Carl Stoveland Photo and Art | Blog

Welcome to the Carl Stoveland Photography Blog.  Here I will post articles of interest to clients and photographers alike.  Until October 2016 this was the Artistic Balance Blog.




January 04, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Kitchen Still Life #2

Digital Painting

Hello Art Friends

I knew eventually my journey into digital painting would take me to still life work.  Today's lesson is in persistence.  Yesterday I noticed some onions and garlic in my kitchen I had bought and thought they would make a great still life.  I took out my camera and then set out at my computer to paint.  Yesterday I loved it. I had successfully captured what onions and garlic look like on a dark background.  This morning I looked at the painting from yesterday and was less happy with it.  In fact I realized it was just a study and needed to be done with a better composition.  So I set up the same items this time with an old crock I normally keep soap and my dish sponges in.  I decided I wanted to really make an interesting composition that looked like an old masters painting.  Once I had the photo the way I wanted I set out to painting on my computer.  I am so glad I went back and revisited the subject.  Today's I really love.  I should really remember this because as a photographer I will return to the same site over and over again until I really get the photo I see in my head.  I have to remember to do the same when I paint.  We don't only get one crack at a subject.  

Tomorrow I will be framing my pieces for the Art of Jazz on J Street show and plowing through my next class for school.  I do have a portrait painting I did over the holidays queued up to write about so I will take a break and get that posted.

What lessons do you find yourself learning over and over again?

Keep Makin' Art!


Digital painting a few tips

December 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Burt Boice on Bass

Today's post is a recent painting of bass player Burt Boice at Jazz on J Street.  This one will not be in the upcoming show called 'the Art of Jazz on J Street'  it is not quite done and I won't have time to have it ready for the show.  It is also a bit different from the rest of the work in the show.  I know you have not seen most of the work I am putting in that show yet.  That is by design so it will be new to everyone who sees it at the gallery.  I will post those pieces on line once the show starts.  For this painting I explored more of the new dry brushes available now in photoshop.  It has more of a pastel look than the rest of the Jazz on J art I have done which has a rich and creamy oil painting look.  I hope you like this one.  I did not know what I wanted when I started and was playing and learning my way through the work as I learned about some of the brushes.

As my end of year gift to you my blog readers and Facebook followers I will share a few tips with you on digital painting.  I still have a lot to learn and these are just little tips to help you if you decide to start trying to do digital paintings.  The reality is this is exactly like painting.  No matter what tips I give you there is no shortcut.  You have to put in the time practicing, learning and developing your style.  Ok with the warning out of the way.  Here are three tips.

1.  There is no shortcut for learning photoshop - I'm sure you have all seen sketching and drawing apps on social media.  They can be fun and a place to start if you don't know where to start, but will not let you have control of your image to let your creativity flow.  I have been using Photoshop for 23 years.  I know the program pretty well and am comfortable using it.  This is key for me because when I want to do something I know what tools I want to use and when to make new layers etc.  If you want to do this well spend some time learning Photoshop or you will get frustrated.

2.  Learn what your brushes can do - Photoshop brushes have come a long way recently since adding Kyle Brushes to the program.  They are a free download from adobe and you must be on the latest version of Photoshop to use them.  It can be overwhelming there are a lot of them.  Try them all paint away.  They work best with a wacom tablet to control flow.  A mouse just does not work as well with these brushes.  Make a new folder in your brushes called favorites and add the ones you like to it so they are easy to find.  Just like I reach for 2 or three of the same brushes all the time when I paint in the real world I have found a few favorites that I like to use.  That said once in a while play with new ones and see what works for you.

3.  There is such a thing as too many colors - One of the things that can help make a digital painting look like a real painting is limiting colors and the choices of colors.  I work with a bigger canvas size than my final digital painting.  I leave white all around  When I am picking the colors for the painting I paint some of the colors on the extra white outside the image area.  This does two things.  It helps me see how they look together and help me decide on my final palette for the painting.  Once I have my colors picked out I can simply sample them over and over to keep using my 'theme colors'.  When the painting is done I trim it down to final proportions in the painting.

That's my tips for you brave souls who like my work and want to try painting in Photoshop.  There is no secret sauce except to try things and see what works.  The beauty of digital is you are wasting no paint or canvases so keep trying.  If you do dive in and start painting in Photoshop show me your work.  I'd love to see it.


