Sunday, December 29, 2013

Awe 12-29-13

I have worked on Awe this week, all day on Christmas, and part of the day on the following day. I am still not happy with parts of it, but I was able to get the violin strings in, using a 20 zero liner and some artists' tape. It was a nerve wracking exercise! This painting seems like an endless project, as there is still more work to do on it, and I must admit I am getting tired of looking at it. I paint one thing and run immediately into value problems, and then have to go back and repaint it the next day. My picture is not a very accurate representation of the painting, but you get the idea.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Lemons to Lemonade

Lemons to Lemonade         8.5 x 8.5        Pastel on Wallis

This was a little pastel I did as a demonstration in my Saturday morning class and then some more in my studio. It was fun, and I have not done a pastel in a long time! I forgot how nice it is to work in juicy thick pigment. 

Friday, November 29, 2013

Miss Puss and the Gladiolas

Miss Puss and the Gladiolas        18 x 24         Oil       $695

Miss Puss has a mind of her own. I tried to get her to pose upright and looking inquisitively at the Glads, but she had other ideas. She insisted on this strange lying down pose and when I propped her up she got a sour puss on her face and glared at me. I'd look away and fiddle with my camera setting and there she was, lying down looking at me with that odd look, as if to say, "You have made me very tired, posing for all these paintings!" I have quite a lot of photos of her and only one or two with her sitting upright. It is quite mystical, this cat of mine, who seems to know when she is required to go to work and gets up on my work table ready to pose whenever the camera comes out, or I bring flowers into the house. This is number 7 in the series of 8 paintings. I said awhile back that I was going to do 4, but I couldn't resist doing more. I have run out of "safe" flowers as so many of them seem to be toxic to cats. Anyway, one more to go and I am going to be starting it very soon, if not today.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Miss Puss and the Orchids

Miss Puss and the Orchids       Oil on Canvas
18 x 24        $695

This is number 6 in the series of 8 paintings of Miss Puss and the Flowers. I am currently working on the last two paintings; Miss Puss and the Gladiolas and Miss Puss and the Snapdragons. They are so much fun! I swear Miss Puss knows she is a star and gladly poses for me whenever I set up my "stage" and camera. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Miss Puss and the Spider Mums

Miss Puss and the Spider Mums         Oil on Canvas
20 x 20                    $695
This is number 5 in the Series of Miss Puss and the Flowers. I am so intrigued by Miss Puss as she seems to love to pose for me. I brought home a big bouquet of Gladiolas that were a birthday gift, and before I had my purse stowed she was posing with them. It was amazing, and later when I had them in a proper container and set up with my lights and camera she gave me several hours of shooting time in which I had so much material I will have difficulties picking the one I want to use for the series. I am working on Miss Puss and the Orchids now which is number six, and was the end until the Glads came into the house. Now I am looking for some snapdragons or zinnias to complete the series. I think 8 is enough! Miss Puss may have other ideas, however.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Awe 8-25-13

I have been working on "Awe" from time to time but the changes are hard to see so I have not been logging my progress as much now. Even so, other artwork, my job, and all kinds of real and imaginary things have somehow gravitated to the top of the priority list and Awe languishes on the easel for most of the spring and summer. But I made a commitment to myself that this would be finished by mid-September, and I think that is probably a manageable goal. I am fairly pleased with this painting, and I think I have worked out all the problems. Those white edges on the flowers have been a real tricky problem of getting the values right, and I have painted them over several times and I have to keep greying down that white, so much I can't believe it, but still they read white from a distance. I worked for quite awhile on the violin and I think I finally have the perspective of the bridge right now...for a long time it was flipping all over the place as I would walk by it. I had it so slightly off that the thing would appear to move...weird stuff like that drives me crazy.

I have one more run through that will solidify the background sky and sunset, which I am avoiding, but I almost got into it today, but decided other things were more important. I need to work a bit more on the scrollwork of the table and a bit more on the drapery. So...stay tuned...will Gainor meet her deadline? 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Monotype Demonstration Last Night

I was asked to do a Monotype workshop for Tampa Regional Artists last night in Hyde Park. I must admit that I spent two intense days preparing for this, as it is not easy to pull prints in front of an audience and have the presentation flow properly. I had approximately one hour to show them a couple of types of Monotypes. I have been doing hand printed oil paint Montypes for many years and I would have no trouble doing one of them, but it takes quite a few hours to actually paint it properly, and I didn't want to have them sit through watching me paint, so I prepared the plate at home and hoped that it would stay wet for long enough to get it to South Tampa. As it turned out it did stay wet but I also had to soak a couple of my printing papers for quite a long time, and the container of water dumped all over the floor of my car on the way to Tampa. It was soaking wet this morning and I hoped a spray of vinegar would deter the mildew from growing under the passenger seat of my car.

