Saturday, January 31, 2015

Storm Coming Over Pink Mountains (Framed)



This is a painting that I finished in mid-November, a landscape painted from my imagination but inspired by memories of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This is acrylic paint used with water on watercolor paper. Today I framed this painting because tomorrow I am going to go to Boston to deliver it to Galatea Gallery.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Little January Bouquet (Mixed Media Drawing)



This is the little drawing I have been working on. It is only 4 x 4 inches. I started it a couple of days ago with my new set of fine-line pens (Sharpies), and added color conte crayons to finish it. Today I just worked on straightening out the line of the table. The blue dish was not centered and it was not symmetrical, so I moved it over just a bit and made the sides the same shape. I also added one more flower to make the bouquet look more centered.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Little January Bouquet (As of January 29, 2015)



This is the small drawing I started yesterday, trying out my new set of Sharpies (fine-line felt-tip pen). Late this afternoon, I decided to do a little more work on it. I told myself that I wanted to finish the drawing, but really I think that I just wasn't finished playing with my new Sharpies. I did a little more with the flowers, but worked mostly on the table and the wall in the background. Once I made the table surface brown, the dark blue bowl wasn't showing up. There is no way to lighten felt-tip pen. (If you add more colors, even lighter colors, the result is darker, darker, darker.) So I decided to use light colored conte crayon on the table and bowl, and that did the trick. I also added some pale gray to the background. There are some problems I need to fix, so this is not quite finished.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Little January Bouquet (As of January 28, 2015)



Late this afternoon, at the end of a very busy day, I finally found an opportunity to make art. I only had about 20 minutes, but I decided to use the time to break out my latest toy: a set of fine-line Sharpies* (in 24 colors) that I picked up at Cosco over the weekend. I grabbed a small artist tile (4 x 4 piece of paper), and started this simple little drawing. I had a good time exploring the colors and it felt great to draw, a little triumph in such a hectic day. I like this drawing as it is, but I might do more with it before I call it finished.

*felt-tip pens

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 28, 2015)



Here is my oil bar painting as it looked after I worked on it this morning. This landscape is based on photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich, MA. (You can see my reference photos posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.) I am still establishing the composition, and today I worked on the lines of the hillside and roughed in the stand of trees in the background. The big tree on the left is not finished, but it is much more developed than the rest of the canvas. And I can remember my painting teachers telling me not to spend too much time on one part of the painting before roughing in the whole composition. I usually try to follow that advice, but in this case, I knew that if that big tree didn't work, the painting wouldn't work either. So I concentrated on that tree until I was convinced that I would be able to paint it.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 26, 2015)



Here is my oil bar painting as it looked when I finished working on it this morning. I am painting from some photos that I took in October at Appleton Farms (in Ipswich, MA). My reference photos are posted here, January 2nd and 3rd. I am still working out the details of the composition, and today I work on placement of the fence posts and the path.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quiet Snow

video

Yesterday we had the first real snow cover of the year. I took some pictures and some video clips with my iPhone. On the spur of the moment, I decided to try out the iMovie app on my new iPhone, and used it to put some video clips and stills together. I couldn't figure out some of the editing functions in the iMovie app on the phone, so the result was kind of clunky, with some unsteadiness and other mistakes. But I posted it on Facebook anyway as a little weather report. Today I transferred the video to my computer and did more serious editing in the full iMovie application. I don't use iMovie very often so I was rusty, but I managed to stabilize the video, edit out some mistakes, and also find and eliminate the frames that were causing the visual bounce. The result is a little bit shorter, but it's a whole lot better.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Closeup of Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 23, 2015)



Yesterday I took a closeup photo of the oil bar painting I am working on. I am working on trying to show foliage crossing in front of the tree trunk. The painting is based on photos that I took at Appleton Farms (Ipswich, MA) back in October. My photo references are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 23, 2015



I worked on this painting today. This is based on my photos taken at Appleton Farms. (See my posts on January 2nd and 3rd for my painting references.) I have been working on placement of the foliage, especially trying to figure out where it crosses in front of the tree. Today I tried adding some dark tones to the tree trunk and branches. I think that really helped. To be continued.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tree Tops and Sky (Photo)



