Sunday, November 20, 2011

East of Kayenta

A month in England mid-summer and a new Condo to fix-up and move into in late August has keep me away from the easel for more than 5 months. There is a never ending supply of jobs to do around the house, but a couple of weeks ago, I went downstairs, and started to sort out the basement. All mundane stuff: set-up the art tables, unpack the reference books into a new book shelf, lay out all the materials I use on a daily basis, store the others in desk the previous owners left behind (thank you!), and install new overhead lamps and power outlets. There was only one power outlet in the entire basement. ...and finally, last but not least, start painting again.

I had promised Jill, that I would paint a picture of the Anemone Roses that grow against the back wall of my house in Surrey. We were just sitting there one afternoon when Boom! The image of the green stems and white flowers against the red brick wall coalesced into a composition that demanded to be painted. I got out my digital camera and took a dozen or so shots of the area I wanted to paint and another dozen or so reference shots of the flower heads and stems. True to my word, I started on this on a full sheet of 200# CP, but it's going to take a while as I have to mask off all the mortar joints, the flower heads, and all the stems and leaves before I can start with the first wash.

I've progressed a fair way towards the first wash but I wanted to get back into painting that I decided to make several starts. While reading the 'Southwest and Western Art November Challenge' I decided to have a go at:

and here is my interpretation: 'East of Kayenta' 22x15 on 200# CP Saunders-Waterford

Sunday, November 6, 2011

50 sheets of watercolour paper

When I could finally see that the condo was starting to approach a finished state, one that you could comfortably live in, I ordered 50 sheets of watercolour paper from Cheap Joe's. I thought it was a bargain and they would ship it for free. As it turned out, the condo wasn't as finished as I had hoped, and before I got a chance to use even one sheet of this beautiful hoard of paper, CJ's offered the same paper at a 10% discount and free shipping! I know the old saw: “an hour late or a dollar short”, but sure as 'grass grows green and the sky is blue...', if I has postponed my purchase, I would have finished all the jobs on the condo and sat around waiting for a small more expensive paper order to be delivered.

Anyway, the 50 sheets represents my commitment to painting for the 2011-2012 winter. Starting on the first of November, I cleared a space in the basement of said condo, set up my Ikea art table, moved the left behind desk over, installed the salvaged book shelves from the dumpster at the apartment we use to rent and started to unpack my art books, supplies, and the necessities to start painting. So far I haven't had any time to paint as the jobs in the condo continue to multiply but I did get to an artsy project. Jill wanted my “Cherry Hill” painting hanging.

I had temporarily re-framed it by reusing a one of the three frames and mats from the “Winter Weeds” series, but the burgundy mat clashed with outdoor “Cherry Hill” image so a couple of days before Jill asked me to hang it, I restored the trio of weeds to their frames. OK. Old frame + new mat will work and yes, I have some mat material that if not exactly compliments “Cherry Hill”, at least doesn't clash with it. Where's the mat cutter??? Two hours later, having twice moved everything in my large collection of art supplies I finally found my mostly black mat cutter in the bottom of a black drawer, under a pile of black electronic accessory cords. I only have myself to blame. That aside, I cut a new mat, re-framed “Cherry Hill” with the new mat, and hung it in the entrance hall. The first painting in our new (to us) condo. Not much to show for three hours effort, but at least I have a better idea where everything is, art material wise, after the move. Maybe next week will bring some time to paint. Gosh! I surely hope so.