Ah, lovely! I, too have an intense curiosity about how things work. Sometimes I have to be careful to not be taken in by pseudo-scientific sounding jargoons. I liked what you found about the water-molecules vs oils sizes, etc. Sounds good. I believe that Winsor Newton included a special medium in the set of ws oils I tried out. But it was still a pain (for me) to work with. I just can’t let myself trust them (the ws oils, that is, I use Winsor Newton watercolours and no other shall touch my brush :solemn oath:)
agreed! Rabit skin glue, for instance is notorious for absorbing and releasing moisture form the air, therefore expanding/contracting and causing the more rigid oil paint layer to crack and sometimes peel --but only if used on stretched canvas, usually linen. Also egg yolk tempera?! no wonder there are so many cockroaches ! (also mice, although the lead in the paint ground would have killed them off.) Also most of those old dead guys gound their own pigments in their mediums --very unhealthy! If you can find it there is a french film about Turner that shows his father grinding Cadmium yellow with a hand grinder with his bare hands. Fascinating film.
Long periods of stress can do that to you. I’m glad you got to get some relief. Funny how I can get pretty Grah! over a paddage in a painting that just isn’t working but the very act of painting daily, even something small like 5x7", or part of a larger one, tends to mellow me out over all. If I don’t paint for a few days, I become unfit for human consumption. lol
Sweet, sweet, loot!
And I’m with you! Autumn is my favourite time for painting outdoors from life.
I would have pulled out my phone and videoed that SO FAST! And the weird mail thief story… Wow! You are living in a Chinese proverb!
Anyway, it IS Autumn and the sun is shining. I’m off to put a second isolation coat on that sold painting, then go outside to paint!
I’m enjoying these discussions with you. Thanks so much!
I decided to put off my quest for brushes until Monday, and yesterday I got up a bit early because a friend was coming over to look at my deck which is in serious need of repair. But it was raining, so I should have taken a cue from that and slept in a bit more, but I had a headache. Meh. So the day was a bit hamstrung creatively from the start. Even after nearly ten cups of coffee and tea! Yoikes…
I’m still intimidated by the simplest challenge. I sketched out what I wanted Sunday, but it was too big, and I didn’t feel the need to go to a bigger canvas for what was going to be a fairly basic painting, something which fit my story while also greasing my wheels to leap to higher challenges. So I erased part of what I’d done and began doodling a smaller version which in some ways was better, but then it merged with the bigger section, and I was reluctant to deal with it. But it was just too freaking big. It took an effort to erase it all to start from scratch, and I took a pic of it to use as a reference - as if I really need a reference for simple geometric shapes, but I feel like I need a crutch. Maybe as many as I can have right now.
It seems that I’m going through the same sort of angst that Sir TravelerEcho did a while ago, where everything I try just sucks a little too much because (insert beloved icon here) is SO much better at everything, probably breathing too, and I feel inadequate. Is there a male version of menopause?
But I came home with more than I intended - more than double, in fact. Maybe $40 in brushes became $110 in brushes, artboards and a tube of Holbein Indanthrene Blue I didn’t really need, for $15 no less. I really need to stop acting like I have mad money to fling around madly. But it’s a very dark blue, not a hue, and Holbein is one of the very few who make it, and I’d prefer a nice dark blue I’m not whipping up in my ham fisted way with burnt umber or black. Oh well, Playstation 5 might have to wait till next year. And if you guys really want a pic, I’ll edit one in. Some of the brushes have a nice sparkle luster in the lacquer.
With a bit of tea in my bloodstream this morning, after a coffee, I’ll see about grabbing this bull - or calf - by the horns - or pet it fondly, and HOPEFULLY lay some paint down on canvas after lunch.
And… oh, what the heck. Who doesn’t love sharing family photos?
I’m paying attention to my resizing settings in Paint-dot-net this time, so the quality looks better (inadvertent linkie edited).
Unfortunately, the sun shifted way south already so it no longer shines in the window - after all of several days! But at least it won’t be a nuisance again till late spring. The boards were more of the same. Some of the listings state that the Ampersand Clayboards are good for everything from watercolor to oils, at archival quality. I’m holding them to that with a gun. A Nerf Gun, but still. And for grins, I took some pics on my walk yesterday of local scenery, including a Church that sits in a scenic sweep of land. The midwest has some lovely scenery all over the place, zillions of little nooks and cranies of beautiful creation just waiting to be admired. And that term. “Midwest” seems to define 3/4 of America!
