Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Sand Painting Part 2

Here is another paper I created using the sand method. Here you can see the stage with the sand and the image after the sand has been removed.

I highly recommend playing around with this. Sometimes we get too uptight when we create our art, its fun to really play with our paints.

Fun In The Sand

Last Saturday the WACG's general meeting was held on the beach so we all could learn to use the ocean and sand to help create our paintings. Nancy Van Buren showed us her technique.

The gist of the process is to take your watercolor paper, quarter and half sheets work best, and wet it in the waves. Then scoop some sand onto the paper and swirl it around. Then gently drain off the water and most of the sand. You should be left with a unique pattern of sand on the paper. Gently carry the paper to a dry area of the sand and lay it flat.

Then gently pour or spray weak fluid acrylic paints onto the paper and sand. You may try to save the pattern of the sand or tilt the paper to move it around some. A limited palette of 2 or 3 colors works best. Let the colors mix and mingle on the paper. When the paper is covered with color, let it dry. The sand can act as a resist, but it will let some paint through, unlike batik. You will not know the exact results until much later.

Once it is very dry, you can brush off the sand, then using a hose rinse off all of the sand. Let dry again.

Now you have a beginning of a painting. You can find images and negatively paint around them to enhance the image. You can use it as a background and add your image onto it. Since these were created with acrylics, they aren't going anywhere, you can paint over them as much as you'd like.

Don't like it, look at the back, chances are there is another image there. Still don't like it - tear it and use it for a collage. The possibilities are endless.

Here are photos of a couple that I created. I like rich colors, so I made mine more intense than most. But I am very happy with the results.

Try using the serendipity of the sand and ocean and add a new dimension to your art.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Grass Has Grown

Working on the mural around a mural continues as well. I have added the grassy areas on either side of the trellis. I have added grass and trees to the short edge on the far left side. Plus I added some bushes to continue the garden a little past the trellis. Next project is the columns.

The Tree Continues to Grow

As I work on the tree it goes in stages. The first thing I painted the other day was the Spanish moss. Here is a detail of it. I work it very soft and wispy. Then I began the leaves and continued across the tree. I added small white flowers on the vine on the trunk and extended the vine some.

Next I will add more Spanish moss at the request of my clients and paint tall grasses along the bottom edge of the mural. A couple of cats will also take their places. That should about wrap it up. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Tree Mural Grows

The tree mural has sprouted brances. There is also the beginning of a vine on the trunk. The next step will be to add some Spanish moss and the leaves. It is coming along nicely.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Live Oak Mural

These clients have a wonderful wall for a mural. So they decided that in their living room they want a mural of a live oak tree with lots of Spanish moss. They decided to have their white living room painted a beautiful sky blue. This is the setting for the mural.

I started by sketching out the where the tree will be in chalk. I like using chalk since it is so easy to erase and make changes.

Then I painted in the grassy field that will be around the tree. I used the two doorways as a natural end for the image. I made sure to vary the values to give the illusion of depth to the field. I then added the distant tree line.

Next I began the tree. I usually start at the roots and work up, it seems to 'grow' better that way. I paint in the bark as I go. I call my style 'casual realism' . I feel that I capture a realistic illusion of the things I paint without getting too photo realistic in the process. I want the image to comfortable to live with - not fussy.

I am putting a very large tree on what is a large wall, but not as large as a real tree would be. So I will need to branch out the trunk pretty quickly. Once all of the branches are painted in, with leaves and Spanish moss, it will look very different. Also I will add a vine on the trunk and grasses at ground level. Right now it looks pretty stark, but that will change.

Next step will be to work on the branches and leaves.

Framing Out The Mural

This house has a very nice mural on their family room wall. But painting around it caused a problem when they wanted to re-do the rest of the walls. So I have been commissioned to paint a mural around the mural.

The plan is to frame out the trellis with 2 columns. Add a 3 column on the far wall. Add wisteria vines along the ceiling. Extend the trees and lawn areas to the rest of the wall. Add flowering vines on the columns. Have all of the colors coordinate with, if not match, the existing mural. Plus try to emulate the style enough that both pieces work together.

The first step was to draw out the columns and block them in. Then I painted in the shadow areas for the wisteria and placed the distant tree line. Then I painted in the distant trees before I began the wisteria. Did this since I wanted the wisteria to overlap the trees.

Then I painted the wisteria and vines. They may still need a few shadows and highlights but I will judge that after the rest of the mural is done. It will look different as it goes.

Next was the lawns and extending the bushes and flowers from the existing mural.

Later I will work on the columns.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

After the Storm

Hannah blew through here yesterday. Although it was just a strong thunderstorm as it past through, it disrupted my life more than I would have liked. I live in a single-wide close to the ocean, so whenever there is a threat, I go. I may not go far, that depends on the severity of the storm, but I bring stuff in, close things up, turn things off, pack stuff up and move out. Since it was a tropical storm, I went to my Mom's house. It is brick, on higher ground and a little further inland. Plus we get to spend some time together. Then after the storm is gone, its come home, unpack, put stuff back, undo the measures I took before I left.

Those that have never evacuated cannot appreciate the stress it adds to your life. What do you pack, what do you leave behind, what do you do to try to protect what you leave. You sit in your favorite chair, looking around and wondering if you will have anything to come home to.

Yes, we got lucky this time. But I lived in Charlotte when Hugo came through, still a category 3 and watched the power of a storm. Then lived through the aftermath for more than a month. Those that have experienced it knows that when the weather-people and news-hounds leave, the real work is just beginning. So I respect the potential power of a hurricane and/or tropical storm and take precautions. I have learned to gauge the precautions I take based upon the strength of the storm and the projected path. I have lived through enough different storms to get a feel for them, but I don't take chances.

Everywhere has natural events to cope with - blizzards, earthquakes, tornadoes, ice storms, etc. at least with the tropical storms we have an opportunity to prepare for them and brace for them. But life goes on. I will keep everyone who had problems after the storm in my prayers and say a prayer of thanks that Hannah was gentle with me, my friends and my loved ones.

Back to work this week.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Fabric of Our Lives - Completed

The Fabric of Our Lives - Completed. I think :) I need to let it rest a bit and then re-evaluate it once more. I like it so far. I like the movement and the colors. It became more dynamic as I painted. I added lots of faces to it and it appears more fluid than the original concept - which I am happy about. Very few of my paintings turn out the way they were planned. I alway judge things as they progress. What looks good in a sketch may not look good on canvas. Once colors are down, one can only evaluate them based upon the colors they are next to. I may tweek it a little once I put it aside for a while, but for now - its finished. Need to sign it but will do that after the last evaluation. What do you think!