I am currently working on a painting of a tree (see yesterday's post). So between painting sessions, I have been thinking about and looking at trees as a go about my day. Although my current painting is of an autumn scene, winter is a great time to study trees because all the branches are visible. Yesterday I noticed this stand of trees while I was running some errands. I was in a parking lot, and got out of my car to take a picture. Of course I was looking at the structure, thinking about tree shapes, and thought I would take a reference photo for my painting. But the beauty of the late afternoon light on those trees took over, and I wanted to capture the shapes and the colors: apricot branches and periwinkle sky. Apart from some cropping, this photo is just as it came out of the camera. At first, I thought this was just going to be a reference for my current painting (and it is). But I think this photo has potential on its own terms, and who knows, might be the basis for another painting some day.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 21, 2015)



I spent time working on this painting this morning. I am using oil bars to paint a scene that I photographed in October at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich, MA. My reference photos can be seen here, posted on January 2nd and 3rd. Today my focus was placement of the foliage. I am trying to determine where the foliage should cross in front of the tree trunk. (These are the branches that are coming toward the viewer.) I broke out the yellow for contrast. In the end, the tree trunk will be darker, but I am staying with middle values right now because they are easier to change than extremes of dark and light.) I also started added orange and yellow to the ground under the tree.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Hampshire Paintings in UNH Office



Here are five of my oil bar paintings, on the wall in my husband's newly renovated office at the University of New Hampshire. This weekend, I got my first look at them actually on the wall. These are all paintings of New Hampshire. On the far left is "River and Bridge", from a photo that I took near the UNH campus in Manchester, New Hampshire. Next is "Woods in Durham, NH", from a photo that I took on the main campus. In the center is "Mill and River" from another photo that I took on the Manchester campus, which is located in an old mill area. "Path and Footbridge" is of a beautiful and iconic spot on the Durham campus, and "Edge of Lake in New Hampshire" from a photo that I took of one of the beautiful lakes alongside the road to Durham. I created the Manchester paintings specifically for a show that I had there of photos and paintings of the mill area, where the Manchester campus is located. The Durham paintings were done a bit later, and were part of a show of New England landscapes that I had at the Beverly Farms Library a few years ago. Some of these paintings have been shown at the Starbucks here in Beverly, MA. Well, I was glad to see them this weekend and I like the way they look in their new home.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 19, 2015)


This morning I worked on this painting again, an oil-bar landscape based on photos that I took at Appleton Farms ( Ipswich, MA) in October. If you like, you can see my photo references, posted here on January 2nd and 3rd. Today I continued to work on the branches, still trying to get them to seem to move back and forward in space. And I began to block in placement of the foliage. This is tricky because I have made changes from the photo, so I am inventing some of this. I added more shadows to the tree trunk, and made a beginning of the lines of trees in the distance.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 18, 2015)


This morning I worked on this oil bar painting, I am painting this scene from photos that I took in late October at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. (You can see my reference photos posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.) Today my focus was trying to make the tree branches more three-dimensional. I started by looking at the reference photos on the computer. I zoomed in and adjusted the exposure to try to see where and how the branches joined the tree, and where the light hit the branches. I make some notations on a print-out of the photo, and then I went to work on the canvas. I used dark blue to indicate shadow and added light with pale blue. I think I made progress by adding some foreshortening, and trying to indicate which branches were closer to the "front" of the picture plane.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 17, 2015)


It's been about a week since I worked on this painting, but it has been mighty cold in my home studio! I am using oil bars for this landscape, which is based on some photos I took in October at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA. (My photo references are posted here on January 2nd and 3rd.) Today I continued with establishing the composition, and started working out placement of foliage on this big tree. This is tricky because I have changed the shape of the tree a bit, and plan to make more changes to the foliage for the sake of the composition. Even trickier will be to add branches facing back and forward (foreshortened). It's scary (painting always is) but I have made a start. I added some red-violet to the tree branches to distinguish them from the foliage and to indicate where I want the branches to show through the foliage.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fruit Salad Illustration (Digital Woodcut Version 3)



