Thursday, January 31, 2008
Yesterday's painting isn't this bright in real life -- perhaps it's the monitor? But a bit more gold and blue/green than seen here ..I tried NOT to fuss with the trees and leave them a tad more abstract than I would normally, and do the fields in one or two strokes finished with a drybrush detail.
I'd also like to thank YOU for your kind responses and suggestions towards achieving more looseness in my paintings. I will definitely be doing more practicing with those suggestions as I work through the 'challenges' of artful growth (or whatever it's called when we keep trying for something different!!!) LOL
In the meantime, I'll be practicing in my head as I head back to NC this morning and catch up on some much needed sleep! Two year olds really have the market corned on energy, don't they?! LOL
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I suppose practice is going to be the 'key' .. and having achieved it at least once shows me that it CAN be done! LOL
I've read that all painters, like writers, facing the blank page each day struggle with the same 'ideals' they shoot for and attempt - no matter how successful their past 'achievements." Some days I feel like the runner who's goal is to finish a marathon ... some days the miles go by effortlessly, other days each step is a climb ...
So here's to the running of the race! And the steps along the way ... at least they're fun!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
* Use a bit more water -- most of the time, especially in my sketchbook, my paint is too dry --
* However, be sure that the correct values for the washes are reached prior to putting brush to paper!
* Lighten my pencil lines
* Brush on paint with confidence
* LEAVE IT ALONE!!
* Wait until it dries
* QUIT fiddling WITH IT.
* And probably The #1 thing -- PLAN BEFORE PAINTING!
Now if I can only do this consistently!!!
Monday, January 28, 2008
I'd like to try it again with a looser touch as I find something compelling in the photo I sketched this from .... perhaps it's all the flowery landscaping after all the snow I've been drawn to? LOL
My dd takes off today -- please keep her in your prayers during her long drive...it's been such grace to be with her before her business trip ...
Sunday, January 27, 2008
I changed the sun to the right hand side, cooled the colors in the trees and snow, and tried to balance the barn on the right with a deeper blue on the empty part of the left hand sky.
I kept a bit of rose in the sky to mirror a bit of the barn color.
Sketching will be the norm for the rest of the week as I get a chance.... I've forgotten just how BUSY a two year old can be!
Hope everyone has a terrific week!!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I fiddled far too much with this, I know, and I think this 'letting it do it's thing' is going to be a constant lesson for me. I was also in my sketchbook instead of watercolor paper.
I'm off to my daughter's for the week so I may be scarce for a while. But I'll be sketching each chance I get ...!
Friday, January 25, 2008
Temperatures are doing some wild see-sawing this week as well -- two days in the 40s, two in the teens .... BRR!
I quickly sketched this thistle last evening after yet another meeting -- did you know thistles were relatives of artichokes?
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Work continues to intensify with meetings, deadlines, emergencies, and just plain overly-busyness ...
Today will be a long one with more meetings and deadlines ...
The cold has returned so everyone seems to be sporting a bit of a cold and fatigue from lack of rest and widely varying temperatures...
Stary warm -- stay well!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
An insanely busy day yesterday, I'm hoping for a bit less freneticness today ...!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I found this delightful photo of two arches (another love of mine!) and thought that wonderful orangey glow would warm the day!
I believe it's a photo from Mexico ...and it just seemed the perfect exercise for keeping a body warm on a cold, cold day.
It's back to work this morning and a rather intense week.....be safe on the roads -- we're expecting ice this morning!
Monday, January 21, 2008
I tried my my best to even BEGIN to capture what what was before me -- and yet keep my work spontaneous and loose. HA! Painting after painting failed --- and soooo I had to accept that 'loose and spontaneous' is going to be something to aim for and not expect to achhieve each and every time -- SIGH. I truly hope that over time and with continued practice the frequency of 'reaching THAT goal' will incease!
So here's daybreak through the window of my office -- the sun shining through the woods creating this golden path that lit the trees and the tall wax myrtle (that looks like a shrub from my window) ... setting everything aglow. Snow was still around and so I flicked white India ink on the painting to represent the flecks of snow. I simplified and elminated so many of the bare trees that seemed to be a bit overwhelming for this simple scene ...
