Poinsettia / oils

The reds in the photo aren’t the same as real life, but you get the idea.

I was having some fun painting like Matisse by taping my brushes onto yard sticks and standing back from the painting. You have to give up some control over the brush because it goes where you don’t want it to go but that’s ok. It gives the painting a loose modern look. Fast, loose, unfinished, spontaneous, that look is what the modern art world prizes the most. A finished painting is looked at as being “labored over” which is ungood. I’m not really feeling pressure to paint modern. I’ll go back to doing finished paintings. I got so modern painting this yesterday, I didn’t even sketch it first, just started slapping paint on paper.

This is a close up of the flower’s center features, I’m not sure what you call the little parts, and a stem.

I painted it on the back of a figure drawing that was on black paper. I’m enjoying painting on paper and I like to use both sides. You can see the black paper showing through here. Then I wanted to tone down the black a little so I went into the background with gray trying not to mess up my edges and smears of the reds. In traditional painting you paint the background first but in modern art you can do it last if you want to.

I might give this another try on another piece of paper. Look, Ma, I’m a fauve!

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art fraud, how to get away with it

I saw a movie some time ago about these people, Margaret and Walter Keane that made these horrible kitschy paintings sell big. I remember seeing them at the Worlds Fair in NY in 1964 and thought they were bad even as a kid. Now I saw a new movie about them is coming out.

She painted. He claimed he did the paintings and sold them, which goes to show that a good salesman can sell anything. Then she felt like a prisoner in their nice house forced to paint and he was out in the world having fun and she got tired of it and blew the whistle on him. I’d like to see some guy try to keep me prisoner! That would never happen.

Why did she let herself be his prisoner?

I wish I could defraud the art world. It looks like it would be easy. I need a smooth talking man for a partner. I’d be happy to let him take the credit for painting if I had a nice house with a pool and plenty of money.

Hell. I’d paint forgeries too. I could do it. If I ever meet my dream man, a bad guy who would help me get rich by committing fraud on the art world, you’ll never hear from me again because I won’t be able to blog about it

a figure drawing from 2001 pastel

2001 was the worst year of my life. I feel much better now but back then I could only get off the sofa to go to open studio figure drawing once or twice a week. I thought the black paper was appropriate for my mood and it makes a dramatic looking drawing. Notice the look on the model’s face. hahahah

Last night I had a dream that I was painting at home because it’s cold and windy out and I spilled paint on the rug. It was some special hand woven antique imported rug, not mine. I wanted to escape before they saw the paint and I had to climb out of there over these timbers that were spanning a huge dark pit. The timbers were burned or rotted so it was dangerous. Finally I managed to haul my butt out of there and it was great!

Now, I’m not really feeling the Christmas spirit this year and that’s ok. Feeling apathetic is a big improvement over the stress of so many Christmases past.

I did buy a poinsettia for myself. That’s my one decoration. That’s all I want. Maybe I can paint it. Every year I want to paint a poinsettia and have never done it.

Flooded Meadow / charcoal and chalk

I wore my rubber boots because it rained a lot yesterday. It was so nice out with the sun shining and cool temps today! Tomorrow, more rain but that’s not so bad considering that PA is fixing to get hammered with snow.

This is a real pretty spot especially when it’s flooded. I might try to do another palette knife painting there. This sketchbook is too small. I couldn’t get much sky in the sketch so I’m thinking I should go larger again. Large is easier for me to draw than small. To the left of what I have drawn here, I can see a part of the path that’s not flooded and people walking across. I might try another scene with a little figure walking. I’m not sure. The last painting was a real challenge but if I keep practicing on the things that are hard for me to do it will improve my skill in the long run. And it’s not boring when you give yourself something difficult to try.

Clouds Rolling in w close ups

finally finished

There are so many great views at Pleasure House Point. I might try to do another one this winter. Hopefully it will go easier than this one did.

https://www.instagram.com/pleasure_house_point/

They get some beautiful photos over there!

I wanted to give the look of wind on the water breaking up the reflections.

This was the hardest part. Whew! Glad that’s over.

Next painting might be easier. That little man, I had to try 3 times before I got this.

Here’s a little focal point in the background.

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!

