Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Mystery Solved ... and the Koi Are Coming along Swimmingly

This was His Imperial Highness yesterday, with some hives still there on neck and saddle area.I spent about an hour , giving him a good grooming, and trimming his mane [took off at least six inches].

Here's the area on one side of the barn. Usually there are dried weeds, up to almost 3 1/2 feet high. You can see that he has mowed them right down to the ground. I believe the culprit is that weed on the lower left - called curled dock. I looked it up in noxious weeds of B.C., and though not toxic, it may cause an allergic reaction. So that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it. :) I have now fenced the area off, and will be getting a new charger for the electric fence, as the one in the barn seems dead.

With the koi, I masked here and there, and darkened all the background. Then I painted some calligraphic-type shadows in the water. 

The background is more of a violet color, like this. For the fish, I am wetting areas I want color, and then dropping in a thinner mixture, followed by a thicker one of slightly different color. Above, I am using gamboge yellow with quin. sienna. The fins and tails are thin phthalo blue, with indanthrone. I think I'll just play with the fish today, as I'd like to leave Bruno till all the hives have disappeared.

Thank you for dropping by, and I welcome your comments!
Just a quick addition on the detail work done this morning ...

Monday, January 27, 2014

Frazzled, but Still Painting ...

This is part of my frazzle. Bruno has come out in hives again. They first popped up over 2 weeks ago. I called my vert, and picked up some dexamethasone, and dosed him for about a week. As soon as I stopped [last night], they came out again. I took this photo this morning to send to my trainer for advice. There is no reason I can think of that would cause the hives - same hay, same diet, a bit more exercise. He may have found some new and noxious weeds out in the field. That's the only thing I can think that might cause these bumps.  

I thought to take my mind off worries a bit by starting new paintings - something soothing, yet requiring concentration. A friend had some fabulous photos of koi, and he gave me permission to use them as reference.

You can hardly tell they are fish yet. I've been working exclusively on the background.

And my aunt is back in the hospital, this time with pneumonia and a fluid-filled lung. I feel upset, frustrated and angry with the slowness of our medical system.

Anyway, I am glad you have dropped by for a visit - thank you!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Gentle Man

This is the drawing I did of Cindy two months ago.  She really was quite a character in personality and appearance.

Freehand drawing of Mario and Cindy...
It is two pieces, as the original I did of Cindy was lacking in depth, so I did another of her and attached it over the original.
... from a photo I luckily took a year ago.

My horse vet truly is a gentle man ... as well as an artist, art-lover, art collector, and just a general all-round lovable person. Over the past two months, he has performed some veterinary services for me, and charged me only a framed drawing of his beloved dog, Cindy, a rescue dog. I have shown him the portrait I did of Cindy; he loved it and asked to have it framed. I thought it was much too little to offer as recompense for his work, so I have started this work as well. I'd like to get it on "real" drawing paper, not the sketch-book paper it is on now. So that is my next project. It will be a learning process, as I have never done a drawing on "real" drawing paper.
And of course I am still looking closely and adjusting the tug boat and tulip paintings ... I am surprised I have not yet taken a "finished" painting out of the frame to touch it up. Probably sometime ...

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are most welcome!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Princess and the Drama Queen ... or ... a Tale of Two Tulips

I'm still working on the top tulip here, placing a w/w wash of the under-glow color, drying, then a w/w wash of black.

Drama queen tulip pretty much done, except perhaps to darken the stamen.

Now I am working on boosting the colors on the bottom, the Princess, tulip. In comparison to the dark one, it looks rather washed out.
A grump is in order. The colors showing on the blog are pathetic. In reality, the background is quite dark, almost black on the left side, as is the dark tulip. If you'd like to see more what the painting is really like, I suggest you visit my facebook page. Is anyone else having this difficulty on blogger?

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hmmmmm ... This Is Going to Take Longer than I Thought ...

I have mapped out the shadows and colors for the blue parrot ...

... and have started the black parrot, to get an idea of how dark I must go ...

Ack!!! I don't know why this image has come out so light!
However, seeing the darks of the black parrot, I know I will have to get more intense with colors on the lighter, blue tulip.
I am painting both tulips using w/w washes, dropping in colors to the water. For the blue parrot tulip, I am painting with mixtures of aureolin [very little], quin. pink and cobalt blue. On the bottom shaded petal, I have glazed with alizarin crimson, then indanthrone blue. For the black tulip, I am using alizarin crimson, quin. violet, and a mixture of quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone for the black. The stamen in the middle is aureolin, quin. burnt orange and indanthrone. My plan is to use the violet for the petals in direct light [cooler] and crimson in the richer, darker areas. The black parrot will need a lot of glazing, and I find I am having to use an extremely delicate touch when adding the pigments.
That's it for life in tulip land. I am still working on the tug boat painting, and will post the final result. Now it's off to the land of horse ...

Thank you for dropping by, and your comments are always welcome!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

EXOTICA: Parrot Tulips

It took me a while to decide on a format and composition for the tulips. My aunt had given me a frame to work with, and it offered a 15 x 9 inch window, so this is what I came up with. The top tulip is a Black Parrot, and the bottom is a Blue Parrot. I may call it "Parrots: Black and Blue" 

I completely masked the flowers, and started the washes - first a thin aureolin to tone down the eventual violet , then several quin. pink washes  ...

... gradated wash of phthalo blue ....

... and on and on, switching to alizarin crimson in lieu of the pink, to get more depth and darkness.

I finally have the background as dark as I want, though it would have been better if I could have achieved more of a difference between top and bottom.
I have just started the lower, lighter tulip today. So far, I am using a touch of aureolin, with quin. pink and cobalt blue, making the mixture warmer or cooler by adding cobalt blue to the lavender.
Drove into to Vancouver yesterday. Met one of my sisters at her house, and then we drove to Granville Island to drop off three paintings that were adjudicated into a show at the Federation of Canadian Artists, and did some quick shopping at the Farmers Market.  I am planning to enter several shows this year, hopefully to achieve my AFCA status. [Right now I am only an active member.]
Then we drove to the hospital to visit my aunt, who has been in there for a week.

I thank you for dropping by, and welcome your comments!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEAR ... and AHOY, Welcome Aboard the Seaspan Pat

Here she is so far, the "Seaspan Pat". Seaspan is the company that runs a lot of the tugs in B.C. , so I thought it an appropriate name for a painting of tugs cruising the fog along the B.C. coast. And Pat is my friend's name. We both fell in love with a seascape painting last summer, and I promised to do one for her. I THINK I've finished the background and the foreground water, but I will reserve the right to touch up. :) I'll just have to see what it looks like after the tugs are finished.

This is my sister's card finished. She is coming out for a visit today, so I can give it to her then.

Well, all the seasonal madness [my view of this time of year] is over, and we all can start afresh in this New Year. For some reason, I feel quite hopeful and excited about the coming year. Maybe it was the riding lesson I had yesterday, nudging Bruno out of his state of mental and physical inactivity. Horses tend to get a bit lazy and inattentive when not exercised regularly and properly. I got the sense he was telling me "Kath, why don't we just stand around here, and you feed me lots of carrots and apples." Ummm ... NO!
Anyway, I thought I would quickly post this before heading down to the barn to play with the lad.
I wish you all the very best this coming year - a year of Joy and Peace and Creativity!!!