"God's art [Creation] speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like."
Francis Chan

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Gathering of the Ladies"

"Gathering of the Ladies"

    Last weekend I worked on, and was able to finish up, a little project that I had started a month or so ago and had been letting sit for a bit, while I rethought the concept.    As I told you in an earlier post, I have been infatuated lately with the lovely holly hock flowers that I remember from my childhood.  This 11x14 is a revisit to that theme.  I enjoyed all of the warm pinks and oranges arranged with a few cooler blues among the petals for a little interest.  I also had fun in the final stages, applying the paint a bit thicker than I usually do so, in person, the petals seem to come off the canvas.

   As far as an update on other works in progress - I added a few more layers of glazed color to my tropical flower, and began to try to emphasize the flowing lines within the petals.  The next step will be to lighten up some areas of the petals.  It was pointed out to me this week by a family member, who will remain nameless, that they have never seen a flower with quite that mixture of colors and they were interested to know just what kind of kind that one was (yes, there may have been a note of sarcasm in their voice - ha!)  So at this point I should note that this flower is a figment of my imagination, and that although it, at this point, has a crazy array of colors in it - it makes me happy whenever I look at it.  And that is the effect that I was striving for!

"Alive" in progress
  Finally here, is an update to my  cranes.  The small picture below is the same one that I posted last week, so you can compare with today's  picture at the bottom.  I know that it may not seem like a big difference, but I worked a lot this week on background coloring and adding and blending the lighter colors to my pastel shadows.

cranes - step 4 as of 03/18

Cranes - step 5 as of 03/30
  Sometimes I need to look at a painting from a different perspective to "see" it differently and know what it needs to improve it.  So this morning my living room furniture got totally rearranged so that this monster canvas could hang on my living room wall.  Wow.  What a difference. I have already seen a ton of things that I need to work on.  So I am ready to continue with the process, all the while enjoying these birds looming larger than life in our living room.  More updates next week....

Monday, March 21, 2011

What's Happening.....

"Alive"  WIP
     Lately it may seem that I have dropped off the edge of the earth, but I'm still here plugging away. Although I realize that  I have not been very good lately about keeping my blog updated  One of the reasons is that I have some pretty big projects going on - all in progress, but none finished.  The other reason is that I was sort of laid up for a time a week or so ago (more on that later).  So finally, here is an update on what has been happening in my little neck of the woods...

      First off, I found a photo a few weeks ago of a tropical flower that I had done a few years back and thought that it might be fun to revisit the tropicals.  The picture above is a work in progress with just the basic design and colors blocked in, but I am pretty happy with it so far.  

I was also busy getting ready for an art show at the Lowe Art Center in nearby Marion, Iowa.  I have fifteen of my paintings on display through April 29th in a two man show with an awesome artist named Charles Freitag.  We enjoyed a wonderful artist's reception on March 10th with lots of people turning out to see the paintings.  Below are a few pictures from that night...

Chuck Freitag and I at the artist's reception

  Finally, I have been spending a lot of time immersed in a commission piece that has been so far both challenging and just a plain old blast.  I was super excited to start working on this one because the client had requested a big canvas - the larger the better (those who know me know I love working on the big stuff!).  It was also on a subject that I had never tried before (cranes) so I was happy to try a new challenge.
  The canvas is 5 ft. x 4 ft. (as displayed  by Sophie, age three, who will someday wonder why she always made those strange faces in all of the pictures where she modeled for size comparisons with my art work).  I laughed when I got the canvas home.  I had been so excited to put the first stroke of paint on the big canvas - but I had to wait a bit - while I tried to figure out where to paint this.  You see it is too big for my little painting corner of the office (not to mention that it does not fit onto my easel).  So I moved a few kid things around in our downstairs family room and made a makeshift art corner in the basement.  And I was ready to dive in!  The photo above  was taken about a week into the project.  Unfortunately, that is the state the painting stayed in for another week while I walked around in a sling trying to recover from "painter's shoulder".  The darn canvas was so tall I didn't think about the strange angle my extended arm was in for hours at a time until I woke up the next morning to find I couldn't lift my arm - at all.  Silly me....

  After a week off, I am back painting ( and making sure that I raise and lower the canvas, or stand on a stool when painting the taller areas, so I don't strain my shoulder).  I am beginning to lay in the feathers with lots of soft coloring which is so fun.  Here is the same picture in different lighting that really shows the colors.  You can double click on the picture to see the brushstrokes better.  Keep in mind that most of these will be blended in in the end to give a more subtle effect, but I am really pleased with it so far...

   Today I began to really focus my attention on the neck and face of the standing crane.  I am having such a good time working those subtle cool shadows into the white...

  So that pretty much sums up what shenanigans I have been up to.  I will be pretty consumed with both painting projects for a while and will try and give some updates from time to time.  Until then - happy creating :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"The Ladies Stood"

   I have been playing around with idea of doing some garden scenes lately.  I woke up the other morning thinking about childhood memories of playing in my mother's garden during the summers.  One of the flowers that my mother grew was the hollyhock and I was always fascinated with how these flowers always seemed to tower above the others in the garden, like tall, proud women in a group.
     Isn't it funny how vivid those places in our childhood stand out in our minds?  I may just do some more of these.

   On another note, those of you who follow me on Facebook  may have already be aware, but if not, my paintings just went on display in a two man show with the amazing Charles Freitag at the Lowe Art and Environment Center in Marion, Ia.  The exhibit will run from March 7-April 29.  If you are interested in more details, including gallery hours and directions you can check out theMarion Arts Council page.


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