Anyway, the demonstration turned out well and the two types of Monotypes that I had minimal experience with also were fine. One was using water based Createx paint which I had never done before. I actually painted the plate the day before the demonstration and the directions say that you should let it dry completely before printing it. It suffered a bit of damage on the way which I fixed when I got to TRA. The final technique is a traced Monotype which uses water based block printing ink, rolled out on a plate. The paper is then placed carefully over the ink. Not touching the paper at all I set up a "bridge" as a hand rest. The idea is to either make the image on the back of the paper, or tracing over a pre-prepared drawing. In this case I did the latter, and had a drawing on tracing paper that I carefully traced. Then I used a rubber tipped tool to add shading to the drawing. The three examples are below.
Oil Painting Monotype

 Watercolor Monotype

Traced Monotype

Monday, July 8, 2013

Miss Puss and the Gerbera Daisies

Miss Puss and the Gerbera Daisies 
Oil on Canvas       24 x 18        $495

I think I just finished this painting today after much fiddling around and repainting. These things are always subject to another revision, after a couple of days of looking at it on my studio easel. 

This series of paintings of my cat with the flowers is so intriguing and fun to do, I wonder what will be next! I have quite a few ideas cooking but there are two more paintings in this series; Miss Puss and the Spider Mums, and Miss Puss and the Orchids. The spider mum painting is started and the orchid painting has the photo work complete, so I am well along on those two....and then it is over with 6 paintings. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

An Apple a Day Keeps the Stars in Line

This month I planned an Illustration and Drawing show at Carrollwood Cultural Center. I thought it would be wildly popular. So much for my ideas! It was not wildly anything, and I was scraping and scrounging for work. I had to frame work for several friends, as well as myself, to get a few more entries, and when I realized that I might have a real bomb on my hands I brought home a drawing I started in my Drawing class to finish at home in order to have one more entry. Two of my students wanted to try ink drawings and I set this up to show them how to do it. Yes, there is a light pencil sketch under that ink!
An Apple a Day Keeps The Stars in Line         Sepia Ink on Bristol Plate

The show is hung and judged and it actually came off fairly well, in spite of my jitters and extra work. I don't do ink drawings very often, as I like to "color" with my graphite pencils. Ink has its problems, the main one, obviously, is about erasing and making mistakes. There is just so much you can do with whiteout. The main problem with making ink drawings is how to do graduated tones when you only have the one tone of the ink itself. You must indicate values by various hatchings, stipples, stripes, and other devices to make it appear lighter and darker where you want shadows and highlights to be. I never liked most of my previous ink drawings, although seeing some of them again, years later, they didn't seem so bad as I had remembered. Perhaps I'm mellowing, because I started to like this drawing early on, and used tracing paper overlays to "test" the wavy lines to see if I liked them, before making a commitment that could not have been changed.
Matted and framed, this drawing may be one of my favorites. As an aside, the photograph above seems to imply it is on grey paper, but it is actually on a white paper, and I need to reshoot the photograph to get it to appear on white paper, and not a grey. 

Miss Puss Thinks She Is a Gift

Graphite on Grey Rives BFK paper 22 x 30
This was a  fun drawing that we did. "We" means, me and Miss Puss, as she tromped merrily across the paper many times, rubbing her back on my chin, tip-toeing across my drawing the way cats do when they seem pleased. I had to erase a few faint cat footprints, but I didn't care, as I thought they might add to the ambiance of my artwork. They looked like stray smudges from a distance.

