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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Distracted Parent!!!

My model - the distracted parent
"Me ... me ... come after me - my wing is broken"

My drawing, initially focussing on the head

First w/w applications of a warm grey-brown and some black
The eye done with a brighter orange - quin. sienna

Adding more burnt orange, and intensifying the detail of the head

Lovely burnt orange, applied w/w, using both a thin and also much thicker mixture, and intensifying the details of the head and neck

Tail feathers painted w/w with the warm brown then thick black dropped onto the tips and allowed to flow

A bit more detail added to the tail feathers, and she is done
"Distracted Parent"  33 x 28 cm
I debated whether to add some background - probably some light sponging  at the bottom with  the grey-brown to suggest ground. But I decided the tail feathers had become the focus; anything around them would be a distraction.
Colours used - quin. burnt orange, quin. sienna, quin. pink, quin. violet, indanthrone, cobalt blue
We have killdeer here all year round, and quite often they nest in the field, riding ring or even the manure pile. After the chicks have hatched, they are immediately able to run - and they do - like the wind, all over the place. Their parents must have quite the job keeping track of them. When anything "predatory" [including me apparently] comes near to the nest or the chicks, mom and dad immediately go into what is called distraction display. They make noise, and spread their wings and tail feathers, and sometimes even seem to limp along to give the impression that they are helpless, so the "predator" goes after them rather than the kids. All righty - that's the Nature lesson for today!

Thank you so much for dropping by.



Monday, January 2, 2017

Two Simple Paintings ... Step by Step

I started this with aureolin over all, then  did the leaves in quin. gold with phthalo green, and  green with quin. burnt orange for the darker leaves. The branches were painted with orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

I used the same colors for the broken reflections . Then mixed aureolin, a quin. pink and cobalt blue  to indicate water.

I used a darker grey [with indanthrone instead of cobalt] to add rain drops, and  accent the focal area.

I used almost all the same colors, tending more to the warms -  aureolin, quin. gold and burnt orange, phthalo green, quin. violet and indanthrone.


I warmed the focal area with a thin w/w application of gold, then some burnt orange was  drawn in and softened.
Both paintings are about 12 x 6 inches.

HAH!!! And I thought we would have a mild winter!!! All of December was fairly cold, then it started to snow at the end of the month. And got even colder!! Nights are down to -10 to -15 C., and not anywhere near freezing during the day.
This is one of the willows in the pond near Bruno's paddock. I have always wanted to do some paintings inspired by it, hence the willow branches.

His Imperial Highness is NOT amused. Actually he's quite warm, wearing a quilted under-blanket and a heavy winter blanket on top. And he gets small mountains of hay, especially at night. [Horses generate body heat when digesting, so always a good idea to increase their hay when cold out.] I had to turn off the water to the barn as the pipes freeze, so I am doing bucket brigade duty with hot water. We are both missing our time together!

As for Maggie, she is quite happy to be outside whatever the weather.

Thank you for dropping by, and I wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

... just a quickie ...

my drawing

some work done last night ...

... and finished this afternoon
The Floss  11.5 x 10 inches


I had to get a card quickly whipped up for Pat [my good friend and landlady] for Christmas. Neither one of us  have much in the way of  Christmas spirit - left to our own, we would let it slide by, and happily wait for Spring. But Pat bought me a fantastic winter coat, perfect for walking the dogs and working around the barn in this cold weather. She knows me, so she didn't wrap it, just hauled the coat out of its box and had me try it on 2 weeks ago, and I've been living in it ever since. I bought my usual for her - a hefty coupon for a nearby garden supply outlet. Then she has all the joy [and she does love her gardening] of selecting her plants for the Spring, and planting and caring for them. And I have the joy of admiring and drawing and painting them. Perfect arrangement.
The painting is of her dog, Shayna. The name is something that sounds like it came from Xena, Warrior Princess. So she usually is called Flossy or the Floss. She'll answer to anything especially if there is food involved. She ate a bird seed ball I put out a few days ago, and is always on the prowl for granola I leave out on the ground for the birds. Yup, she's a hoover. But she is adorable, and loving, and Maggie's [my dog] BFF!

That's all for now ... feels like time for a long winter's nap.

I wish you all a wonderful holiday!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Winter ...

This was Maggie yesterday, having a blast in the snow, but glad to get in later by the fireplace.

I HAD to get a photo of this jogger  - wearing shorts at 8 AM at minus-I don't-know-what cold!!!

Bruno, showing off his new blankie. He has 2 older ones that were keeping him dry, but becoming heavy with retained moisture. He is warm and snug even at -10C.


