Saturday, May 31, 2014

Painted Pony, Adventures in Acrylic Paint

Painted Pony, 8x10inch acrylic painting on hardboard.
As I haven't worked out things like hangers and shipping, this one is not available at etsy.

And this is the original ink drawing from my sketchbook.

I enjoyed working this one up from my sketchbook, although I found using acrylic paints for line-work frustrating. I'm used to pens, pencils and pastel, which are a direct transfer of pigment onto page. Acrylic just seems to have so many steps that get in the way in comparison; as in, squeeze out the paint, dip the brush, clean the brush, dip the brush, and for the linework, even worse, as in squeeze out the paint, dip the brush in water, dip the wet brush in the paint, add more water until it's thinned enough for a fine line, and then...well, see, I'm boring myself to death just writing about it. It doesn't help that for the fine lines I'm using a sixty dollar water colour brush so I'm terrified of wrecking it. So maybe acrylic isn't the best medium for this drawing at this size, but I like the results, so I'm happy with it. If I ever had a good reason to work something up to a larger format (as in 18x24 and up), I would definitely reach for the paints, but not sure about how much I want to use it for miniatures. At least it beats burnt toast.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, May 30, 2014

Burnt Toast

Ugh, just finished blasting four hours of work. At this point, I want to tear my hair out and give up. Instead, maybe it's a good time to write a blog post and whine in your ear about it.
For those of you who follow on instagram, you've already seen what I believe to be a promising start. Well, it is toast now. I don't know what I was thinking, but I started to burnish far to early, and now, well, there is just nothing whatsoever that I can do to fix and move on, or start over; and starting over is way to frustrating at this point in time.
And here's the thing, I've been working on my sketchbook, and it is becoming deliciously fat. Better yet, I am seriously liking some of the compositions therein. They are, to me, lovely as they are, but I think I should take some of them further. Linocuts are an obvious choice, but not much of a stretch artistically. I was thinking more in terms of paintings, pastels and coloured pencil.
Which I thought would be easy. It is not. I'll the save the more successful "transfers" for another post, but here's the coloured pencil. I think I was in a hurry. After trying out acrylics, I just couldn't believe it took me four hours to get to this stage,

So I had the brilliant idea (not) to use white and colourless blender pastel on top to, heck, I don't know, well, there it is, here's the burnt toast.

Here's the original pen drawing from my sketchbook:

And for those of you who want an overview of what I've been up to of late,

PS.  It doesn't look half as awful in the photograph, but trust me, it's wrecked, flat muddy texture and colour in one too many areas. Oh well.
posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, May 23, 2014

Silver Skies--Journalling and Sketchbook

This morning I awoke to silver skies. I don't dislike grey days, especially in spring and summer when rain brings good things, tulips and daffodils, leaves on trees, carpets of green underfoot. And grey skies are not always gloomy; today the clouds dome the sky with a bright pewter patina. My green lawn of mixed species emits a neon green glow, more brilliant than a sunny day. Orioles, boldly coloured in safety orange, jet back and paper white flit and curse and chatter back and forth between the sugar feeder and the trees. A woman walks by, pushing a stroller up the hill along the side of the road. I wonder what the orioles think, as the stroller is coloured exactly like them.
Yes, I am writing this while looking out my front window that faces West and looks out onto the street. I like to keep an eye on things, like a spider on a web, seeing all that goes past my front door. Bird feeders bring feathered nature onto the scene, so I can also enjoy diminutive malachite hummingbirds, brilliant lemon and black gold finches, and oil-slick black grackles.
It may seem all nothing but distraction, but my 'art' days can be long, frustrating and lonely.
I haven't blogged in a while: I usually write in a small back room used as both storage and office. The window in there is not small, but the sill is above eyelevel when I'm seated and does not present much of a view. This is where I keep my computer, a laptop that I leave rooted in place. It's where I go when I 'want to get business done' and looking at it gives me an instant headache. Somehow, it has turned into a distinctly uncreative place.
Sometimes it helps to acknowledge a weakness and work around it, rather than beat oneself upside the head for failure.
My unbound sketchbook, for instance, is going well. It grows, and while not everything is gold, ideas make an appearance. At some point, I want to work some pages up. Linocuts are an obvious choice, but I'm experimenting with other mediums, and venturing into acrylics. But that's for another day.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, May 15, 2014

B is for Bombosity

this post, brought to by the letter "b",
Part of the alphabet series, from my sketchbook.

Truth to tell, I find myself often without words. I have nothing to say, and even commenting on someone else's blog becomes a struggle. I have no idea why, but it does seem to coincide with stress, particularly the kind born of insecurity, even of minor things.
Creativity in general escapes me on those days, leaving me to expend enormous amounts of energy getting absolutely nothing done.  Which is embarrassing. Time to create art is a privilege not to be squandered.
Inclination to create are is treasure much desired, sought for more often than found.

So on days when my muse goes awol, I'll reach for my abc's and use the alphabet as a minor antidote, one just has to get through it one letter at a time, and they look nice, which one can be grateful for. Just to spice things up, I'll add an obscure word; but I'll leave it up to you to look up their meaning. One can never have too many words in your life, or letters...

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Spring--Life Drawing Tuesday, well sort of

From my sketchbook, 1/4 sheet of a4 paper, figure drawing without a reference.

It's a long way to September when I (probably) will rejoin my artsy comrads for Life Drawing. So I thought, why not some spontaneous nudes. I was lounging in the garden in a small patch of shade (hard to come by when there are only buds on trees) and trying to get something creative done, but I really just wanted to sleep. Because the first foray into gardening exhausts me. It's not the work, but the anticipation of mountains of work that sets my brain spinning. So I did manage first to get some aggressive vines pulled, clematis trimmed, a bag of yard-waste filled, and my hands dirtied...a good start, I suppose...
And then to bed, or, um...lawn chair. Which I fell out of (it collapsed under me) and it took me several minutes to right myself because crawling off and resetting the chair would really spoil the mood. I hope none of this was witnessed by neighbours, but I was behind no walls so it's possible I provided some comic relief to someone.
So I drew in the lazy haze of the first warm day of spring, soaking up sun and life, and I think my drawing did same. I even got some writing done if you can read my squiggles.
From my sketchbook, which is coming along just fine.

Here's the hand-writing, which is probably impossible to read online:
I am sitting in my garden; it is warm it is sunny there is a cool breeze, scent of hyacinth in the air. I smell flowers mmmm nice, I hear leaves rustle and automobiles zip by and burbling water sounds from the fountain, and the sun angles in from the south and the west stealing my shade. Lazy flies amble by, birds forage in the bushes, silent in the afternoon, blue sky laughter marbled by thin white clouds and the neighbour plays with her dog, laughter.  Flowers, hyacinth, narcissus, daffodil, tulip, scilla, Russian squill, something pink and blue whose name I forgot. The crocus are done, lilacs are still to come, there is still so much to do. Time rushes by in spring, followed by summer followed by fall slumbering into winter.
erm... well, it was written off the top of my head, but I didn't want you to strain your eyes. I like the last two sentences...

posted from Bloggeroid


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