Wednesday, January 30, 2013

You're Coming Unraveled Over Nothing

© A.K.SIMON - You're Coming Unraveled Over Nothing - 8"x8" oil on linen - $60

click to bid in auction

30 day painting challenge - I don't even remember what # painting this is. I'm still working out the details of my painting series "30 days Hath September" – it will get finished! I'm working on one today and I've got the plan for tomorrows. To see all the painter's works in the challenge go here:

I guess there's nothing worse than disappointing yourself. I will not even come close to completing 30 paintings in 30 days, but I did work hard at it. Here's a link to a Robert Genn newsletter that I think is very telling about myself (click here for read it). I think slow, work methodically and find satisfaction from study. I do paint everyday, I just don't finish everyday. Although, there have been times when a painting just flows off the brush and it's done (wish they weren't so few and far between).

OK, done beating myself up over nothing - Thus the title of this painting for today - Sometimes I come unraveled over nothing and I ALWAYS regret it. One good thing abut working on these smooth linen canvas boards is that they work very well with palette knife work. I just thought this piece needed the thickness because of the thickness of the pith (the whole still life is just sitting on some glossy foamcore). I hope you can smell the orange!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Playing "Catch-Up"

©A.K.SIMON - Playing "Catch-Up" - oil on linen - $100

click to bid in auction

30 day painting challenge - trying to play "Catch- Up" but at this point I'm sure I've been "lapped"! I don't even remember what # painting this is. I'm still working out the details of my painting series "30 days Hath September" – it will get finished!

So, I love my ketchup (not sure when it changed from catsup) on meat - I rarely eat it with fries. The sweetness of regular ketchup with fries can be sickening. If you feel the same, I've got a solution for you. Heinz has now produced this balsamic vinegar (barely legible in the painting I know) option. It is a strong, more savory flavor than the other kind and I now prefer it, but still only on meat of course. 

Anyway, after using this bottle for dinner (hopefully you can see it sliding down inside the jar from the top) I sat it on the counrter. Then, as we artists know, the call of the light coming through the window lighting up that red made it almost impossible to eat (notice I said almost). I photographed it after dinner and painted it today. Sometimes it takes very little to make me happy - I like this one because I can taste the new flavor when I look at it! The glow in the background is the "kiss" of sun on the fridge in the background.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Reverence For All Blood Relatives & Uncle Sam at Arlington

©A.K.SIMON - Reverance for All Blood Relatives - 8"x8" oil on linen $100

©A.K.SIMON - Uncle Sam at Arlington - 8"x8" oil on linen - $100

I'm adding this painting to the blog because I wasn't thrilled with the first. i do like this one better.

"Thirty Days Hath September”  – 30-day Painting Challenge, Day 7 for me (actually 10 images but only 7 now in my theme - I think this one will be a re-do)  - follow the challenge at lesliesaeta.blogspot  - 

Historical Event: September 7, 1813: "Uncle Sam" was 1st used to refer to United States - the image followed later.

MY TAKE: Not sure why my mind went to Arlington when reading about Uncle Sam because it could have gone to baseball and apple pie. But having been to Arlington and feeling the sorrow that I'm sure everyone collectively feels in a place of reverence such as this, I thought it would be a powerful image to show "Uncle Sam" as representative of ALL. (Head bowed in a reverent moment of silence). But then again there is that image of Flagg's Uncle Sam pointing right at you and asking for your support - images can be so powerful can't they - maybe that's why my mind went the Arlington route!

HISTORY: In the late 1860s and 1870s, political cartoonist Thomas Nast (1840-1902) began popularizing the image of Uncle Sam. Nast continued to evolve the image, eventually giving Sam the white beard and stars-and-stripes suit that are associated with the character today. The German-born Nast was also credited with creating the modern image of Santa Claus as well as coming up with the donkey as a symbol for the Democratic Party and the elephant as a symbol for the Republicans. Nast also famously lampooned the corruption of New York City's Tammany Hall in his editorial cartoons and was, in part, responsible for the downfall of Tammany leader William Tweed.
Perhaps the most famous image of Uncle Sam was created by artist James Montgomery Flagg (1877-1960). In Flagg's version, Uncle Sam wears a tall top hat and blue jacket and is pointing straight ahead at the viewer. During World War I, this portrait of Sam with the words "I Want You For The U.S. Army" was used as a recruiting poster. The image, which became immensely popular, was first used on the cover of Leslie's Weekly in July 1916 with the title "What Are You Doing for Preparedness?" The poster was widely distributed and has subsequently been re-used numerous times with different captions.
In September 1961, the U.S. Congress recognized Samuel Wilson as "the progenitor of America's national symbol of Uncle Sam." Wilson died at age 88 in 1854, and was buried next to his wife Betsey Mann in the Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New York, the town that calls itself "The Home of Uncle Sam."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

They Really Are Tall, Aren't They?

