Archive for January, 2010

Painting Planely

January 27, 2010

My sweet friend Miss Pam gave me her old cast iron kettle she had painted red.  I did a value study of it this morning trying to distinguish the planes created from a single light source.  This isn’t the first time I have ever done this but it has been a while and squinting my eyes for a long time isn’t good for crows feet.  Art or vanity.  What a choice.  (If you don’t know, squinting your eyes takes out extraneous details in your subject allowing you to see value.)

This lady is a puppet I found at a antique/junk store many years ago.  I don’t know anything about her but I am guessing she is Indonesian.  Anyone who knows better, let me know.  I did a value study of her in the same indigo as the kettle and then added color on top.  The doodle-ing is just for fun.  There is a new name for doodle-ing, it is called Zentangles.  Visit this website to see their newsletter.  They show you how to create pretty cool doodles, step by step.

Time Travel

January 20, 2010

A friend of mine presented me a challenge.  He would create a song and I would create a painting based on the same subject.  His wife choose our subject.  Cades Cove.  Cades Cove is in mountians of eastern Tennessee.  In the 30’s, the national parks service bought out the descendants of families who settled there in the late 1700’s early 1800’s and have preserved the area.  Makes me think of the flooding scene from O Brother Where Art Thou? but without the flood. And while I find it tragic that people were removed from their homes, I so enjoy the opportunty to be there myself.  We spent a long weekend with our friends there a couple of years ago and it was a destination for drives taken as a child with my family.   I find the place haunting.  If you could get rid of the cars on the road circling thru it, you can take yourself  back in time.  I envision the people who lived there, what their daily life was like, how they came to be there, what they ate for dinner.  🙂  I imagine there is only a half degree of separation from my own forefathers. 

I was so excited by the thought of this subject matter and a rewarding Saturday talking about art, that I immediately went to work and painted this.  I don’t believe this is my final painting on the subject.  The subject matter is loosely based on what is in Cades Cove and that is why I am pleased with this painting.  I created my painting from composition studies and not photos.  A break thru for me that I hope I can continue, because I have several more images floating around my head.

acrylic on masonite  24″x24″

And, because the prompt from Illustration Friday  is Wilderness, I feel I can show this painting for that.  This area was wilderness when the people settled the cove.  Hard to get to, but full of beauty and promise.   Or perhaps the settlers were just too tired to continue.

fresh off the easel

January 17, 2010

Words to accompany this painting elude me.  “Sorry” or “You’re Welcome”, whatever the case may be.

acrylic on canvas   12×12

Celtic Knots

January 14, 2010

Do you know what a Celtic Knot is?   All I really know is that they were used to illuminate manuscripts during the middle (or were they dark) ages.

I found a video that shows Popparoc creating a Celtic knot and I am amazed.  I tried to do some (and made Ken and Taylor try it too) and found it is not hard and is a rather fun pasttime.  What I don’t understand is how it works and manages to close up all nice and neat regardless of  how large or whether it is an odd number or even number. 

The colors represent the different closed loops it makes.  In the case above there are 3, but in the lower two black and white examples there is just one.  I think it must be due to the proportions.

I wondered what would happen if I took out the center and it still worked!

I kind of like the idea of being a monk.  I would be happy to illumninate manuscripts all day long.


January 8, 2010

Today’s prompt word for Illustration Friday is confined.  I just happened to have finished this painting yesterday.  It was done from a photo of a young woman called Living Statue I found on the web here.  She is covered in greenish makeup and old fashioned clothing and just looks absolutely beautiful even with shackles and chains on her.  I am guessing she represented those who were sent to live in the colonies way back when but I could be totally wrong.  There could be some other perfectly viable reason for her to be holding chains but this story suits my purposes today…   So, stretching a bit, she is confined via shackles even while facing the vastness of her future.  We are all confined a bit by our circumstances, don’t you think?  Not that we can’t take things into our own hands, but sometimes…..


acrylic on canvas  18×24

Copying New Masters

January 5, 2010

What is your take on copying for the sake of learning?  For me it seems perfectly fine if  the artist is dead.  If he/she is still out there breathing, I feel a little more apprehensive about it even tho’ copyright laws allow it for personal learning experience and so on.  But I did it anyway.  Some of the artists in a group that gets together on the First Friday to play, decided to copy a painting by Campay to see if they could recreate his unique applications to a painting and then create their own painting using his techniques.  They had visited a gallery and saw his work.  My mother bought his book filled with wonderful paintings.  Anyway, intrigued, I asked if I could join them. 

Here is my copy of Campay’s Still Life with Lemons. 

My canvas  proportions are off from his.  (This is big for me lately, a whoppin’  24″x30″)  I copied it in acrylic paint and India ink.  I was rather pleased with it but I don’t think I am ready for forgery.  Yet.  (just teasing Mr. Campay)  What have I learned is this – his “loose-ness” is hard to recreate when you are “tight” in trying to exact a copy and I imagine has to come naturally.  His compositions are just wonderful.  The whimsey portrayed is sheer delight.  And I know he used more than acrylic paint, I just don’t know what.  His paintings (from the photos) have texture, this copy does not. 

I cannot find this painting on the web, but here is a link to his website where many wonderful paintings are waiting for your perusal.

Here is my take on his style which is really just my limited understanding of his style.  This building stands on a corner in downtown Rome (Georgia).

This painting is also acrylic and ink, done on a 24″x36″ canvas.  I struggled with the sign post in front, I am debating on what to do with it having wiped it clean a few times now.  I also struggled with creating a loose style, my tendency with architectural subjects is to render them as precise as is possible.  And this makes Campay’s work all the more intiguing.  At one point he was an architectural draughtsman and renderer.  Although there is more going on in my painting than Campay’s, his is so much more dynamic in it’s simplicity.    More experimentation on my part is needed.

Postscript:  As I look at my painting on the computer screen I can see that it looks far from finished.  I can see that I need some variation in the pilaster to the right of the signpost.  This isn’t how it is in the photo I worked from but I can see that it would improve the painting.  I feel also that the warmth of the sun doesn’t come across as much as I would have it.  I guess looking at a painting electronically helps bring out errors the same as looking at it in reverse or upside down!


January 2, 2010

The word for Illustration Friday  today on January 1, 2010 is renewal.  These little illustrations show renewal in many ways.  Our resources must be renewable (represented by the fish for consumed goods and food, and by the egret as a reminder to take care of the only planet we have).  It is mandatory that our faith be renewed daily (represented by the little bird, why do birds make me think Christ?).  The children remind me of the constant renewal of curiosity and desire.  And these small silhouettes are reused book pages, colored with pencils, giving the falling apart books renewed life.  (I would never cut into a perfectly good book!) 

Okay, so I am overly sentimental today in my post.

I pray that 2010 brings you joy and contentment.