Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Oh, Look, Another Bird!

I finished another bird in the woodcarving group and like this one a whole lot better than the first one I carved.  This one was sort of my own design although from a free vector from a public domain photo site I occasionally use.  I still have to put some sort of finish on it but I decided not to paint it.  If I wanted a painted bird, I'd do it on paper or canvas, right?

I think that's it for birds, at least for the time being.  One of these days, I'd like to carve a sandpiper, heron or egret but in the meantime, I have a fox on-board for the next project.  It's quite a bit larger than either of the birds (about 15" long) so wish me success!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Chickadee Painting Demo

Where does the time go?  Again, I apologize for the time between blog posts but somehow, time just gets away!  As kids, we'd used to complain that we were bored or had nothing to do and the day would just drag by.  My grandmother always used to say 'just wait til you get older!'  My grandmother was a very wise woman!

Anyway, the demo/paint-along of the chickadee went really well and the class actually finished in an hour instead of the two we thought it would take.  Here is a photo of the event and, as you can see, the participants were lively, fun and very good for first time painters!  Oh, that's me in the back row next to the gentleman in the light blue shirt.

photo courtesy of, and copyright to, Alan Russo
All of the participants were great sports and all said they'd had a good time.  Since we had some time leftover, I was asked to demonstrate how to make a tree with some leaves.  We were using cheap Canson watercolor paper and really cheap gouache but those who painted the tree still did really well.

Even though I was very nervous and sort of scared, the COA still asked me if I would do another demo and/or paint-along in the future.  I wasn't sure but think it would be fun now that I know the ropes a bit better!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Carving Out Time

Well today was another carving group and I started another bird.  I like birds and this one is kind of special as I modified a public domain vector from a free website to make my own carving pattern.  Plus, my actual chosen project from the bin at the group is a large fox which I just didn't have the room or the inclination to work on today!

I had to take in the paintings for the exhibit and frankly, after carrying in a couple of boxes of paintings (11 of them), I didn't want to try to tuck a heavy, 18" long fox under my arm when the block for the little bird and all my supplies fit neatly into my purse!

Here's what I accomplished today after starting with a small rectangular block of wood.  This bird is actually going faster than the first one but I've also done quite a bit of 'carving' on my left hand! (Memo to self - take a supply of band-aids!):

It doesn't look like much but has honestly come a long way from the original block of wood. I don't know when I'll get to work on it but if I find time, it wouldn't surprise me to have it done before the next group session.  Oh, and I filled the crack in the first bird but it isn't dry yet so don't know how it will finish.  I wanted to use a nice oil but may end up painting it to conceal the patch of the crack.

Will keep you posted!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

The Paint-Along

Carolina Chickadee - gouache on paper

 I was asked to do a demo/paint-along for our local senior center and have been trying different subjects that should be easy enough for a total beginner to paint.  The little Carolina Chickadee above is the subject I chose. 

The ref photo came from a friend but has been simplified so much that no one would recognize it.  As a realistic painter, simplifing to make the subject easier for a beginner to paint was the most challenging part of the demo preparation!

There is to be a minimum of paint so it was also necessary to pick a subject that uses few colors and no mixing,  That means using black straight from the tube when I'd ordinarily mix my own or at least add blue or violet to the tube color.  But I'm hoping the participants will be able to paint something they're proud to take home.

Monday, February 19, 2018

More Spring and a Painting!

Here's a little more taste of Spring as the daffodils have gone crazy blooming!  Our temperatures have been up and down and the sun has been in and out!  The photo of the daffies was taken on a gloomy day but still hope they're a cheerful sight for those of you tired of winter!

My most recent casein painting was of a daffodil in a glass globe and is probably the biggest reason why I decided casein wasn't for me.  The paint handled much like acrylic which is the least favorite medium I've ever tried.  No matter what I did, I couldn't get the results I wanted - making the flower appear inside the globe!

This is on clayboard (which may be why I didn't like painting with the casein) and is only about 5X5 inches square.  I bought the clayboard because several people had said it was the ideal surface for casein.  I only got 3 of the small boards so it wasn't a complete waste and I'm sure I can use the rest for other media.  I think too, that other people use different painting methods and have different styles than I do which may make it work great for them. 

But, isn't that what art is all about?  Finding the medium, the support and the style that works for you, the artist?  So, maybe casein will become a favorite medium with the right support - hope so as I've invested a fair amount into paint!  Still have to finish a couple of paintings I started with casein and who knows from there!

Saturday, February 17, 2018

February - the Love Month

Since February is the traditional month of love, I thought I'd post a small painting of some Valentine cookies.  Yes, I know I've missed the traditional day of love but hope the warm feelings are still present!

This is watercolor on paper done for a challenge in an art group I belong to.  It was something of a quickie but time has been limited lately.  It was really nice to get the old brushes wet though and I hope you enjoy a sweet treat today!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Not All Is Painted

I think I've mentioned a time or two about how I get bored with a medium and like to switch it up now and then.  Add that to being an art supply junkie and I'm often enticed to try anything.

A girlfriend wanted to me go to a wood carving group with her and I needed very little encouragement to do it - as a matter of fact, I bought some cheap wood carving tools quite some time ago and did my best to carve a little Santa Christmas tree ornament.

So after about 3 weeks (3 days of 3 hours each once a week), I've finally finished a little bird I started on day one.  One of the group gave me a chunk of wood and I drew my bird on it and started carving.  It's mostly a group where everyone does their own thing but everyone is friendly and helpful.

This was carved totally from scratch while most carvings start from the basic shape cut out with a band or scroll saw.  I stopped at this point because a crack appeared and the wood started chipping out.  I was pretty pleased with the result though.  I'll let you all judge if I should continue the group!

The above photo was from last week.

This is as far as I wanted to take it.  See the crack?  It caused large chunks to chip out while I was carving the wings.

Wood carving is very relaxing but not something you can comfortably do while watching tv.  It's best to watch what you're doing instead of the tv screen.  Plus, the mess is horrendous!