Thursday, September 28, 2006

Some More Painting

First I'd like to thank you for all the kind comments about my painting and my knitting. I love hearing what you have to say about my work. I would also like to say that as much as I enjoy positive feedback, I'm not fishing for compliments. I figured if I said I was going to work in my studio on a regular basis, and showed pictures to everyone, it would give me incentive to continue. I mean, what could be more embarrassing than proclaiming my intentions, then not following through?

I have been so motivated lately. It's been a long time since I've had a really good go at painting, and it feels great. I used to paint all day every day, for years. I went through 7 years of college and graduate school completely devoted to the pursuit of painting and drawing. As I've said before, life in the form of kids and an old house stalled me.

Anyway, this morning I stretched 2 canvases and put a coat of gesso on each. I'll give them a couple more coats over the next 2 days, and they will be ready for paint next week. After that, I mixed a bunch of color on my palette. I wanted to have the approximate colors I needed premixed, so I could just paint and not worry too much about mixing:

So I painted some and kept the little girl fairly open:

And this is what I ended up with. She's closed down some, but much more open and loose than the paintings I've been doing. As Susan said in the comments of the previous post, I DO want the gestural energy to carry through to the final painting. That's why I'm doing all these little studies. I'm trying to work the kinks out before I invest in my large canvas.

Well, I've got lots of ideas swimming around in my head. Both painting and knitting. I've finished one sleeve on the Sienna Cardi, and will start the other tonight. I'm enjoying that sweater as much as my painting. This afternoon I'm a soccer mom, so I guess I'd better go get the boys!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Sienna Cardi and Painting

I've been working like a fiend on the Sienna Cardi. I've finished the back and the two front panels. I tacked them together last night to test the fit and the length seems fine. I can't tell yet about the circumference, but I'm sure once it's sewn together, and the button and button hole panels are knitted, it will be great. I'm thinking about going on a flea market treasure hunt for some appropriate antique buttons.

Here is a close up of the lace cable. It will look a lot better once it's blocked and the button and button hole panels are knitted. You can see the yarn is kind of fuzzy. I think that is the llama. This yarn sheds like crazy and is pretty loosely spun.

And it's Tuesday! That means studio time. I've been working on the same painting as before. It's shaping up. The colors are still pretty raw and there is not enough transition between colors and dark/lights. Also that leg on the right is super chunky. Here's a view in progress:

Here I've fixed the foot a little and cleaned up the background:

This one is tuned up a little more:

But here's what I'm really excited about. I've been unhappy with how tightly I've been painting and wanted to work from a mark oriented point of view. I've been thinking a lot about the painter Joan Mitchell (not the singer, who is a pretty good visual artist, but the Abstract Expressionist). She's never really been an artist I was interested in. I respected her, but wasn't really moved by her work. Wow! What a difference time makes! I've been looking at her paintings and am in complete awe. Anyway, after I had done all I could on the boy, I decided to use up the paint on my palette and be very direct. No outlines, no filling in. Here's the result. I know, it may look a mess, and it's obviously not finished, but it's really satisfying to me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Painting, Knitting, & Running Around

I got a lot done yesterday. I had to drop off #2 at pre-school first thing then run some errands, so I got a late start on painting. I tried really hard to keep the piece open, but I closed down a little too quickly. Also, the colors are raw, but the form seems pretty solid. Here are a few pictures to show how it went:

In the afternoon before I had to pick up the boys, I started the Sienna Sweater from the fall Interweave Knits. I'm using Elan's Peruvian Uros Aran. I made 3 swatches before settling on my Clover Bamboo #9 US. I knit last night while I was watching Grey's Anatomy, so I'm past the ribbing and into the stockingnette stitch. You can also see the 2nd in the pair of socks I'm making for the husband. Please excuse the Caron Simply Soft. I have to make a 6 x 6" square for an exchange, and I'm procrastinating due to gauge difficulties. The skein is there to shame me into working it out.

Speaking of procrastination, I'm giving a test at 10:00 a.m. this morning, and I haven't finished writing it yet, so I'd better get to that project.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Painted Study

Hi guys. I've been working in my studio on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I've got an idea for a painting of my kids and their friends romping outside in the hose. I'm working from several photos. I have always been taught that is sacrilege, but hey, if it's good enough for Degas, Matisse, and Fischl, then it's good enough for me. Hell, even Vermeer probably used a camera obscura. I figure, use the tools you have to the best of your ability. I've done 2 painted studies so far. It's been a while since I painted so they are quite stiff and too literal. I'm not showing pictures of those today.

I painted on one of the stiff compositions until about 1:30, and realized I had only 1 hour before I had to start retrieving boys from schools, and I wasn't very happy with what I had done. I had several primed canvases, and I decided to start another quickly and try to be loose. I already had paint on my palette, so I picked up a canvas and did a quick gesture with just oil and mineral spirits. That felt good, so I took a picture:

Then I thought, it would be cool to take sequential pictures of the development of the canvas. Cool that is if I can get my hands on the camera regularly. So I only had about a half and hour to continue. I took a couple more shots. Here's one with some color and the composition laid out a little more:

And this one is just a little farther along than the previous one:

This study is one of at least 5 of the kids individually. I plan to make a couple of compositional studies with all the kids, and to paint at least one large scale finished painting. My goal is to move towards more abstracted imagery using the essential forms in the photograph. Want to watch?

Pirate What?

A couple of blogs I read are saying today is Talk Like a Pirate Day. I don't know anything about it, but I'm game. For a really funny pirate joke, check out Susan's blog Hyperactive Hands.

ARG! Yohoho!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Power Rangers Sculpture

The other day I walked into the kitchen and found this on the island.

At first it appeared to be a meaningless lump of toys dropped off by my 4 year old. However, on closer inspection, I saw that it was a very deliberate construction. Notice how beautifully balanced it is, and how carefully the foot is placed on the head and the hand.

Here's another view.

This kid just blows my mind sometimes.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Radio Ga Ga

This is what I'm talking about. Please watch it to the end, the best is the last:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Some Socks

Well, the husband has the camera for a few days, so I'm relying on my Mac's built in. I don't have a lot of options, so bear with me.

Here's my kitchen. This is what my computer sees when no one is in front of it.

I've been knitting socks for Christmas presents. Here is the pair of Opal cable socks for my other sister-in-law.

This picture shows the color more accurately than the previous one, and yes that's me.

Here is the brown sock that was driving me nuts. It's Fleece Artist Merino, and I love the feel of the yarn. It's the color that was bothering me I think. This one is for my camera-stealing hubby. Although one hank of this stuff is supposed to make a pair of socks, the finished sock weighs just a little more than the left over yarn, so I'm not going to chance it. I'll order another hank when Simply Socks Yarn Company has more in stock.

This is Lornas Laces Sock in a beautiful cedar colorway. It's the same pattern as the previous sock and it's mate is on the needles as I speak. This one is for my father-in-law and the color is the exact same color as his eyes. The pattern is from an old Bear Brand Sock Pattern Book from the early 1950's. The cable sock pattern is also from there.

I've got to finish the one sock for my husband, and the one sock for my father-in-law, a pair for my dad, and a pair for my mom, and then Christmas knitting is done! Maybe then I'll make myself a cardigan.