Thursday, December 19, 2013

Lazy Afternoon - New Daily Oil Painting


Lazy Afternoon
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Gessoed Panel
6" x 6"
2013
Click here to buy this painting.
I moved into a new apartment a couple of months ago. The apartments themselves are nothing fancy, but they are located on lots of land. There's a nice little hotshot pond surrounded by tall pines, and lots of fields and wooded areas all around.  It almost feels like living in the country.
I've been exploring and walking the grounds a lot lately. This view is near my place. On this particular lazy afternoon the sky was a deep blue and the distant tree line took on a reddish hue.  This is a simple composition but I really enjoyed playing with the green and orange grasses in the field.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pink Lady - New Daily Oil Painting of a Water Lily


 
Pink Lady
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Gessoed Panel
8" x 8"
2013
Click here to purchase this painting.
 I've always thought water lillies are beautiful and had the urge to paint them, but until a couple of years ago I wouldn't let myself. I guess Monet's shadow just loomed too large. I first started painting lillies while I lived in Seagoville. Cedar Creek Lake near Mabank was only 45 minutes or so away and was blanketed in these aquatic plants. After moving back to Southeast Texas I discovered a small canal in Hamshire that is home to a beautiful display of lillies.  I've painted them a few times, but most recently I completed a couple of larger charcoal drawings that are just heightened with light touches of pastel. This small 8" x 8" oil painting on hardboard is derived from one of those drawings. I think the dark blue sky reflected in the water and the deep greens of the pads make a good contrast to the soft pink and whites of the Lily bloom.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Bolivar Flats Beach , Towards Galveston - new daily oil painting


Bolivar Flats Beach, Towards Galveston
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Gessoed Hardboard
6" x 9"
2013
Click here to buy this painting.
Bolivar Flats is one of my favorite beaches. It's just before the ferry landing to Galveston and is a birding area. Being so close to the ferry means most people drive right past it in a hurry to get to Galveston often leaving this beautiful stretch of coast unpopulated by people. 

I painted this while I was setup to sell some paintings at The Logon Cafe in Beaumont, Tx as part of their Christmas on Calder event.  After a beautiful morning the weather turned cold and grey in an instant. I didn't sell much, but painting this warm beach and daydreaming of the Gulf Coast and good compoany kept a smile on my face.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Christmas on Calder -- Taking my art to the street

It's been a long time since I've set up to sell my art directly anywhere.  For the most part I sell through galleries and online these days,  but I used to go a few times a year to First Monday Trade Days in Canton, TX and set up a booth.  It's a lot of work, but can also be very rewarding.

This week I received an invitation to participate in Christmas on Calder at The Logon Cafe in Beaumont, TX. Since I've been doing so many small daily paintings this seems like a perfect opportunity to take my art to the streets and find a few good homes for some paintings. 

I'd forgotten how much there is to get together for something like this though.  I've spent the morning painting the edges of several small canvases, working out a bit of a flyer to copy and give out, and I've been getting some thoughts together about pricing and checked to make sure my Sales Tax ID is still valid.  There's still a lot to do but since I just found out about this yesterday I'm feeling ok about everything.

Wish me luck, and if you're in the market for a unique Christmas present swing by The Logon Cafe on Calder in Beaumont, TX this Saturday, December 14, 2013 from 10 AM - 6PM and buy some art.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Tibideaux's Truck Too - new daily oil painting

Tibideaux's Truck Too
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"
2013
A few weeks ago I painted the old Plymouth truck outside Tibideaux's New Orleans Kitchen in Beaumont, Tx. After I put it up for auction I found out a friend who teaches at my school was bidding on it and determined to win that painting.

Well, unfortunately the bids didn't go her way. I figured I enjoyed painting that old truck the first time so I'd just paint her a new version. This one is a slightly different view. It's not quite as head on as the first, but was just as much fun to paint. I love all the variations in the rusted red body of this beat up old road warrior.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Goose on the Water new Daily Oil Painting and eBay auction


Goose on the Water
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
5" x 7"
2013
Click here to bid in the eBay auction for this painting.
As a painter it's easy to get in a rut.  We find our favorite subjects, our preferred techniques, and we sometimes get comfortable with ourselves and our art.  It's understandable.  I mean, with the investment in materials and time and the difficulty we face with selling our work and trying to make a living, it can feel a little risky to jump out and constantly explore new subjects and push ourselves.  One of the things that I love about doing these small daily paintings is that it allows me the freedom to explore and try my hand at subjects I wouldn't normally think to paint.  This week alone I've painted a landscape, an old rusted truck, a clasic Plymouth car, and now this goose.  Not a bad week for someone who's normally a landscape artist.

