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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SADDLE SHOES ... a Short Walk down Memory Lane ....

Drawing reference for painting. I almost always use a grid when doing something requiring more accuracy.

First washes - a thin glaze of indanthrone on the "saddle" of the saddle shoes, and different mixtures of aureolin, permanent rose and cobalt blue for the greys and browns. The soles are painted with quin. burnt orange and alizarin crimson.

Ahhh ... that's looking better. I have done some applications of  black, using quin. burnt orange, quin. violet and indanthrone.

Here, I have scuffed up the toes and heel a bit, using a dry brush technique. Still a work-in-progress ...
Framable size  22 x 27 cm.

Voodoo [and he really suits that name]

My reference drawing

A slow start ...
36 x 28 cm.


The arts program director where I teach recently asked [well, asked several times] if I could do a painting for an charity auction the center is supporting. The theme is fashion. No longer being the fashionista I once was, I had a hard time thinking of a suitable subject. Then I had an inspiration from an old memory. When I was very young, every August my sister and I walked, with my mom,  up to the local shoe store to get our NEW school shoes. I always found this such a happy experience. It's strange what one vividly remembers. I can still feel and see myself walking home in the new shoes, too heavy and clunky for the hot summer afternoon. And I found it fascinating to be able to put my feet into a machine where I could see my bones glowing green! Now I realize it was some sort of x-ray device, probably not the most brilliant method of checking the fit of shoes, but it sure looked cool!!! Anyway, it was a great memory, and gave me a good idea for a painting - some scuffed up, old saddle shoes.

Thank you so much for dropping by!  

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Life, and the Art of the Landscape [NOT]

I started this in class as a demo yesterday. Somehow it just doesn't do anything for me. Generally, I am not a huge fan of landscapes, preferring the greater intimacy of a portrait or still life, though I do like the cityscapes of John Salminen and the wild-life works of Morton Solberg.

I did a bit more at home later, but I'd really like to start other paintings.

This is one of the reference photos I took a few winters ago.  I found the abandoned look of these old fence-posts very appealing. Capturing that impression is something else again!

This was class yesterday - 9 happy, busy painters!

My cat-fancier student is thrilled to be able to paint a portrait of her cat.

BUSY  ...

Another student, so happy to be able to create livelier, more expressive paintings. 

This scene caught my eye last night as I was coming back from feeding Bruno. The photo is not great, but it is a crescent moon with Venus and Mars seemingly nearby.

I started a drawing of Voodoo this morning. This is one of the portraits I'd like to work on now.

And another ... my nephew with his Samurai hair-style. I painted it before, but was not thrilled with the result. My niece saw the painting, and fell in love with it, so I am painting another for her. She adores her older brother.

That's about it for now. I hope to have some paintings started for you on the next post ...

Thank you so much for dropping by!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Dare I Hope??? ... SPRING Is Here?

Wishful thinking? I thought I'd try hanging some laundry outside.

His Imperial Highness, hoping for a bit of a snack [which he got]. I have actually been able to start riding again!!!!! And we are doing not badly at all! 

Poor lighting here. I think I am about done with this - almost finished, and I am definitely bored with it. Time for some horse paintings, and some vignettes of forest scenes.

Neighbor up the road, harrowing her ring with her jeep, getting it ready for riding.

Maggie managed to sit quietly for about 1/2 a second.

Possible painting?

Maggins, flying through the woods.

I have no idea what this is, but it had such a lovely, delicate bloom.

Snowdrops

Had to laugh at this tiny bird hanging upside down from the branch.

Surprisingly, the wild violets came up this year, despite Maggie's best efforts at digging them out!

Very happy today. The weather is improving, and I can start regular play-time with Bruno. And I finally took the "quality assessment"test that the B.C. dental hygiene college has decided is mandatory for licensure. I have been procrastinating for months. I couldn't be bothered to study, feeling the test to be somewhat of a waste of time [I have always been a rebel], and if I didn't know my stuff after all these years in the field ... Anyway, I passed with flying colors.

That's all for now. Thank you so much for dropping by! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Still Fascinated with Dry Hydrangeas ... Works in Progress

Maggie, waiting at the door - desperate for a walk
Love painting the dried hydrangea - so subtle and delicate, and almost abstract.

The colors I used were quin. gold, permanent rose and cobalt blue for the initial light glazes. Later I switched to indanthrone for darker colors.

I thought the shadow would be good in basic black, but this morning ...

... I glazed over it with indanthrone.
The painting is 11.25 x 8.25 inches.

I worked on both of these at the same time, but the first one must have caught my interest more, as it was finished first. I am using the same colors for this, too. 

