Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time off and update

I am finally getting some belated "summer vacation":-) I will be away from work until next Tuesday. I thought that I would be doing a lot of painting, but so far, have only played a bit with paint. Last night, I tried Yupo for the first time...the results looked like a kindergarden finger painting:-) but it was fun. I will certainly go back to it. I did nost post it:-)

I was pleased to see that my Laundry Day in Venice was featured on the Red Bubble 

I have recently joined the Ottawa Art Association ...a nice step forward for me in acknowledgeing the importance of my art in my life. I intend to be a very active member. I entered my watercolor painting (see above), Serenity,  in their current show in a great venue, the Ottawa Little Theatre.  The quality of  the work by many of the members is simply extraordinary. Next month, the OAA has a Members' Awards Show and , just for the fun of it, I would like to enter one of my Venice paintings. I am hesitating between my Blue Venetian Door Only in Venice and my latest Laundry Day in Venice...any suggestions?

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Laundry Day in Venice" finished

I have finally put my "Laundry Day in Venice" ( tentative title:-) aside for a while. It is probably finished although I have not signed it yet.

I have added some spatter on the lower left wall and also in the water; I added some shadows in the windows and around the door.I followed the suggestion of using an exacto knife to scrape the clothesline; somehow, I could not get it to show up very much and finally did add some white gouache.

I took the next picture inside with a flash, so the colors are not quite right. These days it is dark when I leave in the morning to go to work and it's dark by the time I get home.

I am going through my files and my pictures to find a nice, easy, relaxing painting project.

Thank you all to the encouragement throughout this process.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Unexpected Award. Thank you!

Cindi of One Part Water, Three Parts Color
 surprised me this week with a Kreativ Blogger award. What a thrill and a honor! I first met Cindi through Painting Friends and was amazed and completely charmed by her warmth, super sense of humor, the versatility of her talent and her endless energy. That she chose me as one of the Kreative Blogger award recipients means a lot to me.

As per this award tradition, I mus now tell the world 7 things that you may not know about me. Here goes:

1. I used to be a ( part-time) professional handweaver and regularly painted  hundreds, thousands of silk threads before putting them on the floor loom. This makes me either very patient or rather insane:-)
2. I am married and have a grown-up daughter and a son at University.
3. I worked as a high school teacher for many, many, many years.
4. I currently have a full-time government job, but try to paint or do something related to painting every day.
5. I have just recently discovered blogging and love it!
6. My favorite color is purple.
7. I love animals, but have never tried to paint them.

Thanks again Cindi!

I have now passed this award to seven artists I admire. There are so many, that this will be tough...I also don't want to repeat the names chosen by Cindi:-)I understand that some of the seven may not be able to accept this award: space on their blog, time constraints and so on. This is quite ok. Just know that I admire your work.

I would love to be able to give 7 more! There are so many of you out there who encourage me and inspire me every day!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Update 4: Almost done

This latest picture was taken with a flash and does not represent the colors 100% accurately.

I have done the ironwork ( tougher than I thought:-), have removed all the masking, added clothespins for a few dots of color. I still have to put in the clothesline - will probably use white acrylic for that - and all the finishing details especially around the whites where the masking was.

From a distance, this painting is quite nice:-) . I am getting tired of looking at it though and I am looking forward to painting something quite simple next.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Humble Venetian Door -Update 3

The "Humble Venetian Door" is humbling me, I fear. :-)
I hope that some of you are still following my slow progress. This is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada: I really hope to finish this WIP by tomorrow.

I have greyed down some of the pinks and yellows on the facade, I have done some work on the water, the dark background beyond the ironwork. The cool pink on the left-hand side is still attracting too much attention and I also have to decide how I will tackle the ironwork.

Lessons learned so far: what really attracted me to the reference picture was the shadow of the laundry and the door - I don't think they stand out that much in this painting...perhaps I should have zoomed in a bit more on those two elements; I should have spent more time on the composition and placed the laundry shadow less on the edge of the paper.

This is art and not simple production; with every work, we should move forward in some way or at least express ourselves in a new creative way. Reproducing what we have already mastered is not art....Making mistakes, not achieving perfection, is part of the journey... My, I am good at justifying my errors :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Humble Venetian Door -Update 2

As promised, here are updates to show my progress with this new Venetian Door painting. I have taken all the pictures at night with flash and artificial lights; consequently, the colors are really not accurate.

Stage 2:
More pours of the three primaries. Some work on the weathered door - especially since I felt that would be one of my biggest challenges. I did some practice work first - the practice was much better than this :-( The door is lighter in real life and appears less blotchy.

Stage 3:

Work on the shadows below the laundry : this was what first made me want to paint from this.
Work here and there on the upper part of the wall to show some brickwork

Stage 4: The colors are not quite right on this picture;  they should not be quite this bright.
I started the water at this point because I really wanted to see what the green would add to the entire effect.
Some of the masking has been removed around the door and over the right-hand window ironwork. I am very disappointed at this point with the look of that window: the background is much too dark and my drawing/masking too sloppy.

Overall, I am not displeased with my painting, but I am afraid the final watercolor may be rather boring... After the disaster with the right-hand window, I am somewhat nervous about tackling the other windows and the scroll work over the door.

What do you think? Suggestions? Ideas for a title?

To be continued soon...Thank you so much for looking over my shoulder. Your presence encourages me along.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Work in progress...no title yet

In my previous post, I showed the picture below that I am using for a new watercolor in the "Memories of Venice" ( or, if you prefer, " Yes, it's yet another Venetian door!" :-)) series.

This painting will undoubtedly be quite different from my previous ones: I will not focus on a close-up of the door, but will show most of the facade; the colors in the reference are rather drab and subdued ( but I probably won't resist the temptation of adding lots of color.); the humble facade does not speak of past Venetian splendor.  However, the shadows under the hanging laundry are so attractive.
I already feel that this will be a challenge for me...Especially for that reason, to push myself to go ahead with this, I will post my progress...It may be slow because of current pressures in my full-time job ( You see, I am already coming up with excuses :-) . The WIP may bore most of you, but believe me, it's going to take a lot of courage on my part to publicize  my artistic struggle...What if the result is only good for the bin???( nail biting, heart pounding, finger on the delete button etc....!)

Without further ado..and with a deep breath..., here are the first stage of Memories of Venice VI.

Stage1:   The sketch is done on Arches 140lb CP, approximately 16" X 20". I have masked the sections to remain white ( around the door, the laundry) and the ironwork on the windows. I may have made the sketch too dark ...I wanted it to show in the picture.
As usual, I am starting with a pouring technique for the background, using three primary colors. Oops...where has the gray facade gone???? Ah well...

I hope that you will stay tuned for an update later on this week.
Take care.