Spring

The End…

Is there a better way to spend the month of February? I think not. What a joy to spend the entire month painting, sharing my art, and meeting new people through their art. All the while knowing, the end of the 29Faces Challenge means Spring is almost here. Dang people, it’s March. YAY!

 

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29 Faces Day 19

“Me Lucky Leprechaun”

And today… we have teeth! Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but hey, it is 29faces. Combine teeth with my annual Leprechaun painting and dang, he’s actually kinda cute… 🙂

 

Grandma’s Watch

 

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Grandma’s Watch

I see the field of daisies in the morning light, the old button jar, her favorite blue teacup and her precious watch, the back engraved, “To J with all my love P / 9.28.1931”. Their memory perhaps, frozen in time…

 

Calico Cat and the Rainbow Trout

Calico Cat and the Rainbow Trout

Calico Cat and the Rainbow Trout

Last week dogs. This week cats. I do enjoy painting quirky critters!

I have recently started using Ampersand ‘hardbord’ as the base for all my paintings. It has taken some getting used to, but I love the smooth surface for painting. I previously painted on stretched canvas or linen board, both beautiful surfaces, but the texture is a fight at times when painting on a small scale. Here’s the lowdown on preparing a board for paint…

Basically, Ampersand ‘hardbord’ is an artist quality pre-cut 1/8 inch thick Masonite panel. With a little preparation, they work really well. The key is to start with a little light sanding with a 220 grit sand paper. I lightly sand the surface and wipe off the residue with a damp towel. This gives the board a little tooth for the gesso to adhere to. Now I  begin the gesso process. I tend to prep six boards at a time. My first of several coats is the plain white thick bodied gesso, straight out of the jar.  It must dry between coats. Sometimes I help the drying time along with a hair dryer, but if I am prepping multiples, and taking my time to minimize strokes, they tend to be ready for coat two when I get back around.

After the base coat, I tint a liquid gesso with acrylic paint, usually a brown or grey, and apply in thin even coats, of course, allowing it to dry before applying the next coat. I apply three or four tinted coats, using horizontal strokes for one layer, then vertical strokes for the next, and so on to ensure smooth even coverage. When I am happy with the way they look, I allow to cure for at least 24 hours. This is an important step. Trust me on this, if the gesso isn’t properly cured, you run the risk pulling it off with too much fiddling in one spot, or watery paint. Dang. Been there, done that…

Now you know the full story. Underneath Calico Cat and the Rainbow Trout are its guts, layers of ugly muddy brown paint and gesso slathered lovingly on Ampersand ‘hardbord’!

 

This painting is currently listed on eBay.

The Dog Walker

 

The Dog Walker

It’s official… I have finally gone to the dogs! Actually, that happened a long time ago, but I digress. 🙂

I do not live in a city, nor have I ever, though my nephew moved to New York City almost a year ago, and thus, a fascination. I love hearing his stories. It seems like a foreign country; groceries delivered to your door, shuttles and trains to work, dog walkers. Of course, my country life would feel as foreign to those who have known only the city; Martin’s Grocery Store, a tractor ride to the neighbors, goat walker.

 

This painting is currently listed on eBay.

A Tryst with the Elder

 

A Tryst with the Elder

A Tryst with the Elder

I spent the month of March playing in a Facebook group which was practicing full body poses through sketching, painting, or any other media.  I found it very entertaining, even though it took me a little outside of my comfort zone. It got me back into pencil sketching, something I haven’t fooled with in a very long time. It made me sketch poses I had never considered, and before I knew it, I was painting them. “Doors” was the first painting done from one of these sketches.

There are wonderful places on the internet to get artistic poses. One very cool site is called “Quickposes”, and several of my sketches, including the one for “Doors” came from poses in their data base. Another suggestion made in the group was to study the works of famous artists. Hm… That sounded like a great idea.  I got out an old Art History book, blew the dust off, and started reading.  Jeez. So many wonderful painters. Eye candy through the ages. I was enthralled and spent a couple of days just admiring all the amazing work and not doing any of my own.

Around c. 1530 or so, I found Lucas Cranach the Elder. I was blown away, totally blown away. Why had I never seen this man’s Art? Truth be told,  I probably had, but because I was in college and found Renaissance paintings old and stuffy, I simply didn’t care to remember. Funny how thirty some years tends to change one’s perception. His work is brilliant. Full of dark humor, exotic beauty, fine detail. What’s not to love about someone holding a severed head on a platter? I’ve painted one myself! His nudes are glorious, with a totally modern feel. They have that “What…Ever” stance, unashamed, slouchy, can’t be bothered, wearing chunky neck chains, a sheer translucent drape, set against an intricate landscape. They seem to  have a twinkle in their eye and mischievous spirit. Ah, but to paint like Cranach the Elder (a brief pause to consider the what ifs)… (and I’m back)… I kind of don’t think it’ll happen, pure Gulat here, but I can still learn a thing or two from him!  I am glad to have found Lucas Cranach the Elder inside my musty old book, the inspiration for “A Tryst with the Elder”.

I guess the moral of this story is, unlike dogs, we are never too old to try new things. -OR- Just like dogs we should revisit the old to discover the new. Okay. I’m confused…

This painting is currently listed on eBay.

The Fledgling

 

The Fledgling

He spreads his wings and shrieks, filled with both fear and excitement, he soars into the unknown. 

You won’t find this charming fellow in your bird books. He lives only in my imagination! A friend called him “a baby Phoenix, bringing the memory of warmth”. Sounds like I’m not the only one craving sunshine…

This painting is currently listed on eBay.