Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New oil painting "Approaching"

Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
30" x 40"

Finished at last! I've been posting progress on this painting for a couple of weeks.  Like a lot of paintings, I was really excited and happy with the beginning stages, then I hit an impass where I nearly decided to scrap the whole thing and paint over it, abut I finally found my groove again a few days ago and managed to finish strong.  After managing to capture the yellow and pink glow of the lighter clouds in the background and adding some brighter foliage to the tree line, the storm clouds up front just didn't seem foreboding enough.  I also didn't like the transition from the dark masses to the lighter surrounding areas, and overall I wanted more texture and energy.  I repainted the light rain at the bottom right, then went after the rain clouds.  Adding a bit of deep purple and grayish hues and letting myself play with the thicker impasto paint, painting, scraping away, and repainting the areas, seemed to give it the vitality I was hoping for.  Overall I'm pretty pleased with the painting.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about it too! Now it's time to tackle some of the canvases I have drawn and toned from Bolivar Flats Beach.  

Monday, March 25, 2013

More progress on a new painting -- Heavy Cloud (now with a light shower)

I managed to get quite a bit of painting done yesterday including a few hours on this painting whose finish has seemed to elude me. I repainted the sky areas around the clouds and layered some more color in the clouds at the top right. I added some variety and color to the dark mass of trees at the bottom, and I've managed to indicate the light shower of rain starting at the bottom right half. I'm pretty happy with most of the painting now. I think darkening the sky beneath the clouds and added the lighter parts of the trees really helped being the painting together. I want to do a bit more with the darker clouds. The transition from the clouds to the sky isn't quite right and I want a bit different feel in the brushwork. Then a few highlights with the clouds and maybe ill finally be done with this one.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Heavy Cloud, No Rain (finally getting back to work on this one)

Been awhile since I've painted on this one. As so often happens life intervenes. Spring Break and a hectic work week led to a much bigger break between painting sessions than I like. Then I had some doubts about getting back to it, but last night I bit the bullet and went back to work on this large painting. I only managed a couple of hours but made good progress on the lighter clouds in the top left and now feel inspired to finish again. I've almost got the whole canvas covered and should finish the initial lay in tonight. Of course, that's just the beginning. Then the real painting fun starts....

Thursday, March 21, 2013

New Daily Oil Painting Sunset at Bolivar Flats

Sunset, Bolivar Flats
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"
Click here to purchase this painting.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I'm a sucker for a good sunset, and sunsets at the beach are always spectacular.  Even without much cloud cover the sky blazes with orange, green, pink, and yellow hues in a seemingly endless range of tints. 

This is a view along Bolivar Flats looking towards Galveston Island.  You can barely see the silohuete of the high rise hotels on the island.  One of my favorite things about these small, quick daily paintings is the freedom to explore and experiment. Here I played up the bright, pastel hues in the sky and the overall golden high key color scheme.

I rather enjoy the quickness of the brushwork in this painting.  This particular evening at the beach was quite windy and the water was pretty choppy.  I tried to mimic the action of the wind and waves with my brush.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dealing with Depth in a New Daily Oil Painting of the beach at Bolivar Flats, TX

Boliver Flats #2
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Click here to buy this painting.

Here's another new 5"x7" daily painting if the beach at Bolivar Flats, Tx. Instead of the long diagonal view along the shoreline I had in yesterday's painting, today I'm facing the horizon head on. Converging diagonals automatically convey a string sense of depth. The space in a view like this is much more subtle and can be tricky to handle. I exaggerated the color shifts and contrast in the short expanse of beach, and tried to use softer edges in the distance, leaving the livelier juicy brushwork for the salt grass and seaweed up front. Strong texture and crisp edges tends to project forward in space while the smoother transitions recede. This same effect can be seen in the sky. The light blue towards the distant horizon was kept soft, while the closer clouds were painted with strong brushstrokes. This is an oil painting on oil primed linen panel. I'm very excited and super inspired about this new series of Gulf Coast paintings. I hope you enjoy them too!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Gulf Coast Beach Vacation and New Daily Oil Painting "Bolivar Flats"

Bolivar Flats Beach
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"

Click here to purchase this painting.

