Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Snowball Lantern

It was 40 degrees here today, and all the snow slid off my roof.  All of it.  I'm surrounded by heaps of snow.  In fact, if I turn on my living room light and go outside to look, I bet my house looks just like this:

HA.  That's a Swedish snowball lantern.  You can read all about them on this nice blog.

But enough about that.  I'm sure the warm temps were just a teaser today, and it will probably hit 20 below again by tomorrow.  Spring is, after all, several weeks away.  Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

Here's a better picture of my last flower:

Lovely.  And here is the second dragonfly:

Interference paint does not photograph well.  Looking at the canvas straight on it just looks purple, but from an angle it gets all sparkly and shiny and spangly.  Oooooh.

Next up is another template tree piece.  It's the first March painting so it counts towards my goal of 10 new paintings this month.  Considering today is only the 4th and I've got the background on another one finished and a third piece drying on the table behind me, I will most assuredly meet this goal. My other two goals, to round out this year's March Madness trifecta -- I will let you know how those worked out for me once the month is over.

Back to the trees.  Here is what I love about paint:

Yummy yummy goodness.

I almost left it just like this because it was really cool, but I had mentally committed to the trees so on they went.

I'm going to call this "At the Edge of the Wood."

Sorry, I couldn't tilt the panel for that last photo because the white enamel was wet, so the glare is pretty bad.  Here's the end result:

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the wonky-doodle painting that's wet on my table.  I would do it now but it really needs to be shiny so I have to varnish it before taking any pictures.  Fair warning - it went a little abstract so it's in the questionable pile.  I'm reserving judgment but I think I like it.  And rather than sit here watching paint dry, I'm going to bed early (or whatever - it's 11:30) to read. Because GUESS WHAT?!?  I got a copy of "Assault and Pepper" in the mail yesterday!  WOO HOO!  Thank you, Leslie!  Gottagobye, there's a book calling my name....

Friday, February 27, 2015

One Trick Pony

I was going to show you how I amended the beginning part of my outdoor art installation, but it appears I never showed it to you in the first place.  Hmmm.  Does this sound familiar?  I spray painted two louvered closet doors that Ann salvaged in the GREAT CLEAN-UP OF 2014.  Then I found a piece of 11.25" x 39" wood that probably started its life as a sheet of 3/4" plywood.  There is a lot of random pieces of wood around here.  Sometime, long ago in the summer months, I painted that plywood and had it leaning against the side of my garage between the two louvered doors (turquoise - that's the color I painted them) as the beginning of the installation.  But that plywood piece never looked right.  Turns out all it needed was a sun and a flower:

The first flower of my permanent outdoor garden.  And here's the latest installment of my indoor garden, this one painted on a cradled birch wood panel:

The angle is funny on that top picture - I've got several wet paintings on my table and I was trying to take this picture without dragging my camera strap through something else.  One of the other wet things is, of course, a flower:

Dang, those are fun.  Remember when all I painted was roosters?  I'm turning into a one trick pony again, but I don't mind because it's a pretty cool trick.  The other is a salvaged wreck of a canvas:

Wet paint, ergo no varnish yet.  But yes, the interference blue paint does make it shiny and sparkly like that if you see it from the right angle.  I will post better pictures later.

I promised myself I would finish another wreath before the end of the month, and I've only got one more day.  I was totally stuck with the silver and green one, so put it aside and started something new.  Hopefully this one will be easier.  I feel like I've got writer's block except, you know, it would be wreather's block.  If my wreath-making career is over already I will laugh until I cry.  There are a CRAP ton of ornaments left.

Speaking of crying, Leonard Nimoy died today.  He was an actor, a director, a poet, a photographer and - the The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins notwithstanding - a singer.  Ironic that such a right-brained man will be remembered for his portrayal of the most left-brained character ever.  RIP Mr. Spock. Prosper on a new plane.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Flower Power

Ooooh, I just love when colors moosh up together like that.

And that swirly stuff.  That's cool too.

I just decided the ginormous outdoor art installation I want to make for the side of my garage will be flowers like this.  Anybody who wants to come help -- you are all invited.

There will be all kinds of colors.

It will be messy and splattery and drippy and honestly -- what could possibly be better?

It will be the biggest, most fascinating flower garden in the history of the planet, and I will never have to water it.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Babe in the Woods

I thought for a minute my flurry of painting awesomeness had come to a sudden and decisive halt.  I covered an 8" x 10" canvas panel with a curious combo of silver and peanut-butter-brown (otherwise known as raw sienna) and swirled in some bits of purple.  Before it dried I added some texture.  I have no idea what the end result was going to be but I was damn sure this was a good start.

Then it dried.


