29 May, 2012

Still life with Sigi

This is a foray into still Life painting.Not my usual genre, but what the hell. I read/ watched a wonderful tutorial given by Carole Marine (on the website www. Dailypaintworks.com) on color saturation and general colour theory. Man, it was a lightbulb moment for me. I used it today and I cannot believe how easy it was to get the colours and greys that I wanted. Anyway, I thought I would try a still Life with Sigi . He belongs Julius , who wants to keep him, but is worried his friends would tease him if they saw a baby string pull toy in his room. So how about a painting of Sigi instead??? I hope he likes it.

Edit number three

Too many hard edges was the general consensus with this painting. I agree. So I made a few changes. The photo is not the best but the light is different from yesterday, so perhaps that is the issue.

Waikato hospital from the lake

I walk around this lake, close to the hospital. It has a wonderful children's park, small glades of trees and good open spaces for games and events. The houses are separated from the water , in most part, by a wooden boardwalk. Water lilies abound as do dog walkers, mums with prams and small children on trikes, runners and those, like myself, who just like to wander and look at other peoples lives.
The hospital seems to have n number of cranes in use at any given time. There are major building works going on and it feels like they have been building for years .This view will no doubt change, so I painted it whilst I could.

28 May, 2012

Editing and revamping

I am getting better at editing and amending my paintings. I have enjoyed leaving the painting alone for a while, not looking at them and then revisiting them a week or do later. There have been a few " what the hell was I thinking " moments, but also a few moments when I was quite happy with what I had achieved or when I could clearly see what changes should be made and how. That clarity has been missing for a while and it seems, with practice ( and a willingness to cock it up every now and then) the editing process is proving to be enjoyable and valuable.

So here are a few makeovers.

25 May, 2012

She said WHAT?!?

Silly title, but this backward glance was a delight to paint.
12 "x 12"
30x30 cm
Acrylic on stretched canvas

23 May, 2012

Holy cow!!!!

So, these crazy girls were just calling to be painted. Everything is shrouded in mist at the moment and I felt I needed some color in my world!
True, the cows I walked past this morning were not this color, but I bet they wished they were!!!

Acrylic 10"x10"( 25cmx25cm) stretched canvas
For Sale
$80.00 nzd
Contact artist for details.

22 May, 2012

Morning light with cows

The dreaded lurgy is still in the house! Poor kids, poor me!!!!! I have cabin fever( we cannot, as a collective, move more than 20 steps from a toilet!!!!) and the weather has been just perfect to go painting outdoors . Cruel.

Anyway, I have managed a bit of painting in between my Florence nightingale duties.

I took the reference photo at the start of autumn. The Morning mists and soft light were very pretty and I loved that the cows were laying down in the sunbeams.

I want to use more paint when I paint. I find I can become a veritable water colorist with the amount of turps I use sometime. Time to get gutsy and ladle it on. So, I am squeezing out an inordinately greedy amount of paint into my palette and hoping my " waste not, want not" instinct takes over and I use it all! No saving it, either!!!!! And I might even start with a very small, say 6x8 " canvas as an added incentive.

20 May, 2012

A quiet Sunday paint

The weather was wonderful on Sunday. A bright, if crisp ,morning saw me venture out to paint for an hour or so. I intended to go to Mcgregor's road, but the light was too bright over the plain and it was a washed out landscape and I was in the mood for some color. So I headed south and drove to a quiet little road that I know snakes through a slight valley, offering possible views and painting opportunities. Quite rightly, as I kerb crawled along ,I found my view, pulled over and set up my paints. As I was doing so, Melanie ran past with her dog, both enjoying the advantages of a quiet morning in the country. We said our quick hello's but my easel was freaking her dog out. Admittedly, it does look like a small giraffe, especially with umbrella waving above it!

It was an awful start and I wiped the canvas clean 3 times before I found my stride. I was really getting into things when a cyclist whizzed past me , yelling my name as hello.Maryka, I belatedly realize. Then another two. Giggling. Pieta and Claudi
Claudia.....aaaaah. It dawns on me. I have parked myself on the route of a local Sunday morning bike race!!!!!!!!! And they start streaming past, pelatons of Lycra clad, sunglassed ,super- fast cyclists. Some yell out comments like " you gotta paint fast to get us" and " nice". I hear this a few times as the race follows a circuit and there are a few laps!! I see quite a lot of people I know or rather, they see me and I recognize them mainly by voice. The cycle helmet/glasses/speed thing makes it hard to single out individuals......except for Lesley, whose grin and wildly yellow-green jacket made her quite obvious!!

I had a great morning, in the middle of nowhere, seeing so many friends and neighbors ,painting in the sun and cheering on the Tour De Ngahinapouri . Not the morning I was expecting , way better. The painting needs work!!!!

17 May, 2012

The dreaded lurgy

I am afraid I have been laid low( as low as I can go) this week by illness. Today I have had chicken soup delivered to my by a wonderfully kind friend, Monique, who suggested it was "chicken soup for the tummy". I assume she thinks my soul is not worthy of the soup!

