Monthly Archive for: ‘September, 2011’

Commissioned abstract hand painted chandelier


Here is a commissioned abstract hand painted chandelier that that was finished within the last month. I worked closely with my collector to create a piece that would compliment the colors in her dining room. My collector has an art collection that is primarily composed of abstracts with warm jewel colors. Her art collection is international and her works have memories of her travels in foreign lands. Her color palate also has a lot of desert color influences.

We took elements from her abstract works to add to this chandelier. I’d like to add that I felt comfortable accepting this commission for a few reasons. One being that my client genuinely likes my style—she just doesn’t have floral influences in her decor. We spoke a lot about how this piece would develop and I had immediate visions of how I could create her chandelier after viewing pictures of her space and existing works of art.

I think it’s important to understand that when you view an artists portfolio—know that is what that artist does well. I turn down commissions every year when people approach me to do something that is very, very different from what exists naturally within my style and interests. You, as an art collector, will have the most success in creating custom commissions if you choose artists based upon the style that you see. That said, I had an immediate feeling on how I could create a piece with abstract elements that would be unique for my client and would also be genuine to my style.

I could say a lot more about this piece. On a very basic level, needless to say it was very interesting to create as a commissioned abstract hand painted chandelier. I am working on a second piece for my collector now. It is nice to be able to share my life’s work with those of you who read my blogs. Life as an artist is a constant journey!

Reverse Painted Glass Chandelier P92317681

Commissioned Reverse Painted Glass Chandelier for Kauai home


This is a recent commissioned reverse painted glass chandelier that is destined for a lovely new home on Kauai. Birds of paradise are my client’s favorite flower. We decided that this piece would be multicolored like many of my tropical bird and flower chandeliers. Tropical themes are my forte—they are my chosen life-long artistic direction for my traditional oil and watercolor paintings. My painted glass chandeliers in this direction are highly unique.

The goal was to create a piece that encompassed my client’s vision of paradise. We also used stargazer lilies and two different types of heliconia flowers. My client’s wife loves hummingbirds so I’ve painted two next to flowers. This piece has a lush dream-like feeling,

Going back to the birds of paradise—I’ve painted them in a very defined fashion. This piece features six birds of paradise in total including a section that is almost like a wreath of birds of paradise.

In many ways it’s hard to truly show how beautiful each one of these reverse painted glass chandeliers are in person. I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful these painted chandeliers are live. I’m very happy with how this piece turned out. This reverse painted glass chandelier has a lot of thought, planning and effort behind it. My hopes for this piece are that it will be enjoyed by my client and his family in their lovely new island home for generations to come. Much Aloha to them!

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Hawaiian Inspired Commissioned Hand Painted Chandelier


I loved creating this special commissioned hand painted chandelier. This piece was created for a couple (who have also become friends as they are in my artist community) and will be moving to Florida. The actual chandelier is inspired by their memories of Hawaii. All of the flowers in this piece were from my client’s own travel photos.

I love the fact that this chandelier will be installed in their new home in Florida. Our process began with looking at my different painted chandeliers on my website. My collectors are fortunate enough, for once, to be able to visit my studio. We talked about the space that the chandelier was intended for and then came up with a color palate that was based upon the favorite flowers.

This piece has gorgeous blue sky hues and deep sunset colors. Pink is a color theme—I really hadn’t done a primarily ‘pink’ flower piece but fell in love with this one when it was finished. Stay tuned for photos of this hand painted chandelier in it’s new home down the line!

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Another Day With A Bit More Progress


Today was an important milestone in the creation of this mural. I’ve completed 95% of the main composition by adding a few more leaf structures and the trunks of two palms. There will be one more palm trunk to the right and that will be created tomorrow.

Then I’ll be ready to paint the sunlit-filled background—a favorite section of this mural. I’m really looking forward to the freedom that the back section offers. I will paint background leaves and vines freehand. The back section will then bring the mural one more step towards completion of the first layer. I am lucky that the paint drys fast in the Indian Summer warmth.

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Beautiful Reverse Painted Table Lamp For a Somber Day


It’s a small world and I think everybody alive today in this country has been effected by the tragic events of 10 years ago. Almost everybody knows someone who lost a loved one or who survived by what seems like sheer luck. I know two people who directly lost either friends or family on September 11, ten years ago. This in mind, I thought that today I should be productive despite the somber mood of our country. The above piece is a reverse painted table lamp that I completed today.

Though nobody alive in my family today directly remembers the attacks on Peal Harbor—our nation’s other significant foreign attack— my family carries this unfortunate event in our history. My grandmother and her family waited two weeks to find out if her older brother was alive—and he was, though he returned a very different person. His ship, the USS West Virginia, sank in the battle and he lost friends in the most horrible of ways. For my great-uncle, from what I understand his life was never easy after that fateful day. I think that the family probably felt extreme relief to find him alive. I’m sure that helped make our memory of Pearl Harbor a bit better, considering the circumstances.

Painting is my greatest gift and what I feel is my purpose in this life. It’s my contribution to society—however small—and it’s important to me to continue to use my talent to produce beauty. When I was painting this reverse painted table lamp I thought of all of the highly productive people who’s lives were cut short—some in an instant and some in what must have been an agonizingly long time—and all of the people who grieved hardest from their loss. Life is what it is…the good and the bad. I worked today in honor and contemplation of those who would not have the choice…ten years later.


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Beautiful Art Shot of Reverse Painted Glass Chandelier Bowls


I’m surrounded by my work daily. I cannot escape it and that’s probably a good thing for an artist. It forces me to examine and contemplate my creations. This is a moment in my front gallery studio where my reverse painted glass chandelier bowls reflect off my baby grand.

