Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Matre Gallery show on November 12, 2010

I'm pretty happy to be represented by the Matre Gallery in Atlanta, GA. I'll be showing some of my paintings in the 15th Anniversary Show on November 12th, 2010.


One really awesome aspect of this is that now Don Johnson ( aka Sonny Crockett ) and I have something in common. I would have preferred that it was our really cool hair, but we see how that worked out. Check it:

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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Monster Bash in Atlanta


"does this suit make me look fat", 2010
24" x 24" oil on cradled panel

Wow! Actually, I'm not really sure that I can say anything that appropriately captures the whole experience of the "Monsters" opening at Kai Lin Art in Atlanta on July 16th. Here are a few pictures of the action:

otto lange oil paintings

Jon Arge did the "Monsters" window. He also had a Batman that was in the show as well as many other cool pieces.

otto lange oil paintings

See the Batman? Also, Solongo Mellecker's painting "No Pets Allowed" is there too. It's funny because I usually use a Komodo Dragon as my goto example of an endangered species. Example:

Hey, give me a break with the whole "green" thing! It's not like I'm frying up a pan of Komodo Dragon steaks or anything!!

otto lange oil paintings

Note: my work is also prominently located by the bar.


Oh, yeah, and another thing I learned that night is that I'm apparently not attractive enough to be gay! You know I learned to live with the whole too-short-for-pro-basketball-thing, but every time I feel a door closed in my face it still stings a little, you know?

otto lange oil paintings

At this point, it's still light outside...

otto lange oil paintings

Some people kinda ran with the whole "Monsters" thing and actually came in costume. I, once again, didn't get this memo and got left out of this part of it. It's kind of a shame too because I had my 1966 Ben Cooper Wonder Woman all laid out and everything.

Actually, this is Dante DeStefano who had several awesome little "Monsters" in the show as well as an installation on the wall.

otto lange oil paintings

At this point, it's 118 degrees inside...

otto lange oil paintings

"The joint was jumpin' like the Sands"! Pin It Now!

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Taming of the Candy Monster... in Atlanta on July 16

otto lange

There was a book in the 70's about how too much CANDY ( "Continuously Advertised Nutritionally Deficient Yummies") was killing the children of America, and that this CANDY was... a MONSTER! The funny thing about this little cookbook was that there were tons of recipes that contained huge amounts of sugar. Wouldn't this be a... SUGAR MONSTER?

The Candy Monster really wasn't too much of an invasive predator in my home as a kid. However, I can tell you who was more of a problem for my sister and I. It may have been the... "NO" MONSTER! My parents weren't really at the mercy of any candy commercial to the point of making a homemade Snicker's out of soybeans and molasses. They just used the word "No!"... a lot.

This may be where my ongoing battle with the "NO" Monster started. The "NO" Monster has been a WAY bigger threat to my personal happiness both as a child and now as a larger/older person. Things like:

"No! We do NOT drink out of the toilet!" ( I remember doing this when I was three years old ).

"No! We do NOT take Holiday Inn towels to Boy Scout camp!" ( I totally get this one now ).

"No! We're not getting a monkey! ( Ron Ely made it look so cool!).

Or, today, where the "NO" Monster rears his ugly head in an attempt to spoil my fun:

"No! We are not spending $25,000.00 on Christopher Reeve's costume from Superman III" ( actually, I should have scraped up the bread for that one anyway. I was totally cool! You know, the "dirty" costume where Superman turns slightly evil during the movie).

"No! We are not going to 'suspend' everything and follow RUSH's tour across the U.S.!" ( Limelight never gets old, baby!).

"No! We're not getting a monkey! ( I do NOT get this one).

Either way, I'm going to be in the MONSTERS show on July 16th. I don't have any monsters, but everything I've painted is over life size ( kinda monster-like, right?). My colors are rich and tasty ( like candy).

Okay, I've got one. Hey, check this monster out:

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"A Man's got to know his limitations"

Here's a cool little demonstration of the potency of using a limited palette. I went over to talk a little "shop" with my pals at Studio Products today and they showed me a kit they've developed for landscape painting that has only four colors.


The colors are Sunshine ( a fairly neutral pale yellow kinda like the Sun), Sky ( a fairly neutral pale blue kinda like the sky), Magenta, and Cobalt Green. Okay, check out the nice range that this group of colors can generate.


