Friday, April 24, 2020

Self Portrait in Watercolor




"Self-Portrait with Camera Remote"
6" x 6" watercolor on Aquabord

Yesterday I hit the 'painting learning curve' with big leaps and bounds.  I imagine I have attempted about 10 - 12 self-portraits in my painting career...never, never made it to the 'oh that's me!' stage.  But this one made it.  I painted it from a very favorite photo session, I had with myself, in which I had to use the remote device to snap the shutters..it was experimental, at best.  But this one photo came out that depicts me, my 'most of the time' facial expression (I don't smile very much) and it makes me feel at peace, because it was at a peaceful time in my life (not that my life isn't always peaceful, but you understand, that time when you are at ease with the world.)  More to come..I have my MOJO working for now.

BTW - this learning curve is happening thanks to watercolor artist extraordinaire, Ali Cavanaugh. 
I joined her Patreon group.  I watch her videos, listen to her expertise and get
influence through osmosis with a group of like artists on a
Discord thread.  This is the way I have been learning for
many years.  Online learning is the best...you can do as much or as little as
you want or need...and it is always at your fingertips.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Tribute Time

This past weekend, there were protests about the 'Stay at Home' orders that have been endured in many states in the U.S..  In Denver, particularly, the parade of dissenters was challenged by health workers who stood in their way of 'doing their thing'. Perfectly stated by the action of the health workers, and I understand the thinking behind the protests..but I feel that the alternative is a considerably worse prospect for so many others. I painted this portrait, as my next practice piece, as a tribute to these brave people - they are the true heroes in this fight.


Friday, April 17, 2020

More Learning Curve, Self Critique



The redhead is finished.  Had to 'wet' out and redo her eyes, I didn't like their placement on the work.
Now, they look not symmetrical and the right eye seems misplaced to me, but it's practice.  Laying my work flat on the drawing table, puts the perspective OFF.  Oh well.


  I struggled with another watercolor piece for yesterday of a child. Children have always
been difficult to paint or draw me, I understand the differences in their anatomy
and facial features from adults...and until now,
 I was unable to portray it very well. The Patreon demos have really helped, as Ali paints 
children alot.  I'm getting a handle on the surface.  In fact, this piece of 
Aquabord had a failure from last weekend on it.  I 'wetted' and scrubbed it out, coated it with
Gesso, and voila, had a new surface to work on.  The Gesso acted much 
differently than the Aquabord surface, but I liked the outcome.
I have 4 more 6" x 6" boards, BUT there should be some new and bigger
ones in the mail at the Post Office.

Just have to mask up and get into town.

Stay safe, I feel this isn't over people.




Thursday, April 16, 2020

Dusting off the Cobwebs

In the past several years, I step out there and re-visit portrait painting..particularly in watercolor. This desire goes way back to the days of being really serious and taking portraiture classes from some very good portrait artists.  It never got it's foothold in my painting repertoire. But darn it, I want to DO it better!

I feel proficient in oil, pastel, acrylic, pencil, but NOT watercolor.  I feel I can get a decent 'likeness' of the subject, but NOT this medium for this purpose.  

SOOooooo...I recently joined a Patreon group with Ali Cavanaugh, for some learning time.  She paints in watercolor like no other when it comes to portraits...she has those skintones dialed-in.  There is much support within the group of artists there..we DISCORD in a group called Ali Gators...I feel like a kid again.  Here are a few of my portrait attempts in past years, 
watercolor

pastel

oil

oil

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter Greetings from Within


"Cinnamon Rabbit"
pastel on Wallis
12" x 9"
Source photo by Michael Ryan

For me, Easter has always been a moment to reflect on the Earth's offerings 
of beauty and new beginnings.  With the current world pandemic situation,
it's hard to find my way to that true realization 
of joy and peace.
I search for hope everyday...I see it in a faint glimmer, way on down the 
calendar.  I am one of those at high risk - health-wise - if I contracted this virus it might be deadly. 
I am on the cusp of that high risk age group.  
I even have to wear a mask to do pastels these days, as the pastel dust
stirs up my asthma.
But a mask totally protects me in this arena.  