The chandelier bowl in the foreground is my newest piece and it’s inspired by the desert. In a way, this one shot summarizes a lot of what I hold dear: my paintings, my painted chandeliers, music and my love for tropical flowers and jungle foliage. The banana is artificial but we do have several live bananas surrounding the property!


Adding more Birds of Paradise Leaves


The central section of this painting needs more leaves! This is a great time in the process to develop this area further. The leaves act as filler and also create lines of energy and interest in the overall composition. This makes the shapes and direction of the leaves important.

You can compare this image to the image that was taken at the end of the previous day’s work to better see the overall progression. Just a few more leaves have made a big difference.

I choose to draw and paint the direction and flow of the leaves based on where I feel energy is needed in the composition. You have to step back from the painting a lot during this process.

Though I didn’t add a lot of leaves today, you can see that every day that I work on this painting provides necessary progress. It’s important to keep large projects moving and sometimes it’s better to consistently do a little bit at a time than a lot in one day.

If I choose, I could begin to work in the background in the upper half of the painting next.


Adding Red and Yellow Heliconias and Pink Anthuriums


It’s now time to add tropical flowers to the upper tier of the painting. I have begun to block in yellow for two different types of heliconia flowers, seen in the upper right and the upper left. The general colors of the flowers that I will paint today will be yellow, red and pink.

I choose to begin with yellow because it’s a light color and I want to make sure that red doesn’t bleed into the yellow areas for my pendant heliconias that will drop down on the right. I need to keep the yellow pure in these areas. Red is a very strong pigment and adds powerful color with the tiniest of flecks on the brush. I always start these specific flowers with yellow first. I absolutely LOVE pendant heliconias. To me, they are the most exotic flower…wish I could grow them here in my semi-tropical garden in California.

This entire composition comes from flowers that I have photographed either here in my garden of through my travels.

After softly blending the yellow heliconia on the left, I decid to block in colors for the pink anthuriums in the central part of the painting. I’ve taken alizirium crimson, soft mixing white and cadium yellow to create the color variation. You can see from the picture on the right how roughly the colors are blocked. This is my starting base. I’m capturing the hues and tones of the flower in gesture. The next step will be to softly blend the flowers until they look the way that I want them to look.

I’ll then be able to layer a bit of contrast in the form of pure alizirum crimson and add a few highlights with my white.

In the final image, below, you can see the progress for the day. The pink anthuriums are blended and have some depth and add a nice color variation to the scene. They will need to dry before I can layer more color and highlights. I have also painted the red heliconia in the upper left and added the red to my pendant heliconas in the upper right.

In the next set of days, I’ll begin the process of adding more background to this painting. Keep in mind that the flowers are all still in progress and do not yet possess all of their dimension. Painting is illusion and is created thought multiple steps that include backgrounds and layering. This is a rather complex painting. A lot of time has been spent up to this point and a lot more time will go into this piece before it is completed.



Pink Gingers


Here is a pic of what my working palate looks like. I mix my colors freely, utilizing the various tones that naturally combine on the palate as the paint is mixed. Color is very exciting and inspirational to artists. As young as age 15 I can remember being excited to put down the first blocks of color on my watercolor paper. Each new painting represented endless possibilities. Various shades of red in the form of alizarin crimson was usually my starting color of choice. These first brush strokes on white paper were always the most vibrant.

Today my go-to color will be a pale pink made from magenta and soft mixing white. Various shades of pink are laid onto the canvas, loosely, to for the background painting of the pink ginger flowers.

Shapes for the pink ginger leaves are painted. These leaves are important to my composition. They break and divide the vast white space of the canvas to make interesting shapes and lines. Painting is illusion.

I step back frequently to view the overall effects of this budding composition. This helps to ensure that my flowers and leaves are in proportion to one another. It’s important to make sure that your colors are also balanced.

The next step will be to begin filling the background color for the leaves. The pink ginger leaves will have a slightly different base of color from the bird of paradise leaves. I want these leaves to be a little more on the yellow side, I want them to be a little brighter in color and their veins will be smaller. These leaves will also be a little thinner.

I want to capture the movement and essence of each leaf. To do this, I vary the intensity of greens and yellows. I’ve also begun to blend the blocks of colors softly. This gives the leaves the right effect to make the leaves convincing.

The pink ginger flowers look flat at this point. I’m working a rather large section of this canvas all at once so I’m not yet adding detail to the flowers. This will come later, when this first base of paint is dry. I will then be able to layer colors of greater intensity to help create the illusion of depth in the flowers. Bright highlights will be the final touches.

What I can do at this point, after all of my pink ginger leaves have been painted, is add the veins that help to bring character to the leaves. You can see detail in the central leaves in the photo to the right.

My leaf detailing process usually begins while my leaves are still wet. My brush grabs contrasting colors from my palate, usually pure color of my sap green, and then my brush freely adds the line, capturing the gesture of the leaf. All of these tropical leaves that are featured in this scene have similarities. The differences lie within the colors and the detailing. It’s these differences that make a leaf look like it belongs to a pink ginger as opposed to a red heliconia or a bird of paradise.

The pink ginger leaves must appear lighter and more delicate next to the tougher, broader leaves of the birds of paradise. In the future I will return to these leaves and add extreme highlights, shadows and burn spots in the form of orange and brown sections that have been burn by the sun.  These marks will add a lovely dimension to the leaves of this section.

It’s important for me to finish painting this section of leaves so that this part of the painting dries at the same rate. At a glance, I’ve completed a big section of this painting. I’m off to a good start and will be well ahead of my completion deadline if I continue to work steadily through the next couple of weeks. You can see from this photo that I finished adding veins to the pink ginger leaves and I also went back in and layered transparent magenta to the ginger flowers go give them a boost in depth. These flowers and leaves will still receive detailing (described above) once this section is dry.

Thank you for viewing my art. Your time is much appreciated!