Saturday, April 30, 2011

Limpid continued

I'm deepening values in the wave and creating a stronger form to it.  I've started to add overall shading to the water in the rear and will work on the foam in the foreground soon too. The wave itself is a little shelf of smooth water just before it crests and topples over with the shelf reflecting the foam gathering behind it onto the water leading to the crest.

I'm using thin layers of oils which gives a tacky but not slippery surface to paint on.  I'm now adding poppy seed oil to thin the paint a little for the wave crest instead of liquin or turps.  I'll continue on with liquin and turps until I get the rear and foreground values in place. 

I've also decided on a name for the piece.  Limpid.  The wave is soft and gentle, clear water moving slowly.  Thesaurus also works well in looking for inspiration for names of pieces.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Water update

I've added a few more layers to this wave and its coming together as it should.  I am conscious that I am behind in my water paintings this year.  Although I have not committed to a particular number on paper, I have in my head and hope to produce at least a dozen before the year is gone.

Of course life and work gets in the way as well as other commitments.  I am finishing my final report for the gyotaku project and should have it in the mail by the end of this week.  Then I can concentrate on some other projects, however the gyotaku will be with me for some time yet.  It will be part of an art group exhibition later this summer, but more about that at another time.

For now, more layers, more blending and coaxing colour and paint into water.  A name for the piece still hasn't made itself known to me.  One of these days it will just happen I'm sure.  A whole post could be written on the process of naming paintings and likely has!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Untitled water

The ocean has been in a gentle mood when I've gone to visit her lately.   Waves roll in but they're not aggressive or menacing, but have a calm feel to them and are almost sculptural at times when I catch them in a freeze frame.  The name for this piece hasn't come to me yet and suggestions are always welcome.

I liked the shapes and colours in this wave and the foam in the foreground.  This is its first stages of blocking in shapes and colours.  This is a 12 x 24" canvas panel and I'm using oils.  I switch back and forth between acrylics and oils when one or the other frustrates me.

Finding the right values to capture the light through the water is always a challenge at first, then seems to just happen as the painting progresses.  A couple of newish colours that I've added to my arsenal of oils cover several brands:  Old Holland Carribean Blue; Richeson Oils The Shiva Series,  Ice Blue and Classico King's Blue Light.  You just never know where a new favourite pops up when it comes to creating water.  I'm not looking for a perfect match out of a single tube, but just the right colour of blue, green or turquoise that help move it in the right direction when mixed with other colours.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The long road

I think there are some pieces of art that can take a lifetime to complete. They evolve over time and take thought and planning to execute well.  This may well be one of them.

I started this piece several years ago.  Its a 22" x 30" drawing in graphite on illustration board.  The subject is a symbolic self portrait, inspired from a class with Armin Mersmann.  I  began with some elements then was stuck and still am to a large degree.  The foreground defeats me and though I've fiddled with it over the last day or so, just what to add still evades me. The size of the piece and the medium can be daunting too, as graphite is not a quick technique to work with.

Created a symbolic self portrait is not a simple task, at least to me.  It involves a lot of self analysis, some of which isn't always a good thing, to make a decision of what elements in the world make up your own personality.  The viewer can see a variety of objects, some of which may be clear, some not as to why it could represent a person.  That is part of the appeal, to let the viewer create their own story around the images.

This piece may well be on and off the shelf for another few years before it is complete.  There's something comforting to know that part of me sits there, waiting.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter chick

I'm not a great fan of Easter chocolate and with no children around, there's very little that makes its way into the house.  However, Easter isn't about chocolate or shouldn't be.  Like most religious holidays, manufacturers have morphed it into a money making enterprise that removes it far from its origins.

I'm far from religious, but Easter to me is a time of rebirth.  Of the land, of nature, animals..everything moves into a new cycle in spring and Easter seems to be the pinnacle that announces it officially.

New life is amazing, whether human, animal or plant.  Here, the new life is a day old chick.  Fragile, but strong and full of potential.  Just like all of us.  The image is one I took a few years ago. I drew a pen and ink piece using the reference and found the image again and thought I'd try another version.

I did this sketch using the end of a palette of acrylic colours on some canvas paper.  The pastel colours seem to suit the little bird.