Friday, August 29, 2008


I finished the painting and thought it would be interesting to show it progression from start to finish.

first post

second post

Betrayed by Time acrylic on canvas 36sx36 $2500 sold

Thursday, August 28, 2008


As I have mentioned before, my wife Patience is a valued critic of my work. She knows that I depend on her for an honest appraisal of the painting before her. (By a mutual understanding I do not ask her opinion on anything non-representational.) Usually she can be specific about what offends her in the painting, but in the case of the SPRINGHOUSE, her response was simply one of little enthusiasm with no specific remarks, which was exactly how I felt about it. I thought the piece had such potential, but somehow it didn't reach it. (A bite in the ass is how I so eloquently described it several days ago.)

I decided to get my daughter Sara's opinion. (If you haven't done so, please check out her website. She is an amazing artist!) She looked at the jpg and immediately pointed out that the grayish tree line just wasn't working. It effectively broke the painting down into two pieces, a top and a bottom. And of course I then saw it clearly for myself. So, heeding her advise, and wanting to impress my lovely wife, I worked in some burnt umber and burnt sienna into the offending area, and, I believe, the painting has been significantly improved. Judge for yourself.

First version

the Springhouse acrylic 48x36 $3500
final version

Sunday, August 24, 2008


This time around I made a commitment to the would be the chief honcho. I would start with a general idea of what I wanted, composition, palette, etc., but after that anything and everything was possible, including a complete "180" from the original concept.

In the Prairie Farm, below, everything progressed with relative ease. The buildings ended up more literal than I imagined and the row of trees in the front was a last minute impulse. I'm pleased wit ht he results, but will keep it on the easel for a few days as well as ask my severest and most honest critic to look at it. Nothing leaves the easel without Patience's critique.

Prairie Farm acrylic 36x36 $2500

In this next painting the only commitment I made was to the texture of the sky! And indeed the sky as it now appears has undergone several major changes in color and value. My original concept is to show a stark winter landscape, whether or not this happens remains to be seen. There have been more surprises in this piece than in the first.

Yet to be titled acrylic 36x36

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Spring House acrylic on canvas 36x48

I struggled a bit with this painting, working from a photo I took several years ago. My original intention was to create a piece with a cold, wintry look, but as you can see it has morphed into more a an autumn scene. In retrospect I can see there was a flaw in its conception, both in the design and the values and no amount of tinkering can overcome those obstacles.

There is much we can learn from a painting, and this painting was a great teacher, reminding me not to be so cavalier in my approach to the work. I often am, and can usually get away with it, but in the end it catches up with me and bites me in the ass.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


This is the first stage in this painting, and I'm seriously considering making it the final one, a far cry from bold, colorful painting I originally planned.

I started this painting with a fairly clear idea of what I wanted, and have, to a large extent, been able to stay on track. As usual, the painting itself has dictated a few changes, the main one being how I will treat the light source and how I can manipulate that to create the drama that I want. I think this will not be decided until the final stages. The next step is to add several more large trees in the foreground.

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Below is the Gallery 5 newsletter I will be sending out to my mailing list this week. I will let you know the results as they come in.



Tough economic times call for creative marketing, so here is my pitch, my shameless ploy to entice you and others to visit Gallery 5 and purchase my fine art.


The purchase of any art valued at $500.00 or greater between now and Christmas will be accompanied by an invitation to a pasta dinner for two at La Casa Renzulli prepared by the artist*. For those unfortunate few who cannot tolerate wheat, either Risotto (Italian rice) or Polenta (corn meal) can be substituted.

A large selection of sauces and pasta is available. The timing, selection of the menu, other details, and/or questions can be arranged at the time of the purchase or before hand by contacting me by phone or e mail.

If you enjoy good food, I promise you a memorable evening of food and wine at the Renzulli’s.

Patience and I look forward to serving you.

William Renzulli

*References to Renzulli’s pasta dinners available upon request.

If you would prefer to receive my occasional newsletter via email please send me your address.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Ninth St. Italian Market in Philadelphia

Ninth St. Market acrylic 12x36 $900

I have taken the liberty of combining various store fronts from the market which is 5-6 blocks long into one scene.

On a totally unrelated note: Six years ago today, at approximately 2AM, I arrived at 803 Madison St. Paducah in our Subaru Outback pulling an 8 ft. U_Haul it trailer full of paintings and misc. studio stuff!

Friday, August 15, 2008



We all know about “some days”. Some day I will buy a small mobile home and travel the country with my sketch book and camera. Or, some day I’ll have a small cabin on a lake in some remote area where I will spend quiet days and nights with my books, writing the novel that I know is there, waiting for me to deliver it to the world. I’m assuming that we all have our dreams for ‘some day” and they are as varied as we are.

My own “some days” have always involved my art in one way or another. Some day the demand for my art will be great enough to support us in comfort. Or, some day I will be invited to have a solo show in a prestigious gallery in major city USA. A “some day” has always been there for me, a place to look for comfort and assurance when needed, and where dreams and aspirations could be safely stored. My “some days” have provided an endless source of hope.

Of all the changes that aging exerts upon us, a most difficult one for me has been the threat to my “some days”. This is not to imply that I’m living under a cloud of gloom and doom, with my demise imminent. To the contrary, I’m counting on a minimum of 15 to 20 remaining productive years, but I know that there are no guarantees, and at this age anything is possible. At age 30, “some day” was light years away. At age 69, “some day” becomes today or tomorrow. Thus I am faced with the necessity of doing something I have never been very good at securely in the present. If I don’t do it today, it may never get done. Not a bad way to live. I will give it my best shot.


