Sunday, January 27, 2013

Still Standing--oil painting

Still Standing, oil (alkyd) on linen, 12x12
Since it was cold and icy, I slid out to my studio for the last couple of days.  This tree is down by my dock; I always stare up at it for a while before walking back up to the house.  I don't know if it's still alive--it's surrounded by other trees and I can't tell if there's any green at the very top; there's none on the lower branches.  I thought it was a cedar; now I'm not sure--the trunk is rather hairy.  I painted this from memory; the photo is a bit different.  I like that this is stark naked against the cold sky.

Maybe I should title it reforestation.  

Sketches for Still Standing
During the past year, I've thought of the tree often.  I like the one on the left--Crayola crayons on card stock.  Top right is hydrus watercolor, and lower right is, I believe, oil (it was painted from the photo). 
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Monday, January 21, 2013

Inktense Pencils and Hydrus Watercolors

Low Lake Level in the Cove, inktense pencils on clayboard, 5x7
Like everyone else, I hate finishing and framing.  Two of my paintings--The Blue Man and Caution--were finished some time ago and just sitting on my easels.  I've read that watercolors on Ampersand aquaboard can be varnished and framed without glass, but what about inktense pencils or hydrus watercolors on aquaboard?  I decided to test with this small drawing of maybe a willow tree behind my neighbor's house (sometimes it's in the water--sometimes not).  This is from a photo I took as Willie and I checked out the cove; I liked the colors--the orange and yellow parts are usually filled with blue water.
A Walk IN the Cove January 2013, photo
Two weeks ago we actually walked IN the cove behind my house (though I do have a fear of quicksand); it was 70 degrees that afternoon and not much water--my dock was on dirt.  I looked for arrowheads and found a couple of smooth round rocks.  I considered taking my metal detector down but it rained the following day--and for several more days.  The Lake's back--and it's a 50,000-acre one.  I can see the water from my upstairs window and I don't need to walk down; the weather has turned cold.
Hot Feet, hydrus watercolor on clayboard, 6x6
Just a sketch to test the varnish.  I suppose I could have just painted squares or lines but what fun would that have been? 
Okay, today I gave everything several coats of varnish.  I set up a varnishing station in the workshop bathroom--covered the toilet with large pieces of cardboard and turned on the exhaust fan--ran in and sprayed; ran to the porch door and breathed.  Nothing disappeared and it passed my Q tip test--dipped it into water, then rubbed the painting--no color came off and no lines were smeared.  I used Golden archival satin varnish.  
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Graphite and Pigma Pen in Moleskin Sketchbook
I survived the Holidays and spent yesterday taking down and storing my few decorations, changing the whole-house water filter, then making my black-eyed peas and collard greens soup for today's good-luck meal.  I was determined to spend New Year's Day in the studio/workshop but first I in my down coat had to get through all the junk in order to turn on the heat.  While getting organized I came across this sketchbook--first sketch is from March 2010 and the next from June 2011.  This is only the third, and pencil to paper was fun--forget cleaning. 

I usually don't make resolutions; they don't last, and I'm sure this one won't.  Can you tell I had taken Willie for a walk earlier?  Actually, this Food Lion bag is from my car--contains snacks--peanut butter cookies and an energy bar.

Happy New Year.
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