Sunday, June 26, 2016

Salmon Festival on horizon

     Rapidly approaching is July 1st, Canada Day and the Steveston Salmon Festival. I will be in it this year, sharing a booth with Margreth Fry. Quite a few other Richmond artists will be there so we hope that people do come inside to see the Art show. I don't think I'm taking this one of "Baskets" for sale but I thought it looked summery.
     Following on from the last blog - I forgot to give the actual name of the the political cartoonist who took his pseudonym from the Russian word- karandash- for pencil. Emmanuel Poire' was born in Moscow and became a Paris illustrator. The Swiss pencil company Caran d'Ache is named after him and the logo is a stylized version of his signature.
     Now that we are into better painting weather, Men in Hats are back outdoors painting. There is a different challenge in painting on the spot - apart from the weather which can be challenge enough.It can be difficult to focus on what seems to capture the mood of the location. Then the light changes, boats, cars and people move. Yet, for all the difficulties , there are a lot of benefits - learning to find the focus, trying to capture the mood, compensate for light changes- and get something fresh. There is certainly an intensity felt in the paintings that is just not there in a photograph. We often take a reference photo in case we want the small outdoor painting to also become a larger studio piece. It is only by looking at the painting that I get a real feel for what interested me. Too often the photo is "ho-hum". So then the new challenge starts - how to translate the "hey this was a neat place!" feeling into a larger piece done over a longer period of time. Nobody said it was easy - that's why it is called artWORK.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Caran d'Ache

     Here are a few recent life drawings- this first is two five-minute poses from our rotation pose, the next two are 20-minute poses and the last is 35 minutes. All are drawn with Caran d'Ache watersoluble wax crayons. The last book I filled at Life Drawing was black and white on grey paper so I figured it was time for a switch into colour. Draw dry, take a brush to wet the drawing and it all blends in but can still retain a bit of the linear look of drawing.
     As you know from previous blogs,  I've been looking into the history of pencils and drawing materials so I researched the Caran d'Ache line. This line has over 100 years of history as  the factory was set up in Geneva in 1915 using graphite found in the Swiss mountains. Around the same time, there was an illustrator in Paris who became very famous. He took the pen name (or should we say "pencil name"?) of Caran d'Ache from the Russian word for pencil. And, just to make this even more of an international mix-up, the Russia word comes from a Turkish root "kanco tash" which refers to black stone. Nine years after starting, the Swiss company took the name of the illustrator and used a stylized version of his signature as their logo. I'm assuming the illustrator was paid for this.
     Caran d'Ache makes a full line of pencils, pens and drawing materials. Their pens are renowned for  being especially beautiful. For the 100year anniversary, Caran d'Ache created a clever design of a ballpoint pen that looks like a pencil. Unfortunately, I don't have one but I do enjoy the Caran d'Ache
materials that I do have.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Full Mountain View

Here is the "full square" (10"x 10") of the mountain view painting that is one of two choices for my free draw for DoorsOpen. It is a reminder of why we are so fortunate to live in this west coast landscape. We have beautiful scenery from mountains to sea - and even the cities can be scenic. DoorsOpen is this weekend - June 4th and 5th from 10am to 4pm - lots of sites  throughout Richmond as well as my area- where there are three of us artists close together. I've been hanging paintings and setting up easels to get ready. I still have a few paintings to wire and I'll put out some sketchbooks for people to view. Come and have a cookie and browse!