Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pink China

Pink China
October19, 2010
8" x 10"
Oil on Canvas
$175.00 CAN

   I dragged myself down to my studio this morning and painted through my tummy ache. I am tired and feel hungry even though my stomach is sore and I feel like gaging. I have too much I want to do to let a little ill feeling get in my way. I have been wanting to paint these pink china tea cups ever since I received them.       
   During the painting session I attended at the Red Deer College this past summer I started playing around with preping painting surfaces by creating layers with acrylic paint. I preped the surface of this painting at Red Deer.  I didn't end up using it there but as soon as I brought it home I knew I wanted to paint the pink china on it. It was just a matter of time to do it. Once again it was a case of too many ideas and too little time.
   Normally I wouldn't include such details in my writing such as being under the weather, but here it is important. It contributed to the painting. I knew that with the pressures of feeling a bit ill it would make me paint quickly and not get caught up in the finicky details and mind games of trying to emulate the subjects shinny perfection.
   I feel good about this painting, not because it is good, but because it is out there. I created it and now I can stop thinking about. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment on my painting 'to do' list.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Poppies Lounging on Blue and Life's Priorities

Poppies Lounging on Blue
October 4, 2010
8" x 8"
Oil on Canvas
$175.00 CAN

   I created this painting right after the Keeping Cool portrait. In that portrait I focused on tonal range which I believe helped this painting when it came to furthering the contrast in color. Tone and color makes this painting eye catching. I am pleased with how this painting turned out.
   I've really been on a roll of pumping out paintings and ideas. This just fuels me to work even more. I love when I can let one painting lead and flow into the next. Life has been good that way. I have enough knowledge now in life to make sure I always allow myself time to paint. I make it a priority. I paint before even considering doing the dishes or laundry. My Man tried to bring up the subject gently as he is one that manages people at his job and is a stickler for efficiency. As I told My Man (who does the dishes maybe once every two weeks) the dishes and laundry never end and tomorrow it's guaranteed there will be more, so why worry about it.  If they pile up a bit so what. While I do mountain loads of dishes I contemplate the paintings I've got going on the easel and future paintings to come. I use that time to reflect so it is not inefficient, and I have my priorities. Upon hearing my rant, My Man just smiled and gave me a hug. (Note: if you are going to comment on that point, don't argue with it. Many people have tried to change the way I do dishes and laundry, and I am like my strong willed 2yr old and will not budge on the issue.)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keeping Cool

Keeping Cool
(Portrait of Adam and Gil)
October 4, 2010
18" x 14"
Oil on Canvas

    I may be in trouble for this and I hope Adam and Gil aren't creeped out by this portrait. Normally when I come across a photo (that isn't mine) that I wish to use for reference I always ask permission first. This time I didn't. 
   Adam and Gil are very supportive of my work and I am sure they won't mind. Both Adam and Gil are very creative individuals. Adam's photography and design work always inspires me. The photo I used as reference for this work was posted on Faceook.
    I have been finding some of my reference material from online social sources. There are now huge collections of individuals photos that I have complete access to. Sometimes the idea of it is creepy and sometimes overwhelmingly inspiring. I don't use professional photographers work, I use just the regular photos that people post, of their vacations, families, and friends. Many photos I come across pop out at me saying "wouldn't I look great as a painting at about such and such a size?". I think this is about the fourth painting I have created from someone else's personal photo.
   Hopefully you can see why I couldn't pass this one up. As I have a show coming up I was realizing that most of my portraits are of women. Which of course they would be because I am surrounded by women. My many sisters, girlfriends, most of my extended family are women.
   Late Friday night, I was on the computer, checking stuff out (or wasting time, if you will). I came across this photo and in the back of my mind it was bothering me that my work, recently, has been dominated by figures of women and frilly flowers.
   When I saw this image I instantly saw my brushstrokes. I saw how it could encourage pushing my other works by just focusing on tonal value and texture. I must note that this is not just black and white paint, there is color, just subtle color.  I thoroughly enjoyed painting this. I easily fell into my creative 'zone' and loved the experience of it.

