Saturday, August 25, 2007

Another one - just a speed painting sketch - the Clydesdale again

Before I worked on the cyclamen, I did a 15-minute watercolor sketch in my sketchbook of the Clydesdale colt. You may be able to see how the paper's buckled, but I enjoy this paint-sketch. I love the way the green shapes his belly and legs, and I love the pattern of the white inroads into the red-brown. The area of green below the belly has edges in the wash that look kind of like pressure ridges, or concussion-wave lines - I'm not sure what to call them - echo lines? Compression waves - that's it!

I don't plan to offer my sketches or speed paintings for sale, but if you love the look of this one, let me know; I might do a bigger watercolor from it. Who knows?

A Cyclamen - not there yet...

So here's what I painted on Thursday: a cyclamen. Or, part of a group of cyclamens in the corner of our dining room. While I was working on it, I thought it was kind of pitiful - crude shapes, garish, unsubtle colors; so I only worked on it for an hour & a quarter, planning to save some of my painting time on it for some future day, when maybe I've gotten a bit more experience with plants and foliage. Getting any variation and life into the green of the leaves was a challenge I didn't think I was making any progress on, and working with light colors over the wet green paint, to try to get the details of the pattern on the leaves, was also difficult. I enjoyed it, all the same, even though I rather despised the results, and I'm very glad my judgements didn't interfere with my pleasure in the process.

About an hour later, when I looked at it again, it didn't look nearly as hopeless as I'd thought earlier. It's still unfinished, of course, and I don't know if I'll finish it; and if I work more on it, I don't know how much closer it will get to the beauty of these cyclamen leaves, and their flowers. But, hmmm.

At this point, I don't expect to sell this. But if it catches your enthusiasm, and you'd especially like me to finish it, let me know!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two in a row! Clydesdale Colt

Oil on masonite,

Hey, hey! I did another painting yesterday. This one looks more unfinished, but I still like it. I think I wimped out a bit on the colt's face. I was painting from 5:30 to 7:30 in the evening. I really really want to get to my painting earlier in the day, but I'm glad I'm doing it, anyway. I photographed it this morning; morning seems to be a good time to photograph the paintings, good light, not direct. I left my tripod set up on my studio balcony (not the same balcony I photographed the buck from), which makes things a bit easier.

This is a Clydesdale colt who was tethered in a open shed at the Draft Horse Classic. He was so gorgeous... I love the markings, not quite like a paint horse, but the white making inroads on his red.

I don't know what else I want to say....

The official size of this is 6" x 8"; exact size is 5 5/16" x 7 15/16". If you're interested in buying this one, please email me. It's $115 plus shipping - probably between $5 and 10, including insurance. This will need about one month's drying time.

Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoy these.


Email me if you'd like to buy this painting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Finally, a new one: First Young Buck

Oil on masonite, 8" x 6"

Well. I think I'll just blurt and ramble till I start to feel happy with what I'm writing. I started out censoring.

So this is my second "daily" painting, and at this rate it comes out to "Painting a Twice a Year." Or I could just say I'm starting over. Or I could just say I'm back, though I don't know if that means I'll do my third, fourth, fifth "daily" paintings soon, or after a long while. I am trying just walking forward with my eyes closed, not looking forward and speculating, not looking back and judging. I hope I'm ready to make this a habit. I want to be ready.

I did this painting yesterday in what felt like a very neutral state - not excited or pleased, not disappointed, frustrated or unhappy. I'm kind of pleased with the painting, and kind of mystified - I don't know where it came from, in a way. I mean that although, literally, it came from a photo I took of a buck deer on our driveway, standing less than six feet away from the little balcony I came out on to take pictures of him, it looks way more mysterious and moody and evocative, and kind of dramatic, than I expected, and a sort of classical lighting developed that is a surprise to me. From the mood, I almost think it could be deep in the forest.

I like the light, and I really like this buck's cocked-back ear. I think his eye could be larger and more liquid, but I think it works. I really like the angles and direction of the composition. It seems like I've made him look like a youngster, a fawn, but though his sprouting antlers are hard to see, they're there. He stayed for me for a long minute or so, before slowly moving on down the hill.

The official size of this is 8"x6"; exact size 7 15/16" x 5 5/16". It's $115 plus shipping - still haven't checked that out, but I think it will probably be between $5 and 10, including insurance. This will need about one month's drying time.

I might write more about the buck or the painting later, but I think I'll leave it at that for now.


Email me if you'd like to buy this painting.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Yesterday's new painting: Head-Scratching Heifer

Oil on masonite, 6" x 8"

So, here she is. This is oil on masonite. The official size is 6"x8"; if you want to know the exact size, it's 5 5/16" x 7 13/16". One of my next tasks will be to figure out how to handle sales through my Blog. This piece has been sold, but if you're interested in a similar painting, the price would be $115 plus shipping and insurance.