I've always loved going to the beach. Growing up in Beaumont, TX the Gulf Coast was just an hour or so drive. I come from a large family and my father was a school teacher so money was pretty tight. Nearby Crystal Beach and Galveston Island made for reasonably inexpensive family vacations. Throughout high school and college trips to the beach were frequent, and when I got married we honeymooned in a borrowed beach house from my boss. I used to do lots of paintings and pastels of Galveston Beach and Sea Rim State Park, but after moving to Dallas in 1998 going to the beach became a rare and expensive trip. When I moved back to Southeast Texas this past summer I immediately had the beach on my mind. This past week was Spring Break and I had my kids for the week so we made a trip to Galveston and stopped by Bolivar Flats beach on the way home. Bolivar Flats is just this side of the ferry landing at the tip of the peninsula. It's a lovely stretch of beach with some good variety of plants and an interesting coastline, and the sand dunes that are a regular occurrence at low tides make it a favorite feeding ground for a large variety of shorebirds. I enjoyed sunset there so much that my kids and I made a return afternoon visit later in the week. I'm already thinking of a large series of paintings of the area. This 5" x 7" oil painting on an oil primed linen panel is my first study of Bolivar Flats. This is the view along the shore looking back towards Crystal Beach. I loved the reddish greens of the seaweed along the shore and the bright sunlit expanse of beach in the far distance. I'm planning to do several small studies to get my feet wet again while I start planning some larger works.  In the meantime I'm looking forward to the warmer weather and many more trips to the Gulf Coast.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Hot Day at the Lake Daily Paintworks Auction (and a quick nod to visual rhythm)

Hot Day at the Lake
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"

Click HERE to bid on this painting.

Another of the small paintings I did of Lake Mineral Wells, TX.  I think this was the second in the series I painted and has always been one of my favorites.  The musician in me loves rhythm, so I've always found myself drawn to the verticals of tall grasses and trees.  Here the colorful flowering reeds along the shore make a quick and lively staccato rhythm against the calmer waters and simplified masses in the distance.  I enjoyed pushing the color harmony, particularly the soft yellow against blue in the background and the pop of the red against green in the foreground.  I really wanted to capture the intense warmth of the bright light on a summer morning in Texas.  I'd love to find this painting a good home.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Rocky Shore Daily Paintworks Auction

The Rocky Shore
by Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"

Click here to bid on this painting.

My children and I spent some time camping at Lake Mineral Wells in the summer. We rented one of the small screened cabins right on the water for the weekend.  All along the lake are paths carved from the boulders and rock formations along with benches and platforms along the water to enjoy the view.  This painting is the view we had right across from our cabin.  I did a series of small paintings of Lake Mineral Wells along with a few larger canvases.  This is one of the handful of paintings from the lake left.  It's time to find this painting a new home!   It's a beautiful and inspiring place and I'm hoping to get back there soon.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Utrecht Oil Paint Review

Being an artist isn’t cheap.  As if the years of unpaid training perfecting your craft weren’t enough, the price of decent paints, canvas, brushes, and other materials or tools of the trade is enough to make you faint.  Budget minded painters often find few choices at the local Michaels or Hobby Lobby stores, and most cities I’ve lived in, even larger urban areas like Dallas, TX, simply don’t have much in the way of art supplies.  Over the years when money and time has been tight I’ve often snagged a quick replacement tube of Winton (the student grade paint from Windsor & Newton) simply because it was the only larger size tube available at the local craft stores.  Winton did ok in a pinch, but the feel and tinting strength of most of the colors leaves a bit to be desired (I say most of the colors because there are a few Winton colors I find pretty nice like Titanium White for example.) Often the cheaper the paint, the more paint you have to use to achieve the color mix you need.  This can be very frustrating for a painter, especially young painters just learning their way around mixing colors and handling paint.   Unfortunately top grade paints from Grumbacher, Windsor & Newton, Old Holland, or others have pretty high markups in stores.  My solution is simple, order paint online from Utrecht art supplies.

Utrecht has been milling its oil paint in the USA for 60 years using the purest oil paint supplies, raw pigments and oil.  They have high pigment concentration and don’t use any filler materials.  This gives their paint brilliant color, a nice buttery consistency that feels great under the brush, and excellent light fastness and permanence. They offer more than forty single pigment colors including brilliant cadmiums and cobalts as well as some great lead carbonate whites like Flake or Flemish.  I find them comparable to the big time professional oil paint brands in everything except price.  In fact, their pricing is roughly comparable to the Winton student grade paint at the local stores for similar sized tubes.  I just had five 150ml tubes of professional grade oil paints including more expensive colors like Flake White and Cadmium Red Medium delivered to my door for less than $120, that’s a value that’s hard to beat. 

In case you’re wondering, I have no affiliation with Utrecht (or any other company for that matter.)  No one is paying me to mention their paint, although if someone from Utrecht reads this and wants to sponsor me I’d be happy to sign an endorsement deal! Ha!  Anyway, if you’re looking for some good quality paint but don’t want to break the bank, I highly recommend giving Utrecht oil paint a try.  You can find them at

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunset at Malloy Bridge Road Daily Paintworks Auction

Sunset at Malloy Bridge Road
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"

Click here to bid on this painting.

Here's the first painting I've listed using Daily Paintworks auction site.  This is a view of the sunset seen just over the tree line on Malloy Bridge Road near Seagoville, Tx.  I painted this at the end of 2011 and have kept it hanging on my wall all this time, but it's time to make some room and find it a good home.  

