Friday, March 31, 2006

Orchid from the Garden

Orchid from the Garden by David R. Darrow 7" x 5" (17.78cm x 12.7cm)
Oil on Panel SOLD Collection of Randy Allerheiligen
Medford, OR – USA

About This Painting

Judy and her husband are art collectors, and to my delight, own two originals from my Everyday Paintings Series, so far. Due to circumstances that brought me near their neighborhood, I arranged to deliver one of the paintings in person.

Judy is a sweet woman, full of life and love, and is an enthusiastic and talented painter as well. Just before I left, she went out to her front garden area and came back with some absolutely gorgeous orchids she’d clipped off, wrapped the clipped stems in a baggie with water in it, and handed theme to me.

"Here, take these to Teresa," she offered. "Ladies like flowers."

I was so taken by the delicate, translucent flowers that I just had to make one the subject of a painting. The orchid’s petals seemed to glow just sitting there against the dark shadowy background.

I originally named it Orchidée du Jardin, the French translation, because I felt it deserved an exotic name, but I didn’t think many people searching eBay would be looking for anything to do with “orchidée” so...

I present to you, instead, Orchid from the Garden.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Video Paintcast about Profile of Beauty

David R. Darrow's Paintcast™I created a free video step-by-step and have included it in my Everyday Paintings "Paintcast" series. You'll need the latest iTunes and Quicktime to view it. Other players seem to distort the imagery horribly.
I have to give credit to pastor and photographerJeremy Meeks, working in Nicaragua, who coined the term "Paintcast." I notified him immediately that I was going to start using it and would claim all ownership of it. ;-)
Alternately, try my Feedburner Page, and use the Subscribe/Add to iTunes link top-right.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Profile of Beauty

Profile of Beauty by David R. Darrow 7" x 5" (17.78cm x 12.7cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD Collection of Monique Bourgeois
Tewksbury, MA – USA

About This Painting

This is a woman I have known for the better part of a decade. She’s got a lively sense of humor, quick wit, a positive outlook on life and an artful spirit. She’s very spiritual in nature and is not afraid to say what’s on her mind. Her sensitivity to others goes beyond normal bounds.

I asked her to pose for a painting, long ago sold in a gallery, that I titled Security.

When establishing the pose for Security I asked her to turn her head to the side and look out toward the window. It was then, for the first time that I saw the incredible beauty of her profile: if there is perfection in a woman’s profile, I was seeing it at that instant.

I knew then that one day I would like to do a painting of just that: her “Profile of Beauty.”

Today, March 28, 2006 — the day I painted this — is her 30th birthday.

She just gets better with age.

I’ll save her gorgeous eyes for another painting, another day.

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Monday, March 27, 2006


by David R. Darrow 5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Oil on Panel SOLD
Collection of Rocky and Judith Hafdahl
San Juan Capistrano, CA – USA

About This Painting
Sometimes paintings just evolve into something I don't expect.

This one is a great example.

Keith was one of my favorite models when I was teaching Life Drawing at a San Diego art school. For the most part, Life Drawing courses go pretty much the way they are depicted in movies and documentaries, with a live model posing on a stand against a wall, or in the middle of the room, with tiers of students seated or standing around with their large sketch pads drawing from life.

The 11-week course was structured in such a way that the model gender was alternated, so that the students could get experience drawing the forms and anatomy of males and females.

Keith had been at this for a while, and handled the rigors of modeling courses like a pro. Over the years we developed a good rapport, and toward the end of my tenure there, I asked him after class if I could shoot some head-shots of him for further study. He complied.

This started out as simply a study of the forms and shapes brought out by the stark overhead lighting, but then took on a mood of its own. The colors I chose seemed to develop into a moody, Great Depression era sort of boxing feel, in my mind.

I got a nice e-mail from Keith's mother in praise of the likeness.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Tangerine Dream

Tangerine Dream by David R. Darrow 5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD Collection of Matt and Annie Beghtel
Portland, OR – USA

About This Painting

When I was a teenager, my parents took the family to Solvang, CA—a beautiful little Danish town near Santa Barbara. In a gift shop there—maybe several around town — were very small paintings of fruit: cherries, oranges, apples, grapes... and sometimes little still lifes of a book and a candle, etc. They were always set in dark backgrounds, painted on panels, not canvas, and had the look of being fairly quickly done, as though this artist instinctively — or likely through much practice and observation — knew just what to put down on the panel to give a high degree of realism to a scene with minimal strokes.

I was mesmerized by these little paintings, and my parents should have known at that moment that I would be an artist for life, the way I held and studied these little paintings signed by an artist who only used the three letters 'LAK.'