So I sit in my studio, admiring my new daylight fluorescent lights, mixing some greys to prepare for some en plein air work when I feel better. I mix the colors, quite often leftovers from the palette and store them in a tupperware container in the freezer. It works well ,they thaw in moments and I waste no precious paint and get some amazing colour effects
Right now, that's all I am good for!

Have a good weekend.

14 May, 2012

Villigrad winery , today's view and mutterings

My youngest son, Julius is sick. He had his first experience of the bug that shall not be named but makes you appreciate plumbing and baths that are close to toilets. Enough said. I now have more washing than is sensible for a weather report of 4 more days of rain.

Anyway, I painted indoors today but I did paint my view through the window .It started off thunderous with the odd bright spot and ended up being rather bright with wispy clouds. Go figure.No wonder Vincent chopped an ear off......painting drives you nuts.

Then I decided I wanted to paint more but did not have enough time before school finishes, so I looked at the photos I took at Villigrad winery last week when I went to visit lee. ( she lives across the road from a winery.....how cool is that!!?)
Everything is changing so quickly that I don't think the leaves will Be on the vines much longer. I am hoping to go paint there on site .... It really is quite pretty.....and I miss the vineyards! I grew up in the winemaking countryside of The Helderberg in South Africa and vineyards were part of my daily vista. That's why I like wine.....I am homesick!!!

Right, hopefully I will get out and about tomorrow and maybe I will support my kids on cross country......I might arrive covered in paint!

10 May, 2012

The passing sky

My Father suggested painting my view as a repeated exercise to get my eye in to painting landscape. My view is different everyday because of all the variable factors that mother nature hauls out of her handbag each day: light, cloud, wind, temperature, they all change what I see.
So I have been doing exactly that.... And not just from the studio window, but the lawn outside!! Look closely for the telltale sign of midges and insects trapped in the paint.

Constable said to paint a sky a day.....well, mine change so quickly I could paint constantly( but I would be mad as a hatter and the house would collapse into disrepair and squalor..... Or maybe just more squalor -ish that it is right now).

I went to develop some photos yesterday and had to sift through the 500 to decide which ones to print and I reckon 20% were of cows and 30% skies!

So, here are the efforts from the last few days.I shall endeavor to paint more of the landscape and less of the sky, but I am having quite a lot of fun working out how to render the various sky moods, so you might have to cope with them for a while longer.

Oh, and if you like any of them, let me know!!!!

07 May, 2012

Out to paint

Today is blustery, overcast, not hot, not cold.....very much a nowhere day. The sky changes quickly, sun bursts through then is gone again. Long shadows , then no shadows, then strong light......my shattered nerves! Trying to paint today has been an excecise in adaptation.

Went to visit my mate Lee who is sick. I dropped off some throat pastilles( the ones that completely anesthetize your throat and tongue but at least there is no pain!) and commiserate ...... and look at her view!!!!! Such an amazing time of year... Lots of activity on the farms with fields having been harvested( maize) and ready for the next crop. I will work this study up to a more finished piece. Thanks for letting me paint on your lawn, Lee. Get better soon .

06 May, 2012

Big sky.....no cows!!!

Ok. Having said all that about being happy then looking later and being unhappy.... Blah blah blah.... I did the honorable thing and fixed what I did not like and this is it...no cows ( yet) .
I think it is a peaceful, quiet scene.

If you have thoughts on it, let me know.
Duck shooting opened on Saturday and I was woken by the herald of gunfire at quarter to six. Poor ducks!!! I prefer a cup of tea and the sound of breakfast being made for me( yes, I have that kind of husband!).

We are surrounded by lakes and ponds and waterways of every sort..... Usually, duck nirvana. Not right now! This gorgeous pond will be a scene of duck carnage for the next month or so. Pity, it looks so tranquil.

Oil on canvas panel
6 x 8 in
15x20 cm

01 May, 2012

Reworking some older paintings

Does this happen to you? I paint something and am satisfied with it at the end of the painting session. Sometimes I am down right chuffed with myself and allow myself a small congratulation. Then, a while later I look at it and see flaws , technical errors and think " what the hell was I thinking" .
This is when I usually take up drinking or try fix it. Lately, I have been fixing things because I am learning to fine tune and polish the painting. My dad showed me a number of articles in various magazines as examples and also gave me some pointers that I am now implementing.
I am also realizing that I need to get outdoors! There is something about the immediacy of painting a scene outdoors that cannot be captured from photos. Photos flatten the tones and colours quite a bit.Pity it is autumn and about to become damned cold! I have purchased myself a swandri oilskin jacket and a beanie, I just need some warm boots and I shall be good as gold or perhaps I should say warm as toast.

I love the area I live in and want to paint it, so that I shall do..... Starting next week!
This week I have the great privilege of spending some time at the local school my boys attend, painting with the room 8 kids!!! I hope I encourage them to all have a go at painting.

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