Friday, March 11, 2011

A long time in finishing

14" x 18"
Watercolor on Arches 300# hot press

Not much art happening here since attending the Ted Nuttal workshop, and that's been tough because I am all fired up to do figures. We are in the final preparation stage for our East Coast tandem bike tour. You can read about this pre-tour work in our journal. If you care to keep up with our tour, we update the journal daily, unless wifi or a hotel/library computer is unavailable. In a future post, I will show you my little art supply bag for the trip. I hope to capture local color, landscapes, and people along our route in small sketches or watercolors.

I finally finished a piece I started of granddaughter Jamie towards the end of the workshop. Part of the challenge was correcting errors in my hasty drawing. (Ted emphasized the importance of a very accurate drawing and boy, is he right). I put the lovely Arches 300 pound hot press paper to the test. Using the original Mr. Clean Magic Erase, I was able to relocate almost all the features on Jamie's face. You can check out the before correction piece here. I felt much better about making the change after reading Myrna Wacknov's recent post. Ah, if I could create art like she does!

The source photo goes back to a July visit by my son Jeff's family from their Vermont home. Jamie and her mom were sitting on the cement patio using their laptops amidst the laundry we had hung on the pullout clothesline. Jamie was obviously deep in thought and did not attempt to look like a model in this shot. Because Ted focused mainly on faces, I decided to crop the piece, but sometime I want to do a "Social Networking" piece, and perhaps include the laundry. I think of friend Hallie who would surely give the piece an unusual twist.

I used Ted's approach with multiple layers of very thin transparent color that is not necessarily the expected color. I worked from a black and white copy of the photo, and the colors of Jamie's clothes are different than the original . I included some of Ted's "sloppy dots" in the hair and clothing. I mainly worked on this piece the last two Thursday night gatherings of our South Side Art Club (all 5 of us!). My fellow artists were a great help with their critiques. I almost gave up on the piece, but they encouraged me to push on. I always learn so much when I see something through to the finish. I am debating whether I want to add more alternating layers of transparent warm and cool colors in the background, alla Ted Nuttal.

My next piece, on the dawing board now, is a revisit of Kelly playing the flute with Grandpa Bob. You can see a couple earlier pieces I did here, where you can see a preliminary sketch and my reference phot, and here, where you can see my transparent acrylic. This time I am painting both Kelly and Bob and I consulted with Ted Nuttal on how to crop. He explained that with two people you have be careful they don't separate into two individual pieces. He was pleased that I had overlapping shapes. He suggested cropping Bob's flute on the right, and Kelly's sash on her dress on the left. He made one other suggestion that at this time I don't dare try -- including a part of a dining chair in front. Hallie would surely have thought of it and that never occured to me. One of my fellow artists likes the various rectangular shapes of art on the wall and the patio door, but at this time I don't plan to include them.


hw (hallie) farber said...

Hi Mary. I've checked out the Coed Co-motion East Coast site--I'll be following for sure.

I think your granddaughter will be pleased--Ii like the painting. And who doesn't want to create art like Myrna? She constantly amazes me.

Thank you for the mention--I'm not sure what a "Social Networking" piece might be. I guess I'm "out of the loop"--not an unusual place for me. I had not thought much about it, but I do tend to include some of my interesting clutter in my paintings. I would be lost in an organized space (I'm working on a painting now of thrift shop items) as I get tax papers together.

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, it's a nice feeling when riding to know friends are following along with us. The Social Networking reference (and I am a neophite) is to Jamie's use of Facebook while sitting on the patio with her laptop. An expanded piece will show her laptop and the laundry.

I love your art -- always uniquely you. I look forward to the thrift shop painting. Great subject and you can say a lot with that.

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary, the portrait of your granddaughter is turning out very, very well. I think it would be great to paint your granddaughter and her grandfather from that nice reference picture!
You are such a busy lady. I will check out your biking blog while you are on your trip!

Sheila said...

What a sweet face with a twinkle of mischieviousness on the side. I've admired the progress you've made in portrait painting, which I think is one of the most challenging in any medium. Great job Mary!

Anonymous said...

Mary, your tones, shapes and colors in this portrait are stunning! I think it highlights a transformation in your style. You obviously learned a lot in the workshop and you've taken your art to the next level. WOW!
I look forward to following your bike trip.

AutumnLeaves said...

Thanks for two new blogs to follow, Mary. (Like I need more? LOL But I'm going to have to cut some of the blogs that seldom post, I think).

I think Jamie is quite a cutie and you've done an awesome job with this piece. I like hearing your thoughts on composition too. That Ted Nuttal workshop sounds like it was fabulous!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Thanks, Mary. For some reason I thought of blogging as social networking--forgot about Facebook and Twitter and laptops. I only see that when my kids or grandchildren visit; always connected. That would be a nice painting of Jamie--and a portrayal "of this time." Yes, it will be interesting.

Mary Paquet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mary Paquet said...

Thanks to all my friends for their kind comments.