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Little River at the Wolf Creek Trailhead

The Umpqua National Forest is an easy place to find inspiration. It is also a very large place. Feeling somewhat inadequate in my ability to find a kid-friendly, supremely beautiful hike, complete with waterfall, I went on a hike with a group of folks who know the area well. An especially nice man named Pete, seems to know every trail in Southern Oregon. Pete promised us “the most beautiful hike in Southern Oregon” and he didn’t disappoint. This spot I have painted is right at the beginning of the trail. Here we get to see the Little River at the Wolf Creek Trailhead from above, as it flows under a foot bridge that we stand on. The drought has revealed the contoured bedrock under the river. Bright white rock is shaded by the tall mountains very close to the river. The afternoon sun falls across the rocks and reflects the bright blue sky. Pete stated that he’d never seen the river so low and after our hike we returned and all stood around and took in this scene. It was a striking look, but one that made you almost feel guilty for appreciating the beauty made by the drought. Want to see it in person? Check out the brochure for more info on the Wolf Creek Trail! If you want more information about this painting click here.   Follow me here: Share this...

Tips to Rotating Your Art Collection

This post is part 2. See Art Collecting After You’re Out of Wall Space for part 1. Storage If the work isn’t always on display then you have to store it someplace. Find someplace in your house that you can do this. Temperature changes: you want to keep your artwork comfortable to prevent damage. Easy rule of thumb: If you would be happy it will be happy. Moisture: if there is unused space in your bathroom for instance, don’t use it for this. But perhaps you could move linens from your hall closet into the bathroom and use part of your linen closet space. Flooding: if you live in an area that could flood make sure that you don’t store art on the bottom shelf. Other precautions may needed. Quick ideas of places you may have: Closets (hall, linen, bedrooms) check the top shelf. Sometimes there is a hard to reach area to the side of bedroom closest that works great and is out of your normal daily routine. How about behind a piece of furniture, such as an armoire, dresser, entertainment center? Just make sure you wrap them up first (see below). Larger paintings may fit under your bed. Rotate pieces of similar sizes For instance, if you have a 24” x 18” piece you can change it out for another 24” x 18” piece, then it’s hung at the proper height for its size. If you are unable to rotate piece of similar sizes think about ways to hide your adjustments (holes in walls). Store them carefully and safely It is preferred to leave a stretched canvas on the...

Art Collecting After You’re Out of Wall Space

“I don’t have enough wall space for more art.” I hear this a lot. Perhaps it’s the polite way of telling me, “Nice work, but I’m not buying it.” But, many times it really does ring true. People who love art tend to already have collected a lot of it. Their walls are probably full to the point where they are aesthetically comfortable (some go salon style, some spread out…) I’m going to solve this problem for you. And, I’m borrowing our solution from museums. The Art Institute of Chicago is a fantastic museum with an amazing collection. Founded in 1879 you can imagine that they ran out of wall space many, many decades ago. Even after expansions to nearly a million square feet. (No, I’m not saying to build more rooms onto your home for art, but if you are, can you do my house too?). In the “Department of Prints and Drawings” there are 71,000 pieces of art owned by the Art Institute. This collection is constantly growing, and due to paper being light sensitive, is rotated on a frequent basis. And that brings us to our solution: rotation! Rotation gives you two main benefits. The first benefit is obvious, you can have and enjoy a bigger collection than your wall space normally allows. This will enable you to purchase that new piece you fell in love with, to start collecting an artist’s work that you really enjoy, to allow yourself the ability to explore more options, and to be focused on your possibilities rather than your limitations. The second benefit is that you will interact with...

How long did it take to paint that?

The most common question I hear at a gallery opening or a festival show is “how long did it take you to paint that?” It is a fair question. It is also an easy and safe question. People ask this when they are interested in my work and my process. They may possibly be asking in relation to my price (is it really worth $800?). I want to have an answer for you. But I don’t. Not because I haven’t tracked my hours spent at my easel (because I have). Not because I lost track of how many hours went to that particular painting (I may have, but could rough out an answer because I know my process). The truth lies in the fact that the question is too small for my answer. Let’s pretend I spent 20 hours on it, in front of the easel time. That is probably the answer I should give, but it is an incomplete answer. I spent 5 minutes mixing the gray for the rock. I spent 15 minutes mixing an EXACT copy of that color when I realized I wanted to change the way the edge of that color interacted the next day and no longer had the color mixed on palette. I spent 20 minutes on clean up (brush cleaning, palette scraping, general clean up tasks) every time I was interrupted for more than a few minutes, or at the end of each painting session. Or when the baby decided she really wasn’t going to take that nap. I spent a lot more time just looking at it. There is a great...