Been doing variations of these for thirty years, just holding the pastel like a ouija board planchette and seeing what happens. The first I did recently looked like an angel over the earth to me, so I called it earth angel, the others - nothing in particular. The spiral seems to be important though. Relaxing.
Big change this week, just really over picky copy work. I'm experimenting with automatic drawing, like in hold onto the charcoal or pastel and letting it ouija board around. I did have models, pictures I took of a pet rabbit long ago, so long ago that they are real pictures taken with film. Some on black paper, some on brown, all with charcoal and hard pastels, and all deeply satisfying in ways I haven't felt in a while.
These lovely rescue pups, Dweezil the lab mix and Sammy the pointer cross, have been part of our lives for a while now, Dweezil came as a four month puppy and is now a year and a half and nearly done teething, and Sammy has been here two years plus and was adopted from a shelter where he spent his first seven years. Both of them are now living their best lives and finally have their portraits on the wall with the rest of the family. About time.
This was a fun idea that probably stops right here... I was remembering Colorforms, a toy from long ago that had cut out vinyl images that you could make pictures with. I loved it, but always wished I could have more pictures. I have those skills now! I painted the little fish on canvas and cut them out, then layered them on the painting I did a couple of days ago. Sort of puts me in mind of Atlantis. Anyway, fun but not really compelling, and now I have these little fish that I probably won't throw away, but what to do with them?
Who am I kidding? I have horses and four dogs with separation anxiety, a vacation is a grocery trip. I traveled as far as the computer and found some Egyptian relief sculptures and painted them up in acrylics. Horus is 9x12, Isis is 11x14. I've been wondering lately why art techniques are so easy for me, I've been doing relief sculptures since I was a kid, making huge reliefs on the beach out of sand instead of castles. When I was introduced to calligraphy I held the pen accurately, made very pretty letters the first day and couldn't understand why everyone else had problems. Been drawing obsessively since age two, have had no problem with etching, litho, engraving... outside of not much liking the precision involved, thinking "this is something that should be handed to technicians. The only thing I can't master is all prima, even though I had lessons in this starting at age 10 for about three years. It's like I can handle anything pre 19th century and am lost to anything from impressionism on. and now I have to deal with digital and It's all over. I really need to find a cave and some ocher and bear grease and do what I know how to do.
start of the painting, I drew the image in charcoal on a ground of charcoal colored chalk paint, painted it in bone black and titanium white Golden liquid acrylics
next step still in black and white, the texture of the octopus. I drew the patterns in charcoal and painted them down with Golden glaze medium, then highlighted with white
first coat of color with Golden fluid acrylics and glaze medium. I dipped a piece of sea sponge in the wet glaze on some of the background to get the sparkly effect, and will put more of the blue on after it dries. Colors include raw umber, quinacridone red, vat orange, Jenkins green, and thalo blue, green shade.
finishing up the painting, I put more thalo blue on the background, added the school of fish and picked up the contrast where needed with charcoal painted down with glaze medium. I varnished it with two coats of Golden UVLS varnish. The painting took three days total.
These are the steps in my latest painting, a 36x48 painting of an octopus eyeing a school of Sergeant Majors. It came to me in meditation that my spirit animal might be an octopus. It used to be a turtle, I had dreams about turtles, saw one at most significant times and could interpret what they were about, but turtles have not been on my mind for years. I looked up the meaning of octopus and got: Totem, Spirit Animal People with the Octopus totem know how to get what they want intelligently and efficiently. They are also productive workers and often accomplish far more than the average person in the same amount of time. Folks with this spirit animal know how to get what they want and can effectively camouflage their desires until the last possible moment. Octopus totem people are often very flexible and agile, quick thinking, and gifted at abstract reasoning. They also rarely get upset at things and are always adapting and adjusting as needed to make life easier. Also, housekeeping is not their strong suit. They can be clingy in relationships and be self-sacrificial in the rearing of their children.
All of that sounds sort of right. I've also read about octopi punching fish for fun. I commented to Bob that it didn't really sound like me, but he said "oh, I don't know, you invite in Jehovah's Witnesses and argue religion with them." so, yeah. That too.
This painting drove my recent love of landscapes right out of the water, they were good for breaking the stranglehold of other people's art and what the market wants but this one brought me back to when I wanted to be a marine biologist. I've whined for fifty years about being sidetracked from that goal, but if I'm honest I will admit that I don't actually like science, by my reckoning it puts the dogma of religion in the shade and is mostly concerned with drilling down on minutiae while I am interested in the global POV. What I really wanted was to see these beautiful underwater things and maybe reproduce them with art materials and get paid for it. Now that I'm retired the getting paid for it would be nice but not so essential, it seems that life seems to take care of itself. I wouldn't sell this one anyway, it's mine.
8x10 acrylic paintings based on the cave art at Lascaux, France. I love these, and like to think one of my past lives was a cave artist. Why not?
I remembered a whole lot of Florida Gulf coast landscapes we took years ago and tried out the acrylic black and white and then oils color coat. All are 8x10 except the last with lily pads, that one is 14x18. We don't go there anymore, it is environmentally dangerous - flesh eating bacteria have turned up in the water and I only like to wander on the beach in barefeet. Not safe with oyster shells all over the place. So pretty though, I miss it.
A batch of Oregon coast landscapes in oils, 8x10 inches. I love the abstract elements of these pieces. The oil is the top color coat over an acrylic black and white painting. This makes for a very fast painting. I need something a little slower!
A landmark rock on the Oregon coast, make up your own stories about the name... For this small (8x10) painting I used the same method as the last post. Charcoal matte ground, painted the sky with white chalk paint, sketch in pastel, underpainting with black and white acrylic then a final coat with oil paints and liquin. So fast! and answers my need to keep my distance from solvents, I only takes a coupld of minutes for the color and I'm out.