Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Bayou Painting - Days 4 & 5

Even though quite a bit of time has been spent on continuing to cut and piece a quilt, some painting was done on the Bayou painting, also.  Here's Bayou painting day 4 that I took to today's class:

I wasn't thrilled with the painting because I knew that some of the things I didn't like were not fixable.  For example, I was losing the light (in watercolor painting light is created by either leaving the paper bare of paint or using very, very pale colors).  It's almost impossible to remove the paint without making a hole in the paper.  That (the bit about the light) is also a part of my second complaint.  The painting is overworked - meaning that not only is the light vanishing, but also that too many places have painted over and over and over again which is one reason the light is gone.  These things really can't be undone.

But, even though I knew in my heart that I needed to start over, I did as my teacher suggested - continued to learn on this version before turning to a new version.  That's why she gets the "big bucks".  Grin, grin.

So I did as she suggested, and here is the result.

While I know it isn't particularly easy to see the differences between the two, you might be able to see some changes in the middle distance which is where I concentrated my efforts.  Look on the right side beyond the first tree - the large one on the right.  Also on the left behind the big tree there.

What I am trying to learn is differentiating among the necessary colors, values, and details that make close, middle, and distant discernable.  At least those are some of the things I need to work on!

During the rest of the class, I practiced various techniques that can be used to sketch what I want to paint without using anything that would have to be erased (lead pencil), peeled (masking fluid - sort of like rubber cement), brushed off and/or lifted like charcoal or chalk, or left in place (ink).  So what does that leave?  

Watercolor paint!  One can use very, very pale paint using colors that could underlie the final coat of paint without showing through.  Or,  in a similar way, one make the paper wet and apply the pale paint.  

It only took me the rest of the class to discover that the last one is what I will use when I start the new painting.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Update on Louisiana Bayou

Yesterday I took the time to work on the bayou painting as I hadn't done any painting since last week.  This is the second day's work:

It still doesn't look like much, but this is the way my watercolors appear to progress these days.  Wouldn't it be great if one day I managed do get a good painting all in one day like real artists do?  Oh well, I'm really not complaining because I do know I've gotten better at this particular medium, but I also hope that I won't stall here for the rest of my life.

Day three (below) is getting closer to the finish line, but clearly it isn't there yet.  I worked on land and sky but didn't touch the water.  My thought was that until I had the upper portion close to completed there wasn't much point in tackling the reflections.  Besides, brown water is not easy.

Today the painting told me to stop trying to be cute; it's name is simply "Louisiana Bayou" - at least for the time being.  It will let me know if and when that changes.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bonsai Show

Sunday D and I went to a bonsai show (some time I'll have to write about how I very recently became an enthusiastic bonsai practitioner - sort of - more of an amateur freshwoman student really - it's all D's fault!), and it was really fun!  We had a great time looking at bonsai, rocks, accent plants, and scrolls and going through the vendor area.  We came home with tiny plants, pots, and a few photos (very few - turns out photos were not allowed).

Fortunately, I had taken only one photo of a tree, and I had taken it because D loves ginkos, has several in training, and was interested in the way this one is styled:

Both of us were surprised this was in the show - it's not particularly; well, it isn't . . . um, it hasn't . . . (sudden fit of coughing) . . .   But ginkos are not noted as graceful trees, but this picture will be helpful for D when he starts to wire his specimens.  I think it will help him figure out what he doesn't want to do!

Then I took a photo of  this scroll; I had never seen one mounted like this and thought D could make one for the scrolls he has.  I took lessons in how to make the usual fabric/scroll, but trust me, I don't ever want to do that.  It didn't speak to me at all.

And of course, I had to crop the scroll so the art work could be seen more clearly.  I  fell in love with it!

Bet you can see why!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Another Painting Begun

It has been a frustrating week and a half as far as my computer is concerned.   We found that once again the router was the source of my inability to get on line or process photos or do any of a number of tasks.  Today the same issue sprang up again, but for whatever reason, it resolved itself.