All along Malloy Bridge Road there are acres of farmland.  This was a plowed field covered in a rich, dark top soil.  It made a wonderful contrast to the brightly lit sky.  Texas sunsets are spectacular, and you can watch them every night and never see exact same thing twice! 

My new art auction gallery page with Daily Paintworks

Several of my online art buddies have been using Daily Paintworks to handle online auctions of their small paintings and foregoing eBay. After checking out the site for the past month I've decided to give it a try too. Daily Paintworks works similar to eBay but is art specific and has a pretty impressive volume of traffic. Wish me luck! I've already linked two previous eBay auctions to the site and this morning set up my first auction using the Daily Paintworks format instead of eBay. Here's the link to my gallery page Please take a moment to check it out and let me know what you think about the site.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Heavy Cloud, No Rain (slow but steady progress)

I started laying in a bit of the lighter clouds at the top a couple of days ago but haven't been able to paint the last couple of days. It's been a hectic week at school with the book fair and public school week events, then I made a round trip to Dallas to pick up my kids for Spring Break. I'm going to get back to work on it tonight and hope to have all the basics laid in this weekend. I already want to add some lighter tones, maybe some greens and purples, to the silhouette of the trees at the bottom. The contrast is too harsh I think, but all things in good time.

Friday, March 8, 2013

And the winner of my painting giveaway is ....

As promised I wrote down the names of everyone who has subscribed to my blog or "liked" my page on Facebook and put them all in a hat. After shuffling the names, I had one of my 4th grade students draw a name at random and the lucky winner is ....Alison Hawkes Dominguez! Congrats Alison, I hope you enjoy the artwork. Send me an email or Facebook message with your pick of the six paintings I posted along with where you'd like the painting shipped and I'll get it packed and mailed to you.

Thanks again to everyone who has been so supportive of my artwork, and maybe next year you'll be my lucky painting giveaway winner!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Painted Pony (small daily painting for sale)

Painted Pony
Mark Nesmith
Oil on canvas board
Click here to bid on this painting.

Living in a small, rural town can be a bit of an adjustment after living in a major metropolitan area like Dallas for more than a decade, but I'm loving the slower and easier pace of life down here. My brother has a few acres with a bit of woods and a little pond. One of my brothers' neighbors is the local veterinarian who has plenty of animals including horses and donkeys. I've spent lots of time sketching and taking pictures of the horses as they graze near the fence line. Before this summer I'd never really drawn horses, and had rarely painted or drawn any animals at all. In fact most of my sketches of animals were done more than a decade ago back in college. I used to take my sketchbook with me to the Houston Zoo and sketch the animals there. This small canvas was one of the first paintings I finished this summer after moving back down here. I'm really pretty happy with this painting. There's a lovely range of reddish brown hues that really pop against the bright green grass. I think I'll have to paint a few more horses soon.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Finally...I'm setup again and ready to sell some artwork!

Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvasboard
Click here to bid on this painting.

Since I've been back to work steady in the studio, the small daily paintings are starting to build up again.  Now that I've finally gotten my website, blog, banking, and eBay accounts all current and switched over with my new info I'm ready to start clearing out some work! I'll be listing new daily paintings along with some of the older small canvases I still have left.  I'm starting with my recent painting "Scruffy" that I posted just last week.  This is a 5" x 7" oil painting on canvasboard of a scruffy little dog I saw at the gas station before work one morning. Hope you enjoy and thanks as always for your support!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Day 3 and 4 Heavy clouds and rain painting

I've started laying in the clouds with lots of dark green and blue hues. Ive only been getting to work on this one a couple of hours each day but I'm making goid progress I think. I'm generally working from the dark to the light right now and just trying to get a layer of color on the whole canvas. Once I've accomplished that, I'll work over the top with glazes, scumbles and some more juicy, thick opaque brushwork. I'm getting pretty excited about this one and hope I can approach the image I have in my mind.

Friday, March 1, 2013

New Daily Oil Painting "Scruffy"

I stopped at the gas station before work and this scruffy little dog caught my attention. He walked right up, sat down and seemed to pose just waiting for me to take his picture. I snapped a couple with my phone before he took off. It was still dark so the pictures are pretty grainy and have awful color. As I worked on this painting during my lunch break today I did a bit of inventing (as usual.) I mainly wanted to capture his scruffy, disheveled yet somehow poised appearance, kind of reminds me a bit of "Lady and the Tramp." Guess I need to find a Lady to paint to keep him company. This is an oil painting on a 5"x7" canvas board.

Bold Brush Painting Contest

My recent oil painting "Evensong" is in the Bold Brush contest this month. Please follow the link to the Bold Brush page and click "like" and help me make the initial cut. Thanks!