My love for bracelets and watches has led to a new photo hobby, that of wrist-shots, which is obsessive, no doubt about it. Combining this with a love of water color painting is particularly fun.
My bracelets have been getting enough compliments in the last year that I’ve opened a store at http://www.vinchesidesigns.com, come visit if you are interested.
I was picking up some acrylic paint supplies as I am launching a real effort with this medium (I can’t resist trying acrylic on canvas for some upcoming Blue sky + clouds paintings), and I saw a package of wide brushes for the low-low price of $4.99.
Here are the bargain brushes..
I knew there would likely be some shedding of bristles onto the canvas, and so I tried to remove lose fibers before I started painting the canvas with gesso. And yet it was a terrible cascade of fibers in the gesso and I found myself becoming quite the finger-painter as I plucked them out as best I could.
Naively, I imagined that the brush would eventually shed-down to a set of bristles held in place and I’d reach a point of effectiveness with them, and so I began experimenting with actual painting using the same brush.
I soon realized that there was no hope with these brushes and so stopped my futile attempts to remove fibers from the painted canvas — I let it dry and decided I’d photograph the mess and make this blog post.
Behold what low prices sometimes get you…
The next day I bought a brush from a paint store — the kind you’d use to paint the wall of a living room, not an artist’s brush, and oh how well it works! In one of the instructional videos I later watched, it was mentioned that Bob Ross used such brushes and so there we have it: use what works and throw away the rest.
I did a quick sketch the Mona Lisa, such fun! The position of the pupils is such a big part of the expression.
I saw this structure and you have to admit, it begs to be the subject of a water color painting……
Here is another older painting that I’ve resurrected after abandoning it (in this case, I ruined it by getting too carried away with something that worked well for me in another painting).
As you can see on the right, I got crazy with paint splatter and overall created a mess, including some blotches around the eyes and face that really robbed the image of its continuity. The image on the left reflects my clean-up, with white paint, but also removal of color using water. Yes, the paper in this case is again the “wrong” kind — it is not ideal for water color, but interestingly I like some of the effects I get with it versus the expensive “correct” kind.
As with most of my work, this is not yet a finished piece (I really need to commit to finishing several of these works in progress).
But I wanted to share a promising “fix / save” of a previous mistake.
In my drive to advance my technique, I decided to attempt a rapid-fire drawing and painting of one of my two favorite subjects.
Here is the progression that took about ten minutes, which is a world record for me.
I like where this is headed, and once again I avoided using any drawing aids.
In honor of the Masters golf tournament, here is a putting green landscape I did in late 2018 (still need to fill in the flag but here it is).
For those who follow golf, or Tiger Woods (or both), he won today after an 11-year drought of winning major tournaments, and the joy for him was palpable.
I was moved by his win in particular because it represents a human being’s occasional ability to overcome inner demons (in this case, to win again after the humiliation of his train-wreck ending of his marriage 11 years ago).
Prior to his 2008 personal and then professional meltdown, he only knew victory, and displayed a towering arrogance that often accompanies those who win early and remain invincible. But after his then-wife discovered his multiple affairs (and crass text messages to several women) and chased him down his driveway, smashing the rear window of his car (with a golf club…), he began a downward spiral and the Great Humbling began.
There is something profound about sports stars who have famous collapses that then seem to haunt them in future contests (Greg Norman comes to mind — he was leading the Masters several different times and yet gave-away victory on the final afternoon each time; he won the British Open several times, and so at least buried the “never won a major” moniker).
The power of the mind to be haunted by the past is very real and it is inspiring when anyone succeeds in breaking those chains.
Congratulations Tiger Woods, it is heartening to see you free yourself.
“Shall I bring my own chains?
“We always do.”
From I Heart Huckabees, a truly extraordinary movie.
Ok, it’s time for me to indulge myself with some reproductions of a few paintings I like even though I am a nobody in the art world. I have been inspired recently by other amateur artists who are selling their work online and elsewhere, so why not?
And so I am looking into local printers who can take high-resolution shots of my work, reproduce colors accurately, and then do a print run of a dozen or more of each, on archival paper for resale.
Any advice would be appreciated!! Let me know your “do’s and don’ts”!!
I made painting a priority in recent days and got back to an older one that I hadn’t finished (code word for “mostly given up on”) and tried to advance it forward without ruining it (always a risk).
Here’s how it looks now:
And this is where it started (you can see my comments on the older version in this post, Trying to Get Loose):
I used a lot of white paint to allow a re-start on the bandana, which I was very reluctant to do because I liked the blue with splashes of color set against the light-colored (no-color) hair. Part of me wishes I had left the hair blank of color and left the bandana as it was.
I also used white to cut back the boldness of the purple splotch in front of his face, and of course there are the layers of color now on his face, and the black pen scratching for his hair and ear.
All artwork is vulnerable to being over-worked, and this is especially true in water color, where the paper starts to break down after too many passes, or perhaps the beautiful layering that is possible with water color starts to get covered up in a muddy mess.
The only solution is to paint hundreds, and thousands, of paintings, and so we press on..
Like many of my paintings, this one started out as a practice-drawing that I kept messing with. I used a sketch pad (not the right paper at all) but things start to take shape and what can one do but follow where it leads…
I find the artistic process to be very challenging (will it be any good? it started off terrible, is it worth continuing or should I start over? when is it done? and 100 other questions) and this blog is largely designed to share the process and commiserate with people who suffer through the same experimentation.
When I see other artwork that I like, I always wonder what it looked like at the beginning, and the middle, and the end.
Here is a bit of the evolution on this image:
My intention is to continue the stars on the top right, in such a way that they are in front of George’s face (not all the way around, but maybe four or so). I like the idea of placing GW a bit in the background (subtle or more dramatically, such as in my paintings in which he is at the bottom of the frame, with a lot of space above his head) as he himself labored to do in the face of countless opportunities to seize the One Ring, which he never did.