Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stone Bridge

This is what the mentoring group worked on this week. It was problematic from the beginning due to my poor planning, but I have been able to make it more presentable at this point. Or, as presentable as it is going to get as I want to get going on another project.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Artistic (?) Sunday

I have been cutting mats for the upcoming ArtChix sale next (gasp, Super bowl) Sunday all day today. I have some newer prints to mat as well as perusing through past sale items to make sure I have fresh display fodder for the sale. It is cool and rainy here for this entire weekend, but after hearing about other places nationwide I am not complaining.

Good Monday to all, I have painted this week but cannot post my painting since it is for the next SWAP and, just in case my SWAP partner is watching, cannot post it publicly until she receives it. I like it, though, and will post it as soon as she lets me know she has it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Guess again

Well, after publishing that last comment, I see that the comment function has mysteriously returned to my blog! Might as well be lucky as good at figuring it all out! Some of this blogger stuff just is beyond me. When it all works, I love it though!

No comment availability?

Okay, here's the deal...if you want to leave a comment you will have to e-mail me as once I initiated comment moderation, the comment availability left my blog. Others who use comment moderation still have that function, so I must have misstepped somewhere along the way. So, if you want to leave a comment just use the e-mail address above. I will eventually get this figured out, but won't spend much time on it now.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Peggy's Cove Boathouse

This is a more complex painting completed over two classes with my mentoring group. They did great with this complicated scene and we all learned a lot, including the mentor! Mass foliage, water, reflections, architectural elements, wood texturing....all in the same painting! If part of becoming a good artist is pushing oneself to learn how to do things beyond what you know and not to stick with the things you know, then this group will do well as they both want to be challenged.

There are parts of this one I would do differently, but for all of the challenges mentioned above, I think it turned out pretty well. I may darken underneath the boathouse here and there, but other than that I will consider this one done.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Comment moderation

I received a comment this morning that was in very poor taste, so have turned on the comment moderation feature for this blog. I apologize if this causes inconvenience to anyone who is commenting on my blog, but I feel it is now necessary to do that for the good of anyone reading my blog.

It is a sad commentary on the sad and empty lives of those who have nothing better to do than to pass along their distasteful thoughts, but it is a fact of life.

Please know that if you have an honest comment or critique, positive or otherwise, to pass along regarding my work that it will appear on the blog soon after you comment. That is the purpose of having an art blog, to get feedback and provide a forum for conversations that lead to growth.

Canyonlands - Absolute Final!

I received good feedback on the last "final" rendition of this painting and adjusted the foliage to show distance better and balance it on all sides of the painting. I think this is done now and don't want to keep messing with it because it will become a muddy mess if I do.

Based on the extremely favorable comments and critiques I have received on this, I entered it into a juried show, I won't hear anything about rejection or acceptance for a few weeks, but I thought it worthy of a try, anyway.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Canyonlands Sunset - Final?

I am ready to call this the final rendition of this canyon painting. I am awaiting any comments and critiques from the online group, but I like the colors, perspective and rocks of this one better than any I have done. Whether that means they are good enough or not remains to be seen, but the fact that I see improvement in my handling of canyons is satisfaction for me. These are difficult for some reason, probably getting the distance perspective correct is the hardest part.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

January Project at WcW

While sitting at my ArtChix sale table today I painted this tiny (5x7) project painting for the Watercolor Workshop online group. I like my work better when I paint larger, this size feels restrictive to me. But, I achieved the objectives of the project which were the receding background and doing grasses/weeds in the foreground.

I will try to finish the canyonlands painting today.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Soccer painting for Destiny

Here is the painting I did from a photo I did of Destiny getting out in front of a competitor and going for it. This painting is for her birthday. She is picking up her presents tonight, I hope she likes it.

Canyonlands WIP 6

Here is where I stopped at the painting session at the Art Club this afternoon. The butte on the left still needs darker glazes to show it is in the shade. The midground canyon wall needs darkening at the bottom to set it back from the left butte, the foreground right hand butte needs warming up, etc. The more I do, the more I see I need to do at this point. I'll get there yet.

