Wednesday, March 30, 2011

progress for today

Well, Sam went back to school today after missing two days due to Strep and now Max is out with it today. Thankfully, we were able to get a doctor's appt. early and start antibiotics this morning so he'll be able to return tomorrow. Sam was much sicker than Max... barely got out of bed for two days. Max is all mad at me because I won't let him to skateboard! Can't tell he's sick at all except for a sore throat.

Anyway, I had to get a sub for my classes this morning and am looking at today as a blessing because I got to be home almost all day. I've been working on my painting. Got all the stone foundations done by about 1:15. After getting Sam at school and running him to the orthodontist to pick up his retainer, I came home and immediately started painting. I'm jumping around a bit painting because it's hard on your back so I need to change positions often. I'm getting the base colors down for the stones and started some shading just to give me an idea of where it's going. This stage is so hard for me... that "staying in the process" because... well, it's not pretty... it's work, it is slow, and it takes a while for all the pieces to come together. I see it in my head though. It will get there. It will not be perfect but I believe it will tell the story that needs to be told. Here's where I'm at:

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE Golden's texture mediums? The extra coarse pumice is to die for! Great rock texture. But, it's difficult to spread. I found it to work really well combined with molding paste. Lay the MP down first and go back on top of it with pumice. As much as I love the look created with the pumice, it would have been difficult to do the word carvings if I had made every stone with the pumice, hence, the variety of textures to create a variety of stones.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Slow progress

My painting is coming along very slowly. Foundations are important and that's really what I'm working on now. Foundation of stones. I've been creating various textures for the stone wall. I'm using gesso, 2 types of molding paste, extra coarse pumice gel, and used dryer sheets. The color variations of the different mediums really throws my eye off... the balance, visually with this color. I think once I start actually putting in paint, it will balance out more, for me. Right now, it's just disturbing to my eye... makes me want to twitch! LOL! I hope to be to the painting stage by Thursday.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Starting new artwork

Well, I have begun a new piece of artwork... a really big piece! This is one of my favorite kinds of paintings, those collaborated with God. His idea, His vision, my hands. The vision for this piece came quite a while back... maybe a couple years? But, I have found that when God gives me a vision for a piece of artwork to be done, He most often says, "Wait" because the vision is more like an invitation to me to enter into a process more fully. I'm never able to start working on one of these types of pieces until I have walked through much of the process of what the piece is about. So, this one has been on the back burner. Then, a few weeks ago, during a message, the title for the piece was given to me. I was not in the service thinking about this artwork but immediately, when the words were spoken, the picture flashed in my head and I knew it was for a reason. So, the title of this piece is "How did you find me here?".

Now, because I knew from the get-go that the piece needed to be fairly big, I needed an inexpensive way to execute it. I could not afford a canvas this size. Then, I realized I could paint it on unstretched canvas. And, in doing so, hope to be able to do some sewing on it as well, creating more depth and texture to the piece. So, I went to my local favorite fabric haunt, SAS, and purchased a big piece of unstretched, unprimed canvas for $2.99 per yard! Now that's my kind of deal! The piece I found already cut was a bit longer than a yard so, my painting is looking to be about 4x4 feet.

My next dilemma was figuring out what kind of solid surface I could put it on to paint! I ended up taping plastic to my studio wall and then using thumb tacks to mount the canvas directly to the wall. I have decided I am going to be really brave and post photos of progress as I go so, here's the first few:

To give an idea of the size of this piece, the work in progress on my easel is 2x3 feet. You can see that this new project is much larger.

Next, I added gesso on. I intentionally did not paint the entire surface solid. I like the variety of texture in having some of the gesso thicker in areas.

I was up much of the night processing this piece in my head while I just stayed there in bed. I could not get a sense of whether or not the figure in the painting should be a man or woman. I wasn't feeling like it should be a woman, necessarily. And, after looking the web to death in google images trying to find just the right image for inspiration to match the vision in my head, I gave up. I got out my tripod and camera and did some self portrait pictures in the pose I needed. However, I wanted my figure to have on jeans and shoes so I nabbed Max when he got home from school and took a photo of him in the same pose. I got a very rough sketch done of my figure and have now painted the background. The walls will be stone so my first layer of color is the dark shadow that will be between the stones. I decided not to do mortar as I really like the look of old stone walls in Europe that have just been stacked for generations. So, first layer of background color down. Stones will slowly emerge from the walls.
So, here's where I'm stopping for tonight. My studio lighting is HORRIBLE.. I have to use a pole lamp with three lights on it to see what I'm doing in there... and it casts shadows while I paint. I prefer painting in the daytime.