Haven't been doing much serious painting - just farting around, trying different effects for some hollyhock leaves ...



   ... and trying some big swaths of paint to get the look of a forest's edge. I really do not get along with sedimentary paints.

Doing a lot of drawing though - trying to get the proportions and perspective right for a painting I am doing for Scott, my farrier. We initially started off with Scott, his horse and his dog, and, at Scott's request,  have moved on to including all his past Border Collies [three of them]. The only photos he has of the older dogs are not digital, so it's difficult to make them out from 4 x 6 inch prints. For the shapes, I am googling Border Collie photos on the internet; the colors will be fine from the old photos. 





Some sketches of coyotes - was thinking of putting them by the woods' edge in a painting.

Bill, aka psycho-kittie - my sister's cat, and he really is completely unpredictable.  He has this odd trait - his eyes turn from light green to a very dark almost black; it really looks as if he is possessed!




A LOT more coyotes.  I was getting frustrated - they were looking  like house-pets, not wild animals.


I quite like this sketch so far, but feel the horse at 3/4 profile [not full profile as this is] makes a more powerful image.

So here it is, at my least-liked time of year. And a close friend [his wife and I are very good friends] is in hospice. All one can do is to always continue trying to see the good and the beautiful in life.

As always, thank you for your visit! 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Guess I'd Better Get Back to Work ...

I am just going to play a bit of catch-up here, and post some of the recent paintings ...
The golden eagle I did for a friend at work; her husband is a big fan of birds of prey.  I think it was about 16 x 12 inches, and is now happily framed and hanging in their living room.

This is a 10 x 10 inch painting that stared off as a class demonstration. [Yes, still teaching and still really LOVING it] I decided to mount and varnish this and the cow painting below. 

The painting was based on some photos I took of a small herd of Jersey cows I passed on the way to the feed store. Miss Moo is varnished on a 10 x 8 inch cradled frame. 

I painted  The Nafco for a friend, who came to my aid when my car was totalled last year. He is a car dealer [Acura in Langley - I promised him the "ad"], and found a wonderful, almost-new VW for me to replace my Honda. His dad was a fisherman, and worked on the Nafco for years. Gary was thrilled, and said he would treasure it as a family heirloom. What a wonderful thing to say!

I thoroughly enjoyed working on Miss Kylie - what a fantastic smile on her face! I did another portrait earlier this year for the same client, and she liked it so much, she wanted to have one of her husband's very-much-loved dog.

This is another one that started off as a class project. Originally, it was very simple - just the snail and its reflection. Then I decided to play with some backlighting. I quite like the effect.

Just finished the barn swallows this morning [15 x 11 inches unframed]. I masked the birds, then did the background all in one fell swoop. I wet the paper in an irregular manner, and stroked in the two oranges and the blue, and let them mix on their own. I think that achieved the effect I wanted - that of light filtering in past some old boards. I want to do more work along this vein, with a very loose background just suggestive of shapes. In this, I am inspired by Morten Solberg's  wildlife paintings.

And, yes, Bruno and I are still an item, and Maggie is as busy as ever!
Thank you so m
uch for your visit!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

A New [and Better] Look for the Seiner, and Other Little Bits and Pieces ...

I quite liked the softness of the background colors in this photo. My niece's boyfriend took it at Spanish Banks.

So, I started again - masking the ship, and washing and glazing with aureolin, phthalo blue, permanent rose and cobalt blue.

I did the mountains with a thin w/w glaze of indanthrone, and added some more cobalt clue to the water.

I wanted to compare the look of the two - liked the newer one MUCH better.


Started adding the shadows to the ship ...

... and some of the local color.

More of the same, and added the rigging. 

Then finally the net. I took this photo in early morning light, so it's quite washed out and very blue. My next step will be to do some subtle wave action in the foreground, hopefully leading the viewer's eye to the people, and mast with the netting.

I also intensified the darks around Jules' face. I wet the entire previously painted are, then drizzled in some black.

This is the next project [along with some ducklings, too]. This is Miss Sophia, one of the animals to be added to the huge painting of eight cats. 

My trainer took these photos last week - Bruno and I chuffing around in the back field.  He's got a nice long and  supple topline, is stepping under well with his hind legs, and has a lovely frothy mouth - all signs of a relaxed, happy camper.



I'm getting a lot of painting and drawing done, which is good, but only because I haven't been able to ride. Some nasty flu virus saw me coming, and decided to take up residence, so I've been laid low for several days. I haven't yet quite established a routine that organizes me, so that I have time for Bruno and for art, and somehow Bruno always wins out ... but I'm getting there.

Thank you so much for dropping  by!