I’ll be live painting at the Kendall Yards night market tonight at five!
there’ll be a Livestream going on my Facebook for anyone out of town.
looking through the year’s work so far. for next year’s portfolio, I’d love to have:
a full sleeve of mums with soft background
at least one non-pine forest landscape
an angery shrew holding red nightshade berries
one completed abstract backpiece
rough lettering galore, like loose marker or ink
a witch with cauldron
at least one really grody, wicked harpy.
if these ideas appeal to you, get on it. I usually put together the year’s portfolio in February- I’d want to start the bigger pieces now. and finish them by then. share with any interested parties, or hit https://resonanteye.net/gettattooed/ to sign on.
also, some drawings I want to do as tattoos. these are ready to go when you are!
I’ve been painting every day since I last posted. Here is my current favorite brush and some rags, in front of the cloud section of a painting I’m working on. No matter where you are, there’s always a storm on the way.
The day after xmas my elderly lady dog died. She had been sick, off and on, with laryngeal paralysis all year. She was 16. She died in her sleep after a long day of rough times breathing- We’d had the vet coming in the morning, but she was gone when we woke up. She was one of the best, sweetest dogs I’ve ever known, and I miss her. I’ve gotten a lot of condolences, so thank you guys, it did really help.
I went back to painting the day after that. These are the things I’ve been working on all week. (For solstice, I got an espresso maker, stretcher bars, and some brushes…it was a lovely holiday despite the sad time right after.) I also got a popcorn maker. I have been living on lattes and popcorn now for a week, by the way. It’s just fine.
Here are the initial stage of the piece I’m currently working on. I’ll probably finish this one today. It’s an area near Ona Beach in Oregon, where a creek washes out to the surf, causing a little rift and depression in the sand. I made sketches of this just after sundown. The sky was far too crazy red for my taste in the beginning, but I think it’s better now. I kept messing with the clouds, scraping them off and trying again. I think that it’s all right now.
The next thing I want to show you is a painting that was really hard for me to finish. I liked the rocks, the low point of view, with the ocean at my back. Just damp puddles in the sand that had been churned up by people walking around. This was near Heceta Head. There were SO many people there that day, all my sketches say “too many people” in the margins. I also took a photo that day, for reference, because there were birds. Flocks of odd birds and the way they were flying around the people was what I really wanted to paint. So here you see the beginning sketch in paint, then the landscape alone. Then…
Then I used my reference to scrape out areas for the birds. As soon as I started painting them I was unhappy. They were difficult. I didn’t like birds any more. But I’d already committed, mentally, to having them there. I cursed the birds, I fought the birds, I finished the birds and they look all right, for little salty bastards that just happened to fly into the painting. You can see the finished image here, or buy prints. The original for this is spoken for.
When the birds were done I did this small, quick study of a logging road on Rte 34 near Alsea. I had sketched this site from every angle many times, and it’s one of my favorite subjects. Always finding new little things to emphasize or change about it. The mood there was always damp, diffuse, misty. I started then finished this one in a great mood.
The original is for sale, as well as prints which you can find at this link.
Then, going through my sketch pad, I realized that on my last visit to Phoenix I had done some sketching at roadside. I love roads, highways or side roads, I really enjoy drawing them and painting them. This was in Northern AZ. I stopped to mess with my GPS, pulled off onto a frontage road, and realized that the sky ahead was very ominous. VERY ominous. If you have seen this blog entry you know what happened about an hour after I made the sketches for this painting. I think I decided to stay a bit and draw just to avoid driving into this maelstrom.
I did still of course have to drive through it. I liked the way the road ended in a little hummock though, in this sketch- the road of course continued over that hill on along the way but it looked like the end of the road, like that would just be the end of the trip. I did another recent painting from another sketch I made that day, facing south. That one is here. This one was drawn facing north along the frontage, away from the storm. The light was very weird. It was near sundown but not quite.
