Monday, 20 June 2016

Plein Air Lessons

I bought a portable easel determined to paint outside on a regular basis.  Then I chickened out.  I suffered from a bad case of the imposter syndrome -  a fear of being exposed as a fraud or in this case a bad painter.  I called evil teacher Suzy begging her to come paint with me.  After 3 hours of whining she graciously agreed to come. This is my setup

 And this is what I learned

  1. Before you buy your easel, carry it around the store for a few minutes to really see how heavy it is
  2. Wear an apron to use as a rag because your free hand is holding the palette.
  3. Watch where you set up  - what is behind you is as important as the view.  My easel was at the edge of a wooden trail and I couldn't step back of the drop and the poison ivy. I could have easily initially  positioned my easel to avoid this problem.
  4. And the most important warning - do not have a super sized coffee before you go.

Evil Suzy painted a gem.  I was thrilled with mine not because I think it is great but I painted outside and  loved it.
Hardly anyone was at the park.  A few people walked by us.  No one said a word.

Not one word.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Somebody Moved my Easel

I think I have a poltergeist or I am just going crazy.

Somebody moved my easel. I just can't get it to feel good again.
The Daily Paintworks Challenge was toys.  I have a bunch of them  on my window sill because they make me smile as I walk into my studio.  I set up a still life but I found there was no light on my painting.

No light on painting

 I made the critic move  my lights as I directed him but now I found my shadow was on the painting.

My Shadow on the easel
I worked on but I just can't seem to get it right I never had this problem before. Who said painting was easy.

Mellow Pals
The critic says it wasn't' him and Mully isn't talking but someone did move my easel.

Monday, 30 May 2016

to be or not to be - Cheap that is

I am pretty sure I'm not the only artist with old paintings to get rid of. Okay let's admit it - I have tons of paintings.  I used to store them under my bed but even with the higher mattress there is a limit to how many I can pile there.  I gave a bunch of them a quick sanding and painted over them with gasp house paint - Benjamin Moore Stormy Monday. I bought this sample for our hallway but I really, really hated it -  too purple.  I am not going to sell these paintings just using it for practice.  I googled using house paint instead of gesso but the answers don't make sense.  eg house paint doesn't last, Our closets have not been painted in thirty years and they are just fine.  Until I get an answer I can trust I will just use them for studies

I am pleased with this one - teeth can be a challenge.  This one worked out okay.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Want to See a Picture

I am of a certain age.  The age where a lot of my friends are grandparents.  They love to show you pictures of their offspring knowing that they have the cutest most clever grandchild. There are great advantages of being a friend of these people - you get to play with the child, you never have to baby sit and you never never ever have to change diapers. If the kid starts misbehaving you can have a convenient  forgotten appointment. This is baby one. (I am not mentioning names to protect the innocent).
Baby One

This is a study and I am pleased.  Sometimes my baby paintings look like old men in which case I just change the title to old man, but this looks like a baby so I consider it successful.  

Baby one looks sad but he was really a happy baby.  He laughed at my jokes and didn't make any comments about my bad singing voice.  That makes him a great baby.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

In a Knot

I was going to call this one Moving Still Life.

The Daily Paint Works  has a weekly challenge and I wanted a break from what I was working on so I thought I would try it. This week's topic is fabric. I quickly put a tie on a pair of shoes and painted it.  I came back later to find that it moved - not the shoes but the tie definately.

Lesson learned let the material settle before working on it. Either that or we have a poltergeist.

In a Knot
In a Knot

I may have to call the Ghost Busters.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Always Trust Your Cape

Did you ever hear of the singer Guy Clark?  I never did but I know who he is now.

I went to Porchfest today.  This is a small festival which doesn't cause streets to be closed and there was plenty of parking.  It is a really sweet affair- people sing from their porches - it's free and there are plenty of cars to lean against.  I loved it.  If you don't care for  a group just walk on to another porch. 

My favourite was John David Hickey (Hockey with an I -  I wonder how many times he has said that). He told stories in a beautiful deep voice and Jim Collette took turns singing.  What a great combination.  Jim ended with the "Cape Song", written by Guy Clark.  Look it up on youtube.  I was having a great time and a sudden urge came across me to sketch.  This doesn't happen often in public, I ran into a dollar store and bought a notebook and pencil.  I may do this again it was fun sketching.

I liked the lyrics so much I went up to Jim and asked if he had written it.Of course I now know it is by Guy Clark.  Then I couldn't move because my legs had fallen asleep and now I was having the worst case of pins and  needles.  I wish I could say that this was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me but it isn't even close. Jim was so sweet that I want to go to one of his shows. 

"He did not know he could not fly and so he did

Well, he's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape
Yes, he's one of those who knows that life is just a leap of faith
Spread your arms and hold your breath and always trust your cape"

Guy Clark

Excuse me I have to go buy a cape - I hope they have one in my size.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

What is Mona Lisa Missing?

Imagine the Mona Lisa.
Close your eyes and picture her - what is she missing?
The answer is at the end of this post.

There is a book Mon Lisa Reimagined.
I am not buying this book (though I really want it) I am not buying any more books (I wonder if I am going to listen to me). the cover alone was inspiring.  How do you interpret the Mona Lisa.  I actually didn't want to see the book before painting my own version. I wanted to be original and not influenced by other artists. Mona Lisa
Mona Lisa Reimagined

Did you figure out what Mona LIsa is missing?  Her eyebrows.  If you don't believe me check it out. She really doesn't have any. Definitely overplucked. Isn't wonderful how when you paint or draw something you really notice and look at the subject.  Now I know and you do too.

I just checked - it's in the library. 
And available.