Friday, 21 November 2008
My second art trip was to a woodcarving club. I got to try my hand at carving and was given a little bit of instruction from one of the members. I really enjoyed it and I think I will be going back and joining the club myself. I need to buy the special gloves they use to prevent cutting myself! You have to use your imagination to picture what I’m trying to carve here…one is a feather and the other is a face…don’t laugh too hard ‘kay?
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Here is some workshop participants’ great work.
Friday, 3 October 2008
Cathy is Belgian but is a resident of France. She is a mixed media artist combining oil or acrylic paints with string, paper, and cloth. Her work is full of beautiful texture and inspired by the patterns and details of nature. For her “Everything has a spirit, a voice that needs to be listened to.”
Cathy exhibits her work across France where the tactile and aesthetic qualities have proved successful.
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
Either way, they are great resource pictures and I got some exercise! I picked up some leaves for the colours.
Monday, 29 September 2008
Friday, 19 September 2008
So far, I have posted six paintings and have plans to post some more shortly. The paintings that I have posted are watercolour and/or mixed media on watercolour paper. I have not posted my oils/acrylics yet. I have a little more research in the cost of shipping bigger items before I do.I hope you will take a look at the shop and let me know what you think.
Thursday, 18 September 2008
There is a great variety of artwork here, including sculpture. I found lots of inspiration for improving my work and possible future subject matter.Great stuff and worth the visit.
Friday, 12 September 2008
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Check out the Alberta Arts Day website for events and join The Spirit of Alberta .
Friday, 5 September 2008
The next step is to paint out the silver of the bottom brooch and then work on the facets of each topaz.
Saturday, 30 August 2008
I first started to mind map in 1991 when I picked up a book by Joyce Wycoff: Mindmapping Your Personal Guide to Exploring Creativity and Problem-Solving. Mindmapping is a technique for idea organizing and was fist developed in. 1975 by Tony Buzan.
I have used this technique in my business career and in my painting. I have found this to be a really helpful tool in generating ideas or in narrowing down ideas for a specific painting. For the drawing on the right, I started with a single theme of memories and mindmapped things that suggested memories to me.
Below are some videos on how to mind map.
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
I have seen his works in books before, but this was the first time I had the chance to see them in person. His work is based on the traditions and stories of the Anishinabek (Ojibwe/Chippewa) people. The Circle is important in his work. "The Circle is what my paintings are based on. The rounded lines are deliberate ... what I create is something simple and serene and peaceful."
Friday, 8 August 2008
I did get some drawing done. I like this one which I drew as we drove back through Saskatchewan.
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
I’m taking a trip at the end of the week and I’m taking some of my painting supplies; but which ones? I’ll be flying out to Ontario and driving back. I’ll be visiting family and friends for two weeks. Because I am flying one way, I also have to pay attention to what can go in the cabin with me and what I have to check in with my luggage. I will have one checked suitcase and one carry-on. The checked luggage has a weight restriction of 50lbs (23kgs) and I have to bring my clothes too. My art supplies (minus the book) will have to be packed in the checked suitcase-I use a utility knife to sharpen my pencils so that can’t be carried on. The water brush might be OK but the sketchbooks are coil binding and may or may not be allowed. I don’t want to find out when I go through security. So basically most of my stuff will be in the checked baggage, so we will see what fits and what doesn’t when I pack.
There are a lot of supplies that I want to take, but here is what I have narrowed it down too (on paper):
- Sketch pencils;
- watercolour pencils and crayons;
- water brush;
- coloured pencils and blending brush;
- two sketch books – one is about 6 x 18” and the other is about 4 x 5
- an art book I am reading (the one I will be conducting workshops on for the ArtBookWorkshop group)
- maybe another book I just got out of the library, Painting Weathered Buildings – Claudia Nice. I’m attempting to follow the current workshop being offered on the ArtBookWorkshop group.
- Plus all my non-art stuff.
Sunday, 6 July 2008
I plan to move on to the background and then other brooch. Once the background is done to my satisfaction, I’ll move on to the actual brooch. The plan is to leave the facets of the jewels until the end and then of course, any fine tuning that will be needed.
