Saturday, March 26, 2016

Painting Challenge, Part 4: Conclusion

(Hah! I'd saved this draft months ago; apparently no new insights have come to me, so here it is. Happy spring!)

Any sort of art challenge ends up with...challenges. Lessons you learn. Some of those aren't surprising, like the resistance you have to push through to keep going, wanting/not wanting to do it, or wanting to do anything else but that.

One of the things I learned in art school was that if you make a lot of things, you end up with a few really good ones--this time, however, that kind of didn't happen. I'm disappointed, but in retrospect, not really surprised. This was all going on at the most stressful time of year work-wise, and many of these were painted at the, "I am so ready to go to sleep--but wait, I didn't paint yet" time of night.

Which leads to Hurdle Number Two (Number One being the resistance): technical issues!

I have dabbled with watercolor and gleaned some bits of insight, but...oh, the technical frustrations of trying to do a somewhat satisfactory watercolor painting in one sitting. That basically is impossible. I sort of pulled it off with a few of the more "sketchy" ones, but trying to do something that looked complete and had dark shadows--it doesn't happen. In order to add more paint, more darkness, the first layer has to be dry. I can't say how many times I was impatient, and ended up lifting ALL the color off! Or adding paint and having it run all through another area I was done with, and then having to try to fix it.

One completely different issue that hadn't occurred to me was scale--my normal drawings of faces probably average around one inch high, so increasing to close to six inches was drastic! Another time I would also collect reference photos ahead of time; I only used about three for this challenge, which is why the faces look so similar.

Days 23, 24, & 25

Days 26, 27, & 28

Days 29 & 30

Friday, January 1, 2016

Painting Challenge, Part 3

Next installment!

Days 14, 15, & 16

Days 17, 18, & 19

Days 20, 21, & 22

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Painting Challenge, Part 2

I completed my 30 Faces in 30 Days challenge!

I got the idea from Galia Alena--here are her posts:
New Challenge
Part Two
Part Three

I didn't state the parameters last time:
* same size--they are all 4x6 inches, Strathmore 140 lb cold press watercolor paper
* must involve brush or paint [I didn't end up varying--except for using ink one time, they are all watercolor]
* share them even if they are really bad
* added this one part way through: share even if I don't like them.

Apparently it was enough to manage to get the paintings done, so now I am left to catch up with posting. Here is the next batch.

Days 5, 6, & 7

Days 8, 9, & 10

Days 11, 12, & 13

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Reappearing [and Painting Challenge, Part 1]

Hmm, so much for posting regularly! I have been sharing some on the insidious Facebook, but that is really not ideal. There are plans in the works, some of which were unplanned--I did not plan to start hunting for a house again, for example. I'm starting to get my feet back under me, and hope to get better at balancing things.

In the meantime, here are some photos of bits & pieces of things that I've made this year. One of advantage of blogging regularly (I tell myself) is that it gives me a record of accomplishment better than digital photos tucked away in virtual folders.


My most recent project is a challenge to paint 30 faces in 30 days, an idea I got from Galia Alena. Days 1-4 are below.

A taste of what has been going on--more appealing than packing boxes, yes? I'm not as close to having a regular creative practice as I'd like, but despite everything, I do feel like I'm starting to make progress. If I can nurture it through the next six months or so, I hope to be able to root it firmly once the housing situation is under control.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Here is a selection of images to close out the year:



I'm taking VisualQuest with Pixie Lighthorse--well, technically it's over already, and I am meandering along with the class material. It's really cathartic to paint large and messy. This is the biggest canvas I've ever painted, 30 x 30 inches.

Best wishes and happy creating in the New Year! One of my intentions is to post more regularly, as a practice for another intention of getting a "real artist" website set up. Any encouragement along the way is welcome!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Things have been happening

I'm nearly done with this year's painting for the Portland Audubon Society Fundraiser.


Then as a relief from careful painting, I started painting this.


And there was still a bit of black paint left, so I finished this off. It is #8 from the 100 Paintings Project (I'm up to 12, but a few need a bit more, and I will wait to post them in order).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Paintings

Here are the ones I didn't post last time, when the internet connection was uncooperative.

This one is kind of a memorial, inspired by my purple opuntia that recently finished giving up the ghost. (acrylic)


Another desert scene. (water soluble colored pencil + water brush)


OMG--straight lines and bilateral symmetry! No! (For whatever reason, the curve is MUCH worse in the photo.) The best part of this one is the association--inspired by a lovely afternoon in the teahouse at the Portland Classical Chinese Garden chatting with Stephanie Anderson Ladd. (If you are interested in the Sacred Feminine or Goddess archetypes, do check out her website!) (watercolor)


This one was inspired by the view from my hotel during the Complex Weavers Seminars--Mt. Rainier. The painting took a fraction of the time it took to do the last one, and is much more satisfying. It is not true to life, but the colors make me feel like I did looking at the mountain, though the photo shows as crazy more orange than the painting. (acrylic)


The mountain itself, in evening and morning guise: