tiny happy people on the beach sketch

fine point pen and charcoal

The people are far away and they have to be small for the painting I’m working on. If I put closer people and umbrellas in the picture the background guys will be totally hidden. I still need to sketch some kids doing their sand excavations then I’ll have enough people sketched for the painting. At this point I’m still comparing the sizes of figures that will fit in the scene, where their heads fall compared to the horizon and where their feet are on the sand. A lot of the people are tiny tiny, as small as I can draw. The painting might be ok without any people. All it really needs is the brightly colored umbrellas and tents and a few dots for people in the water far away but I’ll sketch more and decide later. Some sand castle builders in the foreground might be nice.

This close up is larger than I drew it.

How do you like that dog? You knew that was a dog, right? Ok my job is done. hahahaha

beach sketch / charcoal

The weather has been great lately and I finally got back out to sketch at First Landing. It was crowded and I sat behind the people on the edge of a dune. They didn’t know I was sketching them. Since I was slightly uphill from them the tops of the umbrellas were below the horizon and their heads were close to the water line. This isn’t the view I need for my painting but I might be able to use it somehow for my big beach painting which is on hold until I decide how to paint people in the scene.

A cargo ship went out to sea and I hurried to sketch it. The ships look so huge right there you think they will run aground because they are so big and close up but I think that might be an optical illusion caused by the sea. I’m not sure. The way the sand juts out right there might add to an illusion. Next to First Landing State Park we have Fort Story at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, and they would let me go in to see the lighthouse. I might go in some day and see if the ships look too close but if I do go in they will check me at the guard house and do I really want to go on a military base? I saw the lighthouse long ago.

acrylic abstract and true story of my amazing good luck

You might hear me say that my life has been weird. Not only did I suffer which made me into the great artist I am today, (The suffering is over and I ain’t dead yet, thank God,) but I also have had a lot of unexpected good luck when I needed it. I have beat million to one odds in the past without even trying, but I can’t tell all my stories on the blog.

A couple days ago I drove out and a light came on that said “Low tire pressure” so I pulled into the first place to park which just happened to be a whole line of car care places. I got out to look at my tires and they didn’t look too bad but one was slightly flat. A man was standing outside of a used tire store and I asked him if I could use the air pump and he told me to pull forward and he put air in the tire for me and there was no charge. He didn’t see why the air leaked out except that there are some small cracks but the tires aren’t too bad. So I went home and looked up tire stores. Discount Tire is only a few blocks away so I called them and said I might need to buy tires and the man said come on over.

He looked at all my tires. The one leaking had a screw in it and he said he’d patch it but I said no, I’ll buy new tires because I had a patch once before and it blew out on the highway which was very scary. He asked me what kind of patch it was and I didn’t know because it was so long ago. Now they have new patches that are recommended by the manufacturer where they bore out an exact size hole for an exact size plug and they triple glue the plug in with a patch and it won’t blow out. The small cracks are normal wear, probably no problem.

The man said I can drive 8000 more miles on these tires and they still won’t be dangerous. So I said I’d come back for new tires in Nov or Dec because I’m going to DC or PA and Maine but all that won’t add up to 8000 miles. Which is good to know because there’s no man around here checking on my tires for me and if I had a flat it could be disastrous.

He didn’t charge me for the patch for which I thanked him and said I’d buy my tires there. I’m always so happy when a business owner cuts me slack like that. He could have got $900 out of me this week, because when these tires are expired I’ll buy 4 new ones.

When I was younger I chalked up my good luck to my last name Ludke sounding like lucky with a d in the middle.

The thing about it is that I’ll never push my luck too far. Like, I’ll never gamble. Then when I need luck it’s there waiting to be used, if you can believe in luck or coincidence.

I mean, remember old cars with no sensors when you had a flat and it was a surprise? That’s not luck that the newer cars have sensors, but that I pulled in to two guys who wanted to help me without getting paid today.

nature watching me paint / mono print

In the Marsh

Is something supernatural interested in what I’m doing? That might be my imagination but sometimes I see faces in my paint when I get home.

This is acrylic on my little black sketchbook with oil pastel background. I had an oil pastel the same color as my violet acrylic and I like the two of them next to each other with the different textures.

Can you see that peak formed by the acrylic close to the top of this photo? I was happy to see how that came out kind of like a mountain or volcano or something.

I used yellow and violet and mixed them on my plastic lid palette only slightly with my palette knife. I just scratched back and forth a couple times to drag the violet paint into the yellow. If I mixed them well it would be brown but this way is keeping the colors separated but in one smear. I want that peak to stay there when it’s dry.

