Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Goldfinches, Sanding Disaster

This is the result of the third day of work on the goldfinch miniatures. I now understand why Alkyds are a good way to start. The slow drying time of my oils has prevented me from working very long on these two pieces. I also have learned a valuable lesson about the sanding film that is used between coats. I am afraid I went at it too hard on the first layer and the film left scratches in the painting that are horrible when viewed under the magnifier, although they are not noticeable with the naked eye. All the same, in the future I will be very sparing in the use of the film and I will try a circular motion rather than the back and forth buffing motion I used.

You can see that I am very slowly(excruciatingly slow) building up the colors in the painting. Instead of jumping right into black on the finches, I have used a bit of Burnt Umber and I have indicated the feathers by a wipe out method I saw Joan Willies use. Very effective!

I love detail and have had to restrain myself on the finch eyes. I really want to put that little dot of light into the eyes already. Patience Linda, Patience!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Gift-Comic Book Style

This is the Christmas Gift that I gave to my son this year. He has modeled for me many times and has always been a favorite subject for my brush and his father suggested that I do a painting of him as the Green Lantern for his Christmas Gift. My son is such a huge comic book collector and Green Lantern is a favorite of his. He also collects comic related collectables.
The painting is an 18" x 24" oil on Linen gallery wrap. I used a cover from one of his favorite comics and then inserted his head. I had no idea that I would enjoy doing this so much. I am pleased that I was able to do his likeness in a comic art style. My son was totally blown away with this gift. I had feared that he might think it goofy or a dumb idea. But as always, my husbands' ideas are a big hit.
The painting will be on loan to my gallery for a while and I am hoping to get a few commissions to do some similar works for folks. My son even has suggested that I send my portfolio to the comic houses or maybe even develop my own comic characters. HMMMMMMMM, sounds like a fun thing to try.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gingerbread House

Can you believe this is my very first gingerbread house?
I stopped in to see my good friend Jeanne on her birthday and to drop off a small present and after a while she informed me that my Christmas present was a gingerbread house, but I had to make it myself. Jeanne makes gingerbread houses each Christmas with her two little granddaughters. I had told her that I had never made any in my lifetime and felt very deprived. So she prebaked the gingerbread and assembled the walls and roof. On her kitchen counter were the icing and decoration pieces, little candies of all types and the essential butter knife. After a few short hours of serious artistic endeavor and much laughter and coffee breaks.....TA DAAAA, my very first gingerbread house. The big joke that day was that my house was handicap accessible, complete with handrails at the front door. I am pushing on inspite of the infirmities of old age.
I already had a glass garden cloche which I washed up to cover and protect my totally edible sculpture from the five cats we own. Oh and the boxer, Molly who is in the photo background eating her dinner.
The little golden book, "The Little Red Hen" was also part of my Christmas gift and is a private joke between us gals.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Snowstorm and How I spent my Snowday

OK...I survived the blizzard of 09. Here are photos taken on Sunday morning before we dug out. We had 16 inches on our picnic table and that was where the wind was blowing....so you can imagine the snowdrifts in our driveway and at the mailbox.
I spent the day working first on the miniatures you see here and on a Vanitas painting I started a while back and put aside when I became busy with other more pressing projects.....ie. the miniatures show. I am working on two small pieces of ivorine that I cut to fit frames. They are taped to some foamcore and beside are two photographs of goldfinches that were feeding on my back porch sunflowers. My dear Aunt, Judy Adams of Roanoke Virginia took these photos of goldfinches from inside my kitchen. She is amazing with a camera. One of the paintings will become a thankyou note of sorts for my Aunt.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snowed In and Painting

It is near whiteout conditions outside and I am going nowhere today. I will post some pictures later on of the blizzard we are having.

I am actually going to attempt to paint a miniature painting today. I have procrastinated as long as I possibly can, but have no excuse today since I can't go out anywhere and I have all sorts of new equipment and supplies to work with. I suppose I am afraid of failure, which is why I have not attempted this sooner. I will post some step by step pictures shortly. By the way, I saw a fabulous free demo by Joan Willies at the Strathmore show put on by the Miniature Painters, Sculptors, and Gravers Society of Washington DC. I will attempt to do as Ms Willies instructed, which reminds me of working with porcelain painting techniques.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Passing of William Whiting

I just learned this week of the passing of William Whiting. Bill was an extremely talented plein air artist from the Winchester area and was represented by Caulfield Gallery in little Washington, just up the street from my shop. Although we were only acquaintances, running into one another at the various local shows, I feel a great sense of loss. He was "my age" and often spoke kindly of my work. The real loss is that his plein air paintings were usually of our area out here and showed a real sense of place, caputuring the true beauty of the blue ridge and surrounding piedmont regions. His works were definitely among the masters of plein air painting.

The art world has lost a great artist.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas in Little Washington

Merry Christmas from the Ice House Gallery.

Little Washington is just beautiful at night during the holiday season. I am absolutely in love with the historic setting and decorations this time of year. Its almost like living in Williamsburg on a Miniature level. Speaking of miniatures......my New Years Resolution this year will be to become an accomplished miniature paintings artist.

I am currently designing next year's Christmas Card....something I have had in mind for a long time, but just never had the time to do it. Amazing how much time I have for art, now that I am in a studio away from my home.