Thursday, January 31, 2013

30 in 30 Painting Challenge is Finished... aw man.

This is my last painting of the challenge, and now I don't think I'll be able to walk away from painting entirely.
Well Rats... The Challenge I thought would be horrible is finishing up tonight.  30 Paintings in 30 Days    sounded like an insane thing to do, and I was so mad and frustrated when I began!  How on earth has it happened that I really don't want to stop?  I've learned a lot in these 30 days, watching the others involved in this challenge post their work each day has given me a new 'puzzle' to think about.  I wish I could watch each one in progress as I try to pick apart the way the piece came to completion.  I found that although I really don't know what I'm doing at all, it is becoming part of my day and like my coffee, I'm not sure how I'll be without it.  Just going out there and trying has been a really hard thing for me, as I expect perfection before practice.   I have learned a lot of what not to do, and am slowly getting a grasp on what 'TO" do.  The practice is becoming less painful all the time.  Hopefully some of the others in the group will want to continue at a more decent pace and still keep posting beautiful things for me to look at, and provide me with that much needed 'kick in the butt'.  Maybe the winter will go by faster this year...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Money on Trees and an Accidental Lemon Yellow incident involving a Dog with a Cone

Ok today was just silly, but read on, it's a good laugh.

I started out painting on Day #24 with the knowledge that I only had about 2 hours to fool around with this 30 paintings in 30 days challenge and the rest of the day needed to be productive since I have a show this weekend.  I had one canvas board left, and of course it was an 11x14, so it was going to take longer than I wanted.  I decided on something simple.  Money plants.  

I like money plants.  I remember my parents growing them.  For months they looked like a pile of weeds, and when the whole summer had passed, we got to help peel the leaves off to reveal the shiny insides.  I was about 5 years old and completely convinced that if I were careful enough, perhaps there might be some real money inside one of them.  Why else would my parents plant such a thing and spend so much time on them?  Looking back, I remember hearing someone say "Money doesn't grow on trees" and I was so disappointed for my parents, who kept trying to grow it.  Ha!  Anyway, I had a nice time reminiscing and painting along, thinking "dang, these things are HARD to paint, why did I pick this anyway"  when suddenly the front door of my studio flies open....

Now, just a wee bit of background here.  I have a little compulsion for musical instruments, and need to sell a few of them.  Mainly, 3 trombones.  My husband's friend, the high school band director was coming over and my husband decided it would be good to drag these trombones into the studio to see if he could tell us what they were worth.  My studio is set up for working in glass, not oil painting. I have no place set aside for paintings to dry, and as the end of this challenge draws near I have a pile of wet paintings lying about wherever I can find a place.  There are paper towels covered in turpentine and wet paint right outside my door so as not to cause a fire inside.  I have palette paper covered in paint from the last painting lying on a low table, and my cello is standing in it's case right near the front door. There is no room for these trombones.
Fast forward...

Mr. Honse comes in the door, which means the cello has to quickly be moved and I warn him (too late) about all the wet paint rags he just stepped in and now it's all over his shoes.  Then WHAM here comes my overly protective golden retriever in his CONE to see who is in the studio.  Cone drags through the palette paper, grabs a nice glob of lemon yellow all over, and in a matter of a second this poor guy has bright yellow oil paint all over his black coat and black dress pants.... aye...

So here's to today's painting effort, to all dogs who have been banished to cones, and to band directors everywhere.  Love you Buddy:)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Dad's Paints

My Dad's oil paints from college~ that makes them 50 Years old and he is happy to see that they are being used again.  I am very proud of my Dad, and love that I have his paints:) I know we are all genetically influenced by our parents, and I am certain that I got my love of art from him.

Today's effort was to finish this, and I like it.

This is an "underpainting", which is a strange concept to me.  I am learning that my mind doesn't automatically think in terms of what to do in order of steps, so this is hard for me to begin from.  I don't like outlining things and would rather just start throwing in areas of color, but am finding that unlike underwear sticking out of someone's pants, 'underpainting' is nice when you let it show through the top layers of paint. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

30 in 30 Challenge Update...

