Sunday, December 12, 2010

Three Antique Kid's Blocks


Three Antique Kid's Blocks

SOLD


6 in X 8 in (15.2 cm X 20.3 cm) original acrylic painting on hand primed board $125. w/free shipping in US & Canada

To purchase or receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul
   
To see past work in my daily painters gallery click HERE 


The three blocks shown in this painting are from three different sets of antique toy blocks. Over the years of searching for still life objects I've done some research on the different objects used from the toy box.

The large block on the left is from a set produced by The Embossing Company of Albany, NY., and were probably made around 1900. The Embossing Co. is considered the originator of ABC blocks in America. Today this set is referred to as “Uncle Goose Blocks” and came in a cloth bag. The design for these blocks may have originated in Europe.

The red “A” block next to it was also first manufactured by The Embossing Company and were made in a set 30 and each block measured 1 3/4” square. These date from around 1915 and were call “harmless” because of the rounded corners. The slogan on the box said “Toys That Teach” because of the alphabet, pictures of many kinds of objects and the stories that were shown such as “The Three Bears” with a three on this block.

The third block on the top is from a set of Walt Disney blocks made in late 1920's or early 1930's. The box for this set calls them “Saf ety blocks and was made by Halsam Products Co. founded in 1917 in Chicago, Illinois. Halsam later took over The Embossing Company and made a smaller version of their ABC blocks.

© Copyright by Paul Wolber

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fields of Wild Heather on the Highlands


Fields of Wild Heather on the Highlands

7" x 10" (17.78 cm x 25.4 cm) original acrylic painting on hand primed board
To purchase or receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul  
To see past work in my daily painters gallery click HERE 


Driving through heaths and highlands bring many surprises when fields of heather burst into view. Here the subtle beauty of wild heather in the foreground is a beautiful contrast to woods and cottage in the background.

I've been looking at the sketch of this image from last spring and finally needed to complete this painting to share with those who have enjoyed the feelings and memory of heather fields from long ago.

© Copyright by Paul Wolber

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Through the Woods


Through the Woods
SOLD
8" x 10" (20.3 cm x 25.4 cm) original acrylic painting on hand primed board
To purchase or receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul
   
To see past work in my daily painters gallery click HERE 

Walking through the woods on a snowy day reminded me of all those past years of traveling to visit family on Thanksgiving and Christmas and the wonderful dinners that would greet us. The woods had a special depth and glow created by the crisp, cold winter day that brought to mind all the winters of years past. These were the thoughts and memories that inspired this painting.

© Copyright by Paul Wolber

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

About Paul

Paul has traveled as an artist in many countries of the world including China and Western Europe. He is Professor Emeritus of Spring Arbor University in Michigan where he taught painting and design for many years and conducted cross-cultural studies and art classes in Italy and Western Europe since 1976. From 1998-2003 he was visiting professor at Sichuan Education College, Chengdu, China; Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Chongqing, China: and Guangxi Branch of Beijing Art and Design Institute, Beihai, China.

He has taught oil and acrylic painting for over 30 years, however his current painting is primarily in acrylic.
His paintings have been included in well over 100 local, regional and national exhibitions and he has received many awards for his work. His paintings are included in museum and private collections around the world. Subject matter includes Midwest landscapes, European subject matter, many parts of China, and currently nature and wildlife.

Art has been his lifelong passion and his artistic vision is based on the concept of art as form. Although he has studied and taught design and abstract form elements, his current work demonstrates striking realism, light and color. Color has always been an important element in his work and he has taught classes in color for many years.

Since 2006 Paul has participated in the daily painting movement with the purpose of making small original works of art available to private collectors who would not be able or choose to own large expensive works of art.

Paul currently is living and painting in Michigan with his wife, Li Qin who he met during his years of teaching in China. Qin’s interest in photography complements Paul’s work in painting and they are both avid travelers searching out art and photo interests in Europe, Canada and Asia. Recent travel was September 2009 in Badlands, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Glacier National Park. In May/June 2010 travel was in United Kingdom and Scotland. Some reflections of these recent travels can be seen posted on Paul's blog.

