Friday, March 23, 2012

Dull as ditchwater

I have a fondness for ditches.  There, I've said it.  Its out in the open.

I can't resist peeping into ditches as I walk down the road and, of course, living in the country, they're not a rarity.  Usually filled with water, plant life, water beetles, frogs and sometimes the odd little fish, they're endlessly interesting.

Then there's the light as it filters through the trees and bushes that hang over the ditches, forming patterns and casting shadows.

This is the inspiration for this rather abstract painting.  The water runs off the land, through the ditch on its way to the sea and depending on the time of year and depth of water, the earth gives an amber/golden colour to it as the sun shines through the trees into the water.

This is a 6 x 12 study for what will be a large painting  that I'll be setting up tomorrow.  And of course, a glimpse at the delicious isoindolinone yellow.  Isn't it just so vibrant in all its varying stages from pure to tint?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From the archives

So I'm digging through the archives to find a little treat as I haven't much new and wonderful to show you right now.  I came across photo of one of the Embden geese having a bath in a puddle in early spring.  With still snow on the ground you'd think the water would be too icy for bathing, but they never seemed to care, treating any bit of water like their own personal pond.  Even though the geese and I weren't the best of friends, I loved the look of them and their grace of movement.

I've been run over by a steamroller this week.  The cold from hell has captured me at gunpoint and won't let me go.  Ok, enough dramatics, suffice to say, I feel blah, but today is the first day I've had a glimmer of hope and not felt like curling up on the office floor at work with the heat on full blast. 

Why I am at working if I'm sick, you ask?  Well, welcome to the world of non-profits where nothing is average and everything is different. I truely can't remember the last time I had a sick day.  They're more a luxury than a norm and usually involve hospital or doctor visits.

So not much has been done with art this week.  I've pushed a little paint around halfheartedly then stopped again. But I have been reading and looking at other art sites and considering ideas for new pieces, one of which I'm starting tonight. 

My treat of tubes of new handmade paints arrived this week and only tonight have I squeezed some out and found a new colour to fall in love with.  Isoindolinone Yellow - I can't even pronounce it! But it is beautiful.  A true golden yellow, strong, but transparent.  Its like orange juice married a lemon and they had butter children. Ok, ok, blame it on the cold meds.  But this colour is heavenly.  You HAVE to try it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Aquatic trio

I finally painted the third in this aquatic trio, a mussel shell.  I'd had a mussel shell that was perfect, put it somewhere for safe keeping and, of course, couldn't find it again.  So a local restaurant, unknown to them, provided the prop.  I may put a few more touches to the mussel, that mother of pearl inside shell is difficult to reproduce well and more difficult to reproduce in a photograph of a painting.

These are tiny (for me) 3" x 5" oil paintings on panels.  I will have them framed together if possible as they seem to be heading that way.  Its tempting to do a few more small pieces in a similar vein, but the best laid plans and all that...

This cold is wiping me and some OTC drugs are keeping me going during the day that at least take the edge off the worst of it so I can work and paint. Wouldn't we all be a miserable bunch if we couldn't rely on some temporary relief from discomfort?  I musn't complain (yes I know I already did) as others have a much worse lot in life. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Revealed - complete

10" x 10"
oil on canvas panel 

Inbetween napping and toasting myself by the fire today, I put in a little time in the studio to see if I could get this clementine finished.  And I think I did.  I'll let it sit and dry and see if any additions are needed, then its good to go.

I've been doing some research on support to paint on with oils.  The types on offer vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer.  I've used a number of brands, from Winsor & Newton to Fredrix mostly, as they are available here, but I'm in the market for some new ones and think I'll give RayMar panels a try.  They have a range of cotton and linen canvasses and offer sample packages for sale which will make choosing much easier.  I wish all manufacturers offered samples, I'm quite willing to pay for them and not looking for handouts.  As long as the panels are professional quality, I'll be happy.

I tend to like panels more than stretched canvas, although I do use gallery canvas to get around the framing issues at times.  The panels provide a sturdy surface that's not as prone to damage.

What supports do you use for oil paint?  Panels or stretched canvas?  Do you have a favourite brand?