Monday, April 2, 2012

New paintings and other things

Here is one of my recent life paintings of "Kim", a model at the RAS NSW. I painted him several times years ago at another class, and he's always great to paint. I don't think I've done his back before though. It's good to return to the same subject, years later, and see how much easier it is than before. And of course I'm a lot looser now. I wanted to contrast the transparency of the flesh with the opacity of the background. I love the layers of glazes that resulted. The finished painting is about 100 cm square, I used a 4 inch nylon housepainter's brush with acrylic and matt medium, using the brush's side edge for the thin lines such as the creases on his neck.

My daughter insisted I remove this self-portrait from facebook because I "look deranged". Success at last! Seriously, the reason for the weird colors here is that I was in the car, waiting for Her Royal Highness the Princess to get off her horse. I had just painted a lovely study of a pumpkin, using watery acrylic on watercolor paper. I had another small piece (A5) and looked in the rear vision mirror, saw my reflection, and painted. The fact that it was dark, and I only had limited colors (cad red, cad yellow and phthalo blue) meant a "deranged" self-portrait was the end result. I love it.
It's amazing what I paint when I have limited resources, a tiny space, no light, and only the vegetable shopping in the back of the car. One is forced to paint oneself.

Notes on my blog...

Well, once again, yes, it has been rather a while since I've updated my blog. Something called my daughter's HSC (matriculation) got in the way. Then we had a long summer break, then she started (gulp) University. Now, she is driving herself everywhere so I have been sacked from my chauffeur job. Yay! I have a LOT more TIME to spend at classes and in my studio now!

These are about 1% of the things I've made since my last post. Since January, I've been focussing on painting, and I'm doing a weekly life painting class with Leyla Spencer at the Royal Art Society of NSW. I've been in Leyla's drawing and painting classes on and off over about 8 years. She taught me to draw properly!
(legwarmers and gloves custom made for a client in the USA)

However much I try to avoid "handcrafts", I always end up with a crochet hook and a ball of wool when painting is impractical. It's like meditation for me. I crochet and knit while I watch TV with Rick, and while Rick's driving. Then while I'm sitting there I'll come up with all sorts of other ideas for other stuff I want/need to make. Such as furniture/clothes/accessories/decor. Oh, and more paintings and drawings. So it's one big circle of create, create, create. It all feeds onto something else.

Today, I'm excited about a lovely loose watercolor portrait that a colleague did in class the other day. I rarely see people painting in watercolor, (except for the botanical class I sneak through every Tuesday, trying not to bump anything on my way to the sink). So now, after many portraits in oils and acrylics, I'm thinking "I must try THAT" i.e. watercolor portraits.

Anyway, Leyla had me working on lost edges on Saturday. Lost dark edges (shadows) and lost lights. She showed us work by Matisse, Degas, Rembrandt and another guy I've forgotten his name. Yet another way of simplifying and defining the form, with minimal visual explanation. It's got my brain going in yet another direction. So I did another large nude, started off linking the shadows, and ended up linking the lights, when the lighting changed. I'll show you in my next post. Please remind me!