Thursday, December 31, 2009

Janie Olsen's Painting, "The Whippets", Stolen!

Sad news from my friend Janie Olsen who emailed me last night to tell me she had a painting stolen! Yesterday morning, Wednesday, December 30th, around 10:30 or so she was taking down work from her show that was in the Lake Stevens City Hall. The title of the stolen work is The Whippets. (Click on the title to go to her website to view the missing work.) She thinks it must have happened while she was loading them into her car. The back door to the car was open as they were walking back and forth during the loading. It is a small place right by the police station! When she got home and unloaded everything she couldn't find the painting anywhere! She said she remembered it was one that she put in the car first because she had plans to enter it into a competition coming up. Everyone who helped her look for it, remembered it. It was a large framed painting! The only other possibility is it could have been taken sometime while she was transferring some of the paintings from that show at the city hall to the library where she was hanging a few of them. She said she is sure she locked her car because it was full of her work. When she got home, unloaded and found it missing she drove back to both places to look for it, and with the help of others, still could not find it! She did talk to the woman from the Lake Stevens Art Commission who said she will put an article about it in their local paper. We all as artists and art lovers know how this must feel for Janie. Any information or a safe return of this painting would be greatly appreciated. Here is Janie Olsen's website and contact page, Good luck Janie! My heart goes out to you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Illuminated Letter For Gina

This is a little something I did for my daughter, Gina. She should get it today. It's something I worked on while I was sick. I love illuminated letters and last year I did a miniature for the February "Romance Show" at the Arts of Snohomish Gallery. I had such fun doing that and want to do something similar again for their show this year. (I'll say more about that in my next post.) Meanwhile, I remembered I wanted to paint something on a stone. I love rocks and stones and have them all around our home. Once when I had some leftover gel medium I used it on some of the rocks that were sitting nearby. After several coats, the surface was so nice, I knew someday I wanted to paint something on one. Gina also loves rocks and found natural treasures. When she was little, she gave me two stones that she painted for me. I love them and have them in my studio, they make me smile every time I see them. I thought I would return the favor and had one with just the right shape that was perfect for her. I thought the colors and gold paint did well on the surface. It's painted in acrylic and finished with varnish. I forgot to measure the size, but you can get an idea by the first photo. It was done with love. It's not everybody who can say their Mom gave them a rock!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Feeling Better and Pie!

I can't believe it's been so long since I've done any blogging. First off, I hope all my blogging friends have had a great holiday! I've been trying to keep up with everything new that's been posted and reading all the great things you are all doing.

After years of staying free of colds and flu, my luck ran out. Last Wednesday while out doing the food shopping, in spite of constant hand sanitizing I picked up a bug. Boo Hoo! I have been stuffed up and dragging around, feeling like not doing much of anything. I felt like a wimp complaining. After all, it was just a cold! But, I forgot how miserable a cold could get, especially at night! Fortunately, I was able to cook and taste all the goodies I made. I even experimented and made a pretty decent pie crust from oat flour, I've been trying to avoid spelt. I made a pumpkin filling without eggs, or cinnamon which are also problem foods. It was really good!!! It was a great treat for me to be able to eat pie!

As for getting in my studio and doing some actual work, I'm afraid very little happened. I did however, manage to do some designs for future work. I'll say more on that later, so stay tuned. Fortunately, I think I'm almost over the worst of my cold and getting some energy back! I will be working in my studio today! Yay!! To good health! Salute!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays To All My Blogging Friends and Good News from Kaewyn Gallery!

I received a happy email from Lynn at Kaewyn Gallery in Bothell saying I sold two of my miniature art works!! Yay! I went over yesterday and picked up my check and saw the show. Lynn's year end, Miniature Masterpieces and More - Holiday Exhibit is by invitation only, so I'm always happy to be included. The show is hung very professionally, a great well lighted space, with many different styles from local northwest artists. This year I was able to send some new pieces, and the one I blogged about here as a work in progress (WIP), Time is a Patient Sculptor, is gone already! That was a fun one to do and turned out so well! I am pleased that someone else thought so, enough to want to add it to their collection! The other one that sold was, All Washed Up. That was also a fun one to do, another northwest scene that I hope will be a happy addition to someone's collection!

I still have four works remaining in the show which will continue through January 9th. There are three miniatures, "Rhodie" With Bee, Innocence, The Sentinel, (see above photo) as well as the small work, A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest. That small painting is up near the front of the gallery by the window. If you go, don't miss it as it is difficult to see all the fine detail and shimmering iridescent colors here on screen. Seeing it in person is much better!