Happy New Year! and Keep Makin' Art!


The paintings of Winston Churchill at the Society of the Four Arts - Palm Beach

December 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

AT the Society of the Four Arts - Digital Painting

Yesterday we took a ride to the Society of the Four Arts  on Palm Beach to see the show of paintings of Winston Churchill.  If you have the chance to get to see the show go see it!  Make no bones about it the man could paint.  He made over 500 paintings in his life and all were very good some were superb!  He painted what he saw around him at his home in the gardens and when he travelled.  I felt a connection to Churchill as well because on the walls above the paintings were some of his famous quotes.  Here is one that I read and thought it could easily have been said about me.

“Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”

That is a side of me every one of my teachers, Wendy and my parents will agree is a part of my personality!

What made the paintings particularly good is that they were by a man who wrote 50 books and led England through World War II.  It is a good reminder that none of is just one thing be it artist, parent, etc. etc. and we are not defined by one thing.  In fact the more things were are in engaged in the better we are at all the other things we do.

Today I need to send the label info off for the Art of Jazz on J Show, spending a few hours on school work and then will be meeting up with the Thursday Night Peddlers if it is not raining.

Keep Makin' Art!



The Art of Jazz on J Street

December 22, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Digital Painting of Jazz Guitarist New Bacher from my Jazz on J series


I have been attending and photographing Jazz on J Street since just after our arrival in Lake Worth.  It is held at the Clay, Glass, Metal and Stone Gallery on (you guessed it J street) on the third Tuesday of each month starting at 7pm.  What an experience.  These cats can play.  If you have not been to Jazz on J make the effort and come down or check out the live stream.  As Blanche Williams, the founder and host of Jazz on J St says "life intersects and jazz connects".  How true this is.  There is a group of photographers and artists that have been drawn to the talent and creativity present in each Jazz on J St.  Now in January there will be even more reason to attend as there is a show of the art inspired by Jazz on J St.  starting on January 16th and with an opening reception on 1/19 there is an invitational show of the art inspired by the music and musicians of who perform at the monthly jazz show.  I will be showing for the first time anywhere a series of my digital paintings of the musicians of Jazz on J St.  The above image is of jazz guitarist Neil Bacher.  I have been talking to Blanche about this show since the summer and got inspired to 'paint' the musicians.  The hard part has been not sharing these with you guys.  I made the decision to embargo them from social media until the show, but with the show now three weeks away I will strategically post a couple of teasers of my work.  If you know me you know not sharing these along the way has been utter torture.  All of the pieces will be 16x20" canvases.  I can't wait to share more of them with you,  Maybe you will see one more piece before the big unveil at the show.  So mark your calendars for January 16th and 19th.  I am looking forward to seeing the work of the other artists I see and work with at each jazz night and also many of my Lake Worth friends their to support Jazz on J Street.


Keep Makin' Art!


Feeling the Love!

December 20, 2017  •  2 Comments

Electric Signal Box wrapped with one of my digital paintings

Corner of Fordham and Dixie Highway in Lake Worth

I am certain the game of life and a working artist is not won with hail Mary passes but instead by accumulating the yardage play after play after play and day after day.  That said I have felt my art life and my creativity take flight and soar in the short time we have been here in Lake Worth, Florida.  Never have I felt welcomed and embraced as an artist the way I have been here.  Just a little over a year ago when we were considering moving to Lake Worth I remember seeing the utility boxes around town wrapped in local art from scenes of the pier to the little free libraries.  So when the CRA contacted me about using one of my local digital paintings all I can say is I was thrilled.  The feeling I got when I was driving down Dixie Highway this afternoon and saw my image wrapped around the utility box was amazing.  I pulled over and took the pixs you see here to share with you all on the interwebs, but by the time i got home it had already been posted and shared around Facebook by my good friend Mary Lindsey.  Talk about feeling loved by my adopted home town!  Momentum is in my favor right now,   It is not even 2018 and am booked for a group show in January and two solo shows which will be in the summer and fall.  Today I am truly counting my blessings and since this blog is about my work / art / life balance I am also happy to report that I finished my first course in project management in a series I am taking from Cornell university and scored 100% on the first class.  One down and four to go!

Keep Makin' Art!