Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I left off here last night
Played with the cast shadows

More detail work, and a very simple "ground"

   Well, I almost went cross-eyed painting this one, but it's done, and I think it looks alright. I had some very good input from Prabal, about connecting the tires more to the shadow. I thank you, Prabal; it makes a very good difference! I considered putting an angular, geometric shape, from the tractor to the upper right area, but decided a line would serve well to define the open space of the field to be worked.   I was attempting to conceptualize machinery as art, a shape in a design. I think I succeeded. As always, I welcome your comments and input!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

It Is DEFINITELY Easier Painting Large

The John Deere
1st attempt
2nd go - starting with vivid shadows
Looking a bit like a tractor
I think it will rest at this stage tonight

   Believe it or not, the first attempt did have bright colors to start in a very wet wash; they chose to blend into a warm grey mud. Second one is looking more interesting, but I must say, working in a smaller format [11 x 7.5 inches] is a bit nit-picky. But the basic colors are down, so it should be easier from here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Quickie ... or ... What Possessed Me to Use Purple

One of my hay farm photos

First attempt

Delving deep into quin. violet for the shadows

Brown madder on all of the equipment's form 

Added a soft "ground" to give it a vignette look

This was the effort of a couple of hours, off and on.  Obviously, I just had to paint anything, any which way. Hmmm ... I hear that saying whispering in my ears "Patience is a virtue".

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grocery Shopping for the BrunZ

   My apologies for not posting paintings. I've been busier working on Bruno's issues, and trying to find some part-time work. I'm finding both quite consuming, with time and mental energy.

   Today I visited my primary hay supplier, Andy. I've been wanting to get out there and take photos for ages, and this was a timely opportunity. I was there before 10 AM, chatted with Andy, and then wandered about taking pictures. I love barns, farms and farm equipment. These are some of my photos ...

Don't know exactly what it is, but used in haying

Love the shadow patterns here

Too much sun, but readable - like the tractor angle

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Got a Glitch with My Horse ... or ... Poor Brunz

Pin firing on left hind, probably done years ago
Hives on left "cheek"
Hives on rib cage area, again on left
What a sweet eye!
Poor Bruno

My trainer, Rhonda,  was over on Sunday for a look-see at Bruno. Quite often, he feels like I'm steering a big boat, and he does some weird twists with his neck. So we put him on the lunge line, and took a careful look at how he tracked up. It was quite apparent that he was favoring his left hind, not that he was lame at all, just a bit off, putting it down in a position so as not to aggravate it. When we finished, and brought him to his shed, Rhonda checked his back muscles. When a horse is sore in a leg, he compromises his back muscles, behind the saddle area. Sure enough, he had some very sore spots to testing. Why he didn't dump me on my head when I rode, I don't know; he must have had a nagging pain.
To help him till the vet comes, I've been giving him phenylbutazone [anti-inflammatory/analgesic] I've also been giving a deep back massage at night. So now he's really sore. When I tried lunging today, I tried to get him to move out onto a larger circle [he has always tended to fall in]. I am pretty sure he went at me with his teeth; hard to be sure - it was so fast and unexpected. But he jumped back, and had that look horses get when they've done something bad, and they're expecting punishment. He must be so sore, and I feel so guilty. Anyway, I backed off a bit, did a tiny bit more on the other rein, and left it that. It looks like we'll be doing a lot of hand-walking to keep him moving and using that joint. Our diagnosis is arthritis, probably in the hock ["knee"]
Adding to that, he has hives on his left side. It is always difficult to determine the cause of this sort of thing. It could be that his hay recently has a bit of alfalfa [too rich for some horses]. It could be the lotion I've been using with his massage.  It could be something on the ground where he's been sleeping. My guess is that it's probably the hay. Thankfully, my hay man now has some good 2nd cut local hay available with NO alfalfa.
And so it goes ...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Dreaded Portrait ... or ... More New Skills to Learn

