Thursday, July 30, 2015

"Copper Kettle" oil painting is FASO Staff Pick!

 I am pleased to post this news!  My latest still life painting (as of July 28th) was selected by by art critic Brian Sherwin as a "Staff Pick" from all artwork recently submitted to the Fine Art Studio Online (FASO) website.  It's certainly gratifying to have my work noticed in this way and to be included in the company of two very fine fellow artists, whose work is included in the article below.  I thank Mr. Sherwin and the FASO Staff members.

My humble little copper kettle, recently purchased at the antique / thrift store only last week, is now famous!   Who wudda thunk it??

( if you are interested in purchasing the Copper Kettle in a beautiful frame, CLICK HERE )

Staff Picks from the FASO Daily Art Show: Bruce Hancock, Amanda Fish, Mark Farina

by FineArtViews on 7/28/2015 9:55:40 AM

This article points to recent artwork featured on the FASO Daily Art Show.  Our popular newsletter, FineArtViews is sent daily to more than 34,166 people. Our other newsletters, BrushBuzz reaches 3,555 and InformedCollector reaches more than 10,371. FASO artists who upload artwork each day are featured in these newsletters the following day. If you already have a FASO website (even if it is a trial version), you're set, just upload your art as usual, we'll pick one to display and link to your portfolio in our newsletters. The following artists were selected for Staff Picks -- a FineArtViews blog series -- by FASO staff members after viewing recent editions of the FASO Daily Art Show on the newsletters mentioned above.

For this round of Staff Picks we had art critic Brian Sherwin (Editor of The Art Edge) select artwork that has been featured on the FASO Daily Art Show. We at FineArtViews encourage you to learn more about the following artists: Bruce Hancock, Amanda Fish, Mark Farina

Copper Kettle with Oranges and Strawberries by artist Bruce Hancock - selected by Brian Sherwin
(Oil on Canvas Panel)

Artist Bruce Hancock strives to capture the people, places, color and culture of America in oil. He captures the energy of a scene by utilizing bold marks and color. The expressive nature of his work documents a moment caught in time. Bruce notes that he is devoted to the study and practice of the art of painting. 

Fruit on Satin by artist Amanda Fish - selected by Brian Sherwin
(Oil on Hardboard)

Artist Amanda Fish has explored several directions in her art studio. However, she describes still life painting as her artistic calling. Amanda strives to capture the essence of traditional still life painting -- while at the same time upholding a fresh, painterly feel and application. Her dazzling collection is a joy to observe. 

Pears & Crock by artist Mark Farina - selected by Brian Sherwin
(Oil on Linen on Board)

Artist Mark Farina creates beautifully rendered paintings. Mark has explored numerous subjects in his studio. His still life paintings capture a sense of magic and reverence. The viewer is invited to observe extraordinary moments in these seemingly ordinary scenes.

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Copper Kettle with Oranges and Strawberries - Still Life in Oil

 This has been a disjointed week for various reasons.  The weekend passed without any painting getting done which left me feeling a bit frustrated.  On Monday I drifted over to a local antique store and shopped for still life subject matter.  I found this copper kettle and snapped it up. Yesterday I started on a 12 x 12 painting of it, adding some oranges and strawberries for color.  Today I spent a couple of hours pulling it together.

I'm going to let it sit for a couple of days and then add any last touches, but primarily I think this is done.  I love painting subjects like the kettle.  The antique store is huge with so many knick knacks and things like the kettle that it is impossible to take it all in on one trip.   I'll be returning soon!

Copper Kettle with Oranges and Strawberries  12 x 12

To purchase this orginal oil painting with frame, please CLICK HERE

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Monday, July 13, 2015

I Once Fell In Love with a Beautiful Dancer --- Oil on canvas panel.

I once fell in love with a beautiful dancer   8" x 16"  oil on canvas panel

I have failed many times to capture this beautiful subject.  Finally I think I did and what do you know...the key was to find and then paint my own response.  

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Lights Of Noyo Harbor Oil on Linen (UPDATED)

This painting was a learning experience, start to finish.  Unlike my first night scene of Noyo harbor, which had some fairly well lit boats and water-front buildings that could be painted with color and a little detail, this scene is from a greater distance.  As a result, all of the structures are shrouded in darkness and can only be suggested with subtle value changes. There's little or no opportunity for color notes except for a few places where the lights reflect on nearby buildings and other surfaces.  I've never painted anything with those restrictions.  It was fun learning my way around the concept.

