Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I have done a few more things to help me see better "road maps" of this man's anatomy, such as blocking in his hair and I continue to work on his jaw. The eyebrows will need some refining and then I think I will move on to his hat. Lots of detail there. I need that to be the correct darkness to be able to gauge how much darker the skin tones or his face paint needs to be.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
He is wearing paint on his face, very dark and black on the lips and upper face, so I have to soften the edges so it looks less like a mask. Also, I misread the modeling shadows below his chin and needed to use the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to correct that and will make it right the next time I work on it. There is more paint to add in the face and then the hair will be blocked in lightly so I don't get lost again. Details, details. I really owe a debt to Mr. Clean, he knows his stuff!
Stay tuned, when you see his black hat with the bead work and feathers hopefully you will like this guy as much as I liked his photo. Slow going on this one due to time constraints, but I will continue on.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The image size of this painting is 24 x 16, watercolor on Arches 140-lb paper.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
I also have a wish for all to be safe financially in these troubled times. I speak not of wealth, but of the security that allows us all to feel that we can take care of ourselves and have freedom from the threat that we will not be able to if the world's economy does not level out. This needs to change, may those who are in charge of making this happen for us be guided by good and not greed.
Lastly, my biggest wish this holiday season is for health for us all. If you are dealing with health issues may you find healing in this new year that will allow you to enjoy all of the above as well as look forward to many future holidays. This has been a year of working through health issues for my family and I realize that this is the greatest wealth one can have, health.
God's blessings to you and yours this Christmas Day......
Monday, December 22, 2008
These are the two paintings I finished last week, but due to spending so much time working on my new computer, transferring files, etc. I have not updated my blog to include them. The reference photos for both of these was provided by Roch, of New Mexico Jeep Tours. His photos just inspire me, plain and simply. He stops to take the photos I believe I would take if I were where he happens to be as he leads Jeep tours through the wonders of New Mexico. Thanks once again, Roch!
Now, I can maybe squeeze in some painting time to work on my Indian brave painting. I have the background in, so far, so good.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I neglected to share with you our sunset the night before last here. This was shot from our driveway. Whenever there are clouds present in the West at sunset you can count on a spectacular display here. I just about missed this one but got out in time to snap a few photos.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
This will be my home on the planet for this weekend, an ArtChix sale. Hopefully, people will feel compelled to buy something, but in this economy one never knows. It was worth getting prepared for, I just hope it all works out to be profitable. Lots of people looking, few buying so far. The cooler weather tomorrow may hinder this effort, also. Sigh. Such is the life of an artist, I guess.
Friday, December 12, 2008
While leaving our house to run some early morning errands yesterday I noted this great sunrise. Not having my good camera with me, I resorted to using my cell phone. While this isn't the best photo I have ever taken, I think it shows this display of color very well for having been shot from a cell phone camera. Love these rosy sunrises!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Check out her photos and ponderings on her very interesting life.
Friday, December 05, 2008
Thursday, December 04, 2008
This is the second painting I finished today. It was painted from a photo of a petroglyph site in New Mexico. Roch, from NM Jeep Tours gave me permission to paint from his wonderful photo, for which I am grateful, he is a great photographer!
These are very large petroglyphs, almost intaglios it appears from the scale of the rocks. It was fun to do and shows some of the marvelous colors that were in these rocks.
Now, on to my next victim, a moose painting!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
This painting is from a reference photo by a mentoree who wanted to paint this from her home town in Iowa. This is a wood carving done by a carver using a chain saw and looks to be a huge accomplishment.
We both like working in sepia, the value shifts are great and we both had good results today. We continue to work on values, textures and mass foliage effects. Good times.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
One of the rewards for surviving the ghastly summers here on the Arizona desert are the sunsets, especially in the Fall and Spring. This is tonight's sunset, which I thought was especially nice with the band of clouds so accommodating.
Monday, December 01, 2008
We are home again after having a great Thanksgiving holiday trip in the motorhome. I shot so many photos, everything was so colorful at this time of the year and we were able to go on photo jaunts each day we were there. This included a sunrise jaunt, a 4-wheel-drive jaunt and a nice trip back home where I shot photos out the passenger side window of the motorhome. Of course, at 65 mph some of the angles produced some blurriness, but the colors of the Sycamores and Cottonwoods were not to be missed!
I also shot a few series of pano shots, the one I have processed can be seen at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wcbysusanroper/3074257558/ as the file is too large to be included here.
Another highlight of our trip was that I met a fellow artist and made a new friend. She liked the idea of this blog so she got busy and created one for her artwork over the weekend. When she has tweaked it to her satisfaction I will add the link to my sidebar. I am convinced that the art community is one of the friendliest communities anywhere, there seems to be an immediate kinship.