I am getting ready to post a new recipe on our food blog and have been working out an illustration for it based on some photos I took recently. This is the last of the four versions I have made. For this one, I applied Painter's digital woodcut, but opted out of black outline. Some of the other versions are more colorful or edgier, but I am leaning towards this one because it does the best job of making the fruit look good. Important for a recipe! But I will sleep on it and decide. I plan to post the recipe tomorrow night. Our food blog is Seasoning for Every Palate. To go there, follow this link: seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fruit Salad Illustration (Posterized Photo)



I have been working on an illustration for a recipe, soon to be published in our food blog. I am working from photos that I took in my kitchen just a few days ago. This is the third of four versions, and I will choose one tomorrow. I cropped this image from one of my photos and then posterized it in Painter. I will be posting the recipe in a day or two. Meanwhile, here is a link to the blog: seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Fruit Salad Illustration (Digital Woodcut Version 2)



I am working on an illustration of a recipe for our food blog, and posted the first try here last night. Here is another version, this one from a photo that included the cutting board. I used Painter to adjust the brightness, then posterized the image and applied a woodcut effect. I like the bright colors and the somewhat quirky composition. This new recipe isn't up yet, but If you want to see our food blog, go to seasoningforeverypalate.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fruit Salad Illustration (Digital Woodcut Version 1)



I have been working on an idea for an illustration. This is going to be for a recipe on our food blog. This is digital woodcut from one of my photos, with Painter's digital woodcut effect added. I also did some editing in iPhoto.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Composition in Blue (with Ice Crystals)



Here's one more composition with ice crystals. This is from one of the photos that I took last Thursday, when I woke up to see that my bedroom window was frosted with ice. This was a photo from part of the window that was in shadow. Tonight I used iPhoto to adjust the exposure, and then cropped the image to get this composition.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Composition with Ice Crystals



It's still wicked cold, as they say here north of Boston, but not quite as cold as it was on Thursday morning, when I woke up to ice crystals etched on the window. Here's another of the photos that I took that morning. I was amazed at the beauty of the ice crystals in the morning light, and also amazed at what my iPhone camera could do. Tonight I cropped the original photo to get this composition.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 10, 2015)



This morning I returned to this painting. This oil bar landscape is based on a scene that I photographed in late October at Appleton Farms (in Ipswich, MA). My reference photos are posted on this site on January 2nd and 3rd. I have been thinking about the riddle of the tree: how to make it look as tall as possible but still bring the branches in and down so that the crown of the tree won't look sliced off by the top of the canvas. Today I started by modifying the tree shape so that the trunk gets smaller towards the top of the canvas, and that helped. (That's something I had done that when I first sketched this painting on the canvas, but lost it in the last revision.) Then I changed the placement of the fence poles near the tree to make them slightly shorter and more slender, which should also help. As I made changes, I added some color mainly to cover up revised lines so I can see what I am doing. I am still working on composition so am not yet very concerned about the colors. So these are not the final colors, but it did make me happy to see the yellow-green against the sky.

Friday, January 09, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 9, 2015)



I worked on this painting this morning.  I am painting from photos I took in October at Appleton Farms in Ipswich, MA.  (My photo references are posted here on Jan. 2nd and 3rd. Today I concentrated on the shape and placement of the tree.  I want to create a gentle arc where the top of the tree brushes the top edge of the canvas, a more subtle transition than in the photos. Yet I still want the tree to look as large as possible. I decided to try to moving the highest branches down and in just a bit. I sketched in a circle as a guide for the shape I want for the crown of the tree. I also used a ruler to make sure the tree is straight, and then also worked on the fence, making adjustments in perspective.  I think the composition is a little better now.  I am not worrying about color at all at this point. 

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Ice Crystals on the Window



When I woke up this morning, it was 4 degrees F, wind chill 19 below.  But it was sunny and there were ice crystals on the window, so I took some pictures. I think this is one of the best of them.  I zoomed in with the camera on my iPhone 6 to get this shot.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 7, 2015)



This morning I worked on this oil bar painting that I started a few days ago. This painting is based on photos I took in October at Appleton Farms, in Ipswich, MA. You can see my photo references are posted here (Jan. 2 and 3). I have been thinking hard about this painting because I would like the way the tree meets the top border to be softer than in the photo and I have be trying to figure out how to do that. I think I need to bring in the tree a bit, make it just a bit more compact but without making it feel small. Today I decided to approach the problem by roughing in the sky. It's not a bad idea to get the background in, especially when your are going to paint foliage over it. But although blue was the only color I used today, I wasn't really working on the sky. I was working on the tree, making subtle changes in size and shape. (The tree now looks a bit smaller than it is really going to be once I add the foliage.)

