Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Journey Moves On...

I had a vision in my head to paint some hydrangeas in blues and lavenders but what a squishy mess I made of that one so I scraped off the lavender blue and added orange.  Again, just learning how oils lay on top of each other is something I need to learn.  This is probably even below oil painting basics. I do know that it's fat over lean but that sounds great in theory...   Watercolor is so different and sometimes I have to stop and just paint some watercolor flowers and pears to revive myself!
You can still see a little bit of the lavender. This is a 6x6 on a panel.

I am reading a book right now called  Fill Your Oil Paintings With Light and Color  by Kevin Macpherson and I am  devouring each page and learning things that I need to know about painting in oils. He is answering questions that I didn't know I even had.  I am going to study his teachings and see where it takes me. That being said, I am going to take a blog break for the summer while I paint. I will be out of town quite a bit so this is a good time to take a break. I really haven't ever taken much of a blog break because I so love to blog my progresses and love all your comments. I think that while I am painting my 120 bad paintings (of course some will be good) I will not blog them because I find myself whining about the bad ones. No one likes a whiner and what I see as bad may not really look bad to others. So maybe it's just better for me to make some progress without the little voice in my head repeating over and over, "is it bloggable?" If I get a really good one that takes me on that much sought after oil painting art high I will blog it. Of course I could be the fumes.

Why do I feel I need to torture myself to learn all about values and color mixing and shadows and cool colors and warm colors...  and how it all works together in a painting? I have only scratched the surface with what I know already. I think it's just time to move forward in my art journey and strengthen my foundation.  I have never been one to stay in one place for too long and I do love an art challenge. I love to paint my mixed media pieces which is something I will always do and my watercolors too but the oils are an empty space in my art journey so I must at least put my best foot ...(or brush) forward and try to improve in this area.

So, I hope everyone has a wonderful Memorial da and summer and if I can stay away that long I will be back in August to show you what I have done over the summer. I will still be checking in on all of you to see what you are doing. I couldn't stand not seeing what you all are up to.

Happy creating and painting to everyone!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Twilight Flowers

After the miserable failure of the attempted painting of Rainbow Row in Charleston yesterday I just had to try one more time go get in my daily painting that I was satisfied with. I couldn't sleep so this one was a midnight one. I just looked at some flowers that were in a watercolor book and painted away.

It's looking a little more like I had in mind for my oil paintings. I did figure out that I really didn't know how to handle oil paint and I am having to learn those basics trial and error.  Oh watercolor, watercolor, how wonderful you are! I will return to you soon. Same for you acrylics...

Oh and if you are ever interested in buying any of these paintings and some others I have put them up on Daily Painters. You can see the button widget on the right. You can click to look but you don't have to buy.
Thanks, y'all!

Friday, May 25, 2012

"Primary Truth"

Well, I am trying not to get mad at myself for the painting I tried to do that was a wipe off. It was of a photo I took several years ago of Rainbow Row in Charleston. What was I thinking? There are angles and porches and wrought iron work--- and well, just too much for me at this point with oils. I have painted the same photo with watercolor with much better results but this not watercolor so---it was a wipe off. So I just couldn't let those primary colors go to waste on my palette so this is what emerged with my left over paint. I wrote into it with a calligraphy tool.

 Here is a close up of the writing. That part was fun.
Ok, tomorrow is another day. I might have to get out my watercolors and paint a pear or some poppies to make myself feel better.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Montage practice

Ok, after the wipe off of the rose I decided to go back into a more comfortable zone and paint some pears and apples although sometimes apples are not that comfortable but they are getting better. I also painted the out back picture again. These are must on gessoed watercolor paper except for the out back picture which is a canvas panel.
I am trying to keep count of my paintings and I am not sure if this counts for 8 or just one montage painting practice.
Oils are still harder than acrylic for me but I might be feeling a little more comfortable with them. 
Also today is my daughter, Macaulay's, 32nd birthday. Here she is looking all pretty at Myrtle Beach --sweet thing--

