Friday, December 15, 2017

POEM

SLEEP
by Rita Banerjee

What does it mean to be so still?
to glide along the ocean floor

like some black-tongued electric eel,
to burn through marbled gold and green

of oceanic things like some
compact mass deforming space, time,

a void within voids, and then?
It is easier to imagine amphibian,

to know that blood, too, can change
its temperament as quickly as

salamanders change skin, as quickly as
eyes of newt and tongues of dog become

incantations, enchantments of art
and life just as an animal submerged

under water becomes unknown,
just as respirations become primitive

and breaths and motions cease
as a lone fish in a dark pond

arrives as an object of thought
and becomes stone.


Rita Banerjee is the author of Echo in Four Beats
forthcoming from Finishing Line Press in February 2018. 
She is the executive creative director of the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop 
and teaches on modernism, art house film, and South Asian aesthetics and literary theory at the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich in Germany, 
where she currently lives.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

HOTPRESS ARCHES



Painted on Arched 140# hotpress paper (10 x 14 inches).  I am liking the hotpress (it makes some nice runs and lifts if you don't let it dry completely before you start playing with it).



Mr. Red

Monday, December 11, 2017

ARCHES ROUGH BLOCK





Another on the 140# Arches block of rough paper - 7 x 10.25 inches.




Bright, warm belly on a cold day.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU







HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY LI'L SISTER
☺  💖   ðŸ˜„   ðŸ’“



Thursday, December 7, 2017

MORE ROUGH





On a block of Arches 140# rough paper - 7 x 10.25 inches.



Open wide!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

POEM

EVERYONE IN ME IS A BIRD

by Melissa Studdard


Mind was a prison, ruby lined
in its lipstick noir—everything woman
I was expected to be, trapped between
papered walls. What they said to do, I did not
but only levitated at the burning,

the body a water in which I drowned, the life
a windshield dirty with love. What they
said to think, I thought not but instead made
my mind into a birdcage with wings.



Title from a poem by Anne Sexton




Melissa Studdard is the author of I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast 
(Saint Julian Press, 2014). She is a professor at Lone Star College-Tomball 
and lives in Houston, Texas.



Sunday, December 3, 2017

ROUGH





Painted on an Arches block of 140# rough paper (7 x 10.25 inches).




Hope your tail's not dragging!


Friday, December 1, 2017

WATERCOLOR BLOCKS - COLDPRESS, ROUGH AND HOTPRESS






I have purchased a few watercolor blocks in the past.  They are mostly Arches brand, but some Lanaquarelle, too.  I'm going to get them out and paint on them - what's the use of having things if you never use them?








What am I going to paint on them?  Mostly birds.






Happy December!




Monday, November 27, 2017

REMEMBER - A POEM

REMEMBER

 by Joy Harjo (1951)


Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star’s stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun’s birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother’s, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.



Recipient of the 2015 Wallace Stevens Award, 
Joy Harjo is a professor of English and American Indian studies 
at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

CALM WATER




Mostly Daniel Smith Lunar Black with touches of Perylene Green and some Goethite Brown Ochre.





A nice small (11 x 15 inches) painting on Fabriano Artistico 140# coldpress paper.





Wishing you safe travels, happy times with family, and help with the dishes this Thanksgiving (for those in the U.S.).  Wishing all those not in the U.S. the same, just without the turkey, cranberries and pumpkin pie!

Sunday, November 19, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON BEAUTY - STEP TWO




I did crop a bit more off the bottom.  Almost done.

All I need to finish is add the colors in the white oval.  

Friday, November 17, 2017

SPOTLIGHT ON BEAUTY - STEP ONE



Daniel Smith walnut ink on the figure outlined and then wet the edges to bleed it inward.  Watercolor on everything else.  Another flower in that right-hand oval to paint and then - what color to put into the ovals?


I think I'm feeling the need to take some time off.  I will probably still be painting but not feeling any need to show it online in the blog for a while.



I hope you all have a good holiday season.  Take care of yourselves and each other.  (I will show the next stage of this one and the finish and then time away for the holiday season.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

GLAD PAINTING AS IT STANDS



Pushed back the female figure, darkened background, hmmm...



Time to sit it on the pile and see what I think in a few days or weeks.

Monday, November 13, 2017

GLAD PAINTING - MORE, PLEASE





Worked on this more, making changes, moving things, keeping the original thought.  






And so it goes...











Don't think it will remain this way.


This is just experimenting, playing, moving things around, working with composition, value, color, to see where it goes.  You can do it - to some extent - with watercolor.



