Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A couple of years ago, my husband and I spent a relaxing week at a family cottage on a pond in Maine. He spent the week fishing and I spent it painting, reading, visiting local wineries and taking photographs. Always trying to capture the elusive family of loons who who were swimming right off shore the day we arrived and didn't ever get that close again until after we were all packed to leave. I swear they saw me put the camera in the car!
It was a great vacation. No telephone, no TV, no internet. Just a radio and the place entirely to ourselves. We were fortunate to watch a pair of bald eagles and each night I sat out on the porch and listened to the sounds off the water wishing it would never end. For some reason, even the bugs seemed reluctant to invade our vacation.
The painting above is from the shore of the cottage looking out to the point. The stairs lead to the cottage next door which was vacant while we were there. The sun is setting and another peaceful night is about to begin. Pour the wine, get out the cheese and crackers and join me on the porch, won't you? We'll watch the loons and their young ones swim off shore on their way home for the night.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Many of you know the story of the kitten I rescued last October who was trying to cross a busy intersection. She was only four weeks old and we named her Destiny, Dessie for short. She has integrated herself well into our family and we couldn't imagine life without her.
I have taken lots of photos of Dessie with the intention of painting her one day. Still not there yet.
One of the things I am trying to do, if I don't paint every day is to try to draw as often as I can. Frequently it's done in a free moment, using a ball point pen drawing something that is near at hand and often on the corner of a piece of paper covered with notes from phone calls or meetings. Certainly nothing I can share.
This drawing is the result of two days effort (when I had a free moment) done with pencil and then redrawn and highlighted with a black ball point. The paper is still a piece of notepaper, and I didn't plan very well as I ran out of room for her tail. However, the point was to draw for no other reason than to do it. It forces me to take a break from work and really take a few moments for myself during the lunch period instead of eating my lunch hunched over the computer. Really a bad habit.
One of the women I work with keeps telling me that Dessie is the spitting image of her cat Olive, so I am going to give this drawing to her. Now- back to work!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Art lessons was something I always wanted to take as a kid. Not so much to learn to draw, although that wouldn't hurt, but to learn to use the various tools available. Colored pencils and pastels completely elude me. I keep thinking of them like crayons, but that can't be right as other people get completely different effects with them.
This drawing of Snuggles started out with colored pencils. I thought that after drawing and filling in with them I could brush on water to blend them. This is what I do with colored pencils on the cloth dolls, only I use a textile medium to blend the colors into the fabric. It turns out that it doesn't work that way on paper. So I used really diluted acrylic paints to put a wash finish over the various areas to make the colors blend more. A lot of work to create what in the end sort of looks like a water color.
I need to repaint Snuggles. He is our gentleman cat. He is sweet, loving and extremely gentle. Unlike the other two, when he wants to get down, he just tries to get down, no claws, no danger of anyone getting hurt. He is really easy going, so I hate that he looks mean or mad whenever I paint him. I have yet to capture his sweet gentle nature.
I hope to have a new painting to share with everyone soon. Yesterday, for the first time in weeks, I actually picked up a paint brush and have started on the still life mentioned here. I added a piece of green silk for additional color and have made a good start on the painting. For all the time I have taken off due to other things going on in my life, it's felt good to paint again, and it wasn't nearly the struggle I expected it to be.