Home Paintings Prints About Purchase Newsletter Blog Misc Contact

Friday, May 18, 2007


I've been tagged Tracy Helgeson. Tagged? This is new to me but apparently it means, that I link back to Tracy (done), post 7 things that people don't know about me, list 7 blogs that I like, and let those 7 bloggers know they've been tagged.

Posting 7 things about myself, which might possibly be of interest to anyone... this will be tough, but here it goes:

  1. I never knew what I wanted to do in life, so after high school I went to a community college to study architecture. I picked that because I really liked the mechanical drawing classes I had in high school. I had a lot of interests, but absolutely no direction I wanted to go in.
  2. With a 2 year architecture degree, I still didn't know what I wanted to do. So instead of continuing that line of education, I bicycled across the USA: 3 months and 4500 miles of cycling coast to coast from Virginia to Oregon with 8 other people. (I flew back home.) We carried everything we needed with us: tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear, everything. It was the best experience of my life!
  3. I've always had some artistic hobby: painting, ceramics, woodworking, bonsai, wine making, music - I play guitar, and compose music on the computer.
  4. I am a social recluse - not a good trait for an artist trying to make a name for himself.
  5. I make wine, but never from grapes. I figure there are thousands of wineries out there making wine from grapes, I have no interest in doing the same. But, I've been curious about dandelion wine ever since I read Ray Bradbury's book "Dandelion Wine", so eventually I learned to make my own. I've made wine from dandelions, apples, honey (mead), wild raspberries that grow in my back yard, tea (you can make wine from almost anything!), mint (okay, that one is a little weird but it's nice in the summer), and I may try making an oregano wine this year - that will be for cooking with, not drinking.
  6. In 2nd grade I played Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol. I had one line: "God bless us all" which I delivered while standing on one leg.
  7. I still don't know what I want to do with my life, but now I'm pretty sure it has something to with painting.
Seven blogs that I like:
  1. The Artists Gallery Blog - I hope this isn't too self-indulgent - I do all the posting to this blog, but it's full of news from our art gallery and it's 18 members. We're an artists' cooperative, and it's a great bunch of people, so it's a pleasure for me to be running this blog and posting news about the successes of my fellow gallery members.
  2. Deb Trotter - Cowboy's Sweetheart - I met Deb in one of Alyson B. Stanfeld's e-classes. I love Deb's Western Art with a sense of humor.
  3. William Wray - this guy's plein-air work is pretty amazing. His gritty scenes of urban decay are very far removed from my tranquil landscapes, but he's got a way with the brush and I love how he finds beauty in such very ordinary scenes. A quote from his own website sums it up: "if Thomas Kincaid is the painter of light, I'm the painter of blight".
  4. Peinando letras (Combining Letters) - This might be weird because this blog is in Spanish and I can't read Spanish, but I love looking at this blog. The imagery is really great.
  5. Jan Blencowe - Art & Life - Jan is a plein air painter who's work I really like.
  6. Danny Griego - Artist - Dan is another painter of urban California scenes, like William Wray, but stylistically pretty different. Maybe I need to move to California since I like this type of artwork so much.
  7. Scott Adams - The Dilbert Blog - Okay, it's not an a visual arts blog, but it one of my favorites. Scott Adams has such a unique way of looking at the world. If you look beyond the humor, you sometimes find some seriously good ideas there. And sometimes it's just plain funny.
Now I'll go let these bloggers know they've been tagged.


  1. Hi Joe, Glad you did this and you are very interesting! So cool that you make wine! We may have to look into that-we sure have enough dandelions:)

  2. Anonymous3:04 PM

    You have an absolutely magnificent website with much info and wisdom artistique to impart.
    Good show, sir!

  3. thanks for the nice comments-- your work as a humble country honesty and nice sense of light.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog Joe. I've enjoyed reading about you in your "tag". I've got my panels primed with gesso, next stop some warm acrylic, and I'll be on my way to start my first oil. Gotta ask though, Why acrylic? I love the way the underpainting shows in areas of your work... kind of makes the work sparkle... I'd never call it cheating.. only helping. It will probable be awhile for my first painting (oil) I'm pretty busy this week with some other projects... but soon. I'm so looking forword to it.

  5. Bill, Thanks!

    Nancy, the reason I tone my canvases and panels with acrylic is that 1) it dries very quickly and 2) I can do a thin wash with acrylics and the pigments still feel pretty well bound to the surface.

    In the past, I tried a thin wash using oil paints thinned quite a bit with turpentine. The problem with over-thinning oils is that there's not enough binder left to securely hold the pigments to the panel. In extreme cases, the dried paint could be brushed off almost like pastels. To avoid that problem, I could not thin my paint so much, or add more linseed oil to thin instead of pure turpentine. But using too much oil in the first layers can lead to other problems. So... using acrylic is much simpler.

    I saw one artist's work (I can't remember his name) who did an under painting with watercolor - not just toning the canvas, but a loosely blocked in painting with lots of color. He would then paint over that with transparent oil colors so that the watercolor wash effects contributed to the finished work. But I believe he was careful to cover all of the under painting with some oil to seal it. Otherwise, part of his finished oil painting could be water soluble, and cause someone a lot of grief when they tried to clean the painting!

  6. Hi Joe,

    I came across this post while looking for info on oregano wine. I just started a batch myself, and I'd love to know how yours turns out.


  7. Erroll, you're way ahead of me on your batch, so I'll be watching your blog to see how yours turns out.


Home Paintings Prints About Purchase Newsletter Blog Misc Contact