Still Making Art

Life Gets Better as I Get Older


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New Day 29 – A Little Humor

Or…what to do when you don’t have a big enough vase.

IMG_9500

I am always on the lookout for interesting greens to use in a still life. Yesterday I was meeting a friend in Peterborough for coffee, and parked in front of a public building of some sort – perhaps private, I’m not sure. I really wasn’t looking at the building. What I saw was two large piles of greenery. The two bushes that had been growing on the front lawn had been cut down to the ground. Their beautiful limbs lay in two heaps. For a moment I was a bit stunned at the butchery. And then I was attracted to the beautiful gnarly branches and budding greens. I went over and helped myself. They seemed so alive and healthy, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would have cut them down.

I’m not sure what it is, but I think it’s boxwood, or a relative.

I popped it in my car and went off to meet my friend.

It’s funny how the size of things is dwarfed by the big outdoors. When I got the branch home I needed to put it in water because I’m not ready to set up a still life yet and I want it to stay as alive looking as possible. I dug out my biggest vase, but as you can imagine, it was not going to do. So…after considering my canning pot (still too small), the light bulb went off.

The trick now is to remember, before I point a visitor to the bathroom, that it’s occupied.

But don’t you agree that it’s a really lovely branch?

I’m not sure how I’m going to incorporate it into a still life – it being so tall and all. I suppose I could just paint it all by itself. I can see a nice tall painting.

Of course I could paint it as it is, residing in its current receptacle. But that doesn’t really appeal to me, though given the way art is these days, it might sell well! When I sent the above photo to my daughter, her fiance remarked, “It’s art!”

 

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New Day 28 – Now To Sit With It

Well, I’m pretty much done except for the sitting with it to see if it needs some more tweaking. I don’t sign my paintings until I’ve sat with it for a day or two.

I’m pretty happy with the results.

I’m thinking of naming it “Two by Two by Two”. Guess why. [Note to self: Do NOT call it that!]

Progress 2-15-18

Now I go into the planning of my next painting. It’s all FUN!


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New Day 27 – It’s Coming Along

I seem to be able to paint a little faster these days. Plus, not having a day job helps!

Here’s my current progress.

Progress 2-14-18

You’ll notice that the “white” table cloth so far has not a spot of plain old white. There’s a mix here of blues, yellows, greens, off whites, purples etc. It’s just magic. I have always loved snow scenes where this amazing mix of colors say “snow”. If I were a landscape painter, I’d be doing snow scenes all the time.

I still do struggle though, and these mushrooms got wiped off in full before I finally trusted the process and kept on putting colors down in the hopes that they’d start looking like mushrooms eventually.

Here’s a closeup of what I see when I’m perched close to the canvas. You can imagine how one can only see a mess, and have doubts that one has got it right.

close up

Getting the right colors can be a real challenge as well. Just look at all the different colors in that one mushroom. If you painted the whole thing just one or two colors or tones, it would never look like a real mushroom. One has to fight all the time with the mind that says something is green when it’s more grey and purple and many different tones to boot.

I’m working with the limited drawmixpaint palette, which really teaches you to see. When I started out, and before I found Mark Carder, I had tubes of just about every color there is – well at least twenty or so. Because I wasn’t able at first to really see the color properly, I wasted so much paint mixing and mixing trying to get what I thought I saw. [Anyone want a lot of oil paints? (Mostly Windsor&Newton artist’s oils.) Let me know! I’ll give you a good deal.]

I should be done in a day or two.

 

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New Day 26 – A Day of Brussel Sprouts

Last night I awoke at 2: am. It’s not unusual for me to awaken and read for an hour or so and then go back to sleep. But last night I felt completely ready to get up. I kept thinking about painting – testing the waters to see if I really was ready to start the day. In the end, I took my new puppy out and then read. I turned out the light around 3:00 and lay there thinking about getting up. And though I did not feel as if I’d fallen asleep, when I next looked at my watch it was 5:00. YAY! I can get up. So silly to be ruled by the clock and conditioned habits. But I did not want to end up being too tired to paint.

Once the cats, dog, and chickens, and I were fed, I headed into my workroom – so happy to be painting again.

I spent almost the whole day on the brussel sprouts and basket. I do take breaks, but not many today – two short and one decent length to get out with the dog while we have a warming spell here in New Hampshire.

These sprouts were a challenge. They looked so bad while I was painting them – up close, just random blotches of color. But now that they are pretty much done, I think the magic works pretty well.

Progress 2-12-18

The color in the photo is a bit off, and I have to take the shot at an angle due to glare. But…you get the idea.

 


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New Day 24 – The Worst Is Over

I can breath again. I’m pretty sure I’ll need to tone this down, but aside from touch ups, I think I’ve got the greenery well enough to progress to the rest of the painting. I’m not sure if I like this, but I can’t think of any other way I could paint this greenery without making a total mess of it.

So…I’ll post my progress so far.

Feb 8 progress

With respect to loose painting, a commenter remarked that she had loosened up with by completing a 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

I might just try that. It would be interesting to see the results. Probably nothing I will feel comfortable posting here LOL!

 


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New Day 23 – No Luck With Loose Painting

Here’s what’s happened on my canvas over the last few days.

Jan 30 progress

As you can probably tell, I was not successful with my plan to use a larger brush and create a looser looking painting. My mind just doesn’t seem able to go there. When I hold a larger brush, I cannot conceive of how I would make the greenery, with all it’s fine sprigs, with larger blobs of paint. I just can’t do it. In fact, I painted all the greenery with a 00 brush – the smallest I have. The back ground was done with an 8 which is just a tad larger than the brushes most oil painters use for the whole thing. I just don’t get it. But I know the great painters wouldn’t paint it this way.

Mostly I’m just getting in the colors and some shapes at this point. I’ll have lots of adjustments to make once I get more of the greenery filled in. I needed to get some of the black background done in order to gauge my colors and tone.

So far I’ve only wiped off a few spots, and am holding out hope that it will all come together in the end.

I’m a slow painter, and I have to get up and take a break after 20 minutes or so.

Here are my brushes.

my brushes

More to come.