Canyonlands WIP 5

I have the basic rock shapes in the foreground done. I will add more value changes (need more darks to define the rock shapes) and the typical striations that show the layers in these rocks. I think I will put the first glaze of color and shape into the rock mass on the left first, though. The thought of the shape of this butte remaining as is bothers me so I want to see what I can do about it before going further with the detail work. I wish I had thought of that before committing the drawing to paper, but I didn't so will live with it for now.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Canyon WIP 4

I seem to be working on this one mountain butte at a time, but I need to step back occasionally and see where I am to adjust details and value shifts. The right foreground mass of rocks will be next. The left mass will be darker since it is facing away from the sun, but I will see how dark and bright the foreground rocks are to decide what the values should be for that. Decisions, decisions. I see on this last butte that the spires that are the tallest are "kissing" the butte behind, so will make the tallest one taller to cross the plane of that back butte better. There is always something I miss! This was totally a miss since I added much of the top detail of that butte, adding several spires and hoodoos to break up all the horizontal and vertical lines there, it was too geometric before. Looks like I missed getting the tallest one tall enough to break the plane. Onward and (hopefully) upward.....

Monday, January 07, 2008

Canyon WIP 3

I managed to complete more of the mid ground. I will probably float in some quin gold over the sunlit edges of this butte and eventually, when I see how dark the foreground elements will be, I will darken the colors in the sky some for balance. But, I will wait on that.

Still holding my breath....

Canyon WIP 2

I haven't worked on this since before we left for our holiday trip (see December 21, 2007 blog entry), I couldn't stand not working on it any longer so added the beginning of the mid ground this morning.

So far, I have to think that having the grayscale underpainting is heping me not to get lost in the canyons as I usually do. So far, so good. More to come....

Friday, January 04, 2008

China Ranch Oasis

Per request from Rhonda to see more of the date palms and the area of the oasis, here are three more. They hang either white or colorful rags to protect the date clusters from birds while ripening and there were rows of colorful ones and some had mainly white cloths. The cottonwood trees followed the creek in the area and many still had late Fall golds and some orange color.

We have done the gemshow stuff in Quartzite today and will return home tomorrow. I found lots to keep me busy when I am not painting, wire wrap, beading and jewelry-making supplies. Very interesting things they have!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Tecopa, CA

We are spending our last day in the Death Valley area; at Tecopa, CA. This is an area rich in mineral hot springs and the so-called lake below the mesa our RV park is on the edge of consists of marshes, salt flats and some mineral ponds which reflect the nearby mountains. That is what the mountain reflection photo shows.

We spent yesterday exploring the area around Tecopa, near the China Ranch area. We stopped on an off-road overlook and saw a canyon, which we got on the road which led us into and through the canyon to China Ranch, which is a working date ranch, bed and breakfast, gift shop, etc. The canyon drive itself was amazing with high mud hills, dotted with mine shafts and arches and rocks. The date ranch was interesting also with brightly colored cloths protecting the hanging date clusters and the surrounding cottonwood trees which still retained their Fall colors.

This morning we saw the Dumont Dunes, where many RVs had stayed right on the sand over the recent holidays and there were still a few remaining holdouts going up and down the high dunes today. The stream photo shows the Amargosa River which runs through the canyons at the base of the Dumont Dunes. We then went to the world famous "The Mad Greek" (or at least famous by being featured on the Food Channel’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives show with Guy de Fieri). The Greek gyros were just as luscious as they looked on TV…yum! I will go no-carb again when I get home!

We will leave here for Brenda, AZ tomorrow and do more of the Quartzite rockhound shows for a day (we found so many interesting things there on the trip up here, January is a primo month to go there for the rock shows) and then return to home on Saturday. It has been a great trip so far, much colder than we anticipated, but then it has been so very cold all over the country, it seems. In listening to the news, I know we are fortunate to not have to deal with the below zero temps and snow, but it has certainly been cold according to our wimpy, desert-rat standards.