A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest, can be used as an altar piece and does well leaning back on a shelf leaving room for candles or an offering. It would also work well hung in a meditation or yoga space. It would make a great gift ... even to yourself! Namaste.

Miniature Masterpices and More Exhibit at Kaewyn Gallery, located at 10101 Main Street in downtown Bothell, WA. The Exhibit runs from December 4th through January 9th, 2010. Original art is a lasting treasure and makes the perfect gift! Support your local artist!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Completed! Work In Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint!

Cropped image above is the final metalpoint work, untitled for now.

Finished metalpoint work above before cropping. Notice the wonkey horizon line! (I don't know why I didn't notice this earlier!)

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! I was determined to finish this and am finally calling it done! YAY!! I am so glad, I'm ready to move on! Thank you, to all you who have followed this work in progress and for your support. Thanks to you too, Karen Hull, for linking to this post! I'm happy I've gotten some of you interested in trying out this incredible medium! I'm looking forward to hearing what you think, Karen and seeing your lovely style of working done in metalpoint!

There are some things I would do differently in the next metalpoint, (I will do more!). First, until I am more familiar with using the different metals, I am only going to use one at a time. It will be interesting to see how the two metals I used in this one, (silver and copper) age in the image. I have seen where other artists have used both successfully together, but I'm not sure what I think about it in my own work. Next, even though I was able to use an eraser to lift off some of the metal to change the image, I will wait and see how or if the erasing will change the surface, to see if it leaves any residue. Remember to keep a clean cloth or sheet of paper under your hand to prevent oil from you skin getting on your surface. Also, I would be sure to have my composition worked out completely. It's difficult to correct or change things. Another thing I would try to be more aware of is not to get dark too soon. I found that the darks have a different appearance when they are built up lightly rather than using pressure like you would graphite. It's similar to when you build up layers in colored pencil, except it's using the same pen. It's also difficult to photograph the beauty of the look of the metalpoint. It has a glowing appearance to it that doesn't come through on the screen.

I did like using the Golden Silverpoint Ground. The liquid brushes on evenly and yet the texture comes through. I think this is probably why I find metalpoint so great for doing things like rocks and trees.

Now, as to why I felt the need after all that work to crop the image... I used several photographs to extend the landscape to include the water and island on the left. Unfortunately, after it was completed and I downloaded it to screen, the area on the left side didn't look right to me, the horizon line didn't make sense. In using the photos, I should have made the line of the beach area on the right, higher to match and continue the horizon line across. My husband pointed it out to me after I told him I thought something was wrong! It's always good to step back from your work to look at it from time to time. If I had been working with graphite, it may have been possible to lift up some of the graphite and correct the problem areas. Not so in silverpoint! I think my only solution to make this work stronger is to crop the image as I have done above. I think I will darken the small area of the rocks on the far left side at the bottom, just to separate them from the larger rocks. Doing this makes the metalpoint drawing look like my painting, Time is a Patient Sculptor, that I did of it in miniature. Oh, well, it must be that this is the best composition anyway. At last, I am ready for a new project! is the best website on silverpoint with a lot of useful information, history and links on this fine medium.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Metalpoint/Silverpoint Tools and Work In Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint Continued...

Above are the tools that I use to create my metalpoint drawings. At the top left you can see the copper wire, purchased from the hardware store to make my copper points. Under them are two pens for the two different sizes of points. Next to the copperwire pens are the two silverpoint pens purchased from the * website. I placed my order online and they arrived quickly. The putty and the click type eraser I use for all my drawings including graphite and colored pencil. Metalpoint, however, is difficult to erase. If the mark is light enough, sometimes it can be lifted. Try not to rub the surface too hard or it will become too smooth and the marks won't adhere to it. When you do go back over the surface with the pen, do so lightly and allow the marks to build up slowly. I always keep a hake brush handy to brush away any lint or specks. The sandpaper is used to shape the metal into a point or smooth the point. What I have here is Gator Grit, 180-C Waterproof sandpaper. Be careful that the point is not too sharp, or it will cut into the ground. The ground I use is Golden, Silverpoint Drawing Ground, you can buy at most art supply stores. There are recipes on the silverpoint website if you want to make your own ground. I really like the look and feel of the Golden ground. It can be used on many surfaces, anything you want to draw on. I am now working on a piece of Strathmoore 500 Series Illustration board .

