Saturday, August 23, 2008

Getting Started...

Why is it so hard to get started. I don't care if it's painting, or any task, it's hard to get started sometimes for me. I need to get painting and I know what I want to paint. I'm sure once I get started I will not want to stop, but you have to get started! I can think that I need to do this or that first, but then before you know it I haven't done what I said I was going to do. Get started!

Well I finally got started! Like I knew, once I got started I wouldn't want to stop. This painting is from a trip Linda Dragonette and I made to Blackstock's Vineyard on an overcast day. I can't decide if I'm through yet. The painting is encaustic so it is "volatile". Drastic changes can happen quickly and are usually unrecoverable. In some respects when you have changes happen they can be very unexpected and beautiful, but that isn't always my experience. Since I started it last night, I held the heat gun a second too long and everything changed... so then I started over. I had alot more background in the beginning and I liked that but then it got too fluid and then it was gone. I'll have to let it sit and watch it for awhile to see what else it needs; maybe I'll take it to Southern Colours on Friday. Sally...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My Garden Helpers

I'll talk today about one of my important jobs, a Grandmother. I am the Grandmother of Michael, Alexandria, and Bailey Hope Arnold. This is a very special job and one of the most important, along with mother and wife. I want to have a part in guiding and teaching these "little people" values, what is right and wrong, and to teach them things that they don't learn in books. To feel the love of family. To honour their father and mother, and to thank God for all of the blessings that He gives us. Grandparents can get away with a little spoiling and letting them know how special they are. Grandmothers help create memories for them with the family celebrations, for birthdays and special occasions... Memories, so nice to think back on.

This is Michael my grandson who is like all of the other "Arnold" men, he will do anything if he can run a machine or tool to do it. They all love their Tonka toys and the bigger the better. Michael is going to be 13 next month and I can hardly believe how he is growing into a handsome young man now. Terry and I love having him come up to the mountain house. He is a big help to his Granddaddy with doing the "farm things". I am so proud of Michael and how thoughtful he is. He still will give his Grandmother a hug at the ice hockey rink when he sees me, so I still feel pretty special.

Alexandria is my oldest Granddaughter at 9 years old and is a really beautiful child. She has always been so outgoing, singing and dancing. The girls came up a few weeks ago to the mountain house and helped me pick vegetables. They had alot of fun picking tomatoes, beans, okra and squash. We even had some eggplants for them to pick.

Bailey Hope is the baby... at 6 years old she is cute as can be. She is always picking my flowers. Whether the sunflowers in the garden or the lantana by the mailbox. We always put them in a little vase and sometimes use them to paint a picture. The girls like to do art projects so we collage, draw, color, and recently, we have been learning to watercolor. Both of the girls love to play in the studio with my fabric remnants. Dancing and pretending they are actresses, draping the fabric into gowns and flowing long capes.

Terry and I are very blessed to have our grandchildren. They just add so much spice to life. Sally...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Venture into the Medium of Encaustics

Encaustic - Glass Balls II

I have recently started painting with encaustics and have fallen in love with it. When I would see encaustic paintings on the internet or in galleries they were usually of a more abstract nature. I wanted to see if I could duplicate a pastel painting of hand blown glass balls that I had done, with my encaustics. The results, with the encaustic glass balls on the left and the pastel painting of glass balls on the right.

In case you are not familiar with encaustics it is painting with liquid wax and medium. From Wikipedia Encyclopedia the definition is "Encaustic painting, also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface — usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used. " They have special tools and brushes that help in the painting process.
Pastel Painting - Glass Balls
Well.... I got started and am still playing with it but it is so fascinating to work with the wax. You can start off painting with something in mind and before you know it you could wind up with something entirely different. The wax when heated with the heat gun can make such beautiful flows, the depth of color is just gorgeous. There are so many ways that you can apply the wax. I have brass brushes, slotted brushes, various implements that go on a heated tool to gouge, press and manipulate the wax. Love it!