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The first Wipe-Out

I don't know why roses are such a struggle for me. I think I am trying to paint too many details. I was not happy with this one so I wiped it off after fiddling with it for way too long. And if you know anything about knife painting with oils--you can't fiddle. There is not really enough contrast in the leaves and the pedals are wrong and's a goner.
It's really not that I don't know how to paint something because I do. What I am trying to learn to do is to determine the colors in the photo or still life (getting it on the canvas is another story...) then using a limited palette of lemon yellow, cad yellow lit, cad red med, perm rose, aliz crimson, ultra blue, phthalo blue, burnt umber and white...and usually yellow ochre too, and paint it.
Maybe I was doing fine just painting intuitively without any rules of color, cool and warm, values and shades. I think maybe this is using too much of my left brain so maybe that's why I am struggling so much. I don't know the answer to that one yet.  I am hoping that after my left brain learns it it will click over to the intuitive right brain. But I have to learn it first.
The picture is nice though.
If I want to paint roses I need to just sit down and draw them first.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Out back--Painting # 2

This is an 8x8 oil and I am actually ok with this one because I went outside and took some pictures and tried to figure out the best layout to crop the picture so I could paint it. This is with a palette knife and I am still very new to the palette knife so it's probably too schmooshie but I am working on not schmooshing so much. It's like icing a cake so I don't think we would want our cakes all schmooshie like this. With every painting I get a little better with handling the knife.  I won't always use a knife but I will sometimes use a brush. Anyway I am pretty happy with this one since it was from a photo I had taken and turned it into a painting! Ok 2 down, 198 to go. I won't post them all because you will surely get extremely bored---and remember, if you read the blog post from yesterdays blog it said 120 bad paintings.
I don't let bad paintings stick around so I will probably wipe them off but at least I will have clocked in my brush/knife time. And for this one, if you stand back from it, it looks a whole lot better.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Painting #1

Here is my set up. I am finding that the windows are good light but I have to do some lighting from the front to combat the light from the back. But it's the only way the room will set up.
This is a 5x7 on gessoed watercolor paper. I just can't pull myself to do these paintings on a canvas yet or a panel. Too expensive. But I do have some panels coming and I am planning to cut some myself out of masonite. 

It's still wet so the glare is catching it. So this is my "unofficial plan";  If you have time to read this blog post from one of my favorite painters it's a good one and it's explains why "120 paintings".
So my "unofficial plan" (you know about those best laid plans) is to paint 120 paintings by setting up a still life or from a photo (preferably one I have taken if possible) and paint it is oils. I know I have painted many paintings but not so many from a photo or still life. I feel like I am starting over. So this is painting #1.  I say unofficial because I am not holding myself to this plan because I don't want to feel guilty if I head in another direction, which, knowing me, is highly likely! I  am good about heaping art guilt upon myself so I just don't want to quit in frustration. I will try to post everyday but surely that might not happen and in between I am sure there will be journal pages and other things to show. I will also try to show a progression if possible.  So here I go...hope you don't get bored and I will try not to whine so much like a spoiled little brat.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A "21 Secrets Progression"

I have enjoyed going through the "21 Secrets" Workshop this session and I especially enjoyed Tracie Hanson's class called "Journal Quest."
Here is what I did from doing her class.

So, this is how it started. This is a 12 x 12 panel that I did 2 years ago that was up on my shelf. Remember my graffiti phase? I just got a little tired of looking at it so I decided to try Tracie's technique of finding shapes within an abstract painting. I don't think I should give away too much information about her process or supplies since the class is ongoing so I will just let you see my progression of pictures.

Smoosh ...smoosh...

It was really fun and it's a technique that I will use again because after struggling with my Saturday workshop this was such a joy to create And it only took about 30 minutes.

 Maybe trying to paint still life with oils just isn't my thing but I am not giving up yet. Thank you all for your sweet comments. You all are so encouraging to me and if my struggles help you at all then it is worth it to post then---but as you see I have many joyful times also. It's all about brush time---miles and miles of brush time.

 The button for "21 Secrets" is on my blog roll on the right if you would like to join "21 Secrets." I used a palette knife for this painting but I could have totally used a cut up credit card to paint the flowers. I teach how I use a credit card to paint flowers in my class at 21 Secrets called "Credit Card Flowers."

