Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bruton Parish-Grisaille Stage 3

This is my third and final session for the grisaille stage.  I have brought it to a level where I feel comfortable with applying color. The color will go on in extremely thin layers, but first it must dry for a few days.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Bruton Parish-Grisaille Stage 2

More details, especially in the canopy area.  I can almost feel the wind moving over the brace on the left corner!  I haven't put the frames in the windows yet.  I'll save that for the color stage.  I have not decided whether to do one more stage on the grisaille or begin to add color.  We'll see, it's impossible to remain indifferent.  The mind, after all, always chooses what it thinks it best!  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Bruton Parish-Grisaille Stage 1

First stage on Bruton Parish.  As you can see, there is very little detail at this point.  Kind of like when you move into a new home, your first task is to get the furniture inside and rearange later.

This is a relatively easy painting, but the canopy on the right was (is) a pain!   I got the idea from studying Vermeer.  He liked to put big objects, such as tablecloths, curtians, etc. in foreground in order to establish depth.  This is my attempt to do the same.  I also like the contrast of the extremely permament nature of the church building (learn more about Bruton Parish here) and the temporary nature of the market canopy.   I spent one hour on this.

Bruton Parish-Drawing Stage 2

I transfered drawing from tracing paper onto primed canvas (primed with oil, a mixture of burnt sienna, raw sienna and titanium white, and highly diluted with turpentine)  One cardnial rule of painting, always paint fat over lean.  In other words as you progress from stage to stage you should add more and more oil.  The early stage should be highly diluted with turpentine or mineral spirits. 

Next I will attempt to paint this in a black and white (notice the photo taped to the easel), and then I will start to add in color after I have brought the grisaille, or black and white stage to a realistic level.  

Can you tell I have as much fun blogging painting as I do painting?  I don't know why!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Spurgeon on Christmas

"Now a happy Christmas to you all; and it will be a happy Christmas if you have God with you. I shall say nothing to day against festivities on this great birthday of Christ. We will to-morrow think of Christ's birthday; we shall be obliged to do it, I am sure, however sturdily we may hold to our rough Puritanism. And so, 'let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavend bread of sincerity and truth.' Do not feast as if you wished to keep the festival of Bacchus; do not live to-morrow as if you adored some heathen divinity. Feast, Christians, feast; you have a right to feast. Go to the house of feasting to-morrow, celebrate your Saviour's birth; do not be ashamed to be glad; you have a right to be happy. Solomon says, "Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy, and drink thy wine with a merry heart; for God now accepteth thy works. Let thy garments be always white; and let thy head lack no ointment."
"Religion never was designed
To make your pleasures less."

Recollect that your Master ate butter and honey. Go your way, rejoice tomorrow, but in your feasting, think of the Man in Bethlehem; let him have a place in your hearts, give him the glory, think of the virgin who conceived him, but think most of all of the Man born, the Child given. I finish by again saying, ---


Silly Lilly-Color Stage 4

Silly Lilly
8"x10" Oil on Canvas

I have brought Silly Lilly to a satisfactory completion.  In this final stage I re-established shadows in flower and hedge (in the background), painted the pistil (it was missing!), gave the sky another glaze of blue, and refined details in those fuzzy things in the middle.  Silly Lilly was fun!  I spent a total of about 8 hours painting her.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bruton Parish-Drawing Stage

This evening I worked on getting an accurate picture onto tracing paper. *Click on picture to enlarge.  I still need to build my canvas frame, attach canvas, prime,(imprimatura stage) and transfer drawing from tracing paper onto canvas. (Notice cup of coffee, this is a necessity!)

New Painting- Bruton Parish

This will be my next project.  Aunt Mary, this one's got your name on it!  It's a picture of Bruton Parish church in Williamsburg, VA.  I snapped the picture this past August (2008).  I plan to paint the grisaille stage first and then introduce color once I've got the values established.  Stay tuned, it ought to be fun!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Silly Lilly-Color Stage 3

I've introduced Naples Yellow and Zinc White  into some of the lighter sections.  Just a few more highlights hither and yon and I'll be finished.  I am already thinking about what to do next.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Think My Wife's a Calvinist-Brandon Milan

Can it be true?

Silly Lilly- Color Stage 2

I went to Pandora.com and typed in the words Burt Bacharach for this go around.  If you don't know about Pandora, you're missing one of the wonderful things the internet is good for!

