I had fun working with this blue poinsettia. I wanted to stream my paper as I have come to love, but I also wanted to paint this in oil so as to have the freedom to use very painterly strokes and work in the collage piece like I wanted. It almost seems to have a ghostly presence...or spiritual (since we are so close to Christmas!)...Anyhoo...it was another first for me blending the two media...paper and oil! I've slipped in a pic of the beginning of this piece so you can see how I worked in my paper stream!
Even though I've just painted a Christmassy piece I did want to wish everyone a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I am thankful for all of you!
Yep, yesterday Dotti's Mums looked like wallpaper...NOT what I was going for even though the reference was more the middle of a bunch of mums. What I believe makes this work is it brings the focus back to the particular flowers I was, well, focusing on! I rather like the way the previous background is a part of the new skyish background I added later. It brings unity in a subtle way.
Don't be afraid to rework a piece, or even scrap it if you can't make it work like was your vision! Remember, there aren't really failures...just opportunities for learning and improving your work through experimentation or re working.
One thing I've learned as I've got a few decades under my belt is that not every thing you try is going to be successful, but if you learn a thing or two in the process the value is in that!
Dotti is an old friend of my mother's. I've known her since I was in third grade. She and her husband are now living in an assisted living facility in the town where my parents live in Oklahoma and such a sweet couple! She thinks of herself as an extended parent to us and was talking the other day when my mother was showing her some of my work. All it took was a simple comment about not having anything of mine and my mom was on it. Apparently she likes mums (NOT my specialty, but for my mom and Dotti...anything!) so my mom requested a painting for her for Christmas. Hope you like it Dotti!
I think today will be a blue poinsettia. I saw the MOST beautiful colors at the last show I entered which was in our famous Echters garden extravaganza shop and just had to snap a few pics!
This little 5x5 is a piece I'm doing at the request of my mother...for an old friend for Christmas...It's in process...but there isn't much more I'll do...however I am not in LOVE with it yet...so on to more...AHHHHH...I have decided after having posted this awhile ago that it is too WALLPAPERY...tune in tomorrow to see the much bigger change than I had first planned...FUN!
I suppose you will have no trouble understanding why I haven't done another painting...YEP, I'm a mess! I always know when it is time to re-organize and clean when my actual workspace shrinks to, well...NO ROOM TO WORK! Yep, again, that is me today! I always say I won't let it get this way again...but I get excited about a new something and then another something...and before I know it I'm dealing with piles!
SO...cleaning and re-organizing again...hopefully tomorrow I can start all new and fresh!
Since I have a bit of room in this blog spot...I'll give you a little update on the dresser I refinished a couple of weeks ago...Remember the black one?? WELL, the story didn't end there...It was an old dresser; had obviously been sitting in someone's musty basement for OH, I don't know...about a hundred years! In short...IT SMELLED AWFUL! The insides of the drawers were all musty and yucky, and since it is right by my side of the bed I could smell it...YUCK! I wasn't about to put anything in there...so I began to try to fix it...FIRST, I let it air out on the deck for a few days...drug it back in...NO LUCK...THEN I washed all the surfaces with pine sol...THAT DIDN'T WORK EITHER...SO, I finally stumbled upon an old method that antique dealers use...SO FAR IT SEEMS TO HAVE WORKED...so...TIP: Wash all the unfinished wood in DENATURED ALCOHOL...let dry...then spray two coats of SHELLAC and VOILA! So far this smells awesome!! WHEW...that was my yesterday...
HERE'S HOPING YOU ALL HAVE A SMELL FREE WEEKEND! HAPPY CREATING!!
This title gave me much more angst than the whole painting! That is often the case with my work. My joy is in the creative process; the name is the last thing I do. The title for this was important to me as I admire the person who inspired it. Alisa Burke is one of the most creative individuals I've come across. She is multi talented, creative, energetic, and SO NICE! Thanks again to Alisa for allowing me to use your image for this inspiration! I think of all the things that Alisa is...she is a painter, photographer, writer, wonderful cook, decorator...and on it goes. The photo I worked from for this particular painting was just a moment in time for this woman...she has so many wonderful sides! So, when I took the time and thought about her..the title was there!
As I said the other day...the background was inspired by the beautiful ocean views you get in San Diego...the blue of the sky...the wonderful yellowy color as the sun sets...the rich browns of the beaches...it's just so beautiful there...AND, since this is Alisa...and she lives there...what better background for this could there be!
I could have painted the figure in oil, but decided to go with acrylic as I wanted it to be more stylized than painterly (though I KNOW all you acrylic painters out there; myself included; will tell me that you can get painterly strokes with acrylic too...but why fight it...ha...I agree...but acrylic just seemed to speak to me!) I was going for the edges and simplicity!
