Sunday, September 27, 2009

EDM #242

EDM #242 - Draw your tzatchke.
12x16 '' Watercolor. 140 lb. Kilamanjaro block.

EDM challenge #242 was to draw your tzatchke (Yiddish for kitch, knick-knacks). These two objects are owned by my daughter, as she is becoming quite a collector of things. I've looked at these things on several occasions when considering still life objects from around the house but never actually drew or painted them. This challenge gave me that opportunity. The rooster seems to be from Portugal and is a really neat little piece of folk art. The glass piece (cast glass?) we've been calling the bluebird of happiness. Together they are part of countless objects that are scattered throughout our home. My daughter takes after her parents I'm afraid - none of us likes to get rid of anything.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

EDM #241

EDM Challenge #241 - Draw the view from your kitchen window.
12x16 watercolor

For the last 8 or 9 days it was dark. It was gloomy. And it rained. I think that because this view required me to stand and sorta lean over the counter while drawing and painting it literally took me days to do this one (actually I think it was because I had to do the dishes before I could work there). I chose this angle - I was thinking curves and counter curves in terms of composition: the sweeping curve of the driveway, that fake stained glass round thingy in the window then finally the shell. There are at least three more shells on the sill at home - but I ended up with one - man, I must be getting lazy in my old age!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Apple Challenge

High Country Apples
12x16 watercolor

This watercolor is in response to Jeanette Jobson's challenge on her blog Illustrated Life. I've tried painting apples with watercolors on several occasions in the past but was never really satisfied with them. I don't know what it was exactly, maybe something to do with the opacity of the reds and yellows that I was using. This time I determined to come up with an image that I felt better about - using more transparent yellows and reds. I do like this version better.

The sun finally came out after 8 or 9 cloudy rainy gloomy days in a row. I went outside and was able to take a few pictures of work that I completed this past week. It's nice to see some of this work finally see the light of day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

EDM #240

EDM #240 - Draw a Pencil.
12x16 Mixed media; collage, dyes, gesso, interesting paper, graphite.

Here is my drawing for this weeks EDM's challenge. The image consists primarily of a rubbing of about 14 pencils on a tracing kinda paper that gave me the transparency over dyes and gesso as a general background. The actual drawing of the pencil is on rice paper - which is also semi-transparent.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Virtual Paintout - Lisbon, Portugal

Virtual Paint Out - September - Lisbon, Portugal
Pantaeo Nacional from Travessa do Paradaiso.
12x16 watercolor on 140 lb Kilimanjaro block.

This is my second attempt at the monthly painting challenge where you choose as your source images obtained from Google's Map Street View (for more info see my blog list). I found Lisbon to be very close - meaning that it was hard for me to find any long range views of this beautiful city's monuments. The whole place is stunning. I chose this view because of the Pantheon in the background. In my attempt to find views that showed both the monument and something that suggested interesting compositional possibilities I came to this scene. There were no cars to fake out of the image - and whatever vehicle the Google folks use for the photography must have just startled several pigeons - here are two taking flight, providing an interesting focus.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Different Strokes Week 46 - 48

Mixed media, 12x16 300 lb. Kilimanjaro block

This is my first attempt at the Different Strokes from Different Folks blog biweekly challenge. The photograph everyone interpreted has to do with its one year anniversary. This is another challenge blog that my wife brought to my attention. Check it out because of the quality of images and varied interpretations that you see here.

In this painting I used RIT dye, watercolor, rice paper, acrylic, gesso and graphite. It was fun to do because it's been a while since I worked in this mixed media mode. I'm still adding older images to my Flickr photostream when I get the chance - maybe you will begin to catch some glimpses of my mixed media work (click on slideshow thingy on right then click on my photostream).

Thursday, September 3, 2009

EDM #239

EDM challenge #239 - Draw something that has scared you.
12x16 Kilamanjaro 140 lb. wc paper; watercolor, india ink, gesso, graphite

When I think back to all of the things that have scared me I thought of a few particular things. The one that stood out that was perhaps not too uncomfortably revealing was the film Wizard of Oz. I think that it is amazing that this film is still being shown on TV every year, and speaks to how it has become canon in the American cultural vernacular. How many of us have the shared experience of watching this film as a child hidden behind couch pillows, or peering from around the living room furniture, or even leaving the room at certain points - yet maintaining to friends the next day at school that you sat through the whole thing unafraid. Having two older brothers also put this weird sorta pressure on me to endure something that given the "choice" I would rather had not. Then you get the opportunity to see your own child react the same way to the same film, which somehow reinforces everything that you remember about your own childhood.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blue Ridge Sketchers #2

Carriage House at Moses Cone Manor
12x16 Kilamanjaro 140 lb. block

We had a very nice outing last Sunday - the weather was absolutely stunning - one of those perfect early early autumn days. The trees look like they know what's to come. The sugar maples have started turning as usual. We've had a lot of rain this summer, and depending on what source you read that could mean an excellent autumn leaf season (or not). I've always loved this carriage house and knew that I would paint it at some time, but never before had taken the time to do it.

The painting got off to a good enough start, sitting in the shade under a very old and majestic maple tree. As usual I did not finish it in the 2 hours that we plan for these outings. It took me half the time to struggle with the drawing. Sitting below on a hillside, I was looking up at the house. (I struggle with teaching perspective because it isn't one of my favorite things to teach). Well, getting it home I killed it. There are parts of it I like, but, ya win some and ya lose some I guess - but, here it is anyway. I'll be back as we say...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Janet's Piece

12x16" watercolor on Kilamanjaro 300 lb. block

This is a piece that I did for a very good friend who showed me an unexpected kindness. My friend goes down to Florida to give a presentation on the Summer Reading program that we have at our school. She buys a book, the youth reader version of Greg Mortenson's Three Cups of Tea, and has Mr. Mortenson sign the copy for my daughter. I didn't know he was to be there. What a thoughtful gift. So I wanted to reciprocate. I asked my friend to give me one of her favorite photo's and didn't tell her why (although I'm sure she had guessed knowing me so well), just that it had to be one or her favorites. This is the image that she gave me and the result.

I wanted to do this painting because I knew she would be touched by it no matter what I did or what it looked like. I didn't worry even a little that she might be disappointed. Maybe because it was my idea in the first place. But I like to think that it involves something bigger - you know, the nature of friendship or something. Peace.

P.S. I get to meet Greg Mortenson when he comes to our school to speak in a couple of weeks.