Fist stage acrylic on 36x48" canvas

At the end of yesterday

Thursday, August 14, 2008


It has taken me a while,but I finally figured it out. This mental funk I've been in for the past few months can be traced back to my birthday in May.

I can look back on several birthdays that have had special import for me. Certainly my 17th, which allowed me to apply for a drivers license, a milestone for any teenage boy, and of course my 21st, which made it legal for me to drink and make a fool of myself. It would be 41 years before the next milestone 65th birthday was accompanied by a Medicare card! My parents had Medicare cards for heaven's sake, and now I was looking at one with MY name on it. This might have caused problems for a lesser man than me, but possessed of a strong heart and mind - well, at least a strong heart - I dealt with it and got on with my life, knowing it would be 5 years before I would be facing another significant milestone. Sixty something is one thing, but SEVENTY, that’s clearly something else.

Imagine my surprise and dismay when now, 4 years later, after my 69th birthday, I find myself struggling to deal with the idea of being 70 years old. It doesn’t matter that I’m only 69. Sixty nine doesn’t really exist. It is only there to tell me that in a very short time “YOU WILL BE SEVENTY!” At this point I should explain that I am what the psychologist Carl Jung would call an intuitive, meaning I tend to always focus on the future, living ahead of myself; sometimes I feel like I’ve already lived 2 lifetimes. Although it is premature to deal with all of this now, by doing so my 70th birthday will be a breeze.

OK, so it is all relative, and it is mental, not physical. When I look in the mirror do I see someone who is SEVENTY years old? Of course not. Just because I can’t get up from kneeling without the help of holding on to something...well that doesn’t mean anything. And so I make a little noise when I get up from a chair, it’s just a little ooomph, and that doesn’t count. There are of course a few other problems, which are too delicate to discuss here, but they too are basically all mental......aren’t they.

So, what is my problem with 70? I guess it is the realization that all of the “some day”s that I have always counted on may no longer be there, and for a Jungian intuitive that can be rather threatening. But that is another story.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


It is taking time, far more time than I usually spend on a painting, but it has been gratifying to see the progress. I don't know where this new found patience comes from, but I'm doing my best to take advantage of it.

There are more details to complete, as well as work on the foreground. I think the next time I post this will be the last. In the meantime, a new canvas has just been hoisted onto the easel.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Sad Remains acrylic 36x36 $2500

Completed to mixed reviews yesterday. Today, after I rearrange the gallery walls (changing the paintings on the wall, not the walls themselves.), I will try to finish the market scene that I've been avoiding for the past several days.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


the Texaco a Lowertown Arts District information center

I came up with these words over several days of walking dogs shortly after moving to Paducah. They are to be sung to the tune of “the Streets of Laredo”.

As I walked out in the streets of Paducah,
As I walked out in Paducah one day.
I spied an old artist all beaten and battered,
All beaten and battered and covered with clay.

I asked the man gently what had he befallen,
What had he befallen so covered with clay.
He turned to me slowly and softly he whispered,
I f____ed with the muses, and this is my pay.

Laden with sorrow at this artist’s sad story,
I asked the poor soul just what I could do.
He quickly replied with a smile and suggested,
buy one of my paintings, better yet, make it two.

He told me the story of his move to Paducah,
Uprooting his family, his home, and his wife,
In search of his dreams and affordable living,
All in the quest of the real artist life.

The folks he encountered were charming and friendly,
Especially the builders who quickly said sure.
We can rehab that sorry old place you’ve just purchased,
But hastened to add it will cost a bit more.

With others who followed they banded together,
Praising Mark, praising Tom, for all they would do.
Until the inspector said sorry to tell you,
One bathroom won’t make, you really need two.

The artists, their partners, their dogs, did not falter,
Together they worked, undeterred, so it seems.
For artists are special, determined, devoted,
In their unyielding quest to capture their dreams.

So when you walk out in the streets of Paducah,
Make you way into Lowertown, for there you will find,
A bevy of artists all working together,
Making music and art for your soul and your mind.

When I walk out in the streets of Paducah,
When I walk out in Paducah each day,
With my dogs on their leashes I whistle and wander,
And smile as I greet all my friends on the way.

the delightful home, studio, and gallery of Working Artists. (Ike and Charlotte)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


36x36 canvas

White artist tape can be seen on the right of the canvas. I frequently use tape to get the "hard" edges I like on architectural subjects. Eventually the remnants of this barn will be surrounded by leggy bare trees and vines. The foreground will be winter grass, brush, and leaves in autumn colors with patches of the dark under painting showing through.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Ever so slowly...I have screwed up the courage to move forward and have begun adding the darkest values using acrylic washes of dioxazine purple, cadmium red, and hookers green. I mays till overpaint some of this with opaque darks. It all depends on how it looks to me after I work on some of the details.

This is a new 36x36 canvas I started yesterday. I don't know if you can see the faint outline of the falling down frame of an old barn. That will be the next step.

Friday, August 1, 2008


The progress is slow but steady. I have painted this market on several different occasions over the years, but always with watercolors; using acrylics requires a different approach and I find myself working with unaccustomed caution. The basic elements/shapes are in place and the next major step is to proceed with the darkest shadows which will dominate the middle area of the painting and allow all of the bright colors to "pop out".