I still have more figures inside of me...maybe even another of Alisa...I have a great foreshortening shot of her sitting...it will have a more modern feel just due to the pose and the clothes...FUN!...but I also want to do my kids in some way...cuz I just want to...:)
I have a quick little commission of mums to do next and then on to another figure or two...or three...we shall see!
As I work out the kinks and composition on my newest figure painting I'm sharing my process...as always!
After making sure my surface was painted as I wanted I added some papers to strengthen my intent. Note I added my streams near where the face will be to just add a little more sumpin to the area that will be the obvious focus; the face!
As you can see I decided to stick with the original image instead of adding feet. The primary reason for this is I wanted Alisa's figure to take a good amount of the surface of the piece, so it worked out best to keep the drawing as the photo was; which is better for me so I don't have to impose legs (which aren't all that important in this piece) from another photo.
When I am working with a specific design in mind I will sometimes draw my figure or subject matter on tracing paper that I actually tape over the canvas or support I am using. This way I can make sure I place the focus, or whatever I'm needing to focus on...JUST in the right spot! For me, it was to make sure the head was near the streams of paper...
As it turns out I like the way the skirt is going to have pleats at the bottom...going off the visual space; so at this stage it appears that what I am trying to convey works! YEA...but, we aren't finished yet!...so stay tuned to tomorrow to see if what I THINK is going to work...does...:)
WELCOME TO MY NEWEST FOLLOWERS...and HAPPY CREATING!
When I added the logo's for the three new art guilds that I have joined recently I discovered that two of them were predominately black...that presented a little problem as the background to my blog was black. I enjoyed the BLACK while I had it...my paintings look great against the black, but I wanted the logo's...thus the change. CHANGE IS GOOD...I've changed my style...so, why not mix things up a bit on my blog...:) Hope it isn't too shocking for you all! Green...seems fine with all the trees and nature things I love to paint so much!
I am excited about doing figures for a little while. I started it because I want to enter a show titled "Women in art" or something similar for one of my new guilds; Ken Caryl (a great group of people by the way)...and now I'm fascinated to see how I can fuse this with my new way of working...FUN STUFF!
I was searching around for more subject matter...my kids will be among them...but I'm still deciding which reference photos to use for them...SO, in the meantime I began to think about just what other figures I want to use. A wonderful artist, writer, crafter and blogger I have met through blogging is Alisa Burke. Alisa is one of the most inspiring people I've come across in the blogging world. She is so full of energy and ideas...and she's beautiful, and a wonderful artist to boot. As I've been following her blog I notice that she is also an incredible photographer as well...and, she often poses for the camera to display some of the incredible creative things she makes...and I like a lot of her poses...SO, I wrote her and asked if I could use her figure as reference for a painting or two. Alisa; being also very generous, gave me a wholeheartedly positive response saying I could use anything...even asked if she could help in any way...THAT'S what I love about artists...most are so generous! I'm never afraid to show you my process...as it IS in process...because as we all know it can work or we can use it as a learning experience as we try again! That is the beauty of what we do! I remain committed to letting you all in on my journey as it unfolds for me...hoping you can be inspired as well as hopefully learn from my hits as well as my misses! Let's see which. This will be! FUN!
SO, thank you Alisa...I've started a background for one of the poses I chose...your beautiful San Diego was the inspiration for the background. It is loosely based on the beautiful skies when the sun is setting...along the beach...I began by applying flexible modeling paste to the entire surface of this stretched gallery wrap canvas and then tinted the whole thing with a dark mixture of purple and brown and then added my color on top...leaving some to show underneath.
My next step will be to consider what paper I want to add, where, and how...and only then will it be time to sketch the basic figure on top of that...I LOVE the tilt of her head in this and the slight angle in her scarf (that I may exaggerate a bit)...and those pleats...yummm!! You can see here that Alisa doesn't have any feet...well, I'm a gonna use her feet from another pic of course!! FUN DOINS!
Follow along as I go step by step with this exciting new experiment!
As it turns out I found a measure of success with this piece by doing very little. Shaping up a bit, filling in white areas, strengthening some contrast areas, learning HOW I wanted to show the faces and gestures (which for me was to keep it simple), and adding a bit of paper stream to tie it all together within the way I've chosen to work...was all it took. I'm happy with the end result for this particular piece.
I didn't want to have the texture of the canvas showing through, so I added texture to the surface of the entire canvas before painting. For me, it added to the effect I was going for which was to convey the gesture and the emotion it brings rather than a faithful rendition of our faces.
As you can see, I painted around rather than continuing the figures on the sides and bottom...There was no need to add extra information beyond the viewing plane.
