Then this happened…

Oh, the horror.  I know.  I look at it and several choice lines from “Carrie” pop in my head.

So, here’s the thing: I hated the first version.  I did.  Her left arm was too short, one leg was inexcusably thicker than the other, and her vagina (well, her groin I mean, not her actual birth canal) looked weird.  Can’t have that.  Now she’s covered in what looks like blood, but at least her extremities are getting sorted.

I used my hate as an excuse to paint the next version of her using slow-dri medium.  I’ve never used it before so, of course, instead of doing it the right way I mixed 1 part water with 1 part slow-dri, tossed it in a spray bottle and hoped for the best.  The best didn’t come, but I don’t have proof in photos.  More on the slow-dri debacle later.  For now enjoy Carrie.

It paints again…

I didn’t stop forever, just for a while. I finished the Alice painting, which I will post once its owner gets her sexy mitts on it. In the meantime, here’s some weird shit I’m working on. I’m frustrated with it because, well, look at it. It’s a frustrating thing. I suppose that’s why it’s an in-progress picture and not a voila-done picture.

I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s been a weird few days. I’m out.

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Time got away…

I keep neglecting to post here. Maybe it’s because I feel like words are required and, elsewhere, I just post pictures. So, that’s what I’m going to do for now. Post pictures.

I have been working on a few things lately, which is a big change from not working on anything. I’m also trying to learn how to make proper flourishes because I need them in my life, but it isn’t going as well as I want it to.

Next goal: To figure out this whole acrylic medium that slows drying time. Wooo! To mix in the paint or to spritz it on from a spray bottle? I don’t know yet. Hashtag learning.

ūüôā

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Painting is complete…

It was completed the other day, I just failed to update here.

The night I finished it I had a stress dream.  You know how once you stop driving after driving for hours, you feel like you’re still going?  That night you might dream that you’re driving and repeatedly wake up in a panic, feeling as though you’re still behind the wheel?  I also do that when I finish a painting that I spent a lot of time and energy on.  The ones where I’m often holding my breath while I paint and screaming in my head “DON’T F*CK THIS UP”, because…motivation.  Also, the husb felt it was necessary to tease me and say there was just a bit more to do to the painting right before I fell asleep.  Just…a bit…more.

Most important thing is whether or not Grandma likes it.  Hopefully I’ll get it shipped tomorrow and we’ll all know in a week.  Fingers crossed, y’all!

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Some slight progress…

Added shadows and highlights.  And polka dots!

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Grandma loves Rockwell…

So, have you painted anything weird lately?” my Grandma asks during one of our recent phone conversations.  It put a massive smile on my face that I’m sure she could hear and I told her that I haven’t painted anything weird, but I’ve certainly drawn some odd things.  She laughed and carried on with the conversation.

My grandmother loves Norman Rockwell and, while I was growing up and my artistic sensibilities revealed themselves (much to everyone’s horror), she would often let me know how nice his work was and how I should be doing that instead of “that weird stuff”.  I appreciated her enjoyment of his work and other people’s work that was similar, but I have to say I always felt a tinge of rejection when comparisons were made and what I “should” do wasn’t in line with what I felt.

Fast forward a couple decades and here we are, her asking me what weird things I’m up to.  Progress.

Story time: Many, many years ago, my very talented Uncle Ray painted Norman Rockwell’s “Puppy Love” on the wall of a local diner.  After his untimely death, the owners of the diner cut the painting out of the wall, framed it, and gave it to my Grandma.  The painting sat at the very top of a hutch that held her bell collection, overlooking her living room.  A couple years ago, Christmas Eve, her house caught fire.  It was early morning, around 2 a.m., she lost nearly everything including that painting.  Because she has a habit of being everyone’s favorite person (she’s quite lovely), the town and family pulled together, raised money for her, donated their time, skills, money, rebuilt the inside of her house, gave her furniture, and about a year later she was able to move back in.  My Aunt has done an incredible job with the interior design, giving her a new look — still, there are things Grandma misses. 

Since I found out the painting was destroyed, I’ve been thinking about trying to paint as closely as a I can another one for her, but put it off for well over a year because, frankly, I have zero confidence.  I finally decided to just suck it up and at least try.  It hasn’t been pretty.  I won’t be able to make it as good as my Uncle’s was.  Certainly won’t come close to Rockwell.  But I’m trying and I’m not doing anything weird to it!  That’s the most important thing, I suppose.  And I’m perfectly fine with that.

So, wish me luck!  I need it!
Happy New Year!

Beginning…
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Progressing…
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Update in progress…

I’ve been active with social media, but have failed miserably with updating here!  I post update photos on Instagram and connect that to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc…but not WordPress.  My lack of updating is due to it being inconvenient.  Another way to say it: I’m lazy, yo!

