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

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Changing Things Up

I don't know where the urge comes from, but every once in a while, I like doing abstracts. I find they are also a great way to push paint around when you're in a slump with your normal work. The design for this one has been rattling around my brain for a while, and today seemed a good time to get it out of there before it damaged something.

This is oils on 11x14 prepared paper, done with palette knife. I apologize for the photo. The colors in the original are much more vibrant and rich.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

How I Cheat On My Husband

When Ron travels, this is what I do. Sweetheart, I am so sorry you had to learn about it from my blog. But when you go out of town -- I eat broccoli. It's true, I'm sorry. I truly hope you can forgive me, and that you can't detect broccoli on my breath when you come home. The even worse news that I know will break your heart -- the dog likes it too....

No, it's not painting-related. But it's green! And taken with my new Droid phone. It's a little shaky due to operator error, but the camera has more megapixels than my mega-$$$ digital camera, new only a few years ago. Geek love.

I will get back to painting, I promise. Still working on my depleted mojo as well as time management.

Friday, August 20, 2010

My New Friend

I think perhaps it's been a little too wet around here. I met this guy when I was taking out the garbage tonight.


This is highly unusual for Atlanta in August. Usually it's so dry the red clay dirt is as hard as cement.

Check out these claws! I bet he would move slowly enough to paint from life, but I certainly wouldn't want to get too close.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Down in the Holler, Gouache

I'm beginning to like gouache for quick studies, when I only have an hour or so to devote to art. It's very different from oils, but that's not necessarily bad. I've noticed, however, it's difficult to get and keep dark values.  But edges are very easy to control.

This is gouache on watercolor paper, about 5x8", from my imagination.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An edgy two-fer

It's been a very busy week, but not in an arty way. I am finally getting to post the two pieces I managed last weekend. For both of these, I tried to concentrate on having a variety of edges, with the sharpest edge at the center of interest.

This will be another donation to the Adopt-a-Golden Gala's silent auction this winter. It's 5x7.


This one is a combination brush and knife, composed from a combination of imagination and some photos I took of violets last spring. They're not your normal everyday violets, but I can't say what variety they are. This one is 6"x6" on canvas-covered hardboard. I like this size for small floral compositions and will be doing more this size. Sorry for the glare on the upper left -- I had to take this photo outside between rain storms, and the light wasn't the best.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

So tired of painting!

...our house, that is. (Gotcha!) Or rather, I should say, I'm tired of having our house painted by others. We'd ignored it far too long, which means it's taking longer to fix those things we should have taken care of long ago. And having the windows open is forcing me to clean the inside of the windows too -- the horror! It's giving the flies and skeeters a field day, of course, and the poor dog is absolutely exhausted by all the activity. Only one more day to go, luckily.

But one thing I discovered -- I can paint a tree or a dog in any color you want. But when someone asks me if I want to change the color my shutters are painted, I panic at the possibilities!
It's a good thing that the house is already painted, so I can just say -- match the color as close as you can. Otherwise, you never know what you might get. ;-) I've always been fond of a fluorescent green roof, haven't you?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Taborets, again

Ok, I did it. I ordered a kitchen utility cart, spent two nights and a few skinned knuckles putting it together, and will now officially call it my "taboret".

It's on wheels, has a large work top with a drop leaf that adds 10 inches, and it's the perfect height for mixing paint. 

The drawer actually holds all my oil paints, although I did notice the bottom of the drawer is sagging a bit. I think I can actually fix that with my trusty electric screwdriver and a bolt.
I love the open shelf for things I'd grab often, like mediums and turps. And I'm sure the bottom cupboard will be packed soon enough.

Time to christen this bad boy this weekend! Clean *and* organized! No excuses now....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Garden Gate

The studio may be too clean, but it still works. This is a palette knife painting in oils, 6x8".

Sunday, August 1, 2010

When in Doubt, Clean

No, that's not a wise motherly saying. (In fact, anyone who knows my mother would be laughing right now -- let us just say that cleaning is not one of her strengths!)  No, it was time for my twice-yearly purging of the insect carcasses. I live in the South, and my studio is in the basement. Therefore, bugs are a part of life. Caulking and sealing windows and doors don't seem to matter. We've had every known form of arachnid from itsy-bitsy spiders to scorpions. We even had some form of almost-foot-long lizard last year but luckily all we had to do was open the door and encourage him to find his way out. The spiders have been particularly numerous this year.

This cleaning frenzy falls squarely in the category number 3 of the six enemies of painting mojo -- Distraction.  See (Six Enemies). I freely admit it. But it feels so productive. In addition to my normal cleaning, I prolonged the distraction by rearranging my studio in an attempt to make my painting space more efficient, as I finally broke down and bought something I hope will work as a taboret:
It should be here Monday and will provide hours of additional distraction as I try to figure out how to put it together. I think I'll leave off the knife holder, unless I can figure out how to make it work as a brush holder.

Here are pics of the re-arranged and recently purged studio:



Three doors and two windows make rearranging a challenge, but I think this will feel roomier. The last pic includes my puppy-chewed bookself with a plexiglass palette on top. It's a little bit too low and way too wobbly for that purpose, hence the kitchen cart idea.