Many of you (hopefully) got my newsletter (if not, the sign up is right over the side.) I only put it out once a month, but I enjoy the feeling of professionalism it gives me to say I have a newsletter. If you got the newsletter, you know that I finished “Yellowstone Dancers”, have the Salem Reads show coming up in February, and got the exciting news that “Rosalie’s Cows” was accepted by the city of Keizer.
So, consider yourself up to date.
Life feels unexciting right now as the stupid pandemic continues to kill all fun. While the reports are that it’s not as bad as the first iteration, just more contagious, I’m reluctant to test the theory. So, I stay huddled in my house with my paints. I’m not sure this is more productive than just trying to get paintings out in my spare time, but at least it provides something to look at.
The Love My Own Marks (LMOM) project continues.
The last sketchbook idea from above prompted me to start a new, full-sized painting.
While I used the same palette as the sketch book, it’s really different in feeling than the sketch. After looking at it for a week, I decided to risk it all with these changes today.
It’s getting there, but more work is needed.
The Ugly Swan
This swan has been lying around since my adventure into swans last month. It’s… well… really ugly. But I keep doing different weird things to it. You never know. It might “turn out” great.
Since finishing “Yellowstone Dancers” I’ve been making threats about wanting to do more in that style. So, I bit the bullet and sketched out this idea. It’s from a 2012 birding hike where I saw a family of river otters harass a heron out of its fishing spot.
There are several problems to work out, the same sort of problems that I struggled with in “Yellowstone Dancers”. First, size. Part of the story is the otters harassing the much bigger heron. But the otters are so cute, and have so much detail. How can I show both? Should I change the heron to a kingfisher (also there on the trip, also somewhat harassed). Second, space. I can reorganize the otters to be more “together”, but how to arrange things to show there is a “fight”? I thought I could solve the issue with color, which has potential. But it’s not the complete answer. Finally, color/value. All that water is confusing. The painting isn’t really about water, so I can simplify that. But should it be dark? Light? Gray? Blue? Green? Because of the area the water takes up, it ends up being significant, but I am not sure what to do with it.
A friend tells me it’s “not as bad” as I think. But it definitely needs more sketching.
With all this work in my sketchbook, I decided it was time to take the plunge and attempt a “real” painting.
I’m pretty happy, though I told a friend I felt guilty being so happy with something that didn’t take a long time. I like the spontaneity.
Stay warm, happy, and healthy, my friends!