Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Getting Better ...

Maggie and her new best friend, Flossie, enjoying the squeaky toys my landlady bought for them today.

Maggie, posing by the pool.
Maggie is a Mexican rescue that I rescued from being euthanized last weekend. The clinic that brought her here despaired of finding the right home for her. I think mine is it :) 

Bruno, off on the other side of the pond, having a munch - what else???

Don't know if I'll bother doing more here. It's not making me gasp with visual pleasure as it is, and I have others I would rather do.

This is from two years ago or so. I decided to re-work it. 

The purples and violets of the background are not quite like this - more greyed. But overall, I think I made some improvements by lifting some leaves and intensifying the shadows of the petals. Perhaps a bit more lifting yet.

I am starting to feel more like myself - dizziness gone, mood swings less acute and less frequent - emotionally stronger.  I had been seriously out of it for the past 6 weeks, coming off anti-depressants. I have found large doses of vitamin D help, as well as meditating and being more focussed. Finally I think I can approach that Rio painting with more confidence, and start some paintings with more definitive planning and fore-thought. Here's hoping ...

Thank you for dropping by! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Leaving the Geese for a While ...

I thought I'd go back to more a more familiar subject.

The colors in the photo are not as intense as in real life. This is after about 10 washes of various colors.

Now I am just slowly and carefully picking my way through the rhododendron petals.  This is quite small, only 8 x 6 inches, so using tiny brushes.

Meet Maggie. I brought her here yesterday, from a veterinary clinic in Burnaby.
When talking with one of my sisters [she of the Boxers] on Friday, somehow the subject of this Mexican rescue dog came into our conversation. Maggie had been brought up here about ten weeks ago by the vet who owns the clinic - she regularly travels down to Mexico to do free clinics and surgeries, and also brings back a few young rescued dogs. Maggie was fostered out when she got here, but it didn't quite work out. The vet knew she would need a special sort of home, and did not think she would find it.  So when Maggie came back from the foster home, they were going to euthanize her this weekend. This is the story I heard from my sister. So, after seeing her photo, and falling in love with those gorgeous golden eyes and huge ears, I went into action. The result is Miss Maggie is right now snuggled on my bed, settling in beautifully. The other two dogs here love her. Even Bruno accepts her, and he is not a big dog fan.

Thank you for dropping by!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Here It Is - Warts and All ... A Bit of Planning Would Have Helped

I started darkening ...

... and darkening, but I cannot fix some of the composition flaws, so this is it for the geese. I may paint it again in the future, but only after doing a value sketch, giving more thought to composition, and creating a good color scheme. Live and learn!

Thank you for dropping by! Comments are always welcome!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not Thrilled with the Geese ...

I took 2 photos, one in B/W, to see if I could see what is wrong with this. It looks like the geese need more form shadow, and the pillars as well. I think I must have become lost, doing all the w/w washes of the ground, not really seeing the entire painting. 

For several reasons, I stopped taking an anti-depressant I had been on for over twenty years. The side effects of withdrawal have been most unpleasant - dizziness, fatigue, formication, general feeling of flu symptoms and yuckiness. I've had to watch myself at work, with patients, and with the animals - not to be too grumpy. And of course it affects my painting, and how I perceive it. Anyway, this too shall pass ...

Thank you for dropping by! Comments are alwayswelcome.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

It's My Baba's Fault ... Geese - Work in Progress

Aureolin and quin. sienna in a very wet wash.

Pillars of cloisters done with aureolin, permanent rose and cobalt blue. Geese started with wash of  a mixture of aureolin, alizarin crimson and indanthrone - a bit on the violet side.

I painted the shadows of the pillars with thin w/w washes of aureolin, alizarin and indanthrone - you can still see the effect in the center of the painting. It looked too cool and blah, so I am in the process of doing a w/w variegated wash with quin. burnt orange.
When I was very young, my grandmother helped raise me, while my dad was busy being a doctor, and later, out of town studying for his ENT specialty. So my Ukrainian Baba was a HUGE influence on my life. She used to put my sister and I to bed at night telling us animal stories that she made up on the spot. I can still remember all the adventures of Momma Pussy, Daddy Pussy and Baby Pussy, as they travelled out and about Toronto [where we lived then]. Then there was Les Myketa [Mr. Fox - I think I still have that book.] So I believe her stories left an impact on me - I still LOVE all animals, and perceive them as beings with loves, preferences, family lives - beings much as we are.
So here are my Toulouse geese. See them as monks or tourists in a monastery - enjoy them. :)

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Rio Redux

A couple of nights ago, I took this painting, and gave it a shower and sponge bath. There was still too much color there after its bath, so I flipped the paper over, and re-sketched the image onto the back, and started over. There was just not enough unity of color. The above is an aureolin sky dropping down into a thin orange for the trees and shacks on the hill-side.

