Thursday, December 14, 2017

Going large

I've been wanting to do a large painting for a while. I usually do the standard 9x12", 16x20", or mini's. For this one I picked a 36x36" canvas, and since it does not fit on my easel, I attached it to the wall. This is my progress over a few weeks.

I chose to paint a sky picture, since I'm always looking at clouds. I used a couple of my little 6x6" paintings as a reference.
Here it is with the first blocking in of blue sky.
 Next was light grey and darker areas.
 Then some lighter areas, and trying to get that layered look of clouds.
This is about the stage where I start doubting myself if it will go anywhere, the stage to push through and keep going.

That fun stage of making the clouds pop with whites and very light greys. Besides the greys I used a little yellow here and there on the top of the clouds.

 Adding the ocean and beach (too yellow).

The original 6x6" has a person on the beach and nothing else, but I thought for this one it needed just a bit more. The clouds are still the main attraction, but the beach needed something too. So I added some more texture and specks of color, with a couple of seagulls and sailboats in the distance. You have to look close to see them.
I tweaked the clouds a little more; sometimes you can keep picking at a painting endlessly, but that does not make it better so you just have to say 'finished' and not touch it anymore.

This was a lot of fun to do, and it won't be the last large one I do! Working large felt like a little more freedom, specially working with large brushes. None of that tiny work, not until the end anyway. 
Thanks for looking!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Making ink

And just like that, months go by without posting. Plenty of art has been happening, but lets start first with the black walnuts. They were so abundant this year that while walking on the lawn you'd risk twisting your ankles on the dropped walnuts. I got the idea to make ink with them, and did some internet searches on how to do this. There are several websites, this is one of them.

I tried different ways of making the ink. In my first batch I cooked the whole nuts, in which the ink came out kind of light. I could have boiled it down more to concentrate the ink I guess. I also found out there are bugs in the shells, so in the next batch I peeled the blackened shells off and removed the bugs. I boiled the black walnut shells for a few hours, let it sit for a few days and boiled some more. Then I filtered this slurry. First through an old nylon stocking and then through a filter I use for maple syrup. This filter clogged very easy! Next time I will boil the walnut shells in a cloth bag, so I won't have to filter as much (hopefully).
Next I boiled it down to the concentration and darkness I wanted. In my first batch I did not take into account that you have to add alcohol as a preservative, so after the rubbing alcohol was added it was even lighter. So the second batch I boiled down darker than I needed, and when the alcohol was added it was the right color.

Boiling outside in an old pot:

Looks like motor oil!

Second time filtering, a very slow process!

I played around a bit using the ink with a brush and with a dip pen. I love using the ink with the dip pen! I also love that after drawing with the dip pen you can take a brush with water and soften some of the edges.

This one was done with a brush only.

In this one I drew the picture in ink with the pen, then went over the lines of the cat with a wet brush, dropping more ink in with the pen to make some parts darker.

A couple of Christmas cards.

If you are going to draw or paint with ink, have fun and experiment away! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Thank you!

Thank you to all those who came out to the Ithaca Artist Market. It was great to see so many people. I had many great responses to my work, and had wonderful chats! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. If you did not make it over this year.... I hope to be there again next year with new work!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Artist Market

It's been a while since posting. After doing those 50 paintings I had the feeling of "now what?" I still have not quite found my next direction. I have done some sketching, and I know this will lead to paintings later on. I have also been getting ready for the Ithaca Artist Market Friday, August 11, tomorrow! That means a lot of sorting and framing, and trying to decide what to take. I also thought I needed a stand for unframed work, so I made one.

Completely done from scraps we had lying around; wood from old door frames and left over fabric from another project. I'm quite proud of how it came out.

I'll have paintings in many sizes at the market, hopefully something for everyone. I hope you can come out and check out this wonderful event. With 85 artists there is quite a bit to look at. There is also food, drinks, and music, so take your time!
I hope to greet you at booth 68, from 2-8PM at the Ithaca Farmers Market.

A teaser:

Friday, July 21, 2017

Opening night

Last night's opening of the Summer Mosaic show and fundraiser at the Cedar Arts Center in Corning was great! It was wonderful to see all the things the artists made. Seeing all the work together was awesome. While working on these 50 pieces I only saw a few other artists post pictures, so I had no idea what everyone was working on. It was worth the wait to see it all together. It was also amazing to see them flying off the wall and people walking around with stacks they were buying.
I did not catch a picture of everybody's work, but here is an impression;

The event goes on tonight with tickets $40, and this weekend open to the public. Check the website 171 Cedar Arts for more information. With 1200 pieces on the walls at the start, there is still plenty left!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Paintings are hung!

The thing is that after you do 50 paintings you are not really done. They need to be varnished, and they need to have title, name, and date written on the back. To get ready for the show you have to update your bio and artist statement. I wanted to have thumbnail pictures of the display next to it, so that meant figuring out how to do that on the computer. Then they need to be hung.

Thankfully the staff had put up grids! My husband helped with hammering 50 nails into the wall. I can say it is different to see you panels laid out on the floor versus on the wall. It looks so much better on the wall! Picture will follow.
I feel like my baby has been delivered and I can relax a bit.

I think this will be a great show!