I have five not quite completed paintings sitting in the studio so that is my art goal for this week, to finish every almost-done painting and get them off the boards. A discussion on Rhonda Carpenter's blog this weekend spurred me to action; we all have projects sitting around, waiting for us to stop pondering and just finish paintings that we have previously set aside. I'll post them here if I meet my goal!
Saturday, November 29, 2008
We took a sunrise photo jaunt yesterday morning and got the one above with the spooky cloud below the horizon. There was so much moisture remaining in the atmosphere from the rains of Thanksgiving Day that these low clouds were everywhere. We had a very cold and rainy Thanksgiving Day, but a nice potluck feast here at the RV park where we are staying until tomorrow. They baked three luscious turkeys on the huge stone barbeque and everyone brought all the traditional goodies. Other than getting too wet and cold, it was a nice day. Friday, our oldest son and his family came for our second Thanksgiving feast. We smoked a pork loin before we left home and I used Crockpots in the motorhome for the rest of the feast (see the Crockpot blog link on the sidebar...it really works!).
Today we went to the top of Hualapai Mountain to the County Park there. There are good vistas from above, I took series of photos to stitch for panos but will wait until home to upload them to Flickr and direct you there to see them. We drove for HOURS on a one-lane, 4-wheel-drive trail to come down the other side of the mountain and come back to the motorhome. We thought it would be more picturesque than going back by way of the interstate. It was picturesque, but got quite tiresome after a few hours of rocking around up there over that rocky trail. The other photo with this blog entry is from about halfway down the other side, we were up pretty high and saw some great mountains across the valley. Lots of Manzanita bushes and these silvery white bushes (I wish I was so knowledgeable to be able to identify them for you) contrasting with the abundant greens. It was an experience for our memory books for sure.
Home tomorrow, nice sunny and breezy day yesterday and today. Hopefully that will hold until we get home.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
We drove to Kingman, AZ yesterday afternoon, most of the way in rain and fog. The reward for this was to arrive to the area around Kingman just in time for sunset and a huge, very vivid rainbow. This rainbow lasted and was very visible for almost 15 minutes and as the sun set through a small opening in the clouds we had the treat of seeing this magical color display. The rainbow stretched from one end of the valley to the other. It is around 48 degrees right now on Thanksgiving morning but not raining presently.
Happy Thanksgiving to all, have a great day!
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
We are hooked up and ready to go this afternoon on our Thanksgiving adventure. I am giving thanks here for the friendship and support I have been given through this blog, it truly is a valuable tool for artists. The human factor cannot be ignored, either.
As you can see the street and sidewalk in front of our house is wet, imagine that, rain here on the desert! We need it so I won't grouse about having to travel in the rain, but I hope it doesn't become too stormy for our three-hour trip this afternoon.
As long as we have good WiFi I will use this blog as a travelogue and post photos of what is going on. Our oldest son and his family will be joining us for our Thanksgiving feast on Friday so that will be fun. We also plan, weather permitting, to scoot around the area for interesting photo ops while there.
I wish all who read this blog the very best of turkey days, good left-overs and great fun with family and friends. God Bless....Susan
Monday, November 24, 2008
I have been working on this painting again, lots! I have just submitted it to the watercolor workshop gang for critique. I don't want to continue fussing with it because I think I could easily over-detail it...to death! I have spent more hours working on this painting than any other I have done. This is because the subject matter makes me reach out of my comfort zone and figure things out I have not tried before. I know this is necessary for growth, but it has really caused me to stretch!
If anyone sees anything they'd like to change speak now or forever hold your peace. I'm leaving it on the Homosote board until after Thanksgiving in case I need to do something else, then it will go into an antique bronze metal frame. The image size is 16x24, watercolor on Arches 140-lb cold press.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
While I dislike the shade covering I wound up with after playing around with the ink too much, I do think this method is a good way to loosen up and do something different than my usual "style" sometimes. We sure had fun working with these at the art club yesterday afternoon! And, I didn't cut myself one time working with those razor blades...hooray!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I asked Sandy Maudlin for permission to copy her painting in my Beginning Watercolor II class as a way to show the students nice mass foliage techniques and the "value of values". I loved her painting and was grateful for her permission to work with this. It did work out to be a good lesson for us to work on. This is my demo painting. For my students seeing this, after class I darkened some of the values where needed, added some branches to the trees and did some spattering in the foreground.
