Latest Paintings and Misc. Updates

Monday, April 13, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

Apparently there’s an entirely new version of WordPress, with blocks, and I will need to get used to it. Fine. At least the website is back up, after having some issues on the transition from Lunarpages to Host Papa or whatever it is now. The techs were great though. I’ve continued painting. The above acrylic is from a photo I took several years ago when Kirsten, Mom and I went up to Mackinaw City. I’m fairly pleased with the way it turned out.

This above squirrel image is a study in gouache, from a photo I took last year in Boston. I’m still doing every other painting in acrylic and gouache. Last night I sketched the next gouache study, from a photo I took many years ago in North Carolina. My only regret in my painting is not having the energy/time to paint. If there’s the time, I seldom have the energy.

March and April 2020 will be remembered for COVID-19. Facemasks, scary grocery shopping trips where there aren’t enough goods like dried beans, yeast, canned goods and toilet paper. Not making eye contact with anyone as they are seen as disease carriers. “Social Distancing” and staying a minimum of 6 feet apart. Non-essential services shut down. The shelter closed to the public on March 17 and we laid off front desk staff members on March 24. All meetings are conducted via Zoom. My schedule is close to normal, and the kennel techs are working normal schedules. I FaceTime with Mom each night and Bob talks to his Dad on the phone. We had to cancel our spring Martini event for work and greenhouses are shut down. As of yesterday, there were 71 cases of coronavirus in Calhoun County, 23,993 cases in Michigan and 1,392 deaths in Michigan. 558,999 total US cases and 22,154 US deaths. Worldwise, there have been 1,872,073 cases and 116,098 deaths. Who knows when things will go back to ‘normal’ or what normal will even look like.

Painting Update

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

I am continuing along with my painting, and really enjoying it. Above is a piece I repainted over like three times. Still only happy with some of it; the boats, reflections in the water and pier poles turned out as I had hoped. The buildings, not so much. It is another opportunity to determine what I enjoy painting and what I probably won’t do again (buildings).

I follow a lot of artists on social media, and became interested in gouache. I decided to try a few little fast pieces with gouache. Here is the first.

It is really different to work with than acrylic, but I enjoyed the process and think I may do a gouache in between each acrylic study.

Here is my last work, a still life.

Making some kind of progress, I guess. Again, I really enjoy painting and probably so far prefer acrylic. I think I will do another gouache next, but with a very busy week in store I’m not sure when I will have time. Soon, I hope. I find I am having to train myself to really look at things, especially shadows. If I do what I normally do and just get a quick look and move on, I miss all kinds of subtlety just by thinking I know it already. That’s a good metaphor for all of life’s interactions, I think.

In weather news, the past few days have been a bit warmer and we’ve had some snow melt. Mom has seen robins, but I haven’t yet. My Christmas cactus is blooming for the second time in just a few months. We’ve done some projects at Mom’s house, including painting the bathroom in preparation for new tile and replacing the light in the eating area. Today is Maxy’s 17th birthday.

Acrylic Painting – one through four

Monday, February 17, 2020 0 No tags Permalink

My only real resolution for 2020 was to take up acrylic painting. I can’t draw. I’ve never tried to paint. But I wondered if it might be a good creative outlet and opportunity for relaxation. And, it turns out, that is indeed the case. Time just floats away while I’m painting. All of my obsessive thoughts are gone from my head. So far it’s all crap, but I hope over the course of the year to show improvement. If not, at least I am enjoying every minute of it.

I’ve “completed” four paintings and am working on my fifth. When I say completed, I mean I can still see lots of areas that need improvement and repainting and I could go over and over and over again and still not have it right. So there becomes a point where I’m ready to start a new painting, and that’s it. You could say these first four are not finished, but they are completed.

Sunrise from the parking lot of the shelter:

It’s my first painting, and I had some learning on how to blend color appropriately. It looks better from a distance, but I think it does a pretty good job of approximating the scene depicted in the reference photo. And I like the leaves on the trees.

Tree in a field…not sure where I took the reference photo on this one:

On this painting I learned that grass is really hard to paint. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled this back out and worked on it after I said it was done. Grass is hard. I really enjoyed painting the sky though and think that looks good. The tree could use a little work.

Barn on my regular drive in the country:

I need to take a class in perspective. My mom sat down and helped me, but I’m still having trouble. The front of the barn is still too wide for what it should be. I think the trees are better than in the last photo, and I like the stone base and the little fence.

Twin Peaks inspired coffee and pie:

I started out wrong on this one with the placement of the cup compared to the napkin and plate. They should be closer together. The shading isn’t bad I think. Some of the lines are kind of wonky, and I wouldn’t hang it up on a wall, but it was an interesting study.