 YEA!! I am finally getting it!  Painting every day is getting to be more fun now... I wonder if I'll have trouble going back to glass next month when this challenge is finished? I joined Carol Marine's Daily Paintworks this week, & love looking at all the 'real painters' works on the site.
The Phoenix cafe in Benton Harbor, MI.  I am enjoying palette knives and trying to paint glass and shiny things. I like a lot of Leslie Saeta's knife paintings on her page, and I am going to try more of these.

Another wet street in progress.  I think I found a subject I like.

My Brother's Rescue Husky, I got this far and realized that I didn't have room for his nose and ears on my board!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Painting, Painting, Painting

Last night something finally clicked... I learned that I am supposed to wipe my brush clean after every stroke, and that oil paint is it's own bird.  I can't expect it to behave like watercolor or acrylic, and now I can understand how watercolor might be difficult for an oil painter.  Pressing on, I know I am behind, but I am looking at this challenge in a more excited state of mind.  Finally I can begin to grasp these little things that are helping me see what I am doing wrong so I can correct them... 

Monday, January 14, 2013

30 in 30 Painting Challenge is stinking HARD!!!

 So... This idea I had of joining Leslie Saeta's 30 paintings in 30 Days Challenge was crazier than I suspected.  I am finding out that although I am struggling, I am learning a lot.  Starting out in a new medium is always frustrating as you learn the 'ins and outs' of what works and what does not, and patience is elusive.  Of course, I know exactly what I want to do, and think I can make it happen, but my lack of experience and high expectations are at war with each other...

The painting on the left (the wiped out one) was supposed to be part of a payphone. It looked easy in the reference photo, but quickly ended up to be 'simply impossible'.  I was mad,  then I quit.

A few days later, I un-quit and decided to suck it up and try again.  On the left is the painting I did of the failure earlier in the week.  Really, no matter how bad my paintings get I am still learning, and my brain is thinking in wonderful ways that are causing me to be more attentive to things such as stacks of orange barrels and backhoes, and inattentive to important things like...driving.  I am going down the road thinking about the juxtaposition of everything around me... values, colors, textures, lines...  Wondering what colors would I mix to get that blue tone I see in the snow, and what order would I lay out the colors... UGHHHHHHH!  Everything is suddenly beautiful and interesting enough to stare too long...  I am no longer safe to drive or be out in public.

I will vow to finish my painting for today before midnight, which is a scene from a vacation photo my parents took while in Europe.  Even though my paintings keep getting screwier, I will finish this challenge if I have to paint 10 paintings on the last day.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Painting 30 in 30? But I'm not a painter..

Well the new year has brought some great resolutions for 2013, and some fun challenges too!

I like to try new media here and there to jump start my creative side and throw me into the 'uncomfort zone'.  This year I signed up for a painting challenge, 30 small oil paintings in 30 days.  Crazy!
There are hundreds of people doing this, can you imagine 300 people doing 30 paintings?  That's potentially 9,000 paintings in only one month!

I always jump right into this kind of craziness thinking "I'm gonna do it!"  and also that miraculously I will be good at it.  Well, I can tell you it is going to be a long month.  I am a glass artist, not a painter and it shows.  LOL

Day One.
My husband suggested I paint a fire hydrant.  I said that a fire hydrant would be nice, but it would mean nothing to me.  He said "It would if you were on fire".  He is right, so here it is.
Day Two.
Learning about dealing with globs of paint and wet city streets.  
Check out some of the other artists' work at Leslie Saeta's blog:  This is the main site for the challenge, and we all admire her amazing paintings.

So far I've worked on 2 paintings, neither of them are great, and I am kind of disgusted at my lack of ability to handle oil paint (somehow it is everywhere, on every surface possible, and it looks like it's not going to be drying anytime soon)   However, I am determined to complete the challenge, and learn something with each attempt.  Follow along and see what happens!


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