Oh, and I didn't forget the young lady who asked me about how I "fix" my drawings before I apply paint. I use this Cat's Eye Retouch Varnish. I spray a thin mist over the drawing and wait 24 hrs before I start painting. This is better than using workable fixative or Aqua Net ( yes, you can use Aqua Net) because it's basically Damar varnish.

My wit-well is a little dry, so I'll leave you with this. Feel free to break up into individual discussion groups afterwards.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Hey, I can do this for hours! Tutorial: part three

I noodled around with the underpainting a little more, and then I roughly glazed a blue into the background. I actually just painted the stripes to illustrate the power of the underpainting with a glaze of color over it. Ordinarily, I would have painted this area in one "shot" and would have worked a little more opaquely. Notice how the glaze is really affected by how dark the underpainting is. I really mix a lot of medium into the paint for a nice gloss. I've been using the Studio Products mediums, but I also like Galkyd or the generic traditional old master recipe ( 1/3 linseed, 1/3 turpentine, and 1/3 Damar ).


Next, it's time to really get into the color. The real beauty of this method for me is that it is VERY forgiving. Right now, you've basically got a monochromatic version of your painting. You could continue to paint in a more direct and expressive style, or you can reign in those German roots and tighten things up a little. Also, this is really where color harmony and balance come into play. You're interacting with the temperature of the background, and you're glazing colors on top of one another in order to create a tertiary level of depth.


At this point, I play with this thing forever through adding and "lifting" color until it feels done. I'll probably sand this thing off and use this board again due to the fairly sloppy way in which I executed this painting ( not to mention the fact that "a pair of pears"... may... not be my zenith of creative intensity). I hope this is helpful to the people taking my workshop next week.

Hey, I've really got only one more important thing to add:

"When Karate and gymnastics are fused, the combustion becomes an explosion, and a new kind of martial arts superhero is born...Gymkata!"

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Let's get it wet! Tutorial: part two

At this point, I'll monkey around with my drawing a little, but for the most part I'll make "real" corrections in my painting. After the drawing, I'll make a wash of some sort of earth tone ( usually Burnt or Raw Umber diluted with a little mineral spirits or turpentine ).


Okay, let's talk about turpentine. Turpentine is nasty. Turpentine evaporates into the air quickly and it can get into your bloodstream even through healthy, unbroken skin. Odorless mineral spirits are a safer alternative ( Gamblin's Gamsol is good), but they are also a petroleum product and are by no means "safe". So, here's what I do and why I do it. I use OMS for brush cleaning. It's cheap and works well. I use judicious (i.e. very, very small ) amounts of turp for my actual painting, and usually only in the early stages for underpainting. Turpentine doesn't cloud like OMS, and quite frankly, I like a little hint of the sweet smell of it in my workplace. I also encourage you to use pure gum spirits of turpentine, and not just some crap from the "Home Store" ( they always say that on This Old House even though Lowe's is a sponsor ).

You also don't really have to use solvents with your painting if you're concerned about safety or you have allergies. You can use M.Graham's Walnut Oil Medium which is fairly safe ( it's basically a cooking oil) for your medium and you can use just about any kind of natural oil to clean your brushes with.

So, if you want to use turpentine, open a window and be careful with it. If you tend to handle hazardous materials in a Jerry Lewis-like fashion, then use something else. Okay, enough of this.

After my underpainting is dry, I "build" my underpainting with a monochromatic ( one color) foundation or grisaille. I'm really only concerned about values here, and I try to use the warm earth tone to guide the temperature of the composition. This example is fairly quick and dirty, but I usually spend most of my time in this stage. One point to remember is that you'll be glazing layers of color over this underpainting, so be mindful of the fact that you want this too be slightly brighter so that the colors don't effectively diminish the light when you apply them.

I used a grisaille set from Studio Products that has the greyscale values pre-mixed in accordance to the Munsell Tonal Chart for this tutorial. This set is fantastic if you want to make subtle variations in the background that will "shape" the colors when you glaze. I made up a little striped wallpaper backdrop to illustrate how precisely mixed greys can accelerate this process.


Okay, let's talk about neutrals and greys. I like to mix neutrals myself from color relative to the composition with the primary focus being on simultaneous contrast. I really believe that employing this in your painting makes it come to life . Take away any silly little joke that might be the thrust of my painting and you'll still have this operating on a subconscious level and effectively engaging your viewer. See? You can wash my mouth out with soap and I'll still have a little something to say, baby!