© Copyright by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 22, 2010

Exhibition at Bear's Mill


This Friday, November 26 I will open a show of 23 paintings
at Bear's Mill, Greenville, Ohio.

Visitor information can be found at www.bearsmill.com

Reception Friday november 26, 6-9 pm is open to the public

A new feature of this show will be the introduction of four Giclée prints of my paintings. This is the first group of limited edition prints I've made available.

The prints will include
“Karst Mountains”,
“Three Dong Houses”,
“Wall 1”, and
“Cherries on Linen Cloth”.

I'm working on a new blog that will present info on prints, why I finally chose to issue these limited edition prints and information on the Giclée printing process.

© Copyright by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 13, 2010

Siberian Tiger: Earths Largest Cat

Year of the Tiger: Siberian Tiger
10.5 inch x 14 (26.67 cm x 35.6 cm) acrylic on hand primed board $975.00
free shipping in US & Canada.
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul
   
To see past work click HERE 



Since this is the year of the Tiger in the Chinese astrological calendar, I've wanted for some time to do a painting of a Siberian Tiger. Siberian tigers live in eastern Russia with perhaps as few as several dozen still living in China and North Korea. They are an endangered species with probably only 400-500 still living in the wild.  Even though they live in the harsh northern climate of Siberia and northern Manchuria (China and Korea), they do have the advantage of living in an environment with a very low human density.

It is very difficult, if not impossible now to see a Siberian Tiger in the wild in China. The best place to see them up close is in Harbin's Siberian Tiger Park. They are sometimes referred to as the “Amur” tiger or "Manchurian" tiger because of the location of their environment. Seeing one of these great tigers for the  first time can be an awe inspiring event.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber

Monday, May 3, 2010

Toy Antique Horse Drawn Fire Engine

Antique Horse Drawn Fire Engine
5 in X 7 in (12.7 cm X 17.8 cm)
acrylic on hand primed board unframed $125
Free shipping in USA and Canada.
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE



Around 1900 many children's toys were made of cast iron. While rummaging through an antique shop recently I found this cast iron fire engine. The sturdy construction and beauty of the the painted images made me want to do this painting. It also reminded me that I had some old cast iron toy horses that my father must have had as a child so I dug them out of the closet to compare them.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Great Egret: A Wildlife Painting

                    Great Egret on Kalamazoo River
10" x 8" (25.4cm x 20.3cm) acrylic on hand primed board $325
free shipping in US & Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul
 
To see past work click HERE 





Back on the Falling Water Trail biking again, I spotted a Great Egret on the banks of the Kalamazoo River. Michigan is only the summer range for Egrets so I was surprised to see this one so early. Since it was about 200 yards away, my first thought was just another mute swan until I looked through my camera’s telephoto lens. I haven’t seen him again so maybe he was just passing through.

The morning light gave modeling to the body so I could really see the detail of the birds form. I hope I’ve captured that so you will be able to enjoy the unusual colors brought out by the early morning sunlight. Even the color of the beak was enhanced by the sun shining through to give it a transparency and a vivid orange/yellow color against cool tones of the water behind. This was one of those rare sightings that demanded some study of the light and form to get it right. Sighting this bird was almost a mystical experience that gave me the feeling of almost meeting a being out of history or another dimension.


