Thursday, March 15, 2007


Okay. Some of you are able to buy delicious looking food and paint it beautifully. I now have a strong suspicion that you actually buy TWO of said delicious and beautiful food items, thus allowing you to eat one and paint the other. Unfortunately, I didn't think that far in advance. This strawberry tall cake portrait is unfinished, while the strawberry tall cake itself is no more. Maybe the painting will get finished sans reference. Maybe I'll just have to go to the bakery and get another! Ha!

So, what would you do with the background? I tend to want to leave it white... Would you indicate a horizontal line, so it feels more like it is on the table, rather than floating in mid air? (It WAS light, but not THAT light!) The plate and fork need to be finished, and some texture needs to be added to the cake layers -- what do you think about finishing it with colored pencil, or would I then need to go over the whole thing with CP layers? (note -- it is done with watercolor on 300# hot pressed Arches, so it is just smooth enough for colored pencil touches...)

I think I'm going to do more of this kind of thing. It was very relaxing. You might even say it was fulfilling...
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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Slap Dash Bayou

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie...
Slap dashing wet paint on 300 # COLD press paper -- a new surface for me. I like the weight, and that I don't have to stretch it -- I like having a bit more control than on the hot press -- I like it so much that I went and bought 2 more pieces of the stuff as soon as I finished this little painting!

Big news of the day -- I signed up for a 4 hour portrait and figure drawing class given by a most excellent oil painter, Jon Houglam, which will take place the first week of April. Nothing like a different perspective to give a little kick in the seat of the pants, or so I've been told!

Next weekend is the world wide sketch crawl, and Diahn and I have plans to meet up for that -- hopefully we'll have awesome weather! If you don't hear from me before then, well, I'm probably painting beach scenes on my new watercolor paper...

And if YOU are in the Knoxville area, and are interested in sketchcrawl day, just let us know!

(The technical bit: Watercolor on Arches 300# cold pressed paper -- painted area approx 13"x9", and the colors are a bit richer in real life. The boat looks much more anchored in the real thing -- it looks a bit airborn here in the photo!)

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Skooshing Up a Storm

... honestly ... I have no idea what I'm doing with acrylics, but this was kind of fun anyway. I mixed all those greys all by myself. And one would THINK that waves would be kind of easy -- just skooshing them on there, but obviously they are not. Still, the skooshing bit was nearly as fun as mixing all those greys. In the future the stormy seas can be left to the the experts!

More about ruts later -- tonight I'm playing!

(The technical bits: Okaloosa Island fishing pier, Ft. Walton Beach Florida -- from a photo taken on a very stormy morning in January. Painted with Golden Acrylics on an actual 16" x 20" CANVAS. Yep. A real canvas. Colors used to make those lover-ly stormy greys were Winsor Blue Red Shade, Cobalt Teal, A Tiny Bit of Hansa Yellow Medium, Much More Nickel Azo Yellow, and Naphthol Red Light -- all with a Dab of Titanium White. I could have just done canvases of streaks of greys, it was so much fun ... )

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

How to Get Into a Rut (And Back Out Again) part 2

(Feelin' Loon-ey -- colored pencil on color fix paper)

If I were a flower, I'd be a biennial.

Really. It seems like every two years or so, dissatisfaction sets in and I become very self critical. In the process, I will often quit whatever "arty" mode I'm in, not do ANYTHING for quite a while, then slowly start back.

TWO years are here now.

The Everyday Matters Group has been discussing "slumps" for the past few weeks, and it seems that a lot of people are experiencing the same problem. On the advice of several people, I bought Walking In This World by Julia Cameron (of Artist's Way fame) and am reading it. I've revolted and am NOT doing morning pages -- tried them before and they just don't work for me, but the book itself is a really good read. I've gotten loads of other helpful advice, and it REALLY IS helpful -- work smaller (like the example above, which is maybe 4"x6", or a tad smaller), change up mediums for a bit, try totally different subject matters, etc.

I'm trying all of them, but the best, most straightforward piece of advice may have come from Casey, who wrote:

"... As far as I can tell, there's no miracle cure except to keep slogging away -- one day it's over, and your work has improved all at once. If you stop working the game's over, at least for a while."

I think she's onto something BIG there. Maybe she should write a book, and title it "Slogging Away in This World" ...

:-) Thanks Casey!

And then there's the whole synchronicity thing ...