Friday, May 05, 2017

Chinese Ginger Jar with Strawberry




I've Moved!


That's right - after a dozen years here, I've decided to merge my blog into my new website.  All the old content you've enjoyed from this blog is there, and the new site will be an excellent foundation for a lot of great new content and projects.

I want to thank you all for following me here for so long, and I'm looking forward to giving you an even better experience on the new website.

So, please follow this link to read about today's painting, and don't forget to bookmark the new site:


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Japanese Brush and Wineglass


I've Moved!


That's right - after a dozen years here, I've decided to merge my blog into my new website.  All the old content you've enjoyed from this blog is there, and the new site will be an excellent foundation for a lot of great new content and projects.

I want to thank you all for following me here for so long, and I'm looking forward to giving you an even better experience on the new website.

So, please follow this link to read about today's painting, and don't forget to bookmark the new site:
http://www.jeffhayes.com/still-life-paintings/japanese-brush-and-wineglass-4/

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Pear No. 7




I've Moved!


That's right - after a dozen years here, I've decided to merge my blog into my new website.  All the old content you've enjoyed from this blog is there, and the new site will be an excellent foundation for a lot of great new content and projects.

I want to thank you all for following me here for so long, and I'm looking forward to giving you an even better experience on the new website.

So, please follow this link to read about today's painting, and don't forget to bookmark the new site:
http://www.jeffhayes.com/still-life-paintings/pear-no-7/









Today's painting for you:

"Pear No. 7", Oil on Panel, 4x4 inches, 2010 (sold)

The column this pear rests on is one of my better ideas:  Just a 1-foot section of 4x4 post, wrapped in some cloth from my samples collection.  It provides a dramatic foundation for the painting, and also an interesting way to show the folds and creases of the material.

I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Silver, Grapes, Tibetan Rug



Today's painting for you:


"Silver, Grapes, Tibetan Rug", Oil on Panel, 5x5 inches, 2015 (sold)

This Tibetan rug is an absolute favorite of mine, which I brought back from a visit to some of the large Tibetan monasteries in southern India.  It's a tiny meditation mat - only about 18x18 inches - but everything about it is perfect for me; the weave, the vibrant colors, the strong geometric design.  Time to paint it again.

Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 01, 2017

New Beginnings


Today’s Painting for you:

“Eternal Light No. 1”, Oil on Linen, 16×44 inches, 2016 (Available)

Good morning all,

This is a day for some new beginnings in my life, both personally and professionally (more on that later), and I’m very excited and optimistic about all of it.

In line with my sunny mood, I picked out a sunny painting for you from just last year.  I originally called this piece “Lux Aeterna”; Latin for eternal light, it also happens to be the name of part of certain traditional Roman Catholic masses.

But, when I showed it to one of my galleries, they felt the Latin title might confuse or alienate, so we went with the English instead.

I still prefer the Latin…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the painting!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Eggshells, Tankard, Orange





Today's painting for you:

"Eggshells, Tankard, Orange", Acrylic on Panel, 5x6 inches, 2015 (sold)

I'm in the last week of working on my website project.  It goes live next Monday (May 1).

I'm sure one or two of you are wondering why this is taking so long, but it isn't just a matter of setting up a new WordPress installation and adding a few images.

Both my blog and my existing website are being merged into an entirely new site, and both of those legacy sites are about a dozen years old and have thousands of records each.  There's a whole lot of content to work with.

Also, I'm using development tools that are completely new to me, and my technical skills are 10 years old now.  That means rusty, to say the least.  I now know considerably more about WordPress than I did a few weeks ago, mostly consisting of what not to do.

But, I am making steady progress on this big task.

While I was hesitant to take a month away from painting, I also fully believe in this project.  It will give me a solid new platform to display and discuss my artwork, and will also let me begin to work on some new projects I'm very excited about.

However, I'm mostly excited about getting back to painting again next week!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Neat Little Find


I came across this surprisingly neat painting tag last week and thought I'd share the story with you.

A friend of mine was having an opening at the St. Botolph Club, which is an old social club in Boston with a focus on the arts, housed in a grand nineteenth-century brownstone mansion in the Back Bay.

In the entry vestibule, there is a full-sized reproduction of Sargent's radiant life-size portrait of Isabella Stewart Gardner. The original hangs in her museum a few miles away, and sits in a curious gold frame in which the grain of the wood is prominently visible, and almost appears painted rather than gilded (I frankly never took a very careful look at the frame, though now I sure will next time I'm there).

I was at the club for a reason, so I didn't stop to look at it, beyond noticing out of the corner of my eye that the colors were all off but the frame was the same as the original.

On the way out, I was having a nice conversation with a slow-moving group of new friends, and when we got to the vestibule, we stopped and had a closer look at the reproduction. I realized that the thing I had casually disregarded earlier was actually something extraordinary.

