Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Still here

Our work continues on the addition completion. We have spent three days painting, installing blinds, fans and everything that is needed to get ready for the flooring installation, which should be completed next week. So, no photos to share until we have it all done. Right now, it is definitely not ready for prime time, for sure.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

First attempt at Sydney final

This is all I can do to this portrait of Sydney. The paper has been scrubbed out so much that it is starting to bleed around those edges when I try to paint. So, while this still doesn't resemble Sydney's eyes and mouth, it was a good practice session and fun to do. When the studio is back together I will concentrate on doing this one again from the beginning. I always learn quite a bit, even when a painting goes onto my pile of tears stack of bad ones.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Poor Sydney is sitting on my painting table, eyes and lips whited out from the gentle scrubbing with my Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. She looks absolutely freaky right now. When I have the time to devote to it, I will reintroduce her eyes and mouth into the painting. If that doesn't work, I will start afresh. I am determined to do this painting well.

Tomorrow, we have been promised the last of the contractor's crews coming in to finish the last of our studio build project. Then it is on to the walk-through inspection and Tom and I have to take over and paint everything and get ready for the flooring people to install the laminate flooring that I paid 50% of this morning! Hopefully, by the end of next week we might be finished with this! Hooray if that is so!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sydney - WIP Two

If I am to remain honest in my attempt to show my process for Sydney's portrait, I must include this second phase, one in which I have completely screwed up her eyes and somewhat her mouth. I will probably lift out (with my trusty Mr. Clean Magic Eraser) both eyes and start over. I have made her smile too old for her, also. There is always the option of starting over with this to look forward to, but I hope to have the corrections made now make enough of a difference so I don't have to do that. No one said portraits would be easy!

Sydney - WIP One

I have begun Sydney's portrait this morning. This is just the first stage, mainly of the initial modeling shadows (or as Taylor Bush calls them, structure shadows). I will strengthen these next where needed and continue on to the subtle shadows. One must pay particular attention to the reference photo at this stage since likenesses are created with the structure shadows and if you don't get them right at this point it is doubtful that corrections later will create a likeness. So, I need to spend more time on these structure shadows.

I was so saddened to hear of the passing of a dear Watercolor Workshop artist, Man Mohan. He graced the message board with submissions of wonderfully simple, yet so soulfully complete paintings and words. He rarely painted with anything other than a 1-inch hake brush, and painted so much with such economy of strokes and really was able to open up his soul to the viewer of his art. This painting I chose for this memorial to Mohan is a perfect example of his painting style. Simple, yet so complete in his vision. I see the light he painted into this painting so competently, and it takes us immediately into what his mood and thoughts must have been while painting it.

Mohan always had a kind and encouraging word for everyone in our group and was very willing to share any of his techniques, photos of his supplies, or any thoughts he had concerning watercolor or life in general. Our planet will share the loss of this gentle soul, we will miss him greatly.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oregon Water Lilies

One of the January projects for the Watercolor Workshop is waterlilies. I have had this reference photo since this past summer when we took a lot of scenic drives through Oregon and found this mountain lake which had lots of these yellow lilies. I have hesitated to paint water lilies since they seem so difficult for me to paint, they always look like they are going uphill instead of laying flat on the water and the water, itself, is problematic. At least with this one most of the pads seem to be flat on the water, but the water is still problematic. I figure if I keep doing this, in another ten years or so I might get the hang of it. Some things are just more of a struggle than others!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Studio Build - Tape and Texture

The crew who did the taping and texturing of the walls finished this morning. The photo on the top shows a view of the studio where my worktable will be on that end. The bottom photo shows the end of the room where the computer wall will continue from the old art room. This is the end of the room where the wall has been removed and the studio flows into what will be the computer room but I can't show that well in the photo angles.

Now, all that needs to be done is to have the French doors installed and painted, the electrical to have a final hook-up and the air conditioning ducts to be hooked up. All of that is roughed in but not the final hook-up. Then, it is up to us to get the room painted and have the laminate flooring installed. We are going to try to select the flooring this afternoon so that will be ready when we are ready to have it installed. Then, the tough part of putting all of these rooms back together that have been demolished since early November.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Self Portrait - Final

I finished the self-portrait project this morning. I am pleased with most of this in that it went better than any of my other portraits have gone and has more life to it. I have made notes of what I want to work on for the next one so it is a continuing learning process, as with anything else with artwork! I have to say I love Taylor Bush's process and am enjoying using her portrait DVD series. It is very helpful and informative.

We have had three crews of workers here today, only one of which did not make a lot of noise. Hopefully that all means big results. The exterior is painted and they are working on the taping and texturing again this afternoon so I will take some more photos later to show any progress.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Self Portrait - Step Two

I am getting farther away from my own appearance so will step away from this for awhile and rework the mouth and the left eye (our left) to see if I can reconnect with myself.

I don't want to hurry and it will be better if I wait, I think.

Stucco - Painted

Before the wind started blowing today the painter was able to get the exterior walls finished. The trim will be done tomorrow if the wind settles down.

The sheet rock tapers were here and said they would return tomorrow. All of the seams are now taped, awaiting texturing.

