It’s a bit of an abstract painting today. I thought I would try something “simple” and just focus in on the shadows on the deck. It ended up being not at all simple, and as I was painting I realized that there were at least four different layers of shadows of varying intensity–the close-up shadows of the chairs and deck railings, the shadows of the cotoneaster shrub by the deck (the darker leaf shadows), the bit further away shadows of the neighbor’s crabapple tree (the blurrier leaf shadows in the foreground), and the furthest away shadows of the neighbor’s swedish aspen trees (the two fainter tall shadows cutting across the deck). It is interesting though, how at first it just looked like one big jumble to me until I started analysing where each shadow was coming from. It was a fun painting to do.
I didn’t think I was going to get a painting done–I have come down with something and am sick at home today. I made myself a deal that once the daytime Neo Citran kicked in I would paint for an hour and then go back to bed. So it was an indoor painting day for me, and it took me a bit longer than an hour. I painted the view of my patio from my living room window, looking a bit barren without my patio furniture or flowers but still a pretty spot. Before I put the patio in, Poppy and I use to bring the camping chairs out to sit in that cozy shaded spot under the lilacs.
I am ready for spring…my flowerbeds are not. Although this bed by my back deck has the most snow out of all my flowerbeds. Despite how much snow is still around here and there, it is a gorgeous day–it was very comfortable painting outside today. I think I might go back out now, putter around, and look for any flowers coming up.
I went to paint in my yard today, but I have no flowers in bloom yet so shadows it is! I got to sit on my new patio in the front yard to paint this which was great. I was also shaded by the neighbor’s lilac hedge–which is what was casting those shadows on my house.
The painting kind of looks like a mess–I am still feeling a bit rusty. If I squint it looks better. And if I crop it in a bit? I can’t decide.
I just need to keep at it and do more paintings. Paint, paint, paint!
At long last I have finished the second tea-cup commission for my friend Marie. The design on this cup was quite worn and faded which, although beautiful in itself, is tricky to paint. I finally added a bit more blue into the shadow which complimented the yellow nicely. So here are both the finished paintings, just in time for her mother’s birthday–which impressed me until I looked back and found that I did the first tea-cup back in November…Dayna, Dayna, Dayna.
Summer has come to Canada! I’ve been spending every moment that I can outside and last week I did a couple watercolours of the shadows of trees in my yard. It was so hot and sunny and glorious. Sheesh though, almost two months since I posted last; I really need to get back in the habit of doing a weekly post, because apparently without that incentive I do nothing at all!
I am now doing Studio days in my home studio on Thursdays. We decided to put my daughter in a full day childcare for one day a week to give us all a bit of a break. I get the full day to paint, my husband goes to work early to get some store work done and Poppy gets a full day of playing with some of her classmates, which has already given her a huge boost in her social skills. One girl in particular has bonded with Poppy and her teacher says it is quite magical to watch them.
Last week I went down to the studio to start painting and realized that I did not have enough panels prepped so it became a prep and blog catch-up day.
Here’s my work from the last couple of weeks:
I went back to my reflections and shadows as subject matter. I am still a bit obsessed with the subject, still taking a lot of photos when I see them on my walls, and I think I need to just go all out and explore it as a subject. These three paintings are based on photos that I took of reflections in my dining room and living room. The dining room ones are from the sun hitting the neighbors’ windows across our back alley, bouncing back into our dining room through the china cabinet and onto a landscape painting I had propped there. The living room ones are from the sun bouncing off a car windshield and through our venetian blinds and into our entry, where I had my red still life sitting up to look at.
I find the results of these moments so beautiful but they are so fleeting, and I am still working on how to paint them. I don’t know why I am obsessed with painting them, but I am. On this day the first painting I did was just a watercolour study in my sketch book to loosen up. Then I did the small acrylic painting on board (the red drapes with sun) and after lunch I did a 24 inch by 32 inch oil painting (the landscape with shadows).
And here are the photos that these paintings are based on: the first is what the straight reflections that the watercolour was based on, the shadow by the china cabinet without the landscape painting, then the (very faint) light from the living room blinds onto my red curtain still life painting, and the last is the shadows by the china cabinet with my landscape painting propped against the wall. I am in the process of gathering all of my reflection photos and I want to print them in a little book chronologically, even if it’s just for me. Although if I ever get to the point of having enough of these reflection paintings for a show, the book would be a nice little companion to the show… I just wish I was a better photographer…
After doing the last week’s paintings and photographing them, I had a thumbnail of the red painting on my desktop. Every time I looked at it I saw the painting as being bigger. It needed to be bigger. So for this week I had decided to do a 24 inch by 32 inch painting of the red curtain reflections in oil. I was a bit nervous so I started with a small acrylic study of the sky and shadows–a closer crop from the same photo as last week. I like the closer cropping of the red drapes painting and I thought I might try something similar with the sky of the landscape. I still like the red painting better.
Finally got the studio fix-up done. In January actually, and I’ve been busy, busy using it since then. I was going to try to get a post done today with all the paintings I’ve done in the last three weeks, but that has turned into a monster post so I’ll try to get that one done for the weekend. For now, here is the new and improved studio.
It may not look all that different, I’ve been slowly cleaning it up over the past year. What we (my parents came to help) did for this part was patch and fill all the holes in the walls, paint all the walls (they were a pale blue when we moved into the house), put up a peg board to hang paintings rather than make holes in the wall, hang a new stronger curtain rod for drapes, get rid of the brown corner shelf and hang wall shelves for my still life vases instead, and make a space for my daughter. I had already moved all the paintings that I was storing in the closet into our storage room and all the metal shelving that I had in the studio went into the closet.
Here are photos from before I started moving things out back in 2011. What a mess.
And last, but not least, here’s the first artwork that we did in the space. My daughter’s cat painting and my large-scale watercolour of sunlight on the wall. I’ve done a watercolour of this image before, but for this one I was trying out a large-scale size. It is 30 inches by 40 inches and even though it is paper with a high rag content I think that next time I would still need to get a large board to tape it down and I also might need to stop being so lazy and wet and stretch the paper. Oh well, now I know.