“This world of the imagination is fancy-free and violently opposed to common sense.” – Mark Rothko

January 14, 2019

In 2019 I want to paint more regularly. Last year I found I wasn’t interested a lot of the time and because I don’t get a lot of time to paint, it’s important that I take advantage of what I can do. My goal this year is to paint weekly on Friday nights. I will start the year by painting small paintings that are not that different from my daily drawings and I hope to complete a few larger canvases as well.

In the last few months, I have been painting smaller items. The good part is that they are finished quickly so if they are mediocre, at least the time investment was small. And sometimes they turn out not too badly. I’ve also started painting small abstract pieces to finish the evening. The images above are a mix of what has come out of my recent painting sessions.

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“Boredom is the deadliest poison.” – William F. Buckley, Jr.

 

So at the end of October, I was really sick of drawing every day and I considered stopping. I was uninspired and it felt like a huge chore to continue. But I’ve been doing this for almost two full years now and didn’t want to give up either. I decided to focus on value and I started the month using markers representing a light, a mid and a dark value. This only lasted a couple of days, but it gave me the idea to start playing with value and simplified shapes. I continued to limit myself to three and then two colours and by the end, I actually enjoyed the drawing process again. As usual, through the month I worked with a few different papers and am including some notes about some of them along with a couple of things I learned along the way.

  • Nov 15 – 16 – Arches BFK Rives – Really not my favourite paper. It is very soft to the touch and somewhat delicate. Erasing takes a bit of the surface off and I found my ink colours bleeding at times – not what I was looking for.
  • Nov 17 – Yupo – Another paper I don’t like. I hear people rave about what you can do with watercolours on this material, but I am not a fan. I learned that if you erase pencil on Yupo, it then resists ink. My ink colours also faded very quickly.
  • Nov 21 – 26, and Nov 28 -30 – TerraSkin – I liked the TerraSkin, even though I found my colours would bleed at times. I found pencil does not erase after the ink has been applied on TerraSkin and that was annoying. I discovered that Liquitex Muted Turquoise (Nov 28) is the same colour as Dr. Ph Martin’s Juniper Green (Nov 29), but the brush strokes don’t show as much with the Ph Martin’s on the TerraSkin. Really liked the way the Ecoline inks smoothed out on the surface and the brushstrokes disappeared on the TerraSkin.

“You have to be brave to make mistakes in public.” – Louise Page

November 21, 2018

And here are the paintings that I’ve come up with over the last few months.

Vase Family, Sep 3, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 7" X 9"

Vase Family, Sep 3, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 7″ X 9″

Outlined Vase Family, Sep 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 2 pcs, each 7" X 9"

Outlined Vase Family, Sep 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 2 pcs, each 7″ X 9″

Abstract Blue Corner, Sep 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 6" X 6"

Abstract Blue Corner, Sep 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 6″ X 6″

Red Bottle, Sep 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 2 pcs, each 8" X 10"

Red Bottle, Sep 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 2 pcs, each 8″ X 10″

 

Abstract Red Circle, Sep 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 6" X 6"

Abstract Red Circle, Sep 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 6″ X 6″

Separate, Oct 13, 2018, Oil on Panel, 2 pcs left 10" X 8", right 8" X 8"

Separate, Oct 13, 2018, Oil on Panel, 2 pcs left 10″ X 8″, right 8″ X 8″

Textured Abstract, Oct 13, 2018, Mixed Media on Masonite, 8" X 10"

Textured Abstract, Oct 13, 2018, Mixed Media on Masonite, 8″ X 10″

Plaster with Cups, Oct 27, 2018, Mixed Media on Panel, 10" X 10"

Plaster with Cups, Oct 27, 2018, Mixed Media on Panel, 10″ X 10″

Perhaps I Shouldn't Have, Nov 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 14" X 11"

Perhaps I Shouldn’t Have, Nov 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 14″ X 11″

“Art is a guarantee of sanity.” – Louise Bourgeois

November 6, 2018

And here are my October drawings of hands:

 

Inktober was my inspiration to use ink in all of my drawings this month. This included markers here and there, but as I enjoy working with a brush and ink, that was what I chose most often. Regardless of the ink I use, I generally start with three different shades with the addition of black at times. India ink is my favourite ink and I would create three different dilutions of greys to work with. I like the way that India ink lightens as it dries as I often overestimate how dark I want to work at first. For this same reason, I avoid using undiluted India ink as it is far too black for my taste. I like that India ink is waterproof as it allows me to layer and build up my darker areas as I go. I experimented in a lot of these drawings with other inks – mostly J.Herbin inks and a few other odd bottles I’ve accumulated. Some days I would mix a drop or two of one of my coloured inks in just to see what would happen (thus Shrek hand on the 27th).

Diluting India ink to the different greys I want is tedious at times, so when I found the Ecoline inks in grey, I thought that would be a huge improvement. They are beautiful inks, but not waterproof, so my layering technique resulted in a fair bit of muddiness. Clearly, I need to develop another approach to use with watercolour inks.

Overall, I think this month’s drawings went well. One of my goals this year has been to work with different media and different papers and I played a lot and learned a few things in the process.

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood

July 31, 2018

Warm Mineral Still Life, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Mineral Still Life, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Modern Still Life, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Modern Still Life, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Modern Still Life, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Modern Still Life, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Mineral Still Life, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Mineral Still Life, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Mineral Wheel, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Mineral Wheel, Jun 16, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Warm Modern Wheel, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Warm Modern Wheel, Jun 23, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Modern Wheel, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Modern Wheel, Jun 30, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

Cool Mineral Wheel, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10" X 8"

Cool Mineral Wheel, Jul 10, 2018, Oil on Canvas Board, 10″ X 8″

I have a tendency to paint with the same colours over and over. I use my favourites and I am not unhappy with the results, but I would definitely gain from expanding my horizons. These paintings are an attempt in that direction. Gamblin puts out a chart of their colours categorized by pigment type – Modern and Mineral Colours. I thought it would be interesting to create a series of paintings using colours in each group, choosing three warm primaries and three cool primaries from each category and mixing my secondary colours to produce four different paintings of the same subject matter. I started with a colour wheel for each to get a feel for the colours before I started working with them. I’ve discovered some new favourites in this process and I’m playing with a few more ideas for future work springing from this experiment.

“Every time I paint a portrait, I lose a friend.” – John Singer Sargent

July 2, 2018

My experience before June in drawing faces was minimal. I find faces very difficult and would not take on a portrait of someone I know for fear of how they might interpret my lack of skill. I really enjoyed these drawings though – partially because I had such low expectations. I chose to draw faces created by other artists as the images would already be simplified and I would be able to draw on a wide variety of styles. I worked from images I found online mostly. The list below includes the details of the original images with links. (just to prove that not all of the crooked eyes were unintentional…)

“Practice by drawing things large… “

April 9, 2018

“Practice by drawing things large, as if equal in representation and reality. In small drawings every large weakness is easily hidden; in the large, the smallest weakness is easily seen.” – Leon Battista Alberti

I had great intentions at the beginning of March to draw larger and looser. Last year, all of my drawings were 3.5″ X 5.25″. This year I started out with all of my paper cut to 5″ X 7″. I now have paper cut to 8″ x 10″ as well and I did complete 12 larger drawings, but it is a bigger challenge than I had thought. Which could mean that it is exactly what I should work on, but it’s just not going to happen right now. I have too much else going on in my life and I’ve been struggling lately to just sit down and draw. So for April, I’ve retreated a bit and I’m focusing on drawing dishes and just keeping it up. I’m hoping when the spring weather arrives it will bring me more energy.