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Wednesday, 25 June 2008
I have volunteered to lead one of the ArtBookWorkshop starting in August. The book I selected for review is called Daring Color Mix and Mingle Watercolor on Your Paper written by Anne Abgott. I’m a little nervous about this, but I have a month and a bit to get organized and plan out the exercises.
Daring Color Mix and Mingle Watercolor on Your Paper
Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: North Light Books (July 18, 2007)
CDN $37.99 (US $29.99)
If you wish to borrow the book from your local library the Dewey Decimal code is 751.422 ABG.
The techniques provided in this book allow for intense colours without the need for glazing. I’m looking forward to going through this book and hope you can join me.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
The colours used are Cadmium Yellow Medium, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue and Titanium White.
Monday, 23 June 2008
Sometimes I find it hard to judge my own paintings. It’s hard to look at a painting with a fresh eye, especially after hours of working on it. There are some things that I use to trick myself.
The easiest trick is to change the orientation of the painting by rotating it. Usually I rotate the painting so that the top is at the bottom. This helps me see shapes both positive and negative.
- Are the shapes the right size and in proportion?
- Are the shapes in an interesting arrangement?
- Have I repeated the shapes elsewhere in the painting?
- Are the negative shapes between the objects interesting?
I also squint at a painting; or take my glasses off. This helps me evaluate the values I have used.
- Are the values correct?
- Are the lightest lights and darkest darks near the focal point?
- Do the light/dark areas create an interesting pattern?
Looking at a painting through a mirror is also a good technique for tricking the eye.
- Is there depth in the painting?
- Is the painting predominantly warm or cool?
- Are the colours appropriate?
- Have I repeated the colours elsewhere in the painting?
- Do the colours and values lead the eye to the focal point?
- Is the focal point where I want it?
- Is there more detail near the focal point?
I don’t do all of these tricks for every painting and I don’t ask all the questions-at least not coconsciously. When I do notice that something is off, I make adjustments as I work. Often, when I finish a painting I sit it where I can see it daily. If I don’t notice anything that bugs me about it, I sign it and call it done.
Sunday, 22 June 2008
I don’t really like using Payne’s Gray—I find it rather lifeless in colour, but since I have a tube anyway, I used it for underpainting.
Wednesday, 11 June 2008
I’m going with the bottom sketch.
This painting will be done in oil and on a canvas 24 x 30. This is bigger than I normally work. I will be attempting to paint the jewel so that it will glow. To get this effect I will use the colour theory “law of field size”. This theory uses a large dark field/background with a smaller foreground of pure colour. For my painting, the smaller foreground is the actual jewel in the top brooch. The rest of the painting will be in various shades/values of grey.
Monday, 9 June 2008
This is a little painting that I did just for fun. I used 140lbs hot press
paper and wet the entire surface. I then splattered on some colours. When that was dry I applied some liquid mask. After the mask dried, I splattered on some more paint. I let that layer dry and then did some more splattering. I used a spray bottle to soften the…um…splats…so they wouldn’t have a hard edge.
I continued on in this manner letting each layer of mask and each layer of paint dry.
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Using a question and answer format, Mr. Rankin reduces information to select hints and suggestions that are easy to understand. Exercises are included to help work out the suggestions provided.
· think with your pencil first
· use your camera for back up
· define structure with line work first
· limit sketching to three or four values
I found this book to be easy to read and follow. The suggestions are very helpful.
Fast Sketching Techniques
David Rankin, Copyright 2000
North Light Books an imprint of F+W Publications
CDN $35.99 (US $22.99)
Monday, 19 May 2008
Here is what she looks like now. I am also including the photo I am working from.
Friday, 16 May 2008
I then coloured it in with crayons.
Once I was satisfied I painted over the drawing with black gesso.
After the gesso dried, I followed the instructions and scratched over the gesso to reveal the crayon underneath – just like we did when we were kids!
At that point, I realized that I missed a small step in the instructions – to leave some spots unpainted. So, I drew up a grid of where I wanted the white to show and also decided to add some grey. But before I did that I added some more crayon.
I then painted the white and grey areas – not exactly as drawn but close enough and still pleasing. I don’t always follow my thumbnails or plans. In fact, most of the time I change them as I go. My next step was to scratch out again.