I started with a small color study.  I am finding this a very important step when contemplating a lager studio painting that will require a lot of  time commitment.  The study not only helps to visualize the final painting, but it quickly reveals obvious problems and gives you an opportunity to think about them and eventually correct them.  The final painting is done on stretched oil-primed linen.  It was a very smooth weave.  I would probably opt for a little more texture if I had it to do over.  A lot of glazing went on in the areas of the water and more importantly in the hills.  It helped bring the values of the textures in the hills together to reinforce the lack of light, while at the same time allowing enough change to be able to keep the hills from being black slabs.  The final painting is 18" x 36".

This was easily the most difficult painting to photograph that I have encountered.  The surface is very smooth linen and it has a glossy varnish on top.  The hills do have value changes to suggest shapes and trees, but because they are still very dark, the camera wants to average them into the overall value.  Finding a way to capture the darkness of the painting yet also reveal the subtle value changes which give definition to the structures and the hills was a real challenge.  This photo comes as close to the actual painting as any I have taken.  I finally quit trying to put light on the painting and went in exactly the opposite direction.  I took this in a room with no lights on at all and with the blinds on the windows closed a tightly as possible.  I used shutter control and finally found the ideal at about a 1/4 second exposure, f/4.8, iso 400.  No 'adjustments' in photoshop were needed.  

The Lights of Noyo Harbor  Oil on linen   36" x 18"

Color Study Noyo Harbor 9 x 12
And this is the color study.  As you can see, I choose a more horizontal format for the final painting, which I believe captures the actual scene much more accurately.  I've mentioned many times before that a canvas size ration of 2 (W) to 1 (H) is ideal for painting almost any landscape.  It just seems true to the way we see such scenes. 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Monday, June 22, 2015

Carny (Revisited)

Last year my friends and I visited the Amador County Fair, a trip that is coming up again in a few weeks.  It is a great little Fair...a page from the past when going to the Fair was a pleasant family experience. 4-H kids showing their beautiful steers and sheep and calves, art exhibits, a parade of antique tractors down 'main street', lots of shade trees for sitting under while having a corn dog and beer....well it just doesn't get much better than that.  And of course there is a 'midway' with all the rides and coin tosses and cheap prizes.

And there along the midway, I spotted this Country Fair Carny seeking shade under an umbrella while waiting for the next muscle man to come along and want to show off to his girl. On the very warm July day, the suckers were few and far between.

I painted this version of The Carny shortly after that visit....


Recently I was looking at the painting - one which I have always liked - and thinking about composition, focus and the challenge of the background.  As much as I felt this painting turned out pretty well, I also had never quite figured out the background. The Carny seemed a little lost in the  'confusion'.   In particular however, I wanted to play with how I might have made it a better composition...something with more impact from across a room.

I pulled the painting off the wall began to sketch a larger Carny right over the original, emphasizing the diagonal relationship of his body to the canvas.  I also played with how to suggest a background without allowing it to be a major part of the painting.  I wanted something to 'frame' the Carny, not compete with him.
Carny    Oil on stretched canvas  11 x 14 inches

The Carny is a much different painting now.  This is how I remembered him.  Although he was surrounded by midway "stuff" and by people walking by, he was quite alone.  His boredom was palpable in the heat of the summer day.  This is what I saw when I snapped the photograph.

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Meeting Roos Schuring Carmel California

On Saturday, I had the chance to meet and paint with internationally known Dutch painter Roos Schuring.  Roos (pronounced Rose) was in the US to participate in the Carmel Art Festival, a plein air event attracting some of the most well-known and talented plein air artists.  Roos is obviously one of that group.  If you don't follow her blog, you are missing out on experiencing an incredibly dedicated and gifted artist.  Watching her paint on the beach in Holland in the most challenging circumstances is an inspiration.  Plus you are also missing her very generous videos and other painting and marketing resources for the plein air artist. Click HERE to visit'll be glad you did.

The opportunity to meet Roos came about after I purchased one of her fantastic plein air paintings.  During a back and forth email exchange about the purchase, she mentioned that she would soon be in the US to paint at the Carmel festival.  She invited me to come and paint with her, an invitation that she extended to other American friends as well.  Since Sacramento is only about 200 miles away from Carmel, I knew I couldn't miss it.

What a great afternoon it was.  Meeting Roos was a thrill and to paint with her was just the icing on the cake.  She was as charming and fun as I could have imagined, all the while speaking perfect English with a slight accent and a dry and wonderful sense of humor.  I won't forget the experience of painting with Roos Schuring for a long time, I can assure you! What a treat!

Roos Schuring, Dutch painter, and Me   Carmel California

Roos Schuring taking time to offer suggestions on my painting.   Carmel California
Roos Schuring  Carmel

Trying not to embarrass myself!!! 

My Art Site: Bruce Hancock Fine Art