Thursday, September 03, 2009

Yellowstone Falls 1

Ah underpainting, thy sweet bliss is upon me.
Above: the painting (24" x 18") with the color diagram, cropped source photo and sketch on the wall beside the easel.
Below: another shot of the painting. As you can see, the colors are slightly different in the closeup, because of changes in the light entering the camera lens.

Friday, August 28, 2009

WILDerness ...

There is a small lake on the south edge of Yellowstone, where I took this photo the morning we left for Jackson. Right now I am enjoying the wildness of the underpainting, but it will be relatively tame in the end. Just like me!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Trees Evolved ...

I quieted the oranges yet again, because they seemed too harsh to my eye. I also opened up the tree shapes, forming trunks and branches by integrating the background color. That solved, for me, the problem that the foreground was impenetrable and seemed flat and solid.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Snake River Painting, Still Evolving

This is poorly lit. The left side is more true to the values than the right. It is very different to me, but to most people it may seem like subtle changes. I darkened the sky in some places, added red-violet tree trunks and lighter yellow-green for the foliage, and softened and smoothed out the violent but exciting oranges.

Who knows what the critique class would say, but I have to please myself first (this is an important change in attitude for me).

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Process

I remember in art school they said, "only paint if you have to". I have to.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aspens Better Image Color

This was shot using the new digital camera, which has an adjustment to compensate for using my tungsten floodlight bulbs. It had to be reduced in size to post on the blog, so it is less detailed than it will be on the website, but that is where it is going next.

I fiddled around with the camera, the tripod and so on, and though I still ended up with a bit of distortion (the bottoms of the paintings keep being narrower than the tops, so I end up cutting off a tiny bit of the sides at the tops), I have mostly learned the new method.

I thought I had ruined the quick release camera mount on the tripod, then later saw that I had the mount on backwards on the camera. Fixed that, and bingo! it snapped right in.

Now I can ship this baby to a gallery!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

OK That's Enough Already!

I did just a few touches on this painting, and finally I will take it to the photographer this week, and ship it out once it is back.

Aspens Again?

I was fooling around with the aspen trunks and then I had unify them with a pale green wash on the trunks. Now the interest is where it was for me at the time, on the distinctive white slender trunks (all one organism, by the way, not individual trees, botanically), and the yellow green of the leaves.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Snake River Sky

I wWent in there with big brushes and swirled in some sky and cloud stuff. Now the sky is as active as the mountain and trees. The contrast between the quiet flat sky and the moving writhing trees and mountain was unbearable to me.

This is what I mean about changing one part and then having to change everything.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paint It As It Lies

I did tweak it a bit, adding some orange back in and hardening the tree shapes. The blue-violet sky is a bit darkened as well.

It gave it life again, and movement. This is a familiar process to me, and I guess to other painters. There is a push-pull of process, as well as shapes and colors. Once you change one part, the other areas have to adjust to it. In the middle the painting is neither fish nor fowl (or is it neither calf nor turtle?).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Snake River Painting

This is finished I think. I have to tighten the canvas (spray the back with water and let it dry), sign it and have a slide made.

Last night I attended a critique class, presided over by Francesca Fuchs, at the Glassell School. They thought this painting was finished and I even became convinced it was. Then I began working on a little bit of it and voila! I could not stop until it was this version.

One of the decisions an artist makes is (though it may sound obvious, it is not at all easy), "what is this painting about?" In this case, it is about the mountain itself, its rocky prominence, the softness of the trees and insubstantiality of the clouds reinforcing its muscularity. In the version just before this, I had the trees forming a low frieze across the bottom to push attention upward, but they were too hard-edged and insistent, so I went into that area and softened them considerably.

One of Francesca's comments was that the red edging on the green treetops was irritating to her. Red and green are the most difficult of the complementaries to work with, and both hues were at saturation. The red and orange are mostly hidden now, only affecting the colors on top of them, not peeking through any more. There is a sort of reddish cast to this photo, which distorts how it actually looked in daylight, but you get the idea.

Friday, May 29, 2009

iPhone Sneakers Painting

Still learning to paint with Finger Paint on the iPhone. Notice I cut off the toe of the rear sneaker (sure, I did that on purpose *NOT*).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Portrait of Osprey

Finger Paint portrait of Osprey at the Eleanor Airship Theatre, nighttime.

It was really hard to do fine lines with my finger and get them where I wanted to place them, but it was delicious fun to do it.

iPhone Sketching

Osprey posted on David Hockney's iPhone paintings and a site in SL where they are displayed. I am SO happy to see this, because, though I had not really searched for "paint" in the app store, I did so after viewing this post, and I found "Finger Paint", a 99 cent app, which is really great for sketching on site in color.

Historically, I have always had trouble carrying loads of sketching materials on vacation, and I have tried a lot of different materials to sketch outdoors, including pencil, colored pencils, watercolors, acrylics, and pen and ink.

The versatility of this medium makes it ideal for me. The user can change the size of the brush and the opacity; there is a palette of colors which are very nicely chosen, plus one can create new colors and add them. The paintings can be saved to the photos camera roll, or deleted, or sent via email.

I always carry the iPhone anyway, so next week, I can sketch the Grand Canyon electronically! (I will surely take photos as well, and I found another app, ArtistsTouch ($2.99), which works from photos in the photo library, creating a faint outline of the main areas so that one may paint on top of them.

Another of Osprey's glorious finds!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Mezla III

In terms of alchemy, mezla is the First Matter in its downward motion. It is the downflowing energy of the Universe, which moves in a spiral manner. The spiral energies are related to Akasha, the Fifth Element, and they spiral from the Center of the Universe down / outward to create the entire manifest universe.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Teton Pass, First Pass

PURPLE, AIN'T IT? Dun weary! Will change. 24"H x 36"W.