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/8312992

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.

stylish new mask for your jogger or plein air artist

My daughter is a runner and she needed a new mask like one she bought for jogging which was made out of jersey. (tee shirt fabric) Her old one was only one layer of fabric and has the logo of her school printed on it. She said it was overpriced for the brand name and asked me to make another one for her. She likes this style because you can wear it around your neck then when you come up to another person outside you can easily slide it over your nose.

I decided to make mine two layers of fabric. I can get two masks out of one yard of fabric.

These numbers are inches, my metric reading friends.

It’s easy to make. I drew a diagram showing my cuts out of a yard of fabric 16″ x 20″ on the fold right sides together. I sewed three sides at 1/4″ from the edge letting an opening to turn right sides out after sewing. Then pressed the edges and top stitched all the way around at 1/4″ to strengthen it a little. Then you fold it in half and sew a seam across the side that was cut at 16″. You get a tube around 9.5″ that you can slip over your head.

I asked her how it was working and she said better than the original one because the extra stitching helps keep it over her nose when she’s running so she doesn’t have to hold it in place.

I got another yard of fabric and made two more.

Tomorrow is going to be warm and there might be a lot of people on the trail. I’ll try mine out, but I think it will be more comfortable when it gets colder because it will feel like a thin scarf around your neck when it’s in the down position.

oops. I wrote 19 there at my second step and it’s 19.75 after sewing the seam and turning on the 20″ side. But it’s not that critical, I guess. It’s only a tube to fit over your head.

I think the two layers makes it safer than one layer of fabric.

plein air painting from a couple years ago and scary thing that was a false alarm but weird

The painting is long to fit in the window at Jerry’s Artarama. They asked artists to paint on canvases to fit in the store windows to block the view of the merchandise racks from the outside of the store. This was in front of a rack of paper so I thought it would be safe because they’d have to move a lot of paper to take it out of the window. It was in the window for a couple years and I wanted to get it back and rework the water but didn’t ask because I knew it would be difficult to get it out of there.

So, today I went there to buy some things and my painting was replaced by a tiger. I asked where my painting was and the guys didn’t know. The girl that arranges the windows would be out for a couple days. I gave them my phone number but expressed my concern about it with out acting too alarmed because I’m really cool in weird situations, but I was afraid it was stolen. The manager didn’t even remember the painting and he worked there for a year!

He went around the whole place looking for it and finally spotted it in a window behind shopping carts. You could only see the sky. The rest was blocked. No one would ever notice it. I was so relieved to see it. I took it home, never to be on display again! They still have some empty windows but instead they hid it.

Every time you put a painting out there you run the risk of losing it. Now, if I want to throw it away that’s one thing, but if it goes missing that would be kind of upsetting. I used to worry when entering shows in those huge sprawling non profits with back doors and no one’s watching that someone would walk out with one of mine. It did happen to a guy and the newspaper did a report on it. That artist said it was worth the loss for the publicity and sales he got afterwards but I know if it happens to me it wouldn’t make the news.

I wonder why the store didn’t just call me or email me and say it was time to pick it up? That I could understand. But hide it behind carts? Next to the front door where it was easy to slide out? Makes no sense. That also reminds me of the non profits because they liked to mainly reject my paintings but when they got hung they were in the hallway, or way up high, or next to the bathroom, or in a corner or some place I had to hunt for them, like behind a sculpture.

I’m really glad I got this one back.

It’s the view from the beach side at First Landing State Park looking out over the Chesapeake Bay at the bridge tunnel. This is a close up.

omg. I just looked at the back of the painting and someone had put a price on it of $40. This is looking more like a plan to rob me. That’s another weird thing because someone tried to rob me earlier this year and made off with a bunch of my art and I got it all back, except one thing I can remember which they didn’t return. That thing was a drying rack I made from stretcher strips and button twine. It’s possible they kept more of my art and I just don’t remember what I had because it was all my good stuff from so many years, since I regularly cull my collection and toss the old stuff I don’t want.

Now I feel like someone up there is watching out for me because I only went to the store because a fellow blogger told me to buy a different kind of palette knife.

So, Thanks to God!

a pastel landscape from 2006

I can’t remember if this is from a photo or if I did it in plein air.

I remember the scene though. It’s at Middle Creek Wildlife Preserve in Lancaster Co. PA.