© Copyright by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Friday, March 19, 2010

Apple Blossoms: Signs of Spring

                 Apple Blossoms: Signs of Spring
5 in X 7 in (12.7 cm X 17.8 cm) acrylic on hand primed board

To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE 
SOLD

This is a reposting of an earlier painting done in 2007. It was sold in the gallery rather than online. Some paintings are just difficult to see the subtleties of color and texture online. This was one of those paintings. It sold almost immediately when it was hung in the gallery even though it had been online for several years. This tells me that both kinds of exposure can be needed for the artists work. The luminous quality of the computer screen can show some things to advantage with the use of additive colors of light, while some tones and textures can be diminished that way and I’ve found it’s not always easy to predict which way will be best.
Even though the “detail view” statistics were good on this painting online it never really connected in the same way it did in a gallery. Part of that may have been the framing in the gallery, but I suspect it was the light in the gallery and on computer that made the difference.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Old Crib Door: Wood Barn Textures

                                 The Old Crib Door
8" x 6" (20.3 cm X 15.2 cm) acrylic on gesso primed board unframed with free shipping in USA and Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below
To see past work click HERE
SOLD
This reminded me of the old days back on the farm where the corn for livestock and chickens was stored in a “corn crib” at the end of the barn. As I remember the crib was separated from the barn by a drive thru and had a slanted roof going down from the east end of the barn. The wall and door boards were spaced apart to allow air to flow through the crib to help dry the corn still on the cob. Now farmers have expensive metal silos with equipment to circulate and dry corn that is already shelled before it goes into the silo. So many things have changed since those days so this painting brings back the smell of corn,  hay, and wood in the barn that will always be a part of my experience.

Making the textures seem real helps to bring back those memories, but I once had a collector who thought that I’d sold him a reproduction rather than an original, apparently because he didn’t think that fine detail could be painted so small. Of course the quick way to tell if something is a reproduction is to use a magnifying glass called a “Loupe” used by graphic artists and jewelers. If you can see a dot pattern or pixels then it is a reproduction. On an original painting you will only see the detail of brush strokes the artist put there.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Three In A Row: ABC Toy Blocks

Classic antique wooden childrens abc blocks
6” x 8” acrylic on gessoed board unframed $175 with free shipping in US and Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE 
SOLD

There is an old saying that “everything comes in threes”. It can be called a self-fulfilling prophecy, because we often look for this pattern. We see threes in the color wheel primary colors, the trinity, the fleur de lis, and the rule of three in English writing such as three musketeers, three little pigs, Goldilocks and the three bears, and The Three Blind Mice.
So it was only natural that I chose these three blocks in a row as abc to paint. This painting however took me back to my basic design class study where I was required to draw and then paint a cube and pay attention to the way the light reflected off the different surfaces of the cube. It’s an old principle that is still an interesting one to study.


© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Prairie House

 
Original painting of house on the prairie
5” x 7” (12.7cm x 17.8cm) acrylic on hand primed board unframed $125 with free shipping in USA and Canada.
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE
SOLD

This house on the Prairie had a presence that reminded me of family and experiences growing up on a farm in the Midwest. It was something about the light, texture and cool colors of the surfaces that seemed a part of the past. It seemed familiar as if I’d been here many times before, so I had to paint it. Even though it was abandoned there seemed to be something there that drew my attention.
© Copyright by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Michigan Moraine

                                  click on image to see larger view
Michigan Moraine


42” x 72” (106.7cm x 182.9cm) acrylic on Masonite®
SOLD

Since I’ve been unable to spend as much time as usual in the studio this month I’m posting a few paintings done some years ago. This was done as a commission and is currently on exhibit in the lobby of the Ganton Art Gallery at Spring Arbor University. Farmers in Michigan often plow up large stones and boulders left by the receding glaciers thousands of years ago and pile them along the fence rows of their fields.

A moraine is the mass of earth and rock left at the front and edges of the glacier as it advanced. Michigan was once covered by large glaciers that left the rocks and debris in the planes that later became the farmland here in Michigan. This painting shows a valley of such stones. I’ve been intrigued by these “Moraines” and decided to make this a painting about that phenomenon. It gave me an opportunity to show the beauty of the natural landscape and also the beauty and texture of the stones and boulders deposited by glaciers.



© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bull Elk Gathering His Harem

 Bull Elk and Cow in Yellowstone During Rutting Season in September
14" x 18" (35.6 cm x 45.7 cm) original acrylic on gessoed board
This painting is currently not available for sale, however it may soon be available in Giclee limited edition print form.


