Archive | September, 2012

I Remember the Mad Men. . .

30 Sep

Starburst clocks, kidney-shaped coffee tables, and big-eyed children in Walter Keane paintings! I was “into” what’s now called “midcentury style” long before it became a craze because of the popularity of TV’s Mad Men. And that’s mainly because I’m old enough to remember when it was all cool the first time!

Yup, I grew up with this stuff, and today when I surf the net looking for midcentury memorabilia, I’m always getting little memory jogs about things I’d forgotten long ago.

Like the pencil box I had in first grade (1966) that featured a print of a Keane painting on the cover. (Two big-eyed waifs dancing to music from a record player–oops–I meant turntable.) I have no idea whatever happened to that pencil box, but I haunt Ebay and other vintage sales sites looking for its doppelganger–’cause I’m sure it’s out there somewhere!

Midcentury style definitely wasn’t at all cool in the late ’80s/early ’90s, but I created a lot of abstract watercolors in those days anyways, inspired by midcentury abstract art biggies like Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, and Jasper Johns. I guess I always knew it would come back in style eventually–most things do.

The piece below is a good example of my style from that period. One of the cool things I like about it is that it features a slightly raised underpainting in white Elmer’s glue–a first grade arts ‘n crafts trick adapted to a very adult piece of work.

After the glue dried, I washed layers of watercolor over it, and the colors settled into the nooks and crannies of the glue relief and created some very cool effects. You can see the glue under-pattern pretty well in this digital photo. (Although, of course, it looks much better in real life)

“Mad Men Style” Abstract Painting, Copyright S.K. Cole, 2012. All rights reserved

Just Finished This One. . .

29 Sep

For a change of pace, I did this new painting in Sennelier oil pastels, mixed with turp and linseed oil (which seals the pastels so that they dry like regular oil paints.) I did a lot of scumbling in this pic, which I don’t usually do with regular oils, but for some reason, I feel that oil pastels just cry out for some really vigorous scumbling.

(“Scumbling” means scratching a layer of paint to show either the canvas underneath, or another layer of color that’s been put down previously and then allowed to dry. I used the handle of my paintbrush and even my fingernails on occasion to scratch in some of the detail.)

I bought French-made Sennelier pastels for this piece so I could brag that I used expensive materials for it on my Etsy site, but if the truth be told, ultra-cheap Pentel oil pastels actually worked a little bit better for this technique when I tried it a few years ago. The Sennelier pastels were a bit on the soft side and kept crumbling when rubbed into the canvas; the Pentels were sturdier. More proof that expensive isn’t always the best way to go, even for art materials.

The subject matter is an old,  giant prickly pear cactus that grows on the historic Reinstein Ranch in Livermore, California. The owners’ motto is “keepin’ it rural” and they maintain an old-fashioned, working, cattle and horse ranch right on the fringes of northern Silicon Valley. Multi-talented rancher Roberta Reinstein offers her own spectactular hand-made jewelry here.

“Prickly Pear, Reinstein Ranch” Copyright S. K. Cole, 2012. All rights reserved.

I Sold Another Painting!

27 Sep

The good folks at Bubbies Pickle Company bought my still life  (oil-on-watercolor paper) which uses one of their cute pickle jars as a subject matter. I love Bubbies pickles! They are old-school New York deli style dill pickles, with the emphasis on “dill.”

Best of all, they’re named after my daughter’s Ashkenazi Romanian-Canadian grandma (just kidding).

“Bubbies Pickle Jar With Apples,” Oil Painting on Paper, Copyright 2012 by S. K. Cole. All rights reserved.

I Sold a Painting!

25 Sep

It was this one: . According to the folks at Etsy, it was the  most viewed item in my shop.

“Crazy Salad” Watercolor Painting, Copyright S. K. Cole, 2012. All rights reserved.

My Etsy Site is Online!

21 Sep

It’s called S. K. Cole Portraits ‘N Pics. Here’s a sample painting for sale. It’s done in watercolor and colored pencil and features a pair of little boys’ buckskin Indian moccasins. They actually belonged to my now not-so-small baby boy:

Boys Nursery Art Indian Moccasins, Original Watercolor, Moccasins, Boy Baby Original Art

“Indian Moccasins” Watercolor/Colored Pencil Original Painting, Copyright S. K. Cole, 2012. All rights reserved.

Hello world!

14 Sep

Blogging my recent adventures in art, online art, and digital publishing.