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. 

Process
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!

3 comments:

Red said...

I follow Rachel on twitter and saw her plug an art show. Now I know what it's all about. Great that you got your work in the show.

Carol Blackburn said...

What a wonderfl display of your beautiful work, Tess. And a miracle you got into the exhibit after all. Glad things are going well for you.

john said...

Wonderful work. So glad that you had such interest in your work at the show. Congrats.