Monday, January 31, 2011

Finishing and starting; Part II

OK still waiting for the gesso to dry on the panels down stairs. So I finished off "Dean turns sixty" by adding eye screws and hanging wire. I use braided electrical wire because then the wire does not shift on the hanger and get the painting crooked on the wall if it gets bumped. Works real nice.

The first picture shows how I leave a gap at the top of the back stretchers, kind'a like the top of the "H".

Then the next picture shows how I attach the eye screw and wire.

The nice thing about this setup is its low cost and looks really modern since it pushes the panel out from the wall about 2 inches and this leaves a little drop shadow around the painting on the wall.  

Finishing and starting

Well I'm out of Gesso'ed panels so off I went to Home Depot to get some more birch 4x2 foot 1/4 inch panels. Also got some more 1x2 boards for my stringers that I glue to the back of the panels to stop them from warping and it also gives me some where to put the eye screws so that I can attach hanger wire.

So here are some pics of the fabulous, entertaining stuff!

Here are the cut panels on my work table in the basement. I have a table saw in the garage that I use to cut the panels and stringers down to the size I need. Then I use Golden's white gesso that I thin down with water and I also add some marble dust to make the gesso more absorbent. This gives me a nice hard flat surface that will take and hold pencil, acrylic, oil paint and almost anything else I want to throw at them. I give them 3 to 4 coats with sanding in between each coat.

Gesso work table     

Above I have taken a finished panel and then using wood glue I have attached the 1x2 inch wood stringers to the back of the panel. I assemble them in a box shape leaving a gap between the top stringer and the side stringers. This allows me room to attach eye screws to the side stingers. Then I use my saved coffee plastic cans to flatten the whole thing down so everything is square and flat as the glue dries.
More later in the day as I finish up. Later!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part XII

OK, just an update on this show. The group at "The Shoe Factory" allows you to submit everything online!! Sweet! I must thank them when I see them.

The Shoe Factory

In the mean time here are the two works that I submitted:
"Lulu in Rochester" - 30 x 24 inches

House by the Snowdrift - 24 x 18 inches

Saturday, January 29, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part XI

"Lulu in Rochester" is all done now. Just have to give it a coat of varnish and put the framing on the back and then add the hanging wire.

In the meantime I have to fill out the submission for the “Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story” show.

On we go to the next project! Wonder what it will be?

"Lulu in Rochester" - 24 x 30 inches

Friday, January 28, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part X

Been busy on Lulu all day. I will finish her tomorrow. Fish Fry tonight, so I have to get cleaned up and store all the paint away.
"Lulu in Rochester" - 24 x 30 inches

TCM celebrates Louise Brooks, Oscars

So imagine my surprise this morning when I opened the paper and saw the following article. Well it looks like I have to finish Lulu real quick before all the excitement is lost.

Jack Garner • January 28, 2011
There's a film you're going to want to see on Turner Classic Movies this weekend.
If you've been in Rochester a long time, you've probably heard of Louise Brooks. She was a legendary silent film star who spent the last third of her life as a recluse in a small apartment on Goodman Street before her death in 1985.

I was blessed to be a good friend of this charismatic and brilliant woman, and was a witness to her latter-day rise to cult popularity, thanks to the efforts of the late Eastman House film curator James Card, a famous 1979 profile in The New Yorker by Kenneth Tynan, and the publication of her fabulous memoir, Lulu in Hollywood.

Twenty-five years after her death, the stunningly beautiful Brooks remains among the most popular actors on Internet sites and among film-still collectors, even though she hadn't made a film since appearing in one of John Wayne's first B-movie Westerns, Overland Stage Raiders, in 1938.

As I wrote in my introduction to Peter Cowie's 2006 book, Louise Brooks: Lulu Forever, Brooks has managed to become a potent and timeless cinema celebrity without ever making a major American sound film. Brooks' reputation rests almost exclusively on a landmark German silent film called Pandora's Box.

As directed by G. W. Pabst, Pandora's Box is a portrait of a seemingly innocent and beguiling woman who moves through life, emoting a burning sensuality and destroying men in her wake, like moths caught in a flame. The 1929 film — one of the last great films of the silent era — is among Roger Ebert's "Great Films," and has been the subject of a prestigious Criterion Collection DVD release.

Most who see this film recognize that Brooks contributes a performance of incredibly unaffected naturalness; it's often called film's first "modern" performance. As Ebert writes: "Louise Brooks regards us from the screen as if the screen were not there; she casts away the artifice of film and invites us to play with her."

Anyone serious about film should see Pandora's Box, which is being aired at midnight Sunday on Turner Classic Movies (cable channel 60). Failing that, check out the high-end DVD or keep watching the Eastman House schedule, where it shows up every few years or so. The film is a staple of the Brooks collection at the Eastman House archive.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part IX

Been working on Lulu today in between calls to the US Health Plan provider to make them pay up what they should. Uhhggg. 