You can see above where I stripped off the top of the outside covering of the wire. I think one is around .05mm and the other may be around .07mm. I don't remember what the actual sizes are. I just looked at the wire in the hardware store, and bought several sizes in about 6 inch lengths. Some have several strands of the wire in them. Then I just took old pens apart until I found ones that would work for the wire sizes. Leaving the outside covering on the wire and just peeling it back helped it to hold in the pen more securely. In the smaller pen I also put some of the putty at the base of the pen, which helped hold the point steady, (you can see the gray area at the bottom of the pen on the copper wire pen in center).

Above you can see the different marks the pens make, copper on top and right, silver, both on bottom. Below is a closer view.

I don't know if you can see it clearly, but in this abandoned silverpoint miniature drawing that was started several months ago, I've added new silverpoint marks next to the aged marks. Notice the color differences (at the base of the tree, right side). This is another one of the beautiful characteristics of metalpoint. I'm looking forward to seeing how this new work ages, especially since I've combined the two different metals in it. Please keep in mind that I am new at using silverpoint/metalpoint, so I am learning as I go. So far I can say I really like the look and feel of the metalpoint on the ground. My first successful work, (as far as I was concerned) was done as a miniature called, The Silent Ones. The one I'm working on now as a work in progress I'm hoping will be a successful piece. If you wish to see more of my attempts at silverpoint, just click on the word "silverpoint" in the labels section at the end of the post. I'm already thinking of what I'd like to do next! If you love to draw, I say it is definitely worth trying.
* is the best website on silverpoint with a lot of useful information, history and links on this fine medium.

Here is what I've recently done on the work in progress. I really had a great time doing the large rock, I love the texture, and metalpoint is great for doing textures!

Above are two closer views of the area. I'm ready to bring this one to a close. Looks like I still have more to do though! (sigh) Until next time...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

All 5 Works Accepted in 2009 MASF!

I've received my acceptance letter from the Miniature Art Society of Florida, (MASF) and I'm so happy to have all five of my miniatures accepted into this wonderful exhibit! This show along with the other miniature art society show, Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society, (MPSGS) are the two biggest deals for a miniature artist in this country. I'm always so pleased to have my work get juried in these two shows!! My five miniatures in the MASF show are, A Touch of Autumn, Buddha in the Pacific Northwest, Joey, and the two new works, Wednesday,Late Afternoon, and The Key.

Wednesday, Late Afternoon, Acrylic on Polymin, 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"
I did a partial work in progress on this acrylic painting on polymin, in this blog post.

The Key, Graphite and Acrylic on Acid-free Film, 2 3/8" x 3"
This work is done on Dura-lar Matte film. I have been fascinated with crows lately, they keep appearing in my work!

The 35th Annual International Miniature Art Show runs from January 17th, through February 7th, 2010 at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs, FL. For more information on exhibition dates, times and places to say, please visit the MASF website, click on "Annual Exhibition", then scroll down for the 2010 schedule and listings of places to stay. This would be such an exciting show to see!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kaewyn Gallery's Miniature Masterpiece and More! Holiday Exhibit

Time is a Patient Sculptor, Acrylic on Gessobord, 3 1/2" x 3 1/2"

I've delivered my work to Kaewyn Gallery for their annual Holiday Show, Miniature Masterpieces and More! I have five miniatures and one small work in the show this year. The miniatures works are, All Washed Up, Innocence, "Rhodie" With Bee, The Sentinel, and the new miniature acrylic painting that I showed here as a (WIP), work in progress, Time is a Patient Sculptor.

In the small works category, I have submitted the Buddha painting, A Meditation on the Pacific Northwest. This year the show opening is also the day of the Vintage Bothell Wine Walk and Kaewyn Gallery will be hosting Red Sky Winery. Now there are TWO reasons to go, great affordable art and a wine tasting! The opening reception is on Friday, December 4th from 5 to 8PM. Kaewyn gallery is located at 10101 Main Street in downtown Bothell, WA. The Exhibit runs from December 4th through January 9th, 2010. Visit Kaewyn Gallery's new updated website for more information on the wine walk and their gallery. Hope you get a chance to see this show. Say hello to Lynn and remember, original art is a lasting treasure and makes the perfect gift! Support your local artist!

