Tag Archives: Art instruction

Artist In Residence at the Inn at Loretto

In town for ArtFeast Santa Fe? Be sure to stop by and say hello on Friday Feb. 21, 2014 from 10-2 at the Inn at Loretto in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I will be painting a watercolor for your entertainment!!



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The Stages of an Oil Painting

I recently completed a painting, and thought I would share a progression in photos. I compiled it all in a video viewable on YouTube.

Stop in for a visit and see “Mi Mejor Caballo” an oil painting of a young Charra and her horse!



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Caring for Giclee Prints-

As an artist who sell giclee prints, I feel compelled to offer up some reminders on how to care for them. I am aware of people who just don’t know about the need to be careful on placement of their newly purchased art- so here ya go!

Lets start with giclee prints on canvas. Hopefully they have been sealed with a layer of UV protectant to help filter out harmful lighting, yet as good as that sounds, that’s still not enough. Please don’t hang them on a wall that has direct sunlight streaming in where it will scan across those art prints. UV protection or not, it’s gonna get ’em eventually, and please don’t put a wonderful spot light closely zoning in on those prints either! The spots can do the same damage as the sun. So where am I getting this information? I have a very dear friend who owns Frame -N-Art gallery in Corrales, New Mexico. They are beyond being knowledgable on their trade and can really give you the right info on art conservation. This is not an ad for these folks but most certainly an endorsement for all the “right” information they have passed on to me on all the framing we have done together over the years. They have even lectured to picture framers about this on a national level.   Keep reading-

I was shown a giclee print on canvas done by a very well-known western artist that was brought into the Frame-N-Art shop by the owner, to show the shop what had happened to it. It was incredibly faded, like what happens if you put bright red cotton clothes in a hot wash and hot dryer and pull them out dark pink!! The sun had done it. The owners of the print got a replacement from the artist, yes he is still alive fortunately, but the owners got the print as a giclee on paper. Guess they weren’t brave enough to try it again on canvas. It’s where ya hang ’em on the wall folks!!

So this leads me into giclee prints on paper. You can use the same philosophy that I just wrote above on wall placement, and, yes, the sun and spot lights will also affect these. Giclees on paper can have a spray protective coating on them, and be put in a frame that has a uv protective glass or plexiglass layer over the top. That’s double the armor. Sounds like a lot of info, but a good framer will be able to set you up with the right frame works for this. Bottom line is the lighting.

With giclee prints, either on canvas, or paper, as with original paintings of any kind, take a look at how you’re hanging them, how close to them are those spot lights, etc? Your prints will last many generations, yes, with care, they can be passed down the family, over and over again!

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Watercolor Papers Updated-

To pick up where I left off on “Rethinking Watercolor Papers,” I have tried one that is cooperating! Lanaquraelle watercolor paper 300 lb hot press is great. It has a nice smooth feel and seems to have minimal freckling-oops, speckling. Don’t get me wrong, there still is some. There’s also some streaking, but I can work with that. I like the drag…the way the paintbrush moves across the paper surface.

I have met some watercolor artists that, believe it or not, don’t get as involved with their paper as yours truly. I take it seriously. When I see colors in my head and want to make sure I transfer that image to the paper, the paper needs to hold up it’s end of the bargain.

I will probably be putting more to the test, but like what I see so far. I’ll post a painting in the future done on this paper, and will make sure to let you folks know.

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Rethinking Watercolor Papers

I have been battling watercolor papers, Arches what did you do????  After using Arches 300 lb hot press watercolor papers for many years, I have been at battle with them lately. Seems my blue washes have been “speckling” to the point I felt like I was using a different surface.

First let me explain speckling. In applying a paint wash, you want to see the paint color go on smooth without streaking. When the paint  pigment starts to “spot” or accumulate so it looks like freckles, its “speckling”. Maybe it should be referred to as “freckling”, hmm…..  Either way, it’s frustrating. You can look at historical watercolors and see the speckles, so why am I taking issue? My blue pigments use to go on Arches hot press papers smoothly, but not lately. Hot press papers are smooth feeling with out a lot of texture, and yes, the texture would cause pigments to freckle, so I like to use smooth paper. In burning thru several sheets, and trying different blue paints (from different manufacturers) I have come to the conclusion that their  paper’s sizing has become heavier then it used to be. Elements, such as sizing, are added to the paper production to help their texture, color, weight, all kinds of reasons. A great breakdown of watercolor papers is this link:  http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/paper2.html Not all, but a lot of the papers have been broken down and processes have been explained. I have over the years, done my own testing, but this site actually put the words down for others to see.

So I am back to paper testing to get my blues the way I want them. I will let you know what I find.

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Mustang painting, a work in progress

"Solarosa of the Monero Mustangs" watercolor in the works, and less than half done

“Solarosa of the Monero Mustangs” 3/4 done


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Questioning at the Painting Midpoint

Finally after, transporting myself and horses to Santa Fe, NM for the summer, I am getting back to work!
I wanted to pose a question to those reading this who work as artists. Does anyone else out there hit a wall about halfway thru the artwork?
I have talked about this to countless artists, and seem to get the same response so far from all of them…..yes!
For me, I reach a point in some paintings where the details are not polished yet, about 65-75% thru, and I start wondering what I’ve got going on. It’s only a matter of a day and then it all jives again. So basically, my lesson to myself & others…..push thru it. It’s like a wednesday (hump day) in the work week, once you’re past it, the rest of the week is a breeze.


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