Sunday, October 31, 2010

I've been working on the pears, hopefully tonight, it'll be finished and I'll post it.  Then I'm going to paint two paintings of a Canadian flag, cut them into strips and weave them together.  I'm hoping that when it's done, it'll look as good as Suzy's do here

AND, we've got two cats now!  Baby kittens that we brought home a week ago.  They've been to the Vet's for checkups, shots and Advantage and he says they're about ten weeks old (eleven now). 

Mine is the gray male and since I loved Scotland so much when I was there last April, I call mine Scotland - Scottie for short.  The black female is Zach's and he calls her Spinner.  Scottie is stood in a little bed I made for them out of a plastic bowl with rounded lips and an old worn-out pair of heavy fleece sleep pants.  They love it!  There's a padded pillow underneath so it's nice and soft.  I was planning on making it out of a basket but when I was in the Loonie store, I saw this and thought how much smoother it was than a basket.  I'm still going to do the basket one, I think, as well as this.  They both fit in right now, but not for long.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Grisaille Pears update .....

Here's the latest on the pears!  I still have to scumble darks into the reflection area as well as work at the highlights on the pears and in the reflections, and more in the direct shadows.  Also, the lower stem.  But ..... it's coming along!  I think when it's done, I'm going to crop a bit off the bottom.

I almost hate to finish it because then I have to start another and I just don't know what to start next.  Though, I *did* take some good shots of Ornamental Cabbages on Saturday.  Or perhaps, jellyfish ......

I'm liking these pears ......

This morning, I got up early, cooked *another* turkey - but this time, not to eat as a turkey dinner.  This time, the entire turkey went into 7 large turkey pot pies!  With homemade crust.  That was tiring!  I kept coming into my painting room to paint and rest from it.  ;-)

I hope you're painting and enjoying life ...

ps - I don't think I mentioned previously that this is on a 1/4 sheet of Arches 300 lb CP.  Watercolour, of course.  :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Grisaille Pears update and Happy Thanksgiving Canada

If you're a Canadian, like me, Happy Thanksgiving!

I started this grisaille painting about two years ago.  (Two years!  I really AM a slow painter, aren't I?)  Here's the last posting I did on it. 

To get back into some painting, I decided to work on it.  So, here's a few shots of what I did tonight on it as well as a few of the older shots.  Mostly, I added more colour to the pears, then put in the background.  The black background was tricky and had to be done fast.  It's three coats of WN Blue Black, a gorgeous black that has been discontinued I think.  The fourth pic shows the background still very wet.  After the three coats, I painted on a coat of just clear water to even out some darker areas.  Worked well.  Then, as shown in the fifth pic, I added some colour to the bottom section of the background.  More to follow..... 


Sunday, September 5, 2010

It's been a very sad week for me.  On Tuesday, our cat, Moose, suffered from a blood clot (from underlying heart disease the vet said).  Poor Moosie was in such incredible pain and almost instantly paralysed in his two back legs.  We rushed him to the Animal Hospital and the very nice veterinarian there gave us the incredibly distressing news that there was no other choice than to euthanize him.   Moosie was twelve. 

I've often called him a cranky old cat but I guess he just had a very strong personality.  I sure miss him.  He would shadow me all around the house and I'd always be talking to him.  He'd sleep with me every night.  He'd meet us all at the door.  As soon as I sat down on the couch, he'd be there - patiently waiting with his head tilted to one side - until I'd 'settled in', so that he could hop up onto my lap / stomach and 'settle in' himself.  If I didn't immediately start stroking the top of his head and the sides of his face, he'd just wiggle his head under my hand until I did.  Moosie had his own way of getting exactly what he wanted.  He ruled the house for twelve years. 

If there is one positive, it would be that thankfully, it happened before I went to work.  I would hate to think of him suffering alone all day long until I got home from work.

It's hard learning to live without him.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Wordpress, bougainvillia and killing or curing a cold by swimming ...

I've been playing around with a wordpress blog and I think I like it (except for the 3 gig uploading space feature).  Wordpress is a lot more complicated to set up and get used to than blogger but I like that you have several different pages right there.  Kind of like another website!  So, I've been playing around with it.  If you visit it, please keep in mind that it's still in the creation stages.  And I've been sick and haven't felt much like doing much. 

But on the up side, I sat outside late this am and painted this.  I was actually drying off after a swim and was reading the latest Watercolor Magazine, then thought, "why am I wasting time reading when I could be painting?" 

So, I did this fast one.  Took about an hour.  It's a bougainvillia tree that is planted in a very large pot.  The total height of tree and pot is about six feet. 

