The real voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes. - Marcel Proust

Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day

The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form or ceremony is prescribed, but Posts and comrades will, in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit.

We are organized, Comrades, as our regulations tell us, for the purpose among other things, "of preserving and strengthening those kind and fraternal feelings which have bound together the soldiers sailors and Marines, who united to suppress the late rebellion." What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead? We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance. All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the nation can add to their adornment and security, is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and fond mourners. Let no neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten as a people the cost of a free and undivided republic.

If other eyes grow dull and other hinds slack, and other hearts cold in the solemn trust, ours shall keep it well as long as the light and warmth of life remain in us.

Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains, and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledge to aid and assist those whom they have left among us a sacred charge upon the Nation's gratitude—the soldier's and sailor's widow and orphan.

—General Orders No. 11,
Grand Army of the Republic Headquarters

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More fun things to paint with knives

This is what I did with my Sunday afternoon. It's 11x14 in oils on hardboard, done with palette knife. It's destined for the next Golden Retriever rescue auction, but if anyone is interested in purchasing it, I will donate 100% of the proceeds. Just contact me.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another fun thing to paint with knives

Rocks!  Rocks rock with a palette knife, if I may be a little sillier than normal. This is based on a photo I took on a trip to the Thousand Islands, in upstate NY.  It's 8x10 in oils on canvas panel.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

I'm still trying to paint every leaf on trees, it seems, so today's lunchtime lesson was to practice *not* painting every leaf. I like this one better than previous attempts. Another palette knife painting, about 6x9".
Repeat after me, "I shall not paint every leaf, I shall not paint every leaf....."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Palette Knife vs Painting Knife

We artists are not very interested in nomenclature, it seems. We talk about painting with palette knives, but really, palette knives and painting knives are two different creatures.

A palette knife is blunt, with no sharp edge.  It's used for mixing paint colors, mediums, etc. directly on the palette. The palette knife is symmetric and often has either slight crank between the handle and the blade, or none at all. I have discovered that the plastic ones break easily.

Painting knives, on the other hand, usually have a large crank, to keep the artist's hand off the paint surface (in theory, says the messy artist). Painting knives come in an unbelievable variety of styles, shapes, and sizes.

So, even though I say I paint with a palette knife, I'm really painting with a painting knife. I guess "palette knife" sounds more arty.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Palette Knife Painting

I think I'm in love with my palette knives. Can I say this without fear of being carted away? I think so, as there appear to be more and more palette knife painters out there. For example, see the new blog called Palette Knife Painters. There seems to be an infinite variety of things you can do with a palette knife.

I recently bought a used copy of a book published in 1971 by Coulton Waugh called How to Paint With a Knife.  It's really a fun book. You can tell he loves his palette knives too. In fact, he even gives them names. (I will proudly point out that I have not gone that far -- yet!) He has knives named Long John, Big Talk, and Mini Squirt, not to mention Palette Boy. Known more for his comics than his painting, he loved to paint large paintings with his knife-friends. I could only find a few images online.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Going to the Chapel

well, I won't sing the rest of the song and torture you! Finished this last night but would like to do something to fix up the grass, as we (my critique-r and I) are not happy with it. Another palette knife painting, from a photo I took at my step-daughter's wedding.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Golden Hour

...but not the kind most artists discuss. I volunteer for a Golden Retriever rescue organization. Friday, we took in 31 new dogs on top of the 25 we already have. A breeder elsewhere in GA closed and was wise enough to call us.  Looks like I'll be too busy to be painting for a while. But who cares -- look at these faces! I see more dog paintings in my future.

Here's a link, if you want to see more. Not all are on the website yet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Another Lunch Full of Flowers

A single purple coneflower quick study this time, with knife.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Valley of Fire Quick Study

This is a quick study I did last night before watching the Habs crush the spirit out of the Penguins (can't a girl enjoy a little genteel hockey now and then?). It's from a photo I took on our trip to Las Vegas a couple of years ago.  The colors are off, as it was almost too dark to get a photo of the painting tonight but I'll try to get a better one this weekend. I'm thinking it might make for a good larger painting.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

I'll have the Rudbeckia, with a side of flies

Today's lunch-time painting was great fun. Summer still hasn't kicked in fully yet, so it's still tolerable to sit in my car and paint.  This is 6"x9", and more palette knife work, which I'm really enjoying. I've heard some people say it's not as messy to paint with knives, which I don't understand -- I end up with paint all over me as well as the painting. It's quite different than my usual fastidiousness, but it adds to the fun too, as long as I'm not wearing too much paint when I get back to the office...

Monday, May 10, 2010

John Axton, Sky and Water Painter Extraordinaire

In keeping with the theme I have going, I was doing a little workshop research and ran into John Axton's work. I had not seen it before. He doesn't have his own website, only gallery representation, and doesn't appear to do workshops.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sunset Number 2

Had so much fun with yesterday's painting I did another one.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Playing with Knives - Sunset Edition

Another auto de plein air at lunch today. Of course, it was not from life, just the pictures in my head. Done in oils with palette knife and limited palette only. Walked around all afternoon with blue paint on my shirt and everyone at work was too polite to say a word.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kim English

Don't you hate it when things like *work* get in the way of fun stuff like painting and blogging? However, on my continuing quest for a workshop, I did some research on Kim English, known for adding figures to his plein air work (as if trees were not hard enough!). Lovely, lovely work: