Monthly Archives: September 2010

Playing with paints

It’s been too long since I last updated.  This will be a quick one as it’s almost midnight and I need to go to bed.  Lucky me, I’m catching a cold and need all the sleep I can get.  Which means I should have been in bed hours ago.  🙂  But the paints beckoned me and I answered the call!

Art-o-mat placard

To the left, you see the image I designed for my Art-o-mat placard.  I toyed with the idea of painting a larger version of that girl, adding in a bit more detail.  I met a friend after work one day this week and she brought up that idea, too.  Tonight after work, I stopped and picked up a bunch of smaller canvases.  I was thinking of doing it on a 5×5 canvas, but figured out that square wouldn’t work and I wanted it slightly bigger.  I ended up with an 8×10.

Work in progressI drew the image on the new canvas and got down to work.  I’m still working on a few little details and I have to paint the sides, but in this picture you can see the progress of it so far.  I don’t normally do faces in acrylics (it usually leads to horrific frustration and the tearing of hair) but this time I did.  I wasn’t going for a more realistic look or I really wouldn’t have used acrylics.  (I prefer a smoother, blended style and can achieve that easier with oils than acrylics.)  But I also believe in challenging myself and this certainly did, though I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out.  It’s fun to play and discover my own style and way of working with the paints.  Never thought I’d be using acrylics this often!

Ten blocks done so far!

I used some of the leftover blue paint to do backgrounds for two more Art-o-mat blocks.  So far I have ten of them completed (except for painting the sides with the black gesso) and I have seventy left to go!  I am having such a good time with these.  It’s fun to be able to work on two or three different images every night.  I’m trying out a few new color combinations that I normally wouldn’t use and/or trying out new ideas that I haven’t done before. Very strange how much I like working on such a small scale.  I use to think that painting something that tiny (2.8 x 3.25 inches) would be frustrating (okay, sometimes it is) and too limiting, but to my surprise, I’m really enjoying it. 

I should have more Art-0-mat blocks to show off after this weekend.  The majority of my painting time from now on will be dedicated to finishing these blocks, though like tonight, sometimes I have to take a break and work on something else. Variety is the spice of life!  It was a refreshing change to paint the quirky girl above, but tomorrow night I’m back at work on the blocks!

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Art-o-mat Update

I came home from work today to find 80 Art-o-mat blocks waiting for me.  🙂

A big pile of blocks!

I carted them downstairs to my work area and lined them all up.  Then I got out my gesso and got to work.

The work begins...

I went through and did two coats of gesso on each block.

Ready to paint!

And now I’m ready to start painting!  I’m going through my sketches and deciding which one to do first.  Mapping out my strategy.  Looking forward to beginning this process.  🙂

If this is the first you’ve heard about Art-o-mat, you can learn more about this awesome and wonderfully creative project at http://www.artomat.org.

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My Artsy Weekend

I’ve been enjoying the long weekend and being very productive.  It’s been a nice change from the previous weeks and the weird mood I’ve been in regarding my art.  I haven’t been very productive at all and it’s been bugging me.  But I finally dove in this weekend and ended up working on several things.  What’s really nice is that it was a mixture of realistic and non-realistic.  I like a little of both.

Cat PortraitFirst, I’ve been putting the final touches on the pet portrait.  I was going back and forth between painting the sides brown or gray.  I consulted a few friends and finally decided on gray.  I’m rather happy with the results.  It was a bit nerve wracking painting them, but I took it slow and easy and I didn’t get any gray on the front of the painting.  Success!  It’s now hanging and drying, waiting for the retouch varnish.  I’m trying to decide on a name.  That is my least favorite part of painting.  🙂

Summer PoppiesAfter working all that time on such a realistic painting, I wanted to just play around and have some fun with something less realistic.  I had taken a photo of a poppy earlier this summer (which you can find in an earlier blog entry) and that poppy has been sticking with me.  I finally decided to do something with it.  So I watered down some acrylics and put them in some small spray bottles then grabbed a series of three canvases I had bought on impulse the other week, then sprayed them with the paint.  Then after it had dried, I sketched some poppies and started painting them.  They were quite fun to do.

Coffee and a SketchSaturday I had some running around to do, but I wanted to have a little fun, too.  I was in great need of some coffee, so before I left the house, I grabbed my sketchbook and pencil.  I decided to stop by Barnes and Noble and sketch for a spell in the cafe.  I’m a little addicted to the Starbucks Frappucinos and they have that delicious M&M blondie blast treat.  Mmmm!

I have a photo of my best friend that I’ve wanted to do something with for a while now.  Just on a whim, I grabbed that, too.  So, after getting my sugary treats, I sat down and did a few sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks (which are on their way!) and then whipped out the photo and got started.

Progress so farI worked on it for quite a while, at least until a couple sat down next to me that I thought would end up breaking out in some violent spat.  That got a little uncomfortable.  I’ve continued to develop the drawing and will be updating this blog as progress continues.  I’m hoping to get an even closer resemblance by the time I’m done.  I need and want to challenge myself more often by attempting this.  I love to do the quirky, fun sketches, but it’s just as important that I do realistic, as well.

Saturday night I sat down to get caught up on some TV and I grabbed a small 5×5 canvas that I had painted previously.  It had this hideous pink background that I couldn’t stand, so I thought I’d just slap some paint on and see what came of it.

Hawaiian SkyThe summer we’ve been having here in Alaska can be described with one word: rainy.  It’s been driving me crazy and I keep dreaming of the vacations I have planned for November and February.  I’ll be going to my future home of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.  One of the things I love seeing in Hawaii is those gorgeous palm trees against the brilliant blue sky.  That’s what I ended up painting on that little canvas.  I can hardly wait to see the real thing in two months, but until then (or until this piece sells) I’ll enjoy seeing it on the canvas.  🙂

While working on the sketches for the Art-o-mat blocks, I’ve stumbled across some girls that I call The Quirky Girls.  They’re a little kooky or nerdy, but I love that in a person.  These girls have been great fun to create.

Quirky Girl FrankieI had an 11×14 hardboard and another 5×5 canvas lying around, so I have used both of them to bring two of the Quirky Girls – Quincy and Frankie – to life.  To the left, you’ll see Frankie.  She was done on the 5×5 canvas and, like the palm tree and summer poppies, is available in my ArtFire shop.  I’m still working on Quincy, but she’ll be making your acquaintance soon.  It’s been good to do these pieces and it’s helped me to work out a few things for when the blocks get here this week.

So that’s the update for now. I tend to do longer updates for this blog every week or two, rather than shorter updates a few times a week.  However, if you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, I do show pictures of works in progress and update people on various projects.

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I’ll be sure to post my progress on the above projects soon!

(P.S. If you are receiving this for the second time, I apologize.  There were issues with the photos the first time I posted it, so I had to trash it and start again.)

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