Thursday, October 6, 2016

Inktober Day 4 . . .

Inktober : Day 4
Prompt : Hungry

I've chosen just a portion of what I used for the 'hungry' prompt.
An empty bowl.
This sketch has the feel of the political cartoons you see on the editorial page, I think.
Only this portion pleased me - the handle.
The rest was just a bowl.
So now I'm only a day behind. Or two since today is 6 October.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Inktober . . .

October = Inktober
New month, new challenge. 
A pen and ink drawing every day for 30 days (yeah, right) 
and a list of prompts to help spur me on.
Still, once in a while something like this comes along that artists like me are inspired to participate in just to get creative juices flowing.

 Day 1 : Fields here in the Great Plains are being harvested. The cut corn looks sheared like carpet. Little piles of corn that missed the grain trucks are on the sides of the gravel roads. Grain trucks lined up at the elevators in queues a mile long. Here on the prairie is where the work of providing food for the world is done.

Day 2 : The prompt word is 'noise' and leaves constantly dropping all around is the inspiration. On a dry patch of what used to be mud but is now cracked earth is a single leaf from an old mulberry tree. Leaves crackle as they blow across the rough dirt. In short order, the trees will be nearly bare and the ground covered with mulberry, maple, oak, and leaves from all of the shrubs and plum thickets.

Day 3 : The prompt word is 'collect' so I arranged three of my little collection of lustreware bird toothpick holders. I can't resist buying one of these guys whenever I find one (rarely) and I do think they're pretty cute.

Each of these three drawings has reminded me of the lessons in composition, value, and sensitivity in line. Lots more to learn but these challenges are so valuable in the process of art.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Across the gravel road . . .

The beautiful, ever-changing view across the gravel road from our farmette.
This scene moves easily from full on snow in January and February to patchy snow in late winter, pale greens in the spring, tall Big Bluestem in summer months, and the eventual blonding heads turning rusty red when summer's over.
I love every month and season of this view and have been thankful for every year we have lived here that the land is protected CRP, never having been broken.
To think that this is the same field that was burned off in the spring to eradicate weeds and was so soon green again is wonderful to have witnessed.
I will be painting this same scene again with the fall colors and quite possibly a few of the blackened earth during the spring burn.

Monday, September 5, 2016

The last days of summer . . .

The light is different.
The sky is different.
The clouds are different.
Late summer is still warm (hot!) and humidity from the fields is high.
Yet like the ant, you know that you have precious little time
to store things away before there is snow and it's too cold to work outside for long.
These are the days when I want to capture as much of the light, sky, clouds, 
heat and humidity as possible for my winter work.
Like taking out a jar of canned tomatoes in January that were put up in September, 
there will be days that I will need the photos 
to remind me of these beautiful days.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The little green bungalow . . .

Such a sweet little house.
I shouldn't call it 'small' since I've never been inside and it isn't mine,
but I know the neighborhood and the homes are darling.
Quaint, cozy, perfect.
This bungalow belongs to a friend who asked me to paint it in watercolor when I had time.
I finally had time.
I have two photos of it - one winter and one summer.
The summer house has 4th of July bunting and is beautiful and lush.
But there was something still about the home after a snowfall.
Tight and grounded. Clean and composed.
I love this setting with the pretty green against the grey skies, the hinted-at shapes 
of the trees and foliage.
She loves it and I can't wait to see it framed and in her home.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

It is finished . . .

After several incarnations, I believe this painting is finished.

From photos taken from a neighbor's farm, I enjoyed the usual struggle of color, balance, detail, but I believe it's finally 'there'.
With a few more touches, off to its new owner.
Here's to completing work.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Watercolor on canvas . . .

The beta test.

Challenged with creating two unique pieces for a fundraiser, I decided to try a new technique with an old medium. Well, not so old really. Just one I am familiar with.

All artists were given one or two 8x8 canvases on which they were to work in any medium to create work that would be donated for auction at The Crossing Arts Alliance in Brainerd, Minnesota.

I really enjoy working in watercolor and was wanting to try the canvas prepped with watercolor ground to see how watercolor reacted with it. I have to say that while it was fun and gave me different surface than the cold-press 140gm paper, it was like painting on chalk. The paint seemed to soak up quickly and I lost vibrancy. It would take more glazing to achieve the depth of color I'm used to. And if I left it for a while and came back to add another layer of color, the watercolor tended to bead up. If I am wrong that this is how it reacts in a typical fashion, then I simply need to do more and keep practicing.

Overall, I'm happy with the results and will give it a go on other materials.