I've applied or glazed the second layer of color onto Silly Lilly.  This go around I warmed her up a little with a little cadmium orange.  

The devil is in the details and that'll be next!  To make this painting really look like a true Lily, I need to work on the details of the veins of the flower petals and the little dark thingys in the middle.  What do you call those anyway?  People who know about flowers are watching for that kind of thing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Silly Lilly-Color Stage 1

I've applied the first layer of color.  I wish I had gone a little thinner this go around.  Oh well, every painting has it's own unique set of problems and learning experiences.  I hope to add maybe three or four more layers of color, zoning in on details with each subsequent layer.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Silly Lilly- Grisaille Stage 2

This is the second session of my grisaille, or greyscale stage of the Silly Lilly painting.  I can begin to add color now because I feel as though I have reached a degree of satisfactory realism.  However it will have to dry thoroughly for a few days before I begin to apply the super thin layers of magic.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Two to Tango and a Madoff-Ripoff

The old saying goes, "it takes two to tango." This whole scandal with the Madoff- ripoff amazes me! Madoff is obviously a crooked man, but crooked men come a dime a dozen. Whats incredible is that the people who were taken in on this scheme like to paint themselves as victims. The media is portraying them this way as well. (Have you heard some of them are looking for a bailout??) I'm not sure if gullibility is a sin, but there's something a little stinky about greed and trying to get rich quick. That goes for Madoff as well as his so-called "victims." Sure, Madoff is a slime ball and I know some of the people who he stole from were honest folks, but if you hang out with a slime ball, odds are you might get some of the gooey stuff on your hands as well.

"A faithful man will abound with blessings,but whoever hastens to be rich will not go unpunished." Proverbs 28:20

"Poor man wanna' be rich
Rich man wanna' be king,
and a king ain't satisfied...
'til he rules everything." -Bruce Springsteen

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Elvis-(The Angels Want to Wear My) Red Shoes

For you trivia buffs out there... Elvis Costello's real name is Declan Patrick MacManus.

They don't make music like this anymore. Seriously...so turn it up!

Calhoun Tubbs- One of the Greats!

"...wanna' hear it? Here it goes!"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Silly Lilly-Grisaille Stage 1

This is the first stage of of the grisaille, or the greyscale of my new painting called Silly Lilly.   I will add thin layers of color after I get the greyscale up to a realistic looking level.  I'm pleased with what I was able to accomplish with this in one hour!  (The canvas has set on the easel for six months...now you know why I'm happy!)

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Oscar Meyer

The Blog at Bree... brought to you by Oscar Meyer...that's spelled...B.O.L.O.G.N.A!

Bread-Everything I Own

Laura and Lorien

 Our home is not a home, with you two not here.  Please hurry home soon. I miss you much!  

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band- Detroit Medley

A simply amazing performance from Bruce and the E Street Band from 1980! Something magical begins to happen somewhere around the 4:00 minute mark! Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Super Slow Motion

The punch to the face is my favorite.

Be Careful Out There!

So much for taking the advice of a police officer!!!

Important Books at the Blog at Bree

This was fun. Pass it on.

1. One book that changed your life: Whatever Happened to the Gospel of Grace? J.M. Boice

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Reforming Marriage by Douglas Wilson

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin

4. One book that made you laugh: Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl

5. One book that made you cry: A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving

6. One book that you wish had been written: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke

7. One book that you wish had never been written: Purpose Driven _______ , (this one you can fill in the blank with life, church....I once had the idea of a "Purpose Driven Race Car."

8. One book you’re currently reading: Mother Kirk by Douglas Wilson

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: Above All Earthly Powers, by David Wells

Monday, October 13, 2008

ESV Study Bible

This is huge!!! The ESV Study Bible will go on sale at Scripture Truth Book Co. on Oct. 15th. I'll post a link as soon as they're available to be purchased along with prices. The brown copy in the Tru-Tone leather will be available for $52.49.
I received an advance copy today and I must say it is the most remarkable study Bible I have ever seen! There are TONS of information in this Bible: It has chapters on Biblical Doctrine, Biblical ethics, interpreting the bible, how to read the Bible, how we got our canon of Scripture, cults and world religions, etc. etc.. I look for it to be one of the most valuable tools to ever be put into the hands of Christians in our generation.
Check back on Weds. for a link to purchase. Shipping charges will be somewhere around $4-5 dollars.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What, Me Worry?