9.25 x 12.25 inches

Maggie ... the Stealth Dog ... the Maggot ... She is decidedly a handful! I have been following some of Cesar Millan's videos, and have read one of his books. It's helped a lot with understanding her [and Bruno, too]. She is a very high-energy dog - could probably be out all day, walking and running. Me - not so much! I think I'll have to get an old bike, and teach her to run beside me. Walking her for an hour or so, at a fast clip is not enough. According to Cesar, a well-exercised dog is a content and well-behaved dog. Yesterday, we were out walking, and she was seriously distracted by another dog. She cut in front of me, and I tripped and went flying onto the gravel - sprained a finger and took some chunks out of the palm of my hand. It has made painting a little more interesting! 
Well, that's it for now from the farm ...

Thank you so much for dropping by!



Monday, February 9, 2015

Who Would Have Thought ... Teaching Painting

An overview of the classroom and most of the class
The sessions are held at a new center in Surrey that opened just last May - the South Surrey Recreation and Arts Center.

A happy and proud student

Another very pleased student

Working on their own projects

Finishing up the background


Pondering the next step

All styles ...

... and colors

An ambitious project - painting her cat on some colorful blankets

These are some photos of the class I taught last Saturday. I asked the students if they minded if I took some photos, and posted them in my blog, and  all said it was fine.

I am still amazed at how much I love teaching. I find it so inspiring and challenging in a very good way. And I love the interchange of ideas. I am teaching in a very loose format - most of the class has an idea of a project on which they want to work.  At the previous class, one of the students stated that she would appreciate more demonstrations at the beginning of the class. So, as we go along, I have and develop new ideas and projects. To start with, I do a demonstration, and then they are off! I'll walk around the classroom, seeing if anyone needs help, answering questions, maybe doing some more demos ... Two hours flies by in no time! At the end of class, I'll ask if there is any particular project they would like to take on the next time, so I could go home and prepare a lesson. Thats' it - very flexible and open.

Last week, I was having a fascinating chat with one of the students, and the conversation evolved into a demo of creating a work using masking tape. The entire class was very interested in the idea, so next week, it's "batik" watercolor. I read Sandy Maudlin's excellent blog, so I have gone back to it to get some information on that particular process of painting.

Initially, I kept the class size to eight students, which was all I felt I could manage as a novice instructor. But the class has become very popular, and my confidence has increased, so next week there will be ten students. I can hardly wait!!!

Thank you so much for dropping by!    

Monday, February 2, 2015

YES ... I Really Think I Am FINISHED

Pretty in Pink/ 33.5 x 27.5 cm.
I do believe I am done with Miss P. I darkened the background to bring her more forward, and glazed more pink in the shadows of her scarf. I was thrilled to find out that her mistress loves ALL the paintings, and wants them all, as well as another I did of Miss P. and her poodle friend out walking. Somehow I managed to misplace that one, so I will re-do it. 

Maine Coon/ 26.5 x 22.5 cm.

The cat is done as well. Originally, I had intended to paint all the fur with the quin. burnt orange, but when I got to this stage, I really liked the look of all that white. It seems to accent the face very well.

As for my beasties, Maggie is still a sweetheart, though she still loves to dig. I cleaned up two of her excavations this past weekend.
And Bruno has a hoof abscess. It's one of those weird ones that is very hard to diagnose. I thought I saw him moving very stiffly on Thursday morning, and later in the day he seemed to favor it a bit. So a very kind neighbor came to help me put on a poultice, and wrap it all up in duct tape. I wasn't sure I could manage with my thumb still not flexing. The next two evenings, I was able to wrap it myself. Usually an abscess will manifest with more noticeable lameness, but I see only a gingerness, a slight reluctance to use the hoof when turning. Very weird. Thankfully, my farrier is coming this afternoon to take Bruno's shoes off, trim his hooves, and re-seat the shoes. I am hoping the abscess shows itself, we can clean it out, and all will be well. Apparently they are common at this time of year, when the moisture content in the ground varies a lot, causing the tissues of the hoof to expand and contract as well. The horse picks up a bit of sand or gravel, it works its way up into the hoof and allows bacteria to enter. Well ... that's more about hoof care than you wanted to know!

Thank you so much for dropping by!!


Thursday, January 29, 2015

CATS' MEOWS ... Feline Works-in-progress ...








I painted a wet-in-wet wash with quin. burnt orange for her head and back - the areas getting more light. For the white ruff and areas in shadow, I first did a thin glaze of permanent rose, then an overall wash of a mixture of the rose, with quin. burnt orange and cobalt blue. When that was still wet, I tried to get some texture in the fur with curved lines painted with a thicker application of the same colors.

This is one strange-looking cat!!! 

... a bit better ...
I wet everything except the white patches, and the eyes and nose. I stroked in a thin wash of a mix of quin. burnt orange, permanent rose and cobalt blue. While it was still wet, I added some lines with a thicker mixture of the same colors to imply fur texture. The eyes were glazed with aureolin, quin. gold and touches of quin. burnt orange. The shadows in the white ruff are being done with a lavender-grey mixture. He still looks very intense! Hopefully his eyes will look less Svengali-ish when I get more of the body and head done.

Thank you so much for dropping by!