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)

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.

More progress pics…

I’m cutting out my birds. All but one are made out of canvas. Bristol is my go-to for most things, so I decided to try that and see how it matches up with the canvas birds. I’m not sure about it. Initially, after painting it and putting it against the background, I didn’t like it, but 2 coats of paint later, it might be okay. It doesn’t have the texture of canvas, of course, but I kind of like it. Perhaps mixing materials wouldn’t be such a bad thing?  The Bristol bird is the largest one in the last pic.

B1 (Large) B2 (Large)

 B Group (Large)

The progress pics…

My lady underwent some changes. I lost my knife in the move, so used all purpose shears to cut her out. I’m not thrilled, but this is leaning more toward an experiment than anything, so it’s cool.

The background canvas was one of five that I had mass painted prior to moving. I haven’t fulfilled my intentions with them, so I grabbed one to use for this. Eventually I’ll go back to those, but I’ll save that explanation for another post.

So, here they are.  If you have thoughts, share ’em.  Thanks for looking! 

R1 (Large)R2 (Large)Bk1 (Large) Bk2 (Large)  

It’s not unusual…

…for me to occasionally dabble in landscape-type paintings when requested.

My Aunt Bonnie, like me, loves the sea (I’m certain it’s a hereditary thing). One of the main things she loves: Lighthouses. Aunt Bonnie = Lighthouses…always has. She asked me to make her a lighthouse picture a few weeks ago, so I did a watercolor sketch and sent it to her…and forgot to sign it. She’s a sweet stickler for things like that and demanded I make her another, SIGNED this time. I did, except this time ’round, I used acrylics.

The idea of making tapestries has been really intriguing to me lately so I decided to experiment using canvas. My intention is to slide a dowel rod through the top (replacing that nightmare thing I have in there right now) but keeping the idea of hemp twine wrapped around the edges and used as a way of hanging the painting (plus I think she’ll like the rope look combined with the painting). And, yes, it’s signed! 🙂

The painting is done…

And now I need to find a new thing to do. This photo was taken before I put the clear coat on and I wish I had taken a better one because I always struggle with taking pictures of varnished paintings. If anyone has some good tips on how to do that, send ’em my way!