Tuesday, December 11, 2007

It's been a while!

It's been a busy few weeks for me. I've recently finished a commissioned painting of cowboy boots, attended my last meeting as an officer of the New Braunfels Art League, and now I'm moving into my new studio/gallery space.

This picture is the front door (the one on the right) to my studio. The building is a relocated Texas cabin originally built in the 1800's.

The first thing you see as you enter the front door is going to be the public room... a place to greet people, visit with them and present my available work. It's a really rustic and cozy space and it will look great with a rug, a few comfortable chairs and a selection of my work.

This last picture is from the kitchen looking toward the front door. The area in the foreground will be my work area. It's only slightly separated from the public room and anyone visiting the studio will have a view of the work space. They'll be treated to the sight of the clutter of a working painting studio and the controlled chaos it involves. Fortunately, I have a small back room for storage and the "not so picturesque" elements of a working studio.

I'm looking forward to receiving visitors along with my studio/gallery partner, Brigitte Woosley, who will be offering her wonderful Western oil paintings in the adjoining gallery space.

I'd love to have you come visit me!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Check out Cindy Revell's work...

Sometimes you find an artist who's work makes you say "I wish I had done that!"
Cindy Revell is one of those artists whose work just fascinated me.

I hope you enjoy seeing her work as much as I did.

What caught my eye....
Check her out!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Dark And Stormy Still LIfe

It took me a year but I've finally finished this painting. It went through a few phases and ended up a bit surrealistic. I'm glad I finally finished it. It really bothers me when I get stuck and I can't seem to get back to something that's been around that long!

It's almost worse than facing a blank canvas!

"Dark and Stormy Still Life"
Oil on Board
12" x 18-1/2"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Just a little touch-up in the studio...

This was a beautiful southern Texas morning in the fall. We searched for a while to find the perfect place to paint and "that we did!"
This was a spot on Hunter Road between New Braunfels and San Marcos and there were 3 beautiful scenes to paint. I chose this one because I was wanting to paint some SKY!

"Hunter Road"
11" x 14"

Monday, November 12, 2007


I started a still life painting and I liked the way it was progressing but life is full of complications! Now the petals have fallen and the painting isn't done. I have to remember to make a good photo BEFORE I start to paint.

Hmmmmmmmm.... Maybe I'll just fake it!

(Unfinished Painting)
Oil on Canvas

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Part of the Fun...

When painting outdoors, part of the process is interacting with the curious public. The last time I was out painting with my studio partner, a nice man stopped and took pictures of us. I was happy to find those pictures in my email today and I thought I would post one of them.

Some artists that I know say that they find it distracting to have someone interacting with you while you are painting. I find it interesting that others are fascinated by artists, what artists do, and how artists work. It's pretty much second nature to me to have someone looking over my shoulder. What is more difficult for me is to explain why or how I paint.

I'd love to hear what others think about this.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

"A View of Cypress Bend"

Painting the river on this sunny afternoon was a real challenge for me. The water is beautifully clear and the first impression of it is that it is somewhere between seafoam green and aqua. In fact it is every color on my palette! It was a great piece to expand my comfort envelope.
I will certainly attempt this again but I think tomorrow I'd like to paint some rolling meadows and sky. Who would have guessed that I would fall in love with painting outdoors?

"A View of Cypress Bend"
Oil on Panel
12" x 16"

Friday, October 19, 2007

A great site to visit...

If you love moody/misty paintings, you should really visit Rob Ibjema's blog "Painting Wales Diary
( http://paintingwalesdiary.blogspot.com/ ) I check in frequently and there's always something wonderful there.

My personal painting today was limited to touching up a few recent paintings in the studio to finish them up. I'm hoping to get back out tomorrow to do a new landscape.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

"River Road"

This was a nice shady spot on the lake end of River Road. It was a great day to be painting but I started a little late and the light was changing fast! It's clearly an afternoon location though. I loved the way the trees were casting shadows on the bend in the road. Combine that with the sound of the river just over the little hill to my right and it was perfect!

"Shadows on River Road"
Oil on Canvas Panel
9" x 12"

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The commission has landed!

My two commissioned watercolor paintings for the St Regis Princeville in Hawaii.

I'm not used to working from photos but that was all I had available to me for these. I think next time I will require a trip to the location so I can work from the actual plants!

There's the ticket!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Monday's landscape...

I saw this driveway while returning home from Austin a few days ago. I thought it would be a good painting so I went back today. It was pretty challenging to paint so many trees at such varying distances. I may work on it in the studio tomorrow just a little before I put it into a frame.

"Country Drive"
Oil on Panel
16" x 12"

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Tuesday's Painting

This was my efforts for this morning's Plein Air Paintout. I was a little disappointed when I got to the lake because the sky had clouded over but I settled in anyway. I think it was worth the effort. AND I really had fun!

I'd love to hear your opinions...

"Canyon Lake"
14" x 18"

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Third Portrait of Grace

This is the second painting of Grace that I've done in two weeks. I really like her as a model. What do you think?

