Monday, February 17, 2014

Two acrylic paintings

I finished my first 20"x16" acrylic painting - me taking a photo of Nelson Island and Jarvis Inlet from the ferry. It was very interesting to do. A friend said it had a Colville look - so I tried to make it look that way - i.e. not at all impressionistic or following Emily Carr. Here is where I stopped working on it on February 9.

In the actual painting the horizon is straight.  I did a bit more on the hand and collar after I took this photo - but I am not completely satisfied with it yet. I guess I will have another go at it and also paint the edges of the painting so that it is actually done.

Then I started on another small (20"x16") painting of someone else looking at a small screen. This time it is Mike looking at his phone while sitting at the kitchen table. Here are some pictures of how I proceeded.

I started with a fairly careful pencil drawing on my canvas. It took a lot of time and ruined one eraser - but I wanted it to look correct. I included the binoculars on the counter as a nod to Colville. They were really there in the photo and I think they add to the design. (I did not include the red fire extinguisher which hangs on the wall by door - because it seemed a bit odd and distracting.) Then I painted in some basic acrylic colours - mainly yellow, raw sienna and white..

Then I added more paint - mainly yellow and raw sienna plus burnt umber and red for the hoodie. I was happy with the way the table was turning out and thought the hoodie looked pretty good. It was really hard to draw the hood part - but with the shading it looked fine.

Then, yesterday, I added lots of black and red and redid the way the light glows on the table. I actually probably used too much red. It was because I squirted so much out on my palette. I didn't want to waste it and hoped it would make a good undercoat. I will likely tone it down next time I paint - but maybe not - since the red gives the painting a lot of life and is fun.  I was happy with the green patio bushes showing through the sliding glass doors. The stainless butter dish also has lots of potential at this point. I would like to be able to blend a bit more - especially on the hoodie - to have a Colville look - but don't know how to do this. Maybe I need to use a different medium or maybe I should give up on Colville and go with what seems to be happening.

I have been feeling better and better while I worked on these paintings. It is now 12 days since I finished my last prednisone burst and I almost believe that I am actually cured. I love the cold outside air and the way it feels in my lungs. - so clean and cool. The allergist I saw last week said that allergies are not part of my asthma/sinus/eustachian tube problem. But my ENT doc (who never listens and never takes a nose swab - but did order a CT scan) says he is wrong. It is all about allergies that the allergist didn't test for. A bit puzzling. Thankfully he referred me a rhinologist in Vancouver. He is Elspeth's doctor and she has lots of faith in him.

Regardless of allergies or irritants, the acrylic paints are not causing any bad sensations - so I will continue to try to master this new plastic medium. I particularly like (but also hate) the way the paint dries so fast. My idea now is to paint a series of pictures of people looking at screens. My next one will be Brendan and Jordan and I  working on our Grant Clan Facebook page at the RV park in Deer Lodge last summer. It is a very blue picture taken after dark with the screen shining on our faces and should be pretty fun to do.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I'm trying to paint with acrylics. I know they a wonderful and have tons of potential - but they don't work at all like oils. However, oils are out due to the irritation caused by the turps - so I have to get the hang of this. The most strange part is that in the few minutes it has taken to photo my picture and get going on this blog the painting is dry enough to work on again.

Health note: I am back on a 10 day prednisone burst - so my breathing is so much better than last week and the phlegm has ended for a while. It looks like I might be on this 2-3 month prednisone cycle for a while. However, I have a new antibiotic which might get to the root of the problem, On Monday I get tubes in my ears - that should help me to hear better even if my allergies get out of hand again. Being sick sucks! You have to think of every day being a bonus day!