Finally! some nice weather! It’s sunny and cool and calm today and I made some progress on this. The painting is going pretty fast so I hope I can finish this in another week or so. I’m anxiously awaiting the red buds to bloom for my next painting. I’ve been walking at the botanical gardens lately and the red bud trees aren’t showing buds, but that could happen real soon. Daffodils are blooming and I saw some early blooming pink trees when I was driving around.
I’m enjoying painting on paper with oils. One time saver with paper is that I’m not sanding or putting gesso on a canvas. Priming and tinting a canvas takes a few hours. Paper is more practical than canvas when you start to accumulate a lot of canvases and have limited space to store them.
The background fade from pink to blue is a silkscreen blend. The flowers are oil paint done with my paint brushes taped to yard sticks and painted while standing back from the paper.
Blends aren’t easy to do. It takes skill to make a smooth even blend between two colors. I didn’t do the silkscreen. I worked in the art dept. of a silkscreen shop long ago and saved some flawed blends from the overrun. I only have one blend paper left. They made good backgrounds for a lot of different art projects over the years.
The owner of the shop had us do a huge art project every year that he could give away to the customers at Christmas. We had to reproduce a painting by one of his favorite artists. That was in the days before printing technology was as advanced as it is today. The silkscreens process couldn’t reproduce a watercolor exactly but we tried anyway.
I’m not sure if taping my paint brushes to yard sticks ala Matisse is helping me become a better artist or not but it is fun so I want to keep trying. It makes my brush strokes a little rough which is ok for this project.
This is the unfinished painting on my easel with my $5 flower pot. It was nice to go to the garden supply store and buy the little daffodils. I picked the one that looked like it had the most buds and sure enough, more and more buds are opening.
You can see my palette on the table with 3 greens mixed and thinned with turpenoid. Working the paint is an important step if you want to try the yardstick painting technique. Sometimes artists just like to switch up how they’re painting to keep it more interesting. It’s how to improve your art over the long run, try new things, learn from artists you like by trying to paint like them, and it keeps an artist from getting stuck in a rut doing the same thing all the time. It’s a challenge.
If the paint wasn’t thin it wouldn’t flow off the brush as easily as I like it to and painting with the yard stick brush extenders might be more difficult. I add turp slowly and keep mixing with the palette knife until it’s smooth and even. Then I need to go over it twice because the paint is more transparent. I don’t know if it shows up in this photo, but one coat of paint didn’t cover the silkscreen ink well enough. I had to do the second coat of paint to make my flowers as bright as I could get them and make the leaves show up better.
I had this board from an experiment I did a few years ago when I picked up pieces of birch bark and glued them onto a board to use as a background, then never thought of a good use for it. Today I was looking through my collection of different papers and decided to paint on it with my palette knife.
Now I’m heading out for a walk in nature because nature is a healer if she doesn’t decide to just kill you.
Porn update- Still there as of this morning
It seems like the FCC has bigger fish to fry than porn on wordpress freshly pressed art tag. I tried to find the forum where I complained to wordpress before with no luck. My daughter will come over tomorrow and help me with that. Am I the only one here that looks at freshly pressed? Why don’t the more computer savvy bloggers raise hell with wordpress? I can’t take it anymore. It could damage my mental health that I finally got after so many years of mental unhealth.
A few months ago I complained to wordpress because some spammer in India was flooding the freshly pressed tag with non art related posts and they told me anyone can can tag art, just scroll past it. So, I know what I say doesn’t matter to them.
Why are they allowing porn on the freshly pressed art tag? Pick one answer or add your own ideas.
1 This is what they want for their daughters, to be t. and a. for perverts.
2 They like porn and want you to like it too.
3 They don’t look at freshly pressed, they just post anything.
It’s enough to keep me from reading other art blogs, but, hey, I’m getting old here and they don’t care what I think.
I tried to paint like Matisse again by taping my brushes onto yardsticks and standing way back from the paper to paint. It’s fun! I had some problems with this painting, though. Not the yardsticks, the pink.
It’s impossible to mix this color. I tried every combination of the colors I had and put the painting aside because it was dull. That’s the one drawback about oil paint. When you mix colors you lose chroma (brightness). Eventually I went to the art supply store and bought a tube of “amethyst” by Michael Harding for $24. An expensive tube of paint, but I’ll need it in the spring when I try to paint some redbud trees.
You can avoid losing as much chroma as you might if you only mix your colors on the palette with a palette knife instead of mixing colors on the canvas with a brush. You also need a brush for each color. And you can avoid losing as much chroma if you build up layers of transparent glazes and let the viewer’s eye do the mixing. But the modern art way of avoiding loss of chroma is to not mix the colors at all. Just use the paint straight out of the tube!
When I put the painting on hold for a few days and went back to it, the petals and leaves were different so I had to kind of just wing it on top of my underpainting. This close up shows some fun leaf squiggles, smears and lines and blobs.
For the art viewer who likes to look at brush strokes, you might be able to see my layers, first the thin layer of underpainting and on top of that the thicker paint of the final layer.
I realized how I’m making the veins in the paint. It’s something I do without thinking, and big round brushes are ideal for this. You load up the brush with paint then go at it from the side of the brush, rolling the brush as you draw it across the paper or canvas. I hope you know what I mean. I should get someone to video tape me doing the brush roll thing, maybe you already do that if you paint. When I realized I was rolling the yardstick I thought I’m getting the hang of this.
This is the unfinished painting on the easel with the flower. I went larger than life. Larger is easier especially when you have your brushes taped to yardsticks.
I wanted to give the look of wind on the water breaking up the reflections.
Next painting might be easier. That little man, I had to try 3 times before I got this.
That’s not too much wasted paint considering that there’s probably a half cup of it or more on the painting. I put plastic wrap on my leftovers and might be able to use them next week.
These are the palette knives I used in this painting on my palette with left over globs of paint.
The large one on the left was good for scraping the first blue on the sky. The second from the left is the one I use most of the time. It’s great for mixing paint colors and I often use it to scoop up a glob of paint to transfer it to the canvas. The second from the right is the one I used to paint most of this and the one on the right was recommended to me by my blogging friend, Alli. Check her out! Her paintings are beautiful and peaceful!
It was a stroke of luck that Alli told me to buy another knife because I was having a problem painting the figure, then when I went to the art supply store I noticed my painting that was in their window was missing and the manager found it and I took it home. But it almost got stolen. If I didn’t go to the store that day, by this week that painting would be gone. Just my intuition. But intuition is one of the benefits of leading the life of a hermit. Eventually you get some. And you can’t ignore it.
We’re having some nice weather this week. It might be cold tomorrow but I should probably let this dry a little before I go back into it.
I was glad when the clouds rolled in this afternoon because I had a solid blue sky and I wanted to make it more interesting. I’m not sure if I want to work on the clouds more or if I should leave them alone. I’ll probably work on the background trees again before I start blobbing in the trees on the path.