"The Offering", Spirit of Giving Group Holiday Show

Saturday I delivered my graphite work, The Offering to Everett Artists' Supply and Framing for their Annex Gallery Holiday Show, "Spirit of Giving". The show was conceived around the simple act of giving and the joy both ends receive. They will be embracing that "spirit of giving" by donating 10% of proceeds to the Everett Battered Women’s Shelter and Cocoon House Shelter for homeless youth. Each individual aritst in this show reflects what giving means to them. Given that this is a group show, there will be a variety of styles and mediums! My friend, Janie Olsen will also be showing her work in this show. I'll be there, I hope to see you there, too! The Artists' Reception takes place December 4th, 2009 from 4-7pm. Their address is 9304 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA, just north of the Evergreen Branch Library. The show runs from December 4th through January 2, 2010. Remember, original art is a lasting treasure and makes the perfect gift! Support your local artist!

Everett Artists' Supply and Framing , Annex Gallery Hours are Tuesday-Saturday 2-6pm. The gallery will be closed on December 25th and January 1st. Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Work in Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint continued....

I've done more work on the metalpoint. Above is a close up of the rocks with all their great textures. I think this was one of the big attractions of this scene for me. There is a great range of values I'm trying to get and I find metalpoint is great for achieving this. I just have to remember to be mindful of what it is I'm doing. When you want a very dark area, you add small cross hatching or circles over and over softly to build up that dark. You do NOT press hard, the metal point of the pen can scratch through the ground and you don't want that. You can see the dark area in the back forest where I'm trying not to get carried away! I've found the silverpoint to give a much darker mark than the copperpoint. I still don't know how this will age color-wise. It will be interesting to watch as I've mixed them in working and pick them up according to whether I want a softer or darker value. I'm still adding the forest, trying to show the shapes of trees, bringing some forward, pushing some back. I've also added the suggestion of the seagull.

Below is a detail of the upper tree and rock. There will be more branches added on the left side. The bottom photo is a long shot of the piece. There is still so much to do!

As you can see, it's difficult to photograph metalpoint due to the reflective quality of the metal. It doesn't look like this in person. The surface is a warm white. Thanks for looking and taking the time to read this. I hope you find it helpful if you want to use metalpoint in your next work. If you aready are a metalpoint user, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this interesting medium, especially if you've mixed them in the same work.

Next post will be on showing my materials, so I hope you will stop by again!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Work in Progress, Another Silverpoint/Metalpoint

I've started a new metalpoint drawing in a larger format, 8 1/4" x 10 1/2". It's from the same landscape of the tafoni rock formations that I've recently finished as a miniature in acrylic, seen here and as a miniature silverpoint, here. It's slow going, but I wanted to share what I've done so far. It's hard to photograph metalpoint, but I think you can see it well enough to get an idea of the work. I'm calling it metalpoint because I've used both copperpoint and silverpoint to create it. I've not used them together in the same work before. I find the copperpoint to give a softer look, it's supposed age to a greenish color. With the silverpoint, I am able to get darker values.

This is a shot of the whole piece so far. I think you can recognize it from the painting I just finished, except this is a wider format.

Here is a close up of the trees. This is slow going and I'm having to invent some of the things as I go. There is not a lot of information in the photos I'm using. I guess I should have done some sketches first since I can't erase the metalpoint, but I didn't! Most of this was familiar since I just painted it, however, not all, especially this section under the trees of the rocks and cliff. That area and to the right is where I'm working now.

This is a close image of the tafoni rocks in progress. The image as it appears on my screen is a sepia color, but is in reality, actually a warm white. Now time to get back in the studio and to work! As always, thanks for taking the time to look!

The reason I've been absent here is it's been a rough week and a half. First I had an outbreak of hives that lasted over a week. I have no idea what the trigger was. I've never had hives like that and wasn't even sure what they were at first. They weren't the itchy kind, just the burning, stinging kind, but they spread and were very uncomfortable. I didn't want to be seen! Then I had some family issues to deal with. I don't think the hives are caused by stress, but I can tell you they definitely get worse with stress! Then, if that wasn't enough, our hot water heater died and dumped water in our garage where we have boxes of books and I had some portfolios of old art work. I was able to dry out what was worth saving and consolidate everything. It was dirty, hard work that we hadn't counted on having to do!! Now the garage is all back together, along with a new hot water heater! Thanks goodness we were able to contact our landlord in time. He was leaving the country the next day for vacation! Luckily his son is a plumber and we had our hot water by 9:30 that night! Oh, that hot shower felt so good! So now I think things are as resoved as they can be. My hives are gone and we have a cleaner garage and hot water! Still worried about family things, but we do what we can and take one step at a time. Sorry, I needed a rant so, thanks for listening!

