Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Yep, it's a sewer grate. The photo was taken at the Cincinnati Zoo. I thought it would make an interesting painting. Odd, I know, but I'm not the only one who thinks such things would make interesting paintings. We artists are a strange bunch and find beauty in things most people wouldn't even notice, right? And they may be disappearing...police recently captured 2 men who were stealing sewer grates and selling them for scrap. I guess there is copper in them and nothing made of copper is safe. Of course, the business that bought the grates (25 in all!!!!) weren't punished.
I began it by just splattering and throwing masking fluid/miskit around and then doing the same with the first bits of color (after drawing in the grate, of course.
Slowly building up color and shape and trying to get the little sections to read more depressed into the sidewalk (no, it wasn't blue and violet but I used my artistic license to change the coloring - you can do that, you know.)
The splattering of masking fluid and paint helped to loosen me up when I was getting tight with the portraits (yes, I'm still working on the Lucky Numbers portraits...slowly but surely. I've found I really have to be in a positive mood to do a portrait.)
Calling this one: Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This.
(Wonder if that's what the sewer grate thieves are saying now that they are behind bars? Hope the bars aren't made of copper!)
Nita is also the judge for the upcoming Cincinnati Art Club Viewpoint show - due date for entries is over, I'm afraid. I put 3 entries in with the hope that 1 will make it in the show but as Forrest's mama said, "Life is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get."
Ummm...chocolates...no wonder I'm gaining weight instead of losing the few pounds I want to shed!
Monday, August 30, 2010
and on his right sidebar read the posting titled You Suck...
Read it. Laugh. Soooo true!
Now, doesn't that make you feel more free when it comes to wondering what others think about your work? ha ha When I give someone a critique (either asked for or totally unsolicited), I'm always worried that they will only hear the "bad" stuff and not focus on the good. I shouldn't worry, right? And when someone tells me they don't like what I've painted without giving me a constructive reason, I should ignore it, right? So should you!
I love Danny Gregory's art and humor. I had him on my blogroll at one time, but being the fickle thing I am, he disappeared in a housecleaning frenzy one day. He's back.
I've been doing some sorting, rearranging and adding to the sidebar - lots more there. Of course, being the fickle thing I am, if I find myself not taking the time to visit often, I'll make changes. It's just the way I roll...
But enough about me!!! How many of you have that Bobby McFerrin song in your head right now?
"Don't worry. Be happy."
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Traced it, trying to fix Chris' mouth that got too wonky in the first sketch, and make any minor adjustments while looking at the photo again.
I'm calling it Lucky Numbers (you can see all the numbers of the seats behind the two of them in a field of black - which should work well in the painting). I like Jenny's cool shades, too. Chris had on a black and grey shirt and Jenny had a tee-shirt on with Curious George on it. Think I'll change that and give her a color that pops a bit more...we'll see.
Again, the test is to keep it light - don't lose all the lights - let the brush dance over the features, not smoosh them into oblivion. If it works, this will be Portrait 5? (This is on 1/2 sheet Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper.)
Saturday, August 28, 2010
What's your take on them? Which ones are your favorites that you couldn't do without?
Whatever it is, my friend Nick Simmons clued me in on a British artist, David Poxon, who just happens to have a nice feature spread in the latest (October 2010) Watercolor Artist magazine. (The magazine has a lot of good stuff, including an article I really enjoyed about Aussie artist Charles Sluga).
Mr. Poxon paints old wooden doors, rusty hinges and railroad ties, old pots and pieces of metal that have been weathered for years. He is making a statement about the industrial aspects of life and how they are fading, rusting away. Looking at his paintings, you'd think, "Great color, beautifully rendered textured pieces." He wants you to connect with the souls of the things he paints...those things that are fading away (so isn't it good that he's saving them for us in his paintings).
Mr. Poxon is a late bloomer, too. Although he wanted to be an artist for decades, he spent his years doing something else for someone else and didn't go full force into painting until his retirement. (So many artists have taken this well-worn path after raising a family, retiring from a career, etc.) David is now getting the recognition he deserves and switches from painting larger paintings (27" x 36") to doing smaller ones of 12" x 12" (for the break they give him after completing a large one).
I was disappointed that the writer of the article didn't list David's URL so we can go and see more but I'll give it to you here...
Go visit and enjoy, unless you're of the belief that you shouldn't view others' work all the time because it influences your own too much :) I waffle back and forth between thinking both ways, and cannot make up my mind if it's a good thing or a bad thing to surround myself with artwork from others (in paintings I have on my walls, in magazines and on blogs I visit).
Friday, August 27, 2010
After looking at it each time I walked by it, without much inspiration, I finally took it off the wall and into my little art room (just enough room on my table for it since it is a full sheet watercolor paper - hotpress), and fiddled around, hoping to feed off the inspiration from the heart lock/locked heart painting.
Although I had no real direction, I knew I wanted to add some blues and greens to the shape (is it a shell? don't know, although it's shell-like).
I played up the color on the main shape, then ran masking fluid over the background (brushstrokes of miskit, and splatters). Then I really played with the color in the background.
The masking fluid is still on and it's drying. We'll see what happens when I remove the dried masking fluid! I'm thinking the words are a mistake...maybe need to be covered over partially...we'll see.
This one was a bit of fun and pure experimentation.