I took the photo of Miss Puss as she played in a tangle of transparent ribbons I had bought for my painting called "Fugue" which featured many vertical ribbons fixed to the top of the stretcher bar. I had these ribbons on my work table and of course this kind of thing is irresistible to most felines. I grabbed my camera and took a few shots of her messing around in this tangle. Unfortunately my photos were not very good and I had to fiddle around with various means in my photo editing software to see those ribbons. Some of them were almost invisible as they were yellow and pale blue against the white of the table top. I bought some software that I was not sure I would ever use, Topaz Labs Filters, which messes with images in various ways, and I got an image that gave me a reasonable idea of how those ribbons flowed.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Wow! Look at this lucky find!

I went out to Pinellas County yesterday to buy some of my favorite cover stock from my paper supplier. There is a frame shop down the street that I have been in before so I thought I'd just stop in to browse. I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, but they often have really nice open backed frames for a fraction of the cost of some other places, including online websites I buy from. The place is on Hercules Street in Clearwater, called. Vista Frame Galleries and this frame was just sitting there...hanging on the wall. It was a no-brainer to buy it, for a ridiculously low price, thanks to the owner, Peter, being so helpful and nice to me! I knew it would be a wowser (as my dear Mother used to say), and it certainly is!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Waiting For A Shell to Roll In

Waiting For A Shell To Roll In      9 x 12    watercolor on canvas

I really enjoyed working on this painting. You will be interested to learn it is on a watercolor canvas! Yes, it is a new product from Frederix and I bought it by mistake thinking it was the old stuff. In my Sampling the Media class I had two students who wanted to try watercolors so I thought we might experiment with these canvases. It was strange at first...kind of oily, but what I loved about it was that you could just wipe out sections that were not working and do them again. Not possible on paper! If you don't like the whole thing you can just rinse it off under the faucet and start over. In the end I sprayed it with fixative that the company recommended, and when tested it is I mounted in an open backed frame like an oil or acrylic painting. Very nice. I am sorry to say I don't know which ocean this is....probably the Gulf of Mexico but it could be the Atlantic at Misquamicut, but the color of the water and sky seem to imply tropical waves.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

New Work

I have been busy I have not had time to photograph and upload new work to my blog and website! So here it is, finally. I will start with two new Genesis Paintings.

 Genesis: Cherries       Egg Tempera      8 x 6

 Genesis: Jalapeno Pepper     Egg Tempera    8 x 6

 Stargazers in a Blue Vase      Oil        24 x 18
Early on this painting had Miss Puss in it. She was peeking around the vase and was about to attack the flower on the table. I didn't realize it until much later that she looked very puny. I also had an emotional difficulty getting past the fact that these lilies are death to cats when they lick the pollen off their fur, and I found that out just after I brought them home, thanks to a friend I met in the supermarket. I locked them up in the bathroom so she wouldn't get to them, and used them in another painting. But this painting of these lilies with Miss Puss didn't look very healthy so I painted the cat out and I have a nice flower painting.


Miss Puss and the Fallen Flower        Oil       20 x 20

Miss Puss and the Sunflowers       Oil       20 x 20

Miss Puss and the Roses         Oil            24 x 18

Miss Puss and the Gerbera Daisies     Oil     24 x 18 (Work in Progress)

I am also still working on Awe, which has come to a standstill for awhile. I am hoping for some more time this summer when I don't have as many classes and the snowbirds are home with their Windows 8 problems! I think it will be a productive summer, and I am looking forward to conducting two Monotype workshops this summer. I always look forward to doing some new monotypes and I also have a new digital editing workshop at Carrollwood Cultural Center so I am still busy but not quite as bad as it was this winter and spring!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Awe" 3-23-13

Life revved up since the Holidays and I have neglected my painting in hopes that I would get caught up in other departments of my life. Nothing has been caught up, and my painting has patiently waited for me to come back since I last posted. I worked on it a few times, for short bursts, since the last photo, but for the past few days I have put in about 7 hours of work on it. You probably won't notice the changes in my small photo, but I am making corrections, adding another layer of paint and generally adding here and there to what is all ready there. I hope I have changed the perspective problem of the table flipping up...and I am trying to get the values of those white edges of the flowers right, so they don't assault your eyes. The violin had some drawing problems in it, and I am struggling to make it the right color while bringing it to your attention visually. It blends into the cloth and the table and background too much, but painting it a higher value makes it look sick.

Such are the problems of a fine artist at work. I hope to have more time in the near future, as I'm not going to be teaching as much this summer and will gain another day of freedom from the grind.