Paintus- Interruptus

August 24, 2010

I’ve been working on this piece, expecting to have finished it today.

” La Reine Market Seller ” Oil on Panel 11 X 14

Started it with a Burnt Sienna / Ultra Blue wash and a loose drawing with the brush.

I’ve been mesmerized by the works of Joaquin Sorolla and his depictions of his subjects under the hot Madrid sun. This site has a slide show of his complete works.

One should not get so hypnotized by muse or self that one doesn’t pay attention to how one wipes the unwanted paint off a palette knife.

They do not call it a palette Spoon, or a palette Fork, but a palette KNIFE!

Hence, Paintus Interruptus.

When well used, they are more like a Palette Shiv.

This experience must fall under the proverb employed by motorcycle enthusiasts:  ” There are two kinds of riders-those who’ve wiped out and those who haven’t wiped out yet “.

Too bad I didn’t need to add crimson to this piece- I could have had an endless supply. My thumb is in the shop for a few days- enough time to look through more pages of my Sorolla book.

This guy doesn’t have to be concerned about a useless thumb.

And neither does Chili Pepper…..he’s almost flaunting it in my face……

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For Her Fans……Cloud ! And More…

August 18, 2010

Art, schmart.

Some times the muses are too damn cute.

The object of her stalkers’ tendencies……Angel exiting the closet.

yeah, cute, schmoot, I can bench press twice my body weight…..”

” if I tell you you’re handsome, would you get off my paws so I can get up”?

” it’s enough to drive a girl mad “…….

In case none of the preceding was sweet enough, I leave you with Tropical  Mango Pie…..

Fresh, whole nutmegs from the farmers’ market…

Remind me of the art nouveau lettering of Hector Guimard’s Paris Metro sign…

A new painting is arriving here soon…..in between pets and pie, there’s been paint too.

Almost Got My Goat…. New, Finished Painting.

August 3, 2010

This painting almost beat me down but it didn’t ” get my goat “.

” Win A Goat ” 18 X 24 oil on linen stretcher canvas

” A commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase’s origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne’er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, i.e. they ‘got someone’s goat’, the horse became unsettled and ran badly. That’s just the sort of tale that gets the folk etymology juices running.” ( Thanks to the Phrase Finder )

Now that I’ve squinted enough to really see the value contrasts this needed to make the shirt come alive, I’m probably an excellent candidate for Botox, Dermabrasion and a Wrinkle Fix. Crows feet, nothing: I’ve turned Pterodactyl .

But that squinting thing really helps see the large value areas. Thanks Leslie, of Leslie Paints  for suggesting I disregard the design-y thing on his shirt. I didn’t do the bib overalls but your suggestion got me here. I’m pretty pleased with the finish.

From behind, it looks like I really DID get my goat, but that’s just the long little doggie Cloud, cooling her nether regions on the tiles.

Her rear end looks more like it belongs in a package marked Tyson, yet there’s that rabbit tail, or whathaveyou extraneous goat parts hindquarter that defies a category.

These two don’t seem to care that it’s too hot to be enveloped in fur:

Nevermind- she dif” furs “.

“Enough, don’t you realize how hot it is? You tryin’ to get my goat ? “

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.

I’m In A New York City Of Mind

June 21, 2010

If it’s June, it must mean I’m in NYC again for my annual recharge.  Where even the Lowland Gorillas at the Bronx Zoo possess an attitude particular to the revered.

The trip coincided with Jeremy Lipkings one man show at the Arcadia Gallery which included a portrait demo by Jeremy that unfortunately could only be viewed effectively by Kobe Bryant. But still.. a stunning show.

A spectacular installation at the Met Roof Garden- ” Big Bambu ”  a growing structure soaring up to 100 feet high and added to on an ongoing basis.

Staying with my good friend Judy-of Lobo’s Rants, an artist as well, and fellow animal lover, which is evident in the montage of her pet portraits seen below:

Convened with fellow friends, frequent visitors to St. Croix and fellow bloggers Carol King of Carolkings Weblog  and Mary Schwalm of 2 Frames Per Second for our annual NYC reunion.

Still the towering symbol of achievement, success and hope, a sharp eye can catch a sardonic flip side of all that:

And a hint that maybe the end IS near?  Tonight’s forecast…..

This city is one long drink of everything you ever wanted which can sometimes lead to excess of stimulation resulting in impromptu naps.

During my last visit I encountered three people in unrelated places that were born on St. Croix and now living in NYC which confirmed what I’ve noticed since living on St. Croix: there is a strong link between the two places.

Proof.

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.

Legs

April 30, 2010

When seated, they become your lap. As is the case with these women. Taking in the throngs of people at Ag Fair last February and maybe sharing some thoughts about the changes they’ve seen over the years.

Aside from the one hand ( er, claw, ) in dead center, there was no erasing. You could C.S.I this canvas with a team of forensic experts and not find an erasure. Just that hand ( claw ). I didn’t intend for the sketch to : #1 come out so well, and #2 get this detailed. But it wouldn’t stop so neither did I. Getting to the painting phase next.

There are many, many legs here on St.Croix this week. We host the infamous Half Iron Man Triathlon which translates to this: A one and a half mile swim, jump on your bike and ride 50 miles part of which includes a 21 degree incline that goes on interminably, and then run a 13.1 miles. That hill is known as The Beast. I offer my CAR a sports drink when it takes me up that road.

Check out the survivors’ humorous description of this event- ( I suggest you sit down and pour a cold one  first ):

Unbelievably this event is up to 1,300 + entrants. It’s been unusually hot/humid and will make this course more horrific than it already is.

I’ll be folding my legs into lap formation, myself. Running my own game at the easel.

This guy never has to worry if he sprains an ankle during athletic endeavors.

With forgiveness, Pat , really I am so sorry you had to look at this and I know you’re asking yourself why would she even bother with her name and copyright as if someone would want to HAVE this thing!

Chili Peppers’ languid leg layover is one stretch away from careening him off the precipice of his perch. I couldn’t catch him and grab the camera. He remains to all of you, dignified. And aloft.