Friday, December 19, 2008

Running Paints

I find great comfort in returning to graphite! It is a painstaking medium with fewer financial returns for the efforts put into each piece, and that's why I have shied from it that the last while. I suppose I could become looser, but I really enjoy building up the layers of tone, making the piece look photographic in appearance. Note I said photographic in *appearance* from a distance, but upon closer inspection, one can detect my mark making. Scribbles, dashes, strokes, cross hatching and the scumblings of a blending stub all make up the guts of one of my drawings.

This particular piece, like many others around here, makes it appearance onto the drawing table sporatically. Though I love the medium, it is really hard on my physical well being to draw for endless hours. Pain and numbness in my neck and fingers are the order of the day if I push it. In an effort to alleviate these problems I have tried drawing on an easel with lukewarm enthusiasm. Frustation sets in when I can't get the marks I want when working in this position.

So, I bit the bullet, and said "F... it", I'm going back to the way it works for me! I make concerted efforts to listen to my body though, and with the voice of my massage therapist's harsh words ringing in my ears, I pace myself now. The concern for the monetary returns are gone...I just LOVE working in the medium! I am running with the enthusiasm built on the high of winning First Place in the Ex Arte Equinus drawing category. Runnin' like the Paints in the piece!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Done the Dawg!!

Those two little words that I crave...I'M DONE!!

Having said that, this morning as soon as I got up, before showering, with coffee in hand, I ended up tweeking the Dawg's ear, and then some of the grass under her ear...all of this AFTER I had signed the painting and deemed it done.

Thus poses the question, is a painting ever 'done' or 'finished'? I think not. Paintings and drawings are merely abandoned. This is not to suggest for a moment that a painting is given up on, or that is is somehow inferior, but that there is always something a painting demands to be tweeked. Each painting 'finished' is merely a teacher at that particular time in the artist's journey of creating. An artist's best teacher is her last piece of art.

I know when I getting close to finishing or abandoning a painting. My view of it becomes distorted somehow, and I start to 'see' the piece become cartoon-like in my mind's eye. My creative mind is tired of looking at it...there comes that point in my process when I start to wipe off more paint than I leave on the surface. Those marks that are removed no longer enhance the piece as a whole, therefore, they are removed. This is when I know I am nearing the finish line.

So, as I throw myself across the finish line on this painting, I am already thinking of the next one to put on the easel or send to Warner Bros....

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ex Arte Equinus ll

Received news yesterday that my drawing "Good Girl" was awarded FIRST PLACE in the Drawing Category, in the Horse Art Magazine's Ex Arte Equinus ll art competition!

Judge Sheona Hamilton-Grant (no relation) of Belgium, chose this graphite drawing for First Place over the many fantastic drawing entries. Sheona's graphite work is exquisite, and I greatly admire her graphite artwork as well as her opinion. Not only can this talented woman draw with ease, she has great skill with expressing her thoughts on paper. I on the other hand, as least at this moment, am at a loss for words. So I am going to share her thoughts and comments on Good Girl.

"The chosen subjects together with the composition create a moment of mutual trust and understanding. The impeccable graphite work and honest use of light convey a mood of realism that not only draws the viewers in but gets them to entirely believe in what they see.A beautiful piece of narrative art, rendered with intense love, detailed knowledge and strong conviction.The artist has quite simply been able to take us beyond what we see into what we feel."

Thank you Sheona!

Thank you Juliet and Lyne for all the hard work putting together this incredible opportunity for equine artists from around the globe!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Grass, grass and more grass!

Painting grass, grass and more grass...working on the tangled *mess* of grass on the right today. One would think this mundane task to be an easy one. Not! It is a constant stream of decisions, working out which blade overlaps the other, and which is darker or lighter. Not happy with how some of the blades turned out, I quickly washed them off with a small sponge before they could dry and set up. Funny how a simple thing like a blade of grass can be screwed up!

I can see where I want to place more blades, and where to fix some of the others, but I am too tired and my neck hurts too much to fix them now. I learned a long time ago that too many mistakes are made when I'm tired, and its just not worth it to continue. Best to call it a night.

I decided to use my new Nikon D80 to shoot this photo of the Work In Progress. I am so impressed to see how much of a difference there is in image quality from my little old crap digital camera to this higher end one....*duh*! Why didn't I use it before?! Double Duh!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sick as a Dawg

Fever, sore throat, fatigue, aches, runny nose, all since Monday, I've been sick as a Dawg. Amazingly, in spite of all these setbacks, I was able to work on the painting! Not as vigorously as I would have liked, but I did make progress.

Working on the fur was such fun. Sweeping brushstrokes with a round brush, coupled with short quick strokes of a old beat up bright brush, her coat took on shape and dimension. When painting fur it is imperative to follow the whorls, and how the hair lays on the body of the animal. If I didn't like the colour of the hair, thin washes of Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Sienna and Payne's Gray mixed in with the Matte Medium, adjusted it. I still have some issues about how light the hair should be, as acrylics dry darker, and values can be tough to gauge sometimes.

Since the last post, her eyes and face have really taken on her personality. I am really pleased with her cute little mug!!

Still don't like that front leg on the right hand side...gonna cover it with grass!! I have decided to leave my issues with the values of the fur, and wait until I have resolved the grasses. Their relationship with the values of the Dawg will help me decide if I need to lighten the fur more or not. Not the best photograph of the painting. The lighting is bad. To see the image up close, just click on the image and it will open in a new window and much larger.

Oh well...where's my kleenex?