Friday, December 19, 2008

still life with jug

I have stopped painting trees!! and started this still life from a photo that Pat (my husband) took in France - it is a fabulous photo that really doesn't need translating into paint, but he requested this effort - so here is my version. It isn't quite done - I need to let it ferment for a bit so I can see where I want to go next.

16 x 20 fluid acrylics

Thursday, November 27, 2008

November has been a rough month for me. Right off the bat, I had an unbelievable case of the flu. After 4 weeks, I think I'm finally recovering. Then to really make my life miserable, my hard drive crashed - total burial! - and naturally, I hadn't backed it up. My iMac was one week past the warranty period so since it was my own dollar, I decided to upgrade the memory and hard drive. I just now finished reloading all the software. I had saved my painting photos so I only lost everything else!! lucky me! Today is the first time I've been able to post here in the last 2 weeks because I had no way to get at my photos til I reinstalled everything.

During the month of flu I worked on small paintings of trees - they were easy to do without major compositional issues and were fun as well.

The first few were done with reds - autumnal colours, then I switched to blues, greens and violets, going for that soft moonlit or spring feel.

Fall Colours 1
12 x 12

Spring Trees 1
9 x 12

Trees in Moonlight 1
8 x 16

Friday, October 24, 2008

Yellow series

The violet I had been using left me in need of a change, these next pieces focused on yellow as the primary colour

they are 12" square

I worked with a compositional focus again - overlapping frames (not a favorite)

this one was based on curves

and ... another diagonal

Workshop Results

Whoops! Here it is a month later and I am just finally checking in. In the intervening time I went to a workshop in Northern Wisconsin with my buddy Lauren. The instructor was Bob Burridge - an excellent teacher! If you ever get an opportunity to take one of his workshops - DO!
I found his routine really enlightening - who would have thought that after painting for a few years, I really didn't have one.
The rest of my delinquency was a result of life catching up with me once we returned home. Appointments and the flu ate up the next 2 weeks - then when I thought I was finally in the clear, Pat ( dh) went through the kidney stone passage!
Oh well - I can show you some of the work from workshop.

One assignment/challenge was to work with colours you didn't care for; or combinations with that colour as the primary/main focus. I choose violet - I still really hate violet - and these are three of the results.
10 x 11 acrylic on paper

we also were working with different compositional arrangements in each painting - this one was basically the golden section

this one uses the cruciform

this one uses a diagonal composition

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Last Day

We drove up to the peninsula to paint this day. The first stop at around 10:30 am was a winery that has a spectacular view out over the bay, They were kind enough to permit our incursions - with a time limit - they were expecting a tour group at 1pm.

This is 6 x 11, on 300 lb Fabriano hp. Looking at it now I think I may go back and deepen some of the darks, other than that - this one was fun.
In the afternoon we drove out to the tip of the penisula and found a shady spot (for a change) to paint. You could see a wide panorama of shallow, rock filled lowland with an inlet and land forms beyond on the one side. In the other direction the treed shoreline was set against a backdrop of water, islands and mainland. I tried this view first with much fuss and bother - not permanent pen again! I never learn; so a second attempt in pencil.

My last effort was much more satisfying. I had started it by masking out some of the rocks, then had set it aside to dry. I washed in some sky and foreground before I set it aside. After removing the masking - I know - why did I use it at all? - I finished the painting at home.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thursday, September 18th 2008

This morning found us trekking up a 1 1/2 mile hill to get to this view - peace and beauty! The first painting was done on a 300 lb hot press fabriano - a paper I am getting quite fond of. The paint moves well and the surface tolerates a fair bit of abuse.

I decided to do a second quick study in my moleskin sketch book - not satisfied with either painting - but the site made it all worth while.

In the afternoon we explored a bit and found this lighthouse at Port Betsie. I chose a close up view, which got tighter then I like, so after it was completed - I did a quick sketch from a bit further away. The tree was sketched facing in the opposite direction. I will probably wash some colour into both of these sketches.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park, Wednesday September 24

The morning was beautiful and the view was spectacular. Again I went for an ink and wash, but this time my ink wasn't waterproof!! I went with it and did a value study instead. Maybe someone is trying to tell me to give up on the whole ink thing!
I turned around and liked the perspective of the walkway and trees and decided to do a sketch and wash of that. A bit more than I had planned on - too much ambiguity in the greenery, but not everything need be a masterpiece. I enjoyed the challenge of the vertical format and might revisit this image again in a full painting.

