This is a sample of what I’m working on lately. Digital paintings on the iPad. It’s not the grand finale, just a morsel of what is to come.
Fender Stratocaster gal goes Gibson
For nearly a decade I have been practically married to a Fender Stratocaster. It however, was a dream of mine to own a guitar that had humbuckers and was made in the USA. Particularly one with some bass to it. Trying to get a Strat to have some bass is like trying to get a dog to meow!
Since all models of Fender guitars even the foreign ones have gone into the stratosphere in pricing, I looked towards Gibson. The Les Pauls were a bit too heavy, but the SGs were perfect. The Gibson SG Special was very affordable, made in the U.S.A., and actually less than the cost of the new 2019 Fender Strats that are made in Mexico.
At first glance, the Gibson SG is a bit less wholesome looking than a stratocaster, even sinister! The guitar is a bit rough around the edges, the mahogany gives a scale-like appearance. And for that, my new guitar is named Lil’ Devil. (Update – I changed it to Lil’ Dragon😁).
I was a bit apprehensive about the SG because I know it is going to change my sound, and every bit the way I play. No more tremolo or airy high notes, which I do love. Also, I read about the quality of Gibson had gone down over the years.
But, I won’t have to worry about dealing with tremolo system. That right there is worth it.
OK, I’m ready for this change!
So I received my guitar today, April 5, 2019, and played it for hours, adjusted the bridge, tuned it up, played each and every note possible. It is a 2018 Gibson SG Special. So, the verdict is it is a great guitar!
With that said, I can see one thing that would piss off a Gibson purist, the neck isn’t flush with the body, which leaves a little shelf in the back, which is very painful if you hit those corners. But that is the only thing I can see at this point that would irritate people. Furthermore, the action is higher than most other guitars due to the nut, even after lowering the bridge.
None of those facts bothers me. It plays well, and the the frets aren’t slicing fingers to a bloody mess as badly as they used to do several years ago on older models, and it sounds fantastic!
All in all, the Gibson SG Special is definitely a fun guitar, and look forward to playing it for years to come!
Support: Stretched Canvas
Date Completed: April 4, 2019
Entwined is about the duality of nature. Both snakes are equally beautiful, but one is friendly and the other, deadly. The sacred geometry of a rose also represents duality. The rose is fragrant and pleasant to look at, but one can get cut by its thorns.
Artists are natural experimenters. But art collectors, investors and gallery owners want to see consistency. This is a conundrum. You as an artist hear all the time that you should choose a style and subject and stick with it until death in order to make it in the art world.
To say that an artist should stick with just to one style is the equivalent of telling a chef to make only recipes that resemble one dish! Hamburgers only? Seriously? One cannot live on hamburgers alone!
When I got into that kick, I painted astronomy art for years…. I thought to myself “how boring is that? I want to experiment, have fun, paint whatever I feel like!” Now I have many styles, but I still have my voice. You can see it whether I’m painting a serious oil painting or have drawn a playful cartoon. It is kind of like handwriting. You can see the use of colors, the brush or pencil strokes, it’s all signature.
Just like a writer who wrote a fantasy book then turns around and writes a murder mystery, a painter ought to have the same freedom. To satisfy the art world’s homogenized belief system in art, create a portfolio with a series of about 10 paintings for each style.
This book, Werner’s Nonmenclature of Colours was written by Patrick Syme. He was a painter to the Wenerian and Caledonian Horticultural Societies.
The book was printed in London in 1821. It was scanned by the people of Archive.org for your reading pleasure.
While it is outdated in many ways, particularly most of the pigments have been replaced in artists’ paint boxes with modern pigments, it is still a pleasurable read. The book consists of about 80 pages, most of which are color swatches with brief mixing instructions of each pigment.
You can read this book on Archive.org.
I think this is a fantastic idea to emulate in your own art journal. Do it a little different, anything that matches what you feel you need to remember, such as add the actual pigment names, maybe a brief story and history of each pigment, but that’s just me. In my old journal, I write about how each pigment does with different types of medium, about characteristics, what I like and hate about it, and any other notes I can think of.
I don’t know what the title is going to be for this oil painting yet. The picture is going much better than the last painting. Noodled on this for about an hour today.
Making of a new oil painting. This is an 18×24-inch Fredrix canvas on a French Easel. I have a drawing that screams to be painted. It’s going to be slightly different, but it will be amazing! As always is Chili, my comfort guitar in the background, for when I make mistakes.
The easel is in tabletop mode because I like to walk around the canvas while working. It will be upright once it is ready to paint.
This is the drawing, that needs to be painted, at least elements of it.
My story of art, music, cartoons and this website.
I am not a natural born artist. I’ve been drawing all my life, but not without great effort. There are teenagers who can draw and paint circles around me, even now. I am not jealous or envious, because I have a fire under my fanny that drives me to do what I do. Always striving to get better and better.
