Summer Studio Sale

I’m having a summer studio sale! I’ve selected 16 (or so) original paintings on canvas and  have marked them down by 50%. Check out the selection from my studio wall below and let me know which favorites you’d like to add to your collection! Sale goes through Saturday, July 15th.

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Painting Details
  • Top two rows: 12 x 12 inches;  50% off price = $200 each
  • Bottom row, left to right: Painting #1 is a collage of 100 mini metallic silver squares, 24 x 24 inches, 50% off price = $600; Paintings #2-4 are a collage of mini metallic squares,18 x 18 inches, 50% off price = $325 each
I’ve posted more snapshots of these paintings, plus a few bonus ones on my Instagram.
To see more of these paintings on Instagram click here —> David Castle Art Instagram.

Thanks for looking, and happy summer!

The Story of My Painting, “Pooled on the Horizon”

Once in awhile I complete a painting that is especially meaningful to me. I just finished such a painting, “Pooled on the Horizon”, and thought I’d share its story with you.

One scene in our natural world that inspires my paintings is the horizon line between sky and ocean. I’ve spent many hours watching the horizon line as presented by the Oregon coast over the last 30 years. It is always a seemingly simple line, but is also full of the infinite complexities of the sky and ocean that extend far beyond my tiny vantage point.

One of my Pacific Rains Series, “Pooled on the Horizon” is my capture of a moment in this simple-yet-complex oceanscape.  A moment when the sky is raining down silver rivulets and “pooling” upon piles of clouds resting heavily on the horizon line. And the sea? All quiet, calm and clear below but with the evermore movement of the waves and tide in and out. It’s a gray day for sure, but the colors are infinite. Lots of dark and bright metallic silvers in the sky and deep indigo and frothy whites in the sea. Studying this painting now in my Portland studio transports me instantly to this scene on the Oregon coast.

As I worked on this painting, I referenced some of the countless photos I have taken of the Pacific coast over the years. Each photo puts me at that vantage point where I can soak up the horizon and everything above and below. Now completed, I love this depiction – what do you think?

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“Pooled on the Horizon”, oil and metallic watercolor, 30 x 30 inches, $2,000.

Arctic Circle Art & Science Residency: I’ve Been Invited!

After 2 months of anticipation, I just learned that I was one of a few artists chosen, out of hundreds of international applicants, for the 2018 Autumn Arctic Circle Residency Expedition!

As an artist primarily inspired by place and water, I’m sure this will prove to be the expedition of a lifetime and I couldn’t be more excited!

In October 2018, I’ll be traveling nearly 4,000 miles from my studio in Portland, Oregon to our port of call, Longyearbyen, Svalbard. Near the edge of the polar ice cap, Longyearbyen is a mere 600 miles south of the North Pole and is about the same distance north of the Norwegian mainland. And yes, it is truly the land of icebergs and polar bears!

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Portland, Oregon, USA to Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway = 3702 miles

For nearly three weeks in October 2018, I will sail on an ice-class barkentine tallship, exploring the arctic region around the Svalbard archipelago. I’ll be joined by a small group of artists, educators and scientists for this once-in-a-lifetime residency program. Yes, I have nearly a year and a half to wait, prepare (and raise funds!), but that enables me to focus on other events already on my calendar for this coming autumn here in Portland.

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My home for nearly 3 weeks during the 2018 Arctic Circle Art & Science Residency

Stay tuned in the coming months for more info and thoughts as I prepare for this epic adventure! In the meantime, I’d love to hear from anyone who has traveled to this part of the Arctic – please share with me and my readers what you thought of your adventure!

Studio Snapshot

It has been awhile since I posted a snapshot of my studio… I’d sure be lost without my large, main studio table that I got at The Ohio State University’s surplus warehouse before we moved out to Portland! In fact, I’ve found several pieces of great “studio furniture” at university surplus stores, so if you’re looking for furniture you might check with your local universities to see if they sell surplus furniture and equipment.

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David Castle Studio – February, 2017

Record October Rains Helped Me Paint This

I love my art-making process – it’s my favorite part of being an artist. And, I’ve worked for more than 12 years now to hone the processes I use to make art.