©A.K.SIMON - They Really Are Tall, Aren't They? - oil on linen - $60

Did this piece while painting with some friends in the upstairs painting group I join every Tuesday mornings. Donna set this up and all I had with me was a pre-primed gray canvas. So here's what you get when trying to fit a strong vertical into a square - plus being limited on time. I hate winter! The sun goes down so early that I am always losing the light in the studio before I get the paintings finished. Plus, today is payroll tax deposit day. That, along with end of year, quarter and W-2's to file, there is NO extra time. 

Tomorrow will be fun – meeting with a group of artists to do group critiques – should be interesting. Not sure when I will paint.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Room With A View

©A.K.SIMON - Room With A View - 6"x6" oil on linen - $50

Another filler piece in the challenge. I'm posting it today but I will probably touch up a few things tomorrow before I start the next one. It was also too late at the studio to get the good light for a decent picture so I will fix it tomorrow.

This work was done on a panel that I had primed with bright yellow oil paint back in December. I then just covered the whole canvas with purple/brown paint then carved the rose out with "turp". Sometimes this works better for me because it is more like sculpting. Once the underpainting is done I add cool and warm tones where they seem to fit.

I'll take a better picture tomorrow - still working the series pieces too.

A positive thing and one reason I'm behind is that I had work hanging in the plein air show in Springfield Museum of Art and today had to make the trip to bring that work home. Springfield is a little over 60 miles from home. So, today when I was grumbling about making the drive, I remembered that it was an honor to be juried into the show! I snapped out of it!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rosey Outlook

©A.K.SIMON - Rosey Outlook - 6"x6" oil on linen - $50

Day 6 I think (mine is definitely now a 30 painting challenge - a new series) Really lousy picture I know - I'll fix it tomorrow at the studio in better light!

"So many things to do and so little time to do them" - don't remember who said this but I can totally relate.

This is a filler piece for the daily challenge (next few days may be too so I can catch up – starting another after I finish typing this) because the next piece in the theme is still in the planning stage. I remember a workshop with C. Michael Dudash (check out his website - he is awesome) where he said, "make a plan and stick to it!" Okay, easier said than done. Sometimes making the plan when depicting a story takes more planning than you hope (all the while the rest of your life falls apart).

The best depiction of stories told seem to be by, in my opinion and with my limited exposure, the "western painters". They take stories from historical events and re-enact them on the canvas, i.e. Howard Terpning (

So the sweet story of this flower is that it was a gift from Jerry (hubby) with the note, "I think you're crazy for even trying to paint a painting a day but whatever the outcome, it will be a success because you tried." Yeah, he is that supportive! (Okay so I know he reads this and I'll earn "suck-up" points.)

Here's the link to the challenge again:

Friday, January 11, 2013

Gone Co-ed

©A.K.SIMON - "Gone Co-ed" - oil on linen - 8"x8" - $125
Thirty Days Hath September”  – 30-day Painting Challenge, Day 5 - follow the challenge at lesliesaeta.blogspot

Historical Event: September 6, 1837: Oberlin Collegiate Institute of OH goes co-ed (4 women & 30 men)

This idea came about because when thinking about going co-ed the biggest deal for me would be SHARING THE BATHROOM - yikes! But of course we all know this just meant co-ed classrooms.

I’m getting really far behind because of the magnitude of this self-imposed super challenge so I may have to do a few quick filler pieces to catch up!.

This little piece of trivia popped out at me because I am from Ohio and just happened to take an “engagement counseling” workshop at Oberlin. My soon-to-be husband and I read about a pre-marriage counseling workshop that was going on at Oberlin and decided to attend. That was almost 34 years ago (did I say that out loud?). Though I graduated from Ohio University (est. 1803) my husband is from Lorain, which is a city close to Oberlin. It is really a charming school and is known for being the first college in America to adopt a policy to admit students of color (1835) and the first to grant bachelor’s degrees to women (1841) in a co-educational program. Not to mention their awesome art museum!
Here are a few tidbits

Oberlin, Ohio, population 8,300; 35 miles southwest of Cleveland, Ohio

440-acre residential campus
Architecture by Henry Hobson Richardson, Cass Gilbert, J.L. Silsbee, Clarence Ward, Wallace Harrison, Minoru Yamasaki, Hugh Stubbins, Warner, Burns, Toan & Lundy, Robert Venturi, Bostwick Design Partners, Krill Company Inc., Westlake Reed Leskosky
Arts and Culture
The Allen Memorial Art Museum, with collections that place it among the top five college art museums in the nation, was established in 1917.
The Apollo Theatre, one of the few continuously running, single-screen movie houses in the country, was established in 1913.
The Main Library in Mudd Learning Center, and three other campus libraries specializing in music, art, and science , house more than 2.4 million items.
The college and conservatory sponsor more than 500 concerts and recitals, about 40 theater and dance productions, and two operas each year.

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