Tuesday, September 27, 2011

art at last!

ack! i have been cleaning house. part of the reason i get art made is that i don't clean, but husband has cousins coming to visit and we thought that maybe a deep clean was in order. and we're still not done, but we are close.

so i'm going to show off some of the handy work! this is the joint office/computer room (where the art table used to be) lots of room in here now.

this is my home office. you can tell by the tom petty poster over the desk. where i slave away selling gum & candy. also the guest room (there's a daybed against the wall across from the desk) so it had to be cleaned.

this is also the room where the out of rotation art hangs out. in the closet. which hasn't been too organized. it is now tho!

check it out- i even labeled the boxes with the art they contain. and yes, i can figure out what that says if i have to.

i did a lot of purging and repacking and cleaning, but it is nice to have things organized again. the 5 hours i spent in the kitchen last night was not nearly as much fun. oh well!

the reward was studio night tonight. nancy & lynn came over. lynn has a birthday tomorrow, so we had champagne. we laughed and talked and listened to music and made art and it was good.

bonus for me was that since lynn is a sculptor she had a real feel for what need to happen in my hawk's head (as in seeing the skull) and helped me work out what was needed. much better now, and done. we talked about going to the birds of prey center together and taking a behind the scenes tour. i think that this would be particularly cool to do with lynn to watch how she sees the birds.

be sporadic posts the rest of the week, as there is more cleaning and music and then visitors and hanging day but i hope to get back to a regular schedule soon! luckily i am ahead a bit on art and in good shape for sunday's hanging.

Friday, September 23, 2011

scary stuff

for some odd reason i thought that i should clean out the scary art closet. the one that holds all of the artwork that i tried to sell once. and art that i tried to sell more than once but not in the right place. 

some of it is just not good- as in someone might buy it (and goddess bless 'em if they do and i'm glad for the joy it will bring them), but really? some of it IS good and i don't know why i still own it. and then there's the stuff i just don't know about.

i haven't painted in a long damn time. and still lifes scare me. cuz it involves drawing and being still. but i did the three below, showed them, then put 'em in the closet. so when i was cleaning today and found them i hauled 'em out and thought- they aren't so scary. but i could be wrong.....

i remember being so excited that i painted metal that looked like metal.

i think about how militant i get with the other folks in the gallery and i wonder if this work of mine is good enough to hang there (as in at the standard i would like to see). hard to know about your own work. and we all slide stuff. or get emotionally involved one way or t'other.

your opinion?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

maybe if i keep plugging away something will happen

i left the hawk for the evening and did a bit of messing about- this one probably won't need much more. 8x10 on wood panel, texture provided by tissue paper.

some of the various assorted sundry works in progress. magnets, plaster play, little odds & ends. i keep waiting to be hit with inspiration, but maybe i should just lock myself in the studio tomorrow with with a bottle of wine & some loud music & see what happens.

here's hoping that your artistic ventures are going a bit easier!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

oil painting

i haven't oil painted in a long time- probably 4 years. the paints (alkyds) have been hanging around, waiting. i pulled them out a week or so ago to paint the hawk. quickly remembered the smell of the paint and turpenoid and the wonderful creamy blendy way they work.

here's ms. hawk at the end of the last session- still needing work. the beautiful thing about alkyds is that they dry overnight, unlike traditional oils, which can take a week. not that i got right back to her.

here's the painting when my husband came home- happier with the body, there is still something needing work. he pinpointed that as the head needing more.

and here's where that ended up- better, still needing some work. like the body pretty well, just need a bit more work on the head.....

 wish me luck! :)

as for our meeting- long and painful. i don't understand how people can join an organization knowing what is expected and sign a contract and then be surprised when the terms are enforced. and that was the easy part. we did amend the bylaws to read that art has to be out for 4 months before it can come back in too- yay!

we also got to rehash- again- hanging small pieces at the airport. even tho the membership voted down the proposed change last meeting and the board decided not to put in on the agenda, supposedly closing the door on the discussion. but NO! i think maybe we're finally done, tho. i hope.

anyway- hopefully ms. hawk helps me finish her tomorrow or this weekend & i get inspired to get started on something else!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

back at last!

glad to be home after a week in san antonio. a busy week, but good. no down time, though, so it was good to get home and have a chance to veg.

first two photos from yesterday & today's hikes. so nice to be back in the not humid west!

my morning glory is just fabulous- i can't believe that i never had one before! i will share more garden shots- the back yard is wonderful- i planted lots of annuals to fill in for the small perennials and it worked great. need to think about annuals in the front yard too.....

got to the studio today. started this a few weeks ago, over an old piece. this is drawn in plaster-

then painted and left to contemplate. 
decided that the edges could use some embellishment and pushed spackle thru a stencil to end up with the texture below-

wanted more the look of an old piece of plaster, so i washed titan buff fluid acrylic thinned with water over the blue to tone it down.

better, but realized i needed to put some blue on the spackle to blend it in.

and another wash of the buff. what i'm having trouble with now is how to seal this. tried clear gesso, but i had some of the spackle come off and leave white spots. maybe the gesso wasn't quite dry enough. i could use thinned matte medium, but haven't been crazy about what that does to the look of the plaster in the past. i made myself stop and let this dry and will regroup tomorrow.

tried the citrasolve transfer to plaster again, with better results. i think the image has a lot to do with it. i also did a better job of adding a little citrasolve at a time & doing a lot of burnishing in between. be fun to see where these go-

member meeting at the gallery tomorrow night, where we will attempt to give the hanging committee the authority to enforce the rules around switching out 1/3 of art monthly and pulling pieces after they've been in for 3 months. the rules are in the bylaws, and we all signed a contract, but there is no method for enforcement. we're also going to try to pass a rule that something needs to be out for 6 months before it can be rotated back in. it's going to be interesting to see how all of this goes over. stay tuned!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

a bit of this, a bit of that....

i added more blue at the bottom and am now happier with this and calling it done- title blackbird singing in the dead of night. 6x6 mixed media on board

here's a shot from our hike this morning. we have lots of sunflowers this time of year and i love to catch them backlit and glowing.

lastly- got the oils (alkyd) out for the first time in years. the background is textured with tissue and has layers of various paints, including bronze. i've been looking at this background for a while & when i saw this hawk photo it came together. i forgot how wonderful and creamy and blendy oil is compared to acrylic. happy with the start-

i am off to san antonio for work for the week tomorrow. will try to get at least one arty photo each day to post. it's a good goal to set myself. great week all!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

birds of a feather

this is the remnant of an exquisite corpse project from last year. not crazy about it, tried a few touch ups. gave up and added a layer of plaster. and i still hated it and couldn't see where it could do- even after coats of paint. so i decided to add more plaster. taped the sides & slathered in a bunch of joint compound.

then i drew in the joint compound. this works better once it has begun to set up a bit. my first few tries weren't so good (hence my growing feeling that i should make myself draw), but i finally ended up with a form that i could live with.

here it is dried- you can see that the product cracked, probably because of the thickness of the application. i don't mind, i think it adds character. i may add a titan buff glaze to make it look more distressed. not sure where i'm going from here- this has paint and a layer of watered down matte gel medium on it. i need the medium to keep things from crumbling, but i hate using too much because it takes away some of the character of the plaster.

and, par for the course, another piece with the same image. this is actually the transparency that i was drawing the bird from. 6x6 on wood.

i think i like it better before i put the moon in. what do you think?

worked on some more layered bases too. trying to get ahead since i will be gone all of next week and because it will just feel good to be a bit ahead. cuz something's bound to sell soon! :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

studio night!

tuesday studio night with pam & nancy- yay! great evening as always!

this is the thing i worked on for much of the evening. it's a gesso board box, 8x8. loving these boxed boards for the support they provide for layers.

here it is in august

and various stages over the past few weeks

the seed pods are from daylilies. although i love the dragonfly and the paper on the right hand side i felt like i needed something to tie things together, so i washed a glaze of ultramarine over everything, wiped some of it off with rubbing alcohol and then decided to paint a daylily over all.

this may still need a glaze of maybe nickel quince azo to tie the flower together. nancy laughed when i asked if it looks old lady (painting flowers scares me). that's what friends are for!

what do you think?

i had to laugh at the photo of things in progress or recently finished on my bench- see a theme?

i'm afraid that i need to apply myself to learning to draw. tracing is good for small pieces, and gridding things out works for larger ones, but i think that maybe it's time to make myself take the next step. ouch.

pam offered drawing on the right side of the brain, but i am not sure that's the right approach (the exercises and all). i need to think about this, and not do anything rash.

hmmmm... doodling would be a good place to start probably, if i could make myself doodle something that was supposed to look like something. ideas?

Monday, September 5, 2011

the guardian

apollo transparency transfer to golden soft gel medium, matte on 6x6 cradle board.

the background is layers of glazes, including iridescent bronze, and a layer of tissue for texture. really pleased with the quality of this transfer.

hope everyone had a great labor day! i got some things started that will show up here soon, so stay tuned!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


one of my favorite birds on the marsh in the spring are the yellowheaded blackbirds. there are so many of them singing away and chasing each other around. the nest series is from a photo of yellow headed blackbird eggs.

i've got a lot of photos of them, decided to paint this one.

i painted the canvas green, then added strips of green rice paper (thanks lynn!) and lighter green tissue for texture. below, comparing to the background of the photo.

wanted something to add a bit more interest in the background- and we all know that all art, especially music, incorporates math, so why not some numbers.....

then i added another wash of paint to knock back the gesso & tie the background together and a layer of tissue for more texture. the first tissue i laid down wrinkled horizontally and that didn't work at all. so i pulled it up & turned it but it didn't retain any wrinkles.

back to the drawing board- and the second try worked nicely. then i traced the photo (cheater! but it works) and painted him in. surprisingly quickly, i might add. i was surprised that there wasn't a lot of over and re-painting. i used micaceous iron oxide mixed with carbon black for his body, more mica for the lighter bits (with some titan buff mixed in for the highlights) and straight carbon black for the darkest.

tomorrow i plan to pull out the alkyds and start on my hawk. woo hoo! brave girl.

in the meantime, speaking of hawks, here are a few i saw today-

Friday, September 2, 2011

another one down

well, survived the colonoscopy and after sleeping all day am now looking to be up late tonight. got some studio time in and got this piece this far. it may be done, not sure.

and no, i haven't touched the crane- she's safe :)

happy labor day everyone- studio time sunday & monday, photo opps tomorrow- looking forward to the weekend!