Friday, August 4, 2017

Aura 2 Not Done After All

Well it's not finished after all. As per usual, the overall design was really wrong - even though I thought it was finished. So I've redesigned it and there's more to do. I think the general plan is now ok. 

More circles

I am trying another circle abstract. My colour choice is unusual. Mike took one look and said "whew!" The good thing about acrylics is that I can completely change it.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Ready to varnish

I think I am ready to call this picture done. I would like it to look a bit smoother and cleaner but I don't think I can achieve that with more paint. The basic design works and it is probably the boldest thing I have ever done. Now I need to finish it up. I'm hoping a few layers of varnish will do the trick. I could put a bit of transparent colour in the varnish making it a glaze.  But I don't want to loose the whiteness which is what I remember most from the aura. I did not see thus many colours and of course it unfolded over time starting with the centre bit and then fading outwards so it was never this complex. I will put some jewels on it. Dine for today.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Did it

Did it and it seems right.  The centre aura is back being the focus because everything points to it. You can be distracted by the pink but then your eye veers back. Tomorrow I will varnish it. I love acrylics! I'm thinking of making it shock.

Now it's a SHOCK

I've been working on my migraine aura #2 painting for more than a week. I hope it's nearly done. The white edges are sharp and clean. The colours are pretty nice. There isn't onepstch that is subtle at this point. It is pure brash. There may be too much pink in the bottom left. It has become too much of a focal point. It either has to be reduced and darkened or spread upwards on the left and right. I think the windows on an angle have to go. They are the main distraction but without them it will be boring. So time to quit.  Or more pink windows on the bottom right and mid left. Now I see a computer keyboard - 2 computer keyboards. If the big one goes that would make room for big black exploding bit. That might work. Definitely worth trying more windows and only one keyboard.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Migraine aura 2

I saw a migraine aura after my oral surgery on Saturday. It was different than previous ones - not round but very sharp and jagged and scintillating. Only lasted about 20 minutes before it soread out ans disappeared. So I am trying to paint it in three phases together - the start in the centre. The edges as they spread out and then tiny remnants.  You can actually see the aura with your eyes open or closed AND WHEN your eyes are open you can see through it. I am not doing that as I think it would look like a hole in the windshield.  Here it is so far

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back to Henry

I have been working on my portrait of Henry for hundreds of hours  Every once in a while I think I've got it. But it hangs in the hall outside my bathroom door and after awhile I realize it is just not working. So every once in awhile I try again. Here is my most recent attempt and this time I am really hopeful. I have changed everything. The face took the most work - I completely gessoed it out and redid everything. But it's still not right.  I think this is because he was excitedly looking above his head in the original but I didn't paint him that way because I didn't think it was flattering. Maybe I will give it a try and a simple too.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

Big yellow circle

Trying to get a Klimpt like effect. Bought some more big canvases today. Almost as exciting as buying new paints.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

New one

Mothers Day and I am home painting another circle picture. My inspiration is Klimt. I love the complicated patterns he paints all over his pictures. They are often not noticed because of the main subject matter - usually a beautiful woman. Point was art nouveau - not respected much.

Friday, May 12, 2017

I think it's done

This might be the end. I think it grabs attention because it is so colourful and simple then holds attention because the green is in unexpected places and there is over all complexity. For those who look further there is the final surprise of a Dennis Brown dot of black and the bits of red in some of the green bits.  Anything more would be tidying up where the current paint isn't quite what I planned. I don't think I'll do that.

