Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tea and Peonies plus DPW May 21 Challenge

 "Tea with Nancee's Peonies"
12x16 oil on canvas

I don't know either.  I shake my head at myself often because of how I go about things!  I painted a dark ground on a 12x16 canvas about 2 years ago (an insane value 6,I think).  I prefer painting portraits emerging from a dark background and I seem to remember I meant to paint a self portrait on it...but things come up and that's when my art plans get set aside. 

Anyway, I got tired of looking at it where it might get punctured at some point so I just grabbed it and decided to set up a still life with peony cuttings from my neighbor's rich garden.  She was in China for two weeks and right before she left she told me I could have all the peonies I wanted!  Believe me, I've been indeed enjoying them!  They are a pleasure to look at, to touch and they have a light scent about them.  Heaven would have peonies!  I've also been trying to paint them but visually I get so challenged I think due to my double vision that I get overwhelmed so a freeze.

Side note...I recently saw a youtube video about an autistic young woman who learned to communicate by computer because communicating directly with people is very distracting to her.  She says she gets overstimulated visually and audibly so it makes her nuts.  This is how I feel about anyhing that seems too much.  I do have double vision but I also seem to get overstimulated by things that it's like looking through shattered glass.  This is why I have to be blasted with light to when I'm trying to see something.  I don't deal with email and bills well either - but that's not unusual is it?  But actually the shortcut to it all is taking Excedrin which seems to smooth my focus together.  However I don't let myself get dependent; it's been 3 months since I took one.  But when I desperately need to meet a deadline, I do give in.  Ooookay!

Anyway, looks like I succeeded (to my satisfaction) and I've actually utilized the faithful canvas that stayed in shape for me waiting to be painted on for two years!  I'm grateful :)

 The scary Dark Ages, I had to paint with Cadmium red light to see my markings.
 Beginning to take shape *whew*

 Ahh yes, I was definitely beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel!  You wonder how I see with that big floppy hat lol  The light puts glare on my glasses and I get headache from baseball cap so I like to use something I hardly feel is on my head.

 Self Portriat
6x6 oil on linen
This is the value challenge from DPW.  Sometimes I do underpaint with umber, white and ivory black but the challenge only allowed for umber.  It was VERY uncomfortable!!  But I will forge forward and finish this portrait in color (because my Mom, who will be visiting starting Sunday, especially requested).  And I will also make it look more like me promise!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

DPW Week May 7 Vegetable Challenge

"Tired Peony and its Vegetable Friends" 10x6 watercolors
This week's Daily Paintworks challenge is to paint vegetables from life.  I wasn't sure how I'd like the challenge, especially using watercolors.  I tend to think in oils when I consider painting still life.  But I think the rich color transitions made this project fun.

Lately I've been feeling like my stamina is being rationed.  I'd basically think about setting up a still life for painting and before I know it, I'm exhausted just running around gathering objects!  Sometimes I get tired just thinking about what objects I want to use!  Maybe it's because it's spring time.  I always suffer stimulation overload in the spring because of all the flowers I want to paint and the pressure of them fading soon if I don't save a block of time to paint them!  Then torment myself with the feeling I don't know how to paint flowers.  It's a laughable situation but a real torture sometimes!  So there you go, a tired peony and its vegetable friends!  I was tempted to paint a person for the peony's friend but I didn't.  So I hope I get humanitarian points for that ;)

Art Scholars and Scholarship Awardees

Scholarship Award Ceremony Photo by Dustie Meads
Today I had the wonderful honor of awarding two very deserving senior high school students with hefty $6,000.00 each art scholarship to help them with in their 4-year art education in college.  The scholarships are given annually by the local art club that I belong to which is the Village Art Club.  This was my 2nd year as a part of this committee that interviewed the applicants and encouraged each to give some sort of a presentation.  The committee, headed by Dustie Meads, was extremely pleased to meet such outstanding aspiring art students!  They all averaged A's and B's and in the Honor Society.

For some reason the two recipients still managed to stand out even among a batch of outstanding students!  How they won us over were the quality of art they showed, their skill level, their attitude and their grades showed a sense of consistency.  We also casually asked for their sketch books.  The ones that stand out (for some reason) have VERY IMPRESSIVE sketchbooks with endless pages full of their ideas etc.  These two young people are off to a wonderful start; both have been accepted in their college choices!  And in order for them to keep receiving a scholarship check from us (which eventually total 6k in 4 years), they have to maintain 2.6 GPA and have to make annual presentations at an art club meeting.  I sure wish these bright-eyed very excited students the best that the industry can offer! I hope our screening method has given them a good introductory taste of what life will be like.  I look forward to seeing them again and their progress :)

Meanwhile, Erika the former scholarship recipient and college grad painted by her sink HAHAHAHA Yes, I feel funny sending those kids to college and here I am painting a 4"x6" painting by the kitchen sink.  But I wanted to seize the couple hours for painting time and still get some gratification.

Here is the dinky little finished product behind the model, and some medium and extra large other finished products hanging on the other wall.  I really wish I didn't enjoy oils as much as watercolors.  I end up not painting because I get so trapped and burn some brain wires due to all that conflict!  I did do an oil self portrait for the DPW but I'll show it after I also do a watercolor.