**Some people** think this pot will be brought inside for the winter (it'll never survive outside) but ..... I don't think so.  It'll have to have ALL the soil knocked off the roots first, then potting soil put in.  Know why?  'Cause TOADS burrow into the ground of any of my plantpots and if a toad unearthed himself and hopped around in my house, I'd have to leave.  I seem to attract toads.  They seem to love my pots.  No one I know around here gets toads in their flowerpots but I sure do.  No matter WHERE I live.  There are many things that inspire me.  There are many things that do not.  Toads / frogs fall into the do not section of life.

So, back to this painting.  No drawing - I 'drew' it out with the paintbrush as I went.  1/8 sheet Arches, schmenke paints (that was the paintbox I grabbed on the way out).  I was going to crop out the tiles behind it but I kind of liked the pattern. 

I'm off to put together a Black Forest Trifle then more swimming.  Then .... maybe another painting.  (Don't faint, Teresa!)  Fast ones like this.  Fun - no pressure. 

Hope your day is going good.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Castle Windows

I don't have any progress shots to post today so I thought I'd post a shot from my trip back in April.  My niece spent her first year of Queen's University at Herstmonceux Castle in southern England.  It's closed to the public for tours when school is in session but because she's a student, we were able to walk about mostly at free will.  Needless to say, I took a few hundred photos of the place!  This shot is from a window looking outside into the centre courtyard. 

Even though I'd cleaned up my painting table, the studio room itself was getting messy and cramped so I've been really sorting things out well.  Especially the wall unit that contains a lot of supplies!  That is making it so much nicer to come in here. 

I've also been doing some research on jellyfish.  I'm ready to draw out the painting but was wondering if jellyfish live in an area with sea plants such as kelp.  So I checked it out online, found out they do and will now go ahead with what I'd planned.  I didn't want to put a background of kelp and other plants and then find out it didn't look real because jelly fish didn't live in areas like that.  ;-)  Now, I know.

That's my weekend.  How was your's? 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's Done and Not Going Anywhere .....

Several awesome artists have told me to not expect every painting to turn out.  This one didn't.  But it DID fill it's purpose of getting me back into painting mode so that makes it a good thing.  ;-)  This is not a good pic - it was extremely difficult to photograph because of reflections.  (I'm not used to photographing acrylics!)  So I finally stuck it in front of this old one so I could adjust colours better.  You can't see the pads too well here but you can see the final outcome. 

I was going to start working on some paintings from my trip to Scotland and England but I might just work on another jellyfish, like the doomed one behind the lilypads.  Then onto the Cheviot Hills or Edinburgh Castle......

Have a nice day - it's raining cats and dogs here!

11" x 14", acrylic with some rice paper collaged on. 

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Surprise! Surprise!

I'm back from that deep, dark place that artists fall into when they get stuck in self-doubt, questions about their work, their thoughts, their processes and the art world in general.   That quick-sand-like place of dark depths that holds you as its prisoner, refusing to allow you any type of self-expression, swimming in black molasses.

I think I've finally surfaced. 

To wash all the sticky molasses from my limbs and to rinse away the same heavy goo from my thoughts, I've picked up a painting I started last year. 

It's acrylic.  11" x 14".  Last year, I'd applied heavy modelling paste for texture, then black gesso over that.  From then on, I'd fingerpainted in the background, the pads and the shadows under the pads.  (My earliest memories of making any kind of art are of fingerpainting!  I adored fingerpainting as a child.)  Then it was set aside. 

A few days ago, I brought it back up onto my painting table and started playing in it.  Rather than get discouraged with this type of fingerpainting, I finally picked up some brushes and used brushes for the highlights, more shadows, etc. 

Since this is more of a tribute to Monet than my own work, I'm thinking of collaging some large letters of M-O-N-E-T in the bottom right area.  Perhaps about two inches high....

I wasn't going to post this until it was finished but am tired of looking at my OLD blogger wall.  So, here it is ...............

PS - A few years ago, I was at an online demo by Allen Montague for fingerpainting!  Watch the fast demo below to get a hint of his work....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Have you ever heard Jordon John sing?

I'm listening to him right now, good and loud. Always makes me want to paint. Right now, I'm drawing out something of the Cheviot Hills in the Scottish Borders. Beautiful, beautiful place and seriously, that area can make 'me' fall to pieces! (But where in Scotland wouldn't?)

Jordon John, son of Prakash John who is of the legendary Lincolns, is one incredible singer. (Did I mention he was Canadian?)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm back from England and Scotland!

...with heaps and heaps of reference photos for so many paintings!  More to follow ....

In the meantime, I made a slideshow to show my PALS group the altered art scrapbook I'm working on and thought I'd post it here, too.  I took a really old, big, outdated atlas and painted the pages (a few at a time), then attached the photos, writing, bling and decorations.  I could have just mounted computer prints of sections of the journal notes I wrote each night of the trip but thought that handwritten notes would look more personal. 

I had a great time and loved the trip.  England was awesome but Scotland was my absolute favourite.  I dropped out of the trip over to Rome and instead stayed three extra days in Edinburgh!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Stuff ...

