Sep 25, 2010

Getting a little perspective...

I took a day off painting to go to a funeral.  Sometimes tears help me see better...
To continue with the aspen painting I added branches and then smaller branches.  Last came the leaves.  I used Hansa yellow light, Cadmium yellow medium, nickel azo yellow, yellow oxide, and Indian yellow.  It still didn't look as if the sun was shining on them as in Nederland so I added a tiny bit of interference gold and metallic gold at the golden mean. This was for those of you who asked about my process.  It is much more fun to just load the brush and apply it to canvas, but I like my final product better if I plan more.   Off to the next painting!

Sep 23, 2010

Aspen Glow

A drive to Nederland, CO for lunch inspired an aspen painting.  Nederland is home of the frozen-dead-guy (Google it) , a fabulous carousel, and offers aspen views along the highway. The aspen are turning yellow and gold in the sunlight this time of year.

I had thought to use gold leaf (pun intended) but the dang stuff is so fragile!  And it stuck to my fingers with static electricity.  I tried putting it between two sheets of tissue paper and cutting out leaf shapes. Now I know why they sell  foil "flakes".  Plan B is to use metallic paint.  

I started with an 8"x16" canvas, covering half with Cobalt Titanic Green and the other half with iridescent gold.  I sketched a single aspen.

The gold I covered with thinned cobalt blue and removed some with a sea sponge. The trunk/branches were painted with shades of permanent violet dark.  Lunch time! To be continued another painting day.

Sep 22, 2010

Fielding Questions

To answer some queries, here goes.  I paint with acrylics and use water soluble pencils for the preliminary sketches. I like short brushes and can't get along without cotton tipped applicators.   I have a familial tremor that exhibits itself in a head tic  (plays H--- with doing a self-portrait by mirror) and an intention-tremor.  That diagnosis means the harder I grip something the more my hand shakes (used to scare the bejusus out of patients when I came at them with a syringe to draw their blood.)   When I make a little mistake painting I dip a cotton swab in soapy water and remove it.  When I make a big mistake I get out the gesso.  My grand daughter, Ginny, mimics my tremor so perfectly it cracks me up every time.

I get up at 7AM if Max, the 7 lb. junk-yard dog, lets us sleep that long.  I feed Max and the two sibling cats (Xen=Siamese, Noir=black).  My husband's caregiver arrives at 7:30AM so I can paint until 1pm.  I carry my chocolate milk/coffee drink and whatever my breakfast is to the computer and answer email. Then I apply Glove in a Bottle to my hands and don nitrile gloves. I have clothes I only wear when painting.  My favorite is a wholy, huge, soft navy tee shirt and baggy rayon pants.   I try to paint daily.
Some days I take a deep breath and try again to do an abstract.

I have a coyote skull I have planned to decorate.  Today instead I painted a canvas of it, "Coyote".  Someday I will tackle the skull itself.  Bone, skeletons and skulls fascinate me, so our trips to Mexico usually included the purchase of something to do with Day  of the Dead.

Sep 21, 2010

Delightful Discovery

Just found that a young lady I have watched grow up for the last ten years has a blog.  She not only is talented, but is lovely as a person. http://jessherzanek.blogspot.com

Fooling around with plastic wrap.

Since I am abstract challenged I decided to stop struggling and just have fun.  I put the napthol red light on and took it off with plastic wrap.  Those wicked little squiggles looked like they needed some cobalt teal and it appeared finished to me.  Who knew it could be so easy and fun! I called it Red #1 so I could do more later.

Sep 20, 2010

A reliable critic...

My husband, a physician, is a truth-teller.  When I show him a finished painting he tells it like it is.  I read that painters should do periodic self-portaits both as an exercise and as a painted record through the years.  It is a weird experience, painting something you think you know intimately.  I found I didn't know my features as well as I thought.  My mirror time is just enough to ensure that I don't frighten those I meet.  To devote many minutes to, say, one's left nostril is unsettling.  I showed the completed portrait to Truth-man.  He studied it a few moments and said "Who is this?"  Back to the easel!

Sep 19, 2010

more thoughts...9/19/2010

Since I am mostly self-taught I thought I would give you a laugh and post the first oil painting I ever did, done about 15 years ago. I knew nothing about perspective. So when the brush reached what should have been the corner of the table I just had to extend that table all the way to the edge of the painting!

Hello out there!

This is my first post on my first blog. I have blogged on trips and shared it with those who asked ahead of time so writing comes easily. The reason this blog exists is that I wanted to join a painting challenge and the rules said one must have a blog. Wow, what a lot of work. At least Google makes it easier than some.

Today I said goodbye to my painting of the flatirons of Boulder. Did you ever have a painting that just wouldn't jell? Some days I can finish a painting in one day and it comes together like magic. But once in a while, oh man! Nothing works. And I refuse to end up with mud, so I just move on to something else and hide the failed painting away.

Recently someone sent photos of soldiers in Afghanistan to me. They moved me to paint a helicopter gunner shooting at people he couldn't see, and I called it "Anonymous Death."

I admire Linda Montfort's abstract paintings but fail miserably when I try to do an abstract. My efforts look stilted or childish to me. Any tips?