Friday, February 10, 2012

Time for Crystal

Crystal and glass are beautiful when painted right. For some of us it just doesn't "click" and we tend to over paint. One of the draw backs of being a self taught artist, some times you just can't figure it out. For me that is difficult to admit, so I avoided anything with crystal and glass.
After some coaxing and the opportunity to view a set of videos made by Mollie Jones during a gathering of Painting Friends , I decided to make the attempt. This would also give me the opportunity to learn to loosen up a little and still achieve detail.

The painting demo is of a beautiful crystal bowl, with I am doing glass and reds. I started with the strawberries. At this point I was more afraid of the amount of red paint then I was about creating detail in the crystal. But once the brushes were wet and the paint was on the paper, the fears were aside. Now I was more interested in technique. How much did I remember?  
When the painting was finish, and it actually looked like crystal,  I was surprised at how much I enjoyed painting crystal and how much I had learned. I also wanted to paint  another one. I pulled out some of my "crystal",  bought some strawberries, created  and photographed several setups, and chose my favorites. I  painted 2 more, and have plans for another in the near future.

Now whenever I see interesting piece of crystal or cut glass, I now find myself  thinking of what I could put in it or with it to photograph and paint.!!     You're right Mollie, I'm hooked!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rock and Rust

It seems when there is a lot going on in the reality of everyday life, computer time falls to the wayside, so it's been a while since my last post. Life is funny though, you never know what will peek your interest. So when ever I get to leave the house I take a camera and a sketch pad with me. Anything that happens to catch my eye, I snap a few reference photos.

On an outing with my husband, we found an old rail road depot. While we walked around outside the depot (still standing but in disrepair from a fire) I noticed that some of the old rails laid on the ground next what was left of the old track. A plant with a purple flower growing right against an old rail caught my attention . I snapped a few pics, the flower, the ballast rock, the rails, any remnant of what was there long ago, rusting away. Reviewing the photos, I noticed a rusted spike laying on the ballast was much more interesting the flower. I collected the photos with the most interesting rocks, collected a few similar rocks to put on my painting table and followed my muse

 This rusty nail on a pile of dirty rock occupied my attention, as I tried to capture the textures and colors in the rocks, leaves, twigs and shadows.  I worked on my shadows first, trying to break up the white paper and seperate the shapes. Then I began to "build" the rocks, laying background washed of color, diffrent for each rock. I then began to define shapes, features, colors and textures.
"Laid to Rust"

Once the rocks and background were finished, I worked on the leaves, twigs and the spike, trying to keep the texture and depth as detailed as the rocks.

As soon as  the paper was dry and flat, the painting was framed, just in time to enter it and 2 other pieces in a local juried art show.  To my excitement, I received a call telling me "Laid to Rust" won 2nd place. Coming in second only to my other entry "The Nesting Place". A very Good Day Indeed!!