Saturday, April 14, 2018

In the Meantime..

Being in the studio, and fiddling with supplies, I just couldn't pass it up.   Started the stencil work and underpainting yesterday with the sketch in of the raven, then finished it today.  Lots of fun, more fun then organizing..snicker.

watercolor, pastel and Inktense
8 3/4" x 11 1/2"


Stay tuned, fought through this last few weeks with bronchitis
(just about every time I get a cold or virus, it turns into that one) -
in the meantime I've been getting the studio ready for a space to do some online learning.
I have enrolled in a daily gesture drawing/mentoring class with Tonja Sell and TWO sketchbook classes - one with Danny Gregory and Koosje Koene - Sketchbook Skool, one with Sketchbook Revival.
Whoo - lots to do, lots to practice and lots to learn!  My idea of FUN!
My sketching has gone by the wayside and I feel that in order to improve -
one must be in the mode of practice, thereby, seeing through sketching.
 I most always benefit from online exposure to techniques, other artists,
ideas and pacing learning on my own time and schedule.
How about you?

Friday, March 2, 2018

My 30 Paintings in 30 Days Collage for 2018

My theme for this year was 
"Wildlife Symbols That Define Us"

Day 30 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

( I have to chuckle on this one, in the past - before this 30 in 30, I felt a lot of my animal 
portraits have come out 
more on the cartoonish side - too whimsical, too unrealistic,
this one went there.)

Mice, the burrowing animal - who is ONE with Mother Earth.
We have all had that 'mouse experience' a time or two.
I have to say, I always say "awwww...poor thing.." even
when I empty a mouse trap.

We had them in Kansas in the country, we have them in Colorado,
in the high country, IN the kitchen, IN the RV, IN the garage and studio, 
UNDER the house, IN the heat ducts - if left unattended
the spaces quickly gather the mice.
We fight and fight them, but I heed this quote from a mouse  -
"You're overlooking some important details, so pay close attention to what’s going on."
That is the symbol of mouse according to a little bit of searching..
and I believe it.

And being my 30th blog post in 30 days,
here it is the end of the 6th season of ME - painting - 30 - in - 30.
 I am glad to be at this point and trying not to go forward in a status of 'let down'.
After being on a treadmill, one doesn't do well just jerking to a halt
(not healthy anyway).

continues to remind me (and hopefully YOU the viewer) of how precious and important it is
to pay attention to the policies and legislature that is being crafted to protect or destroy
these animals - each of who have their own abilities and special place in our world.
We all need to be good stewards of our planet Earth.

Although there is sooo much to do around here and I need to get the rest of the house situated 
after moving 3 months ago (guest season will be back in swing soon) - I will still MAKE TIME to paint - I profess to be an artist - right? If not every day, maybe every other day or certain days of the week or time of the day.  It is important that I keep the momentum going or lose some valuable mojo that I have gathered.  I think ONE whole day off is in the works - time to regroup.  

If you have been visiting and watching, thanks for coming by.
For those of you who purchased a piece during this time,
T H A N K S !! 
Will I do another '30 in 30'?  We'll have to see
when that time comes around again.

Posting my '30 in 30 Collage' in the next post.
Most 30 in 30 participants will post one.

And I have to ask, though I wonder how many would comment,
Which painting is YOUR favorite?
Mine is the squirrel, I like the color and how free
it felt when I painted it.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Day 29 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
pastel and watercolor
on plein air board

Zebra - NUMBER 29 - OOOO so exciting! 
He is the Master of Balance and a symbol for INDIVIDUALITY!

If you really look at zebras, they are all individual - their stripes can be so different!

ONE more painting - and then back to real life. Whew!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Day 28 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days


7 1/4" x 5 1/2" (small)
pastel on plein air board

Rhinoceros is a symbol of gentleness and peace.
They are powerful, steady and agile.

This rhino was an interesting study in those creases and folds.
Didn't want to do ALL of em. I am into suggesting
these details lately, and I think it works.
Everyone knows that a rhino is wrinkly - right?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Day 27 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

(on hold)
8" x 12"
pastel and watercolor on Colourfix Plein Air Painting
Board (Multimedia) by Art Spectrum

I found a new surface, that I didn't even know was so wonderful.
Just before I took a big break from doing art, I ordered 
these boards as I was taking a class
and was tired of gluing the paper
to a foamcore board.

