Week 11 – 100 Days of Art

Time is flying by. The weather is warming, the birds are singing, and I (and a few others) are still painting day after day after day. It’s enjoyable and it’s a challenge. I’m trying new techniques and learning what does and doesn’t work so that I can carry that, or not, into my gallery artwork. It’s a fast-track education, and the paintings are piling up. What on earth will I do with them all?

Day 71

Once again, the prompt was Abstract. Urgh! Abstracts are really not my thing, however, I do hold fast to the belief that every painting, no matter how realistically rendered, is abstract if looked at very closely.

For this one, I used some white tissue paper and fixed it onto painting paper using good old glue. I smushed it around a bit to make crinkles then left it to dry.

Then I got the inks out. I let them dribble along the crinkles and spread, adding one colour at a time, building up some kind of sense. I could imagine a field of poppies under a blue sky.

Then, I got out the white fluid acrylic and splashed it on and called it done! Next… 😉

Day 72

Favourite view. When we head out for a short break in the sailboat we usually go north. This is the view we get for about three hours or more as we journey from Powell River toward Lund. After that, we’re into those islands.

I can also see this view from our living room window. It’s an ever-changing view as it shows us the weather coming our way from the north west.

On Day 72 it was a pretty dynamic sky, with sunshine, clouds, rain and wind. I used the analogous colour scheme I had learned about last week and sat at the window for an indoor plein air.

Day 73

I learn a lot from watching other artists on YouTube. I find the “watching paint dry” videos inspiring and motivating. One artist is Christina Kent. Today’s prompt was to paint like somebody who inspires us on the Internet, so I chose Christina as she has a very definite style and is building her art business within the San Francisco area.

Christina uses flat brushes, and mostly paints in an up/down, side-to-side fashion. Her strokes are very deliberate and slow. I cut up an apple, placed it onto our blue plastic chopping board, created a background of burnt sienna and set to work.

The colours are not typical of what I would use for an apple, yet, they seem to work. It was difficult to slow down my brushwork and work only in certain directions. However, I rather like the finished picture. The apples went into our smoothie the following day!

Day 74

On this day the prompt was words of wisdom. For a number of years, a phrase has been in my head whenever I am a little unsure about how a painting will turn out: “just keep going.” And so I do, and it always works…well, nearly.

The phrase likely originated with Ursula Medley, with whom I used to paint many years ago. And, I have passed along this phrase to other artists, knowing how much it has helped me.

This was the day I noticed the first bloom to have opened on one of our fruit trees. It is the apricot, I think, along the south side of our house. I concentrated on the focal point and then, unlike the phrase, left the background branches just roughed in. It’s a beautiful sign of spring arriving any day now.

Day 75

What poem inspires us? Well, I am not really one for poems, however, I am one for sayings and one saying has been going around in my head for a long time: “We’re all just walking each other home,” by Ram Dass.

I got my husband to help me with this one. We tried various ways of holding hands and taking a hand-selfie. This was what we came up with, which I translated onto paper using soft pastels.

I tried and tried to get his hand so that his thumb looked right and the two fingers showing didn’t look chopped off at the knuckle! I don’t think this was successful, however, I used the Zorn palette again (red, black, white, yellow ochre) and like the skin tones I can create using it.

Day 76

A prompt-free Friday. Luckily, the weather was nice and our plein air group ventured out for the first time this year. We met at the estuary of McGuffie/McFall creek at Willingdon beach.

The estuary was visited by a flock of crows, all eager to get their morning baths in the fresh churning water, then oystercatchers and after that a few Canada geese. The mountains on Vancouver Island were visible all morning.

I find soft pastels a challenge to create a landscape (much easier for skin), however, they were easy to pack onto my bicycle and it will be a few weeks yet before I head out with acrylics as it was only about 6 or 7 degrees.

Day 77

Paint a mood, they said. Well, I had to look that one up! Apparently, you can bring mood into a painting through use of colour, tone, sharp or rounded edges, subject matter, light and dark. When researching, I saw a painting by Caravaggio (the tooth extractor, or something else lovely like that!) and decided on a similar colour palette.

We have a jar full of dried flowers, which I have often pondered how to paint. Today was my opportunity. A select few made it into the painting, and I really like the colour scheme. Naples yellow, black, white, violet and gold.

I’m not sure I really captured “mood”, however, they are dead flowers…so perhaps a little macabre.

And so, here we are at the end of Week 11. Which artist, who regularly posts to the Internet, inspires you, and why?