I haven't been posting lately because I have been struggling with portraits, context, and a renewed interest in oil and acrylic. It is a struggle to start new concepts all at once and a little depressing as well. It is a daily struggle to keep up the creative juices and leave the where am I going with this? question that doesn't seem to get resolved. I tell myself I need a break but that only gets me more unmotivated. My mind is cluttered with too many ideas unfulfilled and I become a master of my own demons. Above is a new technique in acrylic. To relieve myself of the tightness that begins to build when working on a piece for waaaay too long.
Then there is the "back to what you are comfortable with"....breaks in between the days of misery.
I like the snow scenes but sometimes with all the snow day after day you just have to bring in a little dreaming of summers to come.
I have been working on another portrait but it seems to be stalled. I hate it when I spend so much time on something that is not turning out. So I have a piece of black pastel paper stuck to the easel so I can just pick up a pastel and actually finish an image.
This one is 12x12 pastel on paper.
RIP Eric Martens 1949-2016
"Eric Before the Blackpowder Shoot"
A dear artist friend, that I will miss dearly, passed on New Years Eve of 2106.
Eric was a mentor of sorts. He was always interested in inviting as many people to figure drawing as possible. He wanted us to succeed as an artist and hone our craft by doing. His welcoming invites lead me to getting to know a whole new group of artists in my community. Without his contact we would still be strangers.
Although I was well intentioned in painting Eric in pastel I ended in producing an oil. You see I promised Eric I would do a portrait of him in his black powder gear. I never did set up a photo session with him but did get some casual shots when he was on a black powder weekend. I also promised I would like to try oils but I was waiting for winter to fall before settling in on a new medium. So Eric. This one is for you. My first oil painting along with your portrait.
So sorry I lagged in my promise and you did not get to see it.
I had promised myself to take up oil painting in the winter. Well I pulled them out. I'm not sure how long this will last as it is another new learning (or relearning) curve. I need to relearn how to use the brushwork and the horribly slow process of mixing color and "thinking" again. I must admit I started with an experiment in acrylic and really disliked the consistency and "stickyness" or feel of the paint. So as quickly as I brought a few tubes out I put them right back again. Next, out comes the oil. I figure the self portraits are as good a difficult subject to start an ever so difficult medium. I started with a black and white in oil. Charcoal sketch first then, oil over top. This finished sketch is only about an hour and 15 minutes. I am finding out my attention span does not hold for much longer than that.
Oh my. Seeing it in digital format brings a whole new meaning to consternation. Terrified, amazement? Perhaps. I can see the wheels turning, not to mention the beginnings of what seem to be a stroke. Eyes uneven and a look of chewing on the side of my cheek....Boy this is going to be fun.
This is my first color sketch in oil. I had some colors out and wanted to use them up. As you can see at the top of the canvas I was practicing how colors mix and how much thinner and what it looks like scumbling. I was just getting a feel for brush on canvas it. The color sketch did not start with charcoal. I did a quick line sketch, block in and just mixed light and dark colors I had on the palette just to use them up. There was no thinking on the part of color theory as you can tell. At this point I'm just getting used to brushwork once again. Once I get the "feel" for it I think I'll be ok. I just really need the mindset to work at it and not give up or think I will become a pro in a few days.That is really the hard part of the whole process. Not to give up.
It is really hard to keep up. A busy time of year. Much of the smaller sketches I've done I have forgotten to take pictures. The year is winding down now and perhaps I can once again begin a new routine that may get me further than the spits a spurts happening so far. I guess I will begin with the current and running shows.
The La Belle Mansion in Pincher Creek is showing The Outsiders group show (of which I am a part).
"Come Walk With Us" runs until January of 2017.
En Plein Air 2016 at the Penney Gallery downtown Lethbridge until December 23, 2016
University of Lethbridge 50th Anniversary 50+art series, showing January 2017
This will probably be my last commissioned pet portrait. Although I thought I may make a bit of money doing these portraits I have yet to have one purchased. They are all done as gifts for friends. I am at a point now to just work on projects of interest to me.
It is nice to make friends happy though.
I hope all have a Merry Christmas and we will see what comes in the New Year.
How to Pastel 31/31 challenge. 1/2 way point.
Day 16, 17, 18, 19 of the How to Pastel challenge.
10 x10 pastel on panel
Open field #3
10x10 open field pastel on board.
10x10 open field pastel on board