On the left you can see it’s mostly turpentine and a little scrubbing with an old brush to start with. Then I went at it with very thick paint to finish. This one has been scanned now, and the varnish is drying. The original is for sale and prints are at this link.
if I’m working every day, all I do is wipe down my brushes with regular turpentine and maybe plain veg oil at the end of the night and forget about it. If you’re using oil brushes every day, they don’t have a chance to dry out.
Since I’m taking a few days off for Solstice, I need to actually clean my brushes!
Some of the materials I use are weird. Other are pretty common. I use odorless turpentine. The cheap stuff. I use old paints because I was given a huge box of many tubes of the basic colors in oil when a friend’s aunt died (she had been a painter of still lifes) so my paint choices are the odd thing.
I use a lot of yellow ochre, real madder. Payne’s grey, Naples yellow, prussian blue and lead white. I have some french ultramarine and viridian in there, but I use them less often. I have raw umber, burnt sienna, cad red, vermilion, and lamp and ivory black too.
I don’t have any burnt umber except for in miscible oils- I have a handful of those, burnt sienna, cadmium yellow, burnt umber, ultramarine, titanium white and lamp black. Not too many tubes of that stuff. I got those to do my giant animal painting project and I’m not sure what else I’ll use them for. I like the oily oils a little better, but these mix in just the same.
Water-miscible oils- I have there some brushes (oil brushes), a cup of water, some liquin, and the paints. I started out using water and paint for the underpainting, which dried pretty fast, overnight. Then started in with paint and liquin, then on to fat paint on its own.
Here’s another painting in the miscible oils. All I had out was the brushes, palette, liquin, and water cup. Almost as simple as working in watercolor.
I like really soft fat brushes. I only have maybe one or two hog bristle brushes even though I know most oil painters like them. I have one big one and one little one for oils. The rest of my brushes are synthetic, pretty much- mostly filberts and a few chisels. I have a big flat short-bristle brush I use to blend, it’s squirrel instead of sable but it’s soft enough to work well. I do have maybe two small sable brushes and a super silky rigger brush.
I’m sure if I was trained and taught by someone academic I’d know more about all this and make different choices.
I don’t have a lot of money for brushes so that’s about it for that. I try to take care of them but I am extremely bad at maintenance and remembering to clean them- I usually soak them up in turp and clean them every day when I’m done, and if I won’t paint for a day or more I wash them out as well as I can with detergent soap. Sometimes I forget and there’s a casualty. I get a new brush once or twice a year. I used to paint in oils almost only, but for a few years now I’ve worked in watercolor too so I switch back and forth every few months. (I rarely, if ever, use acrylics for anything)
Right now I have liquin and some old old copal as mediums. Liquin is good, it dries fast enough that I can work over an area within a few days, or the next day if I get aggressive with it (like in an underpainting) and the copal I think looks good as a top surface or glaze. I really wish I had more glazes and varnishes though, I’d love to try a few new things for that. I have had stand oil, and used it, I think I have a tiny bit left. It takes a while to dry out completely but it looks really cool and glossy if I’m doing a painting without much texture.
Here you can see the kinds of brushes I’m using on the bigger painting. One is a large, super super soft brush that I’m using to soften up all of the stuff I don’t want emphasized. I really only want the center area where the one wave breaks to be important, so I go through and soften the other areas once they are a little bit tacky. You can see I’ve added a lot of detail areas above that second wave there, little bits of grey and of the cad red that’s in the sky.
I have had insomnia for about a week so most of my work has been happening at night. After a while my sleep schedule will head back on around the clock though, I’m sure.
I will probably do a materials list for watercolor or pen and ink wash stuff next monday. xox
Here is the finished foggy dawn Lincoln City landscape (click image for bigger image and prints)
I’m putting this one in a silvered wooden frame.
And here is the finished larger painting of the cliff south of yachats, in a nice antique oiled wood frame. I’ll scan it for prints when it is completely dry and right before I varnish it. I don’t know when the originals will be for sale, as I need to amass a handful for a gallery show this year.