What's next?  Come back and see!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

ELEVEN YEARS AGO

I put up my first post back in November 2006, eleven years ago!  Although late fall and early winter always puts me in a slight funk, I am going to continue with this blog, as it's the only way I get my work shown to anyone but me and the walls of my little art room.

So look for more stuff coming soon.  And happy anniversary to me!  Go back and take a look at what I was posting eleven years ago (if you have the time and interest).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

GLAD PLANNING



A sketch of another painting to begin.  I intend to wait until I'm in the mood to paint without drawing and take it slow and carefully, trying to get things right on the watercolor paper.  

As usual, the sketch may not be completely reiterated into the painting, as I make changes while going along.  













And here is the first step.  I slowly painted the gadiolis (gladiolus?) and am pleased with that.  I taped the sketch of the woman on the right and she may stay...she may not.  



Sunday, November 5, 2017

ROSE OF ULTRAMARINE - CLOSE



Almost there...


Rose of Ultramarine

Full Sheet (22 x 30 inches) 
Arches 300# coldpress paper
Daniel Smith watercolors + graphite pencil

Friday, November 3, 2017

FYI - ARTIST MAGAZINES ENDING?

If you subscribe to Acrylic Artist or Watercolor Artist, read on.  If not, just ignore this.


I just found out that the Acrylic Artist magazine is over.  The very last issue was Fall 2017, which should be in your homes if you subscribed.

This makes me sad, as I learned from the magazine and enjoyed the issues.  I have one more magazine in my subscription left and will get one issue of The Artists Magazine to finish out my subscription.  

When I contacted Acrylic Artist with questions about this and got their reply, I was told to call the magazine renewal center on the postcard I received because "you signed up through a third party source".  I did not sign up through a third party source but, I bet, they sold my subscription to a third party source.  Anyway, called and the very nice gentleman said, yes, it was finished, no more magazines or digital from Acrylic Artist.  
He also said Watercolor Artist magazine was ending, too!!!  What???  I have that subscription until December 2018 and I don't want The Artists Magazine to replace that - it's not even remotely the same thing.  

I guess people no longer want magazines.  But these magazines are not just going digital, they are going belly-up.  

I will miss them both.  

If you subscribe to either (or both), you may want to check your subscription information and find out if you are getting a refund or issues of The Artists Magazine to replace them.  I'm going to be asking for a refund for Watercolor Magazine.



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

HAPPY HALLOWEEN





This is what happens when your skeletons get out of the closet!  








Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 29, 2017

ROSE OF ULTRAMARINE - TWO AND THREE


Touched some copper iridescent pigment to the eggs and the metal of the lamp, then amped up the color (Perylene Maroon) to the pillow (still damp here so we'll see how it fades as it dries).











Put some pale turquoise green behind the flowers and pillow and then marked some lines in the space with watercolor pencil.  Drew around the lines, the sugar bowl, creamer, and plate with a Sepia watercolor marker (Winsor Newton) and bled that out a bit with clean water.  Now what?  That pillow dried okay - not too dull or faded but I really had to go in with intense color to get it right.



I think I'll finish this one and return to the older ones that aren't quite right and see what I can do - then take some time away from the still lifes for a while.  

Elizabeth asked me why I put in the things I do - in order to teach her about still life painting/composition.  But all I can say is it looks like I break several rules and use whatever comes to mind, thinking about shapes and textures and overlapping things a bit, leaving some space, trying not to be too heavy all around, etc.  I guess I'm working my way into still life! ha ha  I have a couple I think are good - but some are really bad, too, so still a work in progress.  Sorry I couldn't be more help, Elizabeth, but I'm just going by intuition in some ways but also I have learned a bit about composition and shapes and leading the eye around a painting (from years ago lessons).  (The bag behind the lamp was just put there as a shape, nothing more, then I changed the color because I thought the gold looked good behind the rosey pink and gold of the lamp - no other reason.  The bird made me think of the eggs - from my imagination; and the color is the bronzey gold that's on the lamp metal bits so tied that in.  That's about all and maybe I should be able to say more and I can't because I'm not taking enough time to plan?)


Friday, October 27, 2017

ROSE OF ULTRAMARINE



The title found me when I picked up the tube of new Rose of Ultramarine pigment by Daniel Smith - lovely, deep, rich, purple with undertones of cerulean blue.

(See how the pillow on the left faded out so much into the 300# paper?  I'm going to have to amp up the color in places to make this one sing.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A LITTLE THIS, A LITTLE THAT



Put the last one away to sit for a while - I'll decide what it needs later.

