Tuesday, February 14, 2017

I've felt a twinge of regret for the previous post since I hit the 'publish' button. Seems like I need a few lessons in self control. If I needed to get that junk out-write it out in my journal. But Noooooo, I gotta let the whole world know just how much of an idiot I am!!!
Once I read a book about blogging and it said to keep your posts free of strong opinions, don't offend any one, etc.
Well-guess I blustered that rule...
I'll just go on my merry way and learn from it-I hope,
and ask my readers' forgiveness. I won't remove the post-I can't hide the not perfect parts of me anyway-so here I am-

Monday, February 13, 2017

life lessons....

I'm having fun painting from my photographs. But soon I know I'll need a new camera. It seems this gadget is becoming more and more important to me as a painting tool.
I'm happy with this painting, but there are many mistakes in it, and places I could've pushed through some difficulty I was having-and made the painting better. That will come with time I think-just spending some hours working, working....
This part of my post is along a different line-and I hesitate to even write about it, except I think it will be a good reminder to myself.
This morning I was cruising along at Etsy, looking at stuff, exploring art there. I came across an American artist whose work at the first glance was extraordinary. Skill upon skill, good at the business end of it, successful and prolific.
But then I read her 'About' section, in which each seller at Etsy has the chance to tell the world about themselves. That's when I started to get sick. I mean, really disgusted.
This artist was a SNOB. Part of her wording-"I am not just one of those internet only Etsy "artists"..." and- "I am semi-famous..."
Suddenly all those colors and beautiful lines on the prints and canvases melted and turned into slop. (For me.) I'm sure many people wouldn't have been affected the way I was.
As I walked around in my studio and looked out at the snow and cold and bluster of winter, I started thinking about ME.
It is too easy to go there. I mean pride.
Isn't that what we all crave in some form-the show and tell, the watch me-see what I can do? It started when we were little and doesn't end. It's scary because we all have it. It can even be hidden in an attitude of "I'm not good enough," because that too is pointed at ourselves.
I could go on, but you get the point.
Lessons in painting are not all about canvas and paint and brushes....

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Finished painting

All done. On to the next one.
Winter has come back-my car is plowed in our driveway. Lots of birds at the feeders. My geese were loving the weather yesterday.
We head to spring every day that passes.
Can't wait to hear those peepers!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

WIP and a finished painting

 Above is the WIP. Acrylic on stretched canvas.
This one is finished. Both were incorrectly photographed in poor lighting. But I am very motivated to keep on. The city scene is so out of context for me. But I am doing it for discipline-and I'm loving it. I set up a grid on the photo, and drew a grid on the canvas. I've never painted that way before, but it's the only way I can do complicated subjects. I'm about half done with the top one.
I have plans to do more bird sculpting-it's been so long since I made birds.
We are getting rain here today. It's about 40 degrees, dismal of course, but I did hear a robin sing its spring song for about 10 seconds a few days ago. We have some robins here all year around-so it's not unusual at all for us to see them-but hearing that song was so nice!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

painting a day ramble....