Don West is back at his blog at Idle Minutes. Unfortunately, his blog was hacked and he's had to start over so you won't see his past work but his future work is well worth visiting for! The painting above is NOT MY WORK. It's a beautiful postcard / painting that Don sent to me in June of last year after I won it at his blog. It's watercolour applied very thickly and it's of McClure Pass in Colorado. (There's a bit of a smudge above the mountain peak from the post mark but other than that, it came through the mail pretty good!)

I went to the Focus Art meeting last night where there was a great presentation by Gerald Swift, Co-Ordinator for Artwork at The Abbey for the Arts. Gerald walked us through a list of introspective questions about our artistic goals. He also gave us some invaluable insight into gallery workings and sales. Each of us there not only learned about selling our work but also about ourselves as artists.

I've always been (so far) one of those artists who does not want to sell their artwork. I have a full time job already and I just want to create art because I have this need to create. I know that I don't want to sell it because I cannot sell my own work and I learned last night that this is very common among artists. Maybe one day I will. But for now, I'm concentrating on creating only. There sure seems to be a lot of hassles in the selling process, though.

I'm hoping that once the warmer weather gets here, I'll be able to get out to the Abbey to maybe just sit and paint (if they allow that). It's a beautiful place.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

For Teresa

My good friend, Teresa, asked a few questions that I thought I'd answer as a post rather than just answering in the comment section. (Teresa's blog is awesome. Go check it out!!)

Here are her questions;
Deb, what do you mean with gel "transferring"? I need to learn all the techniques you're using for these pages! I use a gel mat medium (deSerres brand) and sometimes soft gel glossy (Golden). Just paint it onto the page, lay a photocopy, printed copy or magazine page down, rub hard, wait for about 2 minutes, then rub off the back paper. You're left with an image on the page. It takes some practice though. I just ruined a photograph of my parents on their wedding day that I wanted to transfer onto a page. Grrrrr.

Also, why there's no the same risks with fluid acrylics than with normal ones? is it because they dry faster or what? When I painted the pages with the fluid acrylics, the paint dries to permanent just like regular acrylic paint. It won't lift at all. Being fluid acrylic, it can be treated like watercolour only while you're painting it and it's wet. After it dries, it's permanent. If I did the background pages with watercolour, and I used non-staining paints, think of the mess it'd make when I put something wet over it. There are ways of getting around it (i.e. using staining paints, putting on a light layer of varnish, etc) but I have all these fluid acrylics and thought it'd just be a whole lot easier to get where I wanted to get. Btw, fluid acrylics do dry faster than the watercolours also.

I wasn't too crazy about them when I first got them and tried them out but I'm slowly converting. Guess I don't take to change very easily. lol. But soon, I'll try Nick's way of painting again and see if I'm any better at it. (I've totally given up on that fluid acrylic waterlily. I cringe every time I look at it.)

aaaaah I need to know lol, sorry for pestering you with questions :) Tsk, tsk, tsk, Teresa! What a statement! You KNOW you never pester me! LOL!

Don't forget to check out Teresa's blog - Lost in Wonder. She's an incredible watercolourist!!! Look for her portrait of Tim Burton while there! Wow!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

gel transfers

I've got some background work done on another journal page. It was done using gel transferring. I'm learning but I kind of like the grungy kind of colour in the three corners. The other colour (which was applied over one of the yellow pages) is fluid acrylic. I like using the fluid acrylics here so that I don't have to worry about it lifting in the many subsequent layers. Lots of collaging, layering, painting, writing and touching up to do here. I wasn't going to post this but thought I should just to show I'm back in the saddle again. lol
Also been working on another Japanese gate - drawing and transferring to w/c paper.
Now, off to work, then home again and then checking out blogs to see what you've all been doing!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A few more journal pages

This one says a lot about what I've been going through;

The pomegranite was collaged. I used pastels to create the soft halo around it. Unfortunately, you can't see the border very well.

The city was collaged, too. The darker spot of burnt orange and yellows is actually blended fibre medium. Kind of like a little canvas on which I'm going to paint something.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Robert Tiso ...

Have you ever heard Robert Tiso play a glass harp? The man truly has magic in his hands! Beautiful! I stumbled across his videos on Youtube while searching out some classical music. (I was in a classical mood.) My jaw dropped when I heard his and it stayed 'dropped' while I listened to all his videos there. Totally amazing!

I've been listening to his work while cleaning up my painting area. It's become horribly messed up. As soon as I'm finishing, I'm going to sit down and work at a watercolour version of those water lilies I worked on a while back.

I tried to watch some art videos at CPP today but I think too many people were there. I did get to see Carl Dalio on Colour Power and picked up several hints and tips.

Hope your Christmas was beautiful and that the coming year is awesome for you.