Friday, January 27, 2012

A New Web Friend From Brambleberry Cottage

Only this one I met in person first!  I was shopping with a couple of friends last weekend and found the perfect stroller for our little rescued Maltese in a thrift shop in a neighboring town.  I'd just paid for the stroller when another lady came up with a cute little Yorkie to inquire about the same stroller.  I found out later that her name was Liz and that she has a gorgeous blog here on Blogger.

We exchanged pleasantries and I gave her one of my business cards with the painting of CiCi on it (you know I can never resist showing off my baby!)  Today she left a comment on my blog here as well as emailed me. 

To make a long story shorter, I've spent the morning looking at her beautiful blog and came across a post of hers on "Morning Glories"  The photos are spectacular but I think she may have some bindweed there instead of true morning glories (sorry, Liz!)

I've long been enamored of the bindweed that runs rampant on our farm and even painted some a few years ago.  I entitled the painting "Glorious Strangler" because that's what bindweed does to any plant around it.  Not only does it strangle out plants but it also puts out some sort of substance from its roots that helps prevent other plants from growing around it.  Not a plant that plays well with others but very, very beautiful nonetheless.

Please go take a look at the way Liz has arranged and photographed these flowers and you'll probably agree with me that their beauty far outweighs their nasty nature!  Thanks so much for the photographic eye-candy, Liz!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thank You, Christine!

The internet is a wonderful place for meeting some terrific people.  One of those people is Christine from Fine Arts Graphite Portraits blog.

I was stunned yesterday when our mail carrier brought a package containing a portrait of my dear horse, Bonnie, who we lost about a year and a half ago.  Christine knew how much I loved Bonnie and how difficult it is for me to paint my own pets and sent me a graphite portrait of Bonnie just out of the blue! 

It's a gorgeous portrait that looks just like her and I cried when I saw it.

Christine, I know how busy you are with your new little boy and for you to take the time to draw my Bonnie means so much to me.  You did a wonderful job and I there just aren't enough words to thank you for your kindness.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Artistic Dead Space

Gouache on an absorbent ground
prepared hardboard

Contrary to what you might have believed, I'm not dead but just having a little artistic dead space.  I really have been working but I've kept hitting slick spots on the artistic road of a double portrait and decided to pull over to rechart my course.

All that means is that when you keep making mistakes with a project, sometimes it's just best to switch to another project to try to get your mojo back.  lol

Sometime ago I bought some of the Golden Absorbent Ground but hadn't had time to try it.  I had several odd pieces left from the hardboard I bought ages ago and decided to prepare one to try out the new ground.  The above painting of the waterlily is the result.

It's only 4 x 6 inches so didn't take a very long time to paint but I'm not sure if I found any difference between the absorbent ground and a plain gessoed board.  I won't give a review of the ground until I've had more time to use it.  I will say the next time I think I'd use a roller to apply it to try to get a more even surface and maybe to get a slightly dimpled surface similar to cold pressed watercolor paper.

I'd also wanted to take this opportunity to use gouache as it's usually intended which is usually more like oil or acrylic than watercolor.  But, gouache is kind of tricky - at least in my experience.  It seemed that I was either mixing it too thin or too thick so I ended up using it much the same way I use watercolor but applying my lighter colors last as in oil or acrylic painting.  

I guess that ends up being the best of all the media and I was pretty pleased with the outcome.  Now back to the portrait of the two beautiful Golden Retrievers which I hope to finish soon!