Thursday, January 10, 2013

It's Coming

Day three, practice portrait in progress, 8 x 10", oils

I keep looking in the mirror, watching for what is going to fall next? Last year it was my neck. The year before, my jowls. Then my ear lobes and--well lets not talk about the girls. It appears I'm melting. The glamour gal in stilettos and mini dress is down somewhere around my ankles. How sad. So did I compensate my physical breakdown with some grandiose birthday gift? A bracelet? A ring? Something sparkly? No. I bought the neatest bamboo plein air easel that folds down into a suitcase 26 x 16 x 6", has a retractable handle and wheels.  I can hardly wait for it to arrive. It looks suitable for oils-- as well as pastels. Plein air, might be best suited for pastels? That's usually the medium I grab when I go outside on the deck.

Self Portrait With Hat, 16 x 20", Charcoal
This hat might make a good plein air hat?
Vianna Szabo is offering a plein air workshop in the spring. I'm going--just to be with others, puff up my confidence to paint in public and perhaps get a few tips. What I actually have in mind is days spent at our lake doing what I love to do along with taking a swim while the pastels dry. (Made you think didn't I)? There's a gazebo there, a dock,boats and the landscape of course. There are sun bathers. It's a spot with a wealth of paintable subject matter.

I didn't get a stool. I might need a stool?  I might need a large  clip-on umbrella?  Who knows? I will, after I set the thing up and see what it's about. I paint standing, so sitting is just for resting and the less to shlep, the better. A whole new world of wonder will open up as soon as the UPS guy gets here.  I'm hoping Saturday. My BD is Sunday. I need time to wrap.

The first little head of the year is coming along too. Today was more rewarding. I
abandoned monochromatic and went for full color. I seem to do better with values using color than scales of gray.  After wiping off my colored pencil drawing with mineral spirits, I also dampened the back of the second little canvas I started yesterday with water, and left it to dry while I painted on the original canvas I had wiped clean. Leaving the studio, I checked it out;  the canvas was a bit tighter--but wedges would really do the trick.

I'm contemplating having my own little painting challenge: a practice 8 x 10" portrait a week. Since I started this one on Tuesday, I have till Tuesday to finish it.  I'll see. Working a portrait on a small canvas is really intensive and makes me a little bit jumpy.



I hope I'll be ready to roll?

17 comments:

  1. A great idea, dear Linda!
    I wish painting outdoors brings you joy and news!
      Your self portrait is so YOU! Fantastic and gritty ...
    As everything you do!

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    1. Gritty is me--also generous, empathetic, loving and passionate--a rich character who adores hats with character, a well rounded personality in love with life. I like the skeptic nature of this self portrait. I chose it for the hat as well as the look. I'll believe I'm a plein air painter, the day I find myself actually pulling my supplies to the banks of our lake and setting up shop. Getting a plein air easel is a lot like a business card. If you've got one you'll do it. It was delivered this morning at 8:25 AM. Wouldn't you know it's raining outside.



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  2. Well, weren't you the gal just fitting into those Chico's skinny jeans?? What are you complaining about?? haha....I have all those same complaints and then some. Aging is a crock! I am sooo excited that you have a plein air easel on the way! Hooray! I think you are a perfect candidate for painting out in the open..as William Merritt Chase said...."under the sky". It is fantastic, and I know you will love it! I use pochade boxes, however, I have a half size Jullian easel. I JUST learned how to put it up the other day. There is kind of a trick to it! I'm loving the look of your painting and your charcoal is great too!

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    1. I should have asked you what to buy. I don't think this one cost enough. But I figured you start. When i get hooked, I'll know what features are important. For now the handle and the w heels got me. And I am thinking that this one may be very suitable for pastels inside or outside.

      I was just joking about looks. I WAS BLESSED. I've got the best looking damn jowls, estrogen belly and chicken neck on my block!

      I lobe my skinny jeans. A size smaller was the way to go. We're going for a birthday lunch today. I'm going to wear them and a pair of those stilettos I like to paint. Hot grandma !

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  3. Happy Birthday, Kid!!! You are not drooping - gravity is getting stronger. Or is it the effect of dark matter. Bugger it anyway, and forget about it!
    You bought yourself a great gift, and it sounds like you have big plans for the easel already.
    And I do like your work MUCH better when you use color. There is no comparison.

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    1. I know. What the hell was I thinking monochromatic? The kids were looking like mud.

      Thanks. Ellis and I don't exchange gifts. Neither of us wants the bother of having to return whatever the other thought we'd like. And since the gift fund comes out of the same pocket, usually whatever we want or need at the time of the event gets to be called the gift. I wanted that easel--actually any easel-- in the studio now. An outdoor easel was a good choice. It has flexibility. My BD is as good a time to get it as any. Romantic huh?

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  4. This is a double portrait. You have two weeks. I heard buy a bungee cord that you can attach to the easel to hang a roll of paper towels from. I tried it in my studio proper - works like a charm.

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    1. Great idea! Actually this little portrait looks pretty close to finished. A week is pretty generous for impressionistic alla prima studies. I still want to figure out what I'm going to do with My Guys. One head needs a whole revamp. It's smaller than the other two. I really jumped into that one without really thinking it out. Maybe I could play up the ghoulish aspect? As youngsters, they could be pretty ghoulish and devilish.

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  5. This is my first visit to your blog and I must say......I love your work. I have been painting for three years and am still finding my space but I know figures are out there for me. I also have two little grandsons......I guess I had better get drawing. Great blog. Great artist.

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    1. Welcome Helen to blogger art world. It's a great place to find your space. A blog a day keeps you sharp and builds your skills. I've enjoyed every minute of my three year engagement. They were a real eye opener.

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  6. The self-portrait is magnificent. While your colors are always superb, I do like B & W. And yes, getting old-ER is not what people expect when they are 25.

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    1. They haven't a clue--hell, I don't have a clue either; this is my first time aging. Everyday is a surprise. My mom used to say, "Linda, I'm not the woman I used to be." She was probably trying to tip me off.I wish she had been a bit more explicit--but then what would I have done. You've got to go with the flow and above all, have a healthy sense of humor.

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  7. You make me giggle, with your irrevelant ( is that the right word)take on life. The painting is terrific and the SP with hat is just exactly how I imagine you are. That look in your eye is no nonsense!

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    1. That's me. Actually, I could use a lot more nonsense in my life. I just discovered your other blog and left a comment.

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    1. Thanks Margaret. It did have a rough start.

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  9. I love these two heads - excellent job! And I just watched your video and left a comment, a hoot! And your hat is perfect for plein air - very, very good self-portrait - it captures your irascible character. I think double portraits and self-portraits are tough, so I am duly impressed.

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