They always had realistic, reflected light, and crystal-clear water drops in them. I studied them until I knew how to paint a water drop in color. I suppose I owe a great degree of my artistic future to this unknown artist LAK, for showing this 14-year-old kid that it could be done. I am also in debt to my parents for taking me to those shops, since they instinctively knew how to feed my soul.

About 34 years ago I sold my very first commissioned work of fine art. The painting was of a single orange in front of a dark, gradated background — I stole the idea from LAK. it was an 8" x 10", acrylic on canvas panel. I don't remember titling it, but I'd likely have called it something like "Orange."

Brilliant, I know.

I recently heard it is still in the collection of Barry Rapozo, the gentleman who worked with my father, and who asked me to paint him an orange. He insisted on paying me upon completion — I was delighted and excited to be told, at 14, that someone would pay for something I was going to paint, since I was regularly making paintings and giving them away because I just loved to paint.

I received $30 for it—and felt overpaid.

I think I signed it "Dave."

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Girl With a Silver Nose Ring

Girl With A Silver Nose Ring by David R. Darrow 5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Oil on Canvas Panel SOLD Collection of Ben Garvie
Elk Grove, CA – USA

About This Painting

Stephanie is an art student. She does delightful, whimsical characters from her equally delightful and whimsical mind.

She was one of the students that was in my special course in Kona when I taught there. She is full of life, with a great sense of humor and unafraid of attention.

I would say she marches to the beat of a different drummer, but that would understate the facts. In the evening at the university she would go up to one of the highest athletic fields and play her bagpipes to the setting sun.

At the school, I was showing the students how I like to light subjects for dramatic paintings, and had her step in as a model. I think it was a little embarrassing for her — but then she settled into this pose as I snapped the picture, and somehow, I think I captured something I just knew about her intuitively.

She is at heart a gentle person, highly observant and introspective. There is an elegance to her, and a sweet femininity that came to the surface as I observed.

The title of this painting was designed with a wink and a nod to Vermeer's Girl With A Pearl Ear Ring.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Kona Missionary

Kona Missionary by David R. Darrow 5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm)
Oil on Panel SOLD Collection of Jane West
Kona, HI – USA

About This Painting

When teaching art techniques as a guest teacher to university students in Kona, Hawaii this young woman—training to be a missionary—modeled for a drawing demonstration. I was taken by her gentle features, warm smile, and hopeful eyes.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

One-sixth is Still Not Zero

Well, here it is, 30 days later, and a cursory glance tells anyone who cares to do the math that I reached only 1/6th of my goal, which was, originally, 30 paintings in 30 days. Suffice it to say, some overhwelming events arose during that time, knocking me aside of that path. I should point out, that due to the nature of it's very meaning, I seldom use the word overwhelming. So, rather than looking to anyone for sympathy, and to be excused, I will simply accept my first attempt as a failure, and as I pick myself up and dust myself off, I will look back with a grateful heart on the paintings that were created—and sold—within the confines of the first 30 days, and focus on the upside of that as I press on again to do 30 paintings in 30 days. I am appreciative of those of you who are showing interest. Time to paint.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Video-Paintcast About Painting

David R. Darrow's Paintcast™This is the first of many-to-come Video Paintcasts. This paintcast is about painting in oils, using a limited palette. It has photos and audio, sort of a documentary slide-show style, with Yours Truly speaking. Now, to be able to watch this 6-minute demo of my "Father Phoon" painting that I did for my Everyday Paintings series, you'll need to have the lastest, free, iTunes from Apple installed on your computer. Once that's all settled and done, you'll need to click this link to be taken to my Feedburner Page which will have a list/history of all my Paintcast Episodes. An episode is any one item I have recorded—audio or video—and posted, sort of like if I had a TV show called Everyday Paintings, and did daily shows. Using this metaphor, Father Phoon is the name of today's episode on my show called Everyday Paintings.
When you arrive at the page, you'll be presented with some options near the top right, below my photo. Choose the one that says something like Add to iTunes, or Subscribe to iTunes. Or, if you prefer, just click the "play now" button below any episode you want to see/hear. If you choose to Subscribe however, that simply triggers iTunes to always download the newest episode of Everyday Paintings when you start iTunes. There are no forms to fill out or information to give away: you're merely telling iTunes to check my podcast feed for new episodes. It will list any episodes you have missed, as well as downloading only the newest one (presuming your iTunes preferences have not been set differently under the Podcasts Tab of the prefs). Any "missed" episodes will have a Get Episode button to force that epsiode to download.
I'd love to hear what you thought of it.