I was at Quinlan Art Center with friends and these glass balls were in a basket with a cloth and the light from the window was hitting them and they were full of sparkle. I thought they would make a very interesting painting and quite a challenge. I carry my little camera everywhere with me so I'm always ready to get the photographic reminder. At the time I had no idea of the challenge that I would make it because I had not gotten my encaustics yet. So I painted the glass balls and just had so much fun with them. After I received the encaustics I began playing with all of the tools and that fantastic heat gun that can zap everything before you know it. I've started out painting a flower and before you know it I'd have a pear because I would get carried away with fusing and those perky flowers would just melt right into a big fat bottomed pear.
The encaustic glass balls were my first attempt to paint realistically with my wax and only wax. I have not used any oils or collage. I was quite pleased with the results of the encaustic glass balls and how they are realistic, yet they have a depth and texture that is so interesting. The first few paintings in my slideshow are encaustics. You really need to see and feel them in person it is so neat. Sally...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

For Goodness Grows

Friday's are very "special" to me. I get to paint with my artist friends at St. Stephens in Lilburn. Since Terry and I are semi-moved to our mountain home in Ellijay, and gas is $4 +/- a gallon... painting on Friday's is really appreciated. We, Southern Colours, are all working on a project called "A Recipe For Art". This "project" is turning out to be a really neat painting experience and I love to look for the elements in each of the paintings, it is surprising how creative with items you can get.

My painting is "At for Goodness Grows", my sister and I had gone to see my Aunt in Washington, Georgia and on the way back we stopped at the nursery, For Goodness Grows. When you go with a Master Gardener, my sister Becky, you usually stop at every nursery going and coming; or else they are gathering seeds and cuttings. I guess they are as passionate about their plants as I am about my art. I love gardening... but I love painting more. Becky loves painting but she loves gardening more. I guess it is where we are right now in our lives. We have fun together and really enjoy going with each other, whether it is a trip to Charleston with the Master Gardener friends or a plein-air painting excursion with me and my friends. She is my sister and I love her.

It is amazing to me how you can take eight items:

Metal, Pepper, Wine glass, Pot, Flower, Seed Pod, Clock, Fabric

and must use five of them in a painting, then see how different they all are. In my painting "For Goodness Grows" the five elements that I chose are:

Flowers, Pot, Metal, Clock (Sundial), Fabric,

Now I have to decide when my painting is finished before it gets overworked! Maybe just a little more ....

The project is possibly going to turn into an exhibition. I am looking forward to seeing the paintings all together and see each of our styles reflected into the thought and medium we choose. I've done two paintings of the elements... the other one is in my slideshow and is called Pat's Hands, can you guess the five elements in that one? Sally...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Cup Runneth Over

Today I thought that I would talk about my painting "My Cup Runneth Over" and why I painted it. Terry and I have planted a garden this year, a really big garden 70ft. x 70ft. The garden has really been an ongoing project that requires lots of attention, but it has really been rewarding too.

After picking my cherry tomatoes one morning early, I thought they would make a beautiful little painting. I went an got one of my coffee cups and poured them into it and they spilled out around the table. The painting was done plein-aire on the screen porch so the light was all natural. The little cherry tomatoes just glowed the most beautiful red.

Part of the process of painting in plein-aire was my inspiration from a workshop with Bill Hosner that I had just attended where the focus was painting outdoors in natural light. It truly does make a wonderful difference if you can manage the heat and bugs. My screened porch was a wonderful approach to his method. I was pleased with my little painting and it reminded me again of all the Blessings that I have.

The garden has been a wonderful experience and I'll probably write more about it later.


Monday, August 4, 2008

My First Day of Blogging

Today is a first for me.... to blog!

I really don't know how to blog so I will just start writing about things that come to mind. I have started this blog to introduce my art to the internet world. I am already on several sites but I wanted to have something all my own. So here is my blog to act as the vehicle to show my artwork to you as it is created. I can talk about why I painted the subject and anything else that I might be painting it for. Sometimes I just paint and yet other times a painting might have a story about it.

Another interest of mine is travel. I love to travel. So I will maybe write about trips that were really alot of fun and might be of interest to others. Also, I love doing paintings of things I've seen on my trips. Sometimes they are plein-aire and sometimes they are studio paintings from photographs.

I have put a picture on the blog of a series of paintings I'm doing on the Kodiak Bears. My husband and I go to a very remote place called "Munsey's Bear Camp" and it is a fabulous trip to make. You fish and bear watch. The painting called Kodiak Fishing is from a day sitting by the river watching the amazing Kodiak bear fishing for salmon. We were up close and personal to experience an unbelievable animal. Thank goodness he is so involved in his fishing that he ignored us sitting on the bank of the river by some driftwood logs. I might write more later on this trip but for now .... Sally