Let's give 'em another 700 billion and if that doesn't work...well, third time's a charm, right?
I've got a terrific idea, maybe the government can pass a law that would guarantee every business whether big or small will never fail! Wouldn't that be stupendous? Of course the catch is, none would ever be able to succeed either.--Griff

"In retrospect it becomes clear that hindsight is definitely overrated!"--Alfred E. Newman

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gorgonzola for Earth Dwellers!

"Cheese is at once a testament to the Creator's ingenuity in providing enzymes and bacteria that will do fearful and wonderful things for milk and to man's audacity in the face of some pretty forbidding stuff. The blander varieties, of course, are hardly more alarming than milk itself; but the farther reaches of the subject put even brave men to the test. There are cow's-milk cheeses that will convince you that someone has dragged the whole barnyard indoors, and goat's milk cheeses which taste as if the goat sat in them . . . The first man is of the earth, earthy. If I had only a single temporal blessing to wish you, I would not hesitate a moment: May you be spared long enough to know at least one long evening of old friends, dark bread, good wine, and strong cheese. If even exile be so full, what must not our fullness be?" (Robert Farrar Capon, The Supper of the Lamb, p. 148).

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bob Dylan- Blind Willie McTell

One of my favorites from Dylan! The lyrics perfectly match the music and it's raised the hackles on my neck before.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Band- I Shall Be Released

Richard Manuel 1943-1986
Richard Manuel may have been the most soulful singer in all of rock and roll. He's one of my favorite vocalists and knowing how tragic his life was only lends to the sadness of this tune.

Piper Palin Slicking Brother's Hair

This my friends will go down in history!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Michael Jackson at 50

Computer experts tell us this is what Michael Jackson would've looked like at 50 without plastic surgery.
The picture on the right is what Diana Ross would've looked like if she were a man.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Steely Dan- Reelin in the Years

If I ever make a hit record, I want Bill Cosby to introduce it!

The guitar work on this masterpiece is incredible! Notice the brilliance without being flashy. Think gold or silver rather than tinsel or tin.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sarah Palin picked as McCain's VP

John McCain picks Sarah Palin , Governor of the great state of Alaska as his new running mate!

Sarah Louise Heath Palin (born February 11, 1964) is the current Governor of Alaska, and the presumptive 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President of the United States.[1] She is the second female Vice Presidential nominee representing one of the two major American political parties.[2]

Born in Idaho and raised in Alaska, Palin was a championship high school athlete and was the 1984 runner-up in the Miss Alaska pageant. After graduating from the University of Idaho and working as a sports reporter at an Anchorage television station, Palin served two terms on the Wasilla, Alaska, City Council from 1992 to 1996, was elected mayor of Wasilla in 1996, and ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 2002. After charging ethical violations by state Republican Party leaders,[3] she won election in 2006 by first defeating incumbent governor Frank Murkowski in the Republican primary, then former Democratic Alaskan governor Tony Knowles in the general election.

On August 29, 2008, presumptive GOP nominee John McCain chose Palin as his nominee for vice president. (from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ron Paul from 2002-on Russia Invading Georgia

Ron Paul says.."told ya' so!"

The Dalai Obama

"I've got two daughters. 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby." Barack Obama

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies in the gate." Psalm 127:3-5

(The idea for the title and picture came from Doug Wilson's Blog)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

David Shed Blood With a Hand Strenghtend by God

"Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;" Psalm 144:1
"But the word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘You have shed much blood and have waged great wars. You shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed so much blood before me on the earth." 1st Chronicles 22:8

How would you reconcile these two verses? It's not a trick question. Here are my thoughts: I believe God decrees all things that come to pass, yet He is not the author of evil. These two truths are somewhat of a mystery yet they are not contradictory. David said God trained his hands for war, yet God told David could not build a house to his name because "he (David) had shed so much blood..." Well... Whaddaya' think?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

She Must and Shall Go Free

(Bruton Parish, Williamsburg, VA)

"She Beloved of the Lord
Jesus' blood still speaks with power
All her debt's been cast on Me
She must and shall go free
She must and shall go free..." --Derek Webb

The Vampire Moth

This curious creature is called the Calyptra, a.k.a. the Vampire Moth. I am sure, no I'm positive, absolutely confident the Lord has a reason for creating such animals, however my only guess is the Vampire Moth exists to remind us we live in a fallen world! If one of these things finds it's way into my car while I'm driving...watch out!

