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Precious Stones

Occasionally, I need something more to make a particular passage of paint shine, sparkle or eye-catching. For this, I sometimes grind up precious gemstones, (emeralds, rubies, lapis lazuli, garnets, opals, etc…) and add them to the paint I make. A friend of mine, Larry Wilson, made a special mortar and pestle specifically for crushing gemstones. There is some paint that I keep in the safe.

 

Precious Stones

Feb. 21-24,2013 Grovewood Gallery Painting Demonstration

Join Me at the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, NC February 21-24, 2013.  I have been invited back to perform another live painting demonstration. The title of the painting I will be working on this year is, “Maneater.” I will have a live model made up to be a beautiful sea creature… the title tells the rest. I will also demonstrate paint-making, gold gilding and brush-making. I explained many of the traditional materials and techniques passed down by the master-apprentice tradition since Leonardo da Vinci.

Join me that same weekend on Friday, February 22, at 4:30 PM for the unveiling of last years picture, “Poison.” If you had the opportunity to see it last years as I was just starting the picture, you may be surprised to see how much has changed, and what stayed the same. It will be set in a gold leaf frame and will be available for purchase.

 

Last year’s event was a great success.  Thanks to all who stopped by. I hope to see you again this year, especially Ava who is a great fellow artist.

 

Grovewood Gallery is located in Asheville, North Carolina, next to The Grove Park Inn Resort and Spa. The gallery was opened in 1992 to revitalize the Homespun Shops that once housed the famous weaving and woodworking complex of Biltmore Industries. Grovewood showcases 9,000 square-feet of traditional and contemporary crafts by more than 500 artists from around the United States. Over the years, Grovewood has earned the reputation of being one of the nation’s top retailers of fine American craft.

You can visit the Grovewood Gallery website by clicking this link: http://www.grovewood.com/

 

Feb. 21-24,2013 Grovewood Gallery Painting Demonstration

Glorious Gloria

Pictures on the way…

 

I am in the planning stages of a special portrait of a dear friend of mine. She has pancreatic cancer. The portrait that I have planned for her is one of a queen, just getting up from her throne. She looks our way and see that we, her friends, are here waiting to have lunch with her, and she shows us the smile of recognition.

If you would like to help me with this project, consider lending me, or donating to my costume wardrobe or prop closet, any of the following:

1. A gown that looks like royalty; maybe something satin, with a shimer/sheen, a pattern, possibly golden accents, etc..

2. Royal Gloves (I’m not sure what that looks like…..)

3. A golden shawl, or fur shawl, or fur trimming that I can throw around her back and across each elbow, or somthing like it.

4. A tiger fur (wishing) or some other royal looking fur that might go on the  arm or back of the throne. I am often looking for fur, or fur coats, etc… to add to paintings.

5. A throne-like chair. Something high backed with carvings and armrests. The upholstery doesn’t matter so much as I can cover any upholstery with fabric. Any old broken chair, with interesting patterns, fancy designs, european looks, rich wood tones, etc, that you want to donate would be greatly appreciated. I paint a lot of portraits, and I am always looking for a different, unique chair to use in the painting. If it is broken so bad I have to lean the chair back against a stool or set the chair up on cinder blocks, it is still useable to me. Don’t throw it out please.

6. Costume Jewelry, (Or even real jewelry). Like the costume clothes, I am always looking for jewelry for props. Do you have something gaudy? No one can tell the value of it from the painting. For this painting, think regal, gold, diamonds, pearls, colored stones…

INSIDER INFORMATION

This painting is the most challenging painting I have attempted to date. There will be unique elements and painting techniques that were only touched on in the Renaissance time. Some of these techniques I found in books that had to be translated from the Italian. Some of the manuscripts that describe the techniques were written in old English where the f’s and s’s were written alike. Some of the techniques I will use in this painting required multiple artisans besides the artist, because of the variety of skills needed to acomplish the effect. The put it plainly, only a king or a queen would have been able to afford this painting.

If you are interested in helping me with this painting by lending to me or donating to me one of the items needed above, I will give you a special access code to a page on this website, so you can follow along and see your prop get painted into history.

This painting is not just to commemorate my beautiful friend, but will also be entered in a national portrait painting contest. Your costume or prop contribution may help me win a prize and get national recognition.

Please drop me an email if you can help.

Thanks,

JP

Glorious Gloria

Study for “The Blessing”

Miss Margaret is a beautiful woman. She wears the most amazing headdresses. In real life, she is about ten foot tall, though when you stand beside her she only comes up to your shoulder.

Study for “The Blessing”

Mema

My Grandmother-in-law. She breathed in air and breathed out joy. She was the most optimistic person I ever met. She would say, “I’ve got the best family ever!” As we sat on the front porch, I drew this picture of her. She was sitting on the swing and singing. She had no short term memory at this point and didn’t recognize me or remember me. She would sing for about five minutes, then look up and see me and get startled to see this stranger on her porch. she was also quite deaf, so I had a dry erase board with the words, “I’m drawing your picture,” written on it. She would smile this simple smile for two seconds, then say, “I’ll break your camera.” We had that exact conversation every three to five minutes for about an hour and a half that morning. I miss her. I’m glad I got to draw her picture. Sing for Jesus Mema. Sing for Jesus.

Mema

St. Phillip’s

If you have ever been to Charleston, SC you will recognize this landmark.

St. Phillip’s

Old Growth Playground

I have titled this pen and ink drawing, “Old Growth Playground.” Pen and ink. (7.5in.X10.5in.) This drawing comes with a story.

