Monday, June 30, 2008

Water Lily

Playing around with watercolors and color combinations.  I like the contrast between the orangy flower and the turquoise background.
This is a small water color 4 1/2 x 4 1/2"  You can purchase it for $5.00 which includes shipping and a display case.  Contact me for more information


Saturday, June 28, 2008

Grant Writing Workshop

Wednesday I was lucky enough to attend a workshop on writing grants given by the Georgetown Cultural Council. It was an excellent class. Great speakers, good information and wonderful handouts. It opened up a new possible source of revenue for both myself and for the WACG. Nice lunch was provided. Thank you Joy, Nancy and Sarah I not only enjoyed myself, but learned a lot as well.

If groups in your area are offering informational workshops it should be something you seriously consider taking. Almost all information is useful in one way or another when it relates to your field.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Flower Painting - day one

It is not easy to be creative when I feel crummy, so I have not done much. But at Open Studio yesterday, I did pull out some photos of this really unique, unusual plant that I saw at the American Orchid Society's greenhouse in Del Ray Beach FL. It was huge, it was a wonderful deep purple and has the funkiest runners - not sure what function they have in nature, but they look cool. Still trying to decide how to compose a painting that really shows off the beauty and uniqueness of the plant.

So after sketching for an hour, I decided to try a watercolor to see how this composition would work. So I laid out the sketch of the plant, blocked in some base colors for it and decided it needed a dark background. So this is the beginning.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

New Tangle of Expectations Label

I created a label for "Tangle of Expectations". Since the posts were scattered throughout my blog I wanted an easy way for people to find all of the posts about this painting. I wrote about each step in this painting. Hope you find it interesting, I enjoyed doing it.

Donating Artwork

Once you join an art group or become well known in your area as an artist you will be bombarded with requests for artwork donations for charitable causes. The fundraisers know that art can entice donations. However, the artist needs to be cautious or all they will do is paint for charity and not for themselves.

If you paint for a hobby and like this idea, that is cool too. However most working artists need income as well as deductions. And the deduction is not much, an artist can only deduct the cost of the materials used to create the artwork, not the wholesale or retail value. Which sucks. If the artist donates a work that they would normally sell for $100, but the canvas, paints and stuff only cost $20. No matter how many hours they put into creating it, the artist can only deduct $20. If a patron buys the painting for $100 and then donates to the charity, they can deduct the whole $100. Our government's logic - SUCKS. This is one reason artists can be less than willing to donate artwork.

The guidelines that I use for myself are: 1- is it a charity that means something to me? I am more inclined to donate for the cancer society than for the humane society (I am not a pet person). 2- Do I have any small paintings that I wouldn't normally put in a show, something I did as a demo or an experiment or something like that? If so that is an easy donation. 3- how soon after the last donation? I limit myself to a small number each year and if I just gave one away last week its probably not going to happen this week too unless I have something else I wouldn't mind having out of the studio. 4- if I want to clean out my storage area and make room for new stuff I may donate more than one or more or donate more often, depends on my mood.

So for all of the fundraisers out there, don't be too disappointed if an artist declines. You are probably not the first request the artist has had. If you can find a patron to purchase a piece of art and then donate the art themselves, the artist may be more willing to work with you. Creating art is more difficult and time consuming than making a cake for a bake sale. If you show the artist and their work the respect they deserve you may increase the donations you receive.

Painting - Palm Tree, this was a demo I did at the WACG January meeting. I donated it to the silent auction portion of the Tribute to Women to benefit the American Cancer Society. I lost a brother to cancer plus I have had many friends touched by this disease. It is a charity that I support. I will also have 2 paintings in the show. July 8th & 9th. For more info

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tangle of Expectations - completed

Well I got it done! The values are the ones I want, the edges have been tidied up and the overall effect is one that I am pleased with.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Ribbons of Entanglement - part 2

I just got finished getting all of the ribbons painted in. I like the colors and their placement. I like the motion. I need to let it simmer a while and see if I still like everything. A few more things to do. I need to push the values - get some darker darks and lighter lights. I need to make sure the shadows are in the right place. I need to clean up the background - smudged it in places. I need to make sure the edges of each of the ribbons are nice and clean. But other than that... its almost done.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Right Brain/ Left Brain

That right-brain/left-brain thingy is true. I find that after I have been totally engrossed in painting for a few hours and then try to immediately write about what I have been doing, it is more difficult that if I wait for about an hour and get the left side of my brain a chance wake up. This explains why some of my blogs can be a little disjointed but I do try to go back and edit them if when I read them later they confuse even me.

