, then it's out of my mind. It never fails, I'll be stuck somewhere, like getting the car's oil changed, and think "I should've brought my sketchbook!" Maybe I should keep one stashed in the car... I'm doing that one.
3. But what if I want to use Pencil?
Go back to rule #1, Keep it simple. I've tried carrying 5H to 4B pencils with sharpeners, erasers, blending sticks... It was terrible. I felt like the guy on the ski slopes with all the new gear that kept face-planting. I've discovered I can get plenty of values and textures using a mechanical pencil and kneaded eraser.
The mechanical pencil never needs sharpening. Just load it up with lead. I use HB 0.5mm, again universal. The kneaded eraser is awesome at lightening areas, making smudges, and erasing all with the bonus feature of not creating a pile of eraser shrapnel.
My favorite size is the 5x7 sketchbooks, and spiral bound is a must.
That's about it. I would love to hear what works for you and sketching on the go.
We were having dinner with friends one night, who had just returned from a trip to Hawaii. It sounded awesome. As they were telling us about their adventure, I noticed a shelf with glass balls displayed.
They were old, weathered and worn. Our friends explained that they are glass fishing net floats, and that they are rare because nets are no longer made using glass floats. My mind immediately went to some remote fishing village where an old, weathered and worn fisherman was casting his nets for the day's catch.
These glass balls wash up on shore after a storm, and our friends just happened to be on the beach after a storm and found 3 of these glass treasures.
I knew I wanted to paint these glass floats. I wanted to capture the moments after the storm had passed and in the midst of the debris was this treasure waiting to be found.
Life has it's daily concerns. But, sometimes it brings a storm, or even a series of storms. It's not just a matter of hunkering down and waiting out the storm, although sometimes that's all we have the strength to do. But, if we can remember that there will be a treasure to be discovered after storm, then it gives the storm purpose. Which can add to our strength, and peace.
Please leave a comment below, I would love to hear from you.
Here is adventure. Here is romance. Here is mystery.Tropical Rivers, silently flowing into the unknown.
The unbelievable splender of exotic flowers...the eerie sounds of the jungle...with eyes that are always watching.
This is Adventureland
The only thing our daughter wanted for her 16th birthday, was to go to Disneyland and take her best friend with her. So, we loaded up the car for a road trip. Our 16 yr old daughter, her best friend, and our 13 yr. old son. We loaded all the various electronic devices with Disney music, videos, and told stories of past trips to The Happiest Place on Earth.
As with most new phases of parenthood, we had heard of the teenage years, but no amount of preparation can adequately prepare one for the reality of it all. Once at Disneyland came the question from the kids. "Can we go explore on our own?" Wait, what? How did I not see this coming. So, after instructions, setting a rendezvous time and place, and a plan B in case we miss each other, we found ourselves delightfully alone to explore Disneyland on our own. A parent's adventure. And it was awesome. At least at first.
My wife and I were experiencing the park like we never had. We were light and nimble, no baby gear, toddlers, constant requests for Mickey soda. We eyed the parking lot of strollers at ToonTown, reminiscing about how ours was always in the one in the middle of the pack.
Then we remembered taking the kids on Autopia with them in our laps as we drove. We talked about the time we stood in line to meet Belle for StorybookTime at the Castle. This was after we had received a text from the girls letting us know that they were in line to meet Thor. How times change.
Each ride we passed brought a memory of visits past. We found ourselves really missing the kids. We were early to our agreed meeting spot. Then we saw them coming at us at full speed, with huge smiles on their faces. They had been on their own for the first time in the park creating their own adventures and memories.
That's the thing about Adventureland. There's this feeling that once Adventureland has been entered , there's no going back. We have left civilazation, and have committed to going through it. Tarzan's Treehouse, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and even the shopping at the Bazaar each have this adventure in to the mysterious. It's like parenting. It's going to be a wild and surprising ride, so hang on, because it's going to be awesome. And it's best when mixed with lots of humor. "Look, the backside of water!"
After we met up with the kids we headed straight for Adventureland and got in line for the Jungle Cruise. It's the one line I don't mind winding through all the switchback queues for. We talked about what adventures the kids had on their own, and how they planned on meeting Thor again the next day.
So, here we are back home parenting teenagers on rivers flowing into the unknown. But, it's going to be awesome. They are excited and anxious to have an adventure, but still need the security of knowing they are in a safe place. After we impart our instructions, showing the boundaries, we are going to be there, ready when they need they need us.
Next stop; Fronteirland.
I'm a Dad. I'm a Dad of 2 kids. I'm a Dad of 2 kids that are constantly teaching me something. While this is website is about art, I am first a Dad, Husband, Son, Friend... art and architecture is what I do.
My daughter, our oldest, has dreams. Huge dreams. These are dreams that on the surface would seem impossible, except that there is something about her and her story that makes think "I can really see her doing that." Actually our son is the same way, but I'll get to those in a later post. But, I want to share something that I learned several years ago, that had a profound impact in my life and my relationship with my daughter. And I almost forgot...