I might paint those someday, either in oils or some new Golden Open Acrylics I’m likely going to splurge on next year.
Oh poo gas, and I noticed that it’s going on a month and a half since the last chapter. I want to get back to the fic too and spend more time with my virtual chums. And bear with the start of this one, I’m spending some time in the daily lives of my friends for a bit, but I love exploring what these alien beings are like, both lawful and rogue. And what the heck, more to read while you wait for chapter 14.
I found this week’s offering from Ian Roberts really helpful. He is one of the best teachers of drawing, painting, and composition out there. I love his emphasis on structure in most of his vids to match with my own perspective. ← (see what I did there?)
There is no such thing. lol Chalenge is by definition challenging. And every time we put pencil to paper, or paint to panel, the challenge is real. It never gets easy (just a little easier). Also it takes real courage to wipe out/erase/gesso over when we know it’s time to start over.
I have often had to keep myself away from shopping for art supplies when I’m feeling inadequate about my skill level as a painter (and yeah as a human being even. Something about buying art supplies is a lot like for some women feeling blue buying another pair of shows (to add to the hundred already in their closet). Male Menopause --lol! guys get prostrate problems I believe… Not quite the same as the emotional/physical symptoms of the Meno-Forever… But not so happy-making an aging problem either.
Indanthrene Blue is a gorgeous pigment. it is a semi-transparent blue, iirc. I can’t remember its PB number. It is a favorite of some prominent painters. (I looked it up: PB60) It has slightly more tinting strength than ultramarine (PB29), so it may need a bit of getting used to. The upside is that the tube will last longer.
Nice looking brushes. I especially like the ones with the black ferrules. Saves on the eye-glare.
Nice shots of the “midwest” ;`) You could make at least two paintings from that first one if you cropped it from the left by a quarter of the pic or from the right, although that branch on the tree (smack dab centre!) leads the viewer’s eye right out of the painting into the next guy’s painting. “Hey! look over there!” I love trees!
The second shot has a smeaky shadow pointing out of the picture plane, too! Gotta watch those ninja shadows! ;`)
The third one is is an excellent reference photo. The streak of light leads the eye into the picture and holds steady at the smaller green tree in the light as a central focal area. Very nice! I’d love to see what you do with it.
How do you feel about going out and painting directly from life? It really is one of the best ways to practise painting, and for making studies to take back to the studio for reference material, Much better than using a camera, though I do both.
Is the fifth pic taken on a golf course? You could call it “Holy Hole-In-One”. Ah well… :`)
The creative life is full of pitfalls (Admiral Ackbar voice:“It’s a TRAAAP!” The worst of which, for me, is having too many creative irons in the fire. Music, compositions/songwriting, story and essay writing, cartooning, illustration, painting; there aren’t enough hours in a day, days in a year, years in a lifetime to do it all. I keep trying though. I have cut back most of everything but painting and essay writing, and I keep a daily journal of my painting process. I find that the keeping process notes is very helpful to keep me sane during this lifetime of learning.
Indeed. We both seem to enjoy the “wall of text” and images approach.
I learned something extraordinary this week. To give some background first, I have not been in the habit of varnishing finished work. A. don’t want to spend the time/money on that until someone want to buy, and since I haven’t been showing, that is a rarity. b. For decades I believed Acrylics didn’t require varnishing (I was wrong about that). But since I sold this pirce, I ordered some of Golden’s Isolation Coat, got a new synthetic varnishing brush from the hardware store, and got the first coat on it. It was almost shocking what a difference it made. I’m sure you know that each pigment dries/cures to a different level of shininess. some dry duller and flatter (another reason I only use blacks/darks mixed from my limited palette). So I have always felt somewhat disappointed by how my paintings looked when done. I feel somewhat embarrassed at my lack of realisation here. Not being academy trained, it never occurred to me that other painter;s works looked so much better than mine because they had been varnished, and therefore had a uniform surface sheen and more depth to the colours! This is also what the isolation coat does for acrylics, and what “oiling out” does for oils, while waiting for the final coat of varnish for either, though some acrylic painters just put a few layers of isolation coat on and don’t bother varnishing.