"Third Portrait of Grace"
Oil on Canvas
12" x 9"

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Painting Grace

Our portrait painting group had another session with Grace tonight. I really enjoy painting her very distinctive features. I'll photograph the painting from this evening and post it tomorrow. I'd love to hear comments about the two paintings.

Of course, I'll have to take a new photograph of the first painting as well since I made a few changes to it since I posted it. The original painting is now part of the "ARToberfest" Show at the New Braunfels Art League until Nov. 11.

Check out my first portrait of Grace

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I painted this tonight with our Portrait Painting Group. I think it was one of my more successful portraits but I want to work just a bit on the arm. What do you think?

"Second Portrait of Grace"
Oil on Canvas
12" x 9"

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Just dropping in...

This week is going to be a really busy one. I've gotten the approval on the commissioned watercolors that I'm doing for a hotel in Hawaii and the ARToberfest Show is about to break at the New Braunfels Art League. So much to do in so little time!

I've done the sketches and committed the first watercolor to paper. I'm just about to begin the painting of "Neill's Coral Tree" so I thought I'd post before I get too busy. The sketch above is the initial drawing that will be transferred to Twinrocker Watercolor Paper. I'll try to photograph the work as it progresses.

I hope to be able to post at least every other day so I don't get too far behind.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Our Open House was a lot of fun. Many friends came to wish us well and we had a great time!

On the same day, I received confirmation on a commission that I will be doing for the St Regis Princeville in Kauai, Hawaii. I am looking forward to working on the two watercolors which will be featured in the rooms at the resort. I hope I will be able to visit personally to see the originals installed there. One of the prints will be in every room of the resort!

I'll try to keep my progress posted on these two watercolors as I progress with them.

Friday, September 14, 2007

This is the BIG DAY...

Later today we'll be opening our doors to the public at Three Brushes!

I wish you could all be there to join in the fun. Since you can't, I'll post pictures of the space and the event.
See you soon!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

After a busy week...

I've moved all of my paintings, canvases and painting equipment to the studio and tomorrow I'll put things in order. We should be ready to open the space up on Friday, Sept. 14 as planned.
And I'm happy to say that I'll be receiving the materials and purchase order on Tuesday for two commissioned watercolors. Just in time to break in my new studio space! Perfect!

"Beauty in the Beast"

I'll be painting two watercolors of Hawaiian flora for a hotel there and they will be made into prints to be hung in the guest rooms. The style will be similar to "Beauty in the Beast" (shown above) The originals will be installed in the model rooms. I will keep a record of my progress here.
Right now I'm going to have some dinner and relax and prepare for another week.
Happy painting!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Getting Ready!

The Three Brushes studio is getting close to being a real workspace! We've painted the gallery area and with a little clean up and rearranging, we'll be able to work there! It's been fun getting it ready but I'll be glad when we're able to sit at our easels and get to work. We have a little bit of painting left to do on the outside, some more equipment to move in, artwork to hang & we'll be ready to welcome everyone to our...

Friday, September 14, 2007
2 - 7 p.m.

We're hoping to have lots of visitors to give the studio some great energy. Leave me a message if you want directions!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A Busy Day...

This certainly has been a busy day. Actually it's been a hectic week with no sign of it easing up.
We are now officially in our new studio which we call "Three Brushes". I spent today buying paint and painting the walls in the gallery space. I have to say that I like the new gray paint better than the first color.
I also took a truckload of paintings and equipment there so now it's starting to look occupied!
Another week and we should be making art there!
Break open that bottle of Raspberry wine...

Monday, August 27, 2007

A New Painting...

"Pride of Barbados"
Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"

These plants caught my eye in the parking lot across from my new studio. I just had to paint them.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I took the day off...

Actually, I went to the new studio space this morning and took a few paintings with me. After that I came back to the house and put in an hour on a new painting before going off for a social afternoon with family.

It was difficult, once I started, to put down my brushes. I'm really liking the switch to oils from watercolors. I'm having to look at things a lot differently and adjust my thinking when planning a painting. I'm sure I will continue to do watercolors but it will be nice to have another medium to alternate with.

I'm finding that oils are opening me up to a much looser style and brighter color work. Interesting!

Here is a tiny little peek inside our new studio...

We've decided to call the space "Three Brushes Studio & Gallery".
We've painted one of the walls in the gallery area with a medium gray but it looks a little too blue. So we'll try again for a more neutral gray. It does look good with a little darker wall though. Our work should stand out very nicely. Watch for the next picture. There should be some paintings up by then.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A Big Day...

I now have the keys to our new studio!

Tomorrow we paint and by the first of September, we'll be moved in. I'm looking forward to having a good space to work in and a place to exhibit the work I have on hand.

I'll take pictures and post them soon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My painting for today...

Oil on Canvas
8" x 10"
(Sorry, this one is taken)

I did this painting today for an art trade. I felt really good about it and it crossed my mind that I should have kept it and traded another piece.

In the end, I decided to let this one go for the trade and I'm glad I did. It will have a place in the home of someone who will appreciate and hopefully cherish it.

