Thursday, September 30, 2010

Paper Painting Peppers

Say that 5 times fast! :-)

I did this as a demo of the underpainting at my class on Sept 15. But for the actual paper painting I worked on the dairy cow. Now, I've begun to add some of the papers to this one.

I filled in all the dark in the background and now have just started the green peppers on the left top corner. That's probably as far as I am going to get here in WI. I am starting to pack up the studio now and get ready for the annual trek back south to Florida.

I am thinking of continuing on during the Fine Art Open House in Florida on November 5th. If I get some interest in the technique I may set up a 2 morning class. There are a number of people who paint with acrylics in our park. I'll take some extra canvas boards and rice paper.

We plan to leave northern WI either Wed the 13th or Thursday the 14th of October. October, can you believe it!!! We have a pretty solid shut-down schedule as we do this each fall. My hubby has the lakefront closed down now, pier in and boats winterized. Now we will start on the summer porches and yard furniture. Then move into the house. We drain the pipes and shut things down tight. We are a team! Nights are like 31 degrees here now and our leaves are all falling down! It was pretty but it didn't last long!

I'll probably post a few more times before we leave and maybe get out my sketchbooks during the last weeks.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

A Few Subtle Changes

My hubby is always my first critic. He liked this painting very much. Words like "bright", "cheerful", "eye catching", "fun" and "hey, there's your apple peeler" were his first words! But he had some trouble "reading" the bag of flour which appeared to have too many disjoined shapes to be a single object. He's often right about these things!

So, I have simplified the flour bag shape (you can scroll down to yesterday's post to see the difference). I darkened some shadows on the bag a little and added a tiny bit more printing on it. I did glaze that apple again but in the photo it does still read pretty orange. So I think I will do a few more glazes on it and see if I can "red" it up a little more.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Now It's Time to Wait

There's always that time...when you wonder if you are done. And of course, as Judi Betts always says, "No painting is ever done. You just find an interesting place to stop."

So I'll prop it up now for a week or so and look at it when I go by. No matter what, it was entertaining and fun to paint. It will be a good illustration for the Apple Cake recipe and I will print the recipe and put it on the back of the painting! A bonus!

I see it as a nice painting for a kitchen or entry way. A sort of "welcome to my kitchen" or something. I think I may re-glaze the apple in the left foreground with more appears a little too orange. Otherwise, right now...I am feeling happy about it. Someone commented on the painting being "almost an abstract". I feel that way too. More about shapes than anything.

Letting the Still Life Emerge

There are some fun styles I like to work with on black gesso. There is NO problem getting things to "pop" out. Color just has a "boing" to it.

If you scroll down you'll see the initial sketch and the first blocking on this still life.

I have a lot of fun decisions to make on this now...nothing like a rainy day to help you concentrate on "play". This kind of painting is just totally fun "play".

Working title: "Apple Cake"

It is acrylic 16 x 20 on stretched canvas.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Blocking In

Today is a good day to do a little work in the studio so I pulled out that image I did of the Apple Cake ingredients.

I did the preliminary sketch in pastel pencil on 16 x 20 canvas over black gesso. Next I will go back and see about light/dark, how to indicate the light source and what details I want to put in. Here I am just looking at composition and a little work with how I want to arrange the colors. Just fun! All girls want to do is have fun!

It is POURING rain in the north woods today. We are under a flood warning! But it cozy in the studio with music on and the sounds of the rain on the roof.

Officially Autumn

Today is the first day of fall, the autumnal equinox, where the sun is directly above the equator and the length of day and night are nearly equal. The autumnal equinox occurred early this morning at 3:09 UTC, Coordinated Universal Time. But here in America, the equinox occurred last night, at 11:09 on the East Coast.

I looked up the daylight hours for Lac du Flambeau, Wi (northern Wi) and we have 13 hours and 7 minutes of daylight now. And we are losing 3 minutes and 13 seconds of daylight each day.
Normal temperature for today is 59 and we'll be at about that temp most of today. Although we are in a flood watch today with 100% chance of thunderstorms. A perfect day to paint!!!

These leaves are from my walk along the forest roads two days ago shortly after a rain storm...the sun came out and we had a brilliant morning and the wet leaves on the roads glistened like they had been freshly painted! Or freshly given a gloss coat of varnish! The sky after the rain was so clear it gave you a sense of being in a 3D movie. And the sky was a deep Cobalt blue against the gambouge yellows of the birches. I am holding off painting leaves this fall...and rather concentrating on a still life of apple cake and my glorious peppers.

