Saturday, May 26, 2012

the sketchbook series


a new group of paintings arising from taking a step back and spending some time in my sketchbooks. 

everything inspires me when i sketch . . . sketching adds a variety of subjects, the ball point pen and my multi-colored kohl nor pencil (thanks ART SUPPLY WAREHOUSE for finding me more !!).

i've always wanted to bring my sketchbooks to life . . . to a more polished look.

i have taken images from my sketchbooks brought them to the canvas with pencil and ballpoint pen . .  . 
on some color is added for the finishing touch.
the color to date is an attempt to capture the fun and color of the kohl nor pencil . . . capture my inspiration for the viewer. 


the canvas does create some obstacles with it's surface . . .  movement and
variety from the pen are more of a challenge.

i am finding this time taken to reconnect with my basic drawing roots has opened a doorway
to more painted works and projects . . . 
this has definitely been a major injection to my creativity . . .
i now have even more large (very large) works i'd love to do !!!  so we will see where it goes . . 
this series is perfect for the time i will be traveling . . .
 a way to produce works to share without being in studio . . .
the wheels r turning we will see where they lead.


egret / pen on white canvas
orchid / pen and acrylic on canvas

guenons  / pen and acrylic on canvas

NoTes on these works:


this was the third work in the series . . . i choose to keep white.  some of the pen is layered by bringing white mixtures on top  . . . and then bringing in the pen again. 

NOTE:  sometimes this brings a color variations . . . this can alter with drying . . . and sprays . . .  some variations are a welcomed randomness like printmaking (okay we hit one of my loves/influences).


i combined the coloring of my two floral works with the antiquing i did previously on the l'escadron d'ours de lafayette . . . mom hung this one up (she is not a fan of monkeys) . . 

working on . . . . . a dry rose from the garden

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

mv artsALIVE

DAY TWO  /  06 may 2o12 



so day two begun early . . . took about an hour to take the photo at right to the photo above. cleaning up all the edges and completing what i had planned.  freshening up the brights . . . adding whites . . . using the pastel pencils for a few of the tiny/tight details . . . and done.   then i got a chance to rome the event as everyone was still setting up for day two . . . and hit the snack room for a krispy kreme donut !  as i wandered i ran into the marine adoption table nestled away in the craft area . . . and to my surprise . . . ahhhh marine as in the marines . . . the u.s. marines.  oops . . . they commented that everyone thinks that.  boy would i have had fun with camo and doing all my strong characters !!!  i could have gone back and added . . . i had plenty of room for additions and camo hats . . .  but i didn't. 

our finished corner . . .
i kept it simple.  oh i didn't mention the surface yet . . . every time i draw there is always a different situation with the asphalt.  all 3 years at artsplash i was at different spots
on the road and each had it's subtle little differences.  this event was a rough texture and spots looked like a rake was dragged through it before it hardened.  that texture gave a very cool effect in color blending but made drawing lines very hard . . . and making a small eye and pupil very hard !!!  did share the eraser techniques on large areas with the laguna hills students . . .  it saved them a bunch of time.  especially the one that completed an 8 x 6 square himself because his          partners were no shows.

after a long first day and not eating great i ate at the seabird organic food truck today and it was awesome . . . i ate beer-battered tacos and sweet potato fries while watching the laguna hills group finish up their squares !!  i(t was soooo good i began to wonder if i was really being healthy !!) i had a lot more interaction with the public today.  perhaps with the ez-up tent gone and our squares finished made viewing easier !! the little ones had fun with our corner . . . monsters and animals !

i also had the pleasure to go enjoy watching others work and talking with other artists.  one of the exhibitors was keely benkey-reichman . . . a very cool and talented mixed media artist . . dealing with fantasy characters . . dolls . . . jewelry and such . . . check out her site . . . .

and for now i think that is all . . . probably forgot something !  if so i will edit later . . . i will also add the link to all the artwork when it is up !  i had a fun time and hope they will have me back next year !!!

p.s. never added the fact that i missed all my helpers . . . from the littlest to the biggest !!!

mv artsALIVE

DAY ONE  / 05 may 2o12

artsALIVE . . . my first year here . . . once again i wasn't quite sure what i was going to do . . . knew it was the 50s so a hulahooping meerkat sounded good.   definitely something that could interact a conversation with the kids . . .  so upon my arrival i saw my sponsor's name.   and the day begins . . . lay down some tape and meditate a minute.

'marine adoption' . . . coastal orange county so i automatically thought water . . .  so thought i'd need to add some water animals to my illustration.  (yes i was totally wrong about my sponsor but that tale comes later !!

so to bring in the water for a beach scene that includes a wave as well as underwater action  . . . i chose a diagonal composition and i needed to shrink down the meerkat . . .  thinking marine adoption was a rescue of marine life i also though a seal would be appropriate and since california doesn't have walrus's it would make a rational choice for a character . . . but not having a seal character and making it small and rather boring i used a walrus . . . little more personality to the story . . . but still not my best.  so i was able to continue my surfing puffin theme though this time on an unpainted board (it has oranges / blues /purples added for shadows and details which do not show up via my camera . . . it is very small ).  thought i'd add the body surfing turtle too . . . as well as a whale.

 AND SO I BEGIN . . . 

my neighbor charlotte had already begun . . . her pop up tent would save my back later in the day from sun but we had tree and lamp post shade happening most of the day . . . as well as tree droppings of all kinds through out the weekend.  started with the smallest part of my square first  knowing i would have to get close to the eyes of the characters on the beach because they were sooooo small . . . a lot of similar tones between the meerkat and the sand . . .  this would later lend itself to a quick fix of using a black outline . . . stylizing a bit more . . ..  much faster though . . . oh and no helpers this time around !!!  i did take time and moved slower / shifted body positions (mine) / hydrated and all that !!!  it does take it's toll on you and since artsplash last september it feels like i've aged 5 years already !!!


charlotte at work  DAY ONE
the square was back in the corner and shade  . . . i felt a little hidden . . . not too many conversations  . . . but some did come over and see the meerkat . . . there was only about a 12" path to walk between squares . . . once i was working on the water more came by and day two i saw a lot more activity as well as conversations with the kids !!! . . . but heard a lot of the performers and it felt more like we were part of an entire event instead of just being part of a chalk fest . . . there were great activities for the kids to experience . . . and our snacks were inside the beautiful mission viejo senior center (air conditioned and real bathrooms !!!) . . .

 this was my neighbors', charlotte, 2nd year at artsALIVE . . . she is a talented mission viejo mom.  next month she will be recreating an alice in wonderland scene with the jabberwocky with her dad in utah . . . next to us were 4 squares being done by students from laguna hills high school.  i made sure to take a walk about and catch all the work in progress . . . the joys of a small square:  finish on time and i can experience more !!!
behind me through the planter 


laguna hills gang

oh yes the mystery van was also a neighbor of mine !!!  and who else but scooby himself was driving !!

i am so baaaad i have pics of the mystery van but not the other art around me  . . . 

THE ARTWORK continues

so started to add the undercoat for the water and  shape the waves . . .step 2 adding the whale !!

hadn't drawn a whale in my illustrations till now.  only in my school notebooks ever since high school.  oh and for projects like, my daughter, laurens' play forgirl scouts !!!  lots of fun !  love whales . . .

opted out of realistic lighting for spots of color, lavenders and blues . . .  and adding shadows black . . it was about then i decided to add the sea turtle nuzzling the whale instead of surfing the wave . . . 

next addition was the decision to start adding a black outline to the illustration . . . it definitely feels like an illustration . . 

pre-black outline
blacks added
next started adding the lines to follow for the waves then the puffin . . . added the palm tree after the black outlines . . . then last was the blues to the waves.

wanted to finish (and did) all the colors so they would settle overnight  . . . plans were in the morning to touch up if needed . . . add the bright fresh colors to water, beach, sky . . . highlights and white . . . as well as my details with a pastel pencil . . . photos to the right were the end of  Day ONE.

Friday, May 4, 2012

l'escadron d'ours de lafayette


 but it is not sooooo smokey looking . . . the final glaze was a glossy burnt umber . . . but the greens still
show through . . . subtle hints of the boots and bodies in the shadows . . . . 

been busy playing with the soon-to-be grandson baby shower gift !!! live too far away to do a mural  at this point. . .  missing the shower for a chalk fest !!!!  well . . .  here's the project . . . almost didn't post because the pictures . . . my photos make the painting look really bad (even my son saw the difference) . . . so yes if you know of a more inexpensive camera that will definitely give me a consistent focused and sharp image as well as showing good color . . . let me know !!!  i just want to share a true image without setting up a room with the umbrellas and multiple lights etc . . . so maybe i should have called this entry a camera blog for traditional artists !! hmmmmm . . .

the idea . . . . mr. andrew danger's room theme is teddy bears and airplanes !!! flying bears !!!  i love the lafayette escadrilles and their lion mascot !!!  and lions represent his great grandma (GG Ma) . . . . i love old photos . . . under exposed /over exposed /damaged  . . so that was my idea but first i knew i had to paint a scene to cover up and damage . . . .  so i found a long canvas in my supplies for my students and got down to it . . .

at this stage i was beginning to add more whites to areas i would want showing through the future layer of glazes
closer look at the squadron in progress

glazing  can be unpredictable especially with the fast drying acrylics on a large piece . . . but i have my new 3" liquitex freestyle paddle brush . . . using it in an unplanned way (bought it to paint big strokes on one of my paintings in my head !!) . . . it really did help  . . .  and using glazing medium which i find hard/time consuming to wash out of brushes i was worried but it has survived beautifully . . . .

the first layer of glaze was a mix of liquitex burnt umber and winsor&newton graphite grey . . . other layers mixed with black when i needed darkening . . .  sap green in areas of the landscape to enhance where needed . . . i did go back and touch up boots . . . whites . . . claws . . .  and stool legs in between glazes . .  . blues and yellows in the whites also needed occasional touch up . . . layered more blues into the sky.

part of the unpredictability of my glazing process is as i glaze i like to lift off too (i like to damage or distress my canvas/paint layers as i call it) . . . using water and dry brushes.  sometimes a rag . . .  paper towel . . . cotton swab . . . whatever . . . . and that means sometimes i can go to far.  in a texture piece it does not matter but this work has a smooth-glaze finish so it could.  had a couple 'oh sh@#s' and outside . . . but it ended out working great !!!

when i was all done i felt it needed a little more richness to the dark color so i added burnt umber.  this time i did not leave the whites white even though in the photos they look so . . . all the claws and whites have a nice antique look to them. . . . . . a coat of gloss medium was the finishing touch.

the photo below shows more of the true colors despite the flash spot !!!  so i decided to include it . . .  one thing i found is i do not like working small and smooth with a paint brush . . . i miss molding texture with my hands and adding and taking away drawn lines . .. . charcoal does not work as well with the glossier textured finishes . . .  neither does the ball point pen . . . but i liked the end product . . . it almost looked like antique wood  . . .


GIBBONs 6"x6"

this one is for jax !!!

since i did one for mr. danger decided last night at the last minute to do something for big brother.  staying with the primate theme for our little climbing monkey jax . . .  i painted two gibbons.  we went to a breakfast with the gibbons a year ago . . . and this was designed from the photos taken there . . . . the javan gibbons . . . and yes it has a glossy finish! that is what the white lines are . . .  reflected light.