So, that's where I'm at. This piece has a deadline of about 3 weeks because it will be part of our annual week of 24/7 prayer at my church. So I don't have a lot of time!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Socks for Japan

Yes, you read that right. Socks! Seems so insignificant in the broad scope of needs in Japan in the wake of such disaster to a country, yet, it is a big deal. I just recently found out about this project. It's a small way to participate in helping in a tangible way. Check out the website HERE
for details. (I do not know why that entire thing looks like a link. The word 'here' will take you to website. Sorry!) This link takes you to the direct page with details. However, if you click the "home" icon at the top, it will take you to the main page where Jason tells, in detail, about their latest sock drop and it's so moving. You get to read, first hand, how much something so seemingly insignificant is far from that.

If you are stateside, Michelle, is putting together a box and has offered to include donations in those she is sending but you need to let her know! There is also need for donations for shipping costs as they are not cheap! I could not do a better job with details than Michelle did on her blog so please go check it out! I will be sock shopping to send socks along with Michelle's box and I want to encourage everyone to participate!

My heart has just been so broken over the devastation to this country that is so dear to my heart. Some of my best childhood memories were from my time living on Okinawa.

On a different note, I got a lot done last week in my clean out/ organizing efforts yet still have so much to do. It will be a process. But, I made great progress in my kitchen and kids rooms. This week, back to reality.

On Sunday, because I love my boys, I spent hours at a Pokemon convention. Uh, yeah. Ok, so I had happy kids, one in particular. Sam was in heaven. From there, we went to Arizona Cityfest where lots of stuff was happening. Many Christian bands, Luis Palau shared Jesus, and we enjoyed a great show of extreme sports. The BMX bikers were amazing! Here are a few pictures I took of the bikers and skaters.

Crazy boys!

This biker was beautiful to photograph. I took several of him but here are just a couple.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A little catch up

Lots of stuff has happened over the past few weeks. Emotional roller coaster on many levels... lots of processing.

My boys are on spring break this week and are with their dad for the week. However, change is very difficult for Sam and he has not been able to stay the whole time. He's been going back and forth all week. I have been spending the week doing MAJOR clean out and organizing in my house. I was fortunate enough to be given a gift certificate for a professional organizer to come over for a couple of hours! Rather than spend that time actually "doing" stuff, I spent the time consulting with her, talking about my problem areas and talking through solutions. She was a tremendous help! Susan, you are awesome! And, if you all are interested in some help but aren't local, Susan does telecasts! So, I'm still chugging away. Learning how to use my new label machine. I think I may need a 12 step program for this thing. :)

Today, I got to have both boys for the day. We went to the Desert Botanical Garden. It got really warm today! EEK! I got some good photos too but, in a few weeks, when more things are blooming, it will be an ideal time to go solo with camera and sketchbook in hand. Here are some shots from the day though:

Yesterday, Sam got his braces off for phase 1 of his treatment. Phase 2 will be down the road after the remainder of his baby teeth fall out and permanent teeth come in. What a difference phase 1 made though! I was thrilled to get a natural smile from him. It's a very rare thing for me to capture. He actually didn't know I snapped this shot exactly when I did! hehehe! Love this picture of him though. One of my favorites. Can't believe he'll be 12 in less than 6 months!
Then, there's Max, my silly guy who refuses to cut his hair, is into Michael Jackson, trying to learn to moonwalk, wears a Fedora every day, and thinks ties are great! He's just a crack up. I have chosen not to go to war over the hair but geez, I often find myself questioning my sanity in such a decision. He gets pretty mad being mistaken for a girl too but so far, that hasn't prompted the haircut. One day, he'll look back and be horrified that he wore his hair like this and thought it looked good. Ya'll know what I'm talkin' about. We've all been there.Max feeding a little squirrel.

These two shots were taken by Max!

Ok, back to organizing for me. I'll go hike in the morning and then spend the whole day seeing exactly how much stuff I can get done here in the house before I have to get back working on Saturday!