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 Head,” 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 Head” 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 Head” 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 Head” 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.
I’m working on something shiny again, but this time, it’s not a tequila bottle and associated accessories. It’s a vodka bottle, martini glass, and three big olives: the ultimate shiny thing, and quite the challenge. I probably will have painted this bottle six times by the time I’m finished, but it is fun trying to capture this one. I believe you’ll see why when you see the final work; it’s a very complex surface.
My objective with this painting is to have something to offer at the next art show I’m participating in at the Queen Creek Olive Mill, hence the olives. The show date is Sunday, February 11th, so if you find yourself bored and driving aimlessly around on that day, please drop in and say “hi.” I’ll have my “usual suspects” on display, along with the new shiny departure. It is an acrylic on canvas, 18” x 24”, and I may not have prints on hand as I will be rushing to complete this one by the date of the show. As always, prints are no more than a couple of weeks out, so if you or anyone you know would like to buy a print–or the original–please contact me. Thanks for your support and encouragement!
It’s been a while since I posted a new painting, so I thought I’d let everyone know I’m still at it. I’ve completed another painting that, in a couple of ways, is a departure for me. First of all, it’s not a tequila painting, and secondly, it’s a 22” x 28” oil on canvas. I will post it soon, and I’ll let you know more about it when it’s here. That being said, I am getting close to finishing another tequila painting, a 28” x 22” acrylic on canvas, and will also announce that one here soon as well.
I’m doing something I’ve not done before, which is showing a snippet of the painting in progress. I keep threatening to do a video of me working on a painting, and as soon as I figure out how to do that I’ll post it. I may need to recruit some help there to get it in a format that I can upload to Youtube. Meanwhile, here is a “teaser” of my latest work-in-progress, or “WIP” for you inventory folks. Once again, these are a few of my favorite things. Thanks for tuning in!
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...