Thursday, June 16, 2016

Time for a portrait

Awhile ago I decided that I would really improve my painting if I alternated between doing abstracts and doing portraits. Now I have finally started a portrait of Mike and Lexy. Here is my inspiration:

The difficulties with this photo are many. First - there is only part of Lexy showing. I had to cobble together some other photos to get her whole body. Then, because she is foreshortened, curved toward Mike, and extremely fluffy, she tends to look like a fat little pig in my drawings. Second - one of the most appealing features of the photo is the RV mat - especially the flag. I love it but I don't want it in te painting - at least that is how I feel right now. Third - Mike's head looks a bit too long. This is partly because his head is on the long side but mainly because of the angle.  I took this photos from inside our trailer - so up about 15 inches and looking down on the two of them.

The things I like about the photo are the longness of Mike's figure and the triangle it makes with Lexy. I particularly like the boots and the book. Best of all is the story of a person intently reading while, at the same time, patting his dog and making his dog so strangely contented. I have made the initial sketch and will put it up next time - it is on my phone.

The real challenge will be to incorporate my new knowledge from abstracts into a large complicated portrait. Colours - green, dark brown, beige, gold and maybe a drop of red somewhere.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Abstract Aura

I have been working on this painting on and off for a few weeks and finally think I am finished. Here is how it unfolded:

 I started with a background - just washes and drips. 

Then I tried out a zigsag and a circle, For me, a migraine aura is always circle that suddenly appears - with a bright zinging zigzag around the outside - on the left side. I can see through it - but things are a bit distorted.

My first attempt was two zigzag circles. I think it was pretty cool. I had another aura a couple of weeks ago and it was crisscrossed with zigsags - so actually quite a bit like this stage of the painting. . I might start another painting and stick with this layout. I would need another matching sized canvas.
 I eliminated the outside circle - though you can still see remnants of it. I cleaned up the checkerboard inside the circle and and made it a key feature. I think my auras do have checkerboards - like Kandinsky's abstracts. This makes me wonder if Kandinsky had migraines. They are very common - one out of 10 people have them - though a much smaller percentage see auras and women are much more likely to have them than men..

Here is the finished painting.  I decided to flip it although the zigzag is always at the top. Artistic license right! The outside of the circle seemed like dead space - not good in an abstract. I added some strategically placed pink "jewels." I hope it doesn't look too much like a globe or a planet now. My auras are more like a round pane of glass - never a ball.

I think the final outcome is uncertain. At least I hope so. The pink jewels are actually reflections of magenta  mixed with pthalo blue inside  the circle- but it has become quite a dark and muddy colour. I really love this painting now. I stuck my QR above my signature and it does work.