Monday, January 27, 2014

Whidbey Island Fine Arts Studio Workshops

Time to get your paint on and join us for a workshop or two!  Dave and I are each offering a four-day workshop in March on the beautiful Whidbey Island, WA.  Come for one, come for both.  If you come for both, there will be a two day gap in between during which you can drive up and down the island, imagining what it would be like to quit your job and move to this beautiful, artsy island where everyone seems to either paint or make pottery or garden.

I will be offering a still life workshop.  I have a lot to say about technique and craftsmanship, so bring your notepad and a sunny eagerness for learning.  Dave meanwhile will be covering the traditional atelier educational experience of making a copy of a master head study.  I will enjoy flitting through while he is teaching and going, "Tsk, why is he making you do it that way?" and then vanishing before he gives me hell.  So come and take part.  The marital squabbling alone will keep you entertained.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Uncanny...coming to a gallery near you

Dave and I are thrilled to announce that come October, we will be putting up a three man show with Teresa Oaxaca at S. R. Brennen Gallery in Santa Fe.  We've been holding our cards pretty close to our chests so far, partly because if you're going to start bragging about a show you should probably have some paintings to show for it.

Ta-da!  The first three paintings of the year have been drawn up.
We can't say enough about how excited we are to be collaborating with Teresa.  In the way that is possible in this new age of social media, we've been aware of each other for years without ever having met.  I now look forward to seeing how collaborating with another artist in a show will affect my own work.  For years Dave and I have painted side by side, jowl to jowl, getting all up in each others space in the process, and our work has kind of turned into two symbiotic life forms, like the oak tree and the ivy, or the algae and the fungi, or like a dog and his tapeworm.  It's been kind of wonderful to be able to feed off another person's energy and to view your own work through their filter and so on.  Just by hanging your work next to someone else's you will discover all sort of things about yourself as an artist.  And now I really look forward to putting my work up next to another talented artist with her own unique and powerful vision, and seeing what sort of impact it has on my work.

Teresa's studio
We've thrown up a website for the show where you will be able to read more about what we have planned and see photos of our work as it is completed.  Right now it's pretty sparse, but keep checking back to watch it grow.  Also, if you are fascinated by the creative process and would like to spy on us preparing for the show, follow us on Instagram or the Book of Face to see more pictures like the ones posted here.  We promise you lots of photos of works in progress and thought provoking studio shots of taxidermied birds wearing top hats and realistic baby dolls at perpetual tea parties.

Colour study for Dave's current portrait project.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A worthy cause

I tend not to promote the arts much on the blog, but this is better than both the Northern and Southern Renaissance put together.  There are only 3 days left to help fund what will surely be a piece of history for the ages.  I already bought my DVD.  Please donate and help to fund this kickstarter campaign.

"KUNG FURY is an over-the-top action comedy written and directed by David Sandberg. The movie features: arcade-robots, dinosaurs, nazis, vikings, norse gods, mutants and a super kung fu-cop called Kung Fury, all wrapped up in an 80s style action packed adventure."

Thursday, January 16, 2014


This update is a bit of a mish mash of pieces, so bear with me here.  I got a finished pic of "Red Sky", aka "The Fisherman" for your viewing pleasure, as well as the burdies all finished up.  I also started another piece of Brian, who you might remember from "The Trapper."  

Unfortunately, my documentation skills for work have been sub par as of recent, so my step by steps are  rather lackluster.  I just hate taking my gloves off, grabbing the camera all the way up in my wife's studio, and then bumbling around like Koko the gorilla trying to figure out the settings that get changed every time.  At least when Koko performed a task, he got an M & M. whereas I get nothing.  So, any stages that aren't shown were done by wizards.

Anyway, the Underpaintings auction raised a good chunk of money, so Matthew Innis can finally afford to get adorable costumes for his herd of feral cats. Personally I think he should just dedicate his blog to pictures of cats, since people love pictures of cats more than pictures of artwork, especially in costumes.

Burding away.
Study for future Shablamo.

As a test, I am including this photo to see if we get more blog traffic as a result.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Drawing Auction

All right, party people, time to blow the dust off your credit card and go buy an art.  Matthew Innis of Wünderpaintings is auctioning off a few of our drawings, plus a little ink beauty by Teresa Oaxaca.  Click here and take a look at Matt's post about the auction.  And yes, I know he mentions that the three of us are going to be in a show and we haven't said ANYTHING about that to anyone yet, let alone announced here on the blog.  We'll get to that.