When in junior high and high school the schools provided art classes, but because they were taught by non-artists, for example a physical education teacher and a ceramics teacher, they didn’t really care about art, and didn’t bother to teach the basics, or even how to draw or paint. It was mainly a place to do homework for other classes or gossip about teenage crap. Tempera paint in high school, really? Ok, so my side of town was less affluent, whereas the richer side the students were taught how to oil paint real pictures. Still, that is no excuse. They gave maybe a five minute lecture about some crappy artist from days gone by to fill the tax quota on Monday, and then let you go free to do whatever. Tempera paint on typing paper, what is this kindergarten? Yeesh. Here’s a tree and a sun, can I stick it on the refrigerator? Public education can take a flying leap.
On to college. It was an extension of crappy high school education. The teacher provided a piece of popcorn and said, draw it on a large piece of 24×18-inch paper, and did whatever in class. No instruction, no help whatsoever. Second semester was the same. Where do you begin such an odd request? How do you start to draw? In college, I still didn’t know anything about art! Yea, I didn’t finish college, but could you blame me? I was paying out of my own pocket, working full time at a gas station, and wasn’t learning anything except how to be deeply frustrated!
There was no Youtube back then, and the artists on the public television stations only showed up during school hours. There were libraries, but were anemic in the art department.
I purchased acrylic paint. I learned every aspect to acrylics, taught, and sold acrylic painting. I lived and breathed acrylics. Even wrote a book called Learn Acrylics in Five Days! But found it difficult to convince art collectors that acrylics were Kosher, and acrylic students were a little less apt to learn the craft.
If I heard “That’s a great painting, but it’s plastic” one more time I would have probably gone ballistic.
In lieu of furthering my college education, I sought out oil painting artists with what I thought was fantastic art, and paid them the amount I would have paid for in a college class to teach me how they paint. For one month, for three hours, every weekend. Some were better at teaching than others. But an aspiring artist approaching you from out of nowhere is a little odd, I know. But I had learned what I liked, and learned what I hated.
What I hated, is that more than half of the teachers stated they were teaching me oils of the old masters… but used acrylics as their base coats and under paintings. OK, call me ignorant, but I don’t think they used acrylics in the 16th century… What are you using to teach me really? All of them – Helen Van Wyk’s book Welcome to My Studio. Seriously… this whole time, hundreds of dollars and you all have been teaching me from freaking TV painter?!? It wasn’t even Johnnie Lilliedahl!
I was so mad at that point, I put away my brushes for about three years.
At the same time, my computer was having software issues. A new computer was absolutely necessary, but wasn’t able to wrap my head around paying $1700 for a Macbook, plus $50 per month for Adobe tax, and another who knows what for a Wacom tablet. The iPad Pro with the pencil just came out… There is a God.
I turned to cartooning and graphic art full time, playing guitar part time. Snootle was comic strip that had been updated off an on since 2004 at Snootle.com. I wrote two books; Snootle and Snootle In: How to Treat Your Puppy, both of which came out in 2018. It was a great run, but it is back to updating only every so often, I needed to get back to painting.
I started with watercolors in the spring of 2018, and started to seriously build this website. It took about three months of countless hours at the easel, with tears shed to get remotely to where I was before in terms of art quality. I chose watercolors because it didn’t have as bad of connotations from my past art experiences, and also, most of my old oil paints dried up.
During the summer of 2018, I decided to go back to oil painting on my terms. I didn’t want anything to do with volatile paint thinners, and nor did I want to wait three weeks for a picture to dry. I chose a limited palette of oil paints that were quick drying. They were regular tubes of oils, but some colors naturally dry faster than others. I had figured out ways to paint with oils and clean equipment without the use of paint thinners, but still have the stability of a traditional oil painting.
This is where Colorful Easel comes in. I have always had an art website of some sort. So many in fact, some executive at Go Daddy probably bought a fancy car with all the money I gave them. So, why is this site different from ArtoftheCosmos.com, LearnAcrylics.com, PaintingJournal.com, CanvasVision.com, or the myriad of other websites?
Much like painting, websites too are telling of stories, the paths taken, the evolution, progress, and personal growth of the author who created them. ColorfulEasel.com is just that. It is about the journey of art and music, and how to get through the trials and celebrate the triumphs.
Title: Urania and Ptolemy
Support: Stretched Canvas
Size: 18×24 inches
Date Completed: June 28, 2018
Framed: not necessary
This picture was adapted from an inspirational small stamp woodcut illustration that is in many old world texts books about astronomy. It was originally from Johann de Scarobusco’s Textus de Sphaera that was printed in 1531 by Simon Colins, in Paris. It illustrates the conflicting beliefs between astrology, which is represented by Urania, and astronomy, which is represented by Ptolemy. I felt that this needed to be painted. While I had updated many elements to bring it into this century, such as adding color, I stayed true to the original artist’s idea. It took years to paint this, as it I felt it had many key elements that needed to be as accurate as possible. I painted it to the best of my abilities at the time, and feel it is a true work of art.
Thank you for your interest in my artwork and supporting a working artist. Each painting was painted by hand with great care. All paintings shown are ready, and will ship within 1 to 2 business days. The paintings are archival and come unframed. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, I am friendly! Thank you for your time! 😁
Anyone else absolutely horrified?