Ballet, Birds and Beautiful Failures

Blue Studebaker. Goauche on Paper

This week I branched out into some color explorations. I have been doing the pen and ink with watercolor drawings now for a couple of months and thought it was time to mess with a different medium. I have a bunch of gouache that I bought for an abandoned project a few years back. Goauche is great because it has the opacity of acrylics but spreads more like watercolor. True confession: I’m actually not a huge fan of watercolor. But for the quick, one-hour in the morning sketches it serves a purpose. Goauche is just a tiny step more involved but I have enjoyed the results. Let me know what you think.

Old Crow Medicine Show. Goauche on paper
Donnie. Goauche on paper.
Experiment. Goauche on Paper
This piece is slightly larger and took more than one session. I’m experimenting with color, blending, loose brush strokes… in other words, I wasn’t even going to post this one because it’s not “finished.” But I think it’s good for people to see that everything we paint isn’t done or ready for the public. But if you want an omelette…
Same Truck. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on paper
Ballet Class. Goache on paper.
This is my daughter Echo. She had class the other day and I took a bunch of photos (with her permission). Wow, the human form in motion is an awesome thing, isn’t it? There are a lot of things I will try differently next time but you see where I’m trying to go here. Fast and loose, lots of color.
The Dance Class. Degas copy- detail.
One of the joys of homeschooling my children is that I get to be their art teacher. Echo chose to copy this painting for her final in 7th Grade Art. So we sat down and copied a master for a couple of days. This is my version. I’ll let her post hers. The lesson for both of us: outside of just color, form and a beautiful subject matter, if you want to paint like the masters, copy the masters.
Walt Whitman. Pen & Ink on paper.
Leaves of Grass anyone?
In the studio, on the easel. Here’s what I’m working on today. I also have a commission on the big easel. Hope to finish that this week.


Whimsy, dreams and bike ride…

June 4, 2019
Sam Vance

Speed Bump Ahead. Pen & Ink, Goauche on paper. 8 x 10″
I was out on the bike yesterday when I came upon this sign. It made me laugh, thinking about recent events in my life I was like, “Thanks for the warning.” We don’t always get such an obvious sign along the way but I was grateful for this one. I also like the play of shadows on the bike trail.

I’m reading Mad Enchantment by Ross King about the life of Monet during his time in Giverny. Monet continues to be the gold standard for me (and for a lot of artists). We visited Giverny two years ago and it was simply magical. The painting above is yet another attempt to appropriate the color and the loose brush strokes that Monet is famous for. He makes it look easy. And it’s not.

Relic. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper.
We were sitting in the car, waiting for Max to get out of his cello lesson when I noticed this old phone booth. I went over to give it more close inspection and discovered that the old coin box had literally been pried open, metal hanging all over the place. But this is the kind of beautiful disaster that I love to draw and paint.

Way West. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper.
I don’t know what this started out as but most recently it was a Marijuana dispensary on Aurora Avenue, redeemed shortly afterwards by a Spanish speaking church, La Iglesia de JesusChristo. Love it.
Moving Day. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper.
Sometimes I wake up from a dream and draw what I see.
The Long Road. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper
Add Bardahl Oil. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper
Balance. Pen & Ink, Watercolor on Paper.
I got a lot of reaction from this one. The furthest response came all the way from Spain. Also from a dream…

New Commissions

June 3, 2019
Sam Vance

First layers

This is a new piece I started on this week. Commissions are part of the lifeblood of any working artist. I have painted peoples’ homes, toys, loved ones and in this case, beloved dogs on the beach. Let me know if there is something you would like to have painted! Thanks to everyone who has commissioned new work! I love to paint for you. ~SV

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