Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Art For the Day - And Me!

I'm posting this today because:

1 - It's summer!

2 - I love the art behind me!

3 - The outside chance that someone may know where I am.

That's a really outside chance.

At first I thought I was in a really cool bathroom in an art house in Old Town Spring.  But no, this isn't a selfie.

The only hint I can give you is that it's somewhere in this world.  Either on the North American or European Continent.  That's about as close as I can get.

At any rate, I really love the art!

(Okay, I've pondered, and I think it's somewhere in Belguim.  Or maybe Germany. May never know.)

The Continuing Saga of... "The Artist's Desk"

Well, here we are again!  An artist's life is nothing if not varied.  Looking at my series of Artist's Desk posts, I see that there's really only one constant.

Toilet paper.

Let's face it.  We all love it. We all need it.

The Windex is my secret ingredient - if I tell you what THAT'S for, I'll have to kill you.

This has been a seriously busy week for me, and unfortunately, I haven't lifted a brush once.  In all truth, if you want to make it in the art world, you have to do a lot of stuff that is not art related.  Business stuff.  Sorry to burst your bubble, young people.  You have to do a lot of writing, a lot of math, a lot of public speaking, performance, persuasion...

In this photo my desk is covered with personal invitations.  I worked on them all morning yesterday.  Because I'm the feature artist this Friday at our Gallery, I'm sending out invitations.  People who have purchased my paintings in the past, my patrons, get special hand written invitations, complete with a small piece of art and a painted envelope.  Here you can see them propped all over, drying.  Everyone else gets internet invitations.

What else is on my desk today? Well, you can see a bottle of paint with a nice baggy-rubber band lid; I'm always losing those tiny lids!  They pop off, roll out the door and party in the street.  They're down at Market Street right now having a paint lid gathering.

My calendar.  Yeah.  It always looks like that.  I've actually gone back to a paper calendar because I'm so visual that my phone calendar isn't quite enough.  So they double each other.  And yes.  Sometimes an event will get on one and not the other.  Woe is me!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

New Painting - King.

Okay, I finally got some better pictures of my recent painting which I named 'King.'  Now you can see the subtle details which I think make him so... kingly.  My work varies so much, it seems that about the only thing you can count on is colorful, and colorful this guy is!  There are many layers to this fine fellow, but one of the overall things that ties the entire painting together is the complimentary colors.

At first he seemed a little predatory, because I did paint him quite large.  But as he sat in my studio for a couple weeks, we've now become friends.  Freshly varnished, he found a new home in the gallery today.  I'm going to miss him.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Feature Artist at DaVinci Gallery!

Hello, Wonderful People,
July 3 - coming soon - I will be the featured artist at DaVinci Artists Gallery in Tomball.  I'll be giving painting demos throughout the evening, and will have a lot of my work hanging.  You are invited!  Come hungry and thirsty - it's going to be a PARTY!

Here's the link to some of my paintings, info and directions to the gallery.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The King

Just finished this big boy last night.  He's 24" x 30" and I named him 'King.'

Here's how I typically work - I painted the background and have literally had it hanging around in my studio for probably four months.  Recently I was sitting in a doctor's office waiting for my dad's appointment and picked up some magazine, probably National Geographic? ... and did a sketch of an ugly old grizzled lion.  I liked my fine, ugly fellow and pulled out my purse sketchpad to look at it when I got home.

Then my eyes lit upon this crazy background canvas and I knew.  There's a band of blue just above center, and I thought 'How cool would it be to give the lion blue eyes?' But then when I was deciding on placement, I liked the eyes higher up in the space, so he'd look more dominant.  Looks to me like it worked!  I like it!

I'll be putting him in the DaVinci Artists Gallery in Tomball in a couple weeks.  Need to get him varnished and wired for hanging.  Then I suppose I'll have to say goodbye to my watchful friend.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

Summer fun at Color Cat!

Here's to my summer classes and all the fun we have had! I'll  give details on the ones left that have any room in them next post. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Prizewinner - Good for a Laugh

Hello, Wonderful People.
You know, it's not often one of my paintings is a prizewinner where the prize is a $20.00 gift card to Orange Leaf!  (Orange Leaf is a yummy but expensive frozen yogurt place.)

At church Wednesday night we had an "Orange You Glad It's Summer" party.  We were to wear orange costumes and bring orange food to share, and there were going to be prizes for  best dressed and best presentation of orange food. There is absolutely no orange in my wardrobe.  At all.

But I decided I was going to work on the food category.  So, in my typical fashion, I decided what I would do the day before, and about four hours before the event found a 'platter.'  My platter was 3/4" foam board, which I cut with my handy dandy Leatherman.

Knowing that blue is the compliment of orange, I chose two blues and laid them down with a credit card, sloppily covering the foam board in about two minutes.  I was sure to give it some nice blending and texture in spots.  Then I was casting about  for what I could paint on the board that was orange.  Picture me in my studio looking around whispering 'orange... orange... orange..."  Okay, I planned to do this the day before, but hadn't put much thought into it, obviously.

