Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Little Closeup jewels and Winter vegie soup (for Nancy)

Did you ever look at a painting and notice that there is just one spot that by itself was independently beautiful?  It's like it could just have been the painting by itself without anything else around it.  Here are 2 of my quick paintings where I have zeroed in on my favorite parts.  They're both of Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City.  I, especially, love the way the first one turned out.  It was one of those that I felt was never that great.  So, several years later I went back in and changed some things.  I just really like how the lighting turned out around the pine tree. Plus I added little sprinkles of pink flowers and that added some delicate interest to finish it off.  The 2nd painting always worked for me without any later fixing.  Just wanted you to see these.  It goes to show you that if a painting isn't working all the way you might want to take out the trusty scissors and cut that part out-of course leaving enough to restretch it onto some frames, if large enough.  If not you'll need to mount it flat on a heavy duty plywood board or just foamcore board and frame.  Then, voila!  A new painting that you'll love.

Second of all-this part is for my buddy Nancy from the "Lemon Verbena Lady" blog.  Look, Nancy!  See the parsley that I dried out of the garden added to my soup today?  You would be so proud of me!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Gorgeous lights in NYC restaurant

Tonight I just felt like I wanted to write about something.  While searching through our NYC pics back in December I came across this great restaurant that we went to.  I wish I could tell you the name but can't remember what it is.  Gracie will set me straight on that, I bet.  Anyway they are famous for their chocolate and we had the MOST DELICIOUS cup of hot chocolate that I've ever had.  I mean it was so good that you wanted to grab the pitcher and drink the whole thing in one gulp but you couldn't because it came in these little cups that were sized for savoring.  So great.  Anyway, the lights were so beautiful and I had to take a few pics.  

Of course, being a Utahn, I have the mentality of, "I can make this."  I know.  I know.  We can be so maddening.  How do you make any money when there are all these "do it yourselfers" all about (I experienced that frustration first hand with selling my art here in Utah). But I really could see doing that.  They were that unique. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

"Ozma" from "The Gnome King of Oz" by L. Frank Baum
(Ozma is a character in the book)
 The colored glass symbolizes the gems in the earth mined by the Gnomes.  Ozma is the lost princess of Oz and the green glass represents the Emerald City.  The granite and granite type pottery/china is indicative of the Gnome King's kingdom.  

Well, it seems appropriate that I would post a pic of one of my broken china hearts to celebrate the day.  I'm about to embark on another learning experience with 10 and 11 year old girls making them for the first time.  It's going to be so fun!  I'll post a pic in a few weeks to show them off to everyone.  Just like to keep everyone anticipating something exciting.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fussy Fru Fra = Blaaaaa when painting leaves

 Step 8

Well, I'm back to the parrot painting.  Remember that, a while back?  Sharpies on canvas are a whole lot more fun, I think.  Anyway, here we are again.  Now the painting at the top is the last step.  Do you think I actually wanted the fussy fru fra to be the main picture at the top of my blog?  No indeed.
Step 5

Anyway, so last night I made a very half hearted attempt to paint some leaves in the background of the painting.  Remember it's a good idea to do the background first.  That way you don't have to be careful around the main subject matter.  Leaves take a special knack and, as you can see, from step one below that it is boring beyond words.  And why is it boring?  Because there's no movement.  It's static.  Well, as my teacher, Robert Rumel, told me, "Sometimes you have to ruin a painting to fix it"-I proceeded to do just that.

To begin this process I pulled some natural sponges out of the drawer and began step two (ruination without a care in the world-good plan of attack).  When using a sponge it's real hard to get tight in your painting and I wanted things to loosen up.  As you can see I went to town on this and what do you see now?  Step three-movement!  Voila!  Now, I know this isn't the greatest but it's a better base than what I had before.  Now I can build on it.  Paintings are like sculptures in that you have to build up and build up.  That's what the Masters did.

Now I have something better to work with.  Oh, I put a green wash on the birds last night-being careful to allow warm and cool.  While I work every area I'm constantly keeping in mind how I can make each element become a "star".  I want subtle contrasts that will pop things out and create life and interest.

Side Note:  I want you to notice the effect of the under painting on the birds.  Now I'm going to layer, layer, layer and leave a small glow of the orange underneath.  It will make the painting breath life by not appearing flat.
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4

Thursday, February 3, 2011

My finished calendar! Yay! I'm done!

Well, you guys-I did the actual calendar part 3 times!  First I thought it would be cute to have each month individually pinned with a colored pin (boooo, such a dud, dumb).  Then I thought I'd make it one piece and I just couldn't bare to not do pretty colors and designs in each square that I thought the numbers and letters could be written on top of.  Chris said, "How can we ever read them?"  I told him that he never looks at the calendar anyway.  So, never mind (in MY mind I was thinking, "Yuck.  This looks awful but, oh well, I want to be done with this!).

When I put the black letters on top you could hardly read them.  I held it up under the pictures and it looked so bad.  It competed with my design (this after instructing my friend how you need to have restful areas in a piece of art-duh) and then I continued putting the numbers on.  I screwed it all up!  I put 12 next to 23.  I sabotaged my own success because I really didn't like it.  Then I thought I would just cut out some canvas and patch them. Oh boy.  That was a lousy idea and I knew it.  So I purposely cut into it to ruin it.

For the 3rd time I started over (each time having to drag the sewing machine back upstairs-I knew the last time I took it down that I was jinxing it.  I would mess up for sure and have to drag it up again-which I did).  So, then, I went for simplicity but as meticulous as I could get it.  I was so afraid I'd mess up again I penciled in the whole thing first.  The pencil lines I had drawn on had to be erased.  You guessed it-it smeared the lead.  I had to wash it, blow dry it and then iron.  Whew!  It's done!