Saturday, July 31, 2010

Batteries Drained

Today was a big day and I did great for my first show. I met some great people and learned a lot. I'll share more tomorrow but for now, I'm exhausted.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Above from left: Carving by my grandfather VH Ranney Sr., my beautiful and supportive wife, me prepping for tomorrow

The phrase "but you didn't" is hanging in my head tonight like humid summer air. When I was young I heard a story about my parents and my grandfather during a family visit. They all have visual arts backgrounds like me; graphic design, painting, sculpting, photography, etc. The story goes like this..My mother, father and grandfather were in an art museum looking at art. My father, while looking at a piece of art, says dismissively "I could've done that." My grandfather, without hesitation, quickly responds with a gentle yet firm "but you didn't."

One thing that I've always felt I could have done, but didn't, was to show and sell my artwork. Showing work on the internet is easy, because there is a layer of anonymity. Having my paintings, myself exposed and in the flesh is quite different. Tomorrow's art show is one of many big steps in a journey I've hesitated to start for years, because of family, work, disorganization, and just plain fear. Armed with the support of my wife, this story about my grandfather, the recent reminder that life is very short and almost a full year of hard work and planning I no longer have to think "I could've done that."

If you're in the area, come visit!

July 31, 2010
9 AM - 5 PM
18 North Broad Street
Lititz, PA 17543
Booth # B165

That'll Do Pig

My painting "Weighing In" was selected as part of the Berks Art Alliance show starting August 1st and running through September 8th.  If you'd like to see it in person it will be mingling among some other great artwork at the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts in Reading, PA.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010



IMAGINATION, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership. - Ambrose Bierce

This piece is 14" x 18" oil on hardboard. Please call me, email me, or click here if you'd like to buy this painting.

Monday, July 26, 2010


The grass may be greener on the other side of the fence, but you still have to mow it.  

This piece is 10 x 8 oil on hardboard. Please call me, email me, or click here if you'd like to buy this painting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Regional Juried Show Kicks Off Tonight

The show at the Rehoboth Art League opens tonight at 5 PM. As I mentioned last week my painting "Brandywine Creek" was selected as part of the show along with about 50 pieces so I'm pretty excited.

Rehoboth Art League 
12 Dodds Lane
Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971

P.S. - It's 91 degrees outside. There will be air conditioning and it's free to enjoy. Just sayin'...

Thursday, July 22, 2010


I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.  
- Willa Cathe
This piece is 11 x 24 oil on hardboard. Please call me, email me, or click here if you'd like to buy this painting.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

It's less than two weeks until July 31st and our first show in Lititz, PA! We set up the tent for the first time as a dry run so we could work out any kinks. Our original idea was to use white pegboards, but thank goodness we went with the mesh panels you see in the picture above. Construction on site would have been a nightmare! They also really swank up the place. The sign on the front of the tent looks better than I thought it would. I drew it up so many times it was shocking to see it in person.

The frames came out great and I think they really let the paintings pop in the simple black and white tent. I'm going to create labels for every paintings and hang them underneath each one. I tried one out and it's really sharp.

After the 31st I'm on to Rehoboth Beach for the weekends of August 7th and August 14th.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Rehoboth Show Drop Off

I was in Rehoboth Beach today to drop off my painting "Brandywine Creek" for an exhibition that opens on Friday, July 23rd. I was able to swipe a sneak peak at some of the entries and it looks like an incredible show. I'm excited to be part of it and considering the caliber of work that I'll be exhibiting with I'm pretty humbled too.

Visit the Rehoboth Art League's website here.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Early Riser

Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.
- Rudyard Kipling

Thanks for taking the time to view my work! With everything coming up in the next few weeks I'm going to be busier than normal and I'd love to share my (fingers crossed!) successes with you. Sign up for email alerts or find me on Facebook so we can stay in touch.

This painting is 14" x 11" oil on hardboard.
Please call me, email me, or click here if you are interested in this piece.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fenwick Island Lighthouse

Darkness reigns at the foot of the lighthouse.
-From a Japanese proverb

This piece is 12 x 6 oil on hardboard.

I spent the better part of the weekend preparing for my first outdoor art shows. Lititz, which is the first one (and only three weeks away), is on the 31st and I'm just about ready. I ran out of wood for frames last weekend so I had to order another 100 feet. Today's painting, in fact, was just framed last night around 1:30 AM. I've gone through 200 lineal feet of wood in the past 10 days for a whopping 36 frames!

This week I'm going to setup the tent for the first time with the sign, the walls, and the paintings. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Baltimore Washington Parkway

Finding the quiet in a busy world is important and often overlooked.

This piece is 12 x 16 oil on hardboard. Please call me, email me, or click here if you'd like to buy this painting.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I Was Framed!

This weekend I spent the majority of my time making my own frames in order to get ready for my upcoming shows. Don't forget, my first one is in Lititz, Pennsylvania on July 31st.  I took some pictures so I can share some of the steps with you. I was surprised how much work goes into making frames and now have more respect for people that do it for a living.  I decided to make my own frames for two main reasons. First, it is more cost efficient and second, I can control the quality of the frames. Oh, plus I was able to break out the power tools so I guess there were really three reasons.

Step 1: Cut the wood to size needed. When cutting wood for frames you need to make sure you add some length depending on the width of the wood.
Step 2: Sanding the corners of the frames. This is actually the most important step because perfectly sanded frames fit together more efficiently.

Step 3: Marking the edges to pair sizes together.  This helped me guarantee that each frame had the tightest fit possible.

Step 4: Staple the corners.  Make two halves at a time and then a whole frame. Aren't we done yet?
Bam! One finished corner...only 40 more to go!

Step 5: After putting the painting into the finished frame, I used a point driver to secure the painting. I placed cardboard between the points and the painting to protect my work.

Step 6: After gluing the craft paper to the back of the frame, it is time to put in the eye hooks for the wire. 

Finished frame. Looks great!

If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will answer. There are some details I left out, but would be happy to discuss if you are interested.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Americans can celebrate the Fourth of July and bring its spirit anywhere in the world. ... But it is celebrated with more sentiment and fervor by Americans away from home in France than in any country, for Lafayette and Rochambeau equally with Washington made the Fourth of July possible. French aid, French armies and French gallantry joining with the American army saved liberty for the United States and the world.

- Chauncey M. Depew, speech at the Fourth of July banquet of the American Chamber of Commerce, Paris, France, July 4, 1914.

This piece is 10" x 8" oil on hardboard. Please call me, email me, or click here if you'd like to buy this painting.