Sunday, March 31, 2019

P is for Prophet

Graphite & pastel on paper / 10X8 (25.4cmX20.3cm)

This drawing was done by first smearing powdered graphite onto paper with a cotton ball.

The lights on the face & hair were removed with an eraser.  The drawing was then enhanced with some white pastel and charcoal pencil.

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The Old Testament Bible is rich with prophecies made by men who were divinely chosen  by God.  It is written that God called women into the prophetic ministry as well.

My favorite prophecies are those predicting the coming of the Messiah - perfect for a
Christmas series. 

Thursday, March 28, 2019

O is for Oil Paint

The Kiss
Oil on Ampersand Gessobord / 6X6

Many oil paintings are created with a loads of buttery paint, but this one was just the opposite.

"The Kiss" was done with a big stiff brush & a little paint thinned with turpentine.  It was meant to be an underpainting.  While it was drying, a visiting artist friend told me to sign it and leave it alone, so I did. 

Something different.

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We are blessed with long spring and autumn seasons in the Pacific Northwest.  This is what the neighborhood looks like today - a little overcast, but no complaints.

Hope to see you in a few days.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

N is for Notan

Notan is a Japanese term used to describe light-dark harmony.  Many artists reduce their sketches to simple notan designs to see if they have strong compositions. 

Sometimes painters use color & brushwork to create interest instead.  I usually rely on notan patterns when doing batiks to help avoid disappointment with values (tones) when the wax comes off; regular painting not so much.

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An estate sale score this weekend:  $10. for a plastic bin containing a nice variety of professional grade materials (lots unused) and some student grade stuff.  This and hubby bought lunch - a happy day!

 Hope you're having a great weekend, too!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

M is for Markers

For the idea journal

Markers are good for blocking in large dark areas in your drawings.  They bleed through paper, though, so they are not so great for using in some sketchbooks.

I'll cut and paste these into the idea journal.  Standing alone, the cleaned up images would make great cards, but I'm hoping to use them for something a little different.

Still thinking...

Friday, March 15, 2019

L is for Landscape

Just a few Oregon landscapes today.

I spent a longer than anticipated visit to the dentist yesterday & am still a little 
under the weather.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

K is for Knife Painting

Oil on Ampersand Gessobord / 6X12 (15.24cmX30.48cm)

If I had to choose only one art technique to use for the sheer enjoyment of it, knife painting would win.

Using a knife loaded with oil or acrylic paint is like icing a cake. There is no water to spill, no brushes to clean, and no wax to burn your fingers. You can paint fast and loose or slow and deliberate. You can create wildly textured areas and very flat planes.

My preferred painting surface is Ampersand gessobord. It is a hard panel made from Aspen, it is moisture and warp resistant & its covered with an archival fine tooth gessoed finish.

Stretched canvas (fun if you like bounce) and flat canvas panels are good options, too.

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Here's a YouTube demo created by my knife teacher Leslie Saeta, if you're interested.

Friday, March 8, 2019

J is for Jazz

"If You Have to Ask"
Pastel / 10X8

"If you have to ask what jazz is, you'll never know."  Louis Armstrong

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

I is for Inspiration

Heading Home
Oil on canvas / 11X14 (27.9cm X 35.5cm)

What inspired this painting?

A few years back, Tim & I sat down to watch the old 60's movie, "Spartacus." As the opening credits began, a few frames of a boat like this flashed on the screen and then faded out.  I rewound the video, did a quick sketch, and painted the first version of the boat (5X7) for one of those painting challenges. This is #2; yes, I'm a painting repeater.

If you're not in the right place at the right time and need some inspiration, it helps to have a creativity journal.

These are a few of the "Things to Paint" items in my journal: 
  • a dream
  • a prophecy
  • Biblical themes
  • a landscape from the viewpoint of an animal or insect
  • arbitrary use of color
  • statues (make them come to life)
  • a rainy day in the city
  • a favorite childhood memory
  • minimalist landscape
  • good and evil
  • your culture
  • favorite fairy tale
  • someone who inspires you
  • things you are grateful for

You can also get great ideas from writings (poetry, novels, myth & legend), magazines, music, food, and movies.  I remember someone doing a series of landscapes based on her favorite films ("Out of Africa," "Death on the Nile," ...).

My inspiration journal is also full of quotes:
  • "Behind every dancer there is someone who broke her, a song that moved her, a moment that inspired her and a dance floor that healed her."  Hope Alcocer  
  • "Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim." Nora Ephron
  • "An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and has no hair under her arms." Salvador Dali

It's full of painting title ideas, lists of favorite artists' birthdays, & ideas for creating a series of paintings.

A creativity journal will not only motivate you, it make you a better observer and help you develop ideas. 

Hope you're inspired to keep one, too.

Friday, March 1, 2019

H is for Happy

Oil on 6X6 Ampersand Gessobord Panel

About 10 years ago, I took a live oil painting workshop from artist Dreama Tolle Perry.
There were about 25 students in class.

On the last day of the workshop, Dreama gave everyone one of her personal reference photos (varieties of cupcakes, flowers, ...).

She then announced we were going to play "Musical Easels."

Dreama pumped up the music and told us to begin painting from the photos. After 90 seconds, she shouted,  "Stop,"and we moved to our neighbor's easels.

We painted on our neighbor's panel using their reference photos, their brushes, & their paint for 90 seconds, and so on and so on until we returned to our own easels.

At the end of the exercise, everyone had a special painting to take home.

This was mine.