Monday, February 28, 2011

Making the Unreal "Real" ... or ....It's Only a Carousel Horse

Background washes, horse masked, and with light grey glaze

Several glazes on saddle

The mane was FUN

Starting tack, and more glazing on horse

Masking removed
A bit of striping for background

   I LOVE carousels. My biggest thrill, when I was a child, was to sit on some inert object that resembled a horse. I was a regular at Loblaw's, [in Toronto] sitting on the mechanical animal they had at the front of the store. While my mother went shopping, I would ride the wind! My parents had friends in Oakville; their home had a huge yard with statuary - one being an almost life-sized rearing horse. Yup ... that's where I'd be.
   So the romance remains with me. I found several Internet sites where there are thousands of photos of renovated carousels. I had to try painting some of them. Above is my first attempt. For me, it had to look "real" and yet "unreal". To achieve that goal, I used very bright, almost unnaturally so, colors. Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old Photos ... or ... Look What I Found!

Santorini photo

My painting

Portuguese fishing boats

My painting

  I had my mind set to put an old photo I knew I had [somewhere] on a new web site. I started looking, and two hours later had STILL not found it. But I did find a veritable treasure trove of old photos. The two above I used as reference for the two paintings. I remember starting the Santorini painting once, and not liking it. For some reason, I reversed my image, and re-did it, as you see it.
   I also found some photos my aunt took about twenty years ago, when at a conference in Athens. She and my mother did a bit of traveling around, and having an extremely good eye, my aunt took some fabulous photos. Some of them have such depth, atmosphere and color, they almost look like paintings now. So I took photos of them, and downloaded them into my computer photo file, and I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO GET TO THEM!!!!! You will see them over the next few months.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

For a Facebook Friend


Very light underglazes
A road map of shell colors
Some sand, some sea, some more color

   I've never painted anything like this, so it was a good opportunity to experiment a bit. I must say, the entire process was approached with a much more casual approach on my part. Not so much of the "stay inside the lines" attitude. Madame Turtle took about two days of play, and I am quite pleased with her.  It was fun and fast [for me] and I enjoyed the process.  

ARRRGGHHH ... or ... Maybe I'm "Growing"?

Masked, with some colors poured on

Mask off

Some light washes on foreground figures

I thought it was OK ...

then I came home from work yesterday, and did this

   I have been feeling somewhat frustrated of late. I quit one of my dental hygiene positions, and there are NO other hygiene jobs right now. But it was something I had to do; I was actually feeling physically ill about working there, and that amount of stress is a killer ... literally. So now I work only at my "happy" office [previously mentioned in this blog]
   And I am frustrated with riding, or lack thereof. The weather has been such that I am able to get perhaps two days of playing with Bruno per week. Both of us are under-exercised and over-fed!!!
   My painting, too, I find vexing. I feel I am just NOT expressing what and how I would like to express ... I am not even able to "verbalize" the idea clearly. I have been studying a lot of other web sites and blogs to find some sort of inspiration, and I have come across several ideas I would like to play with. I think basically I would love to start REALLY loosening up, paint OUTSIDE the lines. So that is what I started doing last night. I quickly mixed some darks, got a big flat bush, and slopped paint. And I like it!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Member of the Team ... or ... Steph Did It Again!

   I have three sisters. One of them, Stephanie, has, since she got married and had two children,  also become an avid animal collector. She also likes to "help" others collect animals.
   When I had to put my dearly-loved and much-missed mare to sleep, Steph found a rescue horse for me. Carlo was quite handsome, but wanted NOTHING to do with the riding game. After he tossed me hard, and fractured my pelvis, he was returned to the rescue people. He is now being "used" as a companion horse - NO riding for him!
   Then her husband bought two chinchillas. [previously mentioned in this blog] Steph refused to keep them in their cage. Whenever you visited her house, you could hear the scurry of feet and the gnawing of teeth on anything, and see the occasional flash of grey. After six months, I got a slightly teary phone call, asking if I would take the chins. I did. They chewed a saddle, a bridle and my bathroom!!!! I've had the bathroom re-done, and the tack did not fit my new horse, but ...
DO you mind?

Nothing better than I warm horse blanket


Definitely worth investigating
   Now I have Pumpkin. She is a very adorable brown tabby with her own agenda. She has taken over my bed, and the bathroom. And she is showing a few quirks. She does not glide gracefully and quietly, as most cats do, she THUMPS! She is an avid tap-watcher; she loves to watch and drink running water. I have a sick feeling, she is probably an art critic, too, and is only biding her time to let me know what she thinks of my painting.

Yes, I Started Again ... or ...Buddy the Second

2nd time going much faster

All body colors laid in

Intensifying colors

I am here, and it is starting to look like Buddy

   With the first "Buddy", I got to a point where the brown points looked too dark and orange, so I started again. The flip side will be used for a trial of another idea I want to pursue about my farrier. In retrospect, the original would probably have worked, with a bit of careful lifting here and there, but it's all a learning experience. I'll be working on the head details now. I don't quite like his left leg; I think if I "mould" his body color a bit more, it will look more like a leg than a flipper. Any ideas??

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Temptation of the Peony

Before temptation took me

After giving in
Close up
   I absolutely could not resist. The whiteness on some of the leaves was so distracting. And I'd also accidently dribbled a few drops of water on the dark background. I HAD to do something. So I masked the perimeter of the flower, mixed up a batch of warm green, spritzed the page, and let loose. I think it looks much better, but I would very much appreciate some feedback. I thank you. [ahead of time]


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Another Project

A cropped shot I took last summer

Warm wash behind, cool in front

Start on B-Man
Colors used are aureolin, quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrene blue

Gradually increasing intensity

A bit of definition within tan and black
   I am also working on a smaller portrait of my landlady's dog, Buddy. Buddy was a lost-and-foundling, discovered mooching around some local farms. Pat took him in as a companion for another dog, and he has been living in BLISS for the last ten years. He truly adores Pat. I'm sure it is mutual; I quite often hear her having "conversations" with Mr. Buddlington [as he is known formally] He really is quite a cool dog; if you believe in reincarnation, Buddy is most definitely an old soul. It is a pleasure to be painting him for Pat's birthday.

Still at the Day job, BUT Trying to Paint, Too

I am here

   My apologies for the inconsistency of the color intensities - me, the camera, the lighting, the computer. I have started on the center of the flower, and also deepened some of the petal values with variations of lavender [aureolin, quin. pink and cobalt blue] And I still REALLY want to mask the flower, and pour some sort of warm, dark green over the rest of the painting. I'm trying to resist the temptation, knowing that in later removing the masking fluid, I will lose a lot of the flower color in very irregular patches.