When I’m painting, the whole world seems to disappear. Lately, I’ve been putting on the Gaia channel, usually to some interview or another, and listen to it while I paint. Except that after about 10 minutes or so, I’m no longer listening; I’m just painting and focusing on color mixing and where the painting wants me to go next.
Since I’ve got a month between shows at the moment, I thought I’d put up a few eBay auctions on so paintings. As of this writing, I only have ACEO’s up, but I’d like to get some larger paintings up as well.
I have always loved ladybugs. I remember going out on the ranch when I was younger and looking for ladybugs. I’d talk to them, or rescue them if I found them in an area where it might be dangerous for them (they were down too low and the irrigation water was coming, they were in a patch of grass about to be invaded by swimmers coming in to set up for the swim meet, etc.). They use to come and land on me all the time; they still do, but not as frequently because I’m not outside as much. It was actually because one landed on me, sparking my memories, that I decided there would be ladybugs in this picture.
I suspect we’ll be seeing more ladybug pictures in the future. For now, I have started here.
Today is the last day for Twin Falls Art in the Park. I have several new pieces available (I am writing this a little ahead of time, so by the time this posts, they may have been sold – fingers crossed), but I wanted to give you a chance to see some of them. Especially since not everyone can just pop off to Twin Falls, Idaho, for the afternoon.
Then a similar piece done with a dragonfly.
And an old country gate.
Several other new pieces are there as well as my books.
Once again, I’m going to start with the last picture of the prior painting blog. This is where I was at when I started “fixing” the nebula. I almost stopped here, but I felt like the colors were too soft now.
Black needed added in.
I knew I needed to make the color more dramatic. It just felt too soft and everything blended without a draw for the eyes. So I intensified the hues with another layer. If you look carefully at the next picture, you can also see the splattering of stars.
Time for the final stars and highlights on several of them. There are 7 glittering stars in that sky created by the dreams of a tree.
Honestly, I never expected the nebula to give the problems that it did. I thought I had this.
Okay, here is the last picture from the last blog so you can recall what it looked like.
Here I blended the colors together. Oh, and I also added the sparkles to the tree which I wanted.
So I thought it was all well at this point. I just needed to add in some dark spots.
That was when I realized I had a mess. Giving the top a moment to dry, I filled in the ground beneath the tree. I wasn’t certain that I even wanted ground, but after I got it in, I decided that it had been the right thing to do.
I had the thought at this point that I wanted the nebula to reflect the colors of the tree. I went back to some reference pictures of nebulae and tried to decide what I wanted to do. Here’s what came about:
I’m going to leave this blog here for now. I’ll post the final on Saturday. As I will be out at the Jerome Music Booster craft show from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., you can come see the real deal there.
Progression paintings for the new 18″x24″ acrylic painting I’ve been working on.
I wanted a bright autumn tree against a dark sky showing signs of winter coming. Here’s the first layer:
The dark clouds in the sky felt way too dark. I tried repeatedly to get it to lighten up. You can see some of the background mountain and trees here too.
You can see the dark clouds lightened up quite a bit here and I’ve added the trunks for the trees I want to be in the mid-ground, Also working on the trees, brush, and ground on the left side of the painting.
I finally decided I had to quit tinkering with the dark background clouds and get to work on my main tree. I’ve put it in and a tree on the left a little closer in the foreground. Built up this grassy knoll on the left side too. I really didn’t know if I liked it or not, but why should the land be flat. I decided to let it be and see what developed with it. The fun is in the exploring, right?
The final painting. I pushed in more weeds around the grassy knoll, which did remain, but I discarded the second tree stump closest to the right side of the canvas. It just didn’t look good, especially when I started the younglings along the left side of the remaining tree.
I love how the road divides this, making it look like fall has taken a deep hold on the right side along with the incoming storm while the right side sees fall coming, but is holding out the last breaths of summer. Hmm, I wonder if that’s a good title for this painting. That, as of right now, hasn’t been decided.
I’m thinking about framing this up, but I haven’t gotten that far yet. It’ll have to wait until I get home from Wizarding Dayz.
Speaking of which, I should probably go continue getting ready for the show. I hope you enjoyed taking a look at the progression of this painting.
So I thought I was going to have a book cover reveal this week. Yep, that’s not happening, Life has blown this week out of the water. I’m counting myself fortunate enough to be doing this post, thought it’ll probably be short unless I find myself with something suddenly to say or rattling on like this sentence is. Yeah, I go off like that sometimes. *grin*
I thought I’d show you one of the paintings I finished last week. I do wish I had more work in progress pictures of it, but I wasn’t certain about this painting. It probably really hit rock bottom when I had just started it and my youngest son walked by and said, “So, Mom, what’s up with the eclipse and the alligator.”
Eclipse and alligator? Well he wasn’t wrong. Here’s sort of what he was seeing:
You see the “eclipse” at the top of the painting and the alligator at the bottom left. I do believe this is actually after he had made his comment and I had started a second coat, getting rid of the alligator’s open jaws so much. You can still see the two parts sticking out that originally made it’s mouth. Yep, can’t get much worse from there.
I wish I’d remembered to take a picture of the first layer when I started, but I really did feel like I’d messed it up right from the get-go. Then the eclipse and alligator really made me question it. But I had this burr that I really wanted to work with, to try this, to see what would happen. So I continued. That’s when I ended up with the picture above, and then this.
This is after a few more layers and some stars added. I was tempted to go with the angel look here, but I decided to hold to the idea I really wanted.
More layers, added so black back to it, and more stars. This is the finished piece.
I really want to do this, or something like this, on a larger canvas. I am having so much fun with these space nebulae. I’m learning something new with each one. It’s definitely been an interesting journey. I never thought I’d be creating these as beautiful as they are. My first attempts at nebulae were so awful. I’m glad the urge to continue attempting to paint these never abandoned me.
There are some weeks when I am just tired. Last week was one of them.
In trying to reboot my painting, I have several decisions to make. That lead me, of course, to research to find tools that will help me and that, obviously, leads me to testing several different tools to see which one(s) I like.
What frustrates me is that I had a tool I liked. It had years of data in it. I did want to clean it up some, maybe divide the database. But because of changes in technology, the program doesn’t work quite right any more. The company that developed it still has a website that for the last two years has asked for patience while they update their systems — they want to move to a cloud platform. However, I’m not sure they are serious about that any longer. I have exported the artwork data from the program, but it’s not easy to import without a lot of cleanup, mapping fields, and making it fit a new program.
With that experience, I don’t want to start something else that could potentially disappear or become obsolete. Which makes me think about paper files — good until a fire, or flood, etc.
So, it makes me leery to pull the trigger on anything. I don’t want something I will just end up rebuilding in seven to ten years. I realize that technology changes and that we have to have forward movement, but it seems like everything always needs constant updating and when a business no longer wishes to continue, they just close up. No one wants to build for a legacy, only for the current moment (and dollar, though I’ve read that the average lifespan of a solid business is about 30 years). It makes me tired.