Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New watercolor and prints ...

Harstine Isl. Oyster
I've painted this watercolor to look very similar to the Harstine Isl. Crab painting I did some time ago. At first I wasn't sure how I liked this. I think it was because it was so similar to the crab painting ... But now that its finished and prints made, I'm very happy with it. The crab paintings (prints) seem to be very popular at the local farmers market and have had some customers ask for the same but with an oyster on it. Many people around here raise their own oysters so it seem fitting to the area. I have cards, matted 8" x 10" 's, and 11" x 14" 's that will be for sale next Saturday.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

another plein air experience....

I'd be interested in knowing if any of you can guess what this photo is of .... well, any of the photo's I'm posting for that matter.

As you know, I'm new to oil painting. I know very little about oil painting and as of yet purchased very few supplies for painting in oil . The palette I have is one that came in a small acrylic package I had from years ago. Its a small white plastic palette, approximately 9"x 6". The brushes I have are some odd brushes I thought may work ... some are from the same acrylic package as the palette. So, to continue with my story .... Last Tuesday was another Plein Air day with the new group I've been fortunate enough to join. I found a spot along a creek, that was running into Hood Canal. It has a small foot bridge and I thought I may be able to capture it in oil, but if not I had also brought my watercolors, some brushes and even a gallon jug of water. And just incase I couldn't finish my painting while out for the day, I brought my camera.

Well, although I wasn't able to finish my painting in oil, I did find I was pretty satisfied with getting the basic idea down on my

pre-primed, pre-gessoed cardboard canvas. When it was time to pack up and head home I placed these large clips (see first photo) in each corner of the painted canvas board. Then I set the painting down over the top of my palette, paint side up, in a cardboard shoe box lid. (I thought I was so smart to even think this far in advance when I packed it) This worked great because the clips kept the painting up off of the palette full of paint ... both set in the shoe box lid... for a safe journey home. Yeah right ! Remember me telling you I'd brought all my watercolor supplies... even a jug of water? Well, during my travels going home, the water jug fell over landed on top of the oil painting (still in the shoe box lid remember). The weight of the gallon of water bent the cardboard canvas down on top of my palette and rode there for the duration of the trip. When I arrived home some of the water had leaked out of the jug -even with a lid screwed on- there was oil paint all over the jug and the beginnings of my painting has paint smeared from the jug, the back of the cardboard - the first photo - had oil paint and water soaked into it, and most of my paint on my palette was now on the back of the canvas.

So, next time, I'll take some plastic wrap to cover my palette, and something else to place my painting in for a safe trip while traveling. As time goes by I hope to pick up a few more supplies for oil painting and won't have to worry about how to travel with my oils.

One of the women in the plein air group is always saying, "I wonder if I can salvage this painting". I asked myself this very question after this experience and I think I'm going to try.

More photo's to come as I work on this painting... maybe then you'll be able to tell just what it was that I was trying to capture on canvas.

Photo #1. Back of canvas covered with water and oil paint. #2 My palette NOW covered with plastic wrap ... after the damage. #3 My oil painting with smeared oil paint, and nothing that is recognizable.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another day at Farmers Market

This lady looking at my cards is a vendor who was all sold out at the
end of the two hours, her empty table is to her back.

Here is the last of the remaining tables, along the same row as mine that were yet to be taken down on Saturday. This time I was fortunate to be using a borrowed white canopy. Some of the two hours were bright sunshine, then other times, dark clouds. Sales were about the same as my first Saturday at the Farmers Market. Very good, considering most of my friends had dropped by that first Saturday. This Saturdays sales were mostly from strangers. I enjoyed visiting with my customers and feel I made some new friends by being able to spend some time with a few.
I thought I'd mention a novel I've been reading and am just about to finish. The title is CHASING CE'ZANNE by Peter Mayle. Its about a stolen painting by Cez'anne and a forgery put in its place by the owner ... It is a fast read and one easy to get into. For some reason, this is the time of year that I can really get into reading novels and other books about artists. CHASING CE'ZANNE is my first book to kick off the season.
I wonder, what should I choose to read next ......

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ode to a Lemon

Today I decided to do a series on the Lemon, I thought I'd call it "Ode to a Lemon". Odd, but I guess I didn't know what the word ode really meant? says an ODE is: A lyric poem of some length, usually of a serious or meditative nature and having an elevated style and formal stanzaic structure. Then I googled "Ode to a Lemon" and up pops entry after entry on a poem by Pablo Neruda titled "Ode to the Lemon".... I'll share a small part of that poem at the end of this blog entry, if you care to read it.

#1 Pencil in Sketchbook

I decided today that I'd do a study with my one lone lemon. The first photo is done in pencil

#2 Dip pen and Noodles Ink on Card stock.

