Friday, November 26, 2010

Everything old is new again

When it comes to art instruction books, it doesn't have to be a new publication to help you improve your techniques.  I am currently using a book published in 1984 called Acrylics, Translucent Techniques for Landscape Painters, by R. Bradford Johnson.  Now, I do have to admit all the paintings tend to look the same, as you are using the same techniques used in the previous exercise and adding new ones when you go to the next tutorial.  Of course, each person puts their own spin on color mixing and such, but they do all tend to look like copies from the book. All that being said, here are three paintings that I have done in the past week.

This was my first one, and I sort of forgot that I was going for translucency, and painted in a more opaque fashion.

The second one adds weathered wood and rocks... 

This third one throws snow covered trees  and stonewalls into the mix...

The next one will have a windmill and a rusty tin roof on the barn, so I really am learning as I go.

Hope everyone had a good week and a good Thanksgiving Day.  I have to get on the computer and get some shopping done, but other than that, Christmas shopping for me will be very easy.  I'm not much on decorating these days, but I still have some money left on a Bed, Bath and Beyond gift card, so I think I'll scope out some new, and hopefully, easy to display, holiday lights.  No Griswold lights for us, but if you are into that type of decorating, check out this site.

Well, that's it from me for now.  Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday!

Hope everyone is gearing up for a fun weekend.  Since I didn't want to see that same artwork all weekend, I thought I would post this recent practice piece...

Looks like water is a recurring theme in my work. I got a bit wonky on the head of this bird, and it looks like those bird creatures in the cartoons. I was trying to make it's feathers stand out a bit, but he does look a bit furry, doesn't he? 

Anyway, that's what's on my easel this week. Perhaps I will change things up a bit next week.  I have been taking lots of reference photos of the trees around my house.  I really like to draw and paint trees. Who knows, maybe I'll try my hand at some wildlife next time.

In the mean time, have a great weekend, get ready for Thanksgiving and try not to over indulge.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another week has gone by...

Yes, it's hard to believe that another week has gone by.  I worked out five days last week, but am taking the weekend off to recover.  I was so sore last week, I think I may have overdone it on Thursday, but I'm feeling good today.

Anyway, I said that I hadn't really done any art to speak of.  That is never actually the case, I always have something in the works and I'm always of the opinion that if it's not "perfect" I just can't post it here.  Well, fiddle sticks on that.  I'm going to go ahead and post everything that I have going in the art studio.

I have been working on an oil painting.  My first in about six or seven years.  And I've only done two others, so oil is not something I am experienced in.  You may recognize the covered bridge from my trip several weeks ago.

I cleaned up the studio and set out my acrylic paints and tried my hand at some impressionist work.  This one of the boats in the harbor is very unfinished and may be destined for the trash bin, but that's yet to be decided.

This last one is in acrylic and is quite large for me.  At 16 x 20, done in acrylic on watercolor paper, it is taken from an exercise in an oil painting instruction book.  I am much more in favor of the fast drying time of acrylic so I am adapting some of those techniques to my acrylic work.  We will see how that goes.


So this is what I have been working on.  In between going to the fitness center, keeping up with everyday stuff, and just enjoying life in general.

We have been watching the new AMC series, The Walking Dead and it is super gory and very scary.  If you are into zombies, this is the show for you and you can catch up on past episodes here.  If you are uncomfortable with yucky special effects and don't sleep well after viewing something of this nature.  Do Not, I repeat Do Not, watch this show.

So that's it from me for now.  I hope everyone has had a great week and is rearing to go into the next one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What's up with you?

As some of you already know, I take art by spurts.  I spent the entire summer painting and having a blast.  I still have several paintings I want to do as Christmas presents, but I have reached that time when I put up my paints and let things simmer for a while.

In my last post I may have mentioned that I am trying very hard to "get into shape".  At this stage of the game ( umm, age 57) I'm not sure what that shape will be, but I do want to be flexible, have endurance and a healthy cardio system.  So I've been hitting the gym lately and am actually liking it and looking forward to my next visit.  The Zumba Gold class was pretty intense, but got progressively easier with each class.  This week I am going to attempt to add something called "hooper-cise" into the routine, so I'll be sure to keep you posted on that.  My swimming lessons were successful, but with cooler weather here, I'm not too hep on getting in the pool.  Maybe a water aerobics class here and there, but I'm not sure.

What does one post when you no longer have kitties doing crazy things, and your jewelry making has been on hold for months and your artist's muse is on vacation?  Let me go to my archives and see what I can come up with.  I'm sure I must have some pictures that could be revisited...

How about revisiting my old halloween costumes?   You may have noticed my new profile picture.  The last year I worked I was a mime, so I am using that for my ID shot for a while.  One of my favorite costumes, (which my sister said didn't look like a costume at all) was the year I dressed up as Mommy Dearest and carried a wire coat hanger.  So just for grins and giggles, here I am as Joan Crawford.  Enjoy!

Yep, it's me with heavily drawn eyebrows and bright orange lipstick with lots of rouge on my Mean Mom cheeks.

On a sad note, I just wanted to mention that my sister told me that one of her friends took his own life last week.  He was a lovely young man and one of the first folks she met when they moved to California.   Due to his brief appearance on the Batchelorette, his untimely death by his own hand, is now world wide news.  This makes it even sadder, in my opinion, that the grief over this loss has to be so public for his family.  There is, of course, always more to the story when a death like this takes place, things that I won't go into here, but I offer condolences and I do pray that he will be remembered for the nice guy that he was. Julien you will be missed by those who loved you.

So that's it for now. I hope everyone had a good weekend and is preparing to be healthy, creative and happy next week. Remember to tell your loved ones how much you care and give them a big hug.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Welcome November...

Wow, can today be the first of November?  Finally we are getting some cooler weather.  It has been in the 80's here all Fall.  Kind of hard to get ready for Autumn when the air conditioner is still humming along. 

I have two more paintings to share.  This first one is based on the photograph taken by my friend Karin at Countryfolk Keepsakes.  In addition to being a very creative primitive fabric sculptor and doll maker, she is Mom to several furbabies and often we read about their antics.  Anyway when I saw one of her photos, I had to paint it.

My version of it...

And then I decided to play "what if" and added some large pine trees and came up with another version

 Karen suggested I add her little busy friend "Stan the Beaver" who resides very nearby. Maybe next time.

As I mentioned last week, I was going on a bus ride to view the leaves and to take pictures of some covered bridges.  We had a lovely time and even got to ride up the mountain and have lunch at the famous Mountain Lake Resort.  Here is a shot of the view from the bus.

 Not bad for a moving vehicle, huh?

Here is one of the bridges that we saw

and we even got to see bovine

So, as the old folks used to say..."a good time was had by all".
Well, I have decided to start hitting the gym, so I expect I may not be quite so prolific in the art department.  Last week in addition to my swim classes, I used the stationary bike, walked the indoor track and took a water aerobics class.  This is the last week of my swimming lessons, so I am signing up for Zumba Gold that starts tomorrow.  It's the easier version of Zumba, aimed at true beginning exercisers and those that might need to go a bit slower.  Hey, I'm not too proud to admit that I fall into that category.  Let's hope that's all I fall into.

Remember if I don't talk to you before Tuesday, get out there and vote.  All states have elections and I really feel that our voices can be heard. Your vote does count.

So that's it for now, hope everyone has a great week, being creative and loving life.  Do something fun and if anyone asks why...tell then Susan said to!