Another colour - more yellow and red

The light is much better in the morning so had a go although had other plans - lightened up bottom right with lots of underlying action and solidified some of the red circle with cad red.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Getting there

I worked on this picture all day. I should have st least gone for a walk. I had a Prolia injection yesterday for osteoporosis - my first one. I think it made me irritable.  Hopefully that will go away soon. I do like the green - though now doubt the wisdom of still trying to paint 2 overlapping circles. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Another stsrt

I quite liked the previous start but it got too tidy and turned into 2 weird Easter egglike shapes - so I'm  trying again. So far so good - but i have no idea where the turquoise should go. Maybe the outline of a third circle floating in the middle. I think I need to mute the white. It was needed to cover the black outlines of the 2 circles but is to strong.  Should the circles be circles, balls, discs or labyrinths. Maybe all 4. Maybe this is the BC election results with the greens bringing the other 2 together? What a hope! The overlap is the other big challenge - it  needs to be transparent both ways. The whole picture needs to transparent and ethereal and fundamentally asymmetric. This will be tricky given the circles are pretty tightly formed.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Now starting third

This looks better in the photo than in real life. It had got so dark. Im not into dark right now. Why is it in the series - colours and circles. It is a challenge to make good circles but make look sort of abstract impressionistic. They are either really good circles or really bad circles. I seem to be committed to good ones.

Second one done

Here is how the second one turned out.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Next psinting in series

This is a substantially bigger canvas - 36x48. I quickly washed on the three basic colours I used in my previous psinting.  I did some drips and scraped hoping for 3 circles. They are there but I don't like the design
I want to make sure the focal point is obvious but the whole picture is interesting. There will like be one large dominant circle, a couple of other circles and random curves emerging. I think the turquoise will be more organic.

Beginning of a series

I think I have started a series. Dennis talked about this at the last class. If you come up with something you really like, take the opportunity to explore it and carry it further by using the same theme but doing a series of variations. Here is the beginning piece. I was helped out by Jim who suggested that an earlier version lacked a focal point. I started over and made a single circle my focus.  I scraped  few patterns and introduced a movement from dark red on the left to pink and yellow on the right with orange in between. Then worked away to find patterns in the drips and scraped and finally added yellow dashes and touches of interwoven turquoise. I like it a lot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Abstract man with hat

I am having a lot of fun working with my abstract man with a hat a smart phone. Nearly done.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Great class with Dennis

Today I went to another class with Dennis Brown. It was on "edges " There are many kinds of edges including the edge of the canvas, drip downs, places where colours blur into each other and intentionally painted lines, curves etc. Some lines go around things. Some just wander off. Sometimes the viewer's eye catches a line and follows it around the painting Other times the viewer moves on to the next picture without becoming engaged. Therefore you need a focal point where the eye and brain latch on to something- then explore the rest of the picture and come back to experience the focal point again.  There can be many focal points.
Dennis' process is 1. Calm yourself 2. Choose your palette 3. Paint in blocks of colour 4 Join things into a whole 5.  Create a focal point.
My first painting has great colours but lacks focal points. My second painting uses the same palette and is an abstraction- not abstract.  It is a Picasso like picture based on my selfie. Very crazy, not quite done, could be ruined by over working it. Fun! Dennis gave me permission to do it. So did Barry - whose family have been teaching art for 7 generations.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Not quite done - still too yellow

The photo clearly shows that the background is still too yellow and the bottom left painting is too red. I'll try to fix it

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Selfie - done

I think my "selfie" is finished. The hardest part was the background. I thought it was a great idea to include paintings down the left side - semi- realistically but had to try several different background colours. I finally arrived at dairylike yellow mixed with white which allowed the paintings to blend into the background. Possibly there should be a shadow on the cell phone and the left collar needs to be clarified. So not quite done after all. 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Selfie Day 5 - nearly done

Yesterday I gessoed out the background except for the aura painting. Today I worked on the hands,  another background painting and highlight's on the jacket . Tomorrow we are going away- back in a couple of days. I will  probably finish 'selfie' up in one more session. Nothing is more rewarding to paint than a portrait which is going well. Nothing is harder to paint than a good background

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Selfie Day 4

Another day working on this self portrait. Mainly worked on the face. An amazing thing - the mouth looked very tense until I changed the colour of the left side. Now the expression seems perfect. The left side of the neck needs narrowing, then back to the hands which are coming along. The jacket should be easy and fun. It still has a nice loose feeling.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Selfie - day 3

I worked for  a couple of hours on "Selfie" today. I just roughed in some colours for the face , hands and jacket.  Did part of the legs and may leave them as they are - unfinished as in my painting of Mike and Lexy- but zI don't think I will use drips. I think I will also just rough in part of the background- probably a turquiosey colour. Nothing is right yet but there is already a sense that the poorly drawn hands are reaching forward. This is achieved by the drawing (such as it is) and the burnt umber shadows under  the arms.  The collar is tricky brcause the fesign is not intuitive. So far this picture is lovely and free. I hope I can keep it that way.

