"Everybody knows a work of art takes at least an hour!" Lucy to Linus, (Peanuts)

FineArtViews Painting Competition - Twice in the Fav 15%

http://canvoo.com/boldbrush/badge/13203 three times selected for FAV15%, Fine Art Views Bold Brush Painting Competition

Monday, March 19, 2012

Putting longer hours in the studio now!

       First drawing from the shots I took of Michael. I will want to do careful drawings for each image I intend to paint to make certain I can get the composition I want to and alter any problem areas in the poses. When I work from life I  just start painting right on the canvas but when that isn't an option I like to plan more carefully. I have a couple of ideas for extra elements to add to these also but need to keep that to myself until I know for sure. One of the things I want to do is play with the light/dark areas, maybe over emphasizing them as I have done in this drawing. I also need to compensate for any photo distortions, like the feet here...made them smaller than they look in the photo...didn't want your eye pulled to big feet coming at you.

         I worked out canvas sizes for five paintings. I was going to let the image
dictate the necessary ratio of height to width but was coming up with too many odd sizes which would mean building my own canvases and I just don't feel I want to that any more. I searched out available gallery wrapped sizes from Opus and found some close enough to work with and I can manipulate my drawings to fit. Boy, there was a time when I wouldn't deign to buy a prestretched canvas...I built the frames and did my own stretching, often on quite large canvases. The first time I did use a ready made canvas ( I was on a deadline or something and didn't have time to fuss around) and realized what a total snob I had been about the whole issue. I have continued to build my own canvases whenever I needed an odd size but now there are so many sizes to choose from in the prestretched world that it is less and less necessary and it is a blessing to those of us in a certain age bracket:-)

         Received an Award of Merit for "Girl in a Garden" at the Campbell River Art Gallery members show last friday evening. I'm glad I went, although trying to figure out what to wear almost made me decide to stay home! Nothing looks good on me anymore! What on earth am I going to wear to my son's wedding this coming August? At least I have some time to wallow in that dilemma for a while and maybe even find, or make, something I won't be ashamed to be seen in. 

          In the meantime, if you get a chance, check out Amnesty International and maybe write a letter to free a political prisoner or save a life. Much more important than trying to be fashionable.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In the Box At Last!

       It only took about three months of trying but Michael Ward and I finally got together for a photo/drawing session up at my studio. I was seriously beginning to wonder if it would ever happen after all the things that have interfered with past attempts. It was well worth the wait. Michael is a terrific model and very easy to work with. It all went so well we are probably going to do this again some time. Thinking about also getting a female model up here so I can work with two figures in the box. I took over seventy photos and have at least a dozen of those that would be good for paintings, which is phenomenal. Once I get going on the paintings more ideas will come to me and I might end up with a nice series (I hope!). I would love to have a one person show in a good gallery in Vancouver or Toronto, but that is putting the cart before the horse. It's a dream. Doesn't matter if it doesn't happen, I have had a great time putting this together in spite of my nerves over it...and why does this stuff make me nervous? It's like a performance I suppose...I want to put my best foot forward for whatever audience sees the results of this. A sort of stage fright. Michael put me at ease immediately.


       I also spent some time having Mike wrapped in fabric, both dry and then very wet so it would cling to his body better, but those shots are only marginally successful. I still have in mind a figure-as-landscape idea in my head but a lot of trouble bringing it into focus...showing the connection of human beings to the  earth...or something:-) Parts of those shots worked well. Have to think about this more, which means putting it on the back burner of my brain and letting it simmer on its own. The way it can work will come to me when it's fully cooked.

       After the modeling session (several hours) we joined Bob, my husband, in the house and had green tea and homemade apple/peach pie and talked for a couple more hours. Then I made dinner - Bob added extra goodies to the salad; roasted filberts, sliced avocado, and home sprouted alfalfa sprouts. Dinner was vegan spinach/tomato lasagna. I had made a big batch in February for the previous time Michael was supposed to come up here but I ended up freezing most of it. It was even better thawed and reheated in the oven with portobello mushrooms and fresh made marinara over the top than it was when I first made it. The substitute for the ricotta is made with nuts and tofu and absolutely delicious.  Michael ate every bite and seemed to relish it - even a carnivore has to admit that vegan can be tasty when it's done right. Nice with steamed broccoli and Italian olive bread with garlic vegan margarine. 

You can see more of Michael's posing on http://www.modelmayhem.com/MMWard  and http://www.facebook.com/mcgregor.ward

       Michael has a large collection of period costumes to wear for modeling also, including a full suit of armor with chain mail. He also likes to draw and paint and has two grown sons who live with him and nine adoreable Beagles!