I want to explore the figure through the emotion of color and gesture more...I feel a series coming...even if it isn't successive! Stay tuned...let's see if I can pull it off! (That was more for me...ha)
So, as promised...more process. This is a first experiment in my efforts to find a way to depict the figure with little detail...mainly to describe an emotion. It is my attempt to work something out for a show that is coming up, but also to find a way to play with the figure.
I look upon this as a learning experience first and foremost. I don't like it at this stage...may scrap it and start over, but I'm learning...that is the point of most of my work...Failure is not the word I would use...a LEARNING experience is more accurate.
I think it needs a lot of work...but I'm on a track, so I will follow it until I deem it either salvageable or not...and then move on to a completed piece, or a new beginning! INTERESTING and INTERESTINGER! FUN...may it always be FUN!
On a new note: Some of you may know, if you read many of my posts, that family and God are very important to me. God being first, cuz He gave me everything...my family, my talent, ME...so, I have begun a new blog on the topic called: GODLY PERSPECTIVES. It is a very candid, hopefully NOT catty look at experiences and events that come into life and my search for Godly answers. Right now I have no idea just WHERE it will take me...my goal is that it will take me to Godly answers to my very regular dilemmas! Being a woman, I will say that this is from a female perspective, but I always invite the male view if you dare! HA. I hope to use humor in as many of these posts as possible, but I suspect in the beginning it will be hard to find the humor in some. I do NOT want to name names, or humiliate anyone...so I will be careful, as careful as possible while searching for some very real answers. For those of you NOT interested in this topic don't fret...just don't hop over...I'm still the goofy, energetic person you read and see now! BUT, if this topic interests you...I invite you to see another side of a very outspoken, but loving girl!
It was time to do a snow scene...I don't mind snow scenes; in fact I love the contrast the snow against everything gives...it is just not a season I am ready for...so, I opted for a scene that I snapped the reference for AFTER the snow fell...so there is also COLOR in the foliage behind...and the wind wasn't blowing, so the trunks were clean...except for the exaggerated sun clinging to them. One of the things I love about being an artist...INTERPRETATION!
I've got a new wax collage sitting on my easel...waiting for another bit of inspiration as to the direction...SO, while waiting there are shows to paint for and yes...it's winter here now, so I have to do a bit of winter something...This one will be pine trunks in the snow.
The first step was to cover my panel with acrylic. My goal in this first stage is to lay in color...work out the major composition and, well, get paint coverage on the board. I HATE leaving any "white"...gotta get it covered...it's a mental thing.
Stage two is laying in papers...still keeping in mind where I will need contrast, and in this case shadows in the snow...mentally placing my trees so I won't have to go back in and add later (which usually happens a little anyway).
Stage three is to lay in trees and finalize contrast areas and such...that's today!
So, despite a very windy afternoon yesterday we were able to complete the dresser. Only a couple of snafoos...not to mention the smell (now it smells like paint)...
The knobs I had on hand were colorful, but the screws were cemented in them and too short...plus it sort of looked circusy...so I went with these leaf design knobs instead. Being SUCH a tree person I do love all things tree, so the brushed nickel finish with a hint of black may be a little different from my original vision, but I'm happy with them. As you can see I added these round knobs for legs to give it more the look that matches the rest of my furniture and brought it up to date a bit. I am thrilled with my husband who was able to cut one of the drawers in half instead of just loosing that space...YEA...storage...YEA again! So, finished and now on to other paintings for upcoming shows and really just to delight me!
Another interesting and a bit disturbing event took place over the weekend...DRAMA at the Up the Mountain Steakhouse where we have gallery walls. I got a call from one of the owners who told me she and her other owner hubby had been forced out of the business just like that! The current owners do NOT have good reputations in the business world; which left a dilemma! What to do with work that is up there and no longer under contract! I decided to hop up there and pull my work out before it was confiscated, and me without representation there. Most other artists went up to remove their work as well...so their walls are bare! The moment I removed my last piece I was kicked out and told I was trespassing! SHEESH! I am thankful for the warning so I was able to recapture my work to live on other walls! Artist's beware!! There are people out there who don't care about your "rights"...and may just have some legal "rights" of their own! If that place were to go under (which I suspect it will eventually as they raised their prices astronomically!)...and we had no contract we just might loose all work on the walls! WHEW...escaped a big one there!!
So...back to happier things...CREATING!! HAPPY, HAPPY CREATING TO YOU ALL!! And...welcome to my newest followers! LIFE IS GOOD...the SUN IS OUT...and snow won't come til tomorrow!