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Spirit of Giving Show Changes

I've received an email this weekend saying that there weren't enough entries for a juried competition for the show, The Spirit of Giving, at the Everett Artists' Supply and Framing. How disappointing! I had done the work, The Offering, to submit to this show. However, they have offered to refund our entry fee and do a group show of the entrants with the same terms of a portion of any sale to be donated to the causes stated. Since I haven't found any other local competitions to submit this work to, I think I am going to let the work hang in their show. It is better to be in a group show now than to just have it hang out in my studio until another show materializes. They are a small store, that had recently changed hands and location and are working really hard to make their place happen. This was to be their first juried competition! There are a lot of holiday shows going on this time of year. I guess they weren't able to get the word out to enough artists in time. So now that I've decided to go ahead and show it, I'd better get my frame ordered!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Offering, Graphite and Colored Pencil on Film

The Offering
, Graphite and Colored Pencil on Film, 7" x 7"

This work has been submitted for the first juried exhibition, the Spirit of Giving at Everett Artists' Supply and Framing, December 5th through January 3rd, 2010. Acceptance letters will be sent out on November 20. The theme of this show is, of course, the spirit of giving. They will be embracing that spirit of giving by donating 10% of proceeds to the Everett Battered Women’s Shelter and Cocoon House Shelter for homeless youth. I applaud them in this and hope for a successful show and many sales!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Continued - Graphite on Dura-lar Matte Film WIP

Grafix Dura-Lar Matte film is the surface that I love to use with graphite and colored pencil. If you are interested in trying it, you can find it online, at your local art supply or drafting supply store. The add states, "it is the acetate alternative. It combines the best features of Mylar® and acetate". You can see a tablet here at Dick Blick. It's smooth surface is great for getting the details I need in my miniature work. It's easy to erase, although, you do have to be careful when erasing. If you over work a spot, it may become too smooth and no longer accept the graphite or colored pencil. You can also work on both sides of the surface or use different colored papers as backing for different effects. One thing I have found is you have to be careful not to scratch the surface. I have had my fingernails leave small scratches all over the surface but I couldn't see them until I penciled over the area and the white lines and squiggles showed up. You could use that at as advantage by scoring the area for effect. There are so many possibilities and if you love to draw, it's worth trying.

Because of it's translucence it's easy to transfer your drawing. Under the film, you can see the photograph that I am using for a reference for the light source and one of my miniature works which I enlarged to use as a guide for a new image. (I've not posted that miniature work yet). I have done two different drawings of trees with a crow and wanted to explore that subject again. Sometimes I will use a subject or the same work as I have done here, as a starting point to take an idea further. I may do it in a different medium, or perhaps a different size. I don't think I could redo a work exactly the same way! This time the image I had in mind was for a local competition with a theme of "The Spirit of Giving".

Above are two reference photos of the tree and door that I am using.

The work is fairly advanced here, but you can see how I've used a variety of lines and then building up light strokes to create a good range of values. I use different pencils, mechanical 0.5mm and 0.3mm, as well as regular drawing pencils in different ranges of hard and soft, depending on what I'm trying to do.

A close -up of the doors showing where I've lifted up some of the graphite. To do this, I use a sticky putty which used to be called Hold It, but now I think it's under other names. I think it's called Blue Tack in the UK. It a very useful product around the house.

Some work done on the background.

Work on the area under the door.

A close-up of the area under the door.

Grasses in the front.

Darkening of the tree.

The crow has been added and the front tree finished. Here is where I decided that something just didn't look right to me. It was time to take a good look to see what was wrong. I took it downstairs to look at it in a different light and decided it was too dark. I got a second opinion and sure enough, the doors were difficult to distinguish from the surrounding area. It lost the impact that I was looking for! There were also a lot of the white scratches in places that bothered me as well, could it be my nails? So I decided that I wanted to start over! I figured it would be easier the next go since I already had things worked out. It was just the timing that was going to be difficult! I cut my nails, got a fresh sheet of film and got busy!

This is the reworked piece. Unfortunately, this is not a very good photo. It's been raining so there is less light in my studio. I'll be showing the scanned image later, but I think you get the idea. I used colored pencils on the other side of the film at the door and key. I liked the first crow I did better, this one looks too nice or not as mysterious. Maybe because he's happy this is finished? I think it turned out well and I hope the concept is clear. The title is The Offering, matted, it will be 7" x 7" small work. I had my webmaster scan and size it for the email submission last evening, Sunday the deadline, at 9:20pm. So I did make it, I got a conformation! YAY! The acceptance letters go out on the 20th of Nov, so