Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday, July 31st - The Last Day of July

Watercolor class in the AM and Figure Studies in the PM - won't be showing work today.

The last day of July. Isn't there an old Carol King song about this?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007 - More RP Painting + SWAP Painting From Brazil

In between tons of errands today, got a bit more done on the poinciana. Ready to take it to class tomorrow to see what the census is about how to finish it off and what it still needs.

And today in the mail I received my SWAP painting from my secret SWAP partner, Ursula. Arriving all the way from Brazil, this lovely bromeliad flower. Thank you so much, Ursula, it is gorgeous!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007 - Misket Off

Well, I ignored good advice and removed the misket because I didn't do anything Saturday (fighting a migraine all day) and felt I should make some progress. I can always put it back if I want to. Now the hard part: getting the darks and checking the edges for hard vs soft edges all throughout the painting. Also mixing up some greens with Hansa Yellow Medium + Sap Green + Cobalt Blue for a variety of warm to cool greens for the pods, the leaves, and the bg muted greens.
I sprayed some cobalt blue into the sky areas that weren't misketed using Tom Lynch's way with the little spray bottles so you can see some blue in the upper left corner of the painting right now from that.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Friday, July 27, 2007 - RP and Photo Show

Tonight, we're going to see the opening of a new photo show by Caroline Statkus at Park+Vine (1109 Vine Street at Central Parkway). The photographs were all taken in hutan and should include some wonderous photos of the last Himalayan kingdom. Come and visit if you get a chance. The opening is tonight from 6-10PM and the show runs from tonight through September 22nd. Check it out at http://www.parkandvine.com/

And here is where I am on the poinciana right now...
I have to take the misket off because it's worrying me. I've never had a problem with this Pebeo Drawing Gum but there's always a first time.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday, July 26, 2007 - More Work on the Royal Poinciana

Did a bit more masking in places and then more painting - layers and layers is the way you need to do the glazing but using the yellow under the oranges really makes it glow. These paintings usually take longer than I normally spend on a painting but they are worth it - if I keep a slow and steady pace and LTW (leave the whites!).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 - More Royal Poinciana + Figure Drawing Tuesday Night

Worked more on the Royal Poinciana during class Tuesday morning. In order to make myself retain some of the whites and make a spattered pattern in the greens of the background, I put down some Pebeo Drawing Gum (liquid friskit) and spattered some, too.
And in figure drawing session, did this one of Lauren. She is very very thin and has a real grace about her in her movements, especially her hands. But very angular. Lots of newbies in the group last night, too, so it felt different.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007 - No Painting Today

Had to shop for clothes today - which always puts me in a foul mood. And too many errands and running around and then finding I'd gotten home with the wrong thing and have to go back out - but not today - to return things.

Got a new suitcase - it's raspberry and should stand out in the crowd of dark blue, black, and brown suitcases always going around the luggage carousels in the airports. I'm thinking about painting something on it, too, or maybe covering it with stickers :) Coming back from Nassau through Atlanta, Delta put Jerry's bag on the early flight so it got there before we even boarded our flight; my bag got there with my flight; and Jerry's student didn't get her bag at all - it was delivered to her the next day. How they figure these things out, I have no idea!
So, since no updates on painting, here's another couple of pics from San Salvador:
1) the view from the top of Dixon Lighthouse and
2) wind-carved rock on the top of North Point

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007 - Royal Poinciana Painting Started

The first glazes of Hansa Yellow Medium (1) and then a glaze of Naples Yellow (2) over that to get the pale beigey-yellows in the petals. Thinking maybe I should have put the Hansa Yellow over the more opaque Naples Yellow? Should try a swatch both ways to see but it's too late for this one now - it's done. And I'll layer some reds/oranges over it in some places and then blues over the Hansa Yellow on the pods. Leaving a bit of lights on the upper right corners - well, trying to leave whites there!

Not much progress but not feeling well so...taking it slowly and reading while layers dry.

This is 1/4 sheet Fabriano Artistico coldpress 140# paper and Daniel Smith (of course) watercolor paints.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday, July 21, 2007 - More Swatches

Glazed the initial swatches to get closer to the colors and I want but as far as the painting all I've done is put on the initial Hansa Yellow Medium color - and the Naples Yellow will go over that. Beginning to think about the greens in this one, too.