In the past I'd never really found myself interested in wildlife, but recently I've developed a bit of a fascination birds.  There's a really nice horeshoe shaped pond at the apartments where I live and I often walk there and enjoy the view.  The play of light on the water and the strong rhythms of the towering pine trees that surround the pond delight me.  The only problem is this goose.  He's a foul tempered fowl, and often charges at the gate with his wings flapping.  As I walk around taking photos he sometimes follows close behind ready to nip at my heels.  I've taken lots of pictures of him too, and luckily on this morning he took to the water rather than my legs.

This small 5" x 7" oil painting was painted in about two hours.  I started with a pretty detailed pencil drawing, then began painting during my lunch break.  I worked in a few minutes here and there and then managed to paint the rippling water and reflections after school.  Water and reflections have always been a favorite of mine, and I'm pretty pleased with this quick rendition.  When it comes to water, I usually find the less I paint the better it looks.

Now it's time to get back to my small pochade box and a new daily painting.  Hmmm.....what will inspire me today?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

New Daily Painting and eBay Auction for Big Blue Plymouth



1938 Big Blue Plymouth
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Oil Primed Linen Panel
7" x 5"
2013
Click here to bid in the eBay auction for this painting.
 I think every family has at least one car fanatic.  In my clan my older brother Vince is the car guy.  Of course he's much more than just a gear head.  He worked his way through college fixing cars, earned an engineering degree and a Masters, worked building nuclear subs, and been a school teacher and an operator at a refinery. Along the way he's built or re-engineered everything imaginable, from go karts to guitars, muscle cars to tractors, and houses to science projects with his nephews.  He's fixed all of our cars at one point or another, and he's bailed me out of many tight spots.  He's probably the hardest working man I've ever known, the kind of guy that helped make this country great in our golden years, and I respect him more than just about anyone.

Vince used to be a muscle car man all the way.  He always had a thing for Dodge Challengers, but over the years he's also put together MG's, a Model T, and a Harley Cafe Racer to name a few.  For the last several years he's been interested in the early years of the automotive industry.  This painting is of Big Blue, his 1938 Plymouth. 

When I first moved back down to the area Vince loaned me Big Blue for the summer while I was in between cars.  My kids and I loved driving around in this beauty.  At that point it wasn't finished and hadn't been painted, but even in the "raw" there's something magical about an old classic car.  People everywhere want to stop and talk to you or wave as you drive by.  I'm always fascinated watching Vince transform the old and often neglected vehicles he finds into a beautiful and timeless machine.  He's a very analytical guy, but I think there's a bit of art involved too.  He has the ability to look at a piece of metal or a machine and envision what it can be, and he has the skills to make it happen.

This small 5" x 7" oil painting was painted alla prima and done over a period of about 2 1/2 hours.  I actually did the drawing yesterday morning and started painting it a bit at lunch, but I couldn't find much time during my day to work on it so I only got part of the car finished.  I came in this morning and finished the car and the background areas.  I'm kind of on a roll painting cars and have a few more planned.  I don't have the mechanical aptitude of my brother, but I certainly appreciate and admire the skill and beauty of his work.





Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New daily oil painting "Camp Wisdom"



Camp Wisdom
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Canvas
5" x 7"
2013
Click here to bid in the auction for this painting.

If you're thinking of campgrounds in Texas, Dallas probably doesn't come to mind, but tucked away on the south side of the city is Camp Wisdom and it's more than worth the short commute from the city.

Camp Wisdom is the home to Billy Sowell Scout Camp and Cub World. The camp is located 11 miles from downtown Dallas on 371 acres of land. In addition to the camping sites and shooting range, Camp Wisdom has some unique and very cool features including a frontier fort, a life size castle pirate ships, underground tunnel, and more.  My kids and I really enjoyed out campouts here.  You can find out more about this great Circle 10 campground at http://www.circle10.org/camp-wisdom-billy-sowell-scout-camp.

This 5" x 7" oil painting on an oil primed linen panel is from my last campout there with my two boys and my daughter.  Not far from the shooting range we stumbled upon this picturesque scene.  I painted this alla prima in about two hours spread out throughout my day. 

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two Pears Too (new daily oil painting)


Two Pears Too
Mark Nesmith
Oil on Gessoed Hardboard
6" x 6"
2013

Still life hasn't ever really been my thing, but every once in a while I feel the urge.  A few months ago I did a small 5" x 7" oil painting of these two pears I called "Lean on Me." I actually drew this 6" x 6" square version at the same time but never got around to painting it until today.

I was interested in the way these two pears just naturally resembled an intimate couple.  The stem of one pear seeems like an arm wrapped around the shoulder of the other.  This is painted on a gesso primed hardboard panel.  I've had pretty mixed results painting on the hardboard in the past.  I have a preference for stiff bristle brushes, but on panel the bristle brushes didn't work very well.  Here I've switched to a softer synthetic and am much happier with the results.