Monday, December 21, 2009

Flamingos In Love

Can you believe it? I'm finally back at my easel. The house update is but a distant memory and we are currently in Florida. When in Florida......paint flamingos! You can click on the photos for a larger image. I tried to get in a little closer with the camera for the above photo.
This is the whole canvas photo. I'm trying something a little different with this painting as I wanted it to have more of a contemporary feel. I will be painting a 3 inch mat to frame the flamingos. I'm also using Decoart's Traditions acrylic paints for the first time. I have to say so far I am impressed with them. I like being able to 'lift' color once it is put down, but yet the color doesn't lift too easily. Does that make sense.....probably not. I guess what I am trying to say is the longer the paint 'cures' on the canvas the harder it is to lift. If you are impatient, you can seal the area with their glazing medium. I also found the paint seems to blend more easily than some other acrylics I have used. The colors also have plenty of pigment which is important to me because I use a lot of water when I paint. I like working in layers and slowly building up color and effect. Painting flamingos is kinda like painting cotton candy! I'm trying very hard to capture the soft, fluffy feeling that I see. Oh, and I'm using a copyright free photo for reference on this painting. I will post the reference photo next time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Home Improvement Days

This is what I have been up to these past weeks. We are in the process of updating our home in order to place it on the market.....soon.....I hope.

I have to say, I have never felt so old as I do when I am on my hands and knees sanding and painting cabinetry. Exactly when did that happen...LOL! Once the kitchen is done I think we will go ahead and put the 'for sale' sign in the yard. We still have the master bedroom and bath to paint and a few other odds and ends, but overall I think the house will show well at this point. Who knows, we may get lucky and find a buyer who is willing to finish these last 'little' projects. Hey, I can dream can't I??

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Well, I have had two very quiet days here in the woods. I'm waiting for that creative urge to blossom into a project.....LOL. So far, I have had several ideas....but nothing that is really motivating me to get that paint brush up and running. I think part of the problem is this overwhelming feeling...... that I have other more important things to tend too. Now, that just can't be right. I feel somewhat 'unsettled' these days. I'm doing my best to quiet those 'more important' thoughts and turn my mind inward to my creative muse........

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trying to get Motivated

Yesterday I spent the day organizing my art and sewing supplies. It seems that every time I even think about starting a project, I have to go on a "search and rescue" mission to locate everything. So, I have rounded up all my different supplies and grouped them together my type (sewing, painting, beading, and ribbon embroidery) and put them in more accessible places. It took some doing, but I think I will now be more apt to "create" knowing everything is readily available.

In my re-organizing I found several 'projects' in need of finishing. That will be my next task, putting together a 'ta-do' list to finish the old so I can move on to new.....

I just found out a nearby neighbor of ours is also an artist. She is particularly interested in fiber arts. She showed me some of her studio and some of her work. It is nice to have a fellow artist close by.....maybe it will inspire me to 'create' more often.

It has really been bugging me lately---that artistic urge to create--I feel the need to find that artist brush between my fingers again.....soon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Up to Nothing

Well, I'm afraid I don't have any new art projects to post at this point. We are currently in travel mode, which means we are moving from place to place a little to quickly for me to really get anything accomplished. Just to much sight seeing to do and meeting new folks.

I did make a decision on the slipcovers---they are just not going to work. I'm not happy with the way they look and I made a bad choice of the fabric. It just didn't stand up well to puppy toe nails. Not to worry, it can be salvaged and used in another project.

I think we are going to be looking into replacing the recliners and possibly the love seat when we get home. Not that they need to be replaced, they still look great and the recliners are mighty comfortable; but we think we might find something we like better. We are thinking of replacing the sofa with another recliner and just keeping the sofa's air bed for overnight guest. I would get much more use from a third recliner and end table then the current sofa. The current recliners are really over sized and I think if we can find something smaller that is still comfortable--we would be happier.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Finishing Up Cornice

So, there you have it. The first is a close up shot of the mama robin, then the baby, and finally the finished piece hanging in between the two drapery panels. I think it all turned out pretty well. My next project is two finish some 'coverlets' for my love seat and recliners. I'll post some photos when they are done. I have started thinking about my next painted cornice. I asked my hubby what he would like to see and he mentioned a south west scene. Now, I normally would not mix such diverse decorating schemes. But, what the heck! Rules are meant to be here I go.......

