Sunday, September 21, 2014

Seeking the Words of Eternal Life

Seeking the Words of Eternal Life

18" x 24"
Oil on Masonite Panel

The idea for this painting grew over time.

Trying to become like our Father in Heaven is a process. Part of that process is trying to understand God and to follow the lessons in our personal education while here on earth.

Reading the scriptures places us in a position to feel the spirit and receive personal revelation. Sometimes that revelation doesn't occur until weeks or months after we have read something, when it is brought back into our thoughts.

So prayer, scripture reading and mediation all align to help us become more like the Savior.

The commandment to search the scriptures was not idle advice.

If we read or think His thoughts then we are starting to become like Him

Emery Brock was the model. It would be difficult to think of a better one for this subject. Emery read the Book of Mormon in its entirety before she was baptized.​ More than that she wants to be like the Savior.

A wonderful example to me.

And counsel from Sister Wendy Bagozzi - Study and ponder and come to know Him.

The painting is not a portraying of any particular place although clearly meant to reflect study within the home. I like the unity it has, the palette was relatively limited although not a three color Zorn type palette.


Different camera settings. The two dark spots are the bottom are holders at the base of the tripod stand that the painting is setting on.


What am I painting on?

I've been asked about the painting surface.

I have painted on several surfaces:

stretched cotton canvas
linen glued to wood panels
art store stretched canvas

I found that I spent too much time trying to get the surface smoother or stable.

Now I almost always make my own.

Most are 1/4 inch hardwood plywood or high density hardboard [hdf or 'masonite']

The hdf is a nice surface but a little heavy. It is hard to get a 4 x 8 sheet that isn't already warped. They don't store the stuff on a flat surface at the big box retailers. It is always laid on 4 large beams with waves between each support.

​The plywood is lighter. I have used Home Depot's Sandeply but now mostly like Lowe's hardwood plywood. I think that the surface is more uniform, a bit heavier and a little smoother, plus the back is already sealed saving one step.

When cut to the dimensions I want -
-seal the back with varnish if not already coated, this is to prevent moisture from distorting the panel
-it is then coated with at least three coats of Jerry's Best Gesso
​-sanded after the second and last coat with an orbital sander
-finished with Zinsser's Total Cover oil based paint. This is tinted to an ochre hue or less commonly left white

I put that on because the un-coated gesso is 'dry' and sucks the oil out of the paint leaving it flat.

This provides a stable, much smoother surface.

It can also be placed into frames that are too shallow for stretched canvas.

Incidentally paints [Windsor and Newton, M. Graham and Gamblin], mediums, brushes, varnish, hanging supplies, etc. are almost all purchased from Jerry's online.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Midway Solitude

Midway Solitude

18" x 24"
Oil on Panel
[click on the image to enlarge]

Midway, Utah is a small mountain valley or series of hollows nestled into the base of the Wasatch Mountains.

Perhaps because it was similar to Switzerland in appearance it attracted several Swiss farming families in the early days of its settlement

As a child I lived nearby and enjoyed visiting family members in this area. It has a volcanic soil and a light weight, air infused lava rock and some of the homes and public buildings were made of this yellow/grey 'pot rock' material. Some warm springs and the Homestead which makes use of one are also here.

It has been labeled scenic and is now a cosmopolitan area with expensive resort and retirement homes. I guess this is a part of what some may consider progress. 

I designed this painting not to show any particular area however I wanted to suggest the feel of the area in the earlier days.

Perhaps not really worth much in worldly terms it has a wonderful soul-restoring peace.

another camera setting

And a warmer temperature

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Moran Point

Moran Point
Grand Canyon

16" x 24"
Oil on Panel

Moran Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is popular viewpoint. It's named for an artist - named  'Moran' amazingly enough, except there seems to be a disagreement about whether this is referring to Thomas or Peter.  Whatever....

There is also a scenic Moran Point in Yosemite NP. And a more famous Moran Point in Yellowstone NP - this time definitely associated with Thomas. He made the place famous and it repaid the kindness by making him famous and successful. His paintings were also a factor in leading to the the national park designation for that unique area.

I became interested in this Arizona site while looking for reference material associated with Capitol Reef.

This has wonderful contrasts

I designed this with a late afternoon treatment. When painting I often establish the most dark and the light areas and then work from distance to foreground in landscapes. This painting was done by doing a more complete gray scale under-painting and then adding the color.

Perhaps it improved the unity

This painting is also in a 2:3 size ratio rather than more conventional 3:4 [18" x 24"], I think that this puts emphasis on the linear nature of the area but not as much as the 1:2 ratio used for 'Capitol Reef'

The downside is that the panel and any frame must be custom made.

The greys are very sensitive to light levels and processing in the digital images.

Framed in a modified plein aire style frame that I made