Saturday, January 08, 2011

Raggedy Ann

 Raggedy Ann
Acrylic 8 x 10

Available for purchase here.

I recall having a doll like this sometime during childhood as well as books about her and her brother Andy and they were, and likely still are, popular.  However, I never knew the story behind the doll.

According to Wikipedia:

John Gruelle created Raggedy Ann for his daughter, Marcella, when she brought him an old hand-made rag doll and he drew a face on it. From his bookshelf, he pulled a book of poems by James Whitcomb Riley, and combined the names of two poems, "The Raggedy Man" and "Little Orphant Annie." He said, "Why don’t we call her Raggedy Ann?" 

The character was created in 1915 as a doll, and was introduced to the public in the 1918 book Raggedy Ann Stories. A doll was also marketed along with the book to great success. A sequel, Raggedy Andy Stories (1920) introduced the character of her brother, Raggedy Andy, dressed in sailor suit and hat.

Marcella died at age 13 after being vaccinated at school for smallpox without her parents' consent. Authorities blamed a heart defect, but her parents blamed the vaccination. Gruelle became an opponent of vaccination, and the Raggedy Ann doll was used as a symbol by the anti-vaccination movement.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Gyotaku glimpses

Here's a little video glimpse into some gyotaku and information on my upcoming workshop on March 19th.  Scripting is not my forte so forgive the hesitations as my brain fought with painting and talking at the same time.  Not always successfully! 

I intend on producing a smoother piece as a workshop promotion so stay tuned.

Gyotaku & Workshop 2011 from Jeanette Jobson on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Light and contrast

I've spent this evening looking at other artists' interpretations of water and feeling, in varying degrees, in awe, exhilarated and depressed, wondering if my water paintings will actually resemble water or not.

I wanted to have a more impressionistic view of water than the piece I'm currently working on of the wave hitting the rocks.  With each piece I learn a little more about water and reflections.  I know reflections are all about light and contrast and if I concentrate on getting those right, I should be on the path to success.  That and a lot of practice.

So I tried a looser technique in oils on a 6 x 6 gallery canvas. The setting sun was just hitting the top of the ripples adding a hint of yellow/orange to the light. It needs some stronger contrasts I think that will give the surface that reflective quality that makes it look like water.

As I continue on my study of water, I have added another list of blogs to my sidebar - that of artists who paint water.  I will add names and blogs or websites as I come across them, and if you know of any that may be useful, please let me know.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Splash update

 Here's a small update of the wave painting that I'm currently working on.  One more session and I should be able to call it done I think.  I need to add some modelling to the wave and highlights to points of water where light hits. This is my first water based image of the new year and the start of a series of pieces devoted to water, its reflections, movement and interaction with the land.

This is a bit 'chocolate box'-like for me I think.  Its perhaps too smooth and I'll experiment with a loose style over time til I reach the point where I feel comfortable with what I produce.  I see what I want in my head, but it doesn't always come out that way on canvas.  Also using acrylics for this limits me I think.  I'll pull out the oils for the next one and see if they loosen me up.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Sea monkeys

When I first started printing shrimp I used a fair bit of paper experimenting with composition.  Yes, I should have worked it out in thumbnail sketches first, but I was anxious to play with the little guys.  Then suddenly the composition came to me.  Sea monkeys!

If you grew up in the 1960's as I did, you may well be familiar with the ads for sea monkeys that every child begged their parents to buy for them.  The whole 'sea monkey' issue is revealed in a 1974 CBC Archive.  It starts at about 6:10 minutes into the video.

Now I don't have a fish bowl full of brine shrimp that I'm using, but they gave me an idea for the composition with their promotion of constant antics.  In my shrimp gyotaku I've created my version of 'sea monkeys' tumbling down the length of the page in shades of phtalo blue and violet red.

These are printed using Caligo water soluble oil based inks on Okawara paper.  I'll let the ink dry for a couple of days before adding the eyes, then the print is ready for wet mounting and framing.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Study of Sarah in sunshine

I've had some images that I took back in August from a model who came out to the farm to pose for me.  Its only now that I'm starting to work with them and decide just where they're going and what I'm doing with them. Sarah had lovely titian hair and it glowed in the sun.  That combined with her pale Celtic colouring made it a perfect candidate for a little watercolour portrait practice today.

This is done on 140lb paper 5.5 x 8.5 inches.  I wanted to leave it loose and ensuer each layer of colour stayed translucent.   I'm not happy with the mouth.  I kept reworking it and it just won't do what I want it to do.  But for a study, it lets me see the colour range I can use in a main portrait.  Although the reference image doesn't have dramatic lights, I want to also intensify the contrast between light and shade to give a strong illusion of bright sun, as well as darkening the hair.

I just love how studies can be so useful!