My eyes lit upon the credit card I was using... actually a gift card to Whole Foods or some similar place.  It had an octopus on it.  Octopus!  That's it!  Eureka!

Once I had my eureka moment, I squirted out some bright orange and a nice cadmium red and laid them down fast and thick.  This step probably took me four minutes.

Remove to sunshine for a fast dry.  People are going to eat off this in a couple hours....

Meanwhile, I went down and cut up a bunch of yummy oranges, and opened up the orangish candy we had purchased the previous day.  Orange slices onto paper towels and back into the fridge.

We went to church and kept them separate (extra dry time for that acrylic).  I laid it all out immediately before we ate and WON!!!!!  Yay!!!!!

Here it is.  I ended up putting most of the oranges in a bowl adjacent, because I didn't want to obliterate my art.  And yes, they're Jelly Bellys. :)
FYI, Noah and I went out for frozen yogurt last night.  We have $3.82 left on that card.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Tuba Commission, Part Four

Yay!!!!! Done!!! It always feels great to finish a painting, especially a commission!  Here I am holding it so you can better judge the size.  This painting is going to make an impact!  Love it!  I always do my varnishing outside because, well, because varnish is toxic!  Have found it to be one great mosquito repellent, though - "Kills brain cells and repels mosquitoes simultaneously!"  Great ad slogan.

My goal of having the textures of the background show through in places was achieved as well, and I am thoroughly pleased.  Now, all I have to do is finish varnishing and get the hanging equipment onto it.  For some reason, the bottom picture looks quite dark.  Must be that weird photographer I use... myself.  The colors are more true to the above pic where I'm holding it.

Tuba Commission, Part Three

Here is the picture I promised earlier.  My earliest steps, typical with a commission, were to take lots of photos and narrow down the choices, presenting them to the clients.  Once that's decided, we discuss color, size, etc.  They wanted Mexican colors with lime green, or chartreuse.  

With all that laid out, I did a small sketch, laying in colors, so they could get an idea of what the finished product would look like.  Here's my little sketch, done with crayon, watercolor, gauche and whatever I could find.  Later in the game I could go buy the right paints.

Tuba Commission, Part Two

Here we are again looking at a tuba!  As you can see, I've got all the 'bones' of the project laid out.  Now I'm laying in the yellow highlights.  The first picture leans toward blue, and the bottom picture leans toward violet.  The real colors are somewhere in between, with the standard 1/3 to 2/3 ratio of color, which makes a pleasing composition.  As you can see in the lower picture, I've gone over it again, adding more detail and strengthening the highlights.  My hopes are to have quite a bit of the drippy, brushy background show through when it's finished. So far, I like it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tuba Commission Part One

Hello, Wonderful People,
I've  been working on a commissioned painting and will lead you through the steps.  Actually, to be fair, I don't have the beginning steps here, although I may have posted deep within my blog... I'll check it... later.

But for now, let's look at this thing. The first steps actually involved a lot of work before even considering putting paint to canvas.  Determining the size of canvas for one thing!  We discussed subject, a tuba, and what it would look like.  I thought an entire tuba would be kind of boring and cliche, and encouraged them to think of zooming in on an interesting part. My initial work was taking about thirty pictures of his tuba.  Check. Once I had my photos, I began manipulating them to find a section that was vertically pleasing, as we had already determined that the canvas would be 24x36, vertical, to fit into a special pre-designated spot in their home.  I found three that looked good and sent them to my people, and a discussion ensued, choosing the design I have here.  Check.

They wanted Mexican colors plus lime green. I did a small sketch of the layout and colored it in their colors with various whatevers I had around, including marker, watercolor and pencil.  Approved.  Check.

So... finally - the canvas.  Beautiful thing that it is.  My first step was to lay out the violets and blues.  I began with a credit card, squirting the paint thickly on, and ended up with my bare hands.  It's so sensual, and I like the way it looks.  Very right brained, and one of the most fun parts.  Background done.  Check.

The next step was to lay out the design and prepare the canvas for the tuba itself.  It's most important for me to get it laid out exactly right, because any mistakes at this point would translate into disaster!  For this reason, I take my time with it.  This is the most left-brained activity involved with this piece.  I'm working at this point with a watercolor crayon.  Easy to smear off if I make a mistake.  Yep.

Once it's all laid out, I begin my work with the brush, and my good friend, yellow.  Slowly and painstakingly, concentrating on the highlights.

I took my painting to the gallery when I worked, and it was quiet for a while, so I dug in and got as much done as I could.  Good thing I did, too, because we got busy and I sold quite a bit.

The picture below shows how I propped it at the gallery, to give you a little better feeling of its size.

I like it!  And it's slowly coming into being. My plan is to have quite a bit of the background showing through and hope to hold onto the brushy, immediate feeling.  We shall see!