Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Painting Tip - The Blow by Blow

Is it wrong that my hairdryer spends more time on my paintings, then on my hair?

Layering color brings out the three dimensional quality of watercolors, and my hairdryer is an invaluable tool to work quickly.

My hairdryer provides control when working wet on wet, pouring wet paint onto wet paper. Water works its magic and a blast from my hairdryer can stop it when the color and flow is just right.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chicken Poop

Goldie - the Stealth Pooper
Ode to the Glamorous Life of an Artist

One year
52 pets
Endless pet hair and feathers
After all, the best fun is usually messy

What I didn't count on...

32 dog sneezes 
(with far ranging snot)

Theron the Great Pyrenees 
drooling buckets full down my thigh 
(He only got one very heavy jean's leg. I'm lucky I didn't start walking in circles)

Rascals the Harlequin Rabbit's 
er... ah... amorous attention to my ankle

Peanuts the Cow Cat's 
punch in the face 
(claws in, thankfully!)

And yesterday...

Goldie the Gold Star Chicken 
silently pooped on my shorts while I was holding her.
(and I thought we were getting along so well)

I really do love animals. Not always sure why, but I really do love them.

When I discovered that I had been painted with drops of chicken poo, I silently thanked Goldie for not getting my bare legs or sandals. Then, I remembered that it's good luck if a bird poops on your left side, so I should go buy a lottery ticket. 

Finally, I thought maybe Goldie was overcome with excitement from being picked above the other chickens, the adorable puppy, and the two lazy cats in the family to be part of the Petburbia Project. Despite her messy objections she'll have her story and her painting posted on the Petburbia blog this fall.

By the way, I don't always believe the commercials, but Tide and Whirlpool kept their promises. There is no more evidence that I got "fowled" by a chicken.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Words to Paint by...

If Mark Twain were as agile with a paintbrush has he had been with a pen, imagine the world of art guaranteed to draw a smile. Whether you paint with words or colors, this master offers true insight into the creative process.

Mark Twain quotes...

"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether twenty or eighty, Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing you can do keep your mind young." Take an art class or workshop. There's so much to learn from other artists.

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please." Figure drawing, architectural studies and sketching from real life give you a solid foundation in artistic facts before you can add your own creative flourish.

"Humor is the great thing, the saving thing. The minute it crops up, all our irritations and resentments slip away and a sunny spirit takes their place." A touch of whimsy and surprise will brighten your art and peoples day.

"It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech." Spontaneous inspiration comes after long hours of practice, visual discovery, and mental preparation.

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug." Every artist understands the difference cerulean blue and indigo blue is the difference between day and night.

"The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." Visual space and negative space can be just as important as the main subject of a painting.

"You cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus." - Connecticut Yankee A rendering is created with your eyes, but it takes a strong imagination to make art.

"I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead." Taking the time to do a good sketch allows room for visual editing so your art won't get lost in visual noise.