We had record October rain here in Portland. I thought alot about my process as the rain came down and I painted several new originals for my Pacific Rains Series. You might have noticed that I now mount my original paintings onto “cradled” wood panels. I love both the process and the finished result and have shared snapshots of both below.

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After mounting my paper “canvas” onto panel, I’m ready to trim the edges.
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“Through The Forest”, oil and metallic watercolor, 30 x 30 inches, SOLD.

All original paintings on my website are mounted on panel like this with crisp, finished
edges. Check out what’s available to add to your collection
by clicking here ==> www.davidcastleart.com.

I love them… I love them not…

For the last month and a half, I’ve been working on a large commission triptych project for a client’s office. Today I’ll apply the final coat of varnish, so the project is nearly complete. And, my client loves these paintings, so… yay!

However, the last week of finishing these paintings up has me stuck between loving them… and not loving them. In general, I love my birch tree paintings and, with this particular set, think I captured (from left to right) a solid feeling of Summer, Autumn and Winter. In fact, I wish I was sitting smack in the middle of the Autumn panel right now!

So why am I sometimes feeling that “I love them not”? Is there something wrong with my composition across these 3 panels? Is it just my usual feeling of depression that I experience whenever I finish a painting?

What do you think?

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“Tall Birch Trees – Summer, Autumn, Winter”; oil and metallic watercolor on panel (middle panel is 45×18″).

Painting the Sea and Sky Like This Calms My Nerves

This year has been a struggle for me as I live my artist’s life with ongoing depression and rising anxiety. Some might say I’m just another “tortured” artist, but it has taken me 20+ years to become accustomed to what “normal” feels like for me. And how I feel has changed alot this year for me.

So, as I work to get back to my own normal, one of my trusty therapies is my painting process. And besides trees, the sea and sky is one of my most favorite subjects. Painting the expansive sea and the ever-changing sky along with a nice, crisp horizon line holding them together almost always calms my nerves.

See what you think (and feel) with my latest sea and sky painting below. It’s titled No. 6 but is the only larger sea and sky painting to date that I’ve completely finished and mounted on panel. Click the painting or the link below to view it on my website.

Sure wish we were there in No. 6, don’t you?

Thanks for looking and for supporting my art!

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“Oregon Coast Sea and Sky No. 6”, oil and metallic watercolor on panel, 12 x 12 inches, $400 (available on my website).

TBT: “Purple Day”

One of my all-time, most favorite paintings I’ve made is “Purple Day”. Finished back in 2005 and sold right here in Portland at the Art in the Pearl festival, I miss this painting every time I think of it.

As an artist, I have many of my own paintings that I rotate on my own walls at home and a few – maybe five – that I consider in my “permanent” collection… “Purple Day” would have been a fine addition to that collection!

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“Purple Day”, watercolor, 18 x 18″, 2005. Fine art reproduction prints available at http://www.DavidCastleArt.com

I Painted the Orlando 49 – Into the Light

The horrific events in Orlando have taken over my creative process in my studio since it happened nearly two weeks ago. As an artist, I paint what I’m thinking and feeling – first I paint in my mind (often while I’m supposed to be sleeping!) and then, ready or not, I put paint to paper in my studio.

As a gay American, tragedies like Orlando impact me deeply. My own family has rejected me on this “issue” and I’m saddened that hate and anything but complete acceptance, still fills many people on this planet.

So, I paint. And then I paint more as I process what happened in Orlando and the 49 young people who died. The painting below, one of my Pacific Northwest Rains series, is one that I finished this week. I’m conveying the lives of 49 colorful people (as the stripes on the bottom) who are being transported through a black line into whatever silvery “light” is above and next for them.

I’ll never forget what happened in Orlando and will be painting many more as I try to make sense of people like the shooter… and my own family.

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“The Orlando 49 – Into the Light”, oil and metallic watercolor, 12 x 12 inches.