These are so wonderful!!  They accept the watercolor so well, and then putting 
pastel on TOP, is like painting on butter (or at least a 
really super pastel surface as far as I am 
concerned).  I love how this one turned out.
The photo does not show the color of the background like it
really is, must be the time of day I took the photo.

Raven - genus Corvus
(and there is no consistent distinction between a crow
and a raven, although I read somewhere about the tail feathers
being of different lengths)
brings messages from the divine to the mortal world.
In the order of Bards and Druids, raven is symbolic
of a Black Hole in Space which draws
energy toward itself and releases it in 
new forms. (I like that explanation!)

This is another one of my favorite animals.
So mystical and mesmerizing to watch.

  AR - Pixabay

Monday, February 26, 2018

Day 26 of Painting 30 Paintings in 3 Days

8" x 7"
pastel and pastel pencil on Canson Mi Tientes paper

Today, I revisited my OLD way of doing pastels of animals.
I used to silhouette the animal, vignetting it in a sort of way,
without background objects or color of the space around it.
I let the colored paper do that work.
(As I look at this photo, I see something I need to do, oh well,
that is for tomorrow.)

Canson used to ALWAYS be my 'go to' substrate.
So today was a very cushy time at the drawing table.
That had to be - because prior to that I was tackling 
a pastel that wasn't working at all.

The photo reference for this is used with permission
by photographer Riaan Human.

Here is the pastel with an 11" x 14" matboard around it.

Cheetahs are fighters and have strong survival instincts, although it's interesting
to note, most don't reach adulthood. Why? You ask?  
According to studies (in one article I read of one in captivity), 
female cheetahs are terrible mothers.  But upon 
connecting with the photographer in Africa
he wrote, 
"Do not agree with the studies that Cheetahs are bad mothers.
Have followed them in the wild many times and believe them to be wonderful mothers.
Unfortunately they have to compete with and contend with lions, leopards
and other carnivores who does not think twice about killing a cub if they get a chance."

They are a symbol of:

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Day 25 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

"Sea Turtle"
12" x 12"
acrylic on wrapped canvas

Sea turtles have a long life span.
Because of this, they symbolize

Not that I would have, I remember the locals WARNING you
not to bother them on the beach, several years ago 
at Kona Beach Resort in Hawaii.

They were a sight to see and watch.
Went snorkeling from the beach
and it was a treat to see them
underwater, as well as the beach!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Day 24 of 30 Paintings in 3 Days

Purchase info
9" x 5.25"
graphite/water on Yupo paper

(If you know me, you have probably been wondering, well, when is she going
to paint a WOLF?)

Wolf is my very, very favorite wild animal.
I built a grade 1-2 thematic unit on "Wolves" when I taught
at the elementary level.
I wanted to increase awareness and empathy for wild animals -
along with teaching about family/clan/pecking order and protection of 
wild animal groups.  Kids ALWAYS really enjoyed it! (Me too!)

Wolf is the ultimate positive symbol of guardianship, ritual, loyalty
and firm emotional attachments.  They trust their own intuition
and instincts.

They represent:

This piece IS a painting.  I used graphite aquarelle which are
graphite pencils that are water soluble.

I was searching for a substrate today, was going to paint in acrylic,
but needed a canvas and they are still in the moving trailer.
It is soooo windy here, I didn't even want to open the big back door
so found my Yupo, which I have never had much success with. Many people
use alcohol inks on it - not me.  It also mentioned pencil, acrylic, watercolor etc. etc. 
I thought I could paint on it with something other than inks. 
The aquarelle graphite worked - voila!
It is 100% polypropylene and my pad is heavyweight pages of 144 lb. weight.

The other art tool I used is a Molotow One4All acrylic pen in white 
(for the eye sparkle - gotta have that eye sparkle - otherwise, dead eyes!)

During my entire time in the studio there are two others who live there,
that really enjoy my company.  We have lots of brushing, petting, and play time.