Monday, February 23, 2009

Robin Cornice In progress

These are the 'in progress' photos I promised. As you can see, I start out by simply washing in color. I allow that to dry and then start building up the values and adding additional color. I do this primarily by adding stronger washes. Next I break out my liner brush and start picking out the shapes I want to bring forward--those are highlighted. I then go back and reinforce shadows where necessary. I'm using a lot of light blue as my highlight color for the nest. I just like the way it plays off the pink flowers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Robin Cornice continued

Here are some more images of the cornice I am painting. As always you can click on them for a larger view. I'm sorry about not having some "in between" shots to show more of my process. Sometimes I get so "into" the painting the rest of the world fades and I forget about the camera. I'll keep the camera on my desk tomorrow and hopefully be able to do a better job of posting some 'step by step' shots for you to see.

One thing that popped into my head today. Remember when you were a kid and you laid on your back looking at the clouds.......imagining the different things you could and animals.....remember?? Well, I find the same thing in my painting process. I try to forget the whole, what I mean is I focus on the shapes, shadows, and highlights. I try not to paint a "bird" I paint all those interesting and wonderful shapes and textures that make up the bird....make any sense...give it a try next time you are at your painting easel.........

Friday, February 20, 2009

This is the next stage of my painting. I first painted in a mottled back ground using a wet into wet technique. By the way, in case I forgot to mention it, this is acrylic on canvas. I spray the canvas with a fine mist of water to slow the drying time and use broad stokes in an "x" motion. I usually repeat this process at least 2 to 3 times until I'm happy. I like to let the background dry overnight before applying the sketch. I almost always do my sketches on tracing paper and than apply them with a good quality transfer paper. By doing my sketch on tracing paper, I can
always overlay the pattern on the painting. This is especially helpful when things start to "grow" and need to be pared back.
I have begun to work on one of the blossoms and a couple of leaves. At this point, it is kinda trial and error method. I apply soft washes of color and build up the layers. Questions, comments always welcome

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cornice Robins and Blossoms

Here are the sketches for my first window cornice. I'm doing one of my favorite subjects---Robins and flowers. This cornice measures about 50" long and about 7"tall. It is a
fairly narrow band to work with in but I didn't want to block my view to the outside anymore than necessary.
I'm using a medium weight canvas, and doubling it. I'm using contact cement to bond the two sides together. I found I need to prime the back side before applying the contact cement. Otherwise the unprimed canvas just soaks up the contact cement. Wow, is that stuff stinky. If you do this, make sure you have good ventilation. As always, you can "click" on the photos for a larger version.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I know this is not my "Sadie Girl", but I just had to get started on my window treatments for the fiver. I know
they are a bit different. I love stripes, I love pink/green, and I love checks. Soooo, I combined all three into one luscious look. LOL!
After I complete all the panels, I will start on the painted canvas cornice. They will hang in between the panels. Each one will have a different scene---something with nature I think! I have 3 window panel pairs done only 7 more windows to go---LOL. Then let the painting begin!
As always, questions, comments, or ? always welcome......

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Finally Settled

We did make it do Yuma! Unfortunately, it took us a couple of days to find a spot to rent. Landed in a park called Southern Mesa. We had to do some shopping and it took awhile to get our internet up and running at the fiver. Now, that everything is settled, I will be getting back to painting...........til then

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Jan 21, 2009

Nothing new to report on the "Sadie" front. Just wanted to give everyone a heads up as to our travel plans. As most of you know, we full time in our fifth wheel and it is time to move on to our next destination----Yuma, AZ. I don't always have access to internet during travel mode and I usually have no time to paint anyway. So, you may not see a post for a day or two........

Monday, January 19, 2009

Jan 18, 2009

Here is the Sadie girl once again. I have finally progressed down to her chin area and got a quick wash of color on her lower body. I have decided to use the greenish brown as the background color, but I'm not sure when I will establish that at this point. Every time I sit in front of the portrait, I find some correction that needs to be made and then I get so involved in the dog that I never get to the background. LOL! I have been posting in Wet Canvas and have gotten some good input. Many actually like the lighting in the original photo. I'm thinking I may just paint it as is and not try to soften any of the shadows. I wish I were further along on this, but I'm afraid I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I sometimes agonize over every little hair!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Here is the photo I promised. I think I'm slowly getting there. Did not get to the background today--hopefully tomorrow......