I was searching through my flat files for another pastel. I remembered a time when I was in PA and took some photos and used them for reference to do pastels. I took them to show a gallery owner to ask her if I could get them hung in the gallery if I framed them. She liked plein air paintings and she asked me if I used photos. I said yes. She told me to stop that. My friend was mad at her but I knew she was right because that was drummed into my head in art school. Yes, I was kind of brainwashed back then. No using a photo for a reference. I broke the rule in school and some times after that too, but I can tell that drawing from eye to hand in plein air has made an improvement in my paintings that wouldn’t have happened if I continued to copy photos.

06 was the year I got back into art after over 20 years of not drawing. Life can stop me from drawing with a demanding job, taking care of a husband and kid, being too tired in general to concentrate on art.

This was around the time I started working in plein air so I can’t remember if this is one of the gallery rejected ones or if this is one of the first I did in plein air.

It’s raining today. I need to try to paint my little man for the Pleasure House Point painting on scrap paper a couple times and see if I can do it because he’s only 2.25 inches tall on my palette knife painting and it’s kind of a hang up stopping me from finishing the new one. So, to procrastinate a little longer on the difficult project, I went through some old paintings looking for one that I showed to my dentist back then and he made a comment I thought was funny . It was a flock of geese at Middle Creek.He said I drew 2 birds going for the same worm. I laughed and I thought maybe the doc had 2 girlfriends. I didn’t ask. I’ll get back on the palette knife painting today! For sure!

painting update and wildlife report

I’m excited that I got this far with the painting and might be able to finish it soon! Not tomorrow or the next day though, because they’re calling for cloudy then rainy weather. I might be able to work on it at home a little. Today I got as far as starting on the reflections.

omg. Can I save this?

I’ll be mad at myself if I can’t paint a decent figure in that spot. My first layer of gray was so bad I had to scratch off the texture from the water that was showing through and it was kind of blotchy. Then I tried to paint a layer of glazes to start again on my dude but the texture was still showing so I scratched again. The glaze bled a little, now the edges look fuzzy. I’ll have to paint the man with my palette knife. I thought a brush would make it easier because he’s small and it’s hard to paint detail with the palette knife, but now I can see if I don’t paint him with the knife he’ll look weak next to the rest of this heavily textured painting and he’ll visually recede. This is the kind of problems you have when you’re trying to paint something and you don’t exactly know how to do it. It might work out or it might be a total waste of time. Too soon to tell.

Wildlife- bird

This crazy cormorant popped up out of the water like a shot and then flapped around so much it looked like there was a fountain out there with all the splashing! Then he went back under and again popped up with much splashing . He was going under and popping up so fast and with so much drama, flailing about, I was getting a little concerned about him. Then a minute later he stopped doing that and acted like nothing was wrong.

Wildlife- human

A man stopped to talk to me and we had a nice conversation. He’s from PA too so naturally we talked about pretzels and cheese steaks. He told me things I didn’t know about Pleasure House Point, like just recently someone had a gender reveal party there and they sprayed colored plastic confetti all around. The idiots. The gender reveal parties around here get really destructive sometimes. There’s a reward for info leading to the arrest of the perps.

That man had me cracking up with his enthusiasm for pretzels and cheese steaks! I’m going to go where he recommended to try the cheese steaks tomorrow. He took this pic and emailed it to me and is sharing the pic so maybe I’ll get famous around here soon!

Oh No! Did I paint another ghost?!

Nah, it’s an underpainting for the figure I’m planning on putting in the painting. It’s 2.25″.

The texture of the water is showing through. I might try to scrape that off. before adding color on top of this.

I’m a little conflicted about this figure because I’m breaking one of the few rules I remember from my art school days back in the 1970s. That rule of the academy was never copy a photo. I see more successful artists than me are copying photos. No one cares anyway. It’s not as much fun breaking a rule that no one cares about. The photo isn’t really making it easy to do. Why not copy a figure?

I was undecided about how to proceed with putting a figure into my painting but I wanted to try and I don’t have a model. As I was reading other blogs I saw a photo with a dark figure and thought it looked great! Check it out! George writes great poetry and songs too!

I walked around the pond and tried to see if any light would be seen on the figure from the opposite side of the pond where I’m working on the painting. There will be only two little spots of sun on my guy. The top of his hat and his left shoe. All the rest is shadow because it’s backlit.

This wasn’t easy for me to get a plan worked out but now that I got past this one hang up I’ll go back to Pleasure House Point and finish this soon.

No Camera Needed