In the afternoon we found another spot further along the park. This time I opted for a closer look at a stand of trees. There were a LOT of tourists passing through all day; many made comments on our painting venture, not always kind.
Sleeping Bear Dunes, Peterson Road area (I think)

That first afternoon (I think) we went to this quiet beach - no one else around!
I wanted to do an ink and wash, but grabbed the wrong pen - decided to finish it anyway. It was the full width of the little moleskin watercolour book I had with me - 5" x 16" - and to make matters interesting, I opened to the center of the book, thinking I could avoid page edges in the middle. What was I thinking? These aren't going to be framed!

Monday, September 22, 2008

It's been a few weeks since I've posted, and in the interim I traveled up to the Traverse City area in Norther Michigan for a week of plein air painting with two of my buddies. It was spectacular weather and I had a lot of fun.
These first two pieces are from the Platt river area. The salmon were running and the fishing was fierce.

Friday, August 29, 2008

number 3

Today was not a day to play outside - grey and drizzly - so I pulled this out again. I had started several of these and have been working them up one at a time. This one has fluid acrylics as the base, with some gesso to tone a few areas. I have been working on the transitions in value and am creating passages from one area to another. Once I had it on the screen I saw several spots that need adjustment. The center area is a bit too predictable - will do some more tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

another angle

My calico, Iggy - sleeping again but from a different angle.

still playing

This one is my calico lady, also asleep on the deck chair - do cats ever do anything else? Ive created cards of this image as well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

cat days

My boy Larry, doing his favorite thing......... I did several kitty sketches of this guy attempting to capture his smile - even with his eyes closed, I think this one did.
It is a 5 1/4 " square ink and wash that I have printed up as cards.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Guarding Angel

I bought this cement dragon at a garden show and have him sitting on the deck railing. He is cement coloured but when I did my pen and wash, I couldn't resist giving him floral tones, he is after all, guarding my garden!
He is 5 1/4" square, done in archival pen and watercolour washes on archival paper.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kettle Flowers

At one point I was working on doing a painting or sketch a day. This is one from a friend's garden. I had gone over for a pool side visit on a REALLY hot, muggy day and brought my painting stuff along. The pot was an old cast iron kettle that she now plants annuals in every spring.
It is 5 1/4" square, in pen and watercolour wash. I have had it printed up as a card and am giving her the original for Xmas.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Another effort

It was a miserable day yesterday, so I worked on this painting most of the day. It began the same way as the previous one and this time I decided to concentrate on the linear quality - some of the subtlties aren't visible in this photo. I'm thinking it might be done ..... I'm going to let it simmer for a few days and then decide.

Finished? Maybe

I refined this with green and red glazes, then cleaned up the darks again - may leave it now.

I had a second look at this - August - and added some interest within the white are - now I am done!

detail view

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

second effort stage 3

I might be over working this - I decided to knock back some of the perimeter with a green wash - will let it dry and then glaze over it with a red wash. J Salimen assures us that this is an amazing technique and I'm willing to try. I also forgot to rotate the photo to match the orientations of the first 2 images.
We shall see what happens!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

second effort: stage 2

the next step included wiping back some areas; refining shapes and adding some more definition - I puttered at this for 3 hours - will get back to it tomorrow or Saturday .......

I took this photo outside and so it is brighter here then irl

Second effort

I decided to try a second stab at the Salminen composition - I had drawn up 3 of these earlier and since I'm still thinking about directions to go for "Spacial", I thought I'd start another - this time actually following his method. Once he has drawn the image he selects a white shape and also a dark surround before laying in the mid-values. In this one I did these steps but my dark surround got really scary - I will have to work on modifying it today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spacial Fractions

30" x 22" Fluid acrylics on 140lb watercolour paper

This is a start I've made based on John Salminen's video "A Designed Approach to Abstraction". It involves using contour drawings of unrelated objects which are traced over top of each other to create an interesting series of new an abstracted shapes. This one includes an ice cream scoop; kitchen shears; a milk frother and a pair of pliers. I since have decided that 3 shapes would have been plenty - I'm having to eliminate some of the smaller bits and tighten up the composition.


Ooops! Forgot to mention - this blog is a direct result of my buddy's encouragement. Lauren Everett Finn is an accomplished artist and great friend - she has been urging me to start my own blog for a bit now - so I have.
A link to Lauren's blog.