Show information (from 171 Cedar Arts website)
Twenty-four artists, challenged to create fifty artworks over forty-five days, have created this exhibition on the first floor of the Drake House just for you. Themes of each group were selected by the artists, and artwork is priced so you can easily begin your first collection, or add to your current.
ColleenMcCall, Beth Ann Innis Landin, Filomena Jack Studio, Brud Holland, Alicia Herbst, Annemiek Haralson, Rebecca Finch, Lynn Rhoda Dates, Cynthia Cratsley, Lu West, Bridget Bossart van Otterloo - Painter, Artist Satyavani, Elizabeth Whitehouse, Amanda Warren, Karen Young Vogler, Laura Jaen, Jill Schiller, SoulshineStudio CorningeStudio Corning Ann Recotta, Marc Rubin - Painter, Mary Perry, Lee O'Connell, Aprille Nace, Kina Mushumbusi, Daniel McPheeters

Thurday, July 20 opening 5.30PM, tickets $70
Friday, July 21, 7PM, tickets $40
Saturday, July 22 and Sunday July 23 open to the public
Please check out the website for more information.

Sunday, July 9, 2017


Woohoo! I finished the 50th panel last evening! Done! Conquered the mountain in front of me. That's how it feels, and the panel hopefully displays that jubilant feeling when you accomplish what you set out to do.

Painting 50 panels in 45 days was the goal. I actually managed to do it in 38 days. Oil takes a few days to dry to the touch, and they have to be dry to hang, so I hoped to finish in 40 days. Finished 2 days early, not too shabby.

It was an exercise in self-discipline to stay on task. There was a fair amount of planning on when to paint, and there were a lot of things I did not do because I had to paint. Like housekeeping and yard work, but that will get caught up at some point. I have not done much plein air painting so far because of this challenge; the sky was not always interesting enough to paint at the same time as I wanted to paint. Whenever weather permitted I set up my stuff outside, so I could still paint while listening to birds, and not feel stuck indoors. There will be more plein air painting soon!

This challenge has really pushed me to be creative with the 1 single theme of Sky Gazing, and I don't think the theme has been exhausted yet. The sky has so many variations. I hope that I have managed to convey some of it's beauty. My hope is that everyone will look up the sky more often and say "oh wow!"

It's actually too bad the challenge is done. There would be one more moon painting. The way last night's moon just peeked though a few clouds, giving the clouds a silver lining just took my breath away. The sun had not completely set yet, and the sky was light behind the clouds. It was a moment that lasted only a couple of minutes. I hope to paint this soon!

Next weekend I will hang these panels at 171 Cedar Arts in Corning together with 23 other artist. That's 1200 panels!! I can't wait to see what everyone else has made!

Friday, July 7, 2017

A tornado

I asked my youngest for an idea of another sky painting, something I did not have yet. "A tornado" he said. Sure, why not? So here is today's painting. I've see funnel clouds in real life, but no tornado's, thankfully. I've lived in the mid west through many tornado warnings, and I have watched those clouds swirl. That was always creepy! I love the movie "Twister" though, and while painting this I kept thinking about that line "we've got cows." Maybe that will be the name of the painting.

So now there is just one more to go! Next week they will be hung at the 171 Cedar Arts Center in Corning. 24 artists will have their 50 panels hanging! That will be quite something to see. The information about the show can be found  here. July 20 and 21 will be ticketed events, and July 23/24 open.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Getting there!

I forgot to post this one from a couple a days ago. Another nice summer day.

And a soft light kind of winter day.

 Just before dawn. Or is it night fall?

Another rainbow. A bit of a struggle!

I wanted to capture the sunset I saw last night with the soft pinks and blues, which was another struggle.
And another sunset.

Two more to go!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Five more

Has it really been 6 days since posting? Time flies!
I have 5 more paintings done. A little slower than intended, but we took a trip to the beach. I took my paints and managed to do a couple while there. The pile of white panels is reduced to 8. My plan is to be done by July 10 in order for them to dry. So that means doing 2 a couple of the days.

 Sunsets have endless variations and are always a treat to look at. So here is another one.
 My son suggested I do some science fiction. Hey, why not? It is just sky gazing on another planet, and somewhere out there is a purple planet and green guys. It was fun to play around with this.
 As I said, we went to the beach. I did not want to lug the oil paints to the beach, so I did a small watercolor sketch and painted this one later that evening using the sketch.
I feel like I'm running out of fresh ideas, so here is another sunset. Another hurrah at the end of the day.

I'm not quite sure about this one. The light of a sun setting behind you can given those beautiful orange and yellow reflections on the clouds in front of you. I'm not sure if I've done it justice. I might know tomorrow when I look at it again.

Let the count down begin for the last eight!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Seven more!

It's been a few days since posting, but I have some more mini's done.

 This was Saturday's work. It is hard to do this after a full day at work, but on the other hand it gets the mind working in a different way.
This one I did Sunday after work; I retouched it on Monday. Sometimes you just see what it needs the next day.
On vacation to St Maarten I watched many sunrises and sunsets, trying to burn them in my mind, and this was one of these moments. The sun went down behind the hills and set the sky on fire.
 And then there is the moon above the bay! Another time I stood staring at the sky.
After doing this one on Monday I felt stuck. What next? At the start I had plotted out a bunch of ideas, and they have now run out. Plus I'm running out of steam a bit. It's like a marathon and I need refueling.

In order to get ideas and see what else I could add I laid out all the panels in different patterns. Do I want the darks staggered or in the middle? Does it look bettered as some sort of patchwork pattern? It might be nice if there was some gradation in colors. So I did come up with some more ideas.

 These next three I did Tuesday: Dutch clouds. I think there is really such thing. On a trip to the Netherlands this past May I went on a bike trip with my brother and sister in law. The air was so clear, the greens where so fresh green, and the clouds where the kind of puffy clouds. It turned all the ordinary things into a feast for the eyes.

These are some I want to do in a larger painting!