Monday, May 20, 2013

Something Nasty V

Posted by: Kate

Here is how the painting looked when Sadie got here yesterday.  Hair and hand painted.

Hand and face will need a bit of noodling.  The pots need to be finished.  The interior of the shed and the door bolt need to be finished.   And all the edges need a little finessing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Something Nasty IV

Second pass at the face.  Raced to get this done yesterday because my model came over with her family to take a look at the progress.

My flesh tones were an evolving experiment.  I waffled back and forth all day inverting my warms and cools until they felt right.  Her neck got a little thick, and I may have done an Egyptian eye--you know, where an eye in profile starts to become too wide and starts to look like you're seeing it more straight on than you should.  This can all be fixed later.

Here is the face under different lighting.  Isn't it weird how dramatically the form can change under different lighting?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Something Nasty III

Posted by: Kate

I wasn't able to do any work on this painting on Wednesday.  The whole thing was wet.  So I popped it in my varnishing hood with a lamp and let it cure.  By Thursday evening it was ready to for some essential oil of petroleum.  I wiped it down and took a look.

I plopped in some basic flowerpots.  I'm going to scumble and impasto some texture over top.

After being on a roll it was TORTURE not getting anything done for two days (an hour and a half of dinking around with flowerpots doesn't count).  Today I'm going back to the face.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Hey, Wha' Happened

 Posted by: Dave

So I thought I would give an update on what's happening in my studio since Kate is attempting to steal all the art glory on the blog.  Here is some stuff all finished up that I have been working on and one piece on the easel. 

 Crap on a table 

Second Day of the Dead completed 

More crap on a table...but with a blue book

on the easel now...surprise, another Vanitas piece.

One thing I finally need to address is the bio section on my website page (  In it, I say "David Gluck currently paints with a cybernetic right arm, which scientists confirm as the source of his powers."  More than a few people have taken this as a serious statement, which I find hilarious.  I have even had people look down at my hand when meeting me, expecting me to have an iron grip.  Probably my favorite was when my friend overhead someone telling everyone how I faked having a cybernetic arm to curry sympathy in order to receive grants etc.  Recently, I got the email below, with which I responded with the plot to the 6 Million Dollar Man.


"Dear Mr Gluck,
I'm a volunteer of Hubei Provincial Museum of China. One of your paintings "The Trapper" is displayed here.

From relevant introduction about the artist, we know you use "cybernetic right arm" to paint. We have no idea

How it works?Would you kindly tell us in a simple way? Hope we do not offend you!

Look forward to your reply,thank you very much!"

 My answer:

Sorry for the delayed reply.  When I was an ace test-pilot my ship crashed, nearly killing me. Deciding that the Canadian health care system had the technology to rebuild me, the government decided to augment my arm with cybernetic parts which gave me superhuman strength and speed. 

I have decided I might need to change my bio pic to this as a result of all the inquiries.

Matthew Innis was nice enough to make the one below for me.

Something Nasty II

Posted by: Kate

As of last night:

I'm not crazy about this photo.  I think I've got some camera issues to work out.  In real life the green is greener and the contrast is lower.

I used Nicosia Green Earth for the green.  I picked up the tube several years ago at the PSoA and tried to use it, but I'll be honest: I hated it.  It was a pretty colour, but the texture was bizarre compared to the paints I was used to.  I finally donned my big girl panties, though, and worked hard to befriend this ornery colour.  And today, it did exactly what I wanted it to.  I like that challenge of figuring out how to use a colour right.  I also used Nicosia to counter the chroma in the hair and skin.  I burned through half a tube of it painting the background and doing the preparatory studies necessary to figure out exactly how to get the texture right.

Here are the tools I ended up using to tease out that wood grain:

A nubby little spatula thingy that I was tempted to throw out many times over the years because I couldn't figure out what it was good for, and a ratty messed up brush from the hardware store.  The brush created an effortless scratchy impasto, and the spatula was used occasionally to scrape the paint off when it got too dense.  Works better than a knife.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Something Nasty

Posted by: Kate

Sadie and her husband are creeping up the west coastline as we speak.  Here's what I got done yesterday:

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Curious Case of the Impossible Deadline

Posted by: Kate

What do you call it when you have a gallery show deadline for three figurative paintings on July 1st?  You call it an "oh shit" moment.  This fall I will be participating in another Women Painting Women show with Principle Gallery, and I will be showing with a whole whack of lovely artists, most of whom I consider good friends, and most of whom will be incredibly pissed if I don't make this deadline.  One friend in particular, Sadie Valeri, is visiting me in a week's time, and will probably suplex me when she looks inside my studio and sees that there are no paintings.  So.  Before she gets here, I've got to finish one painting.  Or at least get it to the 90% mark.  Mentally, it's easier to give myself a deadline for 90% finished.  I will realistically need to go back a week or two later to fuss with some aspect of the painting.

Last night I took the blank surface to this point.

Until Sadie arrives, I will post my daily progress.  I probs won't do an in depth discussion of what I'm doing.  I need to haul ass.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Pee Ess of A

Posted by: Kate

Almost two weeks have gone by since Dave and I got back from the Portrait Society of America conference.  I attribute this gap partly to the fact that Dave and I felt like we had a fire lit under our asses when we got back and we just wanted to paint paint paint, but mostly to the fact that I kind of forgot the exact title of my award.  I was pretty sure it was Best Bikini Body, but Jeff Hein got the same award as me and he swore up and down that it was Best Guns.  But luckily for all of us Matt Innis was paying attention and took notes while the rest of us puzzled over that weird dessert with the syringe full of lime juice.  I got an Exceptional Merit, which is like the "you're a special butterfly, too" award.  I'm actually super pleased and didn't expect anything more.  It was such a great line up that I would have been embarrassed to receive anything higher.

