Saturday, December 25, 2010

Little Heart's Ease

I've had a lovely day filled with food and gifts and people and feel a bit tired at this point.  I think its always the way after the  build up to Christmas, then the point when you can finally relax.

I have some sort of bug brewing and haven't been 100% for a couple of days.  It the kind of thing that wakes me early, so I take advantage and try to do a little work during the wee hours.  It usually catches up with me during the afternoon and I end up napping.

This morning I did some work on a watercolour that I had begun a couple of months ago.  Its of a little dory sitting in Little Heart's Ease.  Yes, there really is a place with that name!  Early morning before the wind has had a chance to come up the water is so still and this little boat floats at its mooring waiting to rowed out into the bay.

Yes, the composition is all wrong.  Dead centre seldom works for any composition and this may be cropped to change that.  Its not a piece that will be available for sale so the process is the learning element, with not a thought to the final outcome.   

This was done on a half sheet -  15" x 22" - of 200lb watercolour paper.  Getting even washes of colour over large areas is challenging and the varying changes in light and contrast help break up the larger areas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

This blog is approaching its fifth birthday on January 1st.  Its amazing that I've found things to talk about and art to show for that long.

I could not have done so without your support and friendship.  Followers, friends, supporters and even those who simply look and read are all part of my motivation to keep producing art and moving towards my goals.  Thank you!

The next day or two will be busy with holiday obligations and then I will be reviewing the past year and planning for 2011.  I'm still busy producing gyotaku prints as well as some other pieces.  Of course, whenever I get time off, I get sick.  This is no exception.  I don't think my body likes the concept of holiday. 

To everyone, Merry Christmas.  I hope your holiday, if you celebrate one, is peaceful, safe and enjoyable.

I have shared a couple of images with you.  The Christmas tree is decorated with white lights, silver and cream ornaments this year and looks quite pretty, despite being artificial.

The images here are today's sea state off Flatrock.  We've had a neverending storm for days and days now with constant rain, wind and fog.  The waves were powerful, washing almost up to the road at times and looked like walls of water coming in towards the cliffs.  I love rough seas.  I just wish the visibility would lift enough to get some better photos.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red fish

I was up early this morning working on a pair of red fish or ocean perch.  The paper they're printed on is mulberry with sizing on one side which makes it easier to apply watercolour without fear of having it bleed too much.  It makes painting so much quicker than painstakingly painting almost dry pigment onto paper and using peach tree glue to slow the bleed.

This is a transition and a bit of an experiment for me with this piece.  I have added colour to the original print, then crumpled the paper and washed it with mixes of turquoise, cerulean blue and ultramarine turquoise.  The paint catches where the sizing is cracked, giving darker lines and a batik appearance.  I am going to try adding another element with melted wax, the true batik technique tomorrow if I have time.

And speaking of tomorrow, I know I was scheduled to do a Christmas gift giving extraganza of seven days starting on Christmas Eve.  I have decided to postpone this til later in the New Year, as my plate is pretty full right now and I need a little breather to catch up with myself.  So bear with me and thanks for your patience.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


I have this last (maybe) snowperson helping me untangle Christmas lights.  How do they get so confused just sitting in a box over the space of a year??

The wind and rain lashes against the studio window as a wild storm rages tonight and into the next day or two.  Better rain than snow I think, even if the snowperson disagrees.

I've also been doing a little study of BD, my favourite duck.  BD, if you didn't know, stands for Big Duck.  Not too imaginative for a name but after 10 years he's used to it and so am I.  And he is big. More turkey or goose size than duck.  He's a Muscovy duck that doesn't quack but sort of hisses and pants.  He's quite sweet if not a little unusual looking to many people.  I'll try a portrait of him in oils or acrylics soon.  The Other One says that when I do portraits of animals on the farm it tends to signal their demise.  I hope not in this case.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Snowy lane

I feel like a shell today.  Its as if all creativity has suddenly been sucked out of me, leaving me dry.  I did a little flurry of snowmen this weekend, but sat in the studio tonight piddling around achieving nothing, with nothing inspiring me. Its as if I'm waiting like a schoolchild for a teacher to come along and tell me what I should paint next.  I'm sure it will pass, as it always does.  There are ideas in my head but they're taking their time coming out onto paper or canvas.

Meanwhile, this little painting was completed a couple of days ago just 5 x 7 in acrylic. There is not a flake of snow around this year with nothing but rain and wind forecast up to Christmas.  This will be the closest I get to snow for now.  The blueness of shadows on snow always amaze me.  Its rather like water in terms of reflecting the sky.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Making time

Weekends are never my own it seems and this one has been no different.  I wanted to get some more gyotaku work finished but only managed tiny inroads into that.  I'll accept is as inevitable and keep trying.  I need to make more studio/painting time for 2011and keep phone calls/email/other people at bay if I am to make progress in what is already a limited window of opportunity for painting.

After I got some major things done today, a couple more snowmen fell off the brush.  Why I'm suddenly doing these I don't know.  Quick, easy and mindless perhaps, with no one standing over me for time or need.

Sometimes its necessary to just do something for yourself and let everything else disappear.  Its a form of relaxation and regaining of sanity for me quite often.  I used to feel guilty about taking time for myself, but not anymore.  Everything else can wait its turn or as a friend said, ' Make time to do what is necessary.  The alternative is far worse.'