So I covered the whole thing in white and judiciously scraped and scraped and scraped and scraped and scraped with the palette knife until lots of the underneath bits were poking through (I just accidentally typed "puking through").  When it was dry, I scraped at it again and dribbled some white enamel all over it.


At this point I still had no idea where I was going, except for the wee sheep on there.  On a whim I put the sheep in the woods and all was well with the world.

"Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little (sheep) must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year."

I'm quite sure Robert Frost meant sheep and not horse, right?

Friday, February 20, 2015

I spy, with my little eye, ....

A palette knife!  If I were to buy a traveling art box, this would be it.  Orange and purple swirly zebra-esque print.  It's a statement piece, and it belonged to my mom back in the day.  Don't ask which day, because I don't know.  In this day I've got way too much crapola to pack up for travel so I can't use the case for its intended purpose, but every time I look at it I am reminded that I come by my wonky sense of color legitimately.

Speaking of wonky sense of color, this potential travesty has happened:

Hey - it matches the travel case!  It's like a camo-koi.  That panel was going to have a word on it (I just this minute remembered the word was going to be WONKY) but it never happened.  I am slowly but surely exhausting my supply of pre-painted canvases and panels.  I forgot to take a picture of the background so you can't really see the orange bits running through the purple.  I wanted to use that pattern and the more I looked at it the more I saw a koi.  He looks better as a rough draft:

That's charcoal pencil on the paper so unless I spray it eventually it will all rub off.  However, last time I sprayed a page in this book it stunk for over a week.

Oh what the hell, I'm going to do it anyway.  Hang on a minute ....


Okay, that's done.  So the painting.  It is compelling in the same way the dragonfly explosion is.  I think it would be quite smashing with a black frame.  How someone is to work purple and safety orange into their decor I have no idea, but stranger things have happened.

That's what I was going to name this blog post originally.  Stranger things have happened.  Then I realized this camo-koi pretty much IS the strangest thing to have happened.

In other news, I've got a bit of a quandry.  In fact, it's a multi-faceted quandry.  I painted something else.  Facet number one is that I love it and want to keep it because it is yummy and awesome.  Facet number two is that the 14" x 18" panel is quite large for me.  That in and of itself is not a problem, I'm just afraid once I go big it will be hard to go back to small.  Big = loose.  Loose = good.  Using that logic, bigger = looser and looser = gooder.  Or something.  It's a math equation, not English.  Anyway, when (or perhaps I should say "if") the snow melts and summer gets here I'm going to really throw some paint around outside and see what happens.  I may create a masterpiece.

Here's the sketch of the quandry painting:

And here's the actual painting.  Looser was gooder.

"My name is Roxie, and I approve of this painting."

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sensory Overload

Here is a nose:

Heh heh.

I've been on a roll with this whole painting thing, so yesterday I pulled out another one of those mysterious canvases I painted back in the beginning of time.  This one was going to be for words, something nighttime like DREAM BIG.  But the background ended up way too busy.  It's still too busy, but I was feeling reckless so I doodled an idea in my sketchbook:

Ignore the pencil and the green paint - that's just random nothing.  My doodle turned into a dragonfly explosion:

See what I mean about that blue being really busy?  Now it is CRAZY BUSY!  It helps if you squint, or just look at it with one eye.

Yet, it's like a train wreck; I can't look away.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

S&P 500

Since Derek posted it on the Frame of Reference facebook page today, I guess I can post it here, too.  MY YUMMY PAINTING FROM THIS WEEKEND!  Here's the deal.  Leslie has another book coming out in a couple of weeks.

We should all take a lesson from this woman.  When you decide you want something, go for it.  Leslie wanted to write (because being a lawyer -- *yawn*) and here she is launching her third mystery, with a fourth - the most important one because I'm the dead chick - in July, all on the heels of a non-fiction book that won an Agatha Award.  Oh yeah, and her first mystery won an Agatha Award, too.  So this book is the start of a new series set in Seattle.  The main character is named Pepper and she owns a spice shop.  Derek is hosting a book launch party for Leslie on March 6th (put it on your calendar) and he asked if I would send my new paintings so he can have a small Christine-Is-Awesome party at the same time as Leslie's book launch.  Well, okay, so maybe he didn't really say that.  But I'm sending my paintings and we both thought it would be a swell idea if I could paint something to tie in with Leslie's book.  Derek suggested the subject matter and ... here is the end result:

WOO HOO!  I love it.  The background is very loosely based on the colors of the book cover.  Very loosely.  I forgot to take a picture of the empty background, but here is my draft of the salt and pepper shakers:

Then I held my breath, crossed my fingers, said a prayer, and hoped for the best:

Safely out of the I-could-wreck-it-at-any-moment phase!  I wanted to leave it just like that, but it needed the S and the P in the colors of the title on the book cover.

Now, how to ship it without smooshing it....