If I had kept it, I would see it every day and it would hinder my progress. I am beginning to understand that about myself. I had a very wise friend tell me that the best thing that I can do to progress as a painter is to let go of each piece as it is finished so there will be room for many more. I think I am ready to test that theory.

If I progress as I hope, there will be something new to post every day. (Well, at least most days. I'm not quite THAT disciplined.)

Monday, August 20, 2007

An artist to watch...

A quick note to tell you that I just visited a great blog that you should drop in and check out...
The work is fresh and exquisite.

But, HEY, don't forget to come back to see what I'm up to!

Here is one of my watercolors...

"Live Oak, Dead Oak & Pebble"

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Another Busy Sunday...

It was a pretty good day today. A lot was accomplished and I spoke with two friends from New Mexico. That always makes a day feel special.

My friend Jo has a coffee shop/cafe called Jo's Chameleon Cafe on "South 14" outside of Albuquerque. If you know the area at all you know that isn't the right name for the road but it's the name that everyone uses. Her coffee shop is a great place to visit if you are ever in the Tijeras area.

While you are there, you should check out the artwork on the walls. Jo's a pretty good artist herself but most of what you will see there is by local artists and friends of hers. There is some beautiful work there. You may even find a couple of my photo montage pieces hanging.

Well, after a long day, it's time to relax and get ready to pick up the brushes again tomorrow.
Hope you had as good a weekend as I did.

See ya later.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Late Saturday Night...

I decided to put in some work on the landscape below to try to add some life to the upper right corner. It may be time to stop working on this one or it may become too labored. I will set it aside and work on something new tomorrow. I'm not very practiced at landscapes so I feel as though I've never picked up a brush before.

Of course, every time you pick a new type of subject or medium, there is an uncomfortable period of adjustment.

I am looking forward to painting with a group of my artist friends beginning in September when the weather cools a little. We'll be painting on the banks of the Guadalupe River just to the NE of San Antonio. This will be my first "paint out" so I'm anxious to give it a try.

For now, I'll settle on starting another "from nature" painting. I'm working at painting at a quicker pace to loosen up which is a real challenge for someone who likes to get all of the details in.

Here is one of my watercolor pieces that is still available...

"Beauty in the Beast"

I am so accustomed to painting in the minute details that it is hard to pick up a large brush and stroke in a broad sweep of color! I'm working on it though so stay tuned for my progress.

What's new?

I'm so excited!

Over the past few days, things have really taken shape. Along with two of my artist friends, Kay and John Reinke, I found a new studio space. It's a quaint little space with "Charles Dickens" storefront appeal and a small courtyard to the side of it. I can't wait to fix it up and move in!

It's located in downtown New Braunfels, TX not far from the center of town. 725-B W. San Antonio Street to be exact.

We plan to do open studio shows in the front gallery and I'll post the information here when we have something scheduled.

Here is another one of my paintings that I'll be hanging up there...

Acrylic on Cradled Wood Panel
Img size: 8" x 12"

I'm so excited!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday and it's raining again!

We've had 10 days without rain recently and it's been too hot to paint outdoors. I've been wanting to hone my plein air skills but it's really unbearably hot and humid so I've had to resort to painting indoors.

I did the landscape in an earlier post from a photograph that I took earlier this year in New Mexico at a state park called "City of Rocks".

So! Until Fall arrives and the weather becomes more pleasant, I'll be painting indoors. This is not a bad thing, don't misunderstand me. I've been painting with a portrait group for the last 7 weeks and I've thouroughly enjoyed it. I'd like to do a lot more of those if I can find people to sit for them.

For now, though, I'll continue to paint things "from the land". I love painting things that we see every day. I picked up this branch from someone's back yard. Most of the tree was cloaked with lichens and ball moss and this branch had fallen during a stormy night. I'm sure that people are not happy to see their Live Oak trees covered with these parasitic plants but they make a wonderful painting!

I hope you enjoy this painting which was awarded first place in a show of contemporary art at the New Braunfels Art League in July.

Acrylic on Gallery Wrap Canvas
(can be hung without a frame)
30" x 20"

Painting fun portraits - alla prima

Over the last few months, I've been part of a group of artists who are practicing painting and drawing portraits at the New Braunfels Art League.

This particular portrait is hanging in an art league show titled "Texas". If you visit New Braunfels, TX , come by and see the show! It's a good one.

"Lone 'Star' Attitude"
Oil on Canvas
10" x 20"

Here is another painting from the portrait sessions.

If you are interested in purchasing any of my paintings just leave a message including your email address and I'll send you the information.

Oil on Canvas
12" x 24"
J A Baker

Let me introduce myself...

My life as an artist began as a child.

Crayons and construction paper, WOW!

Since this is my very first post on my very first blog, I'm going to keep it simple!

I plan to show my new work as I produce it as well as the work that I've done in the past. I'm currently working in oils but I also work in acrylics, watercolors and digital photo montage/collage.

This is a landscape that I've just taken off my easel...

"City of Rocks"
Oil on Canvas
16" x 20"

I hope you enjoy visiting my blog.
Be sure to bookmark it so you can visit often to see what I'm working on.