Poppig Out of the Bottle

Popping Out of the Bottle
September 25, 2010
16" x 12"
Oil on Canvas
$250.00 CAN

   Fall was looking quite bleak with lots of rain and dreary days. Then one day the sun came out, it was perfect and the poppies in front of my house were incredibly happy. I couldn't pass up the perfect autumn light and these friendly happy flowers so I took them for a little outdoor photo shoot.  I painted most of this painting at the Alberta Arts Day Demo at the Spruce Grove Library.

Bottled Up

Bottled Up
August 2010
12" x 16"
Oil on Canvas
$250.00 CAN

   This post is back tracking a bit. I forgot about this painting because I hung it up into the spare bedroom and forgot to blog about it. 
   When I came home from my trips, to Red Deer for the figure painting open studio and a beautiful vacation, I came home to find a rage of poppies popping up in front of my house. I thought that they were duds when I left at the end of July but as they were completely ignored they flourished into a sea of overwhelming color. So I picked a poppy and an empty bottle and created a still life in the studio and started painting away. I really wanted to paint a still life after painting the figure so vigorously.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Portrait of Dawn and recent work habits

Portrait of Dawn
September 24, 2010
18" x 24"
Oil on Canvas

   This is a portrait of my friend Dawn. I have been working on this painting along with several others over the past month to month and a half. I had done a similar portrait of Dawn, in the same pose, at my demo in August at the Allied Arts Council. The painting from the demo is not blog worthy and will probably be painted over. It doesn't need to exist after the creation of the above painting, it was merely an example like an instructor writing on a white board, it served it's purpose and now can be erased. Though it deserves to be noted because the pose and model were so excellent I took pictures knowing I would tackle the subject with greater depth and in oil paint instead of acrylic (which the demo was in) at a later time. The model has so much character and is truly a beautiful person inside and out and everything about her sitting from her hair and ensemble to her focused gaze deserved more attention and exploration. It was hard doing a portrait of someone I know quite well and see almost every week, but I think it worked out beautifully.

    I haven't been diligently posting my work the past couple of months because I have been working quite intensely. Normally I work on only one or two paintings at a time. Over the past months I have started working on several at the same time. I am doing this for a few reasons. 
    One of the reasons is the drying time. I have started fooling around and experimenting a bit more with solvents (and if anyone has any tips, opinions, or suggestions on using solvents or mediums with oil paint I would greatly appreciate it). I have been working a bit more with layering instead of constantly working wet in wet. You may see this especially when it comes to the background of the Portrait of Dawn. 
   Then there is the fact that I have a deadline creeping up. I will be having a show starting at the beginning  of November at the Multicultural Centre in Stony Plain. My paintings will be chosen for the show at the end of this month. I have many paintings that I want to pump out by then.  
   Right now I have so much that I want to do, so much creative energy and drive that it is hard to stay out of my studio.  I actually thrive under pressure. This month has brought such frenzy with the kids going to various classes, school, playdates, appointments, etc. So, when I do go into my studio I am like a small child that has been stuck in a car for hours and then is let into a play gyms pit of balls. I throw stuff around, dump stuff on the floor, and I don't seem to get around to cleaning my brushes either. I am quite sure some painters, and my sister, would be appalled at the chaos that surrounds my work habits.
   There is also the issue that I have numerous ideas and reference material for new paintings that I am trying to work things out as fast as I can. I don't wait for a painting to dry before pulling out a canvas for the next one. Thanks to my love, I have been the fortunate recipient of an IPad, which has sped up my creative process. I don't have to alter or crop photos, or print them off before using them as references for paintings. Over the past year I started painting from images right on my computer screen because I find printed materials limiting especially in color. Now with the IPad I can place it anywhere, zoom in and out and in a sketch app draw right on the photo to test out ideas. Although the technology helps me cut corners, I still like to use real still lifes and I keep my trusty sketchbook as well. I have to have a balanced practice. 
   At this moment I have 5 paintings on the go. I have another that I just finished that I will post soon. So watch out because you may start to get bombarded by my work being posted. I hope you enjoy it.