Another interesting problem arose also, but this one was of my own making.  When I began to set up my materials for painting class, I discovered that I had left at home the block on which my landscape was attached.  Now that was something I've not done before!  

Fortunately, I did have one piece of watercolor paper with me and my folder of photographs as I did not want to start another version of the landscape at this point.  So, what you will see below is another landscape in the very beginning stages.

The photo was taken on our trip to New Orleans several years ago, and the painting is currently being called "In the Bayou".

The dark wobbly line at the top of the painting is a shadow caused by the tape which wasn't completely attached to the paper.  And I repeat that this is a painting in the most early stages as was last week's work.  

Which one will I work on next week?  Right now I am thinking that it will be this one because I am seriously considering changing my mind about the "No Trestle" landscape.  I really want that trestle in that painting.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

No Trestle Day 1

For years I have been really attracted to a nearby site with trees, water, and a train trestle.  I have mentioned it off and on because to me it is extraordinarily paint-worthy.  So, since I have a mal-functioning computer that won't allow me to print my photos and I couldn't begin the painting I'd planned on, today I decided to start the trestle painting.  Finally!

When you look at the photo, please remember that it is the result of one day:

Hmm. Do you notice anything?

You're right.  There's no train trestle!  Even though Sharon has a son who is a professional train photographer, she doesn't share my love of rusty trestles - including the one that should be in this painting.  So I agreed to try this as a pure landscape.

We'll see.

Whisper: I still think it should have the trestle!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

It has been brought to my attention that I have not written since August 1.  Now that is just not what I had hoped todo.  While I know what the problem is, I don't know how to resolve it.  Since starting this writing experiment, I have done so after dinner and usually while watching TV with D.  The difficulty, you see, is that that is also when I do "handwork": knitting, embroidery, rug hooking, working on my photographs, and drawing (only occasionally), and those activities have thoroughly kept me from discussing those same activities here.

Will that change?

Well, probably only a little, but I do hope you will start checking in once a week to see if there is anything worth reading.

The last time I wrote, I had started another Lancaster, PA based painting.  That one is now finished and is completely out of my system.  By which you should rightly assume that it isn't among by best, but it was fun to do.  Here is Wash Day.

Tomorrow I will start another, but I haven't been able to print any of the photographs that I'm interested in.  Wish me luck on coming up with something worth while.

You might also think about wishing me luck in managing to write once a week!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Next Art/Craft?

The completion of the crazy quilt block gave me an opportunity to change my evening activity.  Of course, I had promised myself that I would get back to the rug hooking, but there are other things I also want to do and/or need to do.

So here's a list:

  • Rug hooking - complete Autumn Perch 
  • Crazy Quilting - start Spring block
  • Knitting - Start one of many knitting projects
    • oops, sew the pockets on the shawl before I can claim it finished
  • Wool work on the log cabin table runner
At least that's all that comes to mind right now (there are probably more).

Anyway, I've hit on a scheme that may work.  Or not.  At least it's a plan.

Last night I worked on rug hooking.  At this point I'm working on the night sky around the moon.  Since I'm trying to add the rays of light against the deep sky, it's all an experiment which may or may not be successful.  Only time will tell.

The spring block has still to be cut out and then assembled before the "interesting" stitching can begin.  The base is ready, the materials for each piece chosen, and I'm eager to start.

Tonight I started a knitting project.  It's a relatively easy project which is why I chose it.  First I thought it might do as a travel project, but I decided to drop that since knitting tools aren't always viewed enthusiastically on airplanes.  That may mean that I'll put it aside and pick up a knitting project that was started last year and put aside as problems arose.  The two I"m thinking about won't be too dreadful to fix, but they will take both time and close attention.

Today I cut out two wool leaf shapes that I plan to embroider, but then I thought it might be smarter if I hadn't cut them out.  Embroidering the wool while it's a larger piece would be both easier and the wool would have less of a chance of ravelling.

So there it is.  Alternating among the projects has the advantage of keeping my interest keen, but it also might hinder concentrated, consistent work.  It also may not work if I find interest waning in one or more of the projects.

Time will tell.