Friday, August 22, 2014

Girl's stuff - still life oil painting

Here's my latest still life painting in oil.

Girl's toys still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
30x25cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

The plushy dog, the vase and the sequined shoes are all op-shop bargains.

I haven't really got a title for it yet. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments. (I've renamed it "Treasure" since I first posted it here.)

This was begun as a simple exercise in preparation for a larger painting but I ended up spending quite a bit of time on it. I still think I'll do another version, although I might rearrange a couple of things.

I introduced a range of new colours to my palette for this one, including a violet, sap green, a transparent yellow and two rosey reds. I felt that with a subject like this, I needed some vibrant colours that I wouldn't be able to mix from my standard set.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Treasurer's poor apology

If you're not into politics, feel free to skip down to the picture.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has a had a bad week.

Tasked with the job of a selling a budget no one likes, Mr Hockey decided to dismiss the concerns of "the poor" by saying they won't much be affected by a rise in the fuel excise, because they don't drive cars anyway.

He went on to describe the fuel excise as a progressive tax, and became possibly the first treasurer in history to not know what "progressive tax" means. In fact, he might be the first high-school graduate in history to not know what progressive taxation is - assuming he graduated.

Challenged over his insensitivity, he dug in his heels and said the statistics backed him up. Unfortunately, he couldn't find any actual people who would back him up, not even among his closest workmates, and eventually began to realise he might need to give up and say "sorry".

And say sorry he did. Although, reading the full transcript of his on-air apology, it mostly seems like he's sorry people noticed that he's completely out of touch with the needs and concerns of low-income Australians.

If he wants to remain as Treasurer, he really should have apologised for not understanding basic tax philosophy.

Anyway, that was just a long explanation of why I felt compelled to do another Joe Hockey caricature.

Joe Hockey poor don't drive apology caricature by andy dolphin

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New video - storing wet paintings

For a long time I battled with the problem of what to do with wet oil paintings.

I had a small rack I'd made from a piece of chipboard with some strips of pine screwed to it, but it only held four paintings at a time and there was a risk of the paintings falling off it, face first.

A few months ago I saw a much better solution to the problem...

As always, it's best if you go to Youtube to see the video in higher resolution

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Vintage Walter T. Foster books

In November last year, I wrote about my first-ever visit to the local auction house. It was a serendipitous visit, as I explained back then, which resulted in me owning the much-coveted, but long-out-of-print "Richard Schmid Paints Landscapes" book.

I also mentioned that I missed out on some Walter T. Foster art instruction books that were on offer in the same auction. They went with an opening bid of $30, which was more than I was prepared to pay for them that day (as I had already bought a couple of things and was yet to find out how much the Schmid book might cost me).

I grew up with Walter Foster books. My family had four or five of them covering a range of subjects from cartoons to animals to general drawing instruction. To this day, I can't walk past a Walter Foster book without flicking through it, although I don't see them all that often. I've bought a few over the years if the subject matter was relevant to me.

I have visited the auction house every week since my first visit in the hope of a repeat performance, but pickings have been thin, until this week.

Yesterday, I waited patiently for three hours as the auctioneers worked their way through the list of items from lawn mowers, to diesel engines, to lumber, furniture, crockery and, finally, to a small stack of Walter T. Foster art instruction books.

Again I readied myself for the bidding battle to end all battles. The auctioneer started at "Thirty Dollars?", "Twenty?", "Ten? Okay next item".

I raised my hand and cheekily offered five dollars for the books.

"Okay. Five dollars on the art books. Eight anywhere?...Yes. Eight I have. Ten dollars?"

Bummer, someone else wanted them after all. I nodded to ten dollars and resigned myself to paying more. I'd expected to pay anywhere up to $30 anyway, so I was ready for this.

But it was over. No more counter offers. A nod at ten dollars, and 14 Walter Foster books, including seascape and still life titles, were mine.

Walter T Foster vintage art instruction books

It now looks like I might be a collector of Walter T. Foster books. So if you have any you don't want.... :)


I just discovered the Walter Foster publishing company, founded in 1922, has a website and is still producing instruction books.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Brass vase and flowers - still life in oil

Here's the latest painting in my "brass on red" series.

Brass vase and flowers still life oil painting by Andy Dolphin
 Brass vase with yellow bouquet
25x30 cm oil on board. 
 © Andy Dolphin

As with the other still lifes, I'll probably work a little more on this one after it's dried a bit. I'll also try to get a better photo.

Here's how it looked as just an under-painting.

Brass vase and flowers still life under-painting by Andy Dolphin

I liked it so much at this stage, I'm thinking of doing a similar one with orange flowers.

I never intended for this to be a series but I'm enjoying the vivid colours and will probably keep playing with different arrangements until I get bored with them.


September 3 and 4, 2014

I entered the Newdegate Machinery Field Days art competition for the first time last year. My wife and I took the 3-plus-hours trip to visit the event and were impressed with the exhibition so I decided I had to enter again.

You'll find Newdegate about 400km south-east of Perth and 50km east of Lake Grace.

If you're anywhere near that region in a few week's time, you really should pay the show a visit. I may even bump into you there.