I did flip the photo so I can see it the way I want it in color. But as far as the painting goes, all I've done is put down the Hansa Yellow Medium in places and the Naples Yellow will go over that but feeling punky today so just may sit with my feet up and read a good book instead and hope tomorrow is a better painting day.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday, July 20, 2007 - Poinciana Test Swatches and Initial Sketch

Seems like whenever I do oranges, I glaze to get them - so doing a few test swatches to make sure I'm using the colors I want. When glazing, you have to let the first layer dry bone dry before putting the second color over the first - so it will take some time.
Where you see a "+" sign, that means I'll be glazing another color on top of that one to get the color I want for this. Naples Yellow is the only opaque color and I should glaze that over something else to get that whitish yellow color in the photo.

I also decided to flip the photo so the buds are moving towards the upper right corner. I don't know why, but for some reason I like paintings and photos that have the movement from lower left to upper right - it just seems more uplifting to me.

Wating for glazes to dry teaches me patience and makes me think more about the painting as I wait - which is why I don't like to use a hairdryer to speed up the process.
Stay tuned for the start of the painting tomorrow.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007 - Royal Poinciana Start

Will work with these 2 to come up with one composition. It begs to be done with glazing the colors so it will go slowly but I've usually had success with glazing (if I make myself take my time and wait for each layer to be bone dry before going back into it).

First, a good sketch and value study and thinking about what to eliminate:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - Tuesday Night Figures

We started a new Open Figure Session Tuesday night and we had a little change - seems like we now have many more men than women in the class (only 3 women) and we had another male model. I was pleased to receive compliments on this Long Pose sketch from Jason and Emil (both excellent artists).

It was done with graphite on hotpress watercolor paper in the session. Then added some watercolor to it at home today. I just had to get back into the paints even if it was just for a little while.

Today I'm going to sort through my Bahamas photos and choose some to paint.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - Back to the Routine

We returned from San Salvador Sunday night and then Jerry's sister visited with us a few days. Left this evening to return to Utah. I skipped watercolor class to visit with her but going back to figure drawing session tonight. No artwork to share until tomorrow - so enjoy more pics of the Island :)

North Point on San Salvador - the cut-in cliffs are a pale beige and the sandy beaches at low tide are tinged with pink. And there's Jerry waving and saying, "Come to the islands!"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007 - More Bahama Pics

Dixon Lighthouse on San Salvador is one of the only lighthouses still using kerosene to light it - and it's done every evening at sunset by the caretaker who lives next door.

Lighthouse at sunset; prisms inside at the top; the shadow of the lighthouse over the landscape (that's our little blue truck down there).

Alone on the beach...not even another footprint before you get there.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 - San Salvador, Bahamas

So you may have wondered where I went? Every year my husband goes on a research trip to San Salvador Island in the Bahamas. Enjoy the pics while I catch up with everything here at home...

The Bahamian flag - black/yellow/turquoise - flies in front of the Gerace Research Center on San Salvador. The beach at the GRC. When you're there, you are the only person walking on the beaches because San Sal is not a tourist destination (other than a Club Med that has their own gated enclave).

Beach on Columbus Landing - supposedly, Columbus first landed here on San Sal (of course, several of the Bahamas islands claim that distinction, too.)

Royal Poinciana in front of one of the buildings - beautiful colors and all these blooms meant they'd had good rains (good for the plants, not good for humans because of the mosquitoes!).

Friday, July 6, 2007

Friday, July 6, 2007 - Happy Happy Happy

Today is the birthday of His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama. Or I guess I should say "re-birthday." May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.
"Happiness runs in a circular motion,
floating like a butterfly above the sea.
Everybody is a part of everything everywhere.
You can be happy if you let yourself be.
Happiness runs, happiness runs."
--- from a 70's song by Donovan

The following is from Strategies for Happiness: 7 Steps to Becoming a Happier Person, by Tom Valeo:

A popular greeting card attributes this quote to Henry David Thoreau:
"Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you,
but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

With all due respect to the author of Walden, that just isn't so, according to a growing number of psychologists. You can choose to be happy, they say. You can chase down that elusive butterfly and get it to sit on your shoulder. How? In part, by simply making the effort to monitor the workings of your mind.

Research has shown that your talent for happiness is, to a large degree, determined by your genes. Psychology professor David T. Lykken, author of Happiness: Its Nature and Nurture, says that "trying to be happier is like trying to be taller." We each have a "happiness set point," he argues, and move away from it only slightly.

And yet, psychologists who study happiness -- including Lykken -- believe we can pursue happiness. We can do this by thwarting negative emotions such as pessimism, resentment, and anger. And we can foster positive emotions, such as empathy, serenity, and especially gratitude.

