Friday, October 28, 2016

I've been trying to paint a portrait of Tristin, the beautiful Golden Retriever belonging to my friend Tammy but it's been going very slowly!  However, I just finished touching up some things and have sent it to Tammy and her DH for approval.  I've had to make a lot of corrections to the painting but it's all my fault as they sent a lot of reference photos and I had a few of my own also.  I chose a photo of Tris when he was much younger (& the way I remembered him best) but they wanted a painting of him right before he passed away.  It was very hard to paint him that old and with so much white on his face. 

I remember him as being very vibrant and such a happy, healthy fella.  Even when puppies would bite and play with him, Tris was always very gentle back with them.  And he always knew when a human or another dog wasn't feeling well and toned down his Golden enthusiasm and playfulness.  He was the most empathetic dog I ever met and you know I wanted to paint him to show all of those qualities and more.

I think that's why I always have such a hard time painting animals I know - I see so many facets to their personalities and it's almost impossible to simplify my memories and condense the painting into a feeble 2-D rendition of the living marvel they were. 

I can only hope when Tammy views the painting, her memory fills in all of the facets comprising that gem of a dog named Tristin.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Third Watercolor Class

I don't know what I'm doing wrong but I don't seem to be able to drag and drop an image into Blogger and there doesn't seem to be any other way to post an image!  I was going to tell you all about my watercolor class today and show you what I did but Blogger just upped and deleted my post when I hit the publish button!

Oh, well, the class today was much more into my comfort zone as we painted flowers.  What wasn't in my comfort zone was that those flowers had to be from our imagination!

The instructor spent the first part of the class discussing the different flower structures and after that  we did some practice petals, leaves, etc.  When it came time to actually paint some flowers, time was almost up.  However, I did the following:

There wasn't enough time to futz with the vase but the emphasis was on the flowers anyway.  I see many opportunities for improvement but not too bad for the allotted time!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Politics & Art

I'm so glad these national elections only come around every 4 years!  Both of the candidates for president of the United States totally suck and the latest mud-slinging is totally scraping the bottom of the barrel as far as I'm concerned.

I don't usually post about politics; after all, what do politics have to do with art? 

Well, it seems that many things are not deemed 'politically correct' these days and while there's not overt censorship, public pressure has begun to shape our lives.  How soon before it will be against the law to say anything against any person, policy or law that the establishment doesn't think is appropriate?  You know that will also apply to any art that isn't in current vogue with those in power.

I have to say, I don't like either Donald Trump nor Hilary Clinton for president of our country.  But I'm really angry at the vitriol that's being spewed against Trump right now.  Sure, he sounds like an anti-feminist asshole, but I think the majority of the populace has forgotten about the Democratic Don Juan's and how both JFK and Bill Clinton were almost celebrated for their extra-marital affairs.  And what about Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick scandal where a young woman lost her life in a clandestine affair with the senator?

I'm not condoning Trump's chauvinistic actions by any stretch of the imagination - I yearn for a moral president probably more than most.  But I am saying that I will not vote for Hillary because of Trump's actions 15 years ago.  To me, to bring this up is just a diversionary tactic by the Democrats.  Perhaps the Republicans should bring up Hillary turning a blind eye to her husband's indiscretions.  Isn't allowing something just as bad as doing it yourself?

While I don't like either of the candidates, they are what we have to choose from.  So, not only will I look closely at both candidates, I'll also look at the party platforms of both.

Hilary's tv ads say she's always been an advocate of children - well, her party supports abortion;  what does that say about her?

It really ticks me off that abortion is touted as a right but is really just a legal murder of an unborn child.  That women use abortion as a method of birth control just says to me that they're too lazy or too stupid to use other means and it's tragic that an innocent baby pays the price.  Where are the rights of those children?

That is not the only problem with a Democratic president but the platforms of both parties are too much to get into here.  I will say that the United States has not improved with Democratic leadership in spite of the party saying for years and years that it will. In this day and age, our US Constitution has been violated by the Democrats more times than I care to remember and that has only brought our country down..

But, the right to free speech has been squelched more than just about any other constitutional right and there's where the threat to our art is concerned.  If things go on as they have been, it may be that I won't be able to paint angels, or Christian religious icons if I want or satirist cartoonists won't be able to publish work making fun of our politicians (Democratic, Republican, Independent or Socialist!) and only 'politically correct' art will be allowed to be viewed.  Is that what we really want?