Self Portrait - Step One

Our current project for the online Watercolor Workshop is to do a self-portrait. Since I just received my supplies to start the Taylor Bush method of portraiture, I decided to pick on myself first and try a self-portrait. I took a bravery pill this morning and started this. I took another pill before posting this photo of stage one. At least, if I mess it up from this point on, I have proof I indeed tried to do it. I am enjoying it for the most part so far, but I haven't gotten to the details (like wrinkles, crinkles, droops, sags, etc.) so the depressing part will come later, I suppose. I haven't found in Taylor's DVD's or written text what pigment should be used for hazel eyes, I am sure it is there, I am just not finding it. So, I took it upon myself to do a yellow underpainting and will see how to proceed from there. I may end up looking jaundiced, but we will see. I like having her pigment mixing guides handy for the different stages. Like I said, so far so good.

The painter is here today, painting the new room exterior and will plan on painting the French doors for the inside entry into the studio. Photos of this to follow tonight.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Stucco finished

Tom took this photo to show the texture of the new stucco that was finished today. The crew did a wonderful job of matching the stucco texture on the old part of the house so it should be a seamless blend on the exterior walls once painted. Tomorrow brings the tape and texture guys for the drywall.

I am still under the weather; went to the doctor this morning, who confirmed my suspicions that I have a sinus infection. So, no traipsing around for awhile, including the ArtChix show this weekend. Sad, but true. I know I will be missing a good one, but just cannot do it this time so that is that. Hopefully, I will soon feel like beginning the self portrait project for the Watercolor Workshop since I now have all the paints and supplies needed to follow Taylor Bush's DVD instructions. I just need the energy to get up and do it. Too much coughing, too little sleep!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Studio Build - Drywall

No painting going on here while I try to deal with my first bad cold in five years. I was starting to feel like I was invincible regarding colds and flu, then boom....it hit. In the meantime, the studio build continues. They finished the drywall yesterday and will start the taping/texturing either this afternoon or tomorrow.

My goal is to be healthy enough to participate in the big ArtChix sale this weekend at SCG. This will be a good one and I would hate to do anything that causes a relapse so that I have to miss it. I have had to push back the start of the Beginning I Watercolor class I was to start teaching today until next week. I am sure I am still contagious and my foghorn voice would not see me through an entire class, so it had to be postponed; along with some other activities for this week. Really poor timing, but lesson learned...I am not invincible.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Regarding the Bird of Paradise.....

After submitting the B of P painting to the online critique group (Watercolor Workshop) and garnering comments from others here at the art club, it looks like the opinions to make the colors more vivid as opposed to leaving it as is, soft and glowing, were about 50/50. So, I think I will consider this finished as is and do another (hopefully before long) with more vivid colors typical of some varieties of B of P and do it on at least a half-sheet of paper. The comments on the "abstract" nature of this painting makes me wonder if it shouldn't be larger to exploit that, with larger negative spaces surrounding the flower. So many ideas, so little time!

I bought a few wonderful frames at the Aaron Bros. penny sale yesterday that would be good with a half-sheet size painting so if I needed more motivation, that would help. Usually, I have more motivation and inspiration than time to carry them out. Beginning this week my Beginning Watercolor classes I teach will begin for the next two months, so that will add two paintings a week to my efforts; but I tend to choose paintings I have done already that I feel demonstrate a particular focus for each week, so they don't require much inspiration since I have done them already at least once. I will be framing my Tumacacori Granary painting from last October for the ArtChix sale Jan. 13th and 14th at the SCG Art Club, and if it is still available it will be brought to the art club display change on Jan. 25th. I have given up trying to decide what will probably sell and what won't anymore, all I can do is bring a wide selection and wait for something nice to happen.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Bird of Paradise 2007

I got to attend a session of the watercolor open painting workshop at the Art Club this afternoon and finished (I think) this bird of paradise painting and worked on some more petroglyph paintings for the next ArtChix sale. I may add more glazes of color, especially to the yellow areas, but do not want to lose any of the glow I was able to achieve so will think on that one for awhile. Lots to consider sometimes!

Tomorrow will bring the drywall hangers to the studio build so there may be some photos later tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Morning Musings....

No photos to share this morning, just some thoughts on painting. Quite a few friends from my various online watercolor groups have been reporting feeling uncertain about what to paint, not being motivated, holidays blahs, etc. I am having a rebirth of energy regarding my painting and want to get at it. With holiday preparations over, and work to start again today on the studio build, I am chomping at the bit to get at it, with lots of ideas swirling around in my head. I have started another series of small paintings for the January 13th and 14th ArtChix sale and a self-portrait is sketched out (January project for the online Watercolor Workshop) on paper.

Artists are usually out there alone, thumping along as best they can and hoping to sell what they paint. I have found belonging to my online as well as local art groups to be an invaluable source of information, fellowship and inspiration and one feels a part of something larger than their little studio world. It has also served me well when small/large honors and recognition are given for something I painted. This happened to me last night when I opened up the homepage of the Watercolor Workshop ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WatercolorWorkshop/ ) and found my Colorful Bouquet (posted here earlier last week) was selected, out of the many wonderful paintings submitted to the group last month, to be on the group's homepage. It was a nice surprise! It has become important for me to sell my artwork in order to pay for expenses that this endeavor entails, but I have to say how important the recognition factor becomes for me. It is the same when I am at my sales table at the ArtChix sales and there is an equal number of sales to just kudos without sales. The kudos for my work are very inspiring to do more and affirmation that I am on the right track, very sustaining.

Hopefully, today will bring the return of the studio building crews so we can get closer to the finish line of our project. If that be the case, photos to follow!