Saturday, April 25, 2020

Before Self-isolation

This is from the last "long pose" before the big shutdown and I picked it to be on my April newsletter - but it had to be cropped to fit the space so here is the full head and shoulders pose....mixed media. As I said in my newsletter, some artists like to get a very smooth effect with pastels by I like to retain the feel of the chalk strokes. Sometimes I think I'm a frustrated portrait painter - I'd love to be able to just paint and draw people all the time. The trouble is, I don't seem to be in the right marketplace for that. I think would be possible to draw at a 2 meter distance as that is about where I was from this model.- but, right now, the art centre is closed and everyone is self-isolating anyway... will just have to hope we can return to it all in the future...

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Supplies

Every year, in February, Opus Art Supplies lists a prompt a day for sketching, painting suggestions. They can be fun to do as your imagination gets a bit of a work-out. With all the current turmoil around shopping and "stocking up", I remembered this one from 2018. The prompt was "supplies" so my immediate thought was art supplies- piles of paper, canvases, paint----- or maybe a backpacker heading off on a hike----- then I decided it would be fun to do a cat shopping for her own supplies so I sketched Isabella making sure she had lots of treats, catnip and her favourite toy. I put this - slightly shortened to fit the space- on my Loraine's Art News for March and people have been enjoying a bit of a smile in today's worrisome world. This year, I am still working on the "prompts" and having more fun in my sketchbook with different subjects.

Friday, February 14, 2020

More flowers..

What can I say? I'm looking forward to flowers! 
Although I have a garden full of snowdrops right now, I'm still looking forward to having bigger, lusher flowers. These are David Austin roses but I don't know the exact name as the plant was bought when a nursery was going out of business. I thought it was a "regular" shrub rose but it is actually a semi-climber. I have mixed feelings about roses - lovely, but I don't like thorns. This one redeems itself by having a lovely scent and a long blooming period. I was experimenting with a dark background again, here. Sometimes it works for a more dramatic effect - but sometimes very light makes for an airy feeling. I guess the only answer is to paint what ever seems best for the particular bouquet. I painted these from life but I did a bit more painting on it just recently--- sometimes it is good to return with a fresh eye.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

January thinking

     It has been a bit bleak with grey skies and gloom  until we had snow but that was not much better. I had to go out and put pots covering all the hellebores to save them from frost. Since then, I have been working on a entry for Public Art for wrap-arounds for utility boxes. I submitted all florals as I thought they would be cheerful and it would be nice to see flowers blooming instead of a lumpy green box. This is one I submitted- "Red  Lilies" - a tall batch of lilies growing in my garden. I am looking forward to having flowers blooming again and thinking of different combinations that would make nice bouquets.
     I may very well have flower paintings for next November's GuessWho? art show. The paintings are all 10x10 on thick canvas or board and all sell for $100- so I'm suggesting to all and sundry - and doing it myself too- that we take an envelope, mark "10x10" on it and put $10 in it each month. Since October is the 10th month, that means that for the beginning of November (and this year's sale is on November 7th), there will be $100 in the envelope and saving it will have been relatively painless.



Friday, December 20, 2019

Art and Health

This is the painting that can be seen- in part, because the template cuts it to fit the space- on my December newsletter. It is basically part of my back garden and I had a great time building up the foliage. The dark tree is "tulip tree"- liriodendron. When we planted it, we were told it would grow to around 30 feet. The nursery was assuming we would be moved in 10 years and I didn't own my "big book" of plants. Well, some 50 years later it is over 90 feet and not quitting yet. An arborist told me it is one of the tallest trees in the Eastern forest. The trunk is over 17 feet in diameter - but I do love it, large leaves, falling cones and all. The blossoms are now too high to see them clearly. At one time, some large green parrots, native to Northern India that were somehow flying free, used to come and sit in the tree and eat the cones like corn on the cob. Unfortunately, they are no longer around.
     I chose this painting for my Christmas card this year, too. Autumn, not winter, but nice and colourful. I call it "Autumn Tapestry"
     I read an interesting piece on the internet today that looking at art can actually be good for your health as it bumps cortisol and serotonin levels in the brain and produces an effect in the body similar to exercise. The British Medical Journal on December 18, noted that going to art museums twice a year lowers early death rate by 14% while culture vultures do even better at 31%. Apparently, hanging paintings in hospitals improves patient satisfaction, health outcome, length of stay and pain tolerance. I often hear from people who have really enjoyed seeing paintings of mine in Richmond General Hospital. I'm glad to hear that they have enjoyed them - but now even more pleased to think that they might even have helped them!
     Maybe everyone should also have paintings in their homes- which is what artists would like to see. And a quote from Nathalie Bondil "I am convinced that in the 21st century, culture will be what physical activity was for health in the 20th century."

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Joseph

On Tuesday, December the 3rd, Richmond Artists Guild will be hanging a show in Gateway Theatre. The show will all be related to the end of year musical " Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". This production is, apparently, not so Egypt-oriented as the Donny Osmond show that comes to mind. It is, of course, still with the story based on the Biblical tale of Joseph, his coat of many colours and his dream interpretations but, the staging, we are told, will be more dream-oriented and an emphasis on the musicality. I decided it would be a good  reason to paint a picture of a clarinet - which I think is a very interesting looking instrument... something about all those silver keys! It turned out to be an interesting challenge as it had to be accurate - but I didn't want to end up with something that looked like it was cut out of a musical instruments catalog. I wanted the background to be a bit magical and musical looking - but with nothing so basic as musical notes. I used some "interference" white/blue on the  clarinet keys. This means that the colour shifts a little as you look at it- adding another element to the painting. At the beginning stages, I was afraid it might not come off as I had hoped... but I ended up being fairly pleased with the result. I hope others enjoy looking at this painting.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Long Poses

Here is the pen and ink with watercolour wash  of Giving that I did for our Cultural Days event at the end of September. Now we are having "Long Poses" again on alternate Fridays and I'm working in mixed media. I like to have long enough to work on a piece as a contrast from regular Life Drawing sessions where poses may be much shorter...the first ones are one-minute poses and the longest usually 20 minutes. This one was roughly two and half hours - allowing for the model breaks. The other photo shows the distance I was from the model as well as a bit of our outdoor set-up. Fridays are indoor sessions but for Cultural Days we were outside where visiting public could watch or  participate.