Also, I could couldn't let the silver pot be so I worked on it some more. I am not sure if I saved it since I am not looking at the still life any more and the picture I got reads like I had painted it. Anyway, here it is:
I think I just need to leave it alone now and chalk it up to experience.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

More painting journey

I am still trying to paint everyday. That is the only way to learn to paint (in my opinion). If you just paint occasionally then the longer the time span in between the paintings the more you lose traction. I am trying to paint with the palette knife. This was just a quickie one with some Palm trees. It's an 8x8 on a panel. I am trying to use all of my panels I have bought in the past.

 And by the way, I had a difficult experience in the palette knife painting class on Saturday. The still life I chose was extremely difficult with a tarnished silver pitcher, white flowers and some pears (and reflections of the pears in the tarnished silver pot.) I actually didn't realize it was going to be that hard when I chose it and I don't produce very easily in a workshop setting. The teacher is a very good painter and I like her style but her process is very different from mine so I struggled with doing it her way. I think I am a little bit of a rebel and certainly need to try harder to adhere to instruction that is different from my way of doing it so as to learn.

So since this is a blog diary of my art journey I thought I would go ahead and post it. This one is a 16 x 20. It's not a bad painting it's just that it represents 4 hours of extreme frustration, stress and anxiety. This one was definitely the "agony" part of the "Agony and the Ecstasy" of painting. (Again, no comparison of my painting with Michangelo's!) But I do know that all artists' struggles are similar. Sometimes I wonder why I do it. There is just something in me that keeps pushing me forward. I think it all started in 4th grade math class but I won't go there..(it ain't a pretty story.)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Well hello there little girl...

I thought the day was going to get away from me before I painted my daily painting when I saw this panel I had prepared with book pages and a gessoed face shape ready to go.  I haven't painted a face in so long and I felt really rusty but this is all oils, even the stamped leaves. I enjoyed painting a face with oils and I think it's actually easier than acrylics because the colors don't dry up. This is the first time I didn't draw out the face first with pencil. I just started painting.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blue Pot

Good thing that this one is acrylic because it blew over also while I was taking the picture. No problem though... just a little nick at the top that I can patch. That's why I love acrylics. My camera battery was charging so I didn't get any pics of this progression. It turned out ok but the pot at first looked like a giant blue Easter egg. So painting a top to the vase was an improvement. This one is a 24 x 30.  I used my "Greek Key" 12 x 12 stencil from (oh no--where did I get that one?) Crafter's Workshop maybe?  The harlequin at the bottom is a stamp and the paper is stamped painted deli paper. I like to use it for collage because it is a great weight.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Big Journal page

I always enjoy my big journal. The paper is thin and buckles with watercolor and acrylics but that's ok with me. I do strengthen the pages by glueing two together so that really helps. Today I am doing a palette knife oil painting class with still life. I am trying so hard to like to paint still lifes. I will let you know after tomorrow if I like it any better.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lazertran fun

I used Lazertran  Inkjet and some Kim Klassen textures for my original photograph and printed it on Lazertran. It really works. This is on an Ampersand panel 5x7. This is a picture of Jones Crossroad store close to Callaway Gardens. It is dear to my heart because I used to ride by it so often to go horse back riding when I was younger.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Daisy Cow

I decided to try something different. I just love cows. They just have the sweetest face although I am not really sure if they are really sweet or not. Anyway, I went on Wet Canvas to find a reference photo. There are lots of images there. One of my goals is to gather some photos that I have taken that I can use for painting. I am very photography challenged. I can never tell if what I am seeing is a good shot or not so therefore I don't take it. I probably should take a photography course. That's on my bucket list---along with going to Tuscany to paint.

Below is the reference photo. Just love that face.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mishap update

Ok, so here it is a few days later dry enough to use a soft brush to gently brush off the particles. I actually hyperventilated for nothing. Most of the specks brushed off and I thought it was rather interesting. So, not to be outdone by my stupidity, I think I improved it. I needed palette knife practice so I decided to just redo the background and add something interesting at the bottom. When it dries I think I will stencil some subtle design in the background. Maybe some swirls.