Mary Todd Beam then suggests unifying the painting with bronze paint. Which I did using Iridescent Bronze (Fine). I glazed the bronze everywhere but the blue vase. I used Pthalo Blue (liquid) for the vase and then painted the stems and berries back in. I left some of the crayon showing through. The colours I used were Burnt Umber, Pthalo Blue, Alizarin Crimson, Pthalo Green and Yellow Ochre.
Overall I think this experiment was a success and one I will probably do again.
PS Added May 24, 2008. I just got the book Celebrate Your Creative Self by Mary Todd Beam from the library. This technique is in her book on page 104. Now I'm off to explore her book in depth.
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
PS Added May 21, 2008
Here are the list of winners:
Grand Prize Winner
Olaf Schneider http://www.olaf.ca/
Mina Dela Cruz http://www.adelaidestreetstudio.com/
Mickie Acierno http://www.mickie.ca/
Leslie Parkes http://www.watercolours-parkes.com/
Julie Donec http://www.juliedonec.com/
Cindy Revell http://www.cindyrevell.com/
Olaf Schneider http://www.olaf.ca/
Laura Levitsky http://www.levitskyart.com/
Marilyn Mills – no website.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
The categories were: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Master. I entered three paintings in the Advanced category. Two of my paintings “First Discovery” and “Family Jewels Series No. 8” were selected to advance to the Alberta Wide Show. “First Discovery” also took the award for the Advanced category!
I think the last time I won an award for my artwork, I was in grade 5. I placed third in a poster contest and my prize was a book – Heidi! I don’t remember what the contest was for, but I still have the book.
· Drawing skills
· Shapes, patterns, values, colours and good design
· Creative use of the medium used
· Texture enhance/detract from the painting
· Edges used-soft, hard, lost/found
· Effective darks, lights and shadows
· Atmospheric quality/mood
· Sense of time/place
· Artist’s knowledge of the subject
· Presented well-matting/framing
· Aesthetically pleasing
I will be going to the show tomorrow. The association is having a general meeting which I plan to attend. The juror will offer critiques of the works for the artists present and I hope to have at least one of my paintings critiqued. I have also volunteered to help release the paintings back to the individual artists.
Thursday, 8 May 2008
International Museums Day has been celebrated worldwide since 1977. This year’s theme is “Museums as Agents of Social Change and Development”. Here is a listing of the museums taking part in the event.
The one that sounds interesting to me is hosted by The Tech Museum of Innovation – the First Virtual International Museums Day. This exhibit will run for 24 hours and will be staffed by museum professionals from major time zones around the world. It will begin at 3:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time/9:00 a.m. Paris Time on May 18, 2008 and there will be one major event at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time/6 p.m. Paris time at slurl: http://b.tinyurl.com/6hqj84.
So, visit a museum on May the 18th!
Friday, 2 May 2008
I masked off the wisps of her hair and the whites of the dandelion she is holding. I then painted the background and moved on to her shirt. The colours I used so far are: Thalo Green, Cad Yellow, Yellow Ochre, Ultramarine Blue and Alizarin Crimson.
Tuesday, 22 April 2008
I checked some websites and found that I am not doing everything that I can. Some art supplies are made of hazardous materials-lead, cobalt cadmium and mercury. Cleaning solvents are also hazardous. These materials are not only hazardous to the environment but also to us.
So how can I help the environment while I continue to paint? Here are some suggestions that I found.
1. Know what you are buying. Read the labels. Hazardous art supplies must be labelled as such. Health concerns are also on the labels. Check the Materials Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). I found this site at The Artists Depot, which lists 141 MSDS. Another good site is http://www.ilpi.com/msds/
2. Use water based paints. They contain fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and don’t need chemical solvents for cleanup. Choose paint colours made from organic pigments such as madder (red) and indigo (blue). My paints are all water based, including my oils so I’m OK with that part. I will try to choose paints made from organic pigments.
3. If using solvents to clean up, pour a small amount into a container for use. After finishing, let the residue settle and then pour it into another container straining out the residue. Let the residue dry and then toss in the garbage. You can recycle the turpentine or mineral spirits this way and reduce the amount being disposed of. It is also cost effective as the turps and/or mineral spirits will last longer. I use mineral spirits with my oil pastels and have been using this method of disposal for many years. My reasons for doing this were to save money not the environment but it seems I’m smarter than I thought I was.