I have long admired those of you who do pen and ink and all that wonderful cross hatching. I'm not patient enough. Or, to be more accurate, I wasn't patient enough today. I may give it another try some time.

#3 Watercolor on Stonehinge Print Paper.

I had some left over 5" x 7" pieces from some lino print projects and thought I'd try it. Turned out I was satisfied with the way it handled the water. It was a good experiment.

#4 Pastel on Mi-Teintes Pastel paper.

I don't think I'll ever get use to having my fingers all dry and chalky. I clean my fingers constantly because I can't help but use my fingers to blend.

#5 Is Charcoal on brown craft paper.

I wasn't happy with this either... How do you get a bright lemon to look that way with charcoal? I couldn't get it to look the way I wanted.

#6 is Oil on some Canvas paper

Or anyway I'm assuming it's canvas paper..... I seem to accumulate single papers, a sheet at a time. I should have written what it was on the back so I'd know. Another lesson learned.
Odd, I just noticed that the two mediums that I enjoyed working with the most, the watercolor and the oil, both had more detail or depth to the paintings. I must have felt more comfortable working with them.

Ode to the Lemon
by Pablo Neruda

Out of lemon flowers
on the moonlight,
lashed and insatiable
sodden with fragrance,
the lemon tree's yellow
the lemons
move down
from the tree's planetarium

Delicate merchandise!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My first (ever) oil painting

For some time now I've thought I'd like to try oil painting. I had some 8" x 10" canvas boards, (I'm not sure that is the proper name for them), and a few brushes I thought may work. I purchased some oils, some linseed oil and found some helpful step by step instructions on Joe's blog. In the first photo you see where I've toned the panel with a mixture of cad yellow and aliz. crimson, plus some white acrylic. That was as close to the yellow ocher Joe used in his instruction's. Also you see a photo I was using as a reference.
This photos shows where I have done a rough sketch of my picture (and I use the term very loosely) with my homemade vine charcoal.

At this point, in the photo above, I was suppose to be blocking in the major shapes. I think this is where I start to get overwhelmed and begin to think that I've not done my blocking in correctly. I was already beginning to get nit-picky.

This is where I've stopped for the day. I can't seem to get a close-up of it today because of a glare when I photograph it ... maybe tomorrow it will be a little dryer and I'll edit this post with a finished photo.
I'm pretty satisfied with my first attempt, but feel I may do some touch-ups tomorrow.
I still need to:
  1. Learn what brushes to use where. I seemed to want to use only one brush and had to force my self to try one that would work better.
  2. Remember that I can use either the thinner or linseed oil to mix with my paints to aid in painting. I think I used way too much paint, when I could have used a thinner application.
  3. Learn not to mess up my whole pile of paint to mix a color.
  4. Figure out what to do now with the paint left on my palette that isn't used.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Harstine Island Farmers Market

This is my area with my card rack, table and peg board props.
The last two weeks, or there about, I've been so busy with packaging my Giclee's and Note/Greeting Cards and printing up business cards etc. in anticipation of my first time selling in an open Market. Today, that day finally arrived. It was a beautiful day with sun shine and not a cloud in sight. My husband had an early meeting to attend and wasn't able to help me set-up at the market, but my neighbor (and good friend) offered her help. It was much appreciated to have another woman's eye for detail.
Me, in the thick of conversation with a customer about watercolor.

This little Farmers Market is located on Harstine Island at the local Community Club and only open from 10-12 on Saturdays. Today there must have been approximately 25 vendors selling their wares (wish I would have counted ). I have been working diligently to be prepared for today, and was a bit nervous when I left to set-up before the Market opened this morning. I felt it was a positive adventure, one I'll do again. I received some helpful suggestion's and came home with more money from sales than I had expected. It was great ... no booth fees, close to home and the support of my many friends who dropped by during the morning.
Things I'll do different next time:
  • Consider using a canopy. Three of my friends have now offered the use of theirs and I'll probably take them up on the offer as the summer continues .... or at least get to the market early enough to grab one of the few shady spots.
  • Take something better to use as a change drawer. I hadn't given this much thought, but ended up using a make-up bag. It worked fine for only two hours but I'll try to come up with something different for next time.
  • I should have made more packs of cards. I sold individual cards for $2.25 each, Packs of 6 for $12.00, and the packs sold very well.
  • I need to paint more "local" sights.
  • Next time I'll arrive at least 1 hour early. TodayI arrived 45 minutes before the market opened.
  • Place price tags on each pack cards instead of relying on one sign to tell the price of all cards.
  • Also, I will take a photo of all the vendors. (aha... maybe that would make a nice subject to paint.)