Sunday, July 23, 2017

Painting on plywood

Oil on wood, 5"x7"


It's been 30+ years since I've gessoed a board so it was a relaxing Saturday event. I gessoed a few boards, varying the texture and will reserve some for multiple coats. While I LOVE the feel of a brush on canvas, I figured I'd try an alternative to decide which I like better. And I must say the sound of a brush on a board is luscious but it's pretty hard on my sable brushes. I'll need to break down and get me some hog hair or synthetics for the early stages of the painting and save my sables for the finishing touches. I say luscious because it is an audial experience as well. Running my brush across a board (I didn't sand it by the way, opting for more texture) ... was a bit like painting sandpaper. I can imagine my sables getting whittled down to nubs! It grabs the paint very unlike a canvas. I like it. I'll need to test the boards out a bit more but I think it may be a new fave.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

JKPP (thvedl/Lisa) ... "Blue"

Lisa, oil on stretched canvas, 8"x10"

S-T-R-E-T-C-H! Lisa provided a wonderful black and white photo for us to draw and paint on Julia Kayʻs Portrait Party. I didnʻt take the plunge to translate it into a color painting so decided to do a monochrome but with blue instead. It did stretch my brain but I loved the challenge. I also jumped to a larger size, 8"x10", this time. Feel free to leave constructive feedback!

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Aeʻo (Hawaiian Stilt)

Aeʻo, oil on stretched canvas, 12"x12"

These adorable aeʻo or Hawaiian black-necked stilts (Himantopus himantopus knudseni) are native to Hawaiʻi and can be found wading in shallow waters, including anchialine ponds, estuaries, wetlands and even water hazards at golf courses. These birds are federally and state-listed as endangered.

The reference photo for my painting is, by permission, from Randy Bartlett who is not only a great biologist and program manager but also a professional conservation photographer. You can purchase his photographs or make a donation to his non-profit, Endangered Hawaiʻi. Heʻs also on Instagram: Endangered Hawaiʻi.

A portion of the proceeds of this painting, including any of my other drawings or paintings of endangered species, will be donated to local conservation programs as well so they can continue to protect the species that make Hawaiʻi so unique. 

Note: the light areas in the background is reflective glare from the wet paint. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Stocked up!


Aren't these lovely? I was missing my oils so I ordered a "lot" of Winsor & Newton artist oil colors from eBay. They finally arrived and I am now happily stocked up for months of painting before the next Volcano Village Art Studio Sale in November. I'll have original oil and watercolor paintings and some pencil drawings for sale and maybe the occasional clay sculpture so be on the lookout. I'll be posting paintings in preparation for it so you'll know what to expect when you stop by.

Hmmm, I just noticed I stock my watercolors in the same way, including my clothes in the closet. Yes, I arrange my clothes by color. Do people even do that?!

Irini's roses

oil on canvas, 5"x7"

The pinkish orange afternoon light on the bouquet of roses and rosemary that Irini made for our last group dinner together was especially pretty. She picked them from her gorgeous garden. That afternoon light is a color I've only seen in Greece, like the blues of the Aegean Sea. Early evenings were extra special because I was treated to the beautiful purple, orange, red, and blue sunsets that created natural art that I looked forward to every day. That light of the setting sun beamed into my "home away from home," lighting the front room and featuring shadows on the walls. 

I ended up using the oil colors I still had in my collection (as I mentioned in my last post, I left my favorite colors on Paros back in April). Alizarin crimson, Permanent green light, Azo Green, Cerulean blue, Phthalo tuquoise, Winsor lemon ... I think they were perfect for this painting and stretched my repertoire of colors. This might be a bit too dark but I like the starkness of it, which reminds me of the shadows I used to watch. I guess that is what art is for me ... a way to imbed in my brain the images and feelings of experiences. Even if I part with the pieces, the experience of painting the scenes and the feelings they evoke always stay with me. 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Coffee and biscuit

Watercolor on 140 lb Arches - cold press, 5"x7"

Irini made biscuits and they were divine!  

I admittedly left my watercolor and oil paints in Greece because I decided to bring back some rocks instead. Yeah, nerd. Well, it was a weight thing too. I decided to catch a plane rather than the ferry so my options were limited. Still, yeah, I know ... crazy ... but I know I'll be back so it's not like it's a forever sort of thing. Still, it does leave me with only a few of my favorite oil colors here so I figured I'd paint in watercolors instead until I resolve my predicament. 

Switching back and forth between watercolor and oil is good exercise for my brain. Had to think "light to dark" rather than "dark to light" with oil paints and one can't force watercolors like you can oils. I keep forgetting that with watercolors, you have to start with a good drawing foundation. There is no fudging like you can with oils so this painting is a bit wonky but I like it tho'. Maybe because it reminds me of my new friends in Greece. I still miss them.