Still Making Art

Life Gets Better as I Get Older


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New Day 21 – Playing With Paint-Pouring

I got bitten by the flow-paint bug. If you haven’t yet discovered the hundreds of videos of flow painting, don’t go looking unless you are ready for a great distraction. I can’t remember just how I came upon this craze, but one video and I was eager to try my hand at it. There is a quality about it that reminds me of blown glass.

Basically it just what it sound like – pouring paint over a canvas/board/whatever, and seeing what happens. Much of it is quite magical.

There’s an artist out there who pours on ceramic tiles, and since I happen to have two boxes of  tiles in my attic that were here when I bought the house, that’s what I decided to use. Later I moved on to preparing wood and pouring on that. Most of ones time is spent making frames, preparing wood etc. The paint pouring (which is really FUN) takes only a few minutes. But the excitement of seeing what happens is irresistible.

Here are a few results. I’m planning to sell these on ETSY as everyone who has seen them, loves them.

Sample framed tiles copy

 

IMG_8292 small           Round #2 - terrible lighting small

 


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New Day 20 – “Nana’s Cookie Jar” Finished

Well – I’m done!

I’m calling this “Nana’s Cookie Jar” because the cookie jar was the item around which I created the still life. And, of course, this is my grandmother’s cookie jar. This sat on a small bureau in the dining room of my grandmother’s summer house at Merrymount on Lake Winnipesaukee. My sister, brother, and I spent our entire summers there throughout most of our childhood. Nana made cookies often, and we would sneak into the dining room when she was napping to steal cookies. There was an art to getting the lid off this cookie jar without the lid making its very tell-tale grating noise. Fortunately Nana also had a larger cookie jar on the same bureau that had a lid more quietly removed.

This cookie jar is one of the few things I have that belonged to Nana. I treasure it.

Here’s the finished product. It’s 24″ x 16″ – oil on linen. [Note: This is a pre-varnish photo, so the blacks may have matte areas that vanish when varnished.]

IMG_7857 - Nana's Cookie Jar - pre varnish

 

 


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Day 19 – Painting Nuts is NUTS!

Do yourself a favor and do NOT put a bowl of nuts in your still life. I spent hours – and I mean many hours – painting these dumb nuts in my still life. I still haven’t captured them to my liking, but I’m moving on to the cookie jar.

One reason I shouldn’t do this is that I have all the browns already on my palette, and should probably paint the single ones on the table top before I move on, but I can’t bear it at the moment. What will happen is that when I do get around to painting them I won’t remember where the blotches are that I used for the nuts before, or I will have mixed them into something else when I get there. Still – I will do the cookie jar in the interests of  painting sanity.

Messy Palette

This is my messy palette. You can see there’s not much room for mixing new colors, so those browns will morph into something else. Either that or I’ll wipe the whole thing clean and start over, which I’ve already done several times on this painting.

I have never been able to keep a tidy palette. For me it’s like what they say about a desk, a messy desk is a sign of intelligence. It is true, however that the messier the palette, the harder it is to find the blotch you just used. Okay…so where was that spot I was using?

I am really happy with the blue bottle.

Before I began painting in oils, I thought it would be nearly impossible to paint glass, but in fact glass is one of the easiest things to paint. The blotches of light reflections instantly turn the opaque image into transparent glass. It’s just a matter of getting the colors and tones right, and then add the dots of light reflection, and presto – magic!

This is what I love about painting – the magic of it all.

I’ve taken to getting up around 4:30 am on the days when I work full time, to get some good hours in painting. My job isn’t terribly demanding on my left brain, so I get through the day on the job pretty well. Then I come home, feed me and my animals, and then off to bed with a book. I usually fall asleep before I’ve read one page – LOL.

Yesterday I picked up my book and found I just couldn’t remember who one of the characters was. I had to flip back through to sort out who was who. The hazards of getting up at 4: am.

So…here’s where I am at the moment.

Two Candles 5-8-17


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Day 18 – A Lot of Painting and a Lot of Wiping Off

Whew! I did a lot of painting these past few days. I have Tuesdays and Wednesdays off from work. I find having a nice stretch of free time is my best time for painting. So…I worked away.

This was a difficult section for me. I often find that the shadows on cloth are the hardest for me to get the color and the tone right. I did a ton of wiping off and doing over, and lots of using my color checker (see drawmixpaint.com). Usually I’m off because my tone is way too light. And for a cloth that’s basically yellow, the dark shadows are primarily green! And..there’s a lot of subtle colors based on the cool light that’s coming in from the left. In the end I solved my problem when I realized I needed a touch of veridian. The white looks off because the rest of the painting isn’t there yet. Of course I could end up having to tone it down – you never really know if it right until you get the neighboring paint down. But I think I’ve got the hardest bits done now.

FYI – I’ve opened a very basic website – primarily just a gallery – which is, if you are interested: julietbellart.com.

Here’s my progress to date.

Two Candles - 5-3-17


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Day 17 – May Day! Moving Along

I thought I had done quite a bit on my painting from the last posting, but I see I’m still just slogging along. The bottom dark is not right yet, and touch up is always needed, but here’s my current progress.

I’m anxious to get this one done because when I was out on the west coast visiting my daughter I found a whole collection of table cloths and pottery I want to use in my next paintings. I can’t wait to start the next still life set up. The staging of a scene is almost the best part of painting. That, and the magic of turning blobs of paint into something they are not. I just love that!

Two Candles 5-1-17


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Day 15 – Painting Challenges

Some days when I paint I am nervous the whole time. Today was one of those days, painting the candlelight. One really does not need to be nervous as one can always just wipe the day’s painting off completely and start again. I nearly did this with the candles today. It was a big struggle to get the candle glow right. I’m still not sure it’s correct, but I’m letting it sit for now. Until the body of the painting is done, one doesn’t know for sure if the tone right. I also find it hard to get the colors right. But…we’ll see.

Here’s the latest progress. The black is wet and reflective in some places, and dry in others. This gives a weird blotchy effect which is remedied once the painting is dry and varnished.

Two Candles 4-19-17


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Day 14 – Back to Painting After Hiatus

I took several months off from painting to do something completely different. I built a miniature house for a special person I know.  This was a terrifically fun thing to do, but as my workroom is small, I cannot paint and create sawdust at the same time. I moved my painting things into the living room where it would be free from dust and spent several months making the house.

Now I am back working on the painting I abandoned. It feels like a return to an old and much loved friend.

Here’s where I now am on my painting.

Back painting this after month's hiatus

And here’s the little 1:12 house I built – 100% hand made. (Yes, I know – showing off  a bit.)

1 front IMG_7729

4 back wall and west side IMG_7724

7 opened for action IMG_7735