Here’s what I think rain looks like

Have you ever seen rain streaming dramatically down a window like it does in the movies? In those fat, silvery rivulets? I could sit in my comfy studio armchair and watch rain rivulets all day here in Portland.

Instead, I started a new series of oil and metallic watercolors called Pacific northwest rains. Water – especially rain – makes me feel cool, calm and balanced. Do you feel the rain in these abstractions, like the new one below?

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Why Do I Love to Paint Trees? Here’s a Hint.

I feel like a caterpillar.
After 12 years of my artist career, I’ve kicked off 2016 by examining everything I do:

Why do I paint?
What do I hope to share with you, through my art?
How do my inspirations guide what I put on paper?
Why do I love painting trees?

As I “metamorphosis” on these questions and more, I will share my discoveries with you this year. Right now, I can share a bit about those trees I love to paint so much.

As I travel my life’s path, I create idyllic places for me to “hide” — to keep me safe, and to belong — and all of these places always have trees.  Trees that shelter, that protect, and that cool. Evergreens and aspens from the mountains of my native Colorado, and towering hardwoods in the forests of southern Belgium. Trees that have trunks with those crisp lines that I love.

How could I not paint these trees, in those idyllic places?

 

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Large trees (aspen or birch?) are in progress in my studio (oil and metallic watercolor).

Winter Aspens: Making Oil and Watercolor Mix

I’m continuing my quest to master mixing oil and watercolors successfully and just might have a new series emerging: winter aspens. Or winter birch. I’m a bit torn since I love the aspen trees of my native Colorado in winter, but also love the birch found in the Pacific Northwest where I’ve spent many months painting in the winter over the last decade (and now live).

Here are two of my most recent winter trees – layers of oil paint (I use oil sticks such as Winsor & Newton Oilbars), followed by layers of watercolor paint (some traditional paints along with my own mix of metallic pigment powders).  At just the right time, I scrape the tree shapes out with an old favorite tool: pieces of cut up credit cards.

I’m loving these early results… what do you think?

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“Winter Aspens No. 3” and “Winter Aspens No. 5”, oil and metallic watercolor, 12 x 12 inches, $350.

Well, Oil and Watercolor DO Mix After All

I’m finally calling my experimentation from the last month or so a success!  I’ve experimented with various methods of making oil paint and watercolor mix and love my results.  I mix layers of oil paint (using oilsticks such as Winsor & Newton Oilbars) and metallic and traditional watercolors, working on paper and then I’ve mounted the paper onto cradled panel.  More about my techniques another day…

"Forever Gone", watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 6x6x1.5".
“Forever Gone”, watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 6x6x1.5″.
"Golden Era", watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 10x10x1.5".
“Golden Era”, watercolor and oil mounted on panel, 10x10x1.5″.

When In Doubt… I Return To Squares

“up/down, up/down, up/down”… is a funny saying we’ve had around the house for a decade now, coined by me on our honeymoon when my husband kept playing with the rental car’s controls for raising and lowering the convertible top repeatedly. Again and again – until he blew an electrical fuse and we were forced to drive around with the top stuck in the “down” position, sweltering in the Hawaiian heat.

Wet watercolor "elemental" squares.
Wet watercolor “elemental” squares.

Well, “up/down, up/down, up/down” is what I’ve been doing with my creative process in my studio lately.  I thought I was on to something new and good with mixing oil paints and watercolor, but after lots of experimenting and thinking that I love what I’ve spent the last 3 weeks painting (up), the last few days I’m frustrated and angry with my results (down).

Instead of destroying paintings that I might love again tomorrow, I’ve been going back to my most basic and comforting work – painting my “elemental” squares.  But even those aren’t going so swell… but there’s always tomorrow to turn things around.

A Rash of Recent Acceptances Into National Exhibits Quickens My Pulse

"Bouyant" was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.
“Bouyant” was chosen out of over 650 paintings to exhibit at the San Diego Watercolor Society International Exhibition in San Diego, California.

I’ve had several of my new Metallic Squares series paintings accepted into well-respected, national juried exhibitions recently. I’m super-excited that my latest watercolor and oil paintings are receiving some attention and it gets my heart rate going in my studio to keep on exploring my Metallic Squares and painting more!

