Monday, October 29, 2012

Busy Busy Artist and her helpmate

So this is what the last few weeks have entailed, design paintings, paint, photograph said paintings for record keeping and web posting and then set up at Art From The Unknown put on by MLA Rachel Notley and attend each day for a few hours. 
I wasn't sure I'd get accepted as due cracked ribs felt too under the weather to apply before the deadline then as I felt better I sent a note of explaination requesting if they had space to please consider my work. Well a couple artist pulled out in the last two weeks which opened up space for me so I worked full time to complete new paintings that were on the go.
 Here I am posting the labels. I entered ten pieces, all bright and cheerful which garnered much joyful attention. My sweet husband transported and hung my paintings after he got off work on friday, he is such a pro at it. Its wonderful to have such a supportive loving person to help me out and do the grunt work I cannot.

A view of my blue backside at the opening. Such fun and many good laughs were had during the evening. See my artist tam, I crocheted that while ribs were mending. Musicians played throughout the three day event, so wonderful to have live music.

MLA Rachel Notley

Art-talk with interested viewers. Its becomes so much fun when I overcome my initial trepidation of how to approach people and get into storytelling how each painting was inspired.

I had a title posted for this goat but two lovely ladies came along and were laughing so hard I had to find out why... well one of the ladies said the expression on his face is "how you dooin?" with his sleepy bedroom eye, well that cracked me up and hence have renamed the painting to... yes, "How you dooin?"
Grumpy Cat
This fella was too irresistible to not paint, and it seems 70% of the viewers said oh this must be so_an_so's cat. Well truth be know I have no idea who belongs to this neighbourhood cat, but he has so much character. And speaking of character, one of the most mentioned things about my work is that it has life and character; right on!

Loki The Dog of Mischief
Loki is one of my grand-dogs, and yes he has a cute lil way about him, loves being under the covers, the laundry, inside coats, he's so adorable who wouldn't love such a sweet fella. 

I had all three of these paintings lined up on my work table and worked on them all at the same time. So you see I've been very busy. Two weeks of intensive painting to get them to the finished state. I was putting the wires on the backs and photographing them on friday afternoon and managed to have them packed up and ready to go just in time. Man-oman was I tired and wired after the reception was done at ten pm.
My work starts by roughing out initial ideas onto the canvas with loose swathes of color. Grumpy cat has already been defined here with a second layer of paint in this image.

 Next stage, more color and more definition.

More defining swathes of transparent color adds levels of shading before the detailing starts. This is the point that is tended to be called "the ugly stage". The eye alone has about four layers of glazing to give depth. The final painting has at least eight layers on the eye alone.

Making design choices as I go along doesn't tie me into any pre-concieved vision of a finished product which leaves lots of room for ideas and inspirations to percolate. I found a design book on Celtic knots at a garage sale while in the midst of painting these and decide to add knot symbolism to the piece. I liked the Celtic variation to my work so did one on Grumpy Cat background as well.
Ok, after this point I forgot to photograph the process as there were more glazing layers of pigment and detailing to strengthen areas, but at least it gives an idea of the way I work to complete a painting; or three at a time as it was. Compare with finished painting posted above to see other changes made such as adding a slash or orange down the left side and blue at the base to frame sleepy-eyed goat.

Well this has been a long post so I will wish you all well and now I am going to slip into my recliner sip a hot cocoa and be lazy, oh ya!
Hugs and a happy smile!

Monday, October 15, 2012

For Red

Thanks for pointing that out to me Red, here is "Paul's Trophy Trout" for your viewing pleasure.
I did post the painting on my art blog but somehow missed putting the large version here. So thank you

Paul's Trophy Trout

Paul's Trophy Trout painting is completed.
My sweetie suggested a pose with the trout painting by the fence I painted this summer, kinda like a double advertisement.
 what do you think?
does it work?

I'm pleased to note Paul exclaimed that the fish seems to come right out from the picture plane, I have to admit I've outdone myself on this one as he is right, it does project forward. I am so happy to have accomplished this. This painting was a real pleasure to work on. Paul gave me a photo of his mounted trophy fish to work from, then twice I watched Paul's fishing video at  After that I viewed online underwater photography of fish to figure out movement and lighting, then researched Alberta lake plants and roughed out a sketch for approval. Once the task of painting started I went through it all again to refresh my concept and topping it off, a wee bit was learned about fish and freshwater aquatic plants during the process.
While painting I thought about the pleasant times spent in a canoe fishing Alberta lakes many years ago, and of times sitting on the wharf in BC listening to the waves lap the pilings as fisher-persons, heron and kingfishers brought in their catch.
Thanks Paul for bringing pleasant memories alive with your request to paint your Trophy Trout.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

textiles art furniture

It rained all night and is snowing all day. I need to photograph a painting just completed but the tripod attachment was left in the car and the car is not here so I will have to wait till tomorrow to do that so instead I decided to snap a few images of one of my recent projects; refurbishing a rocking-chair.
For awhile I was collecting scraps of heavy material with the objective to create some pillow shams till  an alternative idea caught my eye. Cruising online I came across two designers, Hoda Baroudi and  Maria Hibri who created "Bokja Design"  these two very talented ladies created a line of refurbished furniture using varied textiles in patchwork designs to give a fresh new look to cast off furniture.

 On the left is what the original chair looks like, as we have two I need to start collecting more heavy fabric scraps to cover it as well.
 Gerald had to bring the chair downstairs so that I could cut and sew to fit, otherwise I would have not been able to create this art chair.
 I don't follow patterns when I create a large project as this. I just pin, assess, cut, stitch, cut, alter, pin,  re-assess continually till the piece takes shape. Decisions on randomness of color and fabrics are made off-the-cuff so to speak. Its all double stitched and top-stitched for durability. In all it took four full long days to complete, whew, what a process. And through it all I only had to rip out stitching twice, now thats amazing.
Initially I was going to sew the textiles to the chair but then decided for ease of cleaning to make it as a very fitted cover, so its actually two sections that can be removed plus the seat cover.
I like eclectic furnishings, art and ideas that bring out ones creativity in varied areas. 
Enjoy your day, hugs!