Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Vintage Cafe Sign - Daily Painting by Darren Maurer

8" x 10"

We have a restaurant here in Sioux City that is a local favorite of people that live here. It sits on a highway that goes through town and used to be the only way to go through Sioux City from north to south. A bypass was built a few years ago and now all the non local traffic goes around. The restaurant still does a booming business from the local customers anyway but the sign has seen better days. This painting is a commission piece for a new art collector in northern California. We met a few weeks ago by chance in another eBay business transaction and found out we have both been in the sign business for several years. After looking through my blog he wanted one of the paintings and asked me to send any one of them and he would be happy with it. I wanted to paint a piece that maybe had more meaning than just picking one at random. I have been wanting to paint this sign for awhile now and I thought it would be perfect. The sky is a brilliant northern California blue, The sign has a nostalgic vintage look to it. I also decided to crop in on the sign and just paint the "C and the A". Get it? This is painting 171 in my Painting A Day Series. Commission Painting - Sold

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ketchup, Salt & Pepper by Darren Maurer

8" x 10"

Here is another painting inspired from our small town restaurant stop on our way to Sioux Falls a few weeks ago. I grew up Grand Island, Nebraska. I always thought it was a large city until I moved away. Grand Island and all the surrounding communities have the traditional small town cafes in them. They are packed at noon with business people and farmers. If it happens to be raining the cafe will be standing room only with farmers coming into town for miles. I like the food and service you get when you stop. The eye level vantage point on this painting is what I think makes it interesting. I used warm color throughout this piece and everything seems to work for me. The lettering on the label of the ketchup bottle was challenging in itself. The glass of ice water serves as a secondary subject. This is painting 170 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold. (Click Here to View Auction Results)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Peppermint Candy - Daily Painting by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"
Here is a peppermint candy wrapped in clear plastic. One of our favorite restaurants gives these away after your meal. I saved mine so I could paint it later. The clear plastic was the most fun part of this to paint. This painting 169 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lunch Sack - Daily Painting A Day by Darren Maurer

8" x 10"

Tomorrow is the first full day of school here. Time to get the lunch menu in order. My oldest daughter has never been a fan of the school hot lunch program. She has taken a sack lunch to school everyday for her entire school career. This painting is of a single lunch sack ready to go. The contents are whatever your favorite sack lunch includes. Mine would be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a few chips and maybe a dill pickle and a Hostess Ho-Ho for dessert. I am finding that painting paper bags is sort of fun. The paper is thin enough to allow light to pass through the bag a makes some interesting lighting and colors on the shaded side of the bag. This is painting 168 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Baseball - Daily Painting A Day - by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"

A friend and I stopped by the home of his parents last weekend. We helped them by hauling an old grill out to the city dump. When we stopped his dad was working on a carving of a biker and his motorcycle. He was carving from wood piece by piece and they all fit together to make the bike and the rider. I mentioned that I wasn't sure if I could ever be a carver because working three dimensionally was a lot different than working two dimensionally. I try to apply paint to a flat surface to fool the eye into thinking that the painting is three dimensions. Now to my point. I painted this baseball because my two girls love watching the Little League World Series on ESPN. It is great to watch a baseball game where the players are playing for nothing more than just the pure love of playing baseball. Some of our big leaguers could learn something form these kids. The point finally is..... I am very happy with the three dimensional look of the baseball in this painting. If I tried to carve a baseball I don't think it would have worked out and I still have all my thumbs. This is painting 167 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold (Click Here to View Auction Results)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Coffee Cup Daily Painting by Darren Maurer

8" x 8"

On the trip to Sioux Falls a couple of weeks ago we also stopped for breakfast at a small town between here and there. I'm not a coffee drinker but our friends, Mary and Larry, were with us and they ordered coffee. Larry's coffee makes a nice composition here. I really like all the warm reflections going on within the cup. The coffee in the cup turned out nice too. This is painting 166 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold (Click Here to View Auction Results)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Discarded Lollipop by Darren Maurer

5" x 7"

We took a trip a couple of weeks ago to Sioux Falls, South Dakota and goofed around for the day. We stopped at a park for awhile and let the kids run. While we were there a slobbery little kid left this lollipop on a table near us. For some reason it caught my attention. (sidenote: I'm always taking photos of things others see as very strange) The discarded lollipop reminded me of every kid ever known leaving something wet and sticky where it doesn't belong. I've scraped more than one piece of candy off of something in my lifetime...believe me. Anyway, I liked how the surface of the lollipop caught the reflection of the picnic canopy nearby and the sky. It reminds me of my girls when they were younger and thought it might do the same for someone else. This painting 165 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

My Federal Duck Stamp Entry

Written on: August 7, 2007

I am working on a design and painting to enter into this year's Federal Duck Stamp Contest. I decided at the last minute to do this and I am pressed for time to finish by next Wedsnesday. I have spent about 40 hours since last Sunday working on it. It is coming along but needs a lot of work yet. I might post it when I'm finished. I won't be posting any new miniatures until this stamp painting is on its way to Washington DC though. Keep checking back because I have some interesting ideas in the works.

Update: August 16, 2007

I finished the stamp design and posted it here. The man in the painting is Ding Darling. He founded the Federal Duck Stamp Program and also designed the very first stamp 75 years ago showing a pair of mallards over a marsh. I decided to honor him for the 75th anniversary of the stamp with a portrait of him in the background and also show a pair of mallards over a marsh. Painting Sold. $1100 This painting was purchased by a collector and will be used in a traveling art exhibit featuring Federal Duck Stamp art and artists. Although this piece was never choosen as a Federal Duck Stamp design it will be used to honor Ding Darling as the first Federal Duck Stamp designer in the exhibit.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Peanut m&m's #3 -Daily Painting A Day -by Darren Maurer

8" x 8"

I wanted to paint an m&m's painting in the 8x8 size canvas. I'm liking the square paintings a lot. The tone of this painting is a little more subdued than the two previous paintings of m&m's candy. This one could be my favorite of the three though. I think the shadows make this piece work. This is painting 164 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold (Click Here to Check Auction Results)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Stack of Plates by Darren Maurer

8" x 8"

We stopped at an old general store in Aladdin, Wyoming last summer on our way to Yellowstone National Park. The store was full of antiques for sale and everything about the store was like stepping back into time. It also sold groceries and clothing and was actually a real working general store. I found this stack of plates upstairs in the store and with the owner's permission I photographed them. The light was coming in from a window and the unlit side of the plates was falling back into shadow. I painted this in a very limited palette of colors. This is painting 163 in my Painting A Day Series. Painting Sold

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