Art, Painting

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
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Art

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)

Art, Life

I’m still proscrastinating…

…but the year is almost over, so it’s okay.  Maybe I’m getting a jump on 2015?!

For the past few months I’ve tied myself up with artwork (creating, not literally).  I’m not at my computer (thus, this might be short and stuffed with typos) so I only have one photo to post that is semi-clear.  I promise, I’ll show you more next year.  I’ll also write more about what I’ve been doing.  And will practice *technology* so I can write proper posts on my tablet or phone! 

So, here is the clearest pic of any of the pieces I’ve worked on.  It was done for a play called “Scenes from the Cliff” written by Nina Childs, first run will be in January 2015.

Thanks for reading!

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Art

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.

Art, Painting

And it’s done…

I’m not sure how I feel about the finished product. I do know that I’ve fallen in love with Golden soft gel medium, though. So…hooray for love!

I think the bristol was a good idea, along with the canvas. I needed more coats of paint on the bristol, but it seems like it made more sense for the ravens than the canvas did, due to its smooth texture allowing more light to reflect (as with feathers).

I will be doing more work like this. Scissors are hell on my hands, but I like the idea of what could be.  If you have thoughts or ideas, share them!

Ravens1 (Large)

Art

The Sketchbook Project 2014

This thing has to be postmarked in three days. THREE DAYS. I’ve been making progress — more progress in the last week than I made in 6 months — and I still have a bit to go. 9 pages, I believe.

My biggest issues with this project (or any creative project) are fear, poor planning, and choice of medium/mediums/media. When I’m making something for someone else, terror strikes and I feel paralyzed. If it’s for me, then I don’t care and somehow it turns out well. Anything else, though, and I feel incompetent. Smooth lines become jagged from a shaky hand, choosing a color palette is nerve wracking, subject matter–forget about it.

However, in the past few days, I discovered a workable theme, a palette, and — most important — the medium! The pages of the sketchbook are not typical heavyweight paper; they have their limit. In the past, I’ve attempted marker (which bled through) colored pencil becomes time consuming depending on how it’s used (I like to make it saturated and blend blend blend), pastel gets all over the place, and paint wrinkles the pages too much. I have a tin of Derwent Inktense pencils. I use them once in a while for various things, but didn’t use them on the sketchbook until recently. HOLY HELL! They’re magical!

Granted, I’m only using a variety of reds, but still. The paper doesn’t buckle, the color is saturated, but isn’t bleeding through, and adding water gives my hand a much-needed break from the blending of colored pencils.

So, with three days left, I’m pretty sure I can swing it.  Also, sorry for the bad photo!

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Art

World of Art Showcase: Raleigh

From November 1st to November 3rd Raleigh’s convention center hosted the World of Art Showcase, sponsored by our favorite art store, Jerry’s Artarama.  In trying to think of how to describe the event, all I can hear in my head is “Wow”.  That’s about all I’ve been able to express about it during and after.  It was so awesome that it turned me stupid.

I was initially excited to go, then I hit a couple weeks where my insecurities about my own art and my own life made me rethink my excitement and ask myself “Why even bother?”.  I told Jer, the husband, that I didn’t buy tickets (that I had intended to buy weeks prior) and after a few days’ worth of conversation and his pushing, I bought the tickets and we went.

As you may know from previous posts, he doesn’t consider himself an “art guy”.  Frankly, the art world freaks him out so much so that he thinks of the “art world” as an actual parallel universe that exists in quotations where he would be an alien lost in a group of artists that wear scarves year round, speak only in color, and eat with palette knives.  I’m assuming this is what goes through his head, anyway, as any mention of him being around people that do art causes his eyes to widen and his pulse becomes clearly visible in his temples. Over the course of those 3 days, however, he learned that these people are humans who not only do art, but they also like pizza, action figures, and enjoy dropping f-bombs when appropriate.  This was good for him.

It was great for me, too.  I was exposed to work that I don’t think I ever would have otherwise been exposed to if not for this event.  And as you may know from my history, there are still days where I feel like opening my front door will bring about death and destruction for all of mankind, however I did make it out of the front door, drove all the way into the city for those 3 days, and I talked to people.  ‘Sup.  I kind of feel like I deserve to shout-whisper a “Fuck yeah!” and perhaps shoot my fist into the air.  Only a few times did I have issues with dissociation, so that was pretty sweet too.  Yeah therapy!  WOO!

Within the next couple of days I’m going to get my photos together (I didn’t take nearly enough and am disappointed with myself about that) and get them on here.  Until then, here’s some pizza (it was yum).

pizza