The last few months have been rather exciting and a bit crazy at Lazy K Studio. I’ve had quite a lot of commission work, and I’m really enjoying it.
Prior to Christmas, a good friend asked me to paint a portrait of their family dog, Brandi, who sadly had recently passed. I did the work, which was a real joy as it was to be a surprise for the husband. The painting came out nicely, and when I posted it to Facebook, the response was amazing.
Since then, three other people have asked me to paint portraits of their dogs, and another asked for a portrait of a cat. So, it’s been rather busy, and thoroughly enjoyable. I have the opportunity to paint completely different subjects–call them portraits–and now I’m wondering: Where do I go from here?
I’m fortunate, and feel honored, to have my work in so many places, both here in the United States and internationally. Below are some recent shots of my art that I’m thrilled to see in peoples’ homes and offices.
Jim and Gail Shaner
Jim and Gail are great friends, and we each have several pieces of each others’ work in our homes. Jim is a very talented metal sculptor, and Gail creates beautiful custom jewelry. This is a shot of Jim with Reserva, a milestone birthday present from Gail, in their home in Gilbert, Arizona. Thank you Jim and Gail for your endless encouragement and friendship! Continue reading →
I’ve always loved Milk Duds. It is nearly impossible for me to watch a movie without them. I know exactly what they taste like, and I thought I knew what they looked like; however, the close scrutiny required to paint them revealed not only that Milk Duds are not round, but that they are not uniform. They have dents and scuff marks that make each unique. That uniqueness made this painting a bit more difficult to get right. I wanted the effect to be as dimensional as I could muster, and the shadows made everything kind of pop. The Duds were intended to be the star of the painting, but the box got my attention, too. The box offered much more detail than the Milk Duds themselves.
These Milk Duds are yet another kind of shiny, and I hope that I’ve captured them well. The last thing I’d want to do is to disappoint another Milk Dud fan.
I’ve made many references to the wonderful people who make it possible for me to offer fine art giclée prints of my work–some of them are Eric and Lynn at Image and Frame, as well as Davin at Method Art–all in Scottsdale. However, there are some others whom I want to mention and thank.
One day, while I was having lunch at Los Dos Molinos in Mesa, I just happened to have my iPad open with my artwork on it. John Gabaldon, Los Dos Molinos general manager, stopped at our table (as he always does) and on a whim, I asked if he would ever be interested in putting some tequila art up in the restaurant. He looked at a couple of photos of my work, and said, “You painted that? Absolutely! I’ll give you this entire wall.” I asked how many pieces he wanted me to bring in, and he said, “All of them!” That began a whole new friendship between me and John, and a new relationship between me and Los Dos Molinos.
A few months after selling some of my prints, John asked if I’d be interested in displaying in another restaurant–one he owns in Gilbert–called La Ristra New Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar. Of course I agreed, and soon visited his son, John Jr., bringing with me a number of pieces to display there. And that John also began selling my work. Needless to say, I am so grateful to these folks for what they do to promote my work without expecting anything in return, I’ve donated a couple of pieces to them here and there. I would never have the exposure I enjoy today without them. So a HUGE thank you to both John Gabaldons and the crews at Los Dos Molinos and La Ristra. Your support and encouragement means a great deal to me.
If that weren’t enough, those two restaurants also deliver some of the best New Mexican cuisine in the Valley. Please help me return the favor and have lunch or dinner there if you haven’t already. Their food is excellent, and the salsas (Hatch chiles) are exquisite.
When folks visit my website, they may or may not read the “Giclée Prints” section, and may or may not know what it takes to make a fine art giclée print. So, to illustrate how exceptional the resolution and printing is in the finished product, I’ve taken a snippet from my last painting, Crystal Head.
The first image has a small, white, square on the forehead area of the skull, showing the location of the “snippet.” The second, enlarged image shows the area contained by the white square. You can easily see the texture of the canvas and my brush strokes in the enlarged image. Notice that there is absolutely no pixelization in the enlarged image. The snippet represents approximately one square inch of the actual painting, which is 432 square inches in area. If one wished to do so, the print could be enlarged to many times its normal size with no degradation of the image. Naturally, smaller prints–available by special order–can be made with no loss in quality.
Hopefully, this sheds some light on what goes into making my fine art prints, and why I am so excited about being able to offer them.
My latest effort is titled “Crystal Skull,” which is a bit unoriginal, since it’s the brand of the vodka, but it’s the only thing that seemed to fit. I thought about “Three Huge Olives,” but the real star of the painting is certainly the bottle, so I chose to let the title stand.
Ever since the first moment I saw this bottle, I knew I had to paint it. All the other bottles I’ve painted have been fairly easy by comparison, with a reflection here and there, but this one; it is one huge puzzle of reflections! “Crystal Skull” was a bear to paint. I used no less than six reference photos–as well as the actual bottle–to paint it. Finally, I had to say, “Finished.”
So many people ask, “How long did it take you to paint that?” It’s often a difficult question to answer, as I don’t log my hours when I paint, and much of my time is spent studying the subject, and studying what I’ve done up to that point. When I add it all up, it can run into weeks. I’d say the actual painting time of “Crystal Skull” was approximately 70-75 hours. Of course, I don’t sit (actually stand) in front of the canvas for eight hours a day, so those hours stretch over a couple of months. I started “Crystal Skull” in late December, 2017.
I appreciate the support and encouragement I get with every painting, and take all of your comments to heart. My daughter, Kasey, is helping me get up to speed with Instagram, so please follow me there if you’re not already, and I will follow you back.
Thank you so much!
About Giclée Prints
High quality giclée (gee-clay) prints are virtual copies of an original piece of artwork, but sell for a fraction of the cost, making fine artwork available to more people. Read more…
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