I wasn’t feeling very well yesterday, so I left work early and took it easy at home. I spent the first couple hours on the couch and then decided to sit outside in the beautiful sunshine and do a little painting. I was quite productive!
I worked on paper because it is easy to carry outside and because I feel more free to be experimental. So here is experiment number one. In this one, I was working on figures again, but with more energy and an abstract background.
Steam Bath, Acrylic on paper, 2012
Experiment number two: This is another painting from my photo trip to Lakota Wolf Preserve. In this one, I started with an abstract background and then added a wolf looking in from the side. I enjoy experimenting with balance and unique compositions.
Lakota Spirit, Acrylic on paper, 2012
My final experiment was a landscape. I’ve been thinking about this for some time and I finally conjured up the courage to give it a try. I have to admit, I’m surprised by how much I like the finished painting. I may work on a few more!
Lunch Break, Acrylic on paper, 2012
All in all, a pretty good sick day!
I decided to give figurative work another try today…
Summer Morning, Acrylic on paper, 2012
Especially those portraits that are not exactly realistic! An artist friend and I decided to do portraits of each other for a project. He drew me with conte crayon (I’ll post his creation sometime soon!) and I painted him with acrylics. If it isn’t really apparent yet, I paint dogs! Well, dogs, wolves, sometimes even birds when I’m feeling adventurous, but I rarely paint people. So, I already felt at a disadvantage. On top of that, this man is my friend, a really good friend, so I really don’t want to make a hash of it. I took a bunch of photos and fiddled with the lighting an composition until I was pretty happy with my plan and then I set to work. It took me a coupe of sessions in front of the easel to get to the final piece…and then I had to deliver it! Happily, he seems to like it! I was a bit worried, because what I captured on the canvas seemed a bit on the dark side. I had set out to do something kind of “pretty” and I had not done THAT at all!
Channeling Michael, Acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12", 2012
Daphne Dreaming, Acrylic on canvas, 9" x 12", 2012
I have been working on increasing my skill with human figures and faces. I chose a single photo and have been painting and repainting it, hoping to be able to find a style that works for me and the subject. I’ve painted her body 3 or 4 times now and still have not created anything that has been able to capture the image that’s in my mind. This is my second attempt at her face and, finally, I have found the beginning of a style that may work.
Last Dance, Acrylic on canvas board, 16" x 20", 2012
I made another attempt at painting a figure this weekend. I have had this “picture” of a woman dancing in my head forever and I just can’t get it out onto the canvas. This is my most recent attempt. Nope! Not there!
So, back to my comfort zone. I dug out an old photograph that I shot years ago at Lakota Wolf Preserve of an arctic wolf. This time I changed things by trying a new surface, something called Gessobord, It’s interesting! Very smooth, not texture, just a hint of tooth. I used brushes and a palette knife. While it was a lot of fun to paint, I’m not completely sure I love the result. It is definitely better up close and in person than in a photo. It is hard to capture the texture and the subtlety of color. I may go back and rework it a little bit when I get past my “figure drawing frustration”. We’ll see…
Autumn Frost, Acrylic on Gessobord, 16" x 20", 2012
I started running this year. I usually like it. Sometimes, though, it causes a lot of pain. I’m told, that stretching after every run will do a lot to alleviate that pain. But I HATE stretching!!! I’m pretty sure everyone does! So how do I talk myself into doing it? I know it’s good for me…but I just don’t like doing it.
I also find it difficult to paint outside of my comfort zone. If you haven’t noticed already, I really like dogs. I like them as living creatures and I especially like them as subjects! To strengthen my painting ability, though, I think I need to STRETCH a bit. It’s good for me! I know that…so how do I get myself to do it. Stay tuned! I will be testing out some new subject matter over the next few weeks!
Stretch, Acrylic on canvas board, 16" x 20", 2012
Time to S-T-R-E-T-C-H!
Shoes Untied Again! Acrylic on cnavas, 11" x 9", 2012
It’s been a long time since I had a figure drawing class! I took me close to three weeks and countless repaintings to get this one done! I seem to have completely forgotten how the human body is assembled! If I’m going to continue to grow as a painter, I think I need to make sure that I mix in a few people with the canines every now and then.