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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back to Basics

My paintings this weekend were focused on value studies and keeping loose. Lots of fun! But keeping loose takes more thinking than you'd expect. I must have had beginners' luck on the first one, as it's much looser than the second one.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thanks to "Wetoilpaint"

Maryanna, thanks for the advice on glass shops. I found one near my office ("We Fix Your Panes") that cut glass to size quickly and for a reasonable price.  I brought it home tonight, and it's a thing of beauty. It brings a tear to my eye. ;-)  It's much thicker than I expected, although that's one thing they didn't ask me on the phone when I ordered it.  I had painted my plexiglass palette gray on the back, but I think I'll hold off on that for this. It's too pretty. But I can't wait to smear paint all over it this weekend!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What NOT To Do With A Plexiglass Palette

Two words -- Clove Oil. I was mixing up some paint for my plein air pillboxes, and discovered the hard way that clove oil will eat right through the plexiglass finish.  Actually, I should have known that. Last spring, I put a bit of clove oil in a little bitty plastic container. One day I opened my pochade and smelled clove oil. All that was left was the lid in a pile of wonderful-smelling goo. Apparently the lid was made of stronger stuff than the bottle itself.

So that brings me to my next question -- why are glass artists' palettes in large sizes so doggone expensive? I have this great new taboret and I would love to have a large glass palette to cover the top. The local big box stores don't carry glass of any size.  Hmm. Any ideas out there?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunny Summer Day at Lake Lanier

Another palette knife painting. For this one, I focused on creating depth and distance between the green trees on the opposite shore, and the foreground tree. And I always need practice on painting water, especially still water.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Same Panels, A Few Days Later

 I think my husband thinks I'm crazy to go to this much effort, when you can buy these things all ready to paint. But there is something satisfying in cutting the boards to size, sanding them, sealing them and priming them. I like extending the creative process to even the surface. I like stretching and prepping my own canvas too. It takes away from precious painting time, but it's fun too. I can ensure that they are a quality, long-lasting surface, as well as one that I like to work on.

Besides, the gesso is just so good at trapping dog hair. I get a kick out of thinking of all the places my dogs' hairs have traveled, embedded in paintings. I wonder if some conservator sometime in the future will find one, run a DNA analysis, and say "Oh yes, this was the beginning of her Golden Retriever period, probably the large red Golden named Beck. We can date this directly to 2010."  Ha!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Boarded Up and Ready to Paint

After a very busy adoption day yesterday (I still have Golden Retriever hair in my eyelashes, but I'm not complaining), I spent the afternoon cutting up some hardboard.  I got a couple of 11x14s, a 9x12, some 6x8s, some 8x10s, and a pile of 6x6s. This week's project will be to seal them with Golden GAC 100 on all sides, then add multiple layers of gesso. On the final layer, I add some Liquitex clear gesso to the mix, to add a bit of sanded surface.  Call me crazy, but even this part of painting is fun!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Plethora of Paintings

How often do you get to use a word like "plethora"? Not often enough!

Yes, I have been missing in action, but I do have a few paintings to share, some good, some laughable. But I promised to share even the stinkers. Better get the incense.

First up, a reposting of my earlier abstract. It's a better photo, and I think it shows the colors more clearly. I did enjoy painting this, and plan some more in the future.

Then, I went almost a week without painting (the horrors!), and felt rusty, so I dug out the knives and green paint, still thinking about edges and painting loosely:
It looks a bit like a stalk of broccoli with a brown trunk, but I do like the loose feel.

This next one, however ... plug your nose!
I wanted to paint a colorful dog. I do think I was successful at that!  But wow, he's spooky. And I had to add blues to the background to tone down the whole "burning in hell" look. As I said, I promised to share even the stinky ones.

I spent Labor Day with a choo-choo. Luckily, we live close to a railway museum, where we love to go take photos. I've wanted to paint the Southern Crescent engine for some time. It's pretty famous in this area, and last ran as an independent in the late 70's. For those few who are really interested in learning more:

Now that I have it posted, I see a few perspective issues (why do they show up best after posting?!), and the train looks a bit wobbly. Fixing that might be on this weekend's painting agenda.

Thanks for sticking around.