OK...so the paint came off...the sanding is completed...the size has been cut down. We cut off one and one half drawers. I'm liking that I'll have a shallow drawer for books and magazines and other various things... We filled the one hole and made two holes for pulls on each drawer...BUT,
When we came in the house we noticed a horrible smell...SOMETHING was in the wood or the stripper or ONE OF THOSE THINGS! At first it was "do you smell something weird?"...and then it was "Get those clothes off and I'll wash them...the STINK is us!"...so I did...hmmmm....I've refinished furniture before and never encountered THIS particular smell...but, oh well...I kept thinking of that Seinfeld episode about the stinky car...only it wasn't a body smell...it was an odd smell...
SO, yesterday I sanded a little bit and then began the painting process...didn't really get messy...but a little was on my clothes...I washed everything but the little over shirt I was wearing...it looked like I could wear it out there while painting today...so I hung it on a door knob in my dressing room and went about life.
TODAY I get up and go into the dressing room and BAM...the stink was BACK!...This time I knew it was hanging on my clothes, so I removed the shirt, and the room quickly went back to it's original regular smell...(BETTER)...but note to self...air out my dressing room!
I went to check on the dresser this morning and the paint didn't seem to cover like it usually does...hmmm...could the STINK be repelling even the paint?? I don't know...but I promise to get to the bottom of this and get back to you! I'm stubborn...one way or another this dresser/night stand is going to work! Tune in...
The weather on the mountain is going to be GORGEOUS the next few days...a perfect time to undertake a furniture project I've been excited about! I needed a night stand/dresser in my bedroom and in this tight economic time I decided to be greenish and do my own used one instead of buying one new. OH BROTHER...so much to do and I take this on...with the help of my most wonderful husband!
Here she is in all her UGLY glory! Chipped and horrible tan paint, knobs in the middle...but otherwise a solid wood piece that will work with some alterations! Color is obvious...YUCK...I need black to go in my bedroom...so that's a given...BUT, it is a little too tall, so one drawer is going to be cut off...paint stripped and holes filled as I plan to make these drawers a two pull operation...So...off I go! Hopefully in a couple of days it will be beautiful and I will proudly show you the end result. If it flops, I'll show you that too and we will all get a little laugh!
Not to be without my artwork in process at the same time I am working on a new piece that will be a wax collage or an encaustic or some such thing...but she needs to dry. Yes, that is a 300 lb piece of watercolor paper on the top...I'll explain as I go!
WOW did I decide to go in a different direction. I woke up this morning and immediately saw it completed with the fall colors in the aspen stand and the lower landscape nearly there. All it needed was a tweak of contrast here and there and color to bring the eye up to the areas of interest...although, all areas of a beautiful Colorado landscape are interesting to me!
I'm playing in wax today...having fun experimenting and developing more finished pieces for a workshop I hope goes in February. Come on all you out there that live near by...it's at the Aar River Gallery February 1-2 from 10-4. You'll have SO many things to play with you won't be bored! Don't be afraid of the winter, and the subject...it will be FUN!
I'm also taking advantage of this beautifully warm and sunny fall we are having by redoing an old dresser I found for my bedroom...It's ugly now, but when I'm finished it will be beautious...well, thanks to my hubby dear who will be cutting the top drawer off and replacing the top so it will be JUST RIGHT!
and...of course there is always the possibility of leaving it largely as is and just putting in some small bits here and there...:) THAT IS THE FUN PART!!
This is a process picture of my newest piece. This one is coming along, but will take a few minutes more to complete as I am not working from a reference photo.
Early in my career I would NEVER attempt to work without a complete reference photo in front of me, but seeing as how I am constantly LOOKING at my beautiful mountains, and have done so many of this subject I have gotten to a place where I can IMAGINE a thing...to a place where I want to build a dream of a place in my mind...
HOWEVER, I always work from reference photos or from life if I'm lucky enough to be sitting in front of something this awesome...for me the reference is some snowy mountain pics, and some trees.
I originally wanted to do a pine with a long branch coming from the left side leaving the scene...today will the the day I play around with that to see what I REALLY want in front...Things I keep in mind is composition (always), and finding ways to show contrast...otherwise since there is SO much going on in our mountains that we need to edit as artists for the sake of a painting would just disappear into the landscape...so, that is my challenge today!
I've been working on a new wax collage piece in my mind...just about to get going on that one...JUST IN TIME...or a little early for Valentines Day and my article coming out in the Jan/Feb issue of Cloth Paper Scissors!
Had another pink geranium oil mini in me for the day! Hmmm...is two a series or a duo or a couple?? Whichever works!
I'm laughing at the fun response I got from followers after my comment about my 140 followers...thanks to all who offered to join twice to get me above 140...Must have worked as we are now at 142! YEA!