Tag Archives: art

Art Jag Part Deux

On another super art jag!

This is the progress on the Lady Painter. It’s coming along well. I decided that I am not going to add any other imagery or text over top. Just need to start thinking about framing.

Work in Progress - Lady Painter 2
Work in Progress – Lady Painter 2

This Bambi piece has been hanging around for two weeks (?) now. Doesn’t seem to want to get finished. Had wanted to add some text that was cut out of foam-core. Maybe I’ll do that and see if that’s what the hold up is.

Work In Progress - Been trying to work this Bambi image, but it's just stuck.
Work In Progress – Been trying to work this Bambi image, but it’s just stuck.

I found three boards I had prepared weeks ago. Had intended to do some colored washes with them, but never got around to it. So they became this mini series. I almost wish (50/50) I had left them alone and not added any new layers (the gold diagrams). I should have at least sat on them a day and seen if they could stand on their own. But impatient person that I am… I projected the tree image on top of one of the boards and it looked cool… I quickly found another diagram, and that was it. They would receive a second layer. But two is not enough, I will do have to figure out at least a third layer. The good thing is, the process is easy to repeat. So, worst case scenario, I start over.

This mini – series is / are not really “paintings”. More like poly-chromed graphite drawings. I don’t know, but it just doesn’t feel right to call them paintings. Regardless, I’m very happy with the procedural discoveries I’ve made with these. Specifically, I’m loving the graphite; when it’s thick and metallic black, and then you smear it! Great effect.

(Actually, I learned about this from the Bambi piece, the background text was done in graphite.)

Work in Progress - Awaiting Diagram and... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting Diagram and… ?

This is preliminary stage. (Below) I do like this as is. I don’t think viewers would “get it” though.  I’m worried the additional imagery may have ruined them.

But the heck with it: “Hold nothing sacred.”

Work in Progress - Awaiting Diagram and... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting Diagram and… ?

Small detail, you may notice those are Behr house paint samples. Yup! I’ve gotten over my paint snobbery. For some colors, it works just fine, and it’s cheap.

Work in Progress - Awaiting... ?
Work in Progress – Awaiting… ?

I’m super loving the color palette of these, especially with the gold. But unless you shoot at an angle, the gold doesn’t photograph well, which may pose a problem for purposes of posterity.

Work in Progress - Detail of Gold
Work in Progress – Detail of Gold

Finally, another small happiness. I stenciled the text on these, and it came out pretty well. Which is possible only because I’m working on board and not canvas. However the grain of the wood is slightly annoying, I may move to masonite. [To clarify, these are just cheap stretcher frames with Luann tops. What’s even crazier is these were made from scraps, you can see the joint running across the bottom third on all three pieces. Poor man WIN!]

Stenciled Text
Stenciled Text

This is next in the rotation. The window offers obvious opportunities image placement… Glad this is a one off and not part of a series!

Work in Progress - This image found its way onto the canvas at 12:30.This is the first stage.
Work in Progress – This image found its way onto the canvas at 12:30.
This is the first stage.

And the magic revealed! Lest you think I’m some crazy artistic genius, behold! An opaque projector. My imagery is projected onto the canvas and I simply trace it. I could do it the old fashion way and grid it out, but the result would be the same. My point being, I used to think this was “cheating”, but I’ve gotten over that idea. Mostly. I’ve has this thing since the late 90’s. Best $300 I ever spent. But it may be on its last legs, it seems to be blowing bulbs with greater frequency. And those bulbs are kinda of expensive – $8 a piece. It takes two bulbs, but you can get away with just one.

Maybe you remember overhead projectors from school? This works the same way, except you don't have to use transparencies, you can use opaque paper as well.
Maybe you remember overhead projectors from school? This works the same way, except you don’t have to use transparencies, you can use opaque paper as well.

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Haven’t run for a few days, since…. Thursday. Wow, only two days? It feels like it’s been four days. Missed a volunteering opportunity yesterday because I was working on my paintings. I feel kind of guilty about that, but I have to keep painting when it’s going well. I should try and do a long run today, depending if I can tear myself away from painting. But it’s a beautiful day out right now, it’d be a shame not to get out and enjoy it.

Have two weeks until the Culinaria 5K. I don’t know what my PR’s for any distance, so I am going to run this race like a crazy person so I can PR. (Since I don’t really have a 5K PR, whatever I do will be a PR.) But my goal is to run under 20 minutes. Yeah, I need to run today.

Painting Marathon!

Per my 5K art goal: A stencil of Bambi’s legs on a small board seemed like a good start. Perhaps the board was too small, but for whatever reason, I wasn’t able to go anywhere with it. However, I did start painting. Big time. For the last three days. 5K art goal? Pffft! More like 50K!

