Saturday, June 13, 2009

Acrylic sketching

With a house full of people off and on, I miss my time for drawing and painting, but do usually manage to fit in a little in between. However, even sketching with a two year old around is virtually impossible as she immediately wants to grab the sketchbook or the pencil as soon as she sees me with it. Providing her with her own doesn't work. So while she sleeps and others do what they must, I fit in some time to myself.

This is a 5 x 7 acrylic sketch of a rough sea in Pouch Cove. The waves were rolling, the sky was grey and the wind high. Painting moving sea is difficult. Its a matter of reality mixed with memory as you scan the water, trying to capture the changing light and movement. No two waves are the same, but they have similarities which help you achieve the overall effect.

I have switched to acrylic while my grand daughter is in the house, as the fumes from the turps are fairly strong and not good for her - likely not good for me either, but I am used to them. One day I'll get some less toxic cleaner/dilutant. I haven't done a lot of work in acrylic, tending to prefer oils. Acrylics do have benefits and drawbacks and I do find the quick drying time an annoyance sometimes. I know I can get a drying extender, but for the brief times I use acrylics, its not worth my while. For plein air sketches, acrylic is good and way less messy than oils to transport. The speed of application and drying can work to my benefit in on site sketching, then I can take it back to the studio to work on it further. There really isn't anything comparable to plein air for getting the light and colour just right in seascapes. Photographs just never seem to do it justice.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Coming out

I think I'm fully 'out'. A blog, Facebook and now Twitter. Please don't let there be more programs- my aging brain may not cope! I am like this drop of water, great on my own, but may dissolve into a larger mass of technology once I fall.

I have been pulled or dragged into many elements of technology protesting, others I have explored willingly. Until now Twitter has been the part of technology that I was unwilling to enter. It has been mostly because I didn't quite understand it or how it could help me with art marketing or communication. I still don't understand it completely and will be feeling my way as I go.

I will give Twitter a trial period to see how it performs and how much it eats into my already dwindling available time. I believe that selectivity is the key with Twitter as with other technology. If you follow everyone, you can become overwhelmed easily. I want to use this method of connecting with other artists to network and to promote my art.

So bear with me while I creep around this new technology. I may stick with it or abandon it, depending on how it works for me. Who else is using Twitter and how is it helping you as an artist?

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sporadic blogging

La Manche bridge sketch

My blogging will be sporadic during this next week or two. My daughter is getting married on Friday and there's lots going on including having my other daughter and 2.5 year old grand daughter visiting. She's a bundle of energy but very placid generally. I forget the energy levels of small children and how many things I still need to move out of harm's way!

Her rapt attention was more for getting her hands on my camera than me this morning, which she took then spent ages going around pretending to photo everyone. The cat wants a vacation for two weeks I think and views the child with horror even though she doesn't harass him at all.

However, I did get a little sketch in today of a painting I am planning. This is a suspension bridge over a river to the sea at La Manche, an abandoned settlement on the southern shore. Nothing could have enticed me to get on that bridge, but the view was spectacular around it and into the clear waters below. It may become part of the series that I'm working on, but I haven't decided what part it would fit yet. Its the point where sweet water from the river mixes with the salt water of the Atlantic.