If these pix give you any other ideas let me know what you see.

It’s hot and humid again today. Maybe tomorrow will be better for sketching in Plein air.

beach sketch and recent purchases for Plein air painting

This is watercolor paper with fine line markers. The paper got a little wet so it warped and you can see where I started by blocking in the general shapes with charcoal and erased it but charcoal doesn’t erase as well from watercolor paper as it does from pastel paper. It doesn’t matter. I might try to add some color to this. It’s just figure drawing practice for my beach painting which needs people.

I want to get a lot of figure drawing practice this summer and I’m kind of rusty at it. There were times in the past that I tried to draw moving figures. I think it takes a lot of practice.

I also need moving figures for my baseball game painting. I don’t know how long these paintings will take to finish. It would be better if I had around a hundred figures sketched then I could pick the best ones.

I bought these Crocs at the outlet store in Williamsburg for $42 and I thought, Wow! Crocs have really gone up! I had a pair from long ago and I remember they were cheap. Eventually I lost one in my travels. The last time I checked at the Croc store they were having a sale and it was so crowded I didn’t want to go in. They are very popular! so now I’m all trendy!

You can get them wet and I thought they might hold up well to beach erosion. The sand has ruined my other old Plein air sandals. I don’t know, I still need something else because when I walked over the burning hot sand in my Crocs it was getting in through the holes and burning my feet more than my old ruined beach sandals. But you really have to pick up your feet on that burning sand so I might give them another try because I was tired that day.

I bought this in the camp store at First Landing. They didn’t have umbrellas but I need something like this so I can go out on the beach more and stay longer and draw more. I think this is better than an umbrella because if it gets windy an umbrella might blow away but this won’t if I’m sitting in it. Plus, maybe I can spy on people and draw them without their knowing. I don’t want to worry any nervous people if I draw their kids without asking, because the answer would be no. That’s how it is but I need kid models for my painting.

This makes me tired just thinking about it. I struggled for around 1/2 hour in the hot sun trying to assemble it and took a break or two and tried again but couldn’t get it to go together right. I almost had it but not exactly. Following an instruction sheet isn’t my strong point. I know other people were watching me struggle with it probably waiting to see if I could do it. That happens a lot to your Plein air artist. People watch you struggle. hahaha You get used to it. Maybe they can’t put up the damn thing either. By then I had too much sun and my back was tired so I gave up. I didn’t get any drawing done. I’ll try to assemble it at home.

minimalist abstraction / acrylic

Does this look like something with a meaning? Good or bad, I’d like to hear if it reminds you of something. It was another one of those random, slap some paint down and see if you get something interesting, play time things, where I go with the flow and let my subconscious do the thing. It’s fun but I never know if it’s worth keeping. I’m trying to get modern. I’m calling it minimalist because there was no plan and it took about 30 seconds to do.

From this side I think it looks like me but you can rotate it and maybe something else will show up.

red and yellow day lilies / acrylic and palette knife

I could work on this more but I think I’ll stop now.

It was much easier painting the flowers the second time at home. I did the first coat of paint in Plein air and the paint was drying too fast. At home it dries a little slower because I’m adding more water and not standing in the sun and wind to paint.

I painted a couple dead heads because I like the contrast between the spinning bright blooming flowers and the muted colors and drooping dead heads. The gardeners like to pull the dead heads right off so the plant will bloom more but I saw a couple of them and put them in the painting even if gardeners don’t like to see them.

I decided not to paint leaves in the background because my stems and buds wouldn’t show up as well. And these flowers are taller than the leaves, so the leaves would only be on the bottom of the painting. I thought the flowers are busy enough without the additional lines of leaves. I used tints of burnt umber for the background instead of green so you could see the stems and buds better. They make a kind of linear design element that contrasts to the star shaped flowers.

To paint the background I needed a lot of paint mixed up and wanted it to stay wet for a couple hours, so I mixed a few tints of burnt umber in these little plastic cups with lids. I added more paint and water mixing my colors to have close values but not exactly the same brown to make the background have a little variation in the tints. I made the paint runny and I had these 3 cups all filled about 2/3 of the way. I have a little left over which is still wet today since I added enough water and sprayed the paint with water before putting the lids on. I could use this brown to tint another paper for another acrylic painting.

