Monday, August 25, 2008

New Painting: "Lunch Line"

Hi Everyone,
I've been painting furiously in the studio since I have a number of shows coming up soon. This is one of the paintings I'm going to send to Texas Art Gallery's Auction in November. Even though the auction isn't till November, the paintings are due in the middle of September.

Lunch Line, 24X40", oil on linen

Back in June, I spent a few days in Colorado. While there I met Ian, the wrangler for the ranch where I was staying. He was kind enough to allow me to follow him around snapping photo reference of him doing his everyday chores. This painting is a result of that day. Lunch time came around, and as he started filling the troughs with hay, the horses all took their places along the rail and waited. As he filled the troughs, it got pretty dusty. With the sun backlighting the scene, it fairly glowed with light. I knew when I was standing there that I would be painting this scene. I combined many photos to get this painting. A couple of photos for the background, the wrangler came from another and the horses were placed to best show off their individual colors and poses. I almost never get that perfect photo from which I can paint in the studio to make the scene I have in my head.

Sometimes naming a piece is harder than painting it. Once in a while I have the name nailed down before I start. Sometimes I come up with a name and think of a scene that fits it. But usually its a bit like giving birth. I think about it, let it develop in the back of my mind, but never force it. Thank goodness it doesn't take nine months for it to be born. Often times I'll discuss my ideas for names with my wife Ann. Sometimes she likes what I come up with, other times she just smiles at me (that's how I know I need to keep working on it). After a short brainstorming session, she came up with the name for this painting "Lunch Line". I knew when she said it, that it was the perfect name.

Along with a custom western frame from America West Frames and a name plate, the painting has the impact I first dreamed of when I was standing at the site. If you are a painter looking to take your painting to the next level, I've found a custom frame with a name plate is the way for me. I always love to look at paintings that have a name plate that tells you the name of the painting, along with the artist's name. It just feels so complete to me. Like a cherry on top of a sundae. After all, I like to think of the frame as an extension of the painting. If you choose the right one, you can make a good painting look great! The way an artist frames their paintings tells me a lot about what they think about themselves as an artist. If you put cheap frames on your work, it tells the world that even the artist doesn't think that much of it. Scott Christensen once told me that when he first started out, often the galleries would make more on one of his paintings than he would, because he would put the best frame on it that he could afford. Since artists pay for the frame themselves, the cost of the frame is taking that part of the profit directly off the top. But your paintings will show much better and in the long run, your reputation will grow because of it. Collectors of art aren't just informed on art, they also know frames. So do yourself and your legacy a favor and put the best frame you can on your painting.


Theresa Rankin said...

Your sense of place and light is outstanding! I am sure this will be a winner! Congrats on an outstanding piece of work!

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks Theresa! I enjoyed your website, by the way. You are very talented and have quite a range of subject matter. It keeps things interesting to change it up, I find. I appreciate your feedback. Keep up the good work!


Karen Hargett said...

I love this painting! I just found your blog not to long ago and have been thoroughly enjoying your work.

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks for the comment Karen. I appreciate your kind words. Keep in touch! I will be posting more paintings in the next few of days.