We have 3 weeks left in the north woods now during which time we will see the leaves all fall and probably some snow showers arrive turning fall to winter in such a brief flash. I see from reading my favorite north woods almanac Graced By the Seasons: Fall and Winter in the Northwoods by John Bates, that in the year 2000 on October 7, Lac du Flambeau area had 7" of snow! I wonder if I should invest in a pair of boots?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Setting up for a Still Life Painting

One of the things we did in my class last Wednesday was to talk about "themes" or painting in a "series" and how powerful that can be.

One theme I enjoy is cooking. Although I do not do a lot of baking or gourmet cooking which I am sure some of you do...I still find the ingredients to be wonderful and beautiful and there is surely an element to food that applies and touches us all.

I was thinking of that today while I made my apple cake. I shall have to post this again when it turns into a painting!
Recipe for Ginny's Fresh Apple Cake

3 eggs
1-3/4 cups sugar
1 cup oil
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
5-6 apples peeled and cut thick
1 cup halved walnuts

Do not use a mixer for this cake. Blend eggs, sugar, oil. Add flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Add apples and nuts. Baked in greased 9 x 13 pan at 350 for l hour.

I top this with a dollop of cool whip or whipped cream. Good warm with vanilla ice cream.

Smells like fall when baking!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Paper Painting Today

The paper painting and acrylic class I taught was today in Woodruff, WI. I taught 5 gals and we so enjoyed being together in a cozy place on a cold and rainy Wednesday!

Here we are mid-morning watching Elizabeth St. Claire Nelson's video as part of our preparation for the technique...which new to everyone!!!

One person started her Christmas card with birch trees, wreaths and a lovely cardinal...and the other painting will be a big pot of beautiful plants with leaves of all colors! They all did a great job and we all had fun!!!

Paper Painting Class

One always has SUCH a variety of subjects and styles in any class. This one was no exception.

The pumpkins are in underpainting stage with the pumpkin in the far back the only part with paper on it.

Lots more happening on the bear painting...directly from a photo of one in her back yard recently. (Remember we are in the north woods of Wisconsin!)

The eagle is a local guy too...and she has "just" begun to put the paper on this one.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My friend, Lou Fitton, in Canada was talking by email to me the other day about "posterizing" a photo and then using it as a useful tool for creating a painting.

So this evening I booted up my photoshop to see if I could play with some images.

I used my 14 year old grandson, Nate, for the portrait image.

There are a ton of ways to posterize the image...this top one is just one of hundreds of ways. It boggles the mind.

The second image is called "ink sketch" and the last one is "colored pencil" . Each of these images can be tweaked about 50 different ways also.

I am sure many many of the friends of this blog have used Photoshop in tons of ways to enhance a photo for inspiration.

If anyone has a favorite one or can give me (and Lou) a heads up on any good art tips based on photoshop, let us know.

Looking at these makes my fingers itchy to get started!

Meanwhile I am preparing to head out in the morning to Woodruff, WI to teaching an acrylic class in paper painting. Photos to follow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Feelin' Spicey

I was in the grocery yesterday and when I went by the peppers they just knocked my socks off with the color.
There is something about fall harvest, isn't there? Pumpkins, gourds, apples, pears, vegetables. Wow.
If I bought these for a still life I figure it would have cost me about $10!
So, cheapskate that I am, I arranged them right there in the produce section and photographed them.
This is a promo for having a camera so small it fits in your purse! You never know when something will come up!!!
Garage sales is another really nice place for photos of old rockers, antique toys, and beautiful tea pots without having to spend a cent!!!

I am thinking of using these in my Wed class for paper painting. More to follow on that.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Serious Look at Joy

I know, I know. It's not even officially autumn yet. But if you want to get your Christmas card into the printer and have it proofed and ready to pack for your southern trip to have to plan ahead! It's the same every fall. I try to be the first at the printers with my card...but I never am.

This is a very different kind of card for me. But I am in both a serious and whimsical mood at printing time. For me, "joy" is a word not to be taken lightly as it goes way beyond "happy" to touch the hand of God. So my wish goes way beyond wishing people a "ho ho ho" for the holiday. I wish for you the presence of the Holy Spirit in the depths of your heart and so much so that you spread the gift of it to others.

And yet, with an artist's whimsy I send the wish with a wide grin. I want you to smile outside and in.

This painting is 11" x 15" on Kilimanjaro watercolor paper primed with white gesso. It is painted with acrylic and gouache. I have given it several light coats of archival matt finish acrylic spray.