Sunday, August 31, 2008

"Day's End"

I tried to get the same relaxed peacefulness of the last painting.
Different colors this time, but I think the mood is similar.

"Day's End", 11" x 14" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

"Quiet Passing"

This family with their animals passed by so quietly that I barely knew they were there.
The area is one of my favorite places to go paint. It is very quiet and peaceful, but there is always ambient noise going on in the background. Mexican countryside noise like mooing cows, barking dogs, a radio off in the distance or a passing train. It gets me in the mood to paint.

"Quiet Passing", 11" x 14" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

As a side note. This is my 100th blog post on "My Paint Box".
Thanks for being part of it with me.
Your comments count so much and make me keep going.
I have seen a saying on a few blogs that I have visited that says
" Your Comments Feed My Blog".
It is very true.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"Mother Hen" and my palette

It has been a very rainy week here. I am working on several paintings in the studio. Here is one of them.
I was challenged by the subject being all in shadow. There was not a strong pattern of light and shadow to work with.

"Mother Hen", 11" x 14" oil on board, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

I enjoy seeing other artists palettes and the way they set them up.
I have shown my Open Box M setup on this blog before, but I dont think that I have shown this larger palette. The mixing surface is about 15" x 15". I use it on a table top in my studio or I can sit it on the drawer of my french easel.

Below is a photo of one of my home made palettes and how I have my paint arranged. I like to line up the colors along the left hand side. Since I am right handed, it is the easiest layout for me to grab paint with my palette knife. I always line my colors up from darkest to lightest. My little pile of phthalo blue is off to the upper right, out of the way, so it does not contaminate any of my other colors. There was not any on my palette when I shot this photo, but you can see the stain where it goes.
When I use liquin, I make a little pile of it at the bottom right.

The two sides are hinged and fold in to cover my extra paint for transport, and to keep it from drying out as fast. I keep my brushes on the tray on the right hand side and paint rags on the left hand side.

I sealed the whole thing with a few coats of tung oil to protect it, and it has a nice patina of oil paint building up on it. It is nice to have all the wood well sealed incase I get caught out in the rain.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer is Over

When I was growing up, summer vacation was always something that I would look forward to.
Long days that seemed endless, and playing late in our neighborhood.
Cramming into the car and driving to Cape Cod for a few weeks each July.
Now that Erin has been in school for a year, it is something that I can look forward to again. Every kid looks forward to that break from classes. A reason to slow down for a while and try to relax, although with a 5 year old, who's relaxing?

I guess that the summer '08 is officially over for us.
Today was the first day of the school year and Erin is back in classes.
She says it was the best day of school ever, so I suppose that's good news.

Now it is time to get back to work. I have several new projects that I'll be working on this fall and a painting trip in a few weeks that I am really looking forward to.

I'll be posting dates for two 5 day plein air painting workshops in March '09 very soon.
Oh, what the heck.
March 9-13th and 16-20.
I'll post costs and info soon and start saving spots.

Now back to the bit about our summer vacation.
This summer has been about trying to spend as much time not thinking about work as we could get away with, and still take care of business and obligations, like bills.
I usually travel with my paints and finish at least a few pieces every week. This year I refrained from whipping them out for three whole weeks. Julissa had to work a bit on vacation, but she had deadlines to worry about.
If you are a regular reader you know that we went to the States for three weeks in July. We visited my family and had all sorts of fun.

As a tribute to our summer vacation, I will bore you with a few snap shots of what we did this summer. Fun stuff, from a kids point of view, and mine.
Sorry, no art in this post.

Erin on the Dragon Raft on Lake Winnepesaukee, N.H.
I bought this guy 19 years ago and he is still holding up strong.
Erin is checking out a loon out there in the lake. See it?
Winnepesaukee is much bigger than what you see here. We are up at the end of a harbor. The main lake, or "The Broads" is about 23 miles long.

Erin running on the beach at low tide on the Cape Cod Bay. This sand bar is under water at high tide.
We visited our good friends Peter and Kathleen for just a day on our way back to New York. Erin really loves them.

But we had to keep going...

We had a plane to catch...

To visit Erin's favorite friends...

Chip and Dale.
She did not know about this part of the trip until a day before.
Five very fun, very humid, very fun days.
My sister joined us with her two kids which was very special for us.

Erin has also been taking riding lessons since May. Once a week or so, just when she wants to. She is really into it.
Isabella is a champion jumping horse. She is a beauty, and very friendly with Erin.
Last week Erin got to ride her out in the country instead of around the ring where she had been practicing.

Here is the little one taking her horse back to the stable after the ride.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Taking it Slow"

Trying to stay simple here with a focus on the guy on the donkey and a few of the cows nearest to him. I think that if a few details are given, the eye fills in the blanks on the rest.

"Taking it Slow", 8" x 16" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Sitting on Top"

Just couldn't resist trying a few more along these lines. "Violin" was so much fun.
The color in this one is a little more subdued.

"Sitting on Top", 18" x 14" oil on board, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Feeling a little influence of my older paintings that I posted earlier in the week.

I posted this one a little larger, so when you click on it you can see detail better.

"Violin", 18" x 14" oil on linen, Frank Gardner © 2008
Private Collection

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


It has taken me a while to get around to acknowledging some blog friends who have graciously passed awards on to me and my blog.
I am supposed to chose other blogs to pass these on to, but there are so many that I truly love, it would be unfair, and hard, for me to just pick a few.
I will be a party pooper, and just say that all of you do great work and deserve praise for your blogs.
Being part of the blogging community and sharing with all of you is a great honor.
For those of you who don't have blogs, you are great too!
I thank everyone for your visits to "My Paint Box" and for all of your kind and thoughtful comments.

I'd like to thank Paz for giving me this You Make My Day award.

Susan Carlin awarded me with the Arte y Pico Award.
Thanks Susan!
I translate Arte Y Pico to mean art and a little more.

The third award, Brillante Weblog, was given to me by Jennifer Thermes. Thank you Jennifer.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A couple of oldies

We got back from our summer vacation this weekend. Lots of traveling around and playing.

My family has a pretty large collection of my older paintings.
That's what happens when you don't sell many of them.
It is always nice to see all of those older paintings when I visit.
Here are two that I am particularly fond of.
The sizes are approximate. I guess I should have measured them.

"Fish", 30" x 24" ? , Frank Gardner © 1989
Private Collection

"W", 24" x 24" ? , Frank Gardner ©1989
Private Collection

Thanks for all of your well wishes for our trip. I'll get to posting a bit about that later.
It was just a family trip with no painting or blogging.
There is a lot of work to catch up on.