So here is what I have done today so far:
"Lulu in Rochester" - 24 x 30 inches

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Business day - Creating Inventory spreadsheet for artwork.

 OK! Had to deal with the business of being a real artist. I had to go and do a full inventory of all of my work that is here in the Studio, storage and hanging on the walls of the house. Pictures, measurements, descriptions and Cost Of Goods. Sure glad that I have a business background or Cost of Goods would have driven me crazy.

 Put it all in an Excel spreadsheet with all the correct formulas to calculate my cost of inventory and other such things. Sure will make dealing with taxes this year and next a lot easier. It also helped me see how much work I have created in a year and to see where of it went and how much I made in profit. None yet... Sucks but at least I will know when that corner will be turned. My Spreadsheet will tell me so...

I read and reread the book "ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (and Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career" by Heather Darcy Bhandari, Jonathan Melber. While it talks a lot about how to deal with Art Gallery's and other stuff, it was very clear that we as business owners and producers that we must take care of business or some one else will do it to you if you are not careful. 

Since I'm trying to sell online and in local shows I do not need the Art Gallery section yet but its handy to know and they have lots of legal information there that all artists should pay attention to.

Also the web site helped me with all the tax implications of selling art and how to pay sales tax etc.

All good stuff and nice to know but I've got 3 days to finish a painting for the next show. So...

Here is a view of what I put together to keep track of my work and inventory.

 If you would like to have a copy of the spread sheet cut and paste this link into your web browser and you can then use my Google Drive to down load the file.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part VIII

Blocked in some color ideas to see what I would like. Gave her some Christian Louboutin shoes to match the lip stick. Had to look up the designer to see who the heck did the red soles on high heels.

"Lulu in Rochester"

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part VII

Here is the start of "Lulu in Rochester"

"Lulu in Rochester" - 24 x 30 inches

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part VI

Well I had to go to Home Despot and when I came back to the studio I found that I did not like the sky.

So out came the brushes.

Now I'm done. Ready to submit.
House by the Snowdrift - 18 x 24 inches

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part V

Well I have a new power supply in the studio computer so now I can start using Photoshop and my other tools.

Yee Haa!

Anyways I have also been working on House by the Snowdrift and I think that its done. Worked hard to get that Hopper feeling with the cold nasty snow from Rochester also.

Comments welcome!

Edward Hopper painting "House by the tracks" image so that you can compare. 


Monday, January 10, 2011

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part IV

Here is what I have so far. Time for a glass of wine.


House by the Snowdrift - 18 x 24 inches

“Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” Part III

Working on one of my paints now for a show at "The Shoe Factory Art Co-op" with the theme of “Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” So being in the city with all this snow and no sun..... I'm using a idea from Edward Hopper, but I will use snow instead of his train tracks. 

We have a Victorian house here in Rochester on the corner of Scio and Charlotte streets that is just around the corner from my studio. Every time I see this house I think of Edward Hopper and one of his paintings titled "House by the Railroad" that he did in 1925 and was the first purchase by the new Museum of Modern Art.

So I have use my photos and such to put a layout down on my gessoed panel. So here is the start of the painting with just the sketch laid out.

This way you can follow my progress from the start. Lets see how fast I can nail this one.

House by the Snowdrift - 18 x 24 inches


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dean Turns Sixty painting.

OK! Had enough with this one. Hope that it looks good to everyone.

Now on to my other two paints for the “Hearts and Daggers: A Rochester Love Story.” show.

 Dean is Sixty - 24 X 32 inches 

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dean is Sixty - Update

Here is what I've been up to all day. Its getting close but I feel that I may have over worked the faces. I think that I will leave it till tomorrow and then take an other look to see if I have to get out the rag and soften them up.
Dean Turns Sixty - 24 X 32 inches

Thursday, January 6, 2011

I'm Legal!

OK! In the last couple of days I've been doing business housekeeping. I updated my old DBA to my new address and changed the name to "Doug Steward Fine Art". I have applied for and now have a Federal Employer Identification Number. Working on getting my New York sales tax number for resale. Found out that I'm now a NAICS classified person ( 711510  Artists (except commercial, musical), independent).

I designed my business card and got the design off to web site. Should have them here in a couple of weeks.

Nice to knock off the big tasks off the list!

Here is what the business card will look like:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Working on "Dean is Sixty" today.

Working on the Dean painting today and its seems to be going well. Its rather big (24 X 32 inches) so its taking a while to get to the detail bits. But I'm working on this one and looking at my preliminary edits of my two Hearts and Daggers paintings. They are leaning up against my big easel and I see them every couple of minutes. This way I can visualize how I want them to look. LULU and a Toulouse LauTrec style should go good.

Dean is Sixty - 24 X 32 inches