Archive for the ‘painting’ Category

The Goat Man Cometh….almost. A New Painting..almost.

July 28, 2010

Bigger is better. Oh,  Really?

Remember this guy?

I really liked this subject- thought there was too much to get into an 8 X 10 so I upped my own ante and leaped exponentially into an 18 X 24.

” Win A Goat ”  oil on stretcher canvas 18 X 24- almost finished.

It’s the dangblasted shirt that’s got me vexed, to use a classically Crucian expression. I have to forget that the shirt is white because the brightness of the glare  of full sun is tripping up the value.  This is the first time I’ve worked this size in oil. Large areas without enough detail become flat and have no eye appeal.

Too much detail and the shirt won’t be finished before the goat dies.

Scraped some off, letting it dry out a bit and will finish it if it kills me or the goat and I will go together.

Tropical storm Bonnie blew through here, yes, that’s right, and how much rain did we get? How surprised was I when I went to dump the bird’s water bowl?

Nothing surprises Chili Pepper- he’s the original coolster.

And just because you may have missed her royal peachiness…. Cloud on her divan.

” Holding The Reins ” – A New Painting

July 1, 2010

There’s a very strong cultural connection here on St. Croix between young men and horses. Some of it reflects poorly in the treatment of the animals at the hands of boys who see it as a way to express domination.

But the other side of that is the deep respect and care that’s shown mutually between the species.

” Holding The Reins “ 11 X 14 oil on stretch canvas

( I’ve shot this photo numerous times but it still looks hazy- hmm…)

It surprised me to see very few if any young women here interested in horses. The horse culture in the states is very much female-centric but here it’s quite the opposite. Saddles are a liability in terms of theft so riding is bare bones, bareback.

Seems reins, bridle and butt is all that’s required.

Here’s a local newspaper headline that seemed to miss the point.

I mean, wouldn’t you HOPE that’s what he’d do?

For Cloud lovers- she didn’t miss a point although I missed a sock.

A New CAT-egory of Painting

June 9, 2010

If it’s new, if it’s recently been unpacked, or if it’s off limits altogether, there’s an excellent chance that your cat will find it and claim it.

Witness:

Those are boxes from just unpacked frames I ordered courtesy of King of Frames. I can’t say enough about Randy Higbee’s company and the quality of his frames and service. I stopped painting to unpack them ( it’s the ADD in my soul ).

In the mind of a feline, there is apparently no better place to snooze than a precariously and unintentionally balanced set of boxes stacked at the back of my easel. I was wrong. It seems there IS a better place and she found it minutes later:

Still Life With Plastic

I just placed this gilt beauty on the countertop and came back to learn that in 90 degree heat and humidity what could be better than sleeping on bubble wrap especially if you possess a fur coat. I’ll have to order another frame. This is her official cot.

Good. Now that she’s settled in, I can finish this piece.

Day’s Done – 10 x 12 Oil on Panel

I use Ultramarine for most things but there’s a shot of Cobalt Blue in his shirt that really pops. Wakes up the other colors too. Bet it can’t wake up that cat, though.

If You Can’t Take The Heat….. A New Painting

May 15, 2010

…Then get a Parasol

” Woman With Parasol ” 8 X 10 oil on panel

A step by step of the determined effort to keep it fast and unfettered.

I had taken the photo of this woman many years ago in NY. Only recently looked at it with new eyes for its Notan-esque qualities. Wanted to see if I could start and finish a piece in a day.

Something clicked for me with this one and Fun became the muse du jour.

Yeah, fun and the following quote, which played an endless loop in my head:

” It takes two to paint. One to paint, the other to stand by with an axe to
kill him before he spoils it.” ~W. Merritt Chase.

Thanks to Randy Higbee – King of Frames, who chiefed this quote from someone else and posted in on FB.

I was fearful of the axe. And stopped.

My husband said it looked like someone else’s painting. Yes, someone who knew when to stop.

These two don’t know when to stop, and have no fears in their limited vocabulary….

