Monday, March 30, 2009

Third Gardenia - by Leslie

This is the third in a series of paintings I have done of gardenias sitting on the counter at my mother-in-law's house at the beach. I can hardly wait for my own gardenia bush - started from a cutting of hers - to bloom this summer so I can get more reference material. There is something about the delicate petals of these flowers, contrasted with their thick, shiny leaves that compels me to paint them. I love the way the light penetrates the petals and the green from the leaves reflects back onto the flowers. This painting was a pure joy to paint, and I had a difficult time deciding that it was finished and moving on to other things.

Third Gardenia - 9" x 12" oil on canvas

Salt Water - by Jeff

Here's a painting that I recently finished of a salt shaker and a glass of water. I like painting simple still life subjects with my Fragments technique (that's what I call the deal with all the little squares.) There's a lot of variety of colors to explore with this kind of composition of relatively neutral tones.

24" x 48" oil and encaustic on panel

Sunday, March 29, 2009

TabletDraw - by Jeff

Coffee Pot drawn in TabletDraw

If you have a Mac and a tablet, you really should try TabletDraw. I say this not just because it was created by my son Spencer, but because it really is the best program for drawing on the Mac! Did I mention that it was created by my son?

See, when Spencer was about eight years old, Leslie and I gave him our old Macintosh SE30. It was one of those old, black and white, all-in-one computers, and we had just upgraded to a bigger, faster machine. I told Leslie at the time that my plan was to encourage Spencer to experiment and explore computing at an early age, and then when he was older he could write software for ME! Here's the crazy thing: It actually worked!

A couple of years ago Spencer (he's 22 now) was looking for a simple drawing program that accurately rendered his pen strokes, and he really didn't find anything. He set out to write his own program, and asked me for suggestions about features I would like to see. What followed was a great collaboration: I would say "how hard would it be to..." and Spencer would say, "I could probably do that." At first he would come back in a couple of hours with a working prototype of whatever suggestion I had made, and then hone and perfect it over time. Since then my suggestions have become more elaborate, and the program has gotten much more complex, so it takes a little more time to make major changes. It's unbelievable how well the thing works, and Spencer has far outpaced even my wildest expectations.

He currently sells the software for $35, but you can download a free version that has limited undos and layers. Apple made TabletDraw a Staff Pick on their download site, and they even made it the Featured Download when it debuted. It has continued to receive strong critical acclaim, and it just gets better and better as he works on it.

You can check out and download the application here:

mooSoftware: TabletDraw

Reflection of Autumn - by Leslie

This is a painting of a silver sugar bowl sitting on my front porch. My house faces west, and early last fall I took advantage of the early afternoon light to capture the view of the changing colors in the reflection in the silver as a single oak leaf had blown up on the porch. The backdrop is a vintage metal Coca Cola cooler that sits on the porch to hold my potting supplies (I try to keep a few flowers going through the summer with varying levels of success!) I love the combination of the bright red of the cooler and the earthy tones of the wood and leaves. This porch is my favorite room in my house, especially for those few weeks each fall and spring when the Georgia weather is mild enough to enjoy morning coffee in my rocking chair.

12" x 12" oil on canvas

Friday, March 27, 2009

Stargazer in Light - by Leslie

This is a painting of a stargazer lily sitting on the ledge by the stairs leading up to my bedroom. There is a south-facing window at the top of the stairs where light streams in. I love the way strong sunlight penetrates the petals of a flower, making them glow. I find painting flowers to be an act of pure joy when I have this kind of light to work with. The lily sits in a bottle that I picked up somewhere for a quarter and the bubbles in the water play perfectly in the light. There isn't much to say about this painting other than these little scenes make me happy... happy when I see them, and happy as I paint them.

Stargazer in Light - 8" x 10" oil on canvas

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Waiting for Burritos - by Leslie

Most every summer we spend a week or so at Jeff's mom's beach house in Carolina Beach. In nearby Wilmington there is a fantastic Tex-mex restaurant called Flaming Amy's and up until a couple years ago they had a satellite location at the beach. This little scene is from that restaurant. As we sat waiting for our order, Jeff took a picture of the salt and pepper shakers on the table with the light streaming in from the window. If you look carefully, you can just make out the reflection of Jeff holding the camera. As I painted this, I could almost taste those Amy's burritos (the best I have eaten north or south of the border!) If you find yourself in Wilmington make sure to check them out, and you will recognize the thick glass salt and pepper shakers.

Waiting for Burritos - 10" x 10" oil on canvas

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thicket - by Jeff

I just finished this scene of a water tower in Midtown Atlanta. I wanted to give it a name that said something about the tangle of power lines in the foreground, and the relationship with the jumble of buildings and trees, I called it "Thicket." It's going to Alan Avery Gallery for his April 17 show.

Thicket - 48" x 48" oil and encaustic on panel

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Boy Tower - by Jeff

Another water tower painting! What can I say? People like them and I like painting them. This tower is in Salt lake city, but it didn't say "Happy Boy" or have that wacky logo. I made those up. It's actually the same tower that's depicted in "400 W." which is at Julie Nester Gallery in Park City, Utah. I'm starting to look at these towers as sort of a canvas-within-a-canvas, where I can depict all kinds of different ideas and concepts.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

RI - by Jeff

This is a painting I recently finished that I cleverly named "RI." See what I did there? It's a sign in front of a bowling alley in Salt Lake City. I painted it from a photo I took last summer when Leslie and I were there for my show at Julie Nester Gallery in Park City. The west is full of these great old signs. They're a novelty for me because you just don't see as many things like this in the Atlanta area. I think it's partly because we have so much more wet weather that the old signs break down, but also because the philosophy around here is al about tearing down anything old and full of character and replacing with something new (and usually character-free!) Oh well.

"RI" 30" x 42" oil and encaustic on panel

I guess I'm blogging again? - by Jeff

You know how if you've ever done any blogging, and then you stop for a while, you find yourself missing it? Yeah. I guess I'm at it again. Maybe this time I'll be more consistent with it. Ha!

Here's a painting I recently finished. It's called "Red Star." Can you guess why?

"Red Star" 30" x 24" oil and encaustic on panel