Monday, February 27, 2012

What's on the easel and more Red Bubble fun

My sister spent most of last week with us. I enjoyed her visit tremendously...but did not paint nor post on blogger.

I have started a painting on a 18"X24" wood panel that I had prepared some time ago for a varnished watercolor. However, as soon as I had sketched my painting on it, I remembered my findings the last time I worked on such a surface: this is great for small cells, but horrible for large washes - the surface dries too quickly and unevenly. As you will see below, my painting is of huge cherries on a black plate and there is a hint of lace: the lace was great fun, but the cherries were a nightmare to paint!
The stems are still covered with masking and I have not yet started the plate. The highlights on the cherries were done in three ways: masking, lifting and ( the purists will cringe) with Chinese white watercolor.

The next couple of weeks should be quite busy. I have two shows in March, one at the Foyer Gallery called "Inside Outside" and I thought that, by stretching it a bit,  I could use the cherries for that theme ( inside a container, out of a container:-); the other show is a 3-day sale with a local art association where I will have a booth. I also have two large commissions...and commissions make me nervous and I tend to procrastinate.

On another note, Red Bubble continues to be a fun site that provides me with good feedback. My "Lake Fantasia" has just won 3rd place in a Challenge in the Canadian Artists group and my Garden Ballerinas, a painting I did last year, was featured today in the Decorative and Traditional Art Group.
And winter is back with us in Ottawa: we have had more snow in the last three days than all winter, I think...and more on the way:-(

Friday, February 10, 2012

Fantasy of Reality: a group show starting on Wednesday Feb. 15th

Here is the invitation poster for the upcoming show at the Foyer Gallery. You can see a picture of my latest watercolor, "Angus, the Green Man" in the middle of the top row.

The show runs from Feb. 14th until 4 March 2012 and is called " The Fantasy of Reality". It should be fantastic:-)
Meanwhile, I was thrilled to find out that my mixed media " Lake Fantasia" has received two features on the Red Bubble site: 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Fascinating info on Angus, the Green Man and some creative play

I was thrilled to receive some fascinating background information on the carving that inspired my "Whimsical Man" painting below ( which I will now call "Angus, the Green Man").

I received these details from Bobby Watt of RJW-Gem Campbell Stonemasons Inc. who commissioned three similar carvings for their Ottawa headquarters. These carvings, each by a different master carver, depict the Mr. Watt's journey from Scotland to Canada.  The carving I chose to paint  - the first in the series- was done by Danny Barber over the winter of 2008-2009. It is a "jack o' green, or green man, which is a long tradition with carvers in Europe. Foliage of thistles, Scotland's national flower, springs from his mouth.  

I can't wait to start painting the other two beautiful carvings and you will see how the foliage on each of these "Jack o' green" changes to symbolize  a different stage of Mr. Watt's journey! I only hope that I can do justice in my own way to the artistic talent of these great carvers and to the passion for stone that made these gems possible!
These last two or three days, I have done lots of playing with acrylic gels, tissue collage and metallic paints. Here is a finished painting resulting from all that play.This is a mixed media painting full of fantasy and textures.

The original is on a 16" X 16" X1.5 gallery wrapped canvas. The paints are acrylics and metalics; the numerous textures were created with acrylic mediums and gels, stencils and stamps. This was such a fun painting and quite a departure from my usual realistic works!
Take care.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Whimsical carving WIP- Completed for now

I am calling this painting finished for now. I really agonized over the eye on the you will see in the second image below:-) I wanted some shadow, but not too much.

I have not chosen a title yet; I intend to write to the stone masonry company that created this carving to see if they have a name for it.

As mentioned above, the eye on the left really caused me a lot of grief. I was not sure of the shadows to put it, even the color to use. As you can see below, I made several sketches of that eye to try out various color combinations.
The finished painting is about 17" X 17". I will bring it to my framer's tomorrow or Friday to see if he has time to frame it within a week; if not, I will probably crop it to 16" X 16" and put it on a gallery wood panel and varnish it. I want to put it in an upcoming show at the Foyer Gallery called " The Fantasy of Reality".
Let me know what you think.
I hope that the first month of 2012 has been a kind one for you.