Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quiet Time

Quiet Time, 7 x 5" watercolour on cotton paper

I miss these people.
I did this painting earlier this year, during my stay in Australia with my sister and her family. I was fiddling around with my watercolour paints at the table when they settled down to read. (The book is The Jesus Storybook Bible, in case you were curious :-) )

I just noticed the beautiful afternoon light coming in from the window, the long legs of my little nephew who's growing up so quickly, and petite niece with her big personality and sleepy eyes.
I began it then and there, and though they had long since run off to play by the time I finished, I hope I managed to capture a little bit of the moment.
Special thanks to my brother-in-law for pointing out that the chair had a handle for the footrest. Details! ;-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Summer Revisited

In body, I spent the day in a drafty house, wearing slippers and keeping the oven going to take the chill off. But in my mind's eye it was late summer again, with newly baled round-bales casting long shadows in the warm evening.
I'm using a plein air painting I did this summer as a reference, or study. I like doing this, as painting on location helps me get a better feel for the lighting, detail and layout of the landscape-- and also because my camera is an inveterate liar.
It's been a long time since I've been able to devote a whole day to painting, and it felt mighty good. And spending time with my crazy-fun family kept things interesting. Burnt coffee beans, anyone?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tale of the Koala Princess, part one

Yesterday I began the illustrations for what will hopefully become a charming bit of a book for my niece for her 4th birthday.
The story is a funny little improvised tale told to her one day by her mother. I loved it, and my niece's reaction to it, and have been wanting to illustrate it since
There are ten illustrations in all. Right now they're just in the ink stage, but I plan to complete them with watercolour soon.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Detail from a painting I've been working on today. I started it last Winter, using a sketch made last December as a reference, but it's been completely neglected since.
It has already been changed, smoothed out and touched up quite a bit from when this was taken earlier today. I actually kind of like it at this stage, and while I ultimately want it to look more finished and have more depth, I think I want it to retain a little bit of its roughness.
It's still got a long way to go before its completion. The reason only his head is shown is that he looked a little too much like Pop-eye in the arms. :-p I definitely want to work more on figures and improve in the areas of perspective and scale. I just need to convince more of my friends and loved ones that allowing me to paint them really IS a good idea!
I've been reading up on art history lately (i.e. skimming while flipping through and looking at all the pictures) and it's really inspired me to work harder at improving my painting. There is still so much beauty in this old world. I want the eyes to see it; I want the skill to share it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Tuckered Out

This blog is, sadly, only slightly more neglected than my painting has been.

The days are getting so much shorter as we approach winter, and I miss the sunshine already. But it's beautiful too.

I was hoping to do some plein air painting today, but since I couldn't seem to get warm indoors, the prospect of spending a few hours outdoors sitting in the wind just wasn't quite appealing enough.
So instead of painting the great out of doors, I began a small portrait of two very tired people. It's wonderful how subjects hold still when they're asleep. ;-) It needs some work yet, but the sunshine is gone.

4"x4" oil on linen