Saturday, January 29, 2011

Where did january go?

The month has flown by. I've been occupied with preparations for next summer mostly, cutting mats for our prints, building this and that, trying to get things out of the way before gardening season. The mesclun lettuce mix I planted a month ago under lights is outgrowing it's tray so today I transplanted these babies into the earth bed in the greenhouse. Beautifully warm in there with the bright sunshine streaming in, a perfect antidote to january's deep snow.
The leeks started at the same time are looking good, and four types of onions seeded last week are unfolding themselves from their trays.

I got started on a watercolor painting at last. First I wet the paper and gave it a wash of  dilute yellow ochre because I was thinking of the scene being in early morning warm light. I sketched out the scene and covered the light areas that will be the highlights, with masking fluid. Then came wet sloppy colors that were alowed to blend and merge.
When all was dry, stronger but still loose and wet colors were applied to the background.

Next came the shadows and local colors of the wharf and the boats.
Then I rubbed off the masking fluid, tidied up the edges and deepened shadows. I lifted off color to create the third building in the background and added some foliage texture. I hope to finish this in a few days, adding seaweed and rocks to the foreground and reflections on the water.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Portrait of Riley

I loved this photo of my son's fiancee the moment I saw it because it captured a moment between them in a wild and beautiful place not far from here on the Bay of Fundy. This pair is all about the outdoors, enjoying nature, camping , hiking, skydiving, adventures they squeeze  into  their busy hard working lives. I wanted to help remember this special day so the pic became the inspiration to the only painting I got done before Christmas.

This started out as a watercolor on toned pastel paper then evolved through charcoal, conte, and pastel. I wanted to capture this lovely lady's adventuresome windblown spirit along with her sort of 1940's glamorous look she pulls off without even trying.
      I am having the same battle of procrastination I face every winter in getting back to painting...can't seem to focus on it when there's other things to "get out of the way first." I'm sure the only reason I finished this portrait was the looming deadline of Christmas. So since the end of the tourists in november I have been having a prolonged slate clearing exercise, cutting hundreds of mats for next summer's print sales at our shop. Tomorrow I'll clean up the studio and then I should be out of excuses.