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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Packing up for the Winter Artisans Fair
November 26 & 27, 2011

Autumn`s Fire - Oil on Panel
Wow, I have way too much art I am bringing....now how to fit everything!  I should really be packing up stuff but I just can`t pull myself away from the easel.  I learned so much at the workshop over the weekend and I want to get it all out before I forgot too much, I have a very limited attention span ;)

I am hoping to bring various pieces from miniatures to quite large pieces in acrylic and oil.  I do not plan on bringing any watercolors this time but ya never know.  Hopefully we have nice weather and lots of visitors.  If you are in Port Coquitlam (1100-2253 Leigh Square - Behind City Hall) over the weekend, please stop by and say hello :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What a totally awesome weekend!

David Gray and his portrait....and mine :)
I am still decompressing from David Gray's workshop on Whidbey Island hosted by the lovely Cary Jurriaans of Whidbey Island Fine Art Studio.  David is an AMAZING artist who also is an AMAZING teacher!  I learned so much in three days and I am sure I will continue to have things pop up in my head from the weekend for some time to come.

It was pretty challenging as I have never drawn with charcoal (other then the week before the workshop in a panic ;)) and then to paint from such a loose image was really an eye opener.

That is my portrait, actually not too bad, I was expecting worse.  I figured if  it looks human in the end and I learn lots I will be happy, so I am pretty happy....although other than the image here the painting may never see the light of day again ;)  Also, we all drew for easels so those of you that know me, no I did not ambush him and grab the closest easel to him :)  It was quite handy though as I was able to lean back at times and see what a painting should look like :)

Apparently I am much more stubborn than I would like to admit as even though I would tell myself I would draw/paint the way David was showing us, I kept reverting back to my old ways...argh :)

I redrew my portrait several times as I kept smudging it off by accident.  Apparently that is the beauty of vine charcoal in that is erases so easily :)  I then repainted my portrait several times as well but I learned so much that I really didn't mind whereas usually I would have been so frustrated.

There is so much to see when working from a live model which makes it really challenging but what a great experience.  I am definitely going to try painting in my life drawing sessions in the future as well as some more self portraits, although I need a break at looking at myself for awhile after doing so many self portrait drawings!

I really, really enjoyed David's process and will be spending all my spare time trying to absorb as much of what he tough as possible.  He spent a fair bit of the first day teach us to draw using the sight sizing method which I have read about many times but never really tried and I really enjoyed it, even though it is hard to break my old ways :)  David was also full of great tips and exercises which really helps break things down to more manageable pieces, now it is just putting in the time...and more time....and more time ;)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Life Drawing - Self Portrait #5

Self Portrait from Life
16x20" Charcoal on Paper
Well, technically this is Self Portrait #7 but the other two are not done....they may never be done ;) I started my 5th portrait in pastel, I have never used pastel before...I learned a lot. I seem to learn by trying what not to do first, takes longer but works in the long run :) Self portrait #6 I started using charcoal only, no graphite, which I have never done before and chose a really rough surface. Why do I do this to myself? So, again I have learned a lot of what not to do and will likely finish it in the new year when I have more time.

Ok, so that brings me to Self Portrait #5 which I did last night. I spent roughly 2 hours on this one and it is gigantic!  I made all my landmarks in charcoal then realized I wanted to tone the paper first...so I toned the paper and made all my landmarks again. Probably a good think as getting my landmarks correct is my biggest challenge I think. I used only charcoal starting with a soft charcoal and then using a compressed charcoal for the details. I think I rubbed off as much as I added and not on purpose but again, I learned a lot...a common theme :) I did do all of the hair but it is at such a un-finished stage that it was just distracting so I cropped it out :)

I am not sure if I will do more on this one, it needs a fair bit more tonal range but as it is just a study it may just end up in the trash bin as I move onto the next. I think my proportions are slowly getting better and although I have a love hate relationship with the charcoal, I can see that it will eventually turn into a long loving relationship, just maybe not anytime soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ensemble 2011 Show at the Act in Maple Ridge - November 19 - December 17

Letting Go - $460
Watercolor on Paper - 16x20" Framed

Letting Go is one of the pieces that will be on display for the juried Christmas Show and Sale, Ensemble 2011 at The Act Art Gallery in Maple Ridge from November 19 until December 17.

