Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vertigo update


I'm determined to finish some paintings that got put to one side, ostensibly for drying, but then life took over.

This piece of a Northern gannet was one of them.  I'm working on the water and its getting to where I want it to be, but there are  number of glazes to bring it to completion yet.  I quite enjoy glazing and its so effective in building colour, but a slow process, having to let each layer dry before adding another.  I'm also working on the wings of the bird to define feathers - not something I really enjoy, but one at a time and I'll get it done.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Aligning the planets

I've had a week of being ill, nightly insomnia and a house guest.  As a result, art has taken a back seat.  I always feel more out of sorts when I can't make progress in the studio.

I've browsed and read and planned and sketched but didn't get too far.   Tonight I'm working on the water in a previous painting Vertigo to finish off that painting while another previously abandoned piece waits in the wings to be revitalized.

Its interesting how, at least for me, everything physically must be in sync for paint or pencil to create its magic.  If just one thing is off kilter, it throws everything else.  I'm also at a bit of a crossroad.  So much is happening with me in art in terms of opportunity and commitment I wonder just how much I can fit in or what needs to change to accommodate it more easily.  Even with insomnia, there are still only so many hours in the day.

So I'll leave you with a sketch.  If all else fails, sketches still work. They don't demand the same level of planning or commitment as a full drawing does and allow me to skill practice, even if only on a small, brief scale.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Fragments of the galaxy

I am more of a representational artist rather than abstract, but occasionally fragments of colour or light happen that please me and they are usually arrived at quite unintentionally as it is with this piece.

This is a small (8 x 8) gallery canvas that I originally earmarked for experimentation with gyotaku printing.  I had layered the canvas with different shaped pieces of various Japanese papers, some showing through in colour or texture.  The resulting surface was the support for a print that never really happened.

Late last night I found a piece of textured paper, very thin, with spirals covering it, held together with threads of fabric/paper, almost like a lace doily.  I put a piece of this over the canvas then randomly chose a colour to apply.  My hand pulled out a perlescent liquid acrylic called 'galactic blue'.  A bit wild but what the heck, it was an experiment.  I poured it over the textured paper and brushed it on pressing it well into the gaps, rather like a stencil.  When I pulled it off, it had the desired effect of leaving the papered canvas with fragmented shapes of the spirals.

Early this morning (my wish for surviving on less sleep seems to be coming true) I studied it again and decided to slap on a series of fairly complementary gold, orange, yellow and red to fill the empty fragments and spill over onto the acrylic ink surface.

Its a unique piece that is almost impossible to photograph because it changes in colour completely depending on the lighting, going from intense blues to rich purples and greens.  It  may be worth experimenting with it on a larger scale with different acrylics and textures to see what will happen.

Sunday, May 08, 2011


I've had a bit of a fallow period this week as I've been so busy with other things.  And it may be a few more days before I get back into production mode again, although I have several ideas brewing that I'm working out on paper now.

I've been sick with some sort of bug over the last couple of days and of course creativity flies out the window for me then.  As well my sister is visiting for a few days too.  When other aspects of life kick in, it makes me realize how much time I need to devote to production just to stay on top of it.

This is an oil sketch of a wave rolling in, done on 8 x 8" gallery canvas.  I was using up the paints on the palette from my previous painting .  I can't stand throwing out perfectly good paint and often use the palette leftovers and 'mud' to work out ideas or put down the base of another painting.  I don't think I'm the only person who does this, perhaps some of the purists just don't admit it. :)