Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones VI

Sticks & Stones VI 7x10" watercolor on Arches
The elements in this challenge were - Checkerboard composition (duh...okay, a little obvious...and I put the flowers on the wrong squares) Direction being the dominant element, and lemon yellow as the mothercolor, which doesn't show up worth a damn because when I get the yellow looking yellow, the purple blue color becomes some other you'll have to trust me that the squares that aren't purple are actually yellow.

Well, this is the last in the Sticks & Stones series, as Myrna's January challenge is rapidly coming to an end. It has been fun working with these elements (okay, one is missing here). I've learned so much...especially "THINK BEFORE YOU PAINT". Amazing really...and then there is the "Think While You're Painting" why didn't I think of that?!

I might take a couple of these and work them up in a bigger format. Which ones do you think would look good? Tell me your faves. If ya want.

Anyway...the weather is beautiful, wish you were here. It's warmed up to a balmy -28C! A person can actually go outside without worrying about instant frost bite. Really lovely. (I hope the sarcasm shows up better than the yellow).

And show is over...(how many nights in a row can a person (not mentioning any names) watch the same movie before they are considered really pathetic? Just curious.)...and it's time to start a new painting. hhhmmm...what to paint, what to paint...

Drop me a line...I like the company.
Edit: PS...For those of you south of the border in Farenheit land...I just checked the temp and it's -30C which is about -22F. Just so's ya know.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones V

Sticks & Stones V watercolor on Arches
This is number 4 in Myrna Wacknov's challenge. The composition is cruciform (can you tell?), the dominant element is supposed to be shape (there are shapes there, see 'em?), and the 'mothercolor' is blue violet (yup, that's blue violet). I guess there is only one more challenge left for January. Almost done. I hope she does more in February. It's nice to have the inspiration when I'm at a loss, or frustrated with whatever else I am working on.

It is -36C here. Just mean and nasty cold. It warmed right up to -28 today, but it is dropping, dropping, dropping...I actually burned my hand on a metal door handle this morning. Good thing I didn't try to lick it! Ha. God I hate it here. Hate it, hate it, hate it. Okay...moving on.

I got a new toy!! It's an iPod Touch. I'm not really one to run out and buy all the new electronic gizmos that erupt on the market daily...I only bought a lap top because I like to lay on the floor or couch when I'm on the computer. But the iPod Touch. Oh my. I'm totally in love. It has 8GB (apparently that's quite a bit). It holds music, pictures, and videos. It can access the internet if you're near a wireless router, it has a day planner, calculator and address book. It doesn't do dishes, unfortunately, but it does down load music from iTunes. So all is not lost.

My slightly pathetic justification for this outrageous expenditure is that it is an excellent portable art portfolio. And it really is! The screen is about 2"x3", and is crisp and clear. You can even zoom in to see details. I can put pictures of my paintings on it, and show them off to anyone I want!! It really is the coolest thing. So...Merry Christmas to me!!!

So while the temperature drops to "Hell is Freezing Over" depths, I am busy stuffing all of my songs and pictures on my new toy, watching "The Holiday" for the millionth time (yes, pathetic, I know), and trying to remember that it will be summer again...sometime. God I hate it here.

So drop my a line, tell me a story...just please don't tell me how warm it is where you are. Thanks so much.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Poplar Trees

Winter Sky watercolor 22x30" sold
The bottom two images are crops

Oh glorious Friday! Is it my imagination or did this week last about a month!? Hm...well it's over now...two days of free, free, freedom!

So I think I finished this watercolor painting of poplar trees. There are definitely parts of it I love to pieces, and some parts that sort of missed the mark. I could quite happily lop off a good portion of the tree on the right. Too many straight branches...just doesn't work for me. And of course the color is off...that blue is very blue in real life...but not quite that blue. So, overall I am pleased, and sufficiently ready to set it aside and move on to the next.

I have been reading quite a bit about how to make ones blog more attractive to the search engines. Empty Easel (see link on the right) has some great information on the well as some other places I visited that I forget the name of. Some of the things mentioned are to use key words in posts, and be repetitive; bold and italicize words; use popular names, such as artists, websites, and clubs, groups or societies (which is why I am going to join some!).

Linking to other sites, and having them link you is another helper. And there is some other more teknikal stuff I have no idea how to do, but will get someone else to help me with.

These things are not going to be miracles, but in time they are supposed to help increase visitors. Oh, yeah, and getting PayPal too.

So these are some things that I am working on. I have a small fear of appearing presumptuous, and acting like I'm "all that"...but that's just too bad. A smart guy I know told me that it's smart to work on marketing your work early on in your 'career' that's what I'm doing. (Thanks Ron.)