It's an enormous Polaroid - probably 6 foot tall and 2.5 feet wide.

This is by far the biggest Polaroid I've ever seen. Elsa Dorfman is a Boston-based photographer well known for her Polaroid portraits , and she uses a 20x24 inch camera - one of only 6 created, and I was under the impression that those were the largest such cameras produced.

But... it seems a few even bigger ones were constructed, including a room-sized camera at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, which was capable of taking 80x40 inch images. It's a fair bet that this was the camera used to make this Polaroid, since it's literally a block away from the Gardner Museum.

As I mentioned, the colors were all off from the original. Polaroids were never meant to be archival, and this photograph is probably decades old. It seemed like a dark vestibule when I walked through it, but it might also get some direct sun exposure at times of the day/year.

I wish I'd been able to get a picture of the whole thing, but it was big and the room was small, and there wasn't any way I could capture all of it. So, I took a shot of the tag, which is a delight in itself.

"Mrs. Jack" was Isabella Stewart Gardner's nickname. The club did not admit women as members until the 1980's, so she would not have been a member, despite being the unquestioned reigning queen of the art world in Boston (and beyond). "John S. Sargent" clearly was a member, and the original portrait was first displayed at the club in 1888. The "Edw. Land" who gifted this must be Edwin Land, the inventor of the Polaroid camera and an extraordinary individual in his own right.

The original Polaroid Corporation is long gone. Other companies seem to have licensed the technology and are providing film for the small-format Polaroid cameras, but film is certainly no longer available for the large-format cameras. So, it would appear that this is an absolutely unique artifact.

Have you seen this photograph? Have you seen other large-scale Polaroids?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Waterglass and Lemon


Today's painting for you:


"Waterglass and Lemon", Oil on Panel, 6x5 inches, 2010

One of the as-yet unread books on my shelf is Newton's Opticks.  I bought it several years ago just so I could better understand visual effects like this - where glasses of water act like mirrors and prisms.  My list of books to read is awfully long, so I haven't gotten there yet, but I'm looking forward to having a go at it.  Art and science are only opposed to each other in unhealthy minds.

I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Teacup and an update!


Today’s painting for you:


“Teacup”, Oil on Panel, 6×8 inches, 2007 (sold)

So yesterday was a state holiday in Massachusetts; Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the battles of Lexington and Concord in the Revolutionary War.  I needed a day off, so I took it.  Feels great to just shut everything off for a day, and it also feels great to be back to work fully energized.

AN EXCITING NEW PROJECT

Meanwhile, you’d be right if you noticed that I haven’t been posting any new work for the last few weeks.   I had my show last month, and since then I’ve been working on an important project – redeveloping my website.

This hasn’t just been about a cosmetic upgrade, though it’s needed that for a while.  I’ve been hand-coding my website since 1999, and while it’s done the job, lately I’ve been feeling the limitations – over time it’s become progressively more difficult to work with.  Not to mention it isn’t mobile-responsive at all.

So, I’m migrating everything to WordPress.  It’s been a big investment of my time, since I’ve had to learn some new technology and also brush up on modern web design practices.  But… I think this will give me an excellent platform to move forward.

I have some big plans for my website — some rich new features I’m excited about and that I think you will appreciate — and once the new foundation is in place, I can start to build up those features.  My goal is to have the basic website live by the end of the month, and then I can begin to focus on developing the new parts of it.

SOMETHING ELSE TO WATCH FOR

We’re all here for the artwork of course, and I sure haven’t forgotten about that.  Once the website work is out of the way, I can get going on a new project I’m thrilled about.

Some long-time collectors have asked me to do a set of paintings for an unusual space in their home, and I recently went out to have a look at it and their extraordinary collection of great paintings.   They will sit above an large archway leading into their dining room.  While the dimensions are different (think very short and very wide), the location is well-lit, prominent, and dramatic, and I think we have the chance to do something special here.  I can’t wait to get going on it, so look for updates starting in about 2 weeks.

NOW, ABOUT THAT PAINTING…

The painting I picked out for you today goes all the way back to 2007 – 10 years old!  It has a kind of stark and solitary quality that I appreciate.  It’s also nearly entirely monochromatic, which makes the few notes of color sing.

I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Still Life with Olive Jar


Today's painting for you:

"Still Life with Olive Jar", Oil on Linen, 8x10 inches, 2013 (sold)

The most engaging part of working on this painting was the stone slab, hands down.  Capturing the veins of different colors, and especially the rough textures of the broken face, made for a whole day of intricate and absorbing work.

I don't let myself say this often, but this is one case where the painting is better than the photograph of it.  Looking at this now, I really wish I could redo it.  However, the painting is long gone so I have to be content with this one.

I hope you enjoy it!