So what I'm trying to say is DON'T just use black and white. It robs your painting of significant depth and it's lazy.

Here's the grisaille. I'll leave this alone for five or more days to dry. The next step is adding color.


While I'm waiting for my painting to dry, I like to watch trailers for really bad movies. Here's one right now:

My favorite line here includes the phrase "caught between a dangerous loser... and a girl... they both love".

I mean, we've all been there, right? Pin It Now!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

quick and dirty tutorial

I'm doing a two-day workshop in May, and I'd like to post a little demo of my process for the people in my class. I'm sticking to a simple subject in this demonstration, but we'll do something a little more involved in the workshop.

Here are a couple of pears ( or, a pair of pears, I guess) that I played around with on my table and arranged for my drawing.

still life

I typically use Wolff's Carbon Pencils for drawing just about everything. They are super black and they handle really nicely relative to a General's ( which I also use, but they're a little more crumbly... for me).

wolff's carbon pencil sketch

I'm using a gessoed panel ( from my pals at ) that I made an oak edge banding for. I like these with a thicker band for a couple of reasons: they are easy to handle when you paint ( as opposed to a regular panel), they are ready to hang, and... if you dare... they can sit on a mantle or a bookshelf.

8" x 8" board with oak banding

I loosely sketch my composition and then I'll glaze an earth tone with a little turpentine ( or mineral spirits). This will give me a nice "tooth" to start my Grisaille monochromatic underpainting.

sketch of pears

My next post will show the progression of the underpainting and balancing tones for the glazes of color

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. There are times when I find inspiration for painting through the carefully crafted work of others. The subtle nuanced layers of certain films inspire me to reach higher and push my medium as far as I can. This "film" is one such example:

Hey, is it me, or does Ed Lauter got some kind of neck-thing going on here? Pin It Now!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Oranges and Sardines March issue

My work is in the March issue of Poets and Artists ( Oranges & Sardines) magazine along with some really wonderful painters. I'm thankful that Didi Menendez included me in such a talented group of contemporary artists. The online version has a pretty slick display that allows you to "flip through the pages".

Here are few pages from the article:

Quincy is making a very important speech!

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

shoe horn, or shoe antlers?

shoe horn, 2010

shoe horn, 2010

14" x 11", oil on panel

Actually, I've been corrected. It should have been "shoe antlers". Sorry about that.

Okay, I found these things that stick out of a deer's head at our local flea market for $1.00. Yeah, some redneck was clearly judicious in his selection of "game" to have acquired this trophy specimen for his wall. Actually, I'm pretty sure these wouldn't have even made the cut for antlers on those Jackalope things.

shoe horn ( detail ), 2010

I say this one a lot, but it's so good that it really needs to be repeated often. Growing up in the south, there's a thing that avid hunters say in defense of their "sport".

"Hey!" ( in a really slow partially-intelligible drawl)...

"Hey!" ( sometimes "Hey" is often repeated here. I'm not really sure why )

"if you don't like huntin', then don't tawk with yor mouth full".

Yep! That's it. That's the argument for deer hunting. It's not the deep-seated fulfillment of primitive urges from 100,000 years ago. It's also not the necessity to "control" the deer population due to food shortages ( which, they eat leaves and live in the woods, and I'm pretty sure there's no leaf shortage, but...). Nope, It's "weer providin' food for y'all, and you better be grateful!!". Actually, here's an excellent essay ( and by "essay", I mean poorly written ramblings of the type of guy I mean).

Okay, let's get something straight. In the 21st century, we don't "hunt" our food. Nobody is going out and hunting the elusive "wild cow". We don't hunt cattle, or fish, or fowl. We herd them into a place, and then we kill them with hammers and/or electricity. That's not hunting... AT ALL!

My dad ( now defunct ), used to say, "if God wanted us to hunt, He wouldn't have created the meat department". And listen, I love a good steak as much as the next guy, but I am pretty sure that if I had to wrestle the damn thing to the ground with a spear in order to get one that I would eat fewer of them.

Actually, I'm not particularly passionate about the hunting thing. Without hunting, we might lose all of those "accidents" which, incidentally, has a very positive effect on the gene pool. Pin It Now!