I didn't think it would be a big deal to post this a day ahead of what I said I would-so here it is....the cow painting was done the end of December, but all the rest I've done in the past week and a half. Some of the landscapes are painted on those wood blocks you can buy at hobby stores. With a few coats of gesso, and a sawtooth hanger on the back-they make quite good painting surfaces. I also covered the backs of the wood with paper glued on before the hangers were attached.
There is a big difference in quality of stuff to paint on. I want to steer anyone away from a brand I have found to be consistently disappointing and can be used only for practice.
It's a brand called 'Artist's Loft.' I don't have a Dick Blick store handy, so sometimes I have to buy stuff from Michael's, Hobby Lobby, or even JoAnn's. All have art supplies-and all of these stores do carry high quality art supplies IF you know which brands to avoid. Artist's Loft canvases are not stretched correctly. There  are huge bumps at the corners where the canvas is folded over on itself and then stapled. That bump is hard to see in the above photos, but I used it for the painting of the bird on the bush (a painting that I'm not reeeeeal happy with:(
Maybe this awful bump on the corners would disappear with a good frame-I don't know. I think it wouldn't. So-bottom line-stretch your own canvases for the best surface if you prefer canvas to paint on-OR-order from Dick Blick, Jerry's Artorama-there's more-but I highly recommend Blick.
I am using fluid acrylics, and coating the paintings twice with Liquitex matte sealer-which is tops, by the way.
But I do want to give a thumbs up for the cheap wood things (not sure what the correct name for them is) to paint on-but look for knot holes, slight breaks in the wood, or warping. It's just pine-and that is not what is the best wood to paint on. But I think for the small size, with the backs covered-they will work fine for a long time.
I wanted the paint strokes to go beyond the edges of the wood in some of these, so that part is on purpose.
Well, that's a lot of stuff not many people will want to read. But that's ok. Am I happy with my painting? I have to shrug my shoulders and say, "Eh."
I don't know. I guess it's good to try to copy what you see, but I know there's another part of making art as far as painting goes that I just do not have yet.
So-that's the point of this-for a record of my progress.
It's pretty boring~all about me. Sorry.....
But that's another thing I'm looking for-how to make what I love not be all about me-but somehow to give to someone else someday.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Simple steps for painting everyday~

 Sometimes it just can't be done-but I have never painted every day-so I have a few very basic tips that have helped me get going and really get a painting done....
 These are things that help me-so your list will look different than mine. Please share your own art work helps if you like....
 I have no idea why I'm repeating these old photos of birds I have made. But my first tip is~
have everything you will need to paint all ready. This seems so simple that it's ridiculous to even write out. But if you have a desk or table top or easel-have all your ingredients together. It helps to see them ready and waiting for you-in one spot.
 Tip # 2~
This one is tricky-because this comes under the heading of having rules, or not having them. I needed to have photos I was drawn to emotionally to get me painting. In other words- Make sure you are on fire about your subject. Your inspiration will show in your work, and it will spur you on when things get a little rough. I'm not overly excited about painting a bowl of apples. Even though I could learn a TON of stuff doing that-I have no passion for the subject. Please note-I have seen gorgeous paintings of bowls of apples.
 Tip# 3~
You are painting for yourself, but it helps if you put the results online. Feedback is wonderful. The community out there is wonderful. We don't have to agree on everything in life to be friends, and to be helpful and loving.
 Tip# 4~
Be kind to yourself when you miss days, when you paint JUNK and just HATE it. There are other days. There is another time when your painting WILL WORK.
 Tip# 5~
Sometimes a good studio hoe-out helps get your art brain working. You are processing art when you are doing something else. You'll see.
Be thankful. I pray before I paint.
I pray while I paint.
and I thank Him when it worked...

Thursday, January 26, 2017

My painting plan

I am painting from my own photos, and I'll be making collages of my paintings one day each week from Pic Monkey. I took these photos recently with painting them in mind.
I have found an interesting thing about painting every day. It makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself. First of all, the discipline is helpful for me and it even spills over into other areas of my life where I need that sense of being consistent. Secondly, I am learning. I feel a little bit bad that I have gone back to acrylics instead of forging on with watercolor-but I haven't given them up-I just needed to have a bit of a boost, painting with what is most familiar to me. I love using photos to paint from, but I also like to paint from life. Both are good-both are teachers in different ways.
I was remembering my brief time spent in college for art-a painting class. The professor held up one of my paintings and asked the other students if they saw it for sale at Woolworth's department store-would they buy it? Meaning-you have wasted the class time with this junk. The teacher wasn't much older than the rest of us, and we never did get to see his own art....I happen to strongly believe that shaming someone-no matter what the subject is-NEVER brings about the change that is needed. It is plain horrible to do to someone.
In that particular case-I was very young and resilient and turned out a huge amount of awful art in that class until I stopped going to college all together.
My very best teacher was in high school. She let me work at whatever I wanted to-and I WORKED HARD. I loved it-I thrived, I learned, I felt good about ME. I even won a medal for art and a trophy.
So I plan to have Fridays as my day for showing what I have painted all week-starting next Friday. I want to thank you for leaving comments-it helps me to keep on with the work!