Taking several months off from painting must have allowed my “painting glycogen” stores to top off. Once I got going, I started working on several pieces. When I got stuck on one, I worked on another and kept on that way. Since Monday, I finished and framed two pieces, and am working on a bigger piece, and have three smaller “throwaway” boards that I at least put some paint on. (Throwaway boards are just really small pieces that can be used like sketch paper. If an idea doesn’t work out, just paint over it and do something else.)

de -its problems 17.5" x 17.5". Smaller "throwaway" on board.
de -its problems 17.5″ x 17.5″

de -its problems (Above) is a good study. The main image of the woman is not as well done as I’d like. I wasn’t able to properly blend each layer with the previous layer. Some of my paints are cheap house paints, and they dry very quickly. Once I added the diagrams over top, there was no way to go back and fix the woman. But that’s okay, sometimes you can’t belabor a work, just finish it and move on. I plan to revisit this image but on a larger scale.

OUTPUT 25" x 25"
OUTPUT 25″ x 25″

OUTPUT (Above) is another essentially a study as well. I am trying to find the appropriate image to paint using just the bluish/purple color, which I think is kind of similar to the color on those famous vases. (You know the ones I’m talking about.) And also trying to figure out how to fake coloring like a child. The cat image is from a child’s coloring book, and the scribbled paint is an attempt to replicate the child’s marks. It’s really hard to fake that.

For me the best part was the frame. Made from a scrap piece of 3/4″ plywood (which happened to be just the right size!), I was able to assemble it very cleanly. Also, I decided to stain it, which turned out to be a good choice.


Finally, the lady painter. I’ve actually used this image in a smaller scale painting before. I sold it to a friend and was very sad to see her (the painting) go. But now I’m getting her back, on a much larger scale. I feel like I’ve been reunited with a long lost friend.

The paint I’m using is thinned down almost to the point of being a watercolor, so it takes time to build up any dark areas. Working on this painting is like doing a really long run. The painting pace is very slow and contemplative. A few more rounds of working the darks and the lights, and then I have to make a big decision: what – if anything – to overlay the image?

Lady Painter on Board.
First version lady painter.

In the first version, I put some very light text over top. I could use the same text or find some other text. I could do something completely different, or do nothing at all and just have it be a “normal” straight painting. I’m not sure what to do.

Actually, I do know what to do: go for a run.

I haven’t run for three days, and honestly, I haven’t missed it. I’m going to run today mostly because I know I should, rather than because I want to. (Since the painting is going so well, I want to keep working on it. But I know I need to avoid rushing this piece.) Hopefully, some fresh air and blood circulation will help out, because oh yeah, I have a race this Saturday!

Postcards? Postcards!

Jennie in Chicago
This is probably going to Jennie in Chicago

You might be wondering what postcards have to do with running. It would seem not much. But some of the lessons I’ve learned from running are going to help me get my art back on track.

In my other life, I was a struggling artist. Ever since I graduated, I’d been attempting to make art on my own. I wasn’t part of any art community, and had no peers with whom to commiserate. I was creating in a vaccuum, and for me, that proved difficult. I was a decent painter, but I was always waiting to feel “inspired,” and thus my creative output was really low.

Similarly, it  can be hard to run on your own. Just finding the motivation to run is a constant challenge. But as part of a community of runners, it’s way easier to get motivated because of the support and energy you draw from your peers. Running with others also helps you push yourself harder than if you run alone.

Going to Nick in Hawaii
Going to Nick in Hawaii

I now realize waiting for “inspiration” to create art is, for the most part, utter nonsense. The “secret” to making art is to consistently make it, whether you feel like it or not. Not everything is going to be a masterpiece, but if you keep making stuff – and lots of it – you’re bound to turn out a few winners.

The same holds true for running. You can’t wait till you “feel like” running, you just have to go and run, whether you feel like it or not. And do it consistently. Many times that feeling of wanting to run only happens after you’ve started running. Once you warm up and get the kinks out, and then you realize, “Hey, this isn’t so bad.” And if you run often enough, there are bound to be some memorable runs.

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So… what about the postcards?

They aren’t paintings, but the process of making them is similar to how I make my paintings. They’re like a quick and dirty maintenance run. I’ve also thought maybe I should try to bring Running into my art, hence the running themed postcard. Making postcards will allow me to  ease back into painting. If you want to help motivate me, give me your mailing address and I’ll snail mail you your very own postcard!

And here’s another way I’m going to do it: set a realistic achievable 5k art goal. I started a small canvas the other day, and I am going to finish that puppy by the end of the month. That gives me exactly one week to put some paint on canvas. (Actually it’s on board, but whatever.) And since next week is a taper, I don’t have much of an excuse.

It’s crazy, after writing about art and thinking about art, I’m feeling inspired to make some art!