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Another Heart Shaped Box as of January 5, 2015



Yesterday I went up to the studio at Porter Mill and worked for a while on this project, a heart-shaped box that I am covering with collage created from printed metallic ribbon. I am still trying to finish up the purple and orange stripes on the top, filling in gaps. It is very tedious and I tried to concentrate on the orange stripes, which has more gaps. I am also getting started on the gold border, and I did a little bit of work on that. I call this "Another Heart-Shaped Box" because I have already made one. If you want to see how it turned out, click this link: www.flickr.com/photos/randiart/sets/72157632769935420/

Monday, January 05, 2015

Pendant with Incised Jade on Pink Leather Cord



I made this necklace last night as a gift for a friend. This is a pendant with incised Chinese jade on a pink leather cord. I like the combination of pink and pale green.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Tree and Hillside (Oil Bar Painting as of January 4, 2014)



This morning I started working on this new painting. I am painting this scene from a photo that I took in October at Appleton Farms. This morning I started laying out the composition. After making a few strokes, I decided I needed a grid, so I created a quick one on the canvas by marking the edge at 5" intervals, to divide it into fourths. Then, I made a quick grid for the reference photo as well by folding it into 16 pieces. That was helpful and I was able to set up the basic placement. I think I have the basic idea, although I think the shape of the tree will need some revision, and I can already see some other adjustments. But it felt good to get things started. If you want to see the reference photo, see the post for January 3.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Hillside at Appleton Farms (Photo Modified for Painting Reference)



This image looks strange because it is part photo and part digital drawing. I modified one of my photos to use as a painting reference next week. I plan to paint this hillside from a photo I took at Appleton Farms, but want to make changes to the composition.  So instead of using "trial and error" on the canvas, I decided to do a little digital "dress rehearsal". So I opened the image in Painter and adjusted the shape of the canvas by adding "blank space" on the right side and top (and a little bit at left).  The idea was to allow for a more successful crop.  Then I filled in the new blank space with "invented" imagery created with a combination of digital drawing and cut-and-paste.  I want to be able to show more of the top of the tree in a square format, so I added branches and foliage at the (new) top edge of the canvas.  I also changed the shape of the tree, bringing the branches in so that they don't extend as far into the center of the canvas.  I also modified the shape of the line of trees in the distance.  Then I drew in more fence, field, and grass, extending the existing lines over to the  (new) right-hand border.  I tried to match colors, but not textures, because this is just a tool to help me envision a new composition.  I am not concerned with a polished appearance because this image is not intended to be a finished work of art.  I do think the composition will work better with these changes. Even though I will probably make even more changes to the composition once I start painting, I think this has been a helpful exercise.

Friday, January 02, 2015

Hillside at Appleton Farms (Posterized)



I am planning to start another landscape painting next week, so I have been looking through my photos to choose what I want to paint. In October, we took a tour of Appleton Farms (in Ipswich, MA) and I took some pictures. I liked this view of a tree on a hillside. Even when I took the photograph, I thought I would like to paint the scene. (I posted the original photograph here on October 30 -- and then transformed it into a Halloween scene on the 31st.) So yesterday I returned to the Appleton Farms photo to get it ready for use as a reference painting. I lightened up the shadows, and posterized the image. The original photo was rectangular and I cropped it to get a square format, then printed it out. But I wasn't quite happy with the composition, but I had an idea for modifying it. Instead of working it out through trial and error on the canvas, I decided to try out my idea in a digital version. To be continued. . . .

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Quiet New Year (Digital Drawing)



This digital drawing is part of a little video that I created on my iPad with the Brushes app, which captures a stroke-by-stroke video as you draw.  I posted the video here yesterday. If you want to see it, you can also just go to: http://randiart.blogspot.com/2014/12/quiet-new-years-eve.html