It might be more practical for me to paint at home with acrylics than in Plein air. The next painting I do will be oils and brushes instead of acrylics and a palette knife.

why murder in the US ? / mono print

I never studied psych

This is my take on the killings but I’m no expert so feel free to disagree or “enlighten” me if you know something I don’t. This is what I think of the problem after spending the past 20 years 90% alone and having the time to think about my own life.

Anger is easier for your brain to deal with than hopelessness. The kids that shoot other people don’t have enough life experience to see that their brains have flipped to hate as a defense.

What if the parents had so many problems of their own that they couldn’t help their kid? Maybe the parents weren’t there for them like mine weren’t. Well, my parents were there in person but had nothing to do with me and that’s a different story.( I kind of enjoyed my excessive freedom from adult supervision. It was fun to see how much I could get away with. etc.)

If I was born a black boy instead of a white girl I’m sure I’d have got locked up.

Possibly they were shunned by the whole family who thought they were a bad kid. No kids are born bad but there are bad parents. Maybe they had to face life on their own at a very young age and had to figure everything out for themselves only it’s impossible to do that for a kid no matter how smart the kid is.

Then they get the feeling that their whole life is hopeless. They’ll never find any support. They’ll never be a success but they see that other kids are fine. Depression can make a person physically ill. It can shorten your life. Anger is better than depression for your mind because if you act on it you can end one perceived source of your depression or anger. That might not be the cause in reality but it is the cause that day.

Even if a person is angry but doesn’t act on it they stand a better chance of survival.

They can take heroin and stop their brains from anger and depression but that will be sure to mess up their thought process when they need it and then they can’t think reasonably, ever.

It can go on for generations, passed on from parents to children, depression and anger. Then when they flip out no one understands. The killing isn’t caused by the guns. The killing is caused by people who need help and can’t find it. And there are a lot out there. They are everywhere.

art opening at D’Art Place in Norfolk VA.

Sisterhood Think Tank by DaNice D Marshall $9000

I haven’t been to an art opening in years. I was hoping to meet DaNice but she wasn’t there. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t live in VA but I wouldn’t have gone over to Norfolk if I knew she wouldn’t be there. Shoot. It was boring like most art openings. I guess if your paintings are going all over the country you can’t go to all the openings. I stayed for around 45 minutes and left when the lady said they were ready to announce the winners because that is the most boring part of an art opening, listening to the juror, and it would be impolite to walk out in the middle of a speech.

This is what DaNice says in her blurb. She was born to be a writer but got gravely ill in 2016 and couldn’t write so she turned to painting. She likes to paint black portraiture and also to record ordinary activities of life to show the viewer that we all laugh and have moments of joy. There is a familiar thread, a human story that acts as a reminder that we are more alike than different. Her hope is to make you smile a little on the inside.

Here’s another one I liked.

I overlooked the title. It’s by Ted Larson of Kingsport Tenn. $1000

His blurb says he’s fascinated by nuances of color hue and tone and he compares it to musical notes as language. He uses a 3D modeling program to sculpt the relief pattern.

I like the colors but my photo doesn’t capture them exactly.

This D’Art Place is a nonprofit. They probably take 30% or 40% of the sale. It’s all modern art.

I found my way over there but got lost on my way home and drove around in a big circle in Norfolk. hahahah That’s ok. I don’t get scared when I’m lost because that’s normal for me.

red and yellow spider lilies / it’s a start

This is a 16 x 20 canvas that I tinted with gray acrylic. My little black sketchbook would be too small to paint the spider lilies since I want to paint life size and not have to squish the flowers. I can fit 2 more flowers on the canvas but that will be next week. After I get all the flowers roughed in like this I’ll start some background leaves. Then I’ll go over the whole thing again. I think it will be much brighter when it’s finished.

It’s too hot out there. I can only concentrate for 1 hour in this heat and I think I’m so dedicated for tolerating the heat that long! It took me around an hour for each flower. That’s 3 drives to the garden so far and they’re gouging us on the price of gas, but I can do the second coat of paint at home. I might do a still life at home this summer to save gas, or work on my baseball scene which I can see from my balcony.

I’m not sure about continuing to paint with acrylics and a palette knife. A brush would be faster and easier. The acrylics dry too fast and even when I only squirt a little out of the tube and spray it with water the paint starts to dry before I finish one flower. With oil paint, I can mix enough of the color for all my flowers at one time and put a piece of plastic wrap over it and I don’t have to mix the color every day. Oil paint stays workable for weeks with plastic over it.

The main good thing about painting like this is I don’t have to clean brushes.

No Camera Needed