Still working on Myrna's challenge...cruciform composition, and shape as the dominant element. I'm not really sure what that means, LMAO!! but I'm working on it. I mean, pretty much naturally occurs when you draw how do I make it dominant? to the book shelf...

Drop me a line and tell me a story....

Monday, January 21, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones IV

Sticks & Stones IV 7x10" watercolor on Arches 140lb CP

Well I am definitely in the grips of the winter blues, but have been fighting bravely against it...lots of chocolate, painting, music....and of course, the meds. Winter will end, and it will be warm again....

In the is the third for Myrna's challenge:

Triangular composition (she says she threw that one in just for fun...twisted) ; Texture; and Quin Gold. I think I covered all the bases. It was hard to get the color right...there should be more dark in the flower, but then the background gets too dark. Ah well, you get the idea...just imagine some darks.
I love Quin can be just about any color on the orange-yellow section of the color wheel you need...and mixes so interestingly with other colors. I cheated a bit on the texture part...used plastic wrap - never tried it before; it turned out okay I think. Of course, my children think I'm brilliant. Bless their little biased hearts...

Off to bed...drop me a line and let me know what you think...about...stuff.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Poplar Trees - Watercolor

It is hard to tell in the pics, but I have done quite a bit of work on this. Next I will be adding in all the small twigs, and the knots and scars on the trees trunks.

I have ordered my first roll of watercolor paper! I'm quite excited to start a new painting on it. I want to do these trees big. And I want to do a tall narrow one. And I want to do a wide narrow one. Oh so many paintings to be painted. So little space in my livingroom.

Not much else to say. At least nothing pleasant. Off to paint now.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Inspiration, Watercolor, and Step I

I finally found a cork board to put over my painting desk. I've wanted one for ages, and...yeah, I found it at Walmart...

So I'm putting up little bits of this and that, a reminder of the Artists magazine art competition, paintings...then my daughter made me the sign that says "Do What You Want, it doesn't matter"...hhhmmm...good advice from a barely 14 year old? I'll take it!

I've been working on a full sheet painting...thought I'd put the first stage pic on, just to keep something happening on the ol' blog. It is at the third color stage...I don't really have a set plan regarding color...I just keep adding them until it looks right.
I'm really enjoying this is like a meditation. And I love the look of it. From a distance all the colors just blend together, but up close it is this wonderful mosiac of little bits of color. I'm sure there must be a name for this style of painting...anyone know? As with all personal discoveries, it's easy to forget that is has already been discovered by someone else, and they might have some pointers on how to do it better, or easier...or whatever. So anybody that has some input...jump right in anytime. I'm eager to learn.
I think I am going to have to order a roll of paper soon, 'cause I want to do this one big!
I'll put it on the list...

Let me know what you think about stuff!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones III.5

Sticks & Stones III.5 watercolor on Arches 7x10"

Did the Roman's have decimals? Huh...never thought of that before...

Well, I decided to try Myrna's challenge again...get that radial thing happening. And I think I got radial...but I also got boring. Ah well, live and learn. Like my floating rock? LMFAO!!!

There is a blog call View On Canadian Art...anyone been there? It is interesting...but I gotta say...there's a LOT of art out there that I just don't get. Somewhere back in June or July it shows the 5 finalists, and the winner of the RBC Art competion for EMERGING Canadian artists. Now this is a big competition...winner gets $25,000, second and third get $15,000. And what I'd like to know is...where the hell are they emerging from, 'cause it must a pretty scary place! I've read many times that 'the subject and technique don't matter as much as excellent composition and good use of design elements.' I think that's a crock of shit. What ever happened to beauty?!?! Not one of those paintings are beautiful. And the one that won? There's nothing there!! Who the hell is making these decisions about what entails good art?!?! 'Cause I'd like to give them a good smack on the back of the head.
Beauty, people, BEAUTY!! And yes beauty is different for everyone, I know..but come ON! When art becomes synonymous with 'weird, obscure and irritating', things have gone terribly awry. I know that I have a lot to learn about art...and I have yet to paint a masterpiece...but it's pretty discouraging to see the kind of art that 'they' are rewarding. Makes me want to take my daughter's acrylics and fling them on a canvas and enter some art competitions.
Nah, just kiddin'!

Okay...that was fun! Feelin' better now. Drop me a line!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones III

Sticks & Stones III 7x10" Arches block

So this is the next painting for Myrna Wacknov's groovy cool challenge.

The 'mother color' was to be it. The design element was to be Value. Well this looks like a value study in two it...sorta. And the composition was to be 'radial'. Hmmm...well I consider the squares within squares to be radial...though I could be wrong. Plus, there are the petals of the flowers, and the crossed stems. So...yeah...radial.