Started with pulling things together to sketch, then started on the painting (a full sheet - 22 x 30 inches - Arches 300# cold press paper).

The lamp, the sugar bowl and the creamer were all my grandmother's things.  Her name was Rosa so I want to incorporate her name into the title...later it will come to me.




Don't know why I changed the color of the bag in back to quin gold but I did, so there! ha ha  Added a few little eggs in the front of the ceramic birdie, too.  Need to remember to overlap and tie things together more in this one as I move along, even though I'm predrawing directly on the paper after doing my sketch.




Monday, October 23, 2017

FIGS AND BLUE GLASS - CONTINUED



Darkened the top right corner after placing a pillow behind the lamp base shape and putting down some pattern behind the plate of figs to tie the colors together, top and bottom.  Added more to the bottom pattern.  Okay so far...














But not completely happy with this one.  Which means more work to do?  Or put it in the "look at it later" bin?


The colors IRL look dulled on the 300# paper - is this just a feature of the heavier paper?  Or of the colors I'm using?  Or??

Saturday, October 21, 2017

FIGS AND BLUE GLASS - SKETCH AND FIRST PAINTING STAGE



Another sketch done before painting to decide items, colors, shapes, etc.


This one is going to be about the figs (from photos in a magazine as I've never seen figs around here ever), and my cobalt blue items with other things as I go along.  I need to overlap things more than I've been doing, I think.


And after gathering things, doing the sketch, looking closely at the magazine photo of the figs, I began painting (I do draw out the items on the paper since I cannot seem to really paint without some guidelines).






Figs and Blue Glass (with an added rattan lamp which had it's top removed because I liked the rattan look without putting a lamp in there).

Will work more on the background and get some good patterns to pull the whole together at the end (I hope).




Thursday, October 19, 2017

ORANGES AND LITTLE GLASS BIRD - DONE


Since I put the 2 oranges on the right in after I painted that area pale blue, I need to lighten then a bit to give them more shape.

Then, it will be done.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

ORANGES AND LITTLE GLASS BIRD, CONTINUED



Added some soft color to the pink background by prewetting it and scraping watercolor pencil onto the background.  Then put in the little pencil bag (Color Me Happy).

Almost done?



Sunday, October 15, 2017

ORANGES AND LITTLE GLASS BIRD


As I drew on the Arches 300# coldpress paper, I changed things because of the placement and the size of the paper (half sheet = 15 x 22 inches).

Some more things to add and more do to on this one.

I ordered 10 sheets of Arches 140# cold press paper from Dick Blick on September 25th; according to my notices, it was not shipped until October 3rd, and was not delivered until October 9th.  I called and emailed Dick Blick and let them know I was NOT happy at the delay and reminded them there are other art suppliers out there.  BUT this is the first time I've had a problem with shipping taking so long from them.  I think they sent it out to the wrong place (I got an early notice that it was sent to FedEx in Wisconsin which means it went from IL to WI which is a rather odd route to get to Kentucky).  

Friday, October 13, 2017

PLANNING ANOTHER ONE



Some items I have on hand to make a painting.  I began this one with the drawing, making a cruciform shape and then fitting things into that shape - I think that will make a stronger painting in the end.

What I don't have, I'll gather from photos cut from magazines (for color choices or shapes).

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

INDOOR GREENERY FINISHED



Putting the pattern behind this was a good idea.  The color is a bit much, but I like the way it falls back in some areas and comes forward in others.  


What do you think?

Monday, October 9, 2017

BETTER = INDOOR GREENERY




This one has no patterns behind anything, just white paper.  But I'm liking the texture created by the watercolor on the 300# coldpress paper.  Nothing wrong with light colors and it's coming along well so far.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

CHERRIES CHAIR AND TULIPS REWORKED A BIT



After some input from some blogger buddies, I thought I'd work on this a bit more.  Added some oil pastels here and there to bump up the color in places and push back the "cut in half" dark blue vs. aqua blue.

Hmmm...still not sure about it.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

CHERRIES CHAIR AND TULIPS



This painting was fighting me every step of the way from the first total fail to this. 


















Even pulled out some oil pastels and a bit of white gouache.  Not worried about it not being pure watercolor, as these are still learning pieces.

It is done.  
That is about all I can say about it.  
Some you win, some you do not.  

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

START AGAIN - CHERRIES CHAIR AND TULIPS



Here's the 2nd one I started over after the previous fail.  Half sheet (15 x 22") Arches 300# coldpress paper.

