3/24/09

GRANNY SMITH GREEN APPLE

I painted this Granny Smith Apple three years ago while my husband was in Japan visiting old friends. It was the first time I'd had a quiet house in a long time and I'd planned to hire a babysitter, and get oodles and oodles of artwork accomplished...yeah, no such luck. The truth is? I watched a lot of stupid shows on Television, ate a lot of greasy Chinese food, and wasted most of the productive hours I'd lucky enough to have. This is just about the only creative thing I was able to pull together at that time. It was a lazy shame riddled, lazy week and I stewed in a hearty brew of sloth.

TWO ORANGES I & II

These are mixed media pieces. It's acrylic with pastel and a matte medium on canvas. I start with the pale yellow wash. (There's a good bit of water-it's almost a watercolor viscosity) You have to let it stand to dry. Sometimes I use a hair dryer-but not often since it's noisy. Afterwards I do a detailed drawing with chalk or pastel, never pencil. The graphite adds "dirty" shadows I don't want. Then I'll fill in the area with blocks of solid color. Again, let it dry...and I spray the piece with a matte spray fixative. This creates almost a "sanded paper" finish. I LOVE the way pastel looks when it's layered on top. I add shadows and highlights with the pastels (I use Rembrandt artist pastels, but I've had dubious results with cheaper versions-not as rich) It should be noted I get dust, paint, and little dabs all over myself, my hands, my clothing, and occasionally my dog. Give it a final pray with a FINAL FIXATIVE. Prismacolor Tuffilm is outstanding-but it's NOT cheap so be prepared to fork over some serious lettuce for the quality. You get what you pay for with pastels. It's WORTH IT.

Three Red Geraniums

I found a large canvas mounted inside a shiny brass 70's style frame at a garage sale. The image inside was a screen process style print of a giant sunset with Jonathan Livingston Style-Seagull flocks flying around. Not my taste, but since the price was right and I liked the size I paid about $12.50 and did my best to jam the canvas/frame into my '89 Toyota Camry. I pushed the seats forward as far as they would scootch...rolled down a window to let one of the corners poke out and drove home using back roads rolling slowly without the use of any mirrors unable to see out the back windows. I'd been wanting to paint some Geraniums since I'd walked around a local Greenhouse and all that red and green was pretty amazing out in the sun. The original background was yellow, but I didn't like the way it 'fought' with the other colors, so I re-painted white/aqua. Also, the dirt was at one point -a realistic brown with little with and dark flecks -but it again, n0t the final look I wanted so the deep blue worked out. These were 'orange' terra cotta pots. Again, I disliked the way the orange handled all that red and it gave the green a toxic yellow I didn't want, so they shifted from a warm brown to the nearly identical red of the flowers. Red is one of my all time favorite colors and I have a lot of it in my homeThis is now hanging in my kitchen. It's visible from the road as seen through a curtain-less window when all the lights are on. My neighbors have commented on it -"What's that big painting in your back kitchen? I see it every time I drive by and it always catches my eye." At that point I say "It’s geraniums, one of my own. Come on over and check it out." I love working large scale. The difficult part is finding big canvas cheap or stretching your own. Frames are a separate issue, so I'll troll Goodwill, Savers, Garage Sales, Estate Sales, Craig's List etc...for simple, inexpensive frames.