My Darling Billy

Billy in my sketchbook
I’ve been really enjoying looking at less serious stuff lately, namely people’s sketchbooks. I love the spontaneity, the freedom, and the sense of the artist in these pictures. I’ve been finding them on Flickr, and on art blogs, (check out Andrea Joseph’s stuff…it’s amazing!, and also Paul Madonna) and I realized, I don’t sketch enough. I take my art way too seriously.
I guess that there’s so little time in a day, being a mom and a wife, that any chance I get to paint, I paint seriously. It feels like a waste of time to sketch, when I have so little of it to begin with.  My focus has been on success so much, and recognition, and now that I’m finally getting a few shows out of town, and workshops, my art feels suddenly so joyless. I’ve been painting for shows, and for work, but I need to find the joy in it again, and maybe I can by sketching more. 
This is my sweet husband, Billy. We had a beautiful sunny day, about two days ago. He was home from work, and we sat on the deck, soaking up the sun. The light was great, so I grabbed my sketchbook and whipped this one off.
I also joined the “Sketchbook Project”.  It’s a pretty cool idea. You send them $25. They send you a moleskine sketchbook, you pick a theme, fill it up and send it back to them. Once there it becomes part of the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Art Library. You can also have them put the whole thing on line for an extra fee, where they’re there for the whole world to see. 
Anyways, that’s my post for the day.
Don’t forget to check out my ebay listings. I have a bunch of Cat ACEO’s for sale, starting at only $9.99.

The Chairman

                                   “The Chairman” 2.5″x3.5″ ACEO
      


Chairman Meow is a lovely cat that belongs to my friend and employer, Holly, of Coast Mountain Lodge in Bella Coola. He is sweet and affectionate…more like a big friendly dog than a cat, and he’s also a manx…ya, just a little stump of a tail…anyways, he’s a sweetie, and I had to paint him.
I’ve actually been on a bit of an ACEO painting binge this week, so check out my listings by clicking on the scrolling gallery to your right.
Unfortunately the horses and driver in my previous posting met an unfortunate demise…beware of painting when you’re not in the mood, is my advice to all of you artists out there that might have a bit of a temper, lol! Yes, I have to start over, or patch the hole in my canvas….

A Farmer’s Work…

In the past few years, I’ve become increasingly more interested in natural, sustainable eating and health. This image from Wetcanvas spoke to me of going back to the natural, safe way of eating…hard work, and “real life” instead of the pounding onslaught of consumerism. I want to have a better life. One where we slow down, and enjoy what we’ve made, and smell the clean air, and be in nature. 

This is the photo, on my computer monitor which I routinely work from instead of photos. I like that I can enlarge sections, play with the color and contrast, and crop it till it works. So much of the preliminary stuff can be done on the computer instead of spending hours doing sketches and color studies. I admit, I’m a bit lazy when it comes to that stuff…
So here’s my set up. I don’t have a fancy studio. I don’t have optimal lighting, I have to do the best I can with what I have. Which is a really bright kitchen!:) The thing I absolutely love about my house is all the windows. They wrap around the whole house, filling it with natural light from all directions…which isn’t so great for painting still lifes, but it works for now.
And here’s the beginning stages of my new painting.  I’ve covered the canvas in a thin layer of acrylic in a light, misty green. I think it was Payne’s Grey, Burnt Umber, and Hooker’s Green, mixed with Gesso. I mixed the top section a little greener, and the bottom a little browner, as it will be tilled soil.
I did a grid with vine charcoal for this one, as it’s fairly large, and I wanted to make sure I got the horse bums all in the right place:) You can see the ghost of it where I rubbed it out. I like vine charcoal because it doesn’t really muddy your colors if you paint over it, and it wipes or rubs off very easily. Here, I’ve just drawn in the basic outlines of the main elements and started a block in of the basic colors for the first two horses and the farmer. I try to remember that it’s cool light, so the shadows will be warmer, and I also want the painting to have a mistier, more atmospheric look, so I’m lessening the contrast and cooling out the colors a bit more than in the photo.
Next post will be stage two…now I have to go paint it!
Cheers!