(In case you did not notice, it's sucking blood out of someone's thumb.)

The Usual Suspects

Who are these international men of mystery? Could they be related? Can you name all three?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Key to the Shaft of the Bottomless Pit

"And the fifth angel blew his trumpet, and I saw a star fallen from heaven to earth, and he was given the key to the shaft of the bottomless pit." Revelation 9:1

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Madness-One Step Beyond

It's effectual zaniness! No...it's Madness! But I dare you to try to watch/listen to this while remaining completely still!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Alexander Solzhenitsyn on Benefits of Suffering

"It was granted to me to carry away from my prison years on my bent back, which nearly broke beneath its load, this essential experience: how a human being becomes evil and how good. In the intoxication of youthful successes I had felt myself to be infallible, and I was therefore cruel. In the surfeit of power I was a murderer and an oppressor. In my most evil moments I was convinced that I was doing good, and I was well supplied with systematic arguments. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either—but right through every human heart—and through all human hearts.... That is why I turn back to the years of my imprisonment and say, sometimes to the astonishment of those about me: “Bless you, prison!” I...have served enough time there. I nourished my soul there, and I say without hesitation: “Bless you, prison, for having been in my life!” (The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956, Vol. 2, 615-617)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Constantines-Working Full Time

It's creative, it's original, it ain't pretty but borders on being beautiful...Hey, it's rock-n-roll with the Constantintes! And they really are...working full time!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Back to the Future- "Sweded"

For those of you who do not know what it means to "swede" a movie you really, no REALLY need to see Be Kind Rewind.

Atari- Pitfall

Do you ever feel like you're walking but going nowhere? There are dangers wherever you travel, yet you don't give up? Well, don't be discouraged, though you may come across alligators and even scorpions, in this life you might even find a little gold and diamonds along the way.
Remember Pitfall? It was fun! Did anyone ever reach the end of this game? Was it possible?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sample and Hold by Neil Young

I made a post a few days ago and talked briefly about the Vocoder. Here is an example by Neil Young from the 1980's. The video is homemade (not by me.)

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Dark Knight of 9/11

Is there a connection between these images? What does Batman have to do with 9/11? Is Gotham City really New York City? What does the Joker have in common with another prankster who goes by the name of bin Laden? Is there a connection? Was 9/11 our Dark (K)night?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


This is a vocoder built by the band Kraftwerk.

The first time I ever heard someone use one of these contraptions was in a song called Freak-A-Zoid, by Midnight Star. Kraftwerk was actually the first band to use this technology. It's been incorporated by other artists such as E.L.O. Herbie Hancock, Pink Floyd, Neil Young...

Do you remember the song Mr. Roboto by STYX? Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto? That's an example of the vocoder. To learn more about vocoders click here: vocoder.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cathedrals and the Transcendence of God

Why would anyone ever want to worship in a big ol' ugly cathedral? One reason I believe people are attracted to Gothic architecture is because it communicates the transcendence or "bigness" of God. To quote John Piper, people go to the Grand Canyon not to feel big about themselves but to be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of it! (my paraphrase). A lot of modern churches do a pretty good job (using architecture and liturgical forms) to communicate the immanence or closeness of God but they are not doing a very good job communicating the transcendence or even the holiness of God for that matter.

Neil Young and Springsteen-All Along the Watchtower

Dr. Neil's guitar sounds like bombs bursting in the air! Shock and awe! This may be the only time I've ever seen Springsteen upstaged by anyone. But what can you do with Neil in a situation like that but turn 'em loose!

