Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sea jelly

Sea jelly
15" x 30"
Mixed media

I think I'm calling this jellyfish done.

Its a departure from my normal style of painting and I have had such fun doing it.  The act of simply slapping on paint and paste without too much cerebral involvement is very freeing and quite satisfying.  I like the textured surface and how it stops me from being too fiddly.

I added a few more washes of watercolour, then broke out the oils to intensify colours and put in some shots of yellows and oranges.  I reshaped a few sections of the tentacles with more molding paste.  Now I'll let it sit and see if anything else calls out to me for adjusting.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Carrot and stick - continued

Or should it be the stick and the carrot?  Either way, the idiom remains the same.

I seem to have more stick than carrot lately, and am taking most of it in stride.  Occasionally one comes across a mean spirited person with a chip on their shoulder.  I have learned that the chip is there for a reason and that they probably hurt more than I do.  With this in mind, I let the words or actions roll past and wonder if they do not get the reaction they want if it helps or hinders them.  Maybe they just need to lash out at someone.  No, its never fun, but it happens.

But here is another update for the original carrot and stick painting that I needed to get out of my system.  The pieces are more refined, but I think it needs a little more work to deepen the shadows and put more detail into the stick and the carrot.  Its fiddly, rainy afternoon work, just the thing for this coming Sunday if the forecast is correct.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Chasing jelly

Yes, I'm still on my quest to conquer the elusive jellyfish, or at least a decent painting of one.

I started with a loose study in watercolour a few days and have now advanced onto a mixed media piece.  This is a 15" x 30" canvas panel that I gessoed then put scrunched up tissue over, with more gesso embedding it further.   Once dry, I started adding washes of watercolour.  I liked how the rough surface would catch the pigment and intensify it in pockets.

I threw in a little oil paint on tentacles last night but wasn't really happy with that so tonight I formed more texture over it with modeling paste.  I love that paste, its like making mud pies, such fun to use with a flexible palette knife.

So here is its current state, waiting to dry and have more colour added.  Where will it go from here?  I really don't know.  The painting will guide me I'm sure.  Does anyone else feel that what you paint sort of pushes you in different directions?  I wanted to move to a looser style and this is definitely loose!

Did I show you the jelly fish self portrait photo I took a couple of weeks ago?  I went to Salmon Cove and there were a number of jellyfish washed up on the sand.  I tried to save some, but they'd been out of the water too long and just kept washing back in.  The colours in them were beautiful - gold and purple I believe they are lion's mane jellyfish. When I uploaded my images, I found this one - a self portrait in a jellyfish.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sketches on the move

 Toronto to Vancouver

I've spent the last week travelling and working, which gives me little time for drawing or painting.  However, while trapped on long flights, on on layovers in airports, it does give me time to sketch.  I've found it fairly easy to sketch in these situations as people aren't usually moving around as much as they normally would.  Even then, the same positions are taken over and over again, so if someone moves, I move on to the next person and wait for the first to move back into position again.

Here are a few sketches of faces along the way.  The last fellow wasn't on a plane : ) only in my head.

St. John's to Toronto

Vancouver to Calgary

Airport heads - Vancouver

Stars, clouds and night flights inspired this fellow

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jellyfish experiments

I worked on a jellyfish image previously in oil paints and still am not happy with it and its at the 'trash it' point.  I have some ideas about reviving it but perhaps through multimedia, not just oils. 

Jellyfish speak light, colour and texture to me.  The smooth bell and long rippling tentacles give many possibilities, but maybe need a looser treatment and more watery medium to bring out the subtle colours and shapes. 

This is a small study in watercolour that moves me into the direction I'm thinking of.  I need to get away from the tightness while painting and just let my brush flow.   I have ideas for a larger piece using paintings, physical texture either through modeling paste or additional textural objects to achieve an almost abstract feel.  It just feels right to do this, I can't explain it any other way.

I'll also try a small piece to explore the textural idea before translating that onto a much larger support.  Long flights  lately give me lots of time to think and repaint things in my mind.  Now I'm anxious to get some painting done.