Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Adam and Eve Revisited

A long time ago I belonged to a co-op gallery.  Every once in awhile we would have a show with a theme.  This one was Adam and Eve.  I really was proud of my work which is to have Eve give Adam a modern apple.  Let's be honest I thought I was brilliant.

Adam and Eve Revisited

The two paintings hung in our bedroom  for ever and you know if something is there a long time, you stop looking at it.  Well we got a new comforter and all of sudden my bedroom looked different and the paintings looked really  dull.  So I fixed them. 

Adam and Eve Revisited
Now they can go up on the wall again until I redecorate again.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Don`t Give Up on Me

I was in my class with Evil Teacher Suzy.  The painting I was working on needed tweaking.  She started yelling at me not to touch it while telling another student to go for it.  HUH? Why should I stop painting and why should the other student  continue. This needed an explanation and it had better be good.  It was good.  Suzy elaborated that the other student let's call her X - Madame X - would continue until she was satisfied and I would continue until I was unsatisfied and paint over it.
She is right.  I do that.  I did bring a painting to cover with gesso and paint over but when I brought it home I though I will show that evil teacher Suzy, this painting can't be fixed.

I really hate it when evil Teacher Suzy is right.  I worked on it and for not very long and I started to like it.  I think it needs a little more work but not much.  I love the effect of the sun and the shadows on the building.  What do you think?

Early Morning

I am really pleased. I feel I captured the effect of the light  peeking through the buildings.

Don't tell Evil Teacher Suzy that she is right - I am afraid of what else she might make me do.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

This is a Preparatory Sketch

This is a Preparatory  Sketch.  If it had been a real painting, I would frame and hang it but it is just a sketch.  I think I am brilliant. Stay with me.  I first painted this from a picture and was really pleased. I thought the rocks looked like rocks and when you first start a new subject that is exciting.

I even asked the critic, "does it look like rocks, does it looks like rocks, does it look like rocks?  If I repeat it enough times he will look and answer me. "YES IT LOOKS LIKE ROCKS" he replied.  He didn't scream but he gave me the look which means I will agree to everything - can I go now?

At first I really liked it and then I took a photograph and started seeing all the things I want to change.  Now here comes the brilliant part - just call it a preparatory sketch and move on.  Join the ranks of all the famous painters who did bad first paintings and called it a preparatory sketch.  I am just so smart.

Preparatory rocks

It does look like rocks.
Does it?

Friday, 1 July 2016

More lessons from Plein Air

There are some people who say no to everything and of course there are those who say yes to everything.  I lean to the former or do I mean latter whatever the first one.  I am fighting it.  I wanted to paint outside today, but I have limited time.  I am so proud of myself - I said to myself I can do this.I grabbed my supply bag that was ready from yesterday's class, my water jar, my easel and the first blank canvas I could find and just went in my backyard. The dog came by herself.
Scenes from the back yard July 1/2016

Here's what I learnt today:
  1. Painting the worst painting outside is better than laundry
  2. Go out earlier.  It was 26 celsius which is 80 fahrenheit.  It always sounds hotter in fahrenheit. The heat didn't really bother me as the problem with the acrylics.  My acrylics were in the sun and the paint was drying faster than I could squeeze.  Not an excuse to not paint (double negative warning) but I need a solution.
  3. If you have a canvas with a hole, throw it out.  Don't leave it near the door because you might grab it when you are rushing to your backyard. The really dark spot is a hole. I know I can fix it but I don't want to. 
  4. The most important lesson, any place can be a joy to paint.   I would love to live by the ocean or a canyon but I live in the suburbs and even my ugly backyard  can seem beautiful. I did leave out the composting bin there is a limit.
  5. Fill up the pool for the dog.  My dog has her own swimming pool, doesn't everybody's?

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.