To see past work click HERE 

At the beginning of rutting season in Yellowstone this bull elk is gathering his harem. Here in the evening we came upon this young elk cow and were so close we could hear her breathing and chewing as the great bull eyes us from across the stream. Evening is a magical time as the light plays tricks on our vision. We see the cool tones of the forest in the background and the golden tones of the meadow in the foreground. Both warm and cool colors are reflected in the bodies of the elk sharply defining them at first then almost causing them to disappear into the shadows as the sun continues to set.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All  Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mixed Alphabet and Disney Minnie Mouse Blocks

Mixed group of alphabet blocks and Disney Minnie Mouse
6” x 8” acrylic on gessoed board unframed $175 with free shipping in US and Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE 
SOLD
This still life was set up on my painting taboret that has a glass top for mixing paint, so it shows the reflection of the blocks in the glass.

This painting is a mix of alphabet blocks and a Disney Minnie Mouse block. The alphabet blocks are a set that I’ve had from childhood and I think they were made by Halsam Company of Chicago, Illinois. A larger set of the same blocks were produced earlier by The Embossing Company of Albany, New York which was later purchased by Halsam so I’m not sure which company actually produced this set. I don’t have the box that these blocks were packaged in so it’s not clear who actually made them. If anyone has more information about these it would be interesting to learn more. The Disney blocks I’ve discussed earlier and I have more documentation for them.

©Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 25, 2010

Bald Eagle: National Emblem of the United States

Bald Eagle in Yellowstone National Park
SOLD
8" x 6" (20.3 cm X 15.2 cm) acrylic on gesso primed board
For email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see my gallery of past work click HERE 


This is my view the Bald Eagle we saw in West Yellowstone in September. He was sitting in a tree on the north side of the road as we were driving to the west exit of Yellowstone. I got a couple of good shots and the next morning when we were heading back into the park there were two eagles in the tree nearer the road. I couldn’t get a good shot because of they were partly obscured by branches of the trees but I did get a good view of the head of the older eagle.

Since then I’ve been doing some study of the anatomy of the eagle so I’d have a good idea what I was seeing. Working from the photos I took and my sketches of eagle anatomy, this painting is a close-up interpretation of what I saw. Here I’ve tried to capture the regal and powerful qualities of this magnificent bird, the national emblem of the United States and while the Bald Eagle is unique to North America, eagles have been a symbol of power for thousands of years.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Valentine Rose: A Painting of a Red Rose


A Valentine Red Rose
5” x 7” (12.7cm x 17.8cm) acrylic on hand primed board unframed $125 with free shipping in USA and Canada.
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE  




The name rose almost implies red and colors such as “rose madder” are indeed red. Red roses are the symbol of romantic love thus becoming the appropriate color for a Valentine gift to someone we love. This one was painted from a bouquet of roses given as a birthday gift but is even more fitting for Valentines Day.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mickey and Minnie: Disney Blocks


Mickey and Minnie Mouse Blocks: Antique Toy Blocks
6” x 8” acrylic on gessoed board unframed $175 with free shipping in US and Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE 
SOLD 

These are two blocks from the Disney toy blocks set made in the 1930’s. I’ve painted them here in great detail as they might have looked when they were new. The wooden blocks came in sets usually of 24 and included Walt Disney characters with alphabet letters and picture/word objects such as the bicycle shown in this painting. Wooden alphabet blocks were first made in the USA by The Embossing Company of Albany, New York, but I think the Disney blocks were made later by Halsam Company of Chicago, Illinois that bought out The Embossing Company. For those old-timers who remember these blocks from childhood they have special memories but looking at them today they have a kind of classic quality of shapes and colors that symbolize that long ago period of time.

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved

Friday, January 8, 2010

Berries in Woven Basket

Berries in Woven Basket
6” x 8” acrylic on gessoed board unframed $175 with free shipping in US and Canada
To receive email postings of my work click below or send email to Paul

To see past work click HERE


This painting was begun last summer and I've just got back to finish it. Maybe it's appropriate now since it brings back the feeling of those warm summer days. Since this is another acrylic painting, below I've included an article on why I prefer to paint in acrylic. I thought some might be interested in this idea since some of you have ask this question.

