Thursday, August 9, 2012

I Hate Living Out of A Suitcase.



PM Disaster.  Definitely unfinished

All my charcoal isn't packed. I found this strange charcoal I've had lying around. It's Kohinoor. It's very hard and not messy at all. A 9 x 12" canvas panel happened to be laying on a chair near by, so I gave it a swipe. The mark was decent, better than it ever looked on newsprint or pastel paper. I kept going. The 9 x 12 worked out to be too big. I chopped off a healthy inch with the paper cutter. The new edge looked fine.

AM Erin drawn with wet charcoal.
 I ended up sitting down and sketching  Erin, the come hither eleven year old, doing her come hither look. Then, having read about liquid charcoal on one of your blogs, my curiosity picked up a watercolor brush and I started working on the values in liquid form. It was pure experimentation. I liked it. It dried fast. It picked up. I tried erasing with the knead. That worked. I tried erasing with my color pencil eraser. That worked. I used my templates and they too worked nicely. I got a pouch out and put together a more complete charcoal kit that included a new sandpaper block made from the stripe I took off the canvas. Very industrious. Very boring. I feel in limbo.

 As for Erin, I kept going. I ended up with this. It was not a done drawing by far, but it was good enough to get out the oils EXCEPT they were packed.  I really hate living out of a suitcase.

 So, I decided to make due with the oils that weren't packed, a big lazy mistake. Poor Erin looks jaundiced. But the definitely unfinished painting looks salvageable to me; Erin's likeness is there. Not this week. What I did do that may be okay was to store my unused wrong colors in the freezer; tomorrow will tell. I also cleaned the brushes with Murphey's oil soap, which worked great. I'll give this painting another go, but  not tomorrow. Tomorrow, back to charcoal as charcoal, wonderful to use by itself for gesture drawing, not for under drawings. Alla Prima is me. One more thing I know for certain about me and making art.

The most beautiful bone in our bodies is the os coxai, the hip bone. I took this photograph
at the orthopedic surgeon's yesterday. I thought the acrylic sculpture was elegant enough
to be placed on a pedestal as a piece of art in anybody's house. 





16 comments:

  1. Some days the urge to try something is an occasion to do it, then leave it and think about it before returning to it later. As usual your generous insights into your life are affirming.

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    1. It was raining Mick, an all day gray rain perfect for painting. I really did gain a lot of insight into fine charcoal drawing--and then a lot of bad insight into making due and using an under drawing. But all of it went together to the good. Alla prima is me. Charcoal sucks as an under painting material. When it comes to charcoal, quite a few of my pencil supplies can produce finer renderings. Plus I made myself a new sandpaper pad, good for pastel pencils, graphite and charcoal. My old one had seen better days. And as bad a start as I got, there is a likeness in that awful painting worth going after.

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  2. We seem to have the same "day", well for me it has been "days", but you know what I mean.
    Sometimes it's better to take a break from painting, sometimes it's good to work it through.... not sure when to do what, but I think I take it easy for a few days.
    I think you will work through it though, you seem to be the type. I am too, but I have been at it for so long, a break can't hurt.

    Happy painting

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    1. You're right Roger. I've worked myself up about next week. I'm going to follow your advice and give it a rest. You should follow your advice too. I believe in listening to our intuitions.

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  3. I love Mick's comment... yes, some days are like that.
    And that come hither look is great, Linda :-D

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    1. Mama told me there'd be days like this Mama said. --But here it is another day of gloom and rain. Perfect for painting and a lunch date with Honey. Yes, Miss Erin has a come hither look that's quite fetching and worthy of some hard work to immortalize:)

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  4. Nice work on both the charcoal and the painting. When is the workshop again? Does it begin tomorrow? Yes, a lucite hip is very lovely!

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    1. Thought of you as I cleaned my brushes in Murphy's oil soap, the conditioning soap that's been around as long as I can remember. My mom used it on all fine finished woodwork. As a toddler, I liked the smell. Very nostalgic.

      Don't you wish we all had a hip like that that wouldn't deteriorate. It was a sculpture.
      I was there for my three month cortisone shot in the knee. I'm ready to stand for six and half hours four days in a row come Monday. As for sixteen portraits in four days? I don't know about that given today's series of thoughtless blunders. You do know this is all your doing--with your constant going to workshops and what have you. I'm following in your footsteps. And I'm pretty excited about it after forty years. I do hope the group has mellowed out a bit.

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  5. Wow, did I have some catching up to do! Thought I was following you and you'd not done anything! That is remedied now. What a treat I have been missing! Fascinating stuff and your musings are all so true for me too. Love the pastries, brilliantly conceived and executed, and the SP in your hat is woderful. Just my cuppa, love the compo and I'm a sucker for a hat.
    Enjoy the workshop, jitters are not allowed....just enjoy!