I haven't done anything else tonight because my FURNACEISN'TWORKINGANDIT'SFUCKINGFREEZINGINHERE!!!! Not a good thing to happen in this neck of the woods (Northern Canada). Can barely type...I think hypothermia is setting in...sleeeeeepppyyy. Nah, just kiddin'...I called my ex-husband and he's on his way (he's a gas guy). How handy is that?! He better hurry's -20C outside...that's like...what...-6F? Bloody cold.
Hey! Does anyone know how to make it so my paintings show up in a search? When I do a search in google images, the only images I see are ones that I have commented on on other blogs! Let me know what ya know!
Off to visit other blogs...too cold to paint!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones II

Sticks & Stones II 7x10" watercolor on Arches block

I had decided I would do a series of paintings with these three explore different designs and techniques...composition, color, different elements of design...and then lo and behold, there is Myrna Wacknov with her monthly challenges using these very things! Will the fun never end... I'll do these 'challenge' paintings in a 7x10 format, and decide which ones I will paint larger.

So here is number two in the 'series', and number one in the challenge...don't really know if I did it right, but it was kinda fun. This is supposed to be a vertical composition (I think I got that), using a base color (a mother color, she calls it) for unity (my new fave red-orange: Quin Gold & Aliz Crimson), but I don't know if I got across the design element of Texture here...the spikey dried petals, dried leaf, thorns on the branch, and negatively painted petals in the border. But it was fun...and it's done...on to the next!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Watercolor Painting - Sticks & Stones I

Sticks & Stones I - watercolor on 7x10" Arches block.
Well, I'm just a paintin' fool these days...or maybe just...well, never least I'm painting!

I'm happy. And my son got a new TV today, his old one for his Xbox he's happy. It's all just happiness and sunshine around here...lots of chocolate left over from festivities...Oh will the joy never end!

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it is exactly that I want to paint, that I like to paint. I have looked at all sorts of paintings, photographs, movies...thinking thinking. I appreciate and enjoy so many styles of painting, and so many different subjects...still life, landscape, seascape, many things!

What I have finally realized is that just because I like something, doesn't mean I want to paint it. I love pictures of old buildings, stone things, wood things, flowers, leaves...but I don't have an interest at the moment in painting these things. What I want to paint is a super zoomed in small part of the flower, one leaf, part of the tree...just a part of the whole...make it big, and make it mine. What a relief!

So now that I've figured out that deceptively simple riddle, I am free to continue on experimenting with this wild and wet watercolor journey. Life is good.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Mosaic Poplar

Well this is great! I'm feeling inspired again! I'm really enjoying this funky new technique I learned...(too bad I can't get a good pic...again...the background is just white).
And the blues are not quite as blue as they appear here. Can't wait to get my new equipment. A scanner will be ever so handy. to paint...drop me a line...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Firsts - Watercolor Doodles

Well. A new year already...I had no resolutions last year...just trying to keep my head above the waves. I managed the year was a success!

But this year...well, I have a couple things that I would like to I'll just leave myself a little note here, and come back next year to see how I did.
1. Exercise! Something, anything...I spend way too much time sittin' on my butt.

2. Get all my papers in order, so I can get a Permanent Resident card, so I can get a Passport, so I can TRAVEL!!!!!

3. Enter an art competition.

4. Start my own art print business.

Okay. Now that's out of the way...

I have already done a few 'firsts' this year.

1. I cleaned my paint palletes!!

2. I cleaned my room! (It's really big...and hey! There's carpet)

3. I doodled!! And I did color strips of the colors I have.

I never doodle...but I had all this nice clean paint on my palette, and thought I might just might make some test strips...and then one doodle led to another...and THEN...I painted a cool thing. Totally out of line with what I have been painting. And I just love it.
It's the tree trunk, with all the little patches of color. (Damn, I forgot to rotate it...supposed to be vertical...oh well). Pretty cool. I did the leaf in a similar way, but without as much variation in color. It was outrageously fun, and I am finally feeling inspired.

I have spent a lot of time cruising through all the fantastic blogspots, (yes, too much time)...but I have found such great things to see, study, and think about! So its a healthy sort of addiction...sort of...

Then I read Bruce MacEvoy's journal on his website. Fantastic. Everyone should read it at the beginning of the year. Brilliant.

Then...SHAZAM...I'm inspired.

Of course, I still spend way too much time cruising...but you know how it is with new toys.
HAPPY NEW YEAR to all, may all good and wonderful things come knocking at your doors. Thanks for all the inspiration, and thanks for visiting my humble blog...makes my day.
Ok. I'm done.