Friday, July 31, 2009

Buckskinner portrait

Buckskinner, 16X14, oil/canvas panel



Hi All,
I got back last week from my one man show at the Bosque Arts Center. Needless to say, it was a wonderful time. I got to meet a bunch of new people, reconnect with some old friends, and sell some work. One of the most memorable parts of the trip for me was getting to meet Rusty Jones, who is a wonderful painter and now a good friend. Rusty, bless his heart, drove several hours to come to the show from his home near Dallas. It touched me deeply that he would do this and I want you to know how much that meant to me Rusty. Be sure to check out his blog, which is linked here from my page. Unfortunately, I didn't think to run around with my camera and take lots of pictures of the reception. Something I'm sure I'll regret.

I also was fortunate enough to be invited to George Hallmark's 60th birthday bash the next night. It was a party of George and Lisa (his beautiful wife.....ya done good George), and 200 of his closest friends. George and Lisa are two of the most generous, giving people I've ever met. People came from as far away as England to celebrate with the master painter. One of the evening's highlights was getting to meet Martin Greele and have my picture taken with him and George. These are two of my painting heros, and I'm blessed to have gotten to know them a bit. In addition to being two of the best painters working today, they are just nice regular guys.

My latest painting is of a buckskinner named Frank. When I first saw Frank, he was being painted by artists participating in the Quick Draw for the Phippen Museum's Art Show on the grounds of the courthouse in Prescott, Arizona. Frank is a great character and makes the perfect model to paint. He's part Native American and can tell a story with the best of them. And he has lots of stories to tell. So many of the people who get involved in reenactments are like that. He offered to take me around the area, next time I'm in town, to show me the scenic sites. and to model for me. I always appreciate it when people go out of their way to make my job easier. Thanks Frank!

I loved the reflected light on his face in the shadows. With the sun hitting his grey beard and deerskin tunic, it was bouncing up into the shadows of his face. On portraits like these, I like to keep the edges soft. It keeps him from looking cut out on the background. Speaking of the background. I put him in front of one of my favorite backgrounds for these kinds of subjects. A textured plaster wall. I can use the colors that compliment what the subject is wearing, while still giving a bit of interest.


Jeremy Elder said...

Wow, I love your edges on this one - masterful!

Red-SSR said...

Wonderful portrait...Gary

Tim Fitzgerald said...

Wonderful painting your skill in painting never fails to amaze me. I read your reply on The Painters Key's on the topic of drawing, you were right on track with your comments,and it shows
with the final product your painting. I don't believe one can produce great paintings without great drawing. But that's my opinion.

Steve Atkinson said...

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys! I always like to get your feedback and I appreciate it more than you know.

Tim, I don't usually write responses to email newsletters, but I had a hard time believing that an artist of his stature was actually telling his readers that drawing doesn't matter. And I believe you hit it right on the head. If you are a representational artist, you can't produce high caliber work without the foundation of a good drawing. period. Stick to your guns.

Rusty Jones said...

Wouldn't have missed your show for anything Steve. I had a great time meeting you, your lovely wife, Ann, and I appreciate the introduction to George Hallmark. Can't wait for the Canyon De Chelly trip. I've been practicing painting red rocks. Great portrait of Frank by the way.