Monday, January 23, 2017


I started a new painting yesterday.  It is a self portrait.  I decided to use a canvas 15x30 - so quite high and narrow. I haven't done anything realistic for awhile. It's fun but tricky
The drawing has to be correct if the painting is going to turn out. I hope I can make this one good. If it turns out OK I might use it for one of my entrance paintings for nfca. I'll ask  Jim for pointers.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Revising Website

I really need to completely revise my website. I based it on a couple of previous websites which I made from scratch. When I say scratch I mean I actually started with a book. I to do html coding and set up my own CSS.

Eventually I bought some software called "Coffee Cup" which made coding much easier. A few years later Coffee Cup came out with a new product you can use to build websites. It has many benefits - including  allowing websites to appear on any device.  There are also ways to check that links work, to update everything at once, and all sorts of other great things. I've known for a long time that I need to start using this software - but I have resisted because I think it will be so hard to learn and figure out. I'd rather be painting.

My plan now is to start my over again using this software. Bit by bit I will incorporate everything in my current website until it is the same. If I complete any paintings before I am done, I will put them up on my original version. When the new website is done, I will simply replace the currently one. This will be tought but it's time to get it done.

Pacific Voyage completed

I just completed a painting which fits into my "Climate Change - Drought" series.  Here it is. It is very red - including cadmium red and quinacridone red - to give a rosy hue.  The blue is ultramarine and the yellow is cadmium yellow. The green parts emerge where the yellow and blue have mixed with each other. so that's waht it's made from - 4 colours and no white.

I started this painting in the fall (2016) in an art class with Dennis Brown. My main challenge was that it started out having 2 very different styles - the left side was complex and detailed - the right side was formless and vague.

I removed some details that I liked - but that were inconsistent - like this:

And this:

So now I am calling it done. I have put a QR code on the bottom right hand corner and it is now on my website.  It is 30"x40" and is ready to hang (black edges and d-rings).

Here it is again:

Oh yes, it does have a message. I started my Drought series in the summer of 2015 when Vancouver Island had had no rain for weeks and weeks. The sunny days were lovely but there were many forest fires. The air was grey with smoke. Normally our summers are fairly dry - but there are always a few wet days to keep the forest damp. During the summer of 2015, it felt as if the climate was changing much faster than anyone had thought.

The summer of 2016 was not so dry. The pressure was off - but the climate has not stopped changing. It is time for the big transition to new forms of energy which do not produce carbon dioxide. I honestly have not had much success doing this in my private life - but at least I paint about it.

Another result of climate change on Vancouver Island is the arctic outflow weather we have been experiencing this winter. It has been unbelievable cold - with long-lasting  snow and ice. When the snow first fell in December, we had not had now in Nanaimo for 1000 days. You might think this excessive cold is  a sign that global warming is not happening - but unfortunately these bursts of cold air are actually a result of the warming of the arctic.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Website updated

Today I finished updating my website. I added the Fireworks paintings and a slightly changed version of Gardener's Dilemma. The blue dot in the orange rectangle has gone. It was way too dominant.

I also created some business cards with my "Aura" painting on them.

I recently joined the Federation of Canadian Artists at the beginner level. I hope I can learn a lot from them.  I think, if I want to get to the next level, someone from the local chapter has to check out my artwork. I hope they like my website and my business cards.

Now I'm ready to get working on something new! How wonderful to be able to paint something new again!