This is more like the colored sketch I did.  

But...I am not getting a good pattern or enough visual interest in my recent paintings - plus I am cutting them in half almost all the time (need to break that habit).  So...time to take a break and rethink how I want to go on with this...


Sunday, October 1, 2017

START AGAIN - INDOOR GREENERY


This is on a half sheet (15 x 22 inches) Arches 300# coldpress paper.  I did predraw (after the previous fail, I needed more direction and help with spacing elements).  Then I began painting.  

I don't often (never) paint on 300# paper but I have a few sheets of it so I intended to use it at some time.  The paper really soaks up the pigment and water but creates nice texture just by the fact that the 300# does soak up the pigment and water.  Unfortunately, it then causes everything to be so pale.  Which is not what I want.

So...I'll have to go back in with everything except the chair (I'm liking the color and value made from Daniel Smith Shadow Violet with just a touch of Genuine Rhodonite = pretty!).


So, stay tuned (if you aren't tired of all this experimenting of mine) and see what happens.  

This is not what was planned at all, except for the chair and tulips so who knows...I will also go back to the original plan and do another.  Using half sheets limits me - it feels like I'm unsure about the size of things and placement more on a smaller sheet, as if I have more freedom on a full sheet.  And I am not leaving enough white or getting good patterns in my paintings yet.  Maybe it's time to take a break from trying to paint in this style and just paint.  

We'll see where this experimentation leads in a few weeks or months (everything you learn and study goes into your own style and color choices and changes it a bit - for the better, I hope!)




Friday, September 29, 2017

RUINED

Well, this painting just was not flowing...and I knew it as soon as I got to the bottom tulips.  

I liked the chair and the cherries but working on a bunch of tulips based on a drawing and a photo just was giving me fits.  Plus I was overworking them to death on the 140# coldpress paper.  And yet, I just kept going and going and going!!

Not even going to show that part.  

Unfortunately, I kept painting - tulips in the bottom right, then a "table" and jar with a striped tablecloth that also was not working.  But I just kept going.

Whew!  I hope I got that mess out of my system because now it's time to start fresh.  So, with a white sheet of 300# paper (not sure if it's Arches or Fabriano), I began drawing in the elements I wanted and trying to be slow and careful (not how I usually work at all, hence the overworked aspects).  

So...wish me luck.  I have begun again.  And, hopefully, I won't be so heavy-handed.




Wednesday, September 27, 2017

MORE SKETCHBOOK PLANNING



Planning something new.  More planning = a better painting.  So I need to make myself slow down, take time, look, take a break, go back and look again.  It's odd but true that we see things later that we did not see at all at first!  


This is in my 11 x 14 inches sketchbook using watercolor crayons.  This sketchbook is not made for water media but it works okay as long as you don't soak the paper a lot.











I think, for this one, I may buy some tulips.  I want real flowers to paint.  

(Well, I looked and could not find tulips locally - is it worth buying them and having them shipped or just use a couple of reference photos?)  






Monday, September 25, 2017

MERMAID VASE AND PEARS - DONE?



I meant to photograph the next step after Step 1 but I seemed to be on a roll.  

So...I think it's done.


Mermaid Vase and Pears




Saturday, September 23, 2017

MERMAID VASE AND PEARS - STAGE 1


On a large sheet (cut from a roll) of Arches 140# coldpress paper, I wet it down and pinned it to my Gatorboard on my table to dry and get rid of the intense curve (from being rolled up for so long).

Then, using my magazine cutouts and my colored sketch, I began by putting down Winsor Newton texture medium in the upper right corner.  

Not waiting for that to dry, I drew the pattern in with a thick water soluble graphite pencil and then smeared it.  

Then I started on the bowl and pears.  Spent a lot of time on that part before moving up to the pattern again and, using a rough bristle brush to push the texture medium around, I added some pinkish-brown color there and then painted the yellow stripe beside it down to the bowl.  

At this point, I knew I wanted that blue-green vase in the painting so added it.  

No drawing done except the thick water soluble grapite pencil to help me shape the roundness of the bowl before painting in color.  

Time to take a break!


Thursday, September 21, 2017

PLANNING A NEW ONE



On the bulletin board:

the colored sketch, some magazine pages for pears and colors...getting ready for a new painting.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

COFFEE TIME - FINISHED




Finished after just a few tweaks.  


Coffee Time


13 x 16.5 inches 
on 140# coldpress Arches watercolor paper