This annual exhibit features small ensembles of individual artists' work that is related by theme, style or some other unifying factor. 
Ready - $460
Watercolor on Paper - 16x20" Framed
Reach - $460
Watercolor on Paper - 16x20" Framed
I will have three of my figurative watercolors on display, Letting Go, Reach and Ready.
I hope you can make it out if you are in the area.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Life Drawing - Self Portrait #4 Completed

Self Portrait Study from Life
11x15" Graphite & Charcoal on Paper


Well this is as far as I am going to go on this one. I could keep going for at least several more hours but I am forcing myself to stop as it is just a study, it appears I am very stubborn ;)  I am quite happy with the way the toned paper works with the graphite layers and will definitely be playing with toned paper a lot more!

I was not able to try the charcoal until near the end as the charcoal I had on hand seemed to waxy so I ran out and got some other stuff that seems to work much better so I am excited to try mixing from the beginning for the next portrait.

So other than the proportions being off I am pretty happy with this one and am looking forward to the next study :)

Glittery Texture
 I thought I would include a few closeups of the texture as well.  The first image hopefully shows the gold glittery texture (why is it the older I get the more I like shiny stuff?).  It is quite subtly and may not show well online but looks quite cool in real life.  I really like how it peeks through in areas of the portrait as well.
Untoned Paper Texture
The second image shows where areas of the paper were left untoned which I also REALLY like.  I think the paper texture is the main reason I spent so much time on the shaping of the portrait.  I wish I had spent more time on the proportions...sigh.  Live & learn right?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Life Drawing - Self Portrait #4

So I know I said I don't want to spend more than 2 hours on these studies....but I really want to put a bit more time in on this one as I really like the textured background and how it effects the portrait. 

My proportions are off again, argh, why don't I notice how off things are when I am doing the block in ;) I still have the deer in the headlights look but maybe that won't go away no matter how many of these I do, oh well.  If I can just stop making my nose way too long I think it will help immensely :)

So I will work on it a bit more tomorrow and post hopefully a more natural looking update.  I did try the charcoal but did not like the texture again.  I will have to try playing with charcoal on a separate sheet for a while before diving into a portrait I think.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Life Drawing - Self Portrait #3

I was pretty busy getting all my paintings ready for the show this weekend and life drawing on Tuesday night so this is the first chance I got to work on my self portrait mission.

I thought changing the pose a touch my make me look more mellow and slightly less crazed as I get a little intense looking when drawing from life it seems.  Especially a self portrait as normally I sing while I work but it is hard to draw yourself when you are constantly moving.

I started this drawing very differently than usual in that after the arabesque (the outline shape of the head) I blocked in the major shapes with dark flat graphite and then refined the features as areas progressed.  I really enjoyed working this way and have seen it done many times but thought I would be too lost if I did not get the landmarks in first. I was pleasantly surprised :)

I would have liked to have it more refined and have the hair a little less crazy looking but I am trying to keep my sessions to 2 hours or less.  I think the proportions turned out not too bad and it came more easily than usual so that is nice. Perhaps practicing more often (what a shock) really does work ;)

At the end of the session I stood up and saw a ton of flaws....always stand back and get a good look, I may need to tape that on my easel.  I started standing at life drawing sessions with the real models and really like it so I need to try to remember to do it at home.  Also I really want to try to use charcoal, graphite and white chalk next time if I remember.

I actually thought this project was going to be a chore but well worth the effort whereas I am actually enjoying the process so much I may have to keep doing these little drawings at least once or twice a month.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Port Moody Art Association 44th Annual Show - Nov 4, 5 and 6, 2011
Opening Reception tonight!

Temptation - $460
16x20" Watercolor Framed
Wow where does the time go! Tonight is the opening reception for the 44th Annual Port Moody Art Association from 7:30 until 10pm. 

The official opening will be hosted by Devin Jain, Port Moody's Manager of Cultural Services and there will be wine by the glass, great art and artists will be on hand to chat :)

Hope to see you there! The show is located at the Port Moody Recreation Center, 300 IOCO Road, Port Moody. Free parking, free admission and draw prizes.