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    1. Computers can drive you mad. While others refer to them as devices and technology,they are machines to me. They breakdown, as do we, if we hang with them too long, which we are. There is something attractive about seeing your work in another venue though, gives you a new slant.

      When I saw this horrible beginnings of a portrait here, it definitely looked salvageable. But I'll fix it after the workshop. Between now and then less serious endeavors.Thanks for your kind words on the pastries will finish those over the weekend instead of Erin. I'm going to want to hang them somewhere the two inches apart I think is right--maybe 1 34"--to see the overall effect and I'm running out of walls. Only thought is the dining area in my great room. Honey is going to balk.

      I'm really excited. I started getting the stuff together early because that's me--no last minute wild runs around the house discovering what you thought you had, you didn't. Meanwhile what I didn't have hasn't arrive yet. I'm hoping today (Friday). If not, I can squeak through with the colors I do have and I found an abandoned canvas pad in a pile of pads from who knows when. The last workshop I took was when I was in my twenties, nearly fifty years ago. I am a little anxious and/or excited. I am hoping I like it enough to include a couple more in the fall/winter months--like figurative drawing clothed preferably. Most people don't like their portraits painted nude. Maybe that's a self-hire? I'll see.

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  6. Hope your bones are feeling better.

    Now I am getting anxious for your workshop to start.

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    1. Getting fed up with my rattling on are you:) I do make a big deal of something I haven't done in fifty years and where I have to shlep a travel studio that weighs ten or more pounds along with a packed lunch. I'm a stay at home, convenience artist who likes alla prima spontaneity.
      This is really stepping out of my comfort zone.

      My knee. It was time for my quarterly cortisone to keep me off the knee replacement op table and comfortably able to stand (without dancing) on cement for six and a half hours. All shot up, I'm ready as soon as the cerulean blue and reds and canvas pads are delivered. I'm going to track the package as if that's any help.

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  7. So is the charcoal period, hm... Are you, like I was, feeling like living a little bit out of the suitcase? -and I'm not talking about the actual suitcase with art supplies and oils.
    You can let it rest, have a break. Only you probably can't, am I right? Then, charcoaled away!

    I had a thought recently, allow me to share it with you. I started drawing with very poor supplies because I didn't want to waste money on an urge that could go away as easily as it appeared. When urge became a need I kept adding up, supplies and time. A week ago I thought that as a test to myself and abilities, every now and then, I should hide them all and for few days do my best with just 2 or 3 out of one medium. Weird? I know. I'm a weird person :)

    Warm regards.

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    1. Not weird at all. That's what I did yesterday. I had packed all the oils I had that were listed on the supply list. The ones I didn't have I had ordered and hopefully will be here today--maybe tomorrow? I painted Erin with what was left over. The reason she looks jaundiced is her medium skin tone is a Naples Yellow base. The rosy cheeks are off. Cadmium light red and Alzarin are packed. My more subtle greens are packed--as are all the good brushes I had bought for the portrait that got me into all this, The Unknown Children.I'm going to finish Erin with what I started with. It'll be an eye opener on color mixing. I have noticed that different portrait artists have their own favorite skin tone recipes. I'll have mine. Use what you have on hand was the rule of yesterday.

      You not alone being weird. I'm standing right next to you:)

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  8. I need to try to visit blogs more often as I feel like I've come in half way through a story - why are you living out of a suitcase? Anyway, I love how your blog reads - it's almost like a stream of consciousness! I like your painting/charcoal of Erin although I laughed when you said she looked jaundiced. I like it how it is. Am not sure an 11 year old should have a come hither look but that's a whole other story!! Thanks for your comment on my post - the background of the scruffy dog was determined by the person who wanted the illustrations - he said to draw the dog as if he'd just climbed out of a canal that he'd been thrown into - I should really have drawn him in a pool of water with droplets all running off him!

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    1. You did the best you could with the info given. These things are often too vague. They make you guess. But I liked the drawings.

      I'm taking a portrait/oils workshop next week. I got a supply list and I filled it. Celeste Bergin suggested getting a carry-on luggage piece to put all the stuff in to make toting it easier. I did. Being a get it done ahead of time person, I packed the supplies leaving my own studio a bit depleted. So I've had to live out of the suitcase this past week, because I got ready to go too soon. This advance preparation is something that is just me, a retired architectural space planner who did all the plans and product specs for the contractor in a timely fashion to minimize the length of the job and to shorten and ease the home owners' distress at having their houses torn up by tradespeople. My pleasure to visit you. I'm sorry the project didn't work out.

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