Saturday, July 24, 2010

Urban rivers

 River - Austin Street East
 pastel   10 x 13

I've made a start on a small series, that may turn into a larger series, of urban rivers. This is the first piece and I've done about half of the second, looking west. 

Each day when I go to work I pass by rivers, most of which I pay no attention to as they've become part of the landscape and almost swallowed up by the sprawl of concrete and buildings that surround them.  But they persist and run through, under and around the city, making their way to the ocean.

I decided to track some of these rivers on their journey.  This view of the river is on Austin Street, looking east.  The river isn't deep and the undergrowth is threatening to take over at this time of year.  Even though this isn't the origin of the river, it was a starting point, simply because I work in the area and pass by it every day.   They'll all be sequenced at a later date to track the water's progress to the sea.

On Google Maps, Street View, you can see the point at which the river flows under the road and on further into the city.

Friday, July 23, 2010

An idea germinating

I've had an idea floating around in my head for ages and just the other week managed to get some concrete research done on it.

Until I get some basics down on paper, I can't really say more except that it involves water and the city and me in some 'interesting' places.

Here's a hint.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big and little fish

I haven't abandoned you all, just been very very busy with work and people and networking and fish.  And little time left over for art creation.  This is one of the few times that I haven't produced anything for days and I feel the need to do so desperately.  But it may have to wait another day or two until life slows down a little more.

This print at the top of this page is from a winter flounder that was given to me a week or two ago.  The skin texture on this fish is amazing and as rough as sandpaper.  Flounder or flatfish always interest me, one, because they're easier to print and two, because they're just such odd creatures with eyes and mouth slewed to one side. 

When I print fish, I do a few test pieces first on inexpensive paper to see how they turn out and what needs adjustment before moving on.  Then I print on my intended paper and add colour to see how it behaves on that paper.  I make several prints on this paper to allow a margin for error as it may take 3 or 4 prints and enhancements before I get a piece that I approve of.

My networking did pay off and I was given a lovely cooler of frozen fish today that I will look forward to starting to print this weekend.  There are a variety of flounder in it as well as capelin, herring, arctic char, whole crab, sea cucumber and a gigantic Atlantic salmon.  I never thought I could get excited about fish, but its happened.  I've had to commandeer a little freezer in the barn to accommodate the fish and others that will be added to them as and when they arrive through the food fishery that starts on the 24th.

A lot of work was tempered with a little play this week and I went out on a whale tour boat.  Capelin are swarming the bays now and with them, come the humpback whales. The day was fine and warm, but the wind made the water a bit choppy heading out to Gull Island.  The whales were there feeding, were friendly and were very close.  Here's one that floated on his back next to the boat, waving his long flukes in the air and slapping them on the water from time to time.  He was beautiful.  And provided more inspiration for a painting. 

I guess a whale is too big to print, but a bit of that fluke might fit... Then he turned over and dived down under the boat, leaving a whale footprint behind. The footprint is a flat surface of water left by the force of the water made by the whale's tale when diving.  You can follow the path of the whale by its 'footprint'.  Such amazing creatures.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Banana kiss finished

I've finally found a little time to complete this watercolour.  Am I happy with it?  Not 100%.  There are passages that I like and there are passages that I consider overworked, but I'm not able to invest any more time in it right now and have to move on.  I do like the challenge of working with folded and wrapped paper items.  It satisfies the detail freak in me. :)

I have long had a dislike of the up close views of images on a computer screen and feel that all pieces benefit from being displayed from an appropriate distance as they would be in reality.  The option of inspecting a piece more closely is here as well as a more traditional view.

This is watercolour done on 200lb Arches paper and measures about 22" x 15".