I have learned to talk while I paint. When I teach and give demos it is necessary. But I find I need to either have a rough idea of what I want to explain in my head before I start painting for it to work, or to work on something very familiar to me that I can paint it without thinking too hard. My palm trees are a subject I can do that with.

It is a very interesting phenomena when you actually experience it. Sometimes you don't notice it but when you do it is kinda funky.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Palm From Demo

Back in January I gave an oil painting demo for the WACG meeting. During that demo I painted this palm tree. I can paint a palm upside down while I am talking. Depending upon the size of the group, sometimes painting flat allows viewers to see more than if I painted on an easel. So this time I painted with the canvas flat on the table. I really liked what I had done, so today while cleaning up my studio and before I put my palette away, I touched up a few things and signed it. All I did was to add more values to the fronds and more shadows to the tree and grasses.

This, like all of my paintings are for sale. If interested, contact me and I can send you a better photo with the particulars. Price depends upon framing or not, shipping or not, etc. Newest oil paintings don't get shipped until they are at least 30 days old so the oil can cure. Other media are ready almost immediately.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Ribbons of Entanglement

I have also been painting ribbons for my entanglement canvas. I started in the Open Studio yesterday and worked on the some more today. I wanted to keep them very pastel and not dangerous looking, but they are fearsome. I want the ribbons to appear tangled to a point but also to appear like a trap of some kind. I am blocking them in now, deciding which will be which colors. I will go back and enhance the values after they are all in. I am liking it so far. Any comments or suggestions?

Tidal Wave

After studying this painting for a while, I decided the figures needed to stand out from the background a little more. So I glazed some deeper colors around them. I like this better so I signed it and consider it really done this time :)

Bridging The Gap

I just completed this painting. My eyes are tired and my fingers are sore and I am a little brain drained, but am happy with the results. I wrote about the beginnings of this painting before. I showed you how I was testing colors for the figures. I decided since this was mostly a 'blue' painting that I wanted to keep the figures in the blue family - sort of. So I used purple and green.
I used Thalo Violet for one on the left, plus white and ultramarine. Since the left side has lots of texture, I wanted that figure to have texture too. The one on the right is on the side with a smoother texture, almost no brush strokes showing. So I kept the body smooth but added some texture to the head, to show a connection between the two. I used Utrecht Green, cad yellow, lemon yellow, a touch of ultramarine and white. I also added another 'bump out' on the green figure. Is it a hand coming up or another figure coming into the 'conversation'?
I wanted some balance with the additional colors so I added some of the violet to the curl in the upper right hand corner and some yellowish green in the texture on the lower left. Just a hint, but I like moving the colors around and moving the viewer's eye as well. I signed it in ultramarine.

I finalized the title to 'Bridging the Gap' I wanted a more positive spin on the subject matter. The dark blue area that separates the figures also separates the two sides of the painting. One side has heavy texture made with very thick paint. The other side has a smooth, soft feel. The gap that needs bridging may be any... the generation gap, a cultural gap, differences in age, race, class, values, religion, politics... We all have differences, some differences are greater than others. Some people are willing to work to narrow the gap some are not. The gaps are always in transit, getting larger or smaller. I want to show that we all should work to narrow them whenever possible.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Enjoying my vacation in Florida. I love plants and flowers and am in paradise around here. Took nearly 200 photos yesterday. Some are just for me and some I will share. Some I will use to create new paintings - probably this one! Coming back sooner than I would like.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

What To Pack

I am heading out of town on vacation. But even when I am goofing off I am still an artist. I always have a camera on me even if it is just my cell phone. Also I am packing a sketch pad plus some color pencils. Not sure if I will take my watercolors with me - although I am driving and have room to at least stick them in the trunk just to have them handy.

