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 www.pennygrantpaintings.ca 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 www.pennygrantpaintings.ca 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!