Monthly Archives: July 2012

Finding My Way Out (of un-ness)

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Journal page – 8.5 x 11 – oil pastel, gouache, watercolor, pencil

I’ve been reading some fairy tales lately, well not, “once upon a time,” but  a book called “Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters” by Kathleen Ragan.  I think this is going to influence my art for a while, content wise anyway.  I love the idea of being able to fly – it is such a mysterious thing; only allowed birds, fairies, and angels (and insects).

Journal page – 8.5 x 11 – oil pastels, gouache, watercolor, pencil.

This is where I’ve been sitting, thinking, and reading.  Watching the hummingbirds visit the salvia, and dreaming about big beautiful paintings!

There’s the Madonna of the Marigolds, no  marigolds this year, but she is carefully watching over the seedling japanese maple that Cait gave me from her backyard, there’s a larger version behind her to the left, I bought that one last year at Farmer’s Market in Hillsdale, just a walk away from my house.  I’m going out to rearrange things today – the larger Japanese Maple is getting too much direct sun, I can see the leaves are being burned, so strange since I was only complaining about the lack of summer weather recently – apparently its enough to crisp delicate growth!  Beginning to become less un.

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Oil Painting…un-ness

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untitled and unfinished 5 x 7 inches – oil

I went and bought a very inexpensive set of water soluble oil paints – okay – really cheap set!  I just wanted to see how I liked them, and I’ve got to say, I really don’t.  I don’t like the forever drying time, I don’t like how if you aren’t very  (read extremely) careful the paint all smooshes around and gets muddy.  I can’t find my way around a canvas with oil paints.  I see a spot I want to work on, right then and there, but I can’t without losing the good part of that spot when I change the not so good part.  So I am probably not going to experiment further with oil painting, I guess.  I still like the idea of it, but it takes so long to dry – I am trying to change my way of approaching painting.  But is it worth it?  This is an example of a small canvas I was working on with the oils.  I do notice the luminosity of the skin tones, but I think I can duplicate that with acrylics.  You will probably notice I tried not to use my usual blues in this little oil painting, that part I liked.

I’ve been stuck in this sort of in-between state all summer.  I’ve tried to nudge myself along – and I’m blaming it partly on the Portland summer, or lack thereof.   Summer comes late to Portland.  Usually after the 4th of July, we have a few record breaking dry days, like maybe nine in a row.  This usually prompts some panicky weather predictions; like measurements of last winter’s snow melt, lots of finger pointing at dry curb sides, predictions of coming water shortages, maybe drought, probably pestilence… and what the heck, throw some starvation in there too – it might raise the ratings!  Anyway- I’m just sayin’ – I have to find some reason for my lack of painting interest.  I thought it was good that I tried the oil paints – but I’m still un.