4. Use rags as opposed to paper towels. The exception to this would be with oils. If using oils, clean up with paper towels. Do not wash rags in home washers or at commercial Laundromats. The waste from the rags is not contained and is washed down the drain. This one surprised me-I thought by using rags it was better. I will replace the rags I use for my oils with paper towels (made out of recycled paper).
Some interesting sites.
Monday, 21 April 2008
Learning new techniques also inspire me. One of the groups I belong to Art Techniques has a folder of Monthly Art Techniques supplied to the group’s members. This is mainly an altered art group. I’m not real good at altered art, although I have tried, but I take some of the techniques provided and try to adapt them to my painting style and chosen subject matter.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
I followed some of the exercises and found that it would be better for all concerned that I not start my own art teaching business. The book talked about taking public speaking classes—my stomach won’t take it. I would need to learn time management—did I mention that I was once late for a time management class? I would have to prioritize stuff—I once bought a book on procrastination and put it away to read later!
Seriously though, the book is worth the read for anyone interested. Just following the suggestions and heeding the information provided should help you determine your chances of succeeding as an entrepreneur.
Start & Run an Art Teaching Business
Tanya Freedman, Copyright 2007
International Self-Counsel Press Ltd.
CDN $22.95 (US $18.95)
Wednesday, 9 April 2008
I am using a quarter sheet of 140lb cold press Arches watercolour paper. I masked the hair to preserve some of the highlights. If I change the drawing, I will start the painting again but I’m not disregarding this one just yet.
Monday, 7 April 2008
The paintings I entered are below.
Friday, 28 March 2008
I generally name my work. I pick pretty lame names too, depicting what the subject matter is-Sunflowers; Scottish Urn; Copper Jar-rather than thinking up a really good name. So my mission for the Alberta Zone Competition is to give my work interesting yet meaningful (to the painting) names. I am entering three paintings in this show. I have originally named them-Watercolour Jewels; Pottery Jars and Copper Jar. Thanks to Geoffrey in my group The Artists Den I have a really good name for my Copper Jar painting. It is now renamed First Discovery. This title relates to the goal I had for what I wanted that particular painting to reflect-that of a copper jar found at an archaeology site.
So now I have to think of interesting names for the other two pieces. Here are some websites that offer tips on naming work.
Saturday, 22 March 2008
Maybe I should have practiced putting entry forms in the mail. Who knew that just doing that would be so nerve wrecking? Anyway, it’s in the mail…I can’t get it back. I can go back to breathing now.
This contest is one I came across just recently. I subscribe to a free online magazine Canadian Brushstroke Magazine. I sort of blew my criterion out of the water by entering this competition as it is not a juried show and it has a short deadline-the entry form must be RECEIVED in their office by March 30. The subject is “Flowers, Gardens, Still Life”. The paintings must have been completed within the past 2 years. I went through my paintings and the two that I entered are below. The Sunflowers are Mixed Media-Acrylic, Tissue Paper and Sand. The Scottish Urn is Watercolour on Gesso.
So yesterday I got to work and prepared the CD and entry form. I almost blew my chances by not reading the rules well. On second check I realized that I had not prepared cover of the CD properly. Lesson Learned-Read the Rules don’t just gloss over them!
Wednesday, 19 March 2008
Please feel free to provide constructive criticism. I would love to hear from you.
Thursday, 13 March 2008
I worked on my painting today. I added some holes and dents to the jar and basically just roughed it up a bit. It is now in the “sitting on the other side of the room so I can check it out for changes” stage.
Monday, 10 March 2008
The easy part is “yes” they are for sale. The hard part “how much”? I have no idea! How do I figure this out? In the past, I just went with gut instinct…how much do I think someone would pay for this?” Not a good way to go. I either under priced or over priced.
I need to price my work correctly so that the prices would be comparable to other artists, comparable to each other and fair for me so that I can continue to buy paint. I need to set the prices for not just the pieces I am entering in competitions, but for those that I set up on my website that is under development.
From all the information I have read on the subject, I will have to do math (shiver). Have you noticed that math is a four-letter word? I hate m*#h! There is no way around it though so I’m off to get my pencil (a big) erasure and a calculator.