"My Personal Raincloud" one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.
“My Personal Raincloud” one of 65 paintings chosen out of 665 for the Rocky Mountain National Watermedia Exhibit in Golden, Colorado.

Following a 20 Year Dream: Moving to Portland, OR!

I’m following a 20-year dream and moving to Portland, Oregon!

I’ve soaked up lots of inspiration on my many trips and painting sojourns to Oregon over the years and am finally making the move in June. So, I’ll be closing my Columbus studio at the end of May and need your help to lighten my moving truck.

Through the end of May, all of my original art is available for 40 – 75% off regular prices.

  • Purchase online at DavidCastleArt.com and use Savings Code “PDX” at checkout to instantly save 40%.
  • Visit my Columbus Studio on Saturday, May 23rd (9am – 5pm) to browse hundreds of paintings at 40-75% savings.
  • Contact me to schedule a private Studio visit anytime through May 28th.
"May Flowers", watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, $300 regular price ($180 after 40% savings!).
“May Flowers”, watercolor and acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches, $300 regular price ($180 after 40% savings!).

Daniel Smith Continues Breaking My Heart…

As a followup to my last post about my crumbling love affair with Daniel Smith paints, I’m sad to say that Daniel Smith has definitely discontinued their entire acrylic paint line.  I’ve primarily used Daniel Smith acrylic paints (along with their watercolor paints) since the “beginning” for me over 10 years ago.  The last time I visited their website to order acrylic, I noticed all of them appearing on web pages that contained “discontinued” in the title.

My acrylic drawer filled with now obsolete Daniel Smith Acrylics.
My acrylic drawer filled with now obsolete Daniel Smith Acrylics.

Well, after a few emails to them, I was told they were discontinued, but they failed to respond with any additional info.  I couldn’t even find an official note from them to their customers and fans (lovers) to explain the what, why, when, etc.

I guess I could go on and on about my breaking heart, but seems I should just move on and start filling up my acrylic drawer with paints that are going to stay around!

Daniel Smith Is Breaking My Heart: The First Time

I’ve long been a huge fan of Daniel Smith paints – so many reasons to love: made in the USA, ultra-fine quality, superb colors… I’ve really been in love since the beginning of my professional art career with my first big order in 2002 of watercolors and acrylics.  I’ve even written several blog posts describing my love, including this post titled “I Heart Daniel Smith” here.

Well, I guess with any such love affair lasting over a decade, there’s bound to be some heartache.  And lately, Daniel Smith is just plain breaking my heart!

Daniel Smith Silver Metallic Watercolor Pigment... now "vintage".
Daniel Smith Silver Metallic Watercolor Pigment… now “vintage”.

I recently discovered that Daniel Smith discontinued one of my favorite products — metallic watercolor dry pigments.  And I’m completely devastated.  Dramatic?  Sure, but I use a variety of metallic paints in most of my paintings – almost all exclusively Daniel Smith products.

I’ve stocked all of the metallic watercolor pigment colors (silver, pale gold, Egyptian gold, copper…) in my studio and have actually been using them rather sparingly over the past several years.  So, now that I’ve started a new Metallic Squares series which requires heavy use of the Daniel Smith metallic watercolor pigments, I went to http://www.danielsmith.com to order up a bunch, only to discover they aren’t anywhere to be found.  But, oh joy, in an email exchange with one of their Sales people, I was told I could special order the metallic watercolor pigments by the pound, and would I like a price quote?  After putting my heart back in my chest, I replied “absolutely”!

Metallic Squares for my latest watercolor painting series.
Metallic Squares for my latest watercolor painting series.

The next email from Daniel Smith was the first “Dear John” from them.  Apparently after checking with their production team, the Sales person informed me that they had been discontinued “a long time ago” and were no longer available.

Now heartbroken, I’m not sure if I should pursue my love any further with Daniel Smith?  Or should I put my heart back out there with a Canadian lead I have for a new love?