I think I have figured out how to set up my email link: see the link below my profile.

There are things I'd love to improve about this, but I am pretty pleased, and I'm trying to leave my paintings as they are when the day's time is done, by and large. I think she looks solid and meaty (not as in "beef"), I enjoy the colors, and I feel like scratching her head myself.

I hope you enjoy her.


Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Finally - my first Painting a Day painting

But you won't see it till tomorrow... I hope tomorrow. Last Saturday I gessoed 25 pieces of masonite; Sunday I cleaned my palette; Monday I bought a 4'x15' canvas painter's tarp, and cut it into three pieces: one long one to put on my couch and a 4' square piece to cover the dining room table, to protect the couch & table when I'm setting down gessoed masonite pieces to dry, and a piece about 3'x4' to cover my drafting table.

This afternoon, late, I spent about 1 1/2 hours painting a calf scratching her head, from a photo I took of some heifers I've hung out with. An hour and a half is about how long I plan to spend, usually, and I've refined my plan: the first 15 minutes is kind of a speed painting, roughing in the painting, and the remaining hour and a quarter is filling in and refining. I didn't get as much done as I wanted, and maybe sometimes I'll take longer, with a more detailed subject (like this heifer - or are they all "more detailed"? I guess I'll find out), but I don't want to take too much more time than that. The last 15 minutes was kind of a sprint to the finish line. I still like it, quite a lot. The colors and the feel of it make me happy inside.

Tomorrow I'll try out photographing it, hoping to figure out a lighting angle that minimizes the shine of wet paint (I've noticed quite a few other artists commenting on the lack of fidelity of their photos, caused by that shine). If all goes well, and I have the time, I'll try uploading the photo and exploring other capabilities of the blog.

Here's the title, I think: Head-scratching Heifer. Hope it's not too cute. I welcome any other ideas... I love titling my paintings. Even so, sometimes they're just straightforward, factual, kind of boring. But sometimes they sing.

I hope you, my new audience - whoever you are - friends, strangers, friends of friends, clients, friends of clients, fellow singers, and all - enjoy this as much as I think I will.

Welcome, paintings!
Welcome, viewers!

Monday, January 1, 2007

New Year's Day

Evening of a day that has been a very nice start to the new year. A few days ago Paul set me up and helped me cut a first big batch of masonite pieces that will become the "canvases" of my (still hoping) painting-a-day paintings. That is exciting, though it was VERY dusty (despite the under-the-sawblade vacuum dust control), and next time I think I'll substitute a respirator for my dust mask.

Next I need to cut the rest, use up the gesso I have priming my new canvases, and order more gesso from Roark (one of my favorite art supply stores, in downtown Los Angeles).

One of my stepdaughters has a really nice picture of a giraffe that may find its way into a painting, and there were several dogs at the shelter today, when I walked, that I really liked and hope I get to photograph and paint (I didn't have my camera along today). Hudson and Pretzel, who are unrelated but look like kindred canines; and Daisy, Wenda, and Mr. Wonderful, who did all come from the same household. Hudson is a dark mahogany brindle hound, leggy with those hound hipbones, and Pretzel - I don't know what he is - some ruddy-blond young dog, medium-sized and shapely, wrinkled forehead, very mouthy and irrepressible. Hudson's not much older, and has been one of the worst barkers, and a jumper-up-on dog, but he is learning to sit and pay attention and be obedient, and has relinquished his worst-barker status to a newer dog, Jasmine.

I took Hudson and Pretzel out to the side yard to play together, also hoping that Hudson would pee and poop so he could keep his kennel clean till getting walked tomorrow morning. In the afternoon we start walking them about 2:30, which is really quite a bit too early to be ideal, but it's what we have to do... I watched Hudson and Pretzel play and challenge each other to sort out who was dominant. They clearly both wanted to be. Hudson rolled Pretzel repeatedly, grabbed his throat, stepped on him when he'd gotten Pretzel on his back, and humped him - and still that irrepressible mouthy Pretzel kept biting Hudson's ears, jowls, hocks and legs... Oh, my.

Daisy and Wenda are kind of pit bull types, but very refined-looking with very soft fine coats. One - I think it's Daisy - is a soft grey-tan with white chest and nose; the other is a beautiful smoothly shaded soft grey with those white areas, shading into charcoal on hocks and lower legs. And her ears stand up so beautifully... They have lovely manners, and are only in quarantine because the main area got so full at the shelter.

Must take my camera along next walking day. Or maybe go over there, with my camera, before that.

So there it is, for today. I am getting excited and eager, and I hope I really do carry my plan through.