This morning, there are patches of ice here and there, temperatures are in the the teens, and for the most part, our bit of white 'dusting' is gone. I'm grateful to have been home and warm during this rare event! Still, I'll keep painting snow for a while, hoping for just one or two more coatings of the 'white' stuff... it sure makes the world around me even more beautiful!
Sunday, January 20, 2008
In our part of North Carolina, we received a mild 1 INCH of soft, big-flaked snow that this morning is nothing but ice. Temperatures have dropped to the mid-20s -- I know, that's WARM for so many people -- but our normal temperatures are in the 50s!!
I got home from the conference a few hours before the snow actually began. After a 3 1/2 hour drive, visiting with trade show representatives, catching up with industry members, meeting students and other faculty, I had to take a bit of a nap to recover ... but sleep, at my advancing age, doesn't seem to be much of a priority, and so I was at the window when the snow started.
I grabbed my camera and excitedly ran outdoors to take a few photos -- nothing much to speak of, truly, since the ground has been so warm and most of the snow melted so quickly. Nonetheless, I decided I would sketch a bit of what I saw on my property.
I am enamored with ornamental grasses -- I love their reliability, sturdy and drought resistent character, the way they wave in the breeze, their graceful, arching growth habit, the space and cover they provide for wildlife, their winter interest, and a provider of additional seed for some of the birds -- and so our property is filled with many varieties. So when the snow fell, it rested mostly on these tan and ochre grasses ....
The painting I did is more of an 'inspiration' from my snow-covered bushes -- since we didn't have nearly this amount of snow and my grasses are HUGE... ! LOL
I'm trying to do a few more 'spontaneous' paintings sans lines or drawings first -- and so here's one of the first of these ....
Stay warm today!!
Saturday, January 19, 2008
I'm dashing back to the conference for the trade show and to meet my students for another class. We're expecting snow in the afternoon so we'll be cramming in as much as we can in a few short hours.
And whether it's snow or rain, we're all glad for whatever water can be added to our parched lakes and soils!
Friday, January 18, 2008
A very quick landscape to celebrate our bit of snow following the first evening of the conference.
Lectures have been fabulous -- and focused on new plants for 2008, with an emphasis on drought tolerance. Hopes were lifted during these discussions as the weatherfolks seem to think that there is reason to hope for a more RAINY SPRING then was first anticipated. You should have heard the shouts of joy from the green industry members whose livelihoods have been so adversely affected by the drought.
Our 'collective' fingers are crossed!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
We had .25 inches of snow early this morning -- now a mix of sleet and rain -- and we so welcome the preciptation!
My co-workers and I are safely at the conference hotel and will spend the day in meetings and classes. I understand this storm is wide-spread, so be careful on the roads!
Meantime, a bit of summer to warm us on this cold day!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
We're heading to our conference so I will probably be scarce until the end of the week ... We're also expecting, or hoping for, some rain or snow or sleet or, according to this morning's paper "some kind of wintry weather -- maybe' .... so I suppose I should have sketched more snow! LOL
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
I can only imagine the vastness of this range -- the rock outcrops, the enormity of the sky, the fields and the spectacular view. It's an "Italy" I have yet the privilege to see -- but thru images such as Lanfranco's, I'm able to 'armchair' travel and to learn more about a country with which I'm enamored.
I hope this pleases you, my friend!
PS - My grandson, Nick, turned three this month and we celebrated his birthday with cake, ice cream and another round of toys! His favorite -- a huge track and toy train! Perhaps someday he can imagine a train trip throughout the country of my dreams!
Sunday, January 13, 2008
I can always 'see' my fatigue in my sketches -- there are a few things 'off' or I've forgotten to check something -- like highlights or table depth or shadows ... still I find the practice worthwhile, even with the imperfections.
I was reading something the other day about inspiration. The author, again I can't recall, said that inspiration is wonderful, but it's the 'showing up at the table -- no matter what' that makes one's art improve ... AND when inspiration WILL show up -- sort of like having 'inspiration' know where you'll be...! LOL
So, despite the long days and weary body, I keep showing up .... and realize that some days will just be better than others!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
This was sketched in my Raffine all media journal -- and while I like the convenience of a sprial-bound journal and its portability and this paper that can take a good deal of water, the one drawback is that even after the paint has set, adding additional layers reactivates the paint layer beneath. So this blue mug was even more challenging since it required about six or seven layers of paint in order to get the blue values deep enough ...
Hope everyone has a great Saturday!