Happiness Strategy #1: Don't Worry, Choose Happy
The first step, however, is to make a conscious choice to boost your happiness. In his book, The Conquest of Happiness, published in 1930, the philosopher Bertrand Russell had this to say: "Happiness is not, except in very rare cases, something that drops into the mouth, like ripe fruit. ...Happiness must be, for most men and women, an achievement rather than a gift of the gods, and in this achievement, effort, both inward and outward, must play a great part."

Today, psychologists who study happiness heartily agree. The intention to be happy is the first of The 9 Choices of Happy People listed by authors Rick Foster and Greg Hicks in their book of the same name.

"Intention is the active desire and commitment to be happy," they write. "It's the decision to consciously choose attitudes and behaviors that lead to happiness over unhappiness."

Tom G. Stevens, PhD, titled his book with the bold assertion, You Can Choose to Be Happy. "Choose to make happiness a top goal," Stevens tells WebMD. "Choose to take advantage of opportunities to learn how to be happy. For example, reprogram your beliefs and values. Learn good self-management skills, good interpersonal skills, and good career-related skills. Choose to be in environments and around people that increase your probability of happiness. The persons who become the happiest and grow the most are those who also make truth and theor own personal growth primary values."

In short, we may be born with a happiness "set point," as Lykken calls it, but we are not stuck there. Happiness also depends on how we manage our emotions and our relationships with others.

Choose these strategies for achieving happiness:

Happiness Strategy #2: Cultivate Gratitude

Strategy #3: Foster Forgiveness

#4: Counteract Negative Thoughts and Feelings

#5: Remember, Money Can't Buy Happiness

#6: Foster Friendship

#7: Engage in Meaningful Activities

May you be Happy!

(Photos of Balloon Ride and Gorilla by Jerry H. Carpenter)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Thursday, July 5, 2007 - Landscape: Dark Skies and Fields

I had a photo I printed out from the WetCanvas (http://www.wetcanvas.com/) Image Reference Library (IRL) a long time ago. The photo was taken by K9 Artist and was called Dark Clouds Over Farmland in her photo. I had this around a long time, meaning to do it. But I don't do landscapes! So now that I'm in the landscape group on yahoo http://groups.yahoo.com/group/watercolorlandscapestudygroup) I'm being pushed to do them!
So I picked this one out and did it - 1/2 sheet Arches coldpress.
Her photo is above.

My painting is ---------->

I think my printer dulled the colors much more than what you see of the photo on the monitor because I didn't intentionally paint it much duller in colors and warmer. Oh, well...every landscape I do is a positive thing because I really don't know much about landscapes and the rules and what works and doesn't work - yet.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wednesday, July, 2007 - Graphite Sketch from Tuesday Night Figure Session

Jason Franz, the Director of Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati (http://www.manifestgallery.org/) and the coordinator of the Figure Sessions, allowed me to sit next to him Tuesday night to watch him draw, measure, align, and work out his sketch. Then I asked him a few questions and got 3 weeks worth of drawing lessons in return! Thanks, Jason!!! So much to learn for me but I'm inspired by seeing all the art being created around me.
So first, JF said make a rectangle and fit the figure inside that rectangle. You can also mark the 1/2 way point in the figure as another guide. This is how you start so you don't end up with legs and feet off the paper because you've drawn too big - or hands gone off the sides :) I've got a small ruler I'm going to use to measure and re-measure everything and compare it to everything else (Ex: How many head lengths down from the chin is the navel? How long is the upper arm compared to the forearm and how long are they compared to the length of the head? How about the legs, upper and lower? How big are the hands compared to the head?).

Anyway, here's what I did last night: Model = Dexter who obviously works hard to get the wonderful sculpted look he has achieved.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 - Winslow Homer Pastiche

Finished this in class today - I was about 3/4 of the way done when I went in so just some darks and tweaking of the soft edges vs hard edges to do.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Monday, July 2, 2007 - Medusa's Daughter x 2

Another version of Medusa's Daughter - just a study for colors, etc. and actually done on the back of the previous one (which I also changed to have a snake coiled around her body somewhat).

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sunday, July 1, 2007 - July Pastiche: Homer Winslow Painting

Got our assignment in the landscape group for our July pastiche - a painting by Homer Winslow:Our assignment, if we choose to take it, is to copy this painting as closely as possible. By doing this, we are to learn what he did, how he did it and maybe why he did it, too.

The first thing I did was read a bit about Homer - and need to read more. I love that he didn't start with watercolor until he was 37 and by age 40 did not go anywhere without his paints and paper :)

The second thing I did was cover the black and white version we got and put thin tracing paper over it - yes, you can use the B&W to see the values but by tracing them, you really feel where he was going and what he was doing. So this is where I am right now.