So, an update: I’ve been working on a 50 gallon rain barrel for a nonprofit called Wags4Tags here in Raleigh.  They provide artists with rain barrels, the rain barrels are painted, then given back, and auctioned off at a fundraiser.  Their mission is to rescue dogs from kill shelters (sadly North Carolina is chock full of them — we have the highest number in the States), train them to become service animals which are given to Veterans with emotional injuries, such as PTSD.  For more info, go here: http://www.wags4tags.org/#!about-us/cjg9

For my barrel, I’m painting my typical landscape deal, nighttime on one side, daytime on the other.  I’m hoping to make it fancy enough to be useful as inside decor, but I’m cool if it lives outside, too. As long as it raises the cash-money for charity!

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Nighttime in progress
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Daytime in progress

Started a landscape…

A huge gap in posts for which I have no (reasonable) explanation. ¬†I was asked to paint a landscape similar to an earlier painting, so that’s what I’m doing. ¬†Of course, it doesn’t look exactly like the original, but I that’s okay.

Few words this time.

Alexandra landscape (Medium)

Back to work…

Every year (or multiple times per year) I decide it’s a great idea to revamp my life. By that I mean my work and all that’s related. Perhaps it’s not the wisest decision, but refreshers are good, especially for a mind becoming stagnant.

Four pieces were completed at the beginning of January for a play. As soon as they were done and shipped out, I paused to look around my studio and realized that it had become horribly chaotic. Paint tubes scattered, tiny shreds of paper, dirty brushes, not one surface was bare, including the floor. I did what I could, which was to walk away from it for a bit over a week. It was not a relaxing time because all I could think about was getting that area in order so I could get back to work. I had been so focused on those four pieces that when they were done, I felt lost.

I finally forced myself to clean (pics to come). I’ve found that even with this clear space, my brain isn’t working the way it needs to. The empty space is in my head, not in my studio. I’m uninspired!

While I continue to draw and paint, I figured I would update this blog and post a pic of one of the paintings. If you have thoughts, inspiration, motivation, anything, tell me. Share your brains.

Unrequited | 8" x 11" | acrylic on canvas
Unrequited | 8″ x 11″ | acrylic on canvas

Hot Press Watercolor Paper

…makes me want to cry.

I’m trying, I really am, but I am not winning at this type of paper. ¬†I’ve read comments and perused tutorials and all of that stuff. ¬†“Don’t soak it”, “Soak it for 15 minutes”, “Gesso the front and back so it doesn’t buckle”, “Only use it for drawing!”, etc…

My first attempt was using watercolor pencils. ¬†I sketched my figure out, did a bit of shading, and liked how it turned out! ¬†Then…I added water. ¬†Mistake. ¬†I only added a little bit of water, not a lot, and it was still a disaster. ¬†So, in an attempt to fix it, I added more paint/water. ¬†Of course, it got worse. ¬†The paper buckled and pilled. ¬†In some sections the paint just lifted right off, leaving my lady speckled. ¬†Frantic, I tossed aside all water-related mediums and attempted to smother her with oil pastels (that I don’t even know how to use). ¬†I was desperate. ¬†Hopeless. ¬†The painting was destroyed.

I started off my second attempt being a little cocky, giving a little sashay in my step. ¬†“I’m going to gesso the shit out of it!” and that I did. ¬†Paper didn’t buckle or pill! ¬†It made the surface a bit rough, and¬†that was okay. ¬†I lightly sketched an image on the paper, using a ruler, gettin’ my perspective right and everything. ¬†Then I added the paint — acrylic this time. ¬†Watered-down acrylic. ¬†It wasn’t the best move. ¬†It didn’t do what I thought it would do. ¬†The paint still sort of lifted off, so I reduced the water and added more paint. ¬†That seemed to help, but the background lost its subtly tinted sky and bare landscape and was replaced by rough spots and brush marks. ¬†I like dry brushing. ¬†I might even say I’m not terrible at it. ¬†But, I didn’t want to dry brush this one. ¬†I wanted it to be smooth, fluid, and pretty. ¬†It, too, is a disaster. ¬†It looks like I squeezed a whole bunch of acrylic paint on my hand and mashed it on the paper in a fit of rage. ¬†It’s terrible. ¬†I threw my brush against the table, took a hot shower and cried while in the shower.

I’m a basket case. ¬†I’m not giving up, though. ¬†Today is a new day! ¬†A new day to completely wreck anything I touch! ¬†A new day to make a zillion more mistakes, possibly cry some more, but also figure out what I did wrong and try something else. ¬†I thought that what I was doing wrong was to even attempt to do any artwork at all, but I need to nudge that out of my head with a hard elbow. ¬†Maybe. ¬†I’m full of self-doubt today.

If you have comments or advice, I’d love to hear them! ¬†In fact, I think I need it.