Going out to do shopping or to get mail and wearing a protective mask
does not give me that sense of security, mainly because
many others choose NOT to wear a mask.  I get it, it's not cool, 
or comfortable, or these 'others' think they are immune.

People who aren't heeding the rules right now, are doing so with such
SELFISHNESS.
I get it that they need to return to work - they have bills to pay.
However, I know some who have totally disregarded 'stay at home and keeping distance'.
They only prolong this for the rest of us.
Show some responsibility...step up and be a man....we are all in this together.

Right now, I just have ONE hope for myself, a test that 
shows I have immunity or anti-bodies. That might
be a real stretch, since our govt. can't even procure testing for
whether you have the virus or not.
But THAT IS MY HOPE - today, on Easter Sunday.
Have a good one.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Where I Stand Sunday with Music

When we moved back to Colorado from Kansas, somehow, our 2 guitars and amp got left behind.  I am not sure, but we think we had them staged in our quonset hut and then drove off without them.
Long story, short, for Christmas this year, we went to Guitar Center in Pueblo and got all new stuff. An acoustic 6 string for me, an electric for him, two amps and the accessories to make it a successful time to play.  I have played guitar since I was 15 or so, back in the days of  the Vietnam war with it's protest and folk songs being cranked out and played on the radio and music and dance shows galore. 

Our neighbor recently gave us HER electric guitar, of which I put new strings on and bought a 3rd amp for.  I bought the large YAMAHA keyboard and stand in the photo, when we lived in Golden, back in the 90's.  My mom was a piano teacher, we always had a piano or organ at home, I took piano lessons for years, never became very good, but with time devoted to a piece, I can read the music. 
I actually play mostly BY EAR.

So we are set.  We have loads of music books and sheet music we have downloaded,
 along with tons of mp3 recordings or CD.  We both love music and it almost always playing at our house and garage and studio.

Funny, my DH and I were an 'item' back in HS, then we split, each got married to someone else, those matches eventually didn't work out and we got BACK together 20 years ago.
We had a little folk group we dinked around with back in the late 60's.  
I have kept a sacred (to me) little notebook where we wrote ideas, lyrics and cords.  
Something happened to the feed on this blogpost, the photos I added are gone..and I have erased them off my phone.



(Neil Young)

I don't play as well as I used to, but that doesn't say 'I can't'.
"Stay at Home" is sure to bring it back, arthritis or not.

Me, in my room, age 19...with a 12 string (which I loved).  You go along in life
and wonder, where in the world did THAT go to???  Don't recall...must have been sold - when I needed money or something.


How about you??  Do you play an instrument, like to sing, like a certain kind of music??

"Where I Stand Sunday" is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing.  Too often we take for granted the every day places we spend our lives walking on.



Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Pastel of Elephants


"The Watering Hole"
JUST OFF THE EASEL
Pastel on Wallis sanded paper
9" x 12"
a 2 day sitting for this one
LOVED it - especially fun was those baby els!

Oh Give Me a Home...

where the buffalo roam, and the deer and the antelope play...


Each Spring - the antelope come back to our area to graze and raise.  I counted 7 this morning. They are sometimes quite close, but I had to stretch out the telephoto to capture these two.
I love the contrast between the dark of the mountains against the sunlit prairie.



Thursday, April 2, 2020

Pastel Sketch of Sheep

The Rocky Mountain kind...
these guys are a group that hang around the edges of the Highway 96 in Custer County.
They aren't alway visible, but this day I was lucky enough to get a drive-by shot with my iPhone.
We live in a small rural mountain community - 
our count of the COVID-19 virus, as of today ~2 positives.
I am a 'stay home' person to begin with...I ain't goin' nowhere.