Wednesday, December 31, 2008
oil on canvas
Yet another blast from the past. I'm a chocolate lab devotee so this was a party. My first new piece in a bit should be done by tomorrow. Great way to start off the year! To anyone who's reading this and to everyone who's not, a healthy, happy and peaceful new year.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
oil on canvas
This was done as a self-promo piece and is hanging behind the register of a pet boutique named "fetch!" My style has changed quite a bit since this was done four years ago, but it's still sort of fun. If pet owners are comfortable enough, having their pet half off the canvas in a graphically cropped portrait is quite dramatic.
I'm working on a new piece on canvas right now while all the board and linen pieces are in the wings, drying enough for their next layer. What a relief the canvas was. Tooth is the ticket, at least this week. Back to work!
Monday, December 29, 2008
oil on canvas
I hit a parked car in the parking lot today. I simply cannot believe I've become one of those people who put their foot on the gas instead of the brake. I felt very stupid. However, everyone was so incredibly nice!!! Even the woman whose car I hit...after she looked at me like she wanted to kill me of course...and who can blame her! Even the policeman was nice! If one has to make a fool of oneself with a two thousand pound vehicle, this is the way to do it. I'm nursing my heavily dented ego, our CRV sounds more like a Sherman tank than an SUV and that poor, nice womans' car rear is as flat as that perverbial pancake, but I'm not going to go to the dark place. Compassion Suz, fear calls for understanding, not punishment. I will be more careful and more vigilant and take my time when I'm doing things. I just felt so awful causing that nice person any kind of pain or inconvenience. I am so sorry.
This is Ella. All decked out for the 4th of July. She is amazing.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
oil on canvas
Christmas is over! Already! All that planning, decorating, gift buying, hustle and bustle and it's over in 24 short little hours. Kinda like a wedding. I'm realizing it's not that one day that counts, but the days that come before and after that one special day that really make a difference. Patience, compassion, kindness, acceptance. If one gives those gifts every day, that is exactly what one will receive in return. It's not about the stuff. Although, I do really like "the stuff," it all just blends into one big pile of "stuff" after a while doesn't it? How kind have I been? How accepting?
I got very impatient with myself again this morning and began agreeing with the voice. Hack! Nothing new posted in almost two weeks or more! Failure! Enough with the whining and negativity already! Don't you remember? This is supposed to be fulfilling, fun, joyful. I lost track of that again, as I most certainly will, again, probably quite soon. So, again, I've decided to stop the frantic fantasies that cause me to experience depression and doubt and relax. My work is coming along nicely. I'll post a new piece when I'm done and until then I'll post older work. Patience, kindness, compassion and acceptance can only start with myself.
This is Ella. She was my second commission when I began doing pet portraits four years ago. A huge beast, but also a lady.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
oil on canvas
I promised I wasn't going to whine about how long my paintings are taking to dry, but I lied. Expletives are bouncing around in my head and trying their damnedest to get out through my fingertips to the keyboard, but I'm cool, I think! I've got seven paintings going and they are all still too wet to work on. Perhaps I'm applying the layers to thickly. I'm chompin at the bit to get going on each one, but all I seem to be able to do is start new ones. I guess that's good, but, patience is not one of my strong suits and I've been given to sulking lately. Hard to believe I know, what with me being so positive and optimistic an all. I rushed through "Trucks" and I wasn't at all satisfied so I'll just slow my roll and keep working.
And try and find something to post in the meantime. Tomorrow I'm going back to canvas and working wet on wet and stay there until these other pieces are dry enough to continue on. Linen continues to vex and not posting is obviously affecting my normally sunny disposition and my sense of accomplishment. If I posted as many paintings as I do excuses, all would be well in my strange little universe. One feels "the dog ate my daily" will soon appear as a title. This is a detail of a portrait I did over ten years ago.
Can you believe Christmas is this week? I feel as though I just came in from moving the sprinkler off the lawn. I'd like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Happy and Very Healthy. And let's do like Joni suggested and drag our feet to slow the circle down, time is going much to fast.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
oil on board
So many things to explain. Mostly I'm scrambling because this didn't turn out at all as I had planned. In an effort to dispatch with those bothersome dots, we purchased a copy board. It worked very well last night. I re-shot "Crabbed," and re-posted it. Huge difference in quality. So today, I scrambled to finish this because I couldn't wait to see how it photographed on the new copy board. Hmmmm. Not well...not well at all. The copy board and linen on board are much like oil and water. Every single imperfection, piece of lint, party-crashing piece of hair and brush stroke is evident and screaming "look at me!!" Still struggling with the board it seems. But I give myself snaps for not bailing.
Anyway, I snapped it old school and it worked better. Still, this isn't at all what I envisioned. This was done from a photo I downloaded so it isn't for sale. The photo was so dramatic, the pose was perfect and the subject is quite possibly, for me, one of the best musicians ever to pick up an instrument.
I'm a Duane Allman disciple, so when Derek Trucks appeared on the scene with that touch, that incredible ability, I was hooked. I didn't get into his work until he was into his late teens. He started playing professionally at age eleven I believe. Anyway, there's no posturing, no posing, no histrionics, no drug or alcohol-induced disappointments and no star-trip. The man is there for the music and he takes you places you didn't think existed.If you get a chance to see him with his band, with the Allmans, or with his wife, Susan Tedeschi, do not miss it.