Friday, January 11, 2008
While I have no idea if any other artworks were selected from my college, I received notification yesterday that THIS painting -- MINE!!! -- was selected for display!!! I was thrilled to numbness!!!!
I didn't get home after all my meetings yesterday until almost 9:00 PM and I didn't read this notification until well after 10:00 PM .... so it took me a while to get to sleep!
I am so honored, especially for having my work displayed among my co-workers (many of whom haven't a clue that I began learning to paint and only know me as a plant person/grant WRITER!) ....
What an absolute surprise!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
My camellias at home are more of a pink instead of this orange/red ... but I found this photo and simply enjoyed playing with the COLOR!
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Nonetheless, sketching and painting daily are good practice FOR the weekend paintings -- so here's last night's practice.
I love antiques -- and this old teapot sitting on a wood stove burner cover just spoke to me of quieter times (they DID exist, didn't they???), warm kitchens, the steam of hot water and the tastiness of tea shared with friends in the cozyness of a kitchen setting
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I used one of my neighbors birch trees for this study.
Again, thank you, dear hearts, for your help!!
Monday, January 07, 2008
I head off for a busy week at work -- many evening meetings that will result in quick sketches. It's been wonderful to have a full day to paint this weekend!
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Thank YOU for a wonderful opportunity Lanfanco -- my fingers are crossed that you like it ...
Saturday, January 05, 2008
And so here's a bit of practice with my #2 rigger -- holding it from closer to the top, using a light touch and a kind of twisty/flick-ish kind of mark-marking.
Though not perfect -- they're closer to real trees and branching and MUCH less stiff .. and I'll continue the practice.
Again, many many thanks for your help!!!
But it felt so GOOD to finally be HOME, at least for a short weekend!
Friday, January 04, 2008
Thursday, January 03, 2008
After working almost exclusively on watercolor paper the last two weeks, I'm readjusting to my sketch paper (what I use when I travel) and adjusting again to STOPPING at 'sketch' insteading of 'pushing' toward 'polish' ...which will have to wait until the weekends. This 'adjustment' reminds me of the sentence used for lost and found edges -- the 'push and pull' of it ... Yep, that's what I'm experiencing ... pushing and pulling ... and looking at the calendar for the next extended vacation!! LOL
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
It's also back to work for me -- with a frantic, frenetic January ahead. The cold or bug is still with me, so I won't be moving very fast and the frantic will have to wait a week or so until I'm ready for it!
Happy return to routine!
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I thank each of you for your continued encouragement, support and friendship, and may I offer the same to you in your art journey. Your kindnesses have kept me picking up my pencil and paintbrush and I sincerely thank you for such generosity of spirit and heart.
My Art Goals for 2008:
* Sketch/paint daily – It’s the only way I know to improve!
* Practice more faces and figures – I’ve been reluctant to do these – they take more time and thought than I usually have but I really need to tackle this subject, for doing faces tells me when I’m really SEEING and SKETCHING what is in front of me!!
* Practice more landscapes – with my involvement in a plein air group this year, I’d like my plein air paintings to improve
* Sketch the everyday - Learn to SEE and PAINT as an artist would – not simply to render the scene – but the feeling and drama of what I love and what I’m painting …
* Continue to work through the many art books on my shelves!
* Practice more values and perspective
* LOOSEN UP!!
* Increase my economy of line and sketching speed - In order to do this, I will have to focus on SKETCHING during the workweek and PAINTING during the weekends when I have more leisure time. I noticed these last two weeks off, that I really NEED that extra time to let the paint dry between washes, THINK and PLAN what I’m doing, etc., and I just don’t have that kind of leisure during the workweek…. So I’ll have to TRY to be satisfied with practicing my sketching and quick paintings at work and spend time on the weekends for more polished paintings.
* Continue to use richer colors – especially DARKS.
* Sketch more things of meaning – and WRITE more in each of my journal entries.
* Study more art theory such as composition, the things that make a painting more dramatic or eye-catching, what makes a good still-life, how to increase the light in a painting, etc., etc.
* I don’t want to focus on particular subjects to paint, but would rather leave that open to painting those things that are ‘meaningful’ in some way.
*And no matter what, get in as much EXERCISE as SKETCHING!!
* And as always: PRACTICE! PRACTICE! PRACTICE
Here's to 2008!!!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!