Something I just noticed ( don’t flinch Jala and Pat,  the insects are metal ), but two fellow artists and bloggers are represented in this photo in my kitchen. The very large, floral fruit bowl made by my friend Carol King, the watercolorist,  and the Hot Chili Pepper photograph made by fellow islander and photographer Don Diddams.

The gravitational pull of artistry.

Mothers and Others

May 9, 2010

“At The Ag Fair” 8X10 oil on panel

For mothers and others, Happy Mothers’ Day.

I did this one twice. One version was direct- no drawing first, except with paint. The other one, was painted over the drawing from last post. Do you have a preference?

” At The Ag Fair ” 11X14 oil on panel

My nemesis, interpreting white without using white. Tricky.

No, what’s really tricky is how the responsibilities of raising families, which is often  multi -generational, meal preparations, cleaning, shuttling kids to school and back, baking and cooking at night to make extra money, seems an impossible juggling performance but the stalwart women of this island and perhaps the West Indies in general, get it all done. And still find a moment to share an observation with a good friend. And sit for a minute.

A tribute to all Mothers who put love in our pockets, hearts, lunchboxes, and DNA.

Nurturing comes from unexpected places….

Seemed like Motherhood was evident here too…. maybe too soon to cut the cord.

Trinidad Market Girl Sold

April 16, 2010

But not indentured.

She’s going to grace someones’ wall on one of our sister islands, St. John also one of the US Virgin Islands. Thanks to the exposure by a new home design company here, Coco Design in Christiansted, this piece was introduced to her client and she’s now left my home and is on her way to another. Thanks Jennifer!

Of all the paintings I’ve posted on this blog over the years, she’s had the most hits of any of the others.  I’m hoping to find the looseness that birthed her as I start another one. You can approach the canvas the same way, with the same intentions every time. Sometimes it’s a real struggle, sometimes the magic genie controls your hand and brush and sees to it that your angst never wakes up. This was just that for me.

From a chapter in the book that someday may chronicle my passage from NYC to the Virgin Islands, you can better understand the title: ” I Used To Have a Concierge, And Now I Have A Machete “.

You can’t take down a papaya from a tree with a butter knife dearies:

It’s the all purpose tool for the modern city dweller who can no longer ring the intercom to request a repair.  If at first it doesn’t work, hack, hack again.

And because I know how fixated you all are on this little face, consider Cloud, as seen by Rousseau.

And Chili Pepper, as seen by the Sunkist company, if their ad men only knew where to find him:

He said forget it, he’s not selling out.

Back In The Saddle Again – Work In Progress

March 22, 2010

Moving towards painting without drawing first. Didn’t say how I was progressing in that arena, just hoping that someday I might befriend proportion and scale without drawing first. Until then……

Willow charcoal is loose, ethereal, rubs off if you exhale too close to the canvas. Good for keeping loose, so I purposely remove some line work as the paint goes down or else the dastardly pitfall of filling in can ruin the gesture.

So just as Stella was getting her dormant groove back, I had to leave this piece and be away for a week. I’m going to seriously try not to muck it up since painting on top of already dried paint sometimes leads me to that dreadful trap of adding too much, playing the game of chasing values and almost reproducing an entire second painting over the dried one underneath. I said I’d try.

Please hope I succeed.

Now THEY have succeeded in convincing me that after a week away, walking them would have more merit than watching me twist in the wind figuring this stuff out. ” Oh, just take us for a walk and forget about your whining”……….

You cannot ignore 4 eyes and 4 ears of this magnitude of cuteness and continue your mission.

I tried.

Really, I did.

Trying to ignore them.

I know when I’m done for.

Walking, it is.

I am a sap.

Where Did These Come From? When Did This Start?

March 6, 2010

Every site, every page, every paid advertisement on every search engine is suggesting another way to ” Lose that belly fat “,  ” 10 tips to a flatter belly “, ” Free, easy rules for a flatter belly”. Does anyone believe this? Like the birds on Hitchcocks’ telephone lines, these ads seem to pop up in one place or another and now that I’m bringing it to your attention, try to avoid seeing one.