I saw the movie, Local Color, today. From 2006, it's about a young artist searching for a mentor and finding it - in a cranky, alcoholic, opinionated, mean, disappointed, old Russian painter. Supposedly a semi-autobiography of the writer/director who is also an artist, George Gallo. It's worth watching. An artist would enjoy it for the "pearls of wisdom" the old painter bestows on the young man - while making him paint his porch, wallpaper his bedroom, etc... Of course, eventually the young man wears him down and they become friends and the old Russian does teach him directly. The scene where the Russian shows the art gallery/critic work of a new "modern" artist is fantastic - we've all thought it!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The other day, after chatting via email to an artist friend who has ideas about art I'd never have in my midwest traditional thought processes, I went down to my art room and took this one back out and knew what to do. I covered the lock completely with masking fluid and then pinned it to my corkboard and had fun wetting and drizzling and spraying the colors to make the wooden boards in back of the lock. It needs some minor touch-up now but I feel it's more finished. And pushing that wood back with more muted colors and layers made it pop even more.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Now on to more portraits - I still am not getting Alaina's the way I want it - so more practice is needed...or more manipulation...or maybe a different photo that shows some shadows and sunlight.
Monday, August 23, 2010
George had been suffering from a skin condition for a few months and it wasn't getting better, no matter what Jerry did for him. In the last few days, he stopped eating and seemed very swollen.
We found him on his cage floor yesterday evening.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I took the portrait that wasn't working and washed it down with a heavy spray of clean water. Then, while it was still wet, went in with Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons (I have a set of 10). I wanted to color the background like Alaina might color it - blocks of color in primary, bright colors.
Then as the paper was drying, I touched in some areas in the hair and lips and eyes.
Alaina: Colorblock Girl
I was hoping to have Jocelyn's and Alaina's portraits done, matted and framed for their birthday party tomorrow but that isn't going to happen. Maybe I'll photocopy these for birthday cards and hold the real paintings for another time.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Here's the start of the traditional watercolor portrait (second try at this one)...
(Blogger has made another change to how you post photos and the top bar is different - I have to say I LIKE IT! The photos go right where you have your cursor and you can resize and position it after you put it in the post!)
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
So I'm creating my own personal challenge to myself to paint more portraits. Now, I'm NOT going to say I'll do a portrait a day because I know that's not reasonable for me. So maybe
One Week = One Portrait.
And, knowing me, it won't be the only thing I paint in a week but it won't pressure me so much I'll give up early. I want this challenge to last for a month or two...or three.
We'll see...wish me luck with a good helping of determination.
And I'm using this one as Portrait One:
Saturday, August 14, 2010
While there, I worked more on the mermaid. I'm calling her Minerva's Daughter...she's almost done.
I also took out an older start of a portrait of my friend, Teresa, and spent some more time on it. I'll work more on it to finish it soon.
Jerry took some photographs of the paintings I'm going to enter into Viewpoint. I hope one gets in (you can enter 3 but only 1 will get in). I'll get the cd done and ready to mail out Monday. No reason to wait for the deadline of August 31.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
99F is too hot!
I should be cranking the air up and painting. But I'm not. I'm still tired.
Did you know that low levels of Vitamin D can cause fatigue and achiness and other problems? I just found out I have very low Vitamin D - we are all at risk for this now because:
1. We don't stay out in the sun a lot
2. If we are in the sun, we have on 50 SPF sunscreen
So, for years they tell us stay out of the sun and now we're all becoming Vitamin D deficient. It's the latest concern in the medical journals.
I'm going to have to take mega-doses of supplements and see if I begin to feel better. Also, I'm back on my LOW FAT diet since my cholesterol is up higher than it's ever been. It's a good thing there are so many low fat things to eat these days - and if that's true, why are we still a nation of obese people? Did you know that American girls are starting puberty now as early as age 8?? Why? They think it has something to do with obesity and our high fat diets.
(Your Vitamin D level should be between 30-80 with a nice level being around 50. Mine is 24 - oops - time to go sunbathing on the deck in my polka-dot bikini and my RayBans!).
That's my medical news for the day.
Now I really should GO PAINT...
Monday, August 9, 2010
Deb Ward and I are meeting the bad boy of watercolor, Nicholas Simmons, for dinner tonight after he'd done with his 4-day workshop at the Greentree Studio in Lawrenceburg, IN (Sandy Maudlin's studio). Just to catch up with what he's been doing. Nick and I have been blog buddies for a few years now - I "met" him when he first came upon the scene at WetCanvas and caused such a stir with his fluid acrylics. I told Sandy about him and she's had him come over to IN and give 2 workshops so far.
(I may have to take a nap before going out! ha ha)
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
I didn't get a photo of Sharon's work - she had a drawing she was doing and then using frisket film over it but didn't get any painting done while I was there. Next week she'll bring some things for us to critique and say which ones should be entries for Viewpoint.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Here are some photos I took during the watercolor society demo and talk Deb gave yesterday on painting with casein. Casein is a milk based paint and I found it had a very strong ammonia-like smell to it (or maybe it was like turps). The paint doesn't move and flow like watercolor or fluid acrylics - it pretty much sits where you put it even when you prewet the illustration board before putting the paint on. It is an ancient painting substance, having been found on the walls of the Egyptian pyramids. So when it's dry, it lasts! You can layer over it to get the look you want but you don't want to paint thickly with it or it will crack as it dries. Deb varnishes her paintings when she is done so she doesn't have to use glass when she frames them.
Four of us stayed after the program (I think the terrible heat kept a lot of members at home today because it was a smaller crowd than usual, even with our annual art supply sale going on).
Sally wowed us all with her light touch and beautiful modeling of the pears...
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
This is fluid acrylic and collage on 1/2 sheet Arches. (Click to enlarge and see the collage bits better.)
And as you know, I have tossed the deck chairs over the railing in frustration at myself for cutting into the whites too much, trying to make the shadows too dark, losing that gorgeous color mingling I had. So...version number 3 is on the board and started but I think I'll wait to share until I see that this one might make it! Thanks for staying through the changes in this one. It might become a good painting someday.