Adolescence in a Painting

Yes, it is in that awkward phase! More to go to make it sing its best. "Snake River I", 30"H x 40"W.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Path Painting

Blogging my paintings at each stage is very useful to me; I can look back and re-experience the combinations of colors, the shaping of the painting. Not only that, I can see the painting at a smaller size. That is very much like moving way back and squinting. I can see flaws that I may not spot close up.

I have the iPhone to thank for that. It takes pretty darn good photos, and though the color is not perfect, it is good enough.

Blogs are fab for this!

Color scheme: blue-green and red-orange (no kidding! LOL).

The Path to Armand Bayou

The path painting, second layer. Osprey, once again, try not to look at the violet! I am not going to worry about the occult point in this image, just paint by the seat of my pants, so to speak (and the seat of my pants are full of it ... paint, that is).

The greens are a little more yellowish but I cannot get the violet and the greens to show in the photo drat it all.

*I have a strong aversion to pink, by the way*

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Omnomnomnom ... Today's Underpaintings

As always, I find underpaintings nearly edible, and I eat them with my eyes. MMMM Omnomnomnom! As always I am tempted to leave them this way, but my painting experiences would be drastically limited, and I like more in a painting, so on I will go. The photo references are on the wall to the right, the upper the blue painting and the lower, the purple. EGADS I love red with purple (Osprey avert your tender eyeballs)!

The upper painting will have similar colors in the finished painting, whereas the lower one is going to be yellow-green and red-violet.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


This underpainting rolls my socks up and down! I love it just the way it is. I am not sure I can do anything to improve this image, but I will probably want to do more with it anyway.
*note VERY suggestive sky shape*

Cropping Options

This crop is based upon a 3:4 ratio, because I have a 30x40 canvas ready. This is a dramatic crop, and it is exciting. Decision still not made, but this is definitely in the running.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Older Work

Oil paintings from the late 70s and early 80s. Top: Self-Portrait with Cocktail Fork Earrings; Middle: Still Life with Plum; Bottom: Green Nancy Z.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Artist Can't Bear Fussy Details

I went berserk and painted out all the smaller shapes and I feel much better now.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Hop on the Table, Would You?

I literally threw everything off this table and painted the edges of the canvas with a black-blue violet. It is signed, the edges are finished. Now for the varnish, and then to have slides shot. I will take it to a photo place where they will make slides and load the images onto a disc so that I can upload it. Last time, the disc images were way too light, but I can manipulate them back to a semblance of the real colors, in Photoshop.

I will take several paintings when I go to the photo place; it is less expensive that way, per painting. Mezla I is finished, but I am still working on the Grand Tetons painting, so I will wait a couple of days. Plus that allows the varnish to dry (I hope ... it is very humid here at the moment).

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Better and Worse

In the midst of painting, changing anything changes the whole. In this case, I like the sky changes, and the less regimented trunks (they were all in a horizontal row at their bases), but I need to make more changes; now other problematic aspects have appeared. The mass of aspen leaves does not have enough variation in value; the little trees at left are too much alike in height, the thickness of the aspen trunks needs variation. These are the thoughts of a painter at her craft. Not lofty, but workmanlike.

Side by Side

Ah, the joys of Photoshop. I worked on this drawing so that it looks more like it does to my eye. Then I inverted it in both senses of the word, turning it upside down and making it a negative of the original image.

Funny thing, I finally saw something incongruous about it. The most compelling part is the highest contrast, which is the fangs or waves at the lower left (upper right in the negative), because that is where I put the ONLY true black area, contrasted with a very bright white.

Visually speaking, the left is the past, or the direction from which one is moving, in this culture. On the grid of understanding visual images, according to some sources, the toothy part of the positive image is on the thinking side of things, rather than feeling, and it is in the lower half, so low emotional involvement.

What I get out of all this is that my fears are not all that important to me, and I am moving from them into the upper right quadrant, my goals and dreams. Yet, the high contrast contradicts that, making me focus on past fears.

*mumbles to self, "let go, just let go and soar*

Monday, April 13, 2009

Visual Thought

This is a new problem analog. I really love looking at it. Drawing is the right-brain equivalent of writing. You know, on a deep level, exactly what I am saying here.

*don't you?*

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Mezla 2 and 3

The green hemisphere is much more a yellow-green than it shows here in my photo.

Mezla 3: Solar Wind.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mezla 2

Once again I am representing the spiral energy of the Universe, this time as it flows between two spheres.

Following the method I found in the earlier drawings, I took the components of the first mezla painting and rearranged them and changed their relationships. Two hemispheres with spiralling energy flowing between them, and a universal grid formed by the radiations from the spheres (hemispheres but spheres are implied).

The underpainting showing the drawing faintly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Drawings from 2000

In August of 2000, my father had died that Valentine's Day, and my mother-in-law had died the July before. We had had to put my mother into the county mental hospital geriatric ward; I felt my heart was a stone inside me and all the warmth of the sun could not get at it. I read some book about getting over artistic blocks, and it suggested I draw my problem. This is the drawing.

then it suggested I make variations ... this one is the stone heart radiating, like the sun.

the vesica pisces now encloses the radiating stone heart, the eye of the stone.

the stone sheds light

the stone connecting with the light

light inside the stone

the dark crystal expanded

the image reversed, the stone trying to reach the light

stone and sun combined
these are the negative shapes from the first drawing, variations. Some of these remind me of the Mezla painting. By the way, "mezla" means the spiral energy of the Universe.