Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Craftsmanship, Oil on Linen, 12x16

revised 4/2/11

My good buddy Mike, who passed away several years ago, was a print sales rep by day, but if you really wanted to see him light up, you would ask what he had going on in his shop. He absolutely loved making fine working toys and mechanical devices out of wood. This little dump truck is a great example. The wheels turn, the side walls of the box can be removed and the box pivots up. You cant see a joint anywhere. Every piece fits perfectly. He was also into marquetry and just about anything that took extreme craftsmanship. I learned a lot from Mike about pride in workmanship and dedication to something you love. I miss my old friend.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hand Tools, Oil on Linen, 12x16 (SOLD)
I found some more old tools in my basement. I love the worn handles, the patina that comes from decades of hard work, the iron and wood and steel.

I wonder how many of the tools we buy today will still be around in 100 years. The toaster my mom bought in a second hand store in the 1940s works as well today as the day she bought it. On the other hand, we've been through about 8 coffee makers in the last 10 years. The longest one lasted was about 4 years. It's hard to find a spade with the heft of the old ones. The steel is thinner, and I think weaker. Everything is made out of plastic.

This painting pays homage to craftsmanship, pride in workmanship and building things right.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

End of Winter, Oil on Linen, 9x12
revised 4/3/11
Recently I was accepted into an organization called Project Art for Nature, a collaboration of artists in Wisconsin and Minnesota, working independently and collaboratively to create artwork which promotes stewardship of threatened natural areas in our region.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Poppies and Coffee, Oil on Linen, 16x12 (SOLD)
Up until now, I've never considered myself a still life painter. I'd rather be outside. But painting this one was a fun way to spend a cold, grey weekend. I can definitely see myself doing more of these in the future. It was a collaborative effort with my wife, Jerri Jo. She laid out the objects, making her what I guess you would call the "painting stylist". Originally there was an old TV tray with a rosemaling pattern on it but the colors didn't really do it for me so I switched that out with Jerri Jo's painting of the poppies. Yes, there's a painting in my painting. It was a real challenge to copy her style but I had fun trying. Below is a photo of her painting. Keep in mind that I photographed her painting in balanced light but I painted my painting of her painting in incandescent light, thus the color shift.

Poppies, Jerri Jo Brandt, Oil on Linen, 12x16 (SOLD)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tracks, Oil 9x12

The tracks seemingly go out to the middle of this field and end. Actually, whoever made them thought he/she would head across country, changed their mind and came back roughly the same way they went. I can see why- the snow was about a foot deep where I was standing. It was another beautiful sunny day with temps hovering around 30ยบ yesterday. The snow will soon be gone.