If you normally go to the PSoA conference, you know what it's like; but if you haven't ever been, well, sonny, LET ME TELL YOU.  Hundreds of reclusive, socially inhibited art geeks crawl out of the woodwork, put on nice clothes that they probably had to borrow from a friend who doesn't get away with wearing sweatpants to work, and bask in the glorious sensation of being part of the crowd.  Dave and I don't get to hang out with other artists very much, so when we go to the PSoA conference we lap it all up.  We catch up with old friends and take this opportunity to make new ones.  There's always a crew of incredible people there.  The conference program is busy and interesting, with demos and lectures during the day; there is a vendors room where you can stock up on art supplies (a big deal for us, since ordering from the US can be expensive); and at the end of the day when the program winds down, there is always the lounge.  The lounge is where all the gossip is tossed out.  Oh, glorious art world gossip.  I wasn't sure I would be able to afford conference tuition this year, but I was planning on accompanying Dave, who had complimentary tuition from his win last year, and spending my days hanging out at the bar chatting up anyone who came through.

And here I am dishing out the shit with a subset of my Women Painting Women crew.  We're doing a show together this fall with Principle Gallery.

Left to right, me, Terry Moore Strickland, Cindy Procious, Sadie Valeri, Mia Bergeron, and Diane Fiessel (you'll have to imagine Alex Tyng and Linda Tracey Brandon).  Terry and Mia were each awarded a Certificate of Excellence.

Above, Dave and I are visiting with George in his and Tania's Natural Pigments booth.  They have an amazing colour chart now which we found very helpful.  For us, the vendor room is 90% all about Natural Pigments.  We kind of just spend the time hovering around their booth listening in on what George and Tania have to say about their products.  And the customers don't let them rest.  I do think that the PSoA coordinators need to come up with a relief system so that these poor vendors can tend to their collapsed blood sugar levels and exploding bladders.  I'm thinking IVs and catheters.

One of the highlights of the weekend was modelling for Jeff Hein.  Every year on the first day of the conference there is an event called "Face Off."  A dozen or so artists paint an alla prima and the masses vote for the best one, which determines who paints a demonstration on Saturday.  As it happens, Jeff Hein (also a finalist) was attending the conference for the first time this year and because of a cancellation, was asked to fill in for the Face Off.  He did a phenomenal painting and took the gold, because nobody told him that you're actually supposed to try to be second best so that everyone thinks you're awesome but you don't have to go to bed early on Friday night for the privilege of demoing in front of eight hundred people the next morning.  As it happens, he did an incredible demo and I found it almost impossible to keep from laughing the whole time from his commentary.  I also got to live my fantasy of being a megalomaniac despot with my face projected on three jumbo screens in an enormous room full of people.

I've been painted many times before, but Jeff is the first one to get my hostile neutral expression.  I can't help it.  I can be thinking about angora rabbits nibbling lettuce and I still look like I want to stomp someone's face in.  True story: Dave's nickname for me is Princess Pissy Pants.  Another true story: within two weeks of meeting Dave I realized he was the first guy I had met who wasn't fazed by this expression, and I would probably have to marry him out of necessity.

Another fun thing they do at the conference is something called the 6x9 Fundraiser.  At least a hundred artists donate a six by nine inch painting of whatever subject matter they like, and the work goes for sale anonymously for a flat rate of $250.  This means you could potentially walk away with a painting worth several times that amount if you wind up with a bigger name artist.  Dave and I each donated a piece this year.  I did a prank portrait of Matt, channeling some Van Dyck mustachios and a ruff.

And of course there's the banquet night.  Personally, I think that if you can't get a banquet ticket you may as well not go to the PSoA.  Just stay at home and drown yourself already.  Whether you're a finalist or not, the food is awesome and it's so much fun to get all dolled up and sit around with other artists who are also dolled up, and pretend to yourself, "You know, I really think I'm going to start dressing better.  I mean seriously.  I going to put on real clothes every day when I get home and not just paint in my pajamas."  The PSoA does an amazing job with the presentation of awards.  I felt real swanky participating.  Afterwards, everyone floods the lounge and partays.  I have a memory of the following morning, waking up at some ungodly hour from the sound of Dave rattling the bottle of Advils.  I rolled over and saw a pill on the bed inches from my face.   I stuck out my tongue and picked it up like a frog, then went back to sleep.

Our last day in Atlanta was kind of a whirl.  We had to dash around to say goodbye, pack up our paintings (we had some on display in the Natural Pigments booth), and steal Jeff's painting of me.  One thing I know about stealing artwork is that if you grab it like you own it and walk out without making eye contact, nobody will stop you.  Extra points if you thoughtfully pick out a hair with your finger nails and frown as you look at it.

And that, folks, was the PSoA.  I can't think of any other way to wrap it up.  But I would like to say one last thing:  holy crap are the PSoA staff is well-organized.  I tender my thanks for making my international shipment a breeze and for thinking of everything.  Party on.

Thanks to Felicia Forte, Terry Moore Strickland, Matthew Innis, Suzie Greer Baker, Mia Bergeron, and Tania Zaytseva for the photos.  And thanks to Tom for the beers.  It made us feel like special little butterflies.