Monthly Archives: April 2012

“Fairlight and Caledonia”


“Fairlight and Caledonia”  Acrylic, collage on canvas 24×36 inches

I’ve been working on this painting for the last couple of months.  I had a very difficult time trying to photograph this painting – so what you see is either over exposed or underexposed.

The camera seemed confused by the brown tones.


I tried to make it look like a sepia tint photograph – but I had some trouble with the skin tones.  Every time I tried to gray them or sepia them, they ended up looking like they had dirty faces – which may have added some authenticity, but it just didn’t look right in the painting.  I’m sharing several details of the subject matter because of the difficulty in getting a good photograph of the painting.  Also I thought it might be fun to see the very beginning of the painting and how it evolved.


This is the first sketch after I glued some pieces of paper to the canvas.

 This canvas was very rough – I really didn’t like it but it was all I had and I wanted to begin the painting.  I bought this canvas at “Cheap Joes” online.  It was a good price, and if you like that rough texture it would be fine.  I had some trouble getting the skin tones because of the pieces of paper I collaged, and the roughness of the canvas, all in the same face.  The photo above shows the canvas after a few coats of gesso.

Laying out the underpainting with gouache.  You can see some of the papers I used for collage.  I think most of them were completely covered with paint.  There is a mocking bird between the two girls at the top of the painting, an old book page on the left top, and some kind of railroad ticket at the hemline of the girl on the right.

Painting hands is really hard for me – no matter how much I practice I really never get it quite right.

“Fairlight and Caledonia”  Two little mountain girls c 1890 – 1900


Art Journal pages 2012


I’ve been trying to be less controlled in my journal pages; more experimental, messy, more spontaneous.  I’ve been working on a larger painting, but its taking a long time to finish so I thought I would share a few of my 2012 Art Journal “Oblique Motion.”  In this journal I seem to want to draw a line through the page.  I was calling them horizon lines – but whose?  Mine or the subjects?

I drew this in the dark with an old blue(which I thought was black) Flair pen then used water on a brush (with the light on) to “paint” the lines in.

This is how I finished it with oil pastel, gouache, and some collage.  I thought I would use more lines this time, not just one.  I liked letting it drip across the page.

I did the same thing with this one, but I didn’t take a picture of the original blue flair pen lines and water.

This is the back of the above page that bled through.  I kind of like the look of it.

PS:  One thing I learned while working on my art journal this year – You can’t iron the pages to smooth out wrinkles if you used acrylic paint on them.  The image comes off on the paper I used over it and then applied the iron to. Lost a couple of very nice images.