Meeka - who is so big and round and fluffy and loves her new window view.
And Pyewacket who is also quite round..and is a Hemingway kitty, 6 toes.
She loves to sit on her cat tower and look over my shoulder as I work.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Day 23 of 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 6"
pastel on pumiced and underpainted gatorboard

Their armor alone, should tell us lots about them..
defense, protection and a guarded disposition.

7 more to go!

For some amazing art to see go to Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 blog.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Day 22 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

10" x 10"
oil paint on canvasboard

This one turned out really well, I think, I found this great brush in my
stash of art brushes that 
'flick fuzzy feathers fairly fast'!
How's that for alliteration?  I have been enjoying finding the more obscure
creatures that have meaning to us humans in this challenge.
Vulture was so fun to paint.
Dilemma on this one, where to sign my name, there are
such good feathers at the bottom, and I am not sure signing
on the top of the painting is going to look right.

AS a symbol, to the Mayan mind the vulture was observed as a death eater. As a consumer of death, the Mayan felt the vulture could also convert death to life. So, the vulture was considered a symbol of cleansing , renewal and transformation. It's also associated with water and the vulture controls the rain. (got that from googling 'vulture as a symbol')

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Day 21 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

8" x 10"
oil on wrapped canvas

Tiger is a powerful reminder of overcoming fears and obstacles by reclaiming your place of power.
Tiger imagery represents the ability to manage strong emotions more effectively (says Google).

Painting went much better today.  I like the way this one turned out.  As a daily painting it is OK by me.

Here are photo I thought to take as I worked today:
I started with a canvas that had been tinted Azo yellow gold acrylic.
I sketched the tiger with a raw sienna and smallish brush.

Usually I paint darks first, but sometimes I get anxious to see how bright I will
be able to get the lightest lights so darks and lights happening simultaneously.

I am pushing myself to see other colors in the animals that
I am painting this month.  Some underpainting needs to happen 
to have this be successful. Had to get the background going, running
it into the figure helps to make continuity to the line and brushwork.

At this point, I walked.  I needed to go to town to food shop
and go to the post office. It was definitely time to think.  The painting
is almost all cool color.

Good that I went for a Jeep ride and played
my LOUD house music.  I processed this painting
 on my journey to town, what I needed. 
Came back and worked on mixing some color to warm it up a bit.
I painted those white areas, many, many times to get it to read right and 
those whiskers were fun!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Day 20 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

5" x 7"
oil on canvasboard

Today I hit the wall - big time. My thumbs are so cracked and sore
from pastel (and no I can't wear gloves - can't hold the pastel like I want to)
so I switched to a brush.  I have spent years when all I painted in
was oil paint.  It is my old reliable friend...but wait, I haven't used them
in forever.  And today it was 'wipe it off' and restart twice before
I got something going and I still don't like it.  One thing
I will admit, you just can't get the pop of color from 
oil paint like you can pastel!

Anyway, lesson learned.  Cold turkey with an old friend doesn't
always work.

Bad photo to boot - because it is almost dark outside and paint shined - 
colors don't read right.

Anyway enough of my rant.
Rabbit symbolizes fertility, sentiment, desire and
procreation.  Boy - do they procreate.

Also represents SPRING - sometime it will come.
Here in the high country probably not as soon as the rest of the world.

But bring it on, with lots of spring showers! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

Day 19 of Painting 30 Paintings in 30 Days

6" x 8"
pastel on pumiced and tinted gatorboard

A badger stops at nothing to get what it wants
and is a reminder to us to be persistent in our pursuits.

It is fiercely independent and can be aggressive
which is a lesson to us to stand our ground
and make our presence known.

This painting is of a European badger, as a kin to
the American badger.

Although, I have known a badger
to be quite a sleuth and play dead
when you come upon it quickly and note, that a
badger is a badger.

They dig great holes in the earth to tunnel 
for a den wherever they want - usually
in the side of a hill on a roadside or right IN the road. 
We had two holes right below our mailbox 
on the road
about the time we were moving out of our farmstead home
in the countryside of north central Kansas.
One had to step carefully when you were around that area so
as not to fall or twist your ankle in the holes. 
The holes are truly larger than your foot.

You can bury the hole that a badger has dug, 
but I found it will eventually come
back and dig the hole again in almost the same spot.