Jan 15, 2009

I finally found my "happy place". A light is shining a the end of a long black tunnel. I'll post some photos of Sadie later today. I'm still struggling with the color of her fur. I'm thinking I need to get some type of background color going and that may help me make some better adjustments. The photo I'm working from has some pretty harsh lighting and I know that is "bleaching" out her color in some large areas. Anyway, it is time for breakfast and a shower and then back to the portrait........

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jan 12, 2009

I just can't seem to get back in the "groove" to paint. I'm experiencing some kind of "painter's block". I sure hope it passes soon. I'm so very frustrated right now. I'm going to try one more time tomorrow and if I'm not any better than I'm breaking out the sewing machine and pointing my creative juices in a different direction for awhile.

Until then.....

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jan 10, 2009

What a day! It was very frustrating! I worked on my "Sadie" portrait for most of the afternoon and have nothing to show for it. It was just one of those days----I just could not find my "happy place". No matter what I did the brush stokes were just all wrong. Finally I took the gesso and painted out the days work. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be in a better place and get something accomplished!

One thing I will touch on today is my "life" transition. I went from having a studio and a 1000 sq feet of workspace to an rv with less than 400 sq feet. I do miss that. The peace and quiet of my studio. Not having to "clean up" before quitting for the day. Having everything at my fingertips and that glorious feeling of "spreading out"--strewing my creative juices everywhere. Now, I'm forced to be organized, forced to work in a small area surrounded by my love ones, forced to clean up my mess every night. Maybe that's why I can't find my "happy place"---I'm in a period of adjustment........still trying to find what works best in my small space......still adapting to all the changes I have made in my life. If I had it to do over, would I give up my studio and move into an rv----you bet ya! I don't have to worry about paying the rent or meeting deadlines or marketing. I don't have to worry about shoveling snow or salting sidewalks. I'm finally able to travel---to see what I have never seen before and experience what I have never experienced before---I get to do it on my terms and my time table---best of all I get to do it with my soulmate and the two other loves of my life, my furbabies! I know I will eventually figure it all out. There will always be those days of frustration, but I'm learning to look beyond that and see all the blessings in my life.............and they are many

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wow, two post in one day! This is Sadie. The top photo is the one I am working from for the portrait. I started this portrait a while back, but life and tendinitis made me put it aside for awhile. As you can see from the next photo, I have a ways to go. I'm working with Atelier Interactive acrylics for the first time. The surface is a portrait grade, 9x12 canvas. I already see a few corrections. The roll of fat in front of the eyes seems to have gained a bit more weight, especially around the eye area. I'll need to pare that down a bit. I also think my blacks are a little to intense, so I'll work on an adjustment there. The
lighting in the original photo is a little harsh. I will have to play with that a bit.

I'm not sure about the background color as of yet. I'm leaning toward the greenish-brown in the photo, but I sure like that "pop" of coral in the foreground. I just don't want that color to overtake the portrait.

Still waiting for some supplies to start work on my window treatment project. So many projects, so little time! I tend to jump around on projects. Keeps life interesting, if not a little confusing............but that's me
Here is a bit more on the sofa table. Sorry about the clutter behind it--still trying to find a "place" for everything in my new home. I decided against the vine work and I have continued the "mottled" texture on the legs, top, and sides. I'm pretty happy with it right now. I need to let it "rest" awhile in my mind before continuing with any other elements. I'm thinking I might like to see hydrangea petals on the "lip" surrounding the table top. Just to get another texture and a bit of that purple color.

"Two Bad Dogs", thanks for your comment. I love sofa tables too, but I never thought I would be able to have one in our rv. Finding this little mini sofa table was a great discovery for me!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Jan 2, 2009

I know this is not my window treatment project, but at least it is a project. I bought this unfinished sofa table to go behind my chairs in our fifth wheel. It works great, so now it is time to get some creative juices flowing again. I decided on a pale green---that is picture one. Next I began working on the legs. I used the original pale green, a brighter lime green, and a darker green. I worked wet into wet to achieve a nice mottled effect. Picture two shows the
legs and the hydrangea plant that is my inspiration for the piece. I'm trying to decide if I want some vines and leaves on the legs or leave well enough alone. I'm also thinking of doing the mottled green look on the top of the table, filling in the rim with hydrangea petals.

Sure feels good to be painting again. I'll keep you updated as this continues.......questions, comments are always welcome and I'll post the answers here on the blog.