John, one of my brothers-in-law
The sketch
Yesterday's work/play
This morning

   It is bucketing rain. I am sure Bruno is soaked by now [ it wasn't raining when I fed him breakfast ] or slimed with mud, head to tail. So considering all that, it's a perfect day to paint.
   I've wanted to do a portrait of John for a long time, but basically I wasn't sure I could do a reasonable job of it. Well, enough of THAT attitude. My reasons for wanting to paint him - he's a good-looking man, he doesn't think I can do it, it's his birthday soon, and he just got a huge promotion with a new bank.
   So here I am, trying new things. I am painting almost vertically on an easel. I am painting in a much looser style. I almost tried colors I don't normally use, like yellow ochre, but I thought that was going a bit too far; I'm staying with my transparent pigments. It's been exciting in a watercolory sort of way, watching the paints mingle in different ways on the easel. I almost had to force myself to use it [it's so unfamiliar ] but I'm hooked now. I picked up a MOST useful bit of information from a video clip of Paul McCormack on Jerry's Artarama; it's very important for portraits, I think. Make a color swatch of the mixes you will be using - light, mid, and dark values. Prepare the sample as you would for the portrait, so the whole piece painted with the light value, then glaze on the mid-range [ the local color ] and then the shadow color. Keep the swatch to test any other glazes you will need later on in the painting.
   Anyway, I know the portrait looks rough right now, but I have great hopes for it! And as always, all comments and questions are most welcome. 

Friday, August 19, 2011

I'm Calling This Done ...

Masked, and 1st washes of aureolin + quin. pink
Some quin. burnt orange + phthalo green , after 1st glaze dry
More green - looking a bit bilious
More green + aureolin
Mask off

I am sitting here, trying to think of the name of this flower, and I'm drawing a blank.  However, it is huge, red, white or pink, and scented. This is quite a small painting - 5 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches. It's just something I had to do to "keep my hand in", so to speak. I love to hear from you all, so feel free to leave comments!
HAH!! I had done another one before, and the name was there ... it's a PEONY!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Scott's Shed ... or ... Long Time No Process

  I must admit to having a case of the painting megrims. Nothing has really inspired me to seriously pick up a brush. However, I have started two today, and I managed to get this one "finished".
   The Painting is of Scott's [ my friend and farrier ] backyard shed. I was over one evening taking photos, mostly of his pup, Sadie - when she would be still long enough to take a picture. I moseyed into the back, and this scene caught my eye. It's rather stark and bleak, sort of Georgia O'Keefe-ish. But I found it compelling, and still do. In this modern world we live in, I don't approve of hunting [ I still remember my father taking my sister and I to see the doe he'd shot; the two of us had JUST seen "Bambi" ]
   Back to painting...

Rough sketch
Thin, mixed wash of aureolin, quin. pink and cobalt blue
Windows - thin cobalt blue with thick indanthrone dropped in
Walls - thin wash of a brown - aureolin, carmine and cobalt blue
Some quin. burnt orange on window, and some grey to start modeling skull
Skull quite moss-covered, so work in some greens
Detail work on skull and shed
6 x9 in. / 22 x 16 cm.
Photo - decided to leave out whatever Scott has hanging from the antler 

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Hmmm ... Need to Work on My Landscapes, BUT I Sure Had Fun!

Original value photo
A few glazes, splashes, blops, spatters ...
As an exercise - finished
Not touched up with computer color editing

I had an interesting, and, more important, fun time with this landscape.  When I stop and think about the time, it's been years since I've painted one. I found, when I was painting it, I remembered sensations associated with the scene - what I felt, the sounds, the smells ... a very pleasant experience.  Well, I liked the process of painting the landscape. I'll definitely do more. And I would love to hear from you painters who do those wonderful landscapes.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Oh ... This and That ...


   I've been working on a portrait for the past few days - a recently-departed friend. I have to call him that, as he was a dog with a deep soul. Buddy was my landlady's dog for over eleven years; she got him as a rescue dog [ he'd been found, wandering around local barns ] He had a very good, long life here, and he deserves all that I can put into his portrait.

  Some LOOSER, more passionate paintings are my goal over the next few months, so I was out this evening getting some landscape shots with good value contrast.

Stump mounting block, at one of the park entrances

Some great contrast here, on the path

You're right, it's not a value study, but the ladybug was so cute

Old early 20th c. schoolhouse

Old barn, with yours truly's shadow in the shot

A trio of cool trees