And they’re about as free and easy as the Nigerian chain letters.

I actually think a little belly fat makes for a more inspired model to draw from: meet the goat man-

My favorite spot for a little belly fat, actually exists right here:

” I don’t care if your tummy IS a little round, I love you and want you to come out and play with me”

If those ad people want to strike a chord with a burgeoning market, they’d re-address their focus to the world of bloggers and painters who sit most of the day and re word the come-on to read:

” Follow this easy tip for a tiny butt “

Bet they’re reading this now………..

A Million Little Pieces

February 22, 2010

Painted not with brushes but with excised, tiny pieces of paper collected from magazines. Especially magazines of good quality stock so they’d withstand cuts with an X-acto blade, picking up with tweezers and finish with medium.

I kept folders  assorted by colors:  reds, blues, textures, anything that looked interesting. My favorite  locale for harvesting tear sheets was the waiting rooms of dentists or Park Avenue doctors. Ritzy publications,  heavy stock, great color saturation. Cough, loudly, tear simultaneously and seize that perfect page.

Started with a rough sketch for composition and then went to work laying on pieces of paper.

Unfortunate addendum: not a method you can deploy under the rotor blades of a ceiling fan or your million tiny pieces will be confetti.

Some images from the St. Croix Ag Fair 2010- great local food, thousands of people, acres to wander, animals on display, and enterprise in all forms.

Best view in the house.

St. Croix is snake-less, except for this 7’9″  illegal escapee who was rescued and is now a teaching tool.

Kids and kids.

Clouds’ ancestor?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch………

These two……

Don’t you see a branding of calendars, napkins, mugs?

If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother

January 18, 2010

She begat me and I became her. As a teen, I resisted, as an adult, I’m honored and hope to fill the toes of her shoes.

Wise, gentle, compassionate, I never heard her yell or be rude. Always makes people feel welcomed and wanted.  And at almost 90,  I still have her in my life. At the prodding of a friend,  I thought I’d try a portrait.

First a rough sketch in willow on linen.

Pre- toned canvas, light sienna wash.

Trying to work out the main features in a general way.

The real mom.

Thought I had a good ride with this one so far and then. Then. It all went south and I think I forgot how to paint. Can you forget? Can you forget how to apply the paint. Seems that’s where much of my angst lies. It’s either too thick, too thin, too muddied, too overdone, or just too wrong.  So this tribute to be is not to be. It’s been duly scraped and scrapped.

But let me paint a portrait of her for you with some of her/my favorite expressions and quotes that I still find myself parroting today.

” I’m too light for heavy work, and too heavy for light work “

” One mother can care for 10 children but 1o children can’t care for one mother “

” When in doubt, DON’T “

” The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know “

” For a marriage to work, the man should love the woman a drop more than the woman loves the man “.

” A woman needs her own pishka * that no one knows about ( * translation from Yiddish- a private stash of your own money – kept even from your husband )

( Hope my husband isn’t reading the last two but if he is…. Hi Honey!  You know I don’t listen to my mother ).

” After 70 there are only two things a man is looking for in a woman- a nurse or a purse, and I’m not going to be either one ” ( This said after my father died )

And after my  commenting doubtfully on a boyfriend much shorter than I, she added ” laying down, they’re all the same height “.

How can you not love the simple truth and beauty of her take on things!?

She is the source of my inspired love of painting, decorating, and general festooning of anything. She has painted walls, lampshades, shoes, canvases, and toilet seats. The latter with thick applications of acrylic paint in the form of flowers thinking we were all asleep.

Some of ” we ” were not. And sat down. And stood up with the seat still stuck to my sitbones.

But seriously, what am I going to do about getting paint onto canvas without suffering the perpetual ” Scrapenheiser Disorder “? Really. Help.

I’ll ask them, see if anyone here can lend an ear.

Surely someone HERE can lend an ear- just look at them!