Tuesday, November 30, 2010

"100 SLC Porches, No. 1" - The Beginning

I’ve decided to do an art project that was partially inspired by a fellow blogger.  For quite a while now I’ve been enjoying the “100 Faces” of artist Karin Jurick on her blog – A Painting Today.  Each new face she has painted has been unique and I am in awe of her talent. I thought it also might be a good way to challenge myself as a painter by doing “100 of” something. But I’m not talented enough yet to step up to "100 Faces" but maybe something else. But what? The idea has been simmering in the back of my mind for awhile.
SLC Porches, No.1-  8"x10" watercolor on cold press

So this last Thanksgiving holiday as I was walking/jogging, trying to burn some of those consumed calories, an idea struck! For some reason as I was going along I was noticing the porches on houses. There’s a great deal of variety of houses along my favorite route, and I will admit that is part of what has made it my favorite. Each house is unique and I was finding myself focusing particularly on the porches. Each porch is unique and I couldn’t help but feel I was being given a glimpse of the people who dwell in each house. The more and more I looked at all of these porches; I saw all of the variety and the possibilities. Boom! The light bulb went on, and I thought to myself. Why not? “100 Salt Lake City Porches”!

This last Saturday during my walk I took my camera and snapped photos of about 30 different porches. I’m not sure if all of them will translate to paint well, but it’s a start.  I'm playing with the "game plan" of doing 2 porches a week.  But I really don't want to focus so much on time restraints.  I want to feel that I'm doing proper justice to each unique porch.  I, also, want to allow room for artistic inspiration, and maybe for some that might be considered a "cop-out".  But any of you that know me, know that once my mind is set on something I can be darn tenacious.  I may from time to time need a "break" from porches and may feel inspired to paint something else from time to time.  Thus, I'm not really giving myself a dead line to finish these 100 SLC Porches.  Sunday I sat down and painted the first of many.

Oh, and if anyone sees a Salt Lake City porch, or perhaps, has a porch they would like to see painted.  Drop me an email its2allgood4u@yahoo.com with an address, or a request.  I also would love to hear any feedback you have on the “100 SLC Porches”.  A co-worker has already requested for her porch to be #52. I guess its her lucky number, or maybe she figures that by #52 I’ll be accomplished enough to make her porch look really good?  Hmmm...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mom's 10 lb. Butterball

"Mom's 10 lb. Butterball" 11" x 14" oil on canvasboard
I call this latest oil , "Mom's 10 lb. Butterball".  Mom sometimes calls her cat Butterball instead of his given name-- Buddy.  He's probably closer to 15 lbs. really.  She was teasing me about getting him a little cat treadmill to get him some exercise.  But I thought it was rather appropriate for Thanksgiving.
 Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 19, 2010

One Scene - Two Approaches

"Arches - Focus on Light", 8.5" x 11.5" watercolor on cold press
This week, I played with the basic same scene but approached it from two different ways.  One way was to focus on the light in the scene.  Above you will see this scene where there's more light that shows on the stones and the wrought iron gate is perceived as white through out the darker colors of the shaded background of the arches.   The other way was to focus on color.  In this approach I chose to have the color and detail decide what is close to you.  You will find the color focused arches scene below.  Let me clarify that these are basically the same scene EXCEPT for being mirror images of one another.  I'll admit that I cut corners with the one above.  I did it in my watercolor painting class and in the interest of time... It was enlarged and then traced.  I know that was kind of BAD of me. 

The above was especially a fun water color painting class experience because it started off as a rose colored wash.  Colleen showed me various ways to remove color from a water color painting where the paint has all ready been applied.  I rather felt like a chemist as we mixed bleach 50/50 with water.  A piece of clear acetate with cut out areas for the lighter areas (like the top arches and the windows within the arches) was placed over the rose colored wash.  With the acetate taped down, an old brush was used to apply the bleach/water mix to the rose colored wash.  It was interesting to see how the rose color started to disappear.  Those areas were then masked off.  While the masking fluid was drying, Colleen then showed me the FUN of using wax.  Wax was applied to various areas of the painting to give the effect of bricks.  I would color wash an area, then apply more wash, and then apply a wash with another color.  Layer upon layer; it was almost like building brick by brick and added bits of various colors to each wash to create the end result. 

Next, it was on to the shaded areas of the arches.  The shade was built; working from greens, browns, and then finally the blues.  Then Colleen showed how to remove color from the shaded arch areas to create the feeling of the wrought iron gates.  A metal razor blade was randomly and lightly scratched over the dried water color paint.  Thus, bit by bit the gates were formed.

" Arches with a Color Focus" 9" x 12" watercolor on yupo
The other approach was a focus on color.  The closer the surface is the darker and closer it is.  Therefore, on this painting there seems to be more of a focus on the wrought iron gates.  The inside of the arches are further away and thus contain lighter colors.  The inner arch areas almost disappear away with this approach.

So which do YOU like better?  I would love to hear your input!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Win/Win-- Art, Wine, & More...

Oil paintings displayed in the living room. Some of these were from the Tale of Two Mains show I did in March.

Last week I had my little private art show that I referred to as Art, Wine & More. Overall it was a Win/Win situation, and a BIG thanks to all of those who showed. A box was filled with non-perishable foods and I ended up selling 6 paintings which 10% of the proceeds is going to the Utah Food Bank.

Watercolor paintings and a couple of new oils were displayed in another room.

I held the event on both Thursday and Friday. Thursday night I had a couple of people in attendance, and I was kind of getting concerned but I know that I had a few people that had mentioned they were coming on Friday night.

Look at all of these Food Donations!

Friday night arrived and I had a co-worker that came over shortly after work. The co-worker purchased a painting. Then, a friend arrived early and shortly after that my water color teacher, Colleen, showed up. It rather kept up steady with people arriving and leaving until about the last hour. It was during this last hour that a group of friends and myself just hung out in the living room and chatted. While we chatted we enjoyed sipping beverages and sampling food. It was a very fun and relaxed atmosphere.

I ended up having about 13 people overall visit on Friday night. At the end of Friday night, 4 water color paintings and 2 oil paintings had sold. AND the Food Donation Box was practically filled. Wow~! Thus, I'm calling it a Win/Win situation. I even managed to talk a couple of friends into taking some fudge home. Can you say," I don't need that fudge on my hips!"

***- Oh and Mom- the first picture-- that's the chair I was talking about. The one that you re-upholstered which I just LOVE!