I'll wait for it to dry and spruce it up a bit. I still have a long way to go with the boards, but I do see improvement. I'd like to find a surface somewhere in-between canvas and linen on board, although I do have better results with stretched linen as opposed to linen on board. Perhaps I'll try this same one on that! More to come on this. I want to be completely satisfied when I'm done.
Friday, December 12, 2008
oil on canvas
Finally! I'm actually posting a new painting! Things are getting back into focus. I decided to work on this last night even if is was still wet. It was, but somehow it all worked out.
Stone Crab Legs! Need I say more? Less guilt but lots of green. They harvest just the legs so all I'm plagued with is the vision of these poor things stumbling around the ocean floor with no appendages. Even that isn't enough to make me swear off these gifts from the gods. The cost is ridiculous, as is shipping and handling...but the taste? Oh my! They come complete with little wooden mallets and the most incredible mustard sauce known to mankind. We serve them with a crisp white wine, don our matching, brightly-colored, chili-adorned aprons, lay newspaper out on the table and have at it. Words simply cannot describe how good these are.
The first thing I thought when I saw the salmon pink, ivory, and black was mid-century bathroom colors followed quickly by dailies. The rich black of the tips against the salmon and ivory is stunning if you can get past the sad vision of dismembered digits. But, just one taste and the guilt melts away, for a little while anyway. Enjoy.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
oil on canvas
I'm posting yet another commission from the recent past. I just can't seem to get caught up! The hubs had, what turned out to be, a minor health scare, but facing the possibility that it wasn't minor sure took the wind out of one's sails. I'm on high-appreciation alert and plan to stay there for quite a bit. Obviously, painting took a back seat. He's fine now, thank God, and I guess I'm showing signs of normalcy as I accused him of hogging the remote last night. I did find out that nothing I do still doesn't matter unless he's there to see it. A truly amazing man.
Anyway, the dailies I've got going are still very wet and it looks as though it'll be weeks before they even think about drying enough to continue on. The medium I'm using really extends drying time. I'm all jammed up about the varnishing issue. The voice is screeching "hack!" The house is a mess. It's been raining for a week. I'm behind on commissions but!... the graphic design job is actually going to print tomorrow. Arrrrghhhhh!
And why, at a time like this, do I feel I need to re-think my whole approach to painting and art? I'm haunted. I have angst! I'm back to normal.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
oil on canvas
This one was one of the first paintings I did after I left my nine to five. The owner of the local "in" eatery liked to support local artists and allowed wall space on a monthly basis. I was, as usual, low on confidence and high on fear, but it turned out just fine. Lots of interest but no sales. Still, I enjoyed the experience and found out I could actually speak to people about my work. Big growth spurt at the time.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
oil on canvas
This was sort of a test piece. I've cropped the canvas here as it got weird in places. I did this about eight to ten years ago, I think. Water mixable oils on a ragged home-stretched canvas. I saw this photo in one of those British glossy magazines that I used to be addicted to. Ok, so I still sort of am, but I'm getting help.
Anyway the blue skies, bright clothing, white clouds and green trees and grass against black skin caught my eye and I thought it would be fun to paint. And it was. Looking at it now I like the spontaneous treatment of shadow and light on the clothing but cringe at the flat green and blue of the trees and sky. Also, the line continued from edge to edge and the lens created a fishbowl effect on both sides—which explains the aforementioned weirdness.
At the time it was completely beyond my comprehension that I could use the photo as a base and create my own vision, sort of like a really good stock that gives birth to legendary chicken soup. Obviously the painting wouldn't have been legendary, but it would have been infinitely more interesting and made more sense if the folks on either end weren't leaning in towards themselves, but it was fun and now might possibly lead to other ideas, thanks to the dailies. Just a note here: I never offer paintings for sale that have been created from photographs that I haven't taken.
Still going on my dailies. If not tomorrow's post, then Friday's. I'm off to work some more before himself arrives home.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
pastel on paper
This was my very first pet commission way, way back in the day. I cannot believe so much time has gone by! I'm not sharin' numbers, it's far too upsetting. Anyway, I was dedicated to pastels and would still be working with them, had I not caved and bought into the very incorrect and prejudicial concept that oils were more sophisticated, professional and sold more often. How silly is that? I've seen so many incredible pastel paintings since then! I love the medium. Not nearly as messy or dangerous for ones health as oil. But, I'm beginning to form a nice relationship with oils and have just begun to scratch the surface using them for dailies. I find my opinions on techinque, support and process changing, well...almost daily. Guess that's the point.
Anyway, I was terrified that someone actually commissioned me. I was a nervous wreck but I was happy with the results. I worked pretty consistently for about ten years with pastels, but I now prefer oil. We'll see, perhaps I'll try a pastel daily someday soon. Won't have to wait for it to dry before I can finish. Hmmmm.
Monday, December 1, 2008
oil on canvas
I'm sooooo far behind, it feels like I'll never, ever finish a painting a post in one day again! But, if I sit down, take a deep breath and look around the place, all is well. It's weird. I've been working very hard, but because I haven't posted a daily in almost 2 weeks, a real daily, not a commission, I feel like I've been watching tv and sitting on my rather substancial laurels for a month!
There is such a feeling of accomplishment for me now when I post a daily painting. The breaks I used to take between pieces could range anywhere from one week to fifteen years, so you can see it's important for me to keep it up. I remember my shrink telling me how important it was for me to work consistently. I ignored her and didn't pick up a brush for fifteen years.
Anyway, I said all that to say that I'll be posting really old work for the next few days until I can bring the dailies in progress to completion and once again post a new piece. Ahh, that will feel nice. Till then, this is another in a series of melons.