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.