When I saw what that coat had done for my painting, I literally slapped myself upside the head!I It made such a huge difference! I realised I could have sold it for double the price, though now I wanted to keep it forever. lol (I won’t because it is going to an awesome collector) I immediately grabbed a handful of my smaller acrylic paintings (6x6" and 5x7") and brushed on a layer of isolation coat. OMG! I’m still shaking my head and laughing at myself! The penny has dropped. I got it. And hey! Nice to know I’m a better painter than I thought I was. (Not great, just better)
And I enjoy reading all of it.
Nice video on figure drawing. I have never been drawn (see what I did there?) to the human figure. (sorry) But I have always enjoyed glass. There is so much reflection and refraction going on and then there are the items that may be on the other side or inside, as in a lamp. So much fun to draw. Drawing something like that is kind of like working a jigsaw puzzle in reverse. Working out what I see and then working out how the glass is affecting what I see and then drawing in high contrast like charcoal or conte crayon on colored paper. That way, I can ignore all color and just focus on the highlights and the shadows.
Carry on you two!
I agree totally! I also love glass and I have a number of abstracts painted from references like old window glass with storm windows outside and dust and grime and unpredictable and shadowy reflections and refractions, including the photographer. Interiors and exteriors all at once. So cool. I took a reference shot through a large dimpled plain glass lamp last week and it already looks like a painting.
That sounds awesome? I’d love to see those.
Glad you are enjoying these discussions!
I will look for a drawing I believe is still stuffed away behind a mountain of Legos. It’s of an old kerosene lamp.
Been reading @Timsup2nothin 's book. Laughing and thinking about all the empty car lots these days. I bought a brand new, completely over-priced car just 1 month before lockdown started. Worst timing in my life. The upside being, almost 2 years have passed. The service department at the dealership has seen me only twice. Once for a recall repair and once for an oil change and a free tire rotation. My next oil change visit will involve another recall repair. I’m sure they will be delighted to see me. At the rate things are moving, I may still be under warranty by the time I pay the thing off.
Actually, I’ve been up and mobile, quite mobile, while feeling a bit… disheveled. Another night headache, possibly / prob from some new supplements that might not be agreeing with me. Such is life.
Coffee brewed and two cups down, and back to my favorite past time, blogging. Just after having a cup and taking a peek at the world news - bad mistake - my friend showed up, hyperventilating that he needed $31 because he took me to the store yesterday for some groceries on his card, but he used his debit by mistake, or something, and was broke. Pot heads… oh well, I couldn’t afford to pay him for the recent work around the house, and he’s a swell mixed bag of a chum.
But that out of the way now, I’m burning to at least feel creative today. The weather is brisk and fallish, which invigorates me in spite of the cloudy skies. I’ll just need some extra photons in the studio.
@TravelEcho esq (many many things - I should nickname you Tom Terrific or something cool)
I’ve been putting off checking out that video, though I have a feeling I should dive in to all of them from your praiseworthy remarks of him. I keep threatening to be “creative,” but life intrudes. Your remarks about challenges are gratefully received. It was a challenge to gesso over the work on the house I’d done so far. And of course that wiped out most of the detail I was hoping to use as a guide to marker in my details, permanent of course, and re-gessoed. I figured, more layers will eventually get me there, but it was a self-feeding loop of wrongness, so I had to scrap it. Wood… GRAH! But I think with a fresh start, I can manage it this time. Right??
I must take after people like Alice Cooper who has an addictive personality. In his estate, he had 27 HDTVs at his last count, and I doubt that included his kids’. I have a brush, but one of the same type at the store has such a beautiful shaft! And wow, this shade of golden brown, it’s so rich… meh, I’m hopeless. At least I had enough sense to say to myself like Officer Cosgrove, “Awright, knock it off.” I didn’t need those boards, but I’m determined that I will. And I need to go back to that post about the tube of Holbein. I meant to type “I don’t think anyone else makes it,” but it came out definite. And I’m not a touch typist, letting my fingers think for me, I’m just… special like that. But I have a feeling that the indanthrene will come in very handy with night scenes and possibly ocean studies, where the sea can have all kinds of hues from green to deep indigo.