 

 

Old Growth Playground

I was enjoying a beautiful day sitting in the bird sanctuary at Beaver Lake here in Asheville, NC and I noticed this grand old tree dipping its branches into the water trying to catch a fish. It took no notice of me, so great was its concentration. I decided to pull out my ink and some paper and draw its portrait.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, these two boys flew down and landed on its branch. The startled the tree so that it blinked and dropped its fish. The boys jumped and played and swung on the branches so that the tree got tickled and began laughing. A duck, and snake and an egret were in the area and they couldn’t help but wander over to see what had made the old tree laugh so.

At first I was a bit annoyed. Couldn’t they see I was busy working here? Now I was distracted. The tree had lost its pose, the duck had stirred up the water, the egret had splashed down in the lilies, startling a frog, and the snake just stared at me with a disgusted look on its face.

Soon, the boys had moved on, the duck was on the phone with some other duck across the lake, the egret couldn’t find the frog, so it left, and the snake was playing a game of statue. I looked up and the old tree was just smiling at me.

“Come here,” he said.

“What,” I said.

“I want to tell you a secret.”

I put down my drawing, climbed up in its branches, and looked out over the lake as the sun was setting.

“You don’t need a picture of everything you see.” he said. “Do you remember what it was like to be a boy? I’m the oldest playground in these parts. Come back when you have a little more time to play.”

I tickled him under his branches and made him laugh. I thanked him and climbed down. I’m a better person today, thanks to the advice from that old tree. He winked at me as i walked away, then went back to his fishing.

Old Growth Playground

Hernando

This is a portrait I did of my artist friend Hernando Ruiz from Bogota Columbia. He is also the director of Reciclarte. He makes paper then forms the paper into works of art. He also makes some incredible carnival puppets. I met him in Washington DC at the Columbia Artists Exhibit on the Lawn. We had a difficult conversation using an interpreter. He finally realized that I wanted to buy some of the paper he makes and he just gave me a whole stack of this beautiful paper. He wouldn’t let me pay him, so I said I would draw his portrait.   Now I need to find his address so that I can send it to him.

Hernando

Charleston Marsh

This is a marsh scene from Charleston, SC. Pen and ink on thick, Indian paper.

Charleston Marsh

Heading Home

This is a Charleston marsh scene. This is when the shrimp boats are just coming back in for the day. I love to watch the birds around these boats. It must be Christmas for them.

Heading Home

The Blessing

This painting in progress has one figure started, but needs four more models. All of the people in this painting are African American. I am looking for a young boy of about twelve and a young girl of about seven or eight. I need an old, old man, thin, with great wrinkles and a great smile, few teeth and wispy grey hair, maybe a beard. I will dress him in rags to make him look destitute, but put a smile on his face to show he is still blessed. Finding the right model for a picture can be the hardest part of the work.

The Blessing

Paint Day

I make my paint. The difference it makes is difficult to explain. Suppose you wanted to make a cake for your lover. You go to the store and buy a box of cake mix, take it home and bake her or him a cake. You are proud of that cake because you, “made it yourself,” only to find out later that her or she is allergic to gluten and some of the preservatives that are in the mix.

Making my own paint assures me of the quality of the ingredients. I know that there are no “fillers,” like aluminum stearate (which looks like petroleum jelly) or other stabilizers. When a company that makes paint tubes it up, the pigment quickly separates out of the oil, causing the paint to seem to be just oil when you first squeeze some out of the tube. Because paint tubes sit on the shelf in an art store, sometimes for years, they have to put stabilizers in their paint. This keeps the paint from separating, and makes it so they do not have to give refunds when the paint doesn’t act like the consumer thinks it should.

Commercial paint is often designed to equalize the drying time, paint film feel, and shine. Different colored pigments in oil, dry at different speeds, dry mat or glossy, are thick or thin, when mixed with oil. Rembrandt, Leonardo, Raphael, had no stabilizers, or equalizers to add to their paints. They learned the characteristics of the different pigments and they changed how they painted to accommodate each. Today’s artist are searching for that magic formula that the Old Masters used in their paintings… I’m sure it had more to do with what they did not use in their paint. They knew their materials and what could be done with them. Study, practice, experimenting, and knowing means that the painting will become what you expect because you know what went into making the painting.

Custom colors

Custom colors

Time to make paint
Paint Day

Studio Search

Yes. I am still searching for that perfect studio. This is in Ben Long’s studio. In this picture, I had to resort to climbing up into the storage loft and look down on the model. Ben was working on a very large painting that took up so much room, there was no other good vantage point to paint from. The little picture I painted was not all that great but it did give me an idea for another painting. You may get to see it sometime. It will be called, “Study for Ophelia.” It will be one of the paintings from my four seasons series.

My perfect studio has 500 square feet or more, has high ceilings, windows high in the wall that face north, hot and cold running water, sink, bathroom, heating and air-conditioning, large doors to get large paintings or furniture in and out of, and parking. I would like it to be somewhere between my home and Asheville. I wish it were an old building with lots of character, exposed brickwork or post and beam construction… but now I dreaming….

I do have a 30 foot by 30 foot painting I am planning…. did I say high ceiling??

 

Studio Search

Maggie

This beautiful dog had the most human brown eyes. The black dog with it’s white whiskers called for a charcoal portrait, but those eyes had to be in color.  Rest in peace Maggie.

Maggie

Rubens

This is a master copy of Sir Peter Paul Rubens self portrait.

Rubens

The Thinker

The Thinker

Conversion of Saul

Conversion of Saul

Grand Champion

Grand Champion

Jim

Jim