Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Life in Pastels

Okay, so I'm not fond of wearing those light pastel colors, but, now drawing in pastels--that's a whole different beast. And, oh, what a beast...

This lovely snow leopard had just woken up from a summer day's zoo nap when I first photographed him. I'm not quite sure what he saw or heard up above--likely some kind of plane or bird flying above. I love the ability to build a drawing in layers that allows some forgiveness and corrections. Definitely an advantage to developing a more accurate representation of the 3-dimensional structure for a big cat like this.

There are parts of me that forgot how pleasurable it is to draw (or paint) depending on what you consider pastels to be. I consider this image more as a drawing than a painting, but that's just me. I have covered the entire surface of the paper with medium, so according to my past instructor, I'm definitely painting...But, then again, that instructor said that getting a good painting on a dark field was difficult and just not as attractive. On the other hand, I love the dark charcoal Fabriano Tiziano surface, and I think I covered it quite nicely. I've also used fixative throughout the process, which many pastelists don't like because it often darkens the colors too much. I have to say that I've become a really big fan of Sennelier's Latour fixative, which really darkens things only slightly (and often only temporarily).

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Madison Area Open Art Studios 2007

This is the fourth year I'll be participating in the Madison Area Open Art Studios fall tour. This is the time of year where I open my home studio to everyone so that you can see all of the wonderful creations I make which range from crocheted and beaded jewelry to handbags to my photography, marble coasters, and pastel images. See where I make and refurbish frames, mat my images, print, and how I integrate art into my lifestyle. Click the image below to view this event's full size postcard in JPEG form, download the PDF, or read all about the studio tour at www.maoas.com .

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another Fowl Day

I pulled out the pastels again to re-draw my buddy, the heron. This drawing has the leggy guy looking into the sunset and is significantly smaller (7x8 in) than the one I drew in August (18x20 in). I love the blues and greens in this version, and the curve of his neck! Almost makes me want to hang out in the pond up to the top of my calves...
The days here are getting too short way too quickly. My dog now thinks that our evening walk should begin as soon as the sun drops, and since that seemingly has changed from 8:30 to 7:30 in a couple of weeks, his sense of urgency has definitely increased. On the other hand, doing an earlier walk has messed with my internal clock and has me heading off to bed shortly after the walk. I'm sure that anyone who knows me would be shocked that I'm getting to sleep BEFORE midnight...and even getting out of bed in what others actually consider the real lovely part of the morning.

: )

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Going Postal

When I volunteered to paint a mailbox, I wasn't quite sure how far I'd go. It's been quite awhile since I've painted anything, let alone on a curved metal surface that's exposed to the elements. Then, of course, I began to think about what I'd paint on the mailbox, and began coming up with some designs.
My first source for designs is my photo archive, and since this house has become a recurring nesting ground for robins, it was easy to select a lovely red-breasted beauty. The ever vigilant parents were great guardians for the little ones, and became increasingly courageous around me, my camera, and my lovely German Shepherd.
My next design was a reprisal of a purple coneflower drawn on a smaller scale (2.5 x 3.5 inches) that I enlarged to about twice that size. Rather than working with a broad, pre-mixed palette, I mixed a pleasant set of secondary colors, all from the basic source bottles of primaries red, yellow, and blue, plus black and white.
Final touches include street address numbers, and some birds flying in the sky. The boxes have already brought compliments and many smiles of their own. And, of course, since the name of my neighbor's eldercare facility is Sonrisas, that's just what I like to see! : )
Kathy, the director of Sonrisas, had initially suggested a happy face as a starting point. I wanted to integrate it into a bright sun...so that through whatever weather comes our way, there would be at least a little bit of sunshine on our street. So each mailbox has a smiling sun on one side and either a robin or a coneflower on the other side of the box.

Each box was painted with weatherproof metal paint and sealed against the major elements, and I have plans to refinish the old mailboxes to new life with great new colorful designs. I can't wait for the next inspiration to hit!

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