The images with the trees are in a little run between housing projects I hope isn’t disturbed for a small eternity. Being near a creek, it seems no one wants to build close for dampness, mosquitos and whatever factors. So it remains undisturbed and usually empty of people, with a walk/bikeway across the road to attract them. And so many times, I’d pass it in the evening as sunset approached, and thought of how one of the renowned landscape artists would capture it on canvass, when one day it struck me, why not me? So I remembered to grab a camera when the sun was at a splendid angle and snapped those pics, and a few more. That one tree in the first image is… unusual. I’d say a bit ugly rather than characterful or some polite term. If I do it, I might pretty it up a bit. Art is all about interpretation, no? But then there is that realism thing… things to ponder. It’s also funny how it and the tree behind it both have long branches stretching to the right in an almost Seussian way. "Oh, but have you looked over there?
I have thought about doing a location painting, after watching so many plein air videos. The thing is, particularly with fall, there’s the factor of the sun setting quickly this time of year, so that particular setting might last 15 or 20 minutes at most. Then again, there’s the opportunity to blend times just a scouche, maybe this lighting here, those shadows there… that interpretation thing again. What amazes me is the perseverance of winter scene artists, with their paints out in the cold air like that. I guess they must stay fairly creamy, or they add more thinners.
I love those shadows. I might leave them be, while hopefully not letting my own ninja itself in. And that Church is classic, simple and modren but with its own panache. And the grounds are just a large open plot, but it does look quite like a golf course, doesn’t it? I wonder if a 1 flag in place of that light would suit it…
You sound amazingly like me with each post, a fellow polymorph. I’m almost exactly the same, though technically this is my first “blog.” If I can manage to get a piece of music done that I’m happy with, I’ll have to post it on Soundcloud. I’ve dabbled with cartooning, but my own style is eluding me, and there’s that frustration over the human-oid figure… ooh, a video link! I need a 30 hour day myself.
My dream is that one day, because of a slippage in dimensional fabrics, branes or whatever, I fall through the weave between realities, and I end up in a realm reflective of some beloved science/fantasy story. And somehow a bit younger and better looking, athletical and all that wishy stuff. Maybe with a cute alien babe, a Seri or whatever.
I love having an active board like this, where I can do impromptu quotes, watch as people reply in real time, etc.
For one last bit, what do you use to varnish your oils? I see no shortage of acrylic products, but in my brief look, I’ve only found one Liquitex varnish good for everything. It needs mineral spirits or turpentine, but I’m good with that. Maybe the Gamblins I didn’t check out… and using a wax polish on watercolor, I’ll definitely have to get some of that.
One more quick edit. While the (insert derogatory term here) elites ruling us drive me up a crazy wall, speaking of humanity in general, I can understand a bit of the whole banning petro-based solvents and genuine oils from a number of institutions. But not completely. This “saving us from ourselves” thing has gotten way out of hand. But for one silver lining thing, it gives everyone a chance to experience the joys and pitfalls of water soluble oils, and really, the art world in general who tried some loves the stuff. After not doing anything in oils for ages, I didn’t have any real adjustment, which I most likely would find to be subtle anyhow. I love mine to the point I might not buy those Golden Open Acrylics after all. But being an addictive sot, that remains to be seen…
(Eh, bummer bit removed, I’m feeling a bit grumpy from bad fiction and a brain dead human race) I’m so cheerful sometimes.
As for that hawk and squirrel scene, I don’t keep my phone on me and I was afraid to leave the open window. But maybe some quick studies of that are in order sometime. I remember it quite vividly.
And as for Lady SheralMyst, haven’t you promised to share more of your work one of these posts?? Sorry, you know by now what an ornery cuss I can be. I look forward to the unveiling.