Monday, November 17, 2008
I am at the point in this painting where I am soooooo wishing I had not done several things. I think I cleared up (as much as possible) the foreshortening problem with the front right corner of the roof. Now, I am wishing I had not done an underpainting as I am feeling as if I had painted myself into a corner. I have few options for the troublesome rock/stream area since I have painted the darkest values with the blue. I promise to try my next project like this without an underpainting and see if that works better. In the meantime, I am plodding along trying to do this without messing up what I do like about this painting. Stay tuned for how this goes from here on out...it may be cropped down to a landscape orientation with just the mill and middle ground rocks! I know we never learn or advance our skills if we only paint what we know and are comfortable with, but I think I may have pushed myself farther than I want to go at this point! I am stepping away from the painting for a breath of fresh air and, hopefully, a new perspective.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 07, 2008
I have had two painting sessions working on this 16 x 24-inch painting, but failed to take a WIP photo after the first session. This is the Glade Creek Grist Mill in Babcock State Park in West Virginia. I have been granted permission to paint from the excellent photos taken by Bob Harris on a recent RV trip to this area. His photos were taken in somewhat failing light, but with that peachy sunlight glow that just begged to be painted. I want to capture the warm glow, in addition to the wonderful blue rocks and water that were in the photo. This one was made for the complements of blue and orange! I have already painted this mill in sepia twice and have fallen in love with the charm of this place. Hopefully, some day we can travel to this wonderful area and see it in real life.
I have the background foliage partially finished and the underpainting mostly done to set the middle ground and foreground values. Since I have been preparing for the first ArtChix sale of the season here I have not been able to paint much, but will keep on working on this one. I like it so far. But, as has been said before, "tis many a slip twixt cup and lip" so I want to post it "just in case".
Speaking of ArtChix, if you are in the area do stop by and see what we have going on this weekend at the Sun City Grand Art Club. We have all been painting this summer in preparation for our ArtChix events!
Friday, October 31, 2008
PS....If you would like to visit Nick's website it is at: http://www.nicholassimmons.com/ This guy can paint!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
We brought the motorhome to nearby Black Canyon City just for a getaway weekend. Saturday we spent most of the day exploring the road to Crown King. This is a 28-mile dirt road across the desert and finally up into the pines of Crown King. It was so picturesque that it took us 3 1/2 hours to travel that 28 miles because we made so many stops for photo ops. This road goes through cattle ranching country as well as abandoned mines from long ago. Crown King itself was much smaller and less interesting to visit than either of us had anticipated, but we both agreed that the destination does not matter as much as the journey there. This was proven again today as we found lots of little interesting spots to stop along the way. I loved the old wood in the cattle corrals and loading chutes, and we found a nice windmill and this windmill fed a stock pond complete with reeds, ducks and frogs. It was like finding an oasis in the desert. I even took some experimental photos that I hope to turn into some of those artsy-fartsy, avant garde, special effect photos when I can play with them. It was a good day!
We will return home this afternoon, after having lunch at the famous (since 1918) Rock Springs Cafe, known for their pies. Uh-oh!
Friday, October 17, 2008
This photo was taken by my good friend in Florida, Vicki Green. This 3/4-inch baby tree frog was happily living in her Mandavilla flower. If this doesn't make you smile this morning, there is no hope for you! Since my one attempt in painting this week produced more mud than art I wanted to post this awesome photo to share some beauty with you all.
By the way...it is Vicki's birthday today....Happy birthday Vicki!
Friday, October 10, 2008
This is one of the monthly projects for the online Watercolor Workshop group. We were to all paint from the same lovely reference photo provided and I almost chickened out on participating after seeing the first paintings submitted, they were so good! But, I also feel there is room for every approach in these projects and here is mine. I was going for a looser approach than I usually do and trying to pay more attention to the shapes within the shadows, value shifts and reproducing those luscious apple colors. It turned out to be a very enjoyable painting to do, despite dreading that basket!
Thursday, October 09, 2008
I belong to an online group called Sharing With Artist Partners or SWAP for short. We are in the midst of one of our quarterly swap of paintings right now. I received this lovely painting from my SWAP partner this time, Crystal from Alabama. This will be a very nice addition to the Wall of Fame in my studio, reserved for my collection of SWAP paintings. I now have 12 of them and love them all.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
This is the official end to my two-painting experiment to see which technique for painting onions I preferred. There are things I prefer in this second painting, such as the vibrant color of the directly-painted onions, but I prefer the onion shapes and details with the first version. The background was also better, in my opinion, on the first version. Oh well, nothing ventured.......and it was a fun project to try.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
When we came home, the sun was great for taking macro shots of my new hibiscus flowers. I just planted these yesterday so I needed to get some photos of them before the rabbits eat them, as could happen! This is called Cairo Rose and I also got a Cairo Red variety but the shadows weren't good on that bush this morning.