The reason for the auction is that running a blog is kind of like volunteering: it doesn't pay.  I mean, who cares when you're putting in a few hours a week like Dave and I do, but the amount of work Matt puts into his blog almost qualifies as a full-time job.  And Idunnoaboutyou, but I rely pretty heavily on his blog to keep abreast of what's happening in my art community.  I've also learned more about art from Underpaintings than I have from any other resource.  In fact, I didn't even know I was a real artist until I saw one of my own paintings on his blog one day.

So get thee to eBay and make a bid before the auction ends tomorrow!  You can click on any of the images below to see the listings on eBay.  All proceeds go towards developing the Underpaintings blog.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Workshop in San Francisco

I'm super excited to remind y'all that I will be giving a still life workshop at the beautiful Sadie Valeri Atelier from May 26-30.  If you're interested, you can follow that link to sign up.  Here's the course description:
Learn some new tricks from award winning still life painter, Katherine Stone. This workshop will have two main thrusts: students will learn how to create paintings that will withstand the test of time, and they will learn Katherine’s own methods for creating textural and optical effects with paint.
Through demonstrations and a slideshow, students will learn how best to create paintings that will not crack, discolor, or delaminate.  Students will learn the roles that process and materials play in the making of long-lasting paintings.
While students work on their individual paintings, particular emphasis will be placed on making the most of your materials to create textural and optical effects.  Katherine will share her own approach to tackling wood grain, reflections, shadows, and peeling paint.  She will also discuss artistic choices in paint application: when to impasto, when to scumble, when to glaze.  In short, students will learn how to get the most out of their materials, and how to exploit the natural behavior of oil paint.
The point of intersection of these two themes will be a presentation by Natural Pigments owner and founder, George O’Hanlon.  Katherine’s method owes a large debt to his traditionally made paints and mediums, and particularly to his generosity with his knowledge.  In order that student may hear the information directly from the source, George will open the first day of the workshop with a lecture.
Isn't it kind of funny how when you need to brag a little you just switch to the third person?  I totally got away with calling myself an "award-winning still life painter."  So basically in this workshop I'm going to show you how I paint.  And I'm probably going to be a total nazi about what you're allowed to put in your still life.

I've asked George and Tania to swoop in and do a lecture, and although I said in the description that it will be on the first day, it might fit into the week a bit differently depending on their schedule.

I'm starting a still life this month which will have a lot of peeling paint and grittiness to it and I will bring it to the workshop for show and tell.  Hint: it involves a loved-to-death doll and duck wings.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Huntsman and Herdsman

After finding "Shadow of My Hand" posted on some random person's site as "Something Nasty," and one of Dave's paintings winding up in a competition mislabeled as "Crap on a Table," I'm adopting a new policy of zero cleverness in my blog post titles.  "Huntsman and Herdsman" is another painting inspired by Fern Hill, a poem about childhood by Dylan "Chillin'" Thomas.  The phrase, which refers to Cain and Abel,  references man's conflicted relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.  On the one hand, man as the protector; on the other, man as a predator.  Our duplicitous role as stewards and destroyers of animals is something that everyone struggles to understand as a child, and as an adult too.  Paul, the boy who modeled for me, is perfect for this painting because a) his parents are raising their kids to respect animals and nature without glossing over the fact that animals are food and that often their fate is at our mercy (as a family they fostered the kitten in the painting--a rescue who would have faced a life of starvation and disease without intervention), and b) his belly.

ROUGH SHOT.  Not for reposting.  Jerks.
Ima gonna come clean and say this painting was agonizing.  My original concept involved a gold leaf background (I was using a technique that involved vodka and shellac, but my vodka kept disappearing.  Incidentally, Dave drank a lot of White Russians during that time.)  Long story short, I failed one attempt after another and the whole concept began to emit a death rattle, so I just went for it without the gold leaf.  The upshot is that I was inspired to take a water gilding workshop once the painting was done.

The other challenge, of course, is the fact that it's a painting of an adorable boy with an adorable kitten.  I think every painter dreads the moment when someone says, "You could sell that to Hallmark!"  Neither does it help that Dave rarely approves of my paintings of children until they are finished.  Every time I asked if the painting was any good, he'd say,"Well, it's a painting of a cute kid with a cute kitten," and raise his eyebrows with ominous significance over the rim of his tumbler of White Russian.

I certainly didn't want the painting to be cute.  It's supposed to be a serious subject, this confusing world of death and life of which humans seem to be the oftentimes unwilling arbiters.  And in the end, I'm glad my attempts at gold leaf failed.  The darkness and loneliness of the background make Paul's gesture something more than simply sweet.  He's not just holding the kitten, he's protecting it.