I don't plan on painting too much. This trip will be visiting and site seeing but I am always inspired by new sites and favorite things. So by the time I get back I will have lots to work from.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Early Rising

I am finally admitting to myself that the older I get, the more of a morning person that I have become. This is a total change for me. Since my teens I have been productive and creative in the evenings and into the late night. Now I crash earlier and earlier and get up earlier and find myself being most creative first thing in the morning. I find my brain gets foggier most days as time passes. Bummer. But recognizing this means I am more excited about getting things done first thing. So I try to save my most creative projects for before noon and do things that are more structured after that. The main thing is to know yourself and when you can be most creative. If you know your 'good time of the day' and create then, you have a better chance of a greater success.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Tidal Wave

Just because I am not working on one painting doesn't mean I am not working on another.

This one's working title is Tidal Wave. Not sure if it is going to stay that. My figures here are caught up in a tidal wave of emotions. Are they keeping their heads above water or are they just about to be swept away. I have been working on this on and off for a few months. I think it is finished. I like the movement in the composition, I really like the colors and the energy they provide. I like the concept. Initially the figures were less distinct than they are now. I like them better this way.

Most times you cannot judge a painting until it is on the canvas. Does the composition work? Are the sizes of the objects working? Do the colors convey the emotions or mood that you want? Does your eye travel through the painting well? Although you can attempt to work these things out in an initial sketch or even in the initial layout, by the time you are done you may need to make adjustments.

I let my mind and artist's eye rest by ignoring this painting for a while then going back and seeing it with a fresh point of view. You can also get a new perspective by looking at a painting in a mirror - the flipped image looks different to our brains. Also a photo can shed new light. Seeing the painting in a different size will also emphasize different features.

Now one could work on a painting forever. But after one last good look and tweak I will let the painting be done and sign it and move on to another.

What do you think about 'Tidal Wave'?

A Tangle Of Expectatons - Part 3

Been evaluating the new painting and thinking about it. I decided that I do want to keep the ribbons in mostly in soft colors. I want the ribbons to initially appear non-threatening. Probably mostly pastel versions of the primaries - light blue, pink and pale yellows. Although I kinda like the idea of the blindfold being lime green or turquoise.
I want to keep the colors of the ribbons very clean so I am going to let the figure and background dry. That means I won't work on it for at least a week. One of the drawbacks of oils, the long drying time. I did not use any additives, like Liquin, that would speed the drying time up. But I have other stuff to do and letting a painting, and my thoughts, stew a little doesn't bother me. Sometimes it helps me get a better result.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Email Goof Up

I just discovered that for the past year or so I have been losing at least half of the emails that were generated from by website. They were being forwarded to a nonexistent account (my fault, I missed changing one setting). So if you think I was ignoring you - I really wasn't. If you signed up for the newsletter and have not been getting it, sorry - send me your email again. I didn't get it. I have spent the last hour or so tracking down the problem and getting it fixed.

Again, if you didn't get your info to me, I apologize.

A Tangle of Expectations - part 2

Today I was an early riser. The first thing I did was go to the studio and get out the paints. I wanted colors to use to create the look of copper for the figure. So I chose a light brown, a bright orange, a bright yellow and a greenish blue. Not sure if I want to tell you the exact pigments I used. I like to keep some secrets plus I will want to write about them in my newsletter. Also, giving you the types of colors will let you try the effect with colors you may already have. So will keep them to myself for now.

Even though the background is sill wet, it has set overnight. It will transfer if touched, but not wipe off easily.

I had the figure sketched out so I began at the lower left shoulder area. It was one of the larger areas so it was a good place to play around with mixing the colors. I mixed everything right on the canvas. I wanted to keep the colors bright and vibrant. I also kept them more orangy than red or green - I like the contrast with the background. I put down dabs of the brown and orange then mixed in dabs of yellow and blue. I also dabbed in some purple here and there to unify the figure with the background. It is not obvious but it is there and does add some subtle harmony. Once I got the 'mixture' that I liked down, I softened it a little. Then I moved on and did each of the other areas.

I put in subtle shadows to give form and some of the cast shadows. Once the ribbons are in I can add more highlights and shadows if I decide I want them. I will let the figure 'set up' for a while and think about which colors I will use for the ribbons. I have a guide with my sketch but it is just a guide. Will keep you posted when I play with it again.