Monday, April 23, 2012

Maxfield Parrish and Student Work

Couldn't resist putting this lovely, textured gator up.  One of my young students did it today.  We studied Maxfield Parrish and the various ways he'd prepare for his paintings; building a model house and setting it on a mirror, set rocks and gravel on mirrors to use as subjects for those awesome mountains he painted, etc.
After that, we worked with modeling clay.  First they sketched out ideas of what they wanted to do in clay.  After their juices were flowing, they build lovely things like this alligator.  We set them up under a lamp and darkened the room so they could see the shadows on their pieces, and they drew them again - so they could remember!  Tons of fun.  Hard to get them out of the classroom once our time was up.




Of course this is one of his most famous images, very beautiful.





















This one is lovely, lovely.  I don't know the background on this particular one, but it's likely that he built a small model and set it on a mirror, as he did many other times with similar images.

















And here's one of his mountain scenes.  Takes my breath away.  Maxfield Parrish is one of my top ten favorite artists.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Miscellaneous Art Comments

Hello, Wonderful People!
It's been a little while since I've checked in so I wanted to let you know what I've been doing.  Still alive, thank You, Lord!

Worked the seventh annual  Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival, http://www.woodlandsartsfestival.com/. 
The weather was seriously windy but we had a nice, partial cloud cover and it was really fun.  My job was artist relations, my favorite, which involved meeting the artists, giving them food and drinks and breaking them so they could leave their booths for breaks.  Let's face it, one of my gifts is working with people.  I love people!  The artists were from all over the country - Wisconsin, Washington, Connecticut, South Carolina, lots from Florida, etc.  I believe this was the biggest festival we've had, and read somewhere that last year we had 16,000 attendees.  Pretty sure we had more this year.  It was really fun to be back as the last year or two I've been out of the country when the fest was scheduled.  Couldn't do it this year, so it was GREAT to be here during the fest!

Our gallery had a lot of volunteers working the festival, as did a lot of other organizations.  It takes a lot of people to put something like this on.

It's also 'that time of year' for homeschool teachers, and for this art teacher. The schedules for the next school year are set for all three places where I teach, the HIS Classes, www.hisclasses.org, the Training Center Classes, www.trainingcenterclasses.com, and The Woodlands Art League, www.woodlandsartleague.org.  The first two will be weekly classes that run the entire school year, and the last one at the gallery will be summer classes.  If you're interested in the summer classes, they're all going to be different levels of metal embossing, VERY fun.  Anyway, this has kept me really busy, too, fielding questions about classes, open houses and taking registrations.

In my current classes, we're doing some serious hands-on stuff, i.e., preparing portfolios, self-portraits, metal embossing, glass painting, clay and metal/plaster sculpture.  With all this going on, I haven't had a chance to paint myself!  I've done preliminary research for my next two paintings and hope to be able to start sketching out the first drawings soon.  I've also got a self-portrait that I need to continue working on since I made all my highschoolers do it.  Haven't done one for a little while, so it's time.

Okay, there you have it!  More later!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Seahorse Part 6 - Finished!

 Well, although the flu is still going through our house (four out of five of us, with a LONG recovery) I finally finished my seahorse.  I'm pretty pleased with it. 

Here's a detail of part of the tail holding onto the kelp.  As you can see, in many places you can see right through the seahorse - wanted to lend that aire of mystery and give people pause.  I've gone from the reds and oranges to oranges and yellows as the background has changed from blues to violets at the bottom.  You can also see that some of the seahorse's tail is now more neutral colors.

This is the lower body where the oranges really kicked in.  I love the texture of jumbled lines forming the horse and the contrast between that and the iridescent leaves and the background colors as I was going for some shadows.



Oh, that I was a better photographer!  The colors just aren't that good here.  An example is that the seahorse's head is bright violet.  I guess you'll just have to come down to the gallery to see it for yourself - there's no substitute for the real thing!

The next step is to let it dry for several more days.  Then a light spray of varnish, a day or two more for that to dry, then a nice, brushed-on coat of varnish.  As that one will be thicker, I'll let it dry for about a week before I take it to my framers.  It'll be just in time for a couple spring shows, I think.

By the way, the picture measures about 20"x24".  Just got it matted and framed today.  When you get to this size, unfortunately, there's a huge price jump in framing.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Trunk of My Car and a Painted Toilet

Doesn't the trunk of everyone's car look like this?  And yes, I've managed to avoid it for over a year now, but it finally happened.  Paint on my bucket seat.  Could be worse.

It almost WAS worse at classes today - we were cleaning up and I asked one of my students to take a bucket of dirty paint water down to the guys bathroom and flush it down the toilet, flushing as he poured so any paint wouldn't stick.  He came running back in stating "Somebody put a spoon in the bucket and it went down!"  Oh, no!  Imagine my happiness when I found the spoon laying in the bottom of the toilet.  Haven't been THAT glad to reach into a toilet for a long, long time! :)  Sigh*

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Seahorse Part 5, Adding Color

 As you can see, I got all the Friskit off and have been adding color, starting from the upper left hand corner and working down to the right bottom.  I really intended this to be a riot of colors and that's just what is dished up here.
The photo doesn't really show the colors well; the upper left hand corner actually leans toward yellow, hence the violets on the horse's head are laid down as complimentaries.  As I work down the seahorse, my intent is to continue with the complimentaries to the background.
Remember this isn't finished; I still have some basic color adjusting to do here, adding more violets to the reds and reds to the violets, but so far I'm pretty satisfied.  Those minor adjustments will come when I finish painting all the whites.
Got to the kelp today.  As you can see, my seahorse is still working with comps, now orange against the blue.  I laid the kelp in thick and runny so you would see the brushstrokes and the iridescents against the flat colors.
You can also see the whites still left; those will be painted oranges and yellows.
I've got parts of the tail subtly laid in a light blue for shadows, those will get the oranges and yellows, too.
Hopefully I'll have this done by the end of the week, then the varnishes.