Several years ago I was at a church event with a group of guys listening to a speaker talk about roles of dads. I confess I was only half listening until she said, "Your job is to speak life to them, like Adam in the Garden naming the animals. Your job is to declare life, hope and meaning over your kids..." I don't remember anything else the speaker said, but I vividly remember sitting there and that phrase hitting me like a ton of bricks. And I put it into practice. For a while.
I remember a conversation she and I had when she was dealing with a hard coach. I told her what I see in her, how I think about her, and how I saw the situation through the filter of those two things... it was like watching a wilted flower come to life.
Then, I let that truth start to slip.
Recently I've felt a bit of a distance from my daughter. I figured it was just the season of life. Homework, school, sports, job, chores, just plain life are all things that can distract from my true purpose.
She needed to hear from me. She needed to hear what I think of her, the greatness I see in her, how she is uniquely gifted, what I thought of her goals. The distance was instantly gone. She opened up about the challenges she's facing, and about what she really wants in life. Wow.
And, it wan't a passing moment. She will seek me out hang out with me. All because I took some time and shared my heart with her about how I thought about her.
Step 2 is reinforcement. What can I do to reinforce what I said? It goes beyond just words. Now it's about action. There are tangible things I can help her with and enable her to do, but she's also looking what I do in my own life. Am I living in fear or faith? Am I talking to others with kindness and respect or in judgement? Man, it's hard.
Third is consistency. I don't want to have drive-by parenting moments. I want to be the Dad that's plugged in. That will listen and be slow to speak. That's a big one, because I want to fix everything. I want to check the problem off the to-do list. Done. But, sometimes I need to just listen. Tell her what I see in her, and that I'm proud of her.
I gotta go listen to the latest Hunter Hayes song with her. I would love to hear any thoughts you have
All of us dream of it. Many of us talk about it. Some of us even plan it. But, only a very few will ever pursue it.
I recently attended the ReImagine Conference in Irvine, CA., where we heard from a collection of some of the most passionate, brave, and generous creatives (think Disney, Pixar, Cirque du Solei, brand managers, musicians...) that could be assembled in one room. The 3 day conference was beyond inspiring, it was transforming. Much of what I heard, and have been “unpacking” over the last week will completely alter the course of my art, my relationships, and my Faith. It may sound like hyperbole, but that’s the kind of experience it truly was.
Have you ever been on a trip, returned home,and just put your suitcase against the wall while you transition back into real life? Figuratively that’s what happened to me and the ReImagine Conference. As soon as the conference was over, I had to travel the following week. But I finally had an opportunity to reflect back on ReImagine. At the conference they called it “unpacking”; the process of going back and reviewing, processing, and considering all that was shared.
Two big concepts jumped out at me. Conquering Fear, and Taking Action. So, here it goes. Is the website perfect? No. Is my social media strategy all mapped out and in place? No. Do I have all the answers to the infinite list of questions I have? No. Is everything going to work? No. Where will it lead? Who knows.
As I was writing in my journal, I wrote these words:
“Chasing a dream is like trying to catch water in your hands, or catch a shadow (to borrow from Peter Pan). Do you ever really catch it? Or, is it the pursuit, and personal transformation that follows, that’s the real purpose. There are pitfalls, traps, enemies, dangers, risk, perils, unseen challenges, and bandits. Achievement of the goal is far from guaranteed. Actually, the odds of success are slim. And whatever success is achieved is likely to look very different than imagined.
Eventually, the pursuit becomes the mission. The journey becomes the goal itself. Once the story is tied to the purpose, success begins to reveal itself. The story becomes the art, and the art leads to the calling.”
I realized as I was “unpacking”, that I was actu ally packing for an adventure. I was unpacking for the path less traveled.
I would love to hear who else is on this journey
2015 is just weeks away... did anybody happen to see where 1995 went?
With the new year comes all the usual new year thoughtful stuff. It's like a high school graduation speech. Nearly always the same words, but every once and a while you hear one that really inspires you, Well, this year I got inspired.
Somehow through all the "climb the mountain, or, luck is the meeting of work and perseverance" type stuff. I got inspired this year. Not that being inspired made it an easy year. It was nearly the exact opposite; it was a really difficult and frustrating year in many ways. Obstacles, opposition, and barriers came out of no where. Some of them were really good things that I actually needed. Some would say "that's just life, life is hard". True, but as one of my mentors recently said:
The greater the opposition, the greater the promise. Keep going.
Holy Cow! There's a nugget that will sustain me while I climb the mountain. If the opposition in front of me is this determined to stop me, then the payoff is going to be great.
Another nugget given to me was to start 2015 grateful. Gratitude will immediately change your paradigm, focus, and attention. So, here are 10 things I'm grateful for:
So, let's go see what's over the next ridge. Please comment below and tell me about your climb...