I really really REALLY want to get back to my chapter, after viewing a particularly disheartening scene from last night of an online comic I stumbled across a few weeks ago, and that… the… aaugh. And I thought I was hard on my characters. This fanfic has captured my heart as much as an original work, and… well, it is original in many ways. It definitely takes this beloved alternate reality many of us call home in a strikingly unique direction, with a character who I’m bringing to life as cohesively as possible, for me. I imagine myself in every situation so I can experience and document my reactions and feelings. This is how I approach all my work, so it tends to be a wee touch more lifelike, and quite meaningful for me. Ah, my friends, what incredible troubles await them…
Oh well, time for tea, and creativitee, dum de dum, de dum.
I’ve been following this little topic with some interest of late as although I’m not a good drawer but enjoy art of all sorts.
For me ‘upcycling’ is a prominent hobby, largely inspired by my grandfathers ingenuity regarding the repurposing of whatever was nearby.
As you approach my home through the forest track that leads there, a visitor will notice an interesting old trailer that looks like it was parked one day & never moved again. (That’s because it was! The hitch became too worn to safely work anymore & the ancient timbers were splitting everywhere).
Normally a person would scrap this but I’m fond of it because my grandfather built it & travelled the country with it. It’s a little slice of family history.
It was built from the chassis of a junked Studebaker, timber from an old cart, with fenders, wheels & (presumably) axles from an old British truck. The old farm logo can be still seen on the side & it embodies much of my own personal philosophy of reusing & repurposing instead of discarding.
Further along is an an open shed: Parked inside is my up old pick up, which has cargo racks of multiple different vehicles, a tarpaulin made out of a trampoline mat but is otherwise fairly normal. Beside this is a small cut down 4wd that has been repeatedly reworked & converted to serious off road property use & despite looking like a junkyard relic (& painted all over as a way of testing airbrushing techniques), it too has a long family history & is in regular, reliable use.
But these are just tools.
Up in my workshop is where the ‘hobby’ really gets going:Sometimes, I have old timber furniture in different fazes of being refurbished. I like the weathered look but I always finish things of in generous layers of clear to preserve their look.
To one side is my ‘arty bench’ where I cobble together lamps & sculptures & clocks or whatever takes my interest that week. All of these things are made from interesting salvaged metal, sometimes complimented with dark stained timber. It a weird mix of steam punk meets Fury Road but over time I’ve developed my own ‘style’. Certainly not to everybody’s taste but it seems well recieved among my family.
Our gardens & home have many of these refurbished furniture & metal creations scattered about but I’m always very careful to ensure it never looks like a rubbish pile. I’ve found careful placement of sculptures & plants in conjunction with well maintained gardens helps ensure it looks nice. For example, there’s a ostrich looking sculpture in our garden built out of engine parts & horseshoes, which I call The Chicken. I don’t particularly like it but it suits the position well, peering out from between the flowers.
I actually prefer the clocks & lamps as they perform a function & in this I find their aesthetic design becomes more entwined with their intended use so the final result is more pleasing.
My most personally satisfying hobby out of all this has been ‘rat’ bikes. Essentially taking a damaged motorcycle wreck & rebuilding it back to servicable standard using whatever I have in my sheds, all the while adding my own flavour of upcycling.
For my ‘rat’ projects, I follow the simple principle ‘what have I got that I can use to fix this’ with a bit of sense of Mad Max humour mixed in.
Unlike the typical Google search ‘rat’ bike which are often matt black or covered in various junk, mine are rarely painted at all beyond a tiny touch up (in whatever colour I grab). The scratches & rust are part of the style, as is not bothering to match things symmetrically. I generally get rid of as much plastic as I can & I have been known to completely rebuild parts out of metal scraps to avoid keeping plastic.
My daughter is a bit OCD about symmetry so I’ll ask her what she thinks of something I’ve done & I’ll know immediately if I’ve got it right if she gives me that look and tells me she hates it.
Safety, however is not a point of compromise. Tyres & brakes are always new equipment although I may disguise them with a bit of aesthetic distressing so as to not make a ‘clean spot’
I recently sold one of my favourite ‘rats’ for more than double of the value of an equivalent standard model simply because the guy fell in love with it & ‘had to have it’.
Another, I sold purely as an ornament: It had so many problems it simply wasn’t feasible to fix but it was a great looking bike & I’d already put a lot into it.
