Wednesday, March 11, 2015

An Artist's Desk

After sitting down at my desk, I decided you might like to see what's happening in my studio.  Here's a typical day for my desk.

First you see four little cards upon which I've drawn with pens.  I've been painting backgrounds on large sheets, cutting them up, and sticking them in my purse.  When I have a moment in a waiting room or who knows where else, I'll whip out a little card and begin to draw.  I like having the backgrounds done first; makes it much more interesting.

You can see the top little card is birds on a wire; I just finished three birds on a wire paintings, and this is a continuation.  Haven't finished this little card yet, I wanted my classes to see the background first.

The second card is the front of the Portofino Plaza.  I was sitting in the car waiting for Noah to finish his dancing.  And then birds, and more birds.  I like both the bottom ones and will likely make big paintings out of them.  These little cards are a safe way to explore ideas, and they often lead to bigger paintings.

What else? The little brown sketchpad.  Always.  One in my purse.  Always.  Gotta keep my chops up.

The little container with the lumps in it is brush cleaner.  Almost gone.  Invaluable stuff.

You'll see a brush on the right with tape around the non-working end - that's charcoal.  I tape charcoal to a brush to lengthen my arm, and to keep my hands clean.  When I had to get the curve of the wheel correct, I needed to lengthen my arm so I could turn my body into a fulcrum.  I positioned (maybe) my elbow off-canvas and used my arm like a big compass.

The tape measure?  That goes with the painting below.  I'm working on a series of bicycles now, as I LOVE riding.  Put in 13 miles yesterday since the rain finally stopped.  I think I was using the tape measure to get the spokes straight.  This painting involved a LOT of proportions and measuring.  Whew!

Oh - I'm looking back at the desk again and see photographs of bikes.  This involves my working method.

Step 1 - Had Noah photograph me on my bike outside in the driveway.  He took about 30 pics before we realized there was a problem.  At least one foot was on the ground.  No action.

Finally we got the idea for me to lean against the house with my hand, and have Noah practically lay down on the cement, and the pictures immediately got better.  I worked from the best three.  You can see that I tape photos up on my bookshelf - that's very typical.

You'll see more of this painting later as it progresses toward finish-dom.  It's time to add the movement.

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