Creativity is a funny thing sometimes (not ha ha funny-- but sometimes it is). Sometimes I go to bed thinking I will never be able to create anything again then the next morning everything is fresh and new and I try again. I guess that's what it's all about. 
"The little painter that could."
I am sure I am not the only one.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Apple- Pear-Chevron

It's always nice to pull out my watercolors and paint a pear and an apple and top it all off with a chevron stencil.  The chevron stencil is a 6x6 from Crafters Workshop. I used some "magic" to create the background. All you "Pear-ologists" know what I am talking about!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oil painting--and a mishap--Oh my!

Ok.. so I got really brave today and decided to paint a 24 x 30 in oils with just a palette knife. I am all inspired because I saw Barbara Flowers do a fabulous palette knife oil  demo here in Jacksonville on Saturday. Since I saw her then of course I can do it like her! :)) HA
So it started out like this. I did add crackle for the vase and flowers a couple of days ago so it wasn't all palette knife. I have no idea what I am doing at this point.

I got the background on now. Pretty good so far. Now what in the world do I do at the bottom. I have no idea. So I proceed to try different colors. Now I am beginning to understand why it is good to set up a still life. Then the colors are already chosen for you.) Ok well, whatever...
Uh oh---frustration is now setting in. This was a wipe off below. One of several actually. One thing I did learn from Barbara Flowers---how to scrape it off! 

Well, I could have taken more pictures but I was a mess with paint all over me and didn't want to stop to take a picture and have to take off my gloves.  But after a few screams and French words it ended up like this. I was thinking that I wanted to grudge it up and bit but didn't know how to. 
Then came the mishap. This is before the mishap. The colors aren't as good so I had the bright idea to take it outside.
All wet and sticky (what was I thinking!!??) I took it outside to take a picture and the wind blew it over!  It fell face down right into all the "grungy" tree droppings on the patio. If you zoom in you can see my grunge on the painting. Well, I guess I could have screamed bloody murder but I was afraid that might have alarmed the neighbors so I just picked it up, tried as best I could to at least get of the little wormy like things and a few leaves but I guess I will just have to leave it. It certainly did create some interesting texture. Well, I did want to grunge it up a bit.

So my first big oil painting is finished. It actually was pretty fun--except for the grunge part.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's Finished!

So the answer to the "is it worth it" question is... yes it is worth it. But there are definitely highs and lows  in the process. I guess that's the emotional plight of a painter. It is a huge high when you paint something you like but a low when you don't. But with every painting I learn something whether the painting is a great success or it's not. So it's all good!
And when my checked paper comes in I will probably change this out. Maybe...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Somtimes I wonder...

Yes, sometimes I wonder if it's worth it to paint this big. Everything that doesn't look quite right is magnified.  But this is where I started this 36 x 36. Don't ask me why I started dark. It's really just experimental at this point thinking that it might give it a folk art look with the dark peeking through around the edges of the shapes.  I started to paint some flowers next to the pot but I chickened out on that.

Below is where I put the pebble stencil with Wood Icing and really wished that I hadn't done that at this point. I also put the crackle paste on the pot. That is always the fun part but I have to wait overnight to see the cracks.

Below I started working on the pebbles. Oh those blasted pebbles! I couldn't get the right color and kept changing it. I thought it might look like it was sitting on pebbles on the ground but it just looked dingy to me. At this point I was getting frustrated and SO wishing I hadn't put those pebbles.
So when all else fails---collage!  And this kinda worked but I still couldn't get the pebbles to look right.
 So (below) this is how I looked at this point.
Or maybe even this...

So then I just lost it and pulled off all of the paper later regretting that I had done that. Ok now I am in the midst of the extreme agony part. So I just painted everything blue. Then I thought maybe I will put the paper back on but much to my dismay---I had no more of it.

But I did have some of this paper that I liked. But when I took the picture and looked at it I thought something seemed wrong.
 Even from the beginning I thought that maybe the pot was too high up and that was the problem.  So I  added more crackle paste and left and went home. At this point I was at the --oh, whatever!!!...stage. But actually I was starting to feel a little better about it because I knew that the pot really did need to come down a bit.
 I will show you the finished one tomorrow...
I still have some hair left. Good thing I have thick hair.  So sometimes, with all the agony, I wonder if it's  really worth it.


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