27 January, 2012

Fish on ice multiplied

20 cmx 20 cm ( 8x8 inch my metrically challenged friends) boxed canvas series of Fish. I used the same reference photo, 4 times,I just turned it a different orientation each time I painted it .

good experiment! paint what you see, not what you know. Observation is everything.

Used permanent rose and Indian yellow to make the pinky, salmon reference colors and cobalt blue and white for the darks and thrice. Interesting palette, don't you think.? I really enjoyed working with only the three main colors and white.

Did I mention I paint with music? Today I was inspired by The National and Birds of Tokyo. Isn,t music just the most amazing invention ever?!!

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25 January, 2012

20 minute cows

I am supposed to be supervising the children, but they are playing computer games, not jumping off the roof, so I snatched 20 minutes to paint.

I really do have to watch them because they really do jump off the roof......onto the trampoline. My shattered nerves.

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21 January, 2012

After Michelle Torrez

I am copying paintings of those artists I admire to see how they achieved the effects they achieved and how it fits into my style of painting. It is a really good exercise and made me review some of my methods of rendering light and dark in an image of high drama.

Can you tell how faces are freaking me out right now?!? I painted her face about 5 times before I wiped it clean and vowed to improve my painting of faces!!!!Hence the mugshots.

Michelle Torrez, go on, Google her. She paints dramatically and expressively
- and I admire her immensely .I find her images powerfully feminine.

I painted on the black canvasI bought online, as a roll, sight unseen.I really enjoy painting the figure on black ground. It is ever so dramatic, straight from the start.I feel sometimes I need the drama to react to the subject . I think it was Sarjent who was said to paint as if he were fencing. He would stand back from the canvas , then lunge forwards,brush held at the very end, and slash canvas with a precise mark of paint. Heady stuff.

Wis I looked that sexy, wine glass in hand and headless.

20 January, 2012

My secret garden

I changed my garden layout this year( I do this a bit!) and this is what it looks like......Nothing quite like fruit trees, a meandering path,a wildflower meadow or two and some seats strategically placed for optimum Sunset viewing, Gin in hand.

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Holiday,sunshine, sand and sea

I have just returned from a fabulous weeks holiday with my small family to a popular beachside town on the Coromandel peninsula, Pauanui( pronounce: pow-a-new-ee). we stayed in a gorgeous gingerbreadesque house , private and enclosed in bush,filled with books and magazines( Readers digests, National Geogaphics, some sports mags....lots of gossip mags! brilliant mix!)
To top it all, it had a wonderful al freso spa...a treat for the family!

I took the paints to the beach and painted. I did. I was brave, painting en Plein air. It is a nerve-wracking exercise for me. I did well blocking them all out( a beach full of lovely, family groups, children and grandparents teens..I am such a diva!) and getting over the fear of public performance, so to speak.I had the iPod rammed into my pocket , using the music to both soothe myself and send a signal that I did not want to attract attention. Great at first but then I kept freaking myself out by moving and accidentally changing the volume DRAMATICALLY and quite pant-wetting loudly .I soon abandoned my efforts to listen to music and went naked -eared.

New Zealand painter ,Douglas Badcock, wrote of his irritation with those who came to watch, or who commented as if he were unable to hear them or tried to make conversation ........and this man was an incredible talented painter!
I simply have to concentrate sooooooo hard to stay in the zone when I paint that I find the simplest thing a distraction. That's why I love the studio. It is contained and safe.Distractions can be controlled.:the phone 's off the hook, the music ambient,the temperature warm and no wind, no insects, no traffic rushing past, no conversations....no distractions.Easy.

The beach painting was hard work . Sandy and windy, alternatively warm and cold ,public scrutiny,hearing some praise,being inconvenienced and challenged, getting over myself and my trepidation of painting in public.....funny how it all seems to make you feel better in hindsight . I learned to turn the insects crawling through the paint into artful marks! I also learned that I am very amusing to watch when the cat that has sat just behind me for the last 10 minutes wraps himself around my till- then unaware leg ,resulting in me simultaneously yelping,leaping and running in a weird crouch in four different directions.THAT'S what gets you attention, not painting! I almost got a round of applause for the effort.

Home again and I have missed my little studio space and am glad to be back. I have so many ideas and so much inspiration I have to write it all down before I forget. I liked the break from technology but am ready to be reacquainted with the big world again.

This is how we feel.

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11 January, 2012

Mugshot no.1

I am useless at faces....so useless, that I am now going to make an effort to improve. To do so, I need a stock of random, normal faces. Faces I do not recognize or have any bias towards......so welcome to my Mugshot series( or maybe this will be a one-off thing, no idea yet). I am using police mugshots from the USA ( because they publish them on the Internet!! ) and will try another tomorrow.

I struggled with his stubble( wow, never thought I would write such a sentence) and it ended up looking like he was covered in shaving cream!!! But that aside, the likeness in the top half of his face was good...ok, was passable.Barely.

I showed my boys what I was up to.The offered lots of opinion and suggestion and I explained the concept of what I am trying to achieve to them both.lucien mulled over the idea of making mistakes in order to improve and progress....he is a perfectionist in the most improbable way. He expects to be brilliant at everything and cannot cope when he is not and usually walks away to try something else. I know this, as he is the closest thing to a clone of me that is possible.Hopefully he will see my efforts and come to understand the value of persistence in the face of failure and the pleasure of learning to do something you believe to be damned near impossible.

02 January, 2012

New Year Studio tidy- up

Time to sort out and set the scene in the studio for another year of painting, muttering, good music and blogging.Also, I have run out of mugs and i know there are a few buried in that mess!

- ps. Let me know if you spotted the mugs!!!! PPs. the photo's are of the studios once tidied, so no smarty pants comments about the mess! That IS tidy!!! Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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