I left it mostly rusty bare metal & dull black but in this instance I took a huge amount of care in professionally painting the wheels Monza red like an old hot rod. I then added all my usual improvised arty bits to complete the illusion & it was snapped up by an enthusiastic guy who owned a bar or something.
So anyway, that’s my little contribution to this topic. I make ugly stuff out of broken stuff but if I get it right it looks like cool stuff
I had to fend off chatting with my brother, who’s a permanent fixture in Japan now. He misses me terribly, and resents a long stretch in which I was either too tired or too depressed to talk with him. Eh, I’m blathering. Anyhow, I enjoyed reading all of that. But… you know, I was expecting pics at the end…
I started digging thru my past hidden in the back of a closet and ran across a High School project. It was a competition which I was no part of until they realized they needed an artist. The artist then had only 4 days to reproduce 4 Van Gogh’s…rrrriiiight…that’s what I told them. I gave it all I could muster in light of the fact that I was appointed out of desperation. Anyway, here is one of the paintings (yes, they were still wet when they were loaded up for the trip)
That is some exquisite work, my lady. I have to tell the world to go mess itself over tomorrow and leave me alone. Thursday, I’m darn well going to be flocking creative, dammit! And, loving it. (Max Smart reference)
And I have to remember to reply to a post if I want their attention. It’s why I deleted the first one, meh.
Well firstly; That string of incredible artwork is a very hard act to follow, as the stuff I do is so rough compared to beautiful work like that.
Next, because I’m old(er) I tend to forget I have a fancy camera phone in my pocket so I rarely take pics of anything (other than dismantling pics so I can remember how something was assembled).
I do have a couple of older pics though so here you go.
Be gentle; I’m super shy about my creations which is why most never leave my home.
The Dog now resides at a close relative’s home & amusingly has his own little feed bowl.
Goodness, why are you shy about that? Those are some nice works. I was expecting more than that, like your truck and maybe some of those legendary motorcycles. Or The Chicken?
That’s some really nice stuff. And you see my… ahem… circle up there. I promise to try and turn that circle into something worth painting today. I’ll put off writing until I do some music this weekend. Or not…
Just peeking in until my body wants to sleep again. It’s being grumpy at Soul’s Midnight.
I would really love to see some of these, if not irl at least some photos? ;`) I just love the whole idea!
I limit myself >.>
I keep every bit of packing material I receive so as to use them to pack up sold paintings. I also invent new painting-related stuff, first from sketches and then make a prototype(Mal calls them my Kluges–lol) from cardboard, tape, and wire. But that is as far as things get. Although I did invent a table-top easel and Mal built it for me, that works very well.
I love the sound of the sculptures and “rats” and other cool stuff you (and your grandfather) create! The world needs more people who can take the broken things and create something new. Even “ugliness” has it’s own beauty, if it is made with love.
OMG! He’s adorable!!! (and I do not use exclamation pints lightly) Dr. Who’s K( would love to have him for a friend.
I would love to have one of those as a doorstop, or any where else in my house, just to look at it and appreciate the love and imagination that went into its creation.
I can’t imagine anyone not loving the works you create. They are beautiful works of art! Thank you for showing them to us.
:edit: We have had so much rain here all summer that today the sun was shining and I couldn’t wait to get outside and and make a small study. The minute I was ready to do so, the lights went out. I had to go find my light puck so I could find the right paints tubes and squeeze some out onto my palette (not easy when you have to hold the light with one hand. lol One of the tube lids got away on me and I had to crawl around the studio floor to find it. By the time I got outside it was 4:30pm and the light/shadow was changing fast. I worked in a frenzy, and forgot to take a photo of the scene as a reference before starting. So I will have to so that tomorrow if the sun decides to visit us again. It’s late now so I will post a pic of my little oil study tomorrow if you are interested.
Thank you for your kind words, all of you. It is inspirational when stuff you enjoy making is enjoyed by others. Makes me want to do more. I’m a bit cranky at myself now for not taking more proper pics. Nevermind, I’ll remember this in future.
Can I suggest you add a headlamp from a camping store into your kit.
I have one in my pick up & when working alone & it is getting dark, it is so much better than trying to juggle a conventional flashlight or lantern. LEDS are so efficient now too so batteries are only an occasional purchase.