Paul Washer on Total Depravity

If you have not heard of Paul Washer yet, I encourage you to check him out. He's a polarizing preacher. It's hard to be neutral with the message he proclaims: You either love it or hate it.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Hooters- 500 Miles

Just goes to prove not everything that came from the 80's was bad! Actually, this may have come from the early 90's because there are some clips from Tiananmen Square. Okay, I take back what I said, nothin' good came from the 80's except for Wall of Voodoo.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Discovery: Beyond the Jesus of Flapjacks and Grilled Cheese

My good friend Josh Via has a new book that he's written. It's called The Discovery: Beyond the Jesus of Flapjacks and Grilled Cheese You can buy it over at Amazon.com. I'm ordering my copy right away because I absolutely know this is going to be a wonderful book! I would strongly encourage you to get it and read it as soon as possible. In other words...get it while it's hot!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Blue Ridge Bulldozer

Back in the spring I took some pictures in my yard of flowers that I may use for potential paintings. Silly Lilly came from that session of picture taking, along with this little fellow: The Blue Ridge Bulldozer. He may not be very tough but he's got a lot of heart!

Summertime-Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Few songs are truly brilliant...this one sparkles! Happy 4th of July.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Honda Metropolitan Scooter- I Got One!

I put a down payment on of these little boogers today and I'm going to pick it up on Friday. I've got to drive all the way to Bassett to get it because everybody, everywhere is SOLD OUT! Will I look like a big goober riding it? Of course! Will I smile at getting 100 miles to the gallon? Uh-huh! Eat my dust, baby!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Kinks-Waterloo Sunset

If I had a soundtrack for my life, this one would be on there.

Silly Lilly- Drawing

Lilly on the Canvas
I have successfully transferred my drawing of "Silly Lilly" onto a primed canvas. I stretched the canvas myself and primed with four coats of acrylic gesso. I then laid down my first coat of oil, also known as the imprimatura using a mixture of yellow ochre and raw sienna. The drawing on the canvas has been transferred by charcoal from a picture I gridded out several nights ago.
It Was All Yellow
I have painted the imprimatura in a yellow color because I plan to paint the grisaille with purple tones. Because yellow and purple are complimentary colors I will be able to "find my way" easier as I paint from one layer to the next. The reason I'm painting the grisaille with purple tones is because "Silly Lilly is over 50% yellow! The purple underneath will make her zingy! Just wait, you'll see, actually you may not know what's going on, all you'll be able to tell is that the yellow will be uncannily, yellow.
Next Comes Gray
My next step will be to paint the grisaille. If you look at the black and white photo on the top right you can see I have already plotted out my most light (white) spots and I have also designated the mid-range value in green spots. This will come in handy when I begin to paint the grisaille. These spots will act as guides to help me determine the overall tonal value of the painting. This will need to done as accurately as possible prior to putting any color on "Silly Lilly." She's a happy girl is she not?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Silly Lilly- New Painting!

I had SO much fun painting the Jumping Youngs, now I hope to paint a lively lilly that is literally, leaping, (I'll quit with the aliterations, or is that 'literations...?) she's jumping for joy! I snapped this picture last month. This will be fun and half the size of the last painting. I hope I can do it in half time. If this turns out decent, I might try to sell it. This will be my first attempt at painting a flower and I will of course incorporate the indirect method of painting I have recently learned. I have heard the color yellow is great fun to glaze! We'll see.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Jumping Youngs- Final Stage

Jumping Youngs
16"x20" Oil on Canvas

This is the completed painting for the "Jumping Youngs." It took close to two months to complete and I enjoyed every minute of it. It's kind of like finish a novel, there's a bit of relief, but you don't want it to end either!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Who Was It? It Was Steven Spielberg

The man in the picture with the camera was Steven Spielberg director of JAWS, Raiders of the Lost Ark, ET and many, many others....
Dan, you were right!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Jumping Youngs-Color Stage 4

I worked on faces of other two boys, shirts, blue sky ( I will lighten it up next go around) and put more green into tree. I'll post the pict tomorrow. I'm having trouble uploading to Blogger.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Springsteen-Point Blank

Here is an excellent example (somebody did a good job putting this together) of how Springsteen's early music was influenced by Film Noir. The clips are from the Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver. The film itself, an example of Film Noir was influenced by Springsteen's music. I guess turnabout is fair play! I heard Robert DeNiro say he stole the famous line "You talkin' to me.." from Springsteen. He had apprently seen Bruce in concert the night before filming that memorable scene and heard Bruce say those words.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Who Is It?

Who is the man in the picture?

Clue: I cropped the right side of the picture. If you could have seen what I cut out you would know exactly who this is. I'll post the entire picture next week. (sneaky..ain't I?)

Thursday, May 29, 2008