WHY I PREFER ACRYLIC POLYMER PAINTS OVER OIL by Paul Wolber

I have been using acrylic paints for over forty years and personally continue to prefer them to oil. The following are some of my thoughts about the reasons for this. As a professor of art and a painter for over 45 years I have used and taught oil painting to hundreds, if not thousands of students. When introducing students to painting I prefer to begin with oils. The reason is simple. Oil paints are easier to use when trying to understand methods of mixing and applying glazes or layering of paint. Students can gain an understanding of the painting process more quickly with oil than with other mediums.

As a beginning student studying painting I learned the traditional Dutch Masters method of applying white lead to canvas to create the ground for oil painting used by Renaissance and Baroque artists such as Michaelangelo and Rembrandt in the classical tradition. To reach the highest level of painterly ability with oil it is necessary to follow the Dutch Masters method of using a white lead ground. The caveat is white lead is a toxic substance. We’ve all heard of problems children have had from contact with lead paint but we now know that many artists from the Classical period of art history had severe physical problems caused by exposure to white lead used in their paint. You can read more about these dangers here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_poisoning. Rather than deal with the dangers of white lead, I long ago made the decision to use acrylic polymer as the ground for my paintings. Even when teaching students to use oil paint I don’t teach them to prepare canvas with a white lead ground, rather the canvas is prepared with a 100% acrylic polymer gesso. Most commercially prepared canvas today is made with a polymer gesso ground and in some places white lead is now banned from use because of its toxicity.

Many artists who argue that oil paint is the classical medium of choice superior to others now paint on canvas or board that is prepared with an polymer gesso without realizing that their argument is invalidated by the fact that a painting is only as good as the ground it is painted on. If one paints with oil on a polymer ground the painting takes on at least some of the qualities of the polymer base. The only way to have a true oil painting in the classical tradition is to use a white lead ground with all the toxic hazards that entails and some artists today choose to use this method. The choice then is between a toxic white lead support and a polymer-based ground or some other type of ground.

The final question for me is whether oil paint is a superior medium to use over acrylic polymer paint regardless of the ground. I agree that oil is an easier medium to learn. Whether it will last longer or has superior overall qualities is a matter of opinion and is often based on emotional rather than factual data. Acrylic paints do present a challenge to learn and this is why I have painting students begin with oils. Acrylics have some advantages such as the smoothness of surface, quick drying and coverage abilities, brilliance in some hues that are much more difficult in oil and the avoidance of muddy or dirty paint mixing quality of oil caused by slow drying process of oils. Acrylic paint is more difficult to mix matching colors because they dry darker than when wet and this takes some getting used to. It is however possible to master this medium with time and experience and many professional artists have told me I am able to get more out of acrylic paint than any artist they know.

Acrylic paints can rival or match most or all of what is possible in oil and have some good qualities of their own but using them requires experience, understanding of both mediums and a good understanding of traditional techniques and methods of painting, so they may not be for everyone. My argument is with those who insist that oil is the only true classical medium to use. It’s a bit like arguing that beef is the only true energy food and because I want to stay healthy and live long I try to avoid too much of it. If I were to paint with oil professionally I’d want to use a white lead ground and for those who argue for oil I believe that unless they use white lead as the Dutch Masters did, it is not the true classical medium it is made out to be. The fact that white lead is a poisonous material is a persuasive argument that artists need to adapt. Materials such as titanium have been substituted for lead in white oil paint but that also can be used in acrylic paint. To be consistent I’ve chosen to move to acrylic paint as my medium of choice for what I consider ethical reasons and environmental safety concerns and I’ve been happy with the choice over the years. Today there are many very good artists who use acrylic with a high degree of success and are demonstrating the creative possibilities of this medium.             

© Copyright 2010 by Paul Wolber
All Rights Reserved