Then a blue mixture - indanthrone, aureolin and alizarin crimson for the shadowed area.

I've added some detail in the shadows [needs more], and started the hill-side and the boys playing soccer below. Most of my past paintings have been about technique, trying to re-create beauty. This one is much more a "story", and my reaction to the story. I may have to write a "Saturday Soap-box" piece ... or several. I don't believe most of us in the big
economic powers fully appreciate the pathetic condition of the rest of the world. I realized it was bad, but not this bad ...  but I digress ...
I also decided the rose did indeed need some further work. I  did several thin glazes , using quin. sienna on the upper petals. And once again, it looks much better in real life.

That's it for now. I don't feel like going into a foam-at-the-mouth rant right now ... just feel like painting. I also have another goose painting started, but not much to show yet.

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Most Humble Start to "Cidade de Deus"

Dratted blogger keeps placing this painting at the top, and I have tried to place it at the bottom 5 times. Suppose I'll leave it here. This is a painting I did in one of my few art classes,  more than ten years ago. Probably a bit ambitious, but ignorance is truly bliss!
I think it's about the same size as the Rio favela painting-to-be. It is based on a photo I took of my sister, when we were in Venice, again many years ago. I had it framed for Denise, and she likes it, but somehow it never made it to the wall of her home. She always wants to wait till she's finished renovating and decorating and ...  So I most happily have it hanging at my place! :) I love it - one of my favorite paintings.
After getting the sketch organized, I painted a thin glaze of indanthrone blue over the shadowed areas, and left it ... for a long time.

Then I got motivated to do a thin wash of aureolin on the sunlit areas, and once again, left it to sit ...

Finally, today, I have started putting down some local color.

This will definitely need MUCH, MUCH more work.
It is quite large - 21.5 x 13 inches, much bigger than anything I have worked on for a while. But I had done  another large painting in the past, also a city/landscape of my sister in Venice.
So, I guess I'd better get back to work ...

Thank you for dropping by. Your comments are always welcome.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some Work on the Latest Rose before I Go Out to PLay Dominatrix with Bruno ...

I left off here ...

I have gradually been adding aureolin and quin. sienna, and a touch of pink to the lower petals ...

... and then quin. sienna and aureolin to the top petals.

Close-up of flower.

I have to leave this for a few days. I'm starting to wonder if I like it or not - not a good sign.  Time to work on the Rio painting, and maybe another one of some geese ...
That's it for the rose for now. Off to play dominatrix with Bruno.

Thank you for dropping by. Your comments are always welcome.
And YES ... in case you're wondering, all these paintings are available.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

My Second Venture with the Rose ... and Bruno ...

I am still bound and determined to capture the essence of this rose ...

... but have decided to go yellow rather than peach in color.
Both of these photos are taken in my friend's back yard. She does love her garden! And I do, too!!!

This is after at least 10 w/w washes of aureolin, phthalo green,  burnt orange and alizarin to get the dark background. Thankfully, the masking cooperated this time - YAY!!!
The shadowed areas of the rose I have painted with a thin glaze of aureolin. The leaves are done w/w with aureolin, phthalo green, quin. gold and burnt orange. I think there's a touch of alizarin and indanthrone here and there, too.

More color on the rose shadows - thin quin. gold.

I have done the shadows again with a brown mixture of quin. gold, alizarin and phthalo green.

I think I am done with the brown. My plan is to go into the shadows again with warm, bright colors - yellows, pinks, oranges ...

As for Bruno, he had 5 days off [he pulled a shoe, I had to go into Vancouver, it was pouring rain ...]
When we finally got together yesterday, he wanted to play a rip-snorting game of "Who's the Boss"! Horses, being herd animals, constantly jockey for higher positions in the wild. The acts can be subtle - a look, a posture - or extreme - an all-out fight-to the-death. One must be vigilant and observant, noticing slight changes of posture and position, shifting of hooves. It's a quite the job, maintaining one's leadership. I really find it so hard to be masterful and disciplined all the time with a horse. I see all of them through the eyes of  Anna Sewell and "Black Beauty". Yesterday, His Nibs tested me the entire time, and I was exhausted, but I saw the exercise through to a good conclusion. Here's hoping today will not be so trying!!!

Thank you for dropping by! Your comments are always welcome!