Here’s last night’s Oil sketch, the third oil sketch I’ve done of this tulip in 3 days. I have mixed feelings about it; it doesn’t really feel like it’s “my” painting. Sure, I use crazy colors like a blue or a purple in skin tones, or other colors you wouldn’t expect to depict the subject at hand; but usually, people don’t notice that I’m even doing that, the over-all effect is more cohesive and and less in your face. But on such a small painting (5″ x 7″!) there maybe just wasn’t enough room to make enough marks for it to “read” that way. So maybe it’s just the nature of a sketch, and not so divorced from what I do on a larger scale. This is one of those paintings, I may not be able to figure out (if it’s a good painting/study or not) until I’ve got some distance from it down the line.
Note-since this is my “wet paint” blog, I’m giving you snapshots from my cell phone. In time, I will photograph these with a “real” camera, crop them and put them in a gallery on my website. But you get to peek on my easel and see them before I get around to that!
As 2017 rolled in, with me laid up at home (luckily my studio is 3 feet away from my bedroom) I wanted to refresh my eye with some life painting; close ups, simple paintings where I could experiment. The first two oils (above) of the year just didn’t come out like I envisioned. I had thought they would be looser, more abstracted. The way I did the bulb in the bottom of the glass is more what I was envisioning, but maybe with a bigger spectrum of color, not quite so accurately naturalistic. Well, that’s the nature of experiment-you don’t know where it will take you, ha ha!
So what will today’s painting session bring? Find out tonight or tomorrow! I’m going to stick with the bulb, but try to go for a less descriptive, looser interpretation. Looking at some of my favourite painters-Manet, Sargent, Chase-they sometimes were quite descriptive, but could push the envelope toward abstract nature of paint while still depicting the subject. So now it’s time for me to get pushy, so to speak.
For my ankle, modern medicine has caught up with science Fiction. On December 21-34 years to the day that I was hit by a car and broke my ankle in the first place-I had an operation to fix the necrosis that had set in over the years. How do you fix necrosis? That’s the Frankenstein part-they took part of my fibia and a stuff from my thight and transplanted it into my ankle! so now I’ve got a blood supply transplanted to my ankle.
So I just got back from my almost 3 week checkup, got the 40+ stitches out today (the doctor that put them in said he didn’t count but there had to be at least 40 in the ankle part, not counting the ones in my thigh). News from the X-ray was good, the bone is already fusing.
Luckily, I don’t need my ankle to paint! I did the study below yesterday, not sure if I wan’t to do anything more to it or not. I’ll start a new painting tonight, and see how I feel about this one after a few days. I decided to do a series of small paintings from life, I’m still to laid up to do large paintings and ever since I did the lemon paintings I wanted to do more of that sort of thing, so now I’m getting around to it.
Yes, I knew 21 and a half feet wide is a big painting. painting. I used to do big paintings, up to 9 feet high and 12 feet wide. But those were for me, not a commission, I just stretched the canvass on the wall. Somehow, thinking about a 21 and a half foot painting on 6 panels that bolt together in my head, just didn’t have the impact of seeing them take over my whole house!
I can fit one panel on my big, “professional” sized easel; as long as the tray is as low as it can go, the top of the painting is just barely able to be supported by the easel. Two panels can fit on my dining room table. The dining room-which is the largest room in the house-when it’s fitted with plywood extensions. 4 panels bolted together take up the entire long side of my porch. To bolt all 6 panels together, they will take up the entire width of the interior of my house! Luckily, there are not doors between the rooms downstairs, I’ll both be able to fit the panels and get back a distance-from various rooms-to see the painting from further back. I say will, because the easel like thing that will allow me to do that isn’t built yet. But I thought I’d show you a few photos of the from the construction of the panels.
My husband Tagor is the mastermind and master cabinetmaker that has made the support apparatus possible for this gigantic painting. There are few people who could have pulled off the this feat without disastrous results! You don’t even want to read about what a pain this has been, and how many steps he had to go through to do what he did. Rather, I’ll show you some photos!
The bulk of the work is in getting the supporting wooden framework precisely milled, drilled and so on that the panels all meet up perfectly. I gave some close ups of how the cross-braces join the main frame, how the frames bolt together. That screwing & gluing the hardboard to the frame is the last step, of the construction part, other than trimming any excess hardboard so the edge of the hardboard is flush with the supporting framework. After the construction, I took over with the sealing (of the wood on the underside) and priming (with gesso) all of the visible surfaces. I am also showing a couple shots with the hardboard glued on, and the panels in the process of getting their 8 coats of gesso. I guess my husband isn’t the only crazy one. But that many coats makes it easier for me to get the kind of surface I like to paint on. Well, hope you enjoy the photos!
Trying to make a decent website for myself has been on the to-do list for more than 2 decades. The main problem is not enough time to devote to it, and not enough money to pay someone else. Not to mention that best web practices are a moving target. Well, I decided to give Adobe Muse another try, and discovered to my delight that the program has “grown up” enough to be a pretty viable tool. The purist in me wanted to master HTML 5 and CSS and all that jazz, but I’ve made more progress redesigning my site in the last week in Muse than I had in the last year trying to do it the “real” way.
It is going to take some time for me to make the new site responsive to various screens and mobile devices, but I’m so annoyed with my broken site as it is, that I expect to launch the bare-bones version of the new site this month!!! Please keep in mind to come back to the site from time to time-now that I’m able to add, edit and adjust more easily there will be many, many changes until the site takes it’s “full” shape.
I hung shows in both galleries at the Sanofi-Pasteur International Headquarters this week. There are roughly 3,000 employees and contractors who work at their main campus in the Poconos, and my paintings will be up for about two months, in very high traffic locations. So the ironic thing is that, even though this show isn’t “open to the public” like a “regular” gallery, more people are likely to view this work more times than would be the case in most “regular” galleries.
Nothing like finishing two paintings in the same week-and having that be the same week my camera dies. I shouldn’t “shy” away from using cell phone snaps here on the blog. The irony is that a major motivation to start this blog and call it “wet paint” was to be able to share works in progress with cell phone snapshots. So, while I would love to post photos of those two paintings I just finished, what you’re going to get in this post is a hand held cell phone camera, taken inside after dark with artificial light.
For the last painting I finished, I had interrupted my series on the General Slocum Disaster to paint my brother on his Harley, based on a 1991 photo. Going back to the Slocum series, and watching dead children emerge on my board affected me, I have to admit. So finally-here are literally wet paint photos, taken after tonight’s painting session. The reference photo is from the make-shift morgue where most of the bodies were sent after the local morgue had quickly exceeded it’s capacity.
I spent way too much time the past two nights with a blowtorch and a hammer. In case you’re thinking, this is “Wet Paint” not “Molten Metal” or something, be assured I painted after I finished playing with fire. I’ve been keeping up the New Year’s resolution-more than three quarters through the year, yes, I have painted every day in 2015. I’m doing the jewelry in addition to the painting.
These pieces are in varying stages of progress. The pendant with the blue stone-I think it’s turquoise, but I’m not certain-is finished except for the patina extender, and perhaps a little more polishing. The brass with fused sterling might also be ready to add to a necklace. But the last one is nowhere near done. I also am on the fence about adding enamel coloring to one or more of these.