Saturday, October 30, 2010

An American Songbird

"Free to Fly"

20" x 24" acrylic on canvas

The first blog I wrote, The Parent Trapped, was a fun journey of self-expression, family hilarity, and embarrassing anecdotes. I have since switched over to writing The Desert Chronicles which is less edgy, maybe, and more travel and locale specific, kind of.

My point....I am running out of photo space on Blogger so I have to delete The Parent Trapped soon. It spanned a year and has some real gems of humor, pearls of wisdom, and fool's gold of crap. I don't want to lose it, nor see it languor on a hard-drive collecting dust on the shelf.

So I am in the process of turning it into a hard backed book to languor on a shelf collecting dust. You know, Blog to Book. As I was editing it, I realized there was no one single picture that captured the essence of The Parent Trapped. I didn't want to use a family photo because even though it was mostly involving stories about my family, it was more about ME, and I am more than just my family.

That's one of the good things about being an artist. If you need something and can't find it, paint it for yourself!

I really liked how the clouds came out for my nephews C-17 painting, and since I really love clouds anyway, I decided to do another giant cloud painting.

Next I needed a subject. Symbolism.....symbolism.....Trapped....trapped by what? What traps us? A fence. A barbed wire fence! What is the opposite of trapped? FREE! What is free? A bird! An American Robin! Free! An American songbird, perched on a freedom denying barbed wire fence, but ready to take off for the great wide sky of liberation!

How's that for symbolism?

(I know. It's a male robin and I am a girl. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

Here's a detail of the robin. I scrimped on the details of the fence but I liked the simplicity of it and didn't want the fence taking too much focus from the bird, er, me, or the clouds.

Here's a detail of the detail of the bird.

I am very satisfied at the overall outcome of this painting. Of course we artists are never fully satisfied but I am happy to say that I received the message loud and clear:


I hear you. Loud and clear.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pie; Tomorrow

This month for Calypso Moon, we were assigned a Halloween themed painting. Well, two paintings. Both of Halloween, one without using a paintbrush/palette knife.

I only have time to do one this month, so here is my recipe for:

Halloween Pumpkin Non-Painting

9 x 12 piece of canvas paper
acrylic paints
painters tape
homemade stencil of pumpkin, cut into strips for form pumpkin sections
paper plates for palettes
plastic shopping bags

Draw the pumpkin on a stiff piece of paper, cut out pumpkin form. Cut pumpkin into strips. Cut out a stem shaped stencil. Using a plastic shopping bag balled up, bounce the colors together to achieve desired values. Pounce the the colors on the canvas, background first. When dry, tape off a straight edge for the table top. Apply table top colors. Let dry.

Using stencil, apply pumpkin colors with plastic bag. When dry, use pumpkin section strips to create high and low-lighted areas of the pumpkin.

Pounce in stem color.


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Monday, October 4, 2010

Rollin On the River

"Rollin' On the River"

11" x 14" watercolor and ink on paper

This is my submission to the Rookie Painter art assignment. The reference photo was of four leaves that were on a flat white background with shadows. The other submissions for this assignment have been spectacular in the originality and license each artist took for the project. I decided to make mine more a mix of abstract realism.

I am completely making up that term. Can realism be abstract?

Check out the other submissions over at The Rookie Painter. I never knew browning leaves could be so artistic and stunning!

(Funny story. Paige who is in first grade, came home with an assignment from school to collect "fall things" from our yard. Um, we live in an apartment in San Antonio. It's 85 degrees. We have non-desiduous oak trees. And purple sage.

Those poor teachers trying to do fall crafts without any fall things! We did the best we could by collecting acorns, though they were still green and on the trees, and picking a few of the mature red leaves from the red tip shrub outside our door.

Welcome to fall in San Antonio!)

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