Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Moon animals Painting

This is the largest painting I have ever done. I did not measure the width, but it is about 25 inches tall. I started it in summer, then hung it up and worked on other things, and now I am excited to be nearly done with it.
I built it a stretcher

I was so proud that I took a picture of my estimation skills. I picked up a handful of nails, right? And then I nailed all the way around the canvas on the front of the painting at about 5 inch intervals. And then I cut masonite triangles to put in the corners, and hammered 5 nails into each. Then when I got to the last masonite triangle, I realized I had exactly the right number to finish, didn't need to put any away or get any more out. (The nail on the top was improperly formed and is unusable.) I also can estimate lengths of wood to within half an inch. Mostly. I will look at a stick and think it is 18", and measure it and it is near 19", but then again my optimism means sometimes I look at a 17" stick and think, yeah, that might be big enough, that might be 20".

I'll start with photos of each part. This is the moon.
This is the cow skull hill. I wanted to just get it done so I didn't find/use a reference for what bones look like so it looks like a cross between a cow head and a cow skull, but as it turns out the texture is soft and rich, and I like it.
horse-this is my least favorite of the animals pictured and I wish I had found a photo to use. (When i looked up falling horses, they were of course never falling like this so I had to use a photo of a rearing horse)
giraffe- trouble with the legs but the dainty hooves and bulby head make me happy. Also the giraffe is my favorite animal.
cow-cribbed almost exactly from Bosch and it came out better than the other 4.
what I had when I got to art class today. (umbrella is for scale)

I was impressed by how quickly the sunset started to look layered and rich
So here's the whole thing. It was 6pm by the time I reached a stopping point so I should retake this picture in sunlight. I hope I am not required to write an artist statement: Menagerie of spirit animals playfully leaping over their moon. Giraffe and horse freehanded without reference, cow and goat based on Bosch, stag from a medieval engraving. Surreal landscape drawn from objects that caught my fleeting attention: pictish stone, 3 legged ceramic pig (it's upside down), friend's hand, cow skull (from a green t shirt). The hand stands in for the setting sun.

Still to do: carved symbols, scallop edges to mimic stretched hide, paint wood black, find permanent rose paint and layer it over the pink part of the sunset, find sketch of little flying bosch man with a ladder and paint it on the right to balance it, pick a color for the hearts and paint them it.

Egg in the Hole (a breakfast)

Well, I read of this forever ago (I think in an American Girl Doll book set in WW2) but never tried it.

(you make the hole with a small cup) I think this is exciting because eggs is my favorite breakfast but I am always running late and now I can carry an egg along with me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Abstraction from Model

First our instructor, Frank, showed us a demonstration of painting in fauvist style, then abstract style. He stressed that the forms you take from the model will be more engaging and developed than ones you invent.
The model was very hard to work from as she wore a large had with her head down, and it wasn't sunny today, and her dress was made of mesh that overlapped and was ragged, and I could not really see distinct shapes for most of her. So I focused on her legs and arm.
And despite my best efforts it is marginally recognizable.

For an idea of the variation in the interpretation of the assignment, those three small paintings are all different students work from today's model.

Rhinoceros Painting


This is a rhinoceros. It isn't done but I am very tired of it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Intro to Painting: building a canvas

One of the projects for intro to acrylic painting is to build a canvas stretcher and stretch then gesso canvas over it. We were shown how to do this one of the first days of term, but some of the wood hadn't arrived yet so there was really only enough for perhaps 2 small canvasses. But the wood arrived, and our professor advised us to make our canvas as soon as possible, before the woodshop is swamped. It's a big shop I think, but is shared by all the painting classes (three main ones, plus "special topics" series) and the sculpture classes. But, no classes actually meet there, so you just pop in between 12 and 5, or something. Sometimes it's open a bit later. So today I finished just as it was time to leave, didn't have time to do my canvas but I'd left it home anyway. (I didn't plan on going over to the shop until my professor mentioned we should do it soon)So! Here it is! Small because I cut up part of my big canvas roll to make a vest for my Halloween costume that I ended up not using, and so I only have 2 medium rectangles of canvas left. And it's already primed, since I bought it before term started and I got the official materials list. I'm a bit proud of it, although I had trouble measuring the quarter rounds (that's the border, it keeps the nails and staples from making bumps in the canvas) so the corners have little crooked gaps.
I finished my mid quarter conference so I finally got to bring home my favorite works and put them up! Whenever people come into my room they always compliment the ones I had up, which were only up to keep them out of harm's way and put some color on the wall, not representing subjects i really like or anything like that.

My mid quarter conference went well. The professor is cryptic and tells long, meandering stories and it is very hard to gauge what he means. He usually goes around and gives suggestions as we work. Saturday he gave students very specific suggestions and when he got to me he just said "having fun?" I said I was. Then today I was working on a rhinocerous and he asked if it was my spirit animal and I said no. Then he suggested I use bright orange as the background for my rhinocerous and I said that would make my green rhinocerous recede and he said it would be nonrealism, and i should at least do it and if i didn't like it i could paint over it. And I did like it, but I would rather something else.
This is the image I am working from. See how it wants a grey background? Or a gray violet background? But no, it has orange. (The painting is drying in my locker, didn't want to carry it and chance ruining it or my clothes)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Meditative Rose Painting

I learned a lot about my favorite Dali painting sitting staring at it intently with 4 paintbrushes (yellow, red, dark red, blue/purple) clutched in my left hand so I'd have them at the ready when I noticed a shadowy patch, or a patch that should be red orange.

(Click for a proper view) I did this in 2 sessions and it was really enjoyable. All in all took about 5 hours and it's 12x17 or something. The assignment was to grid a favorite painting, transcribe it to a canvas, and copy it. Now I want to copy it again but bigger, maybe in black and white?

Oh my gosh. I just realized I left off the dew drop. I was saving it till last and then apparently I forgot. Alright, this isn't quite done.

Here is the original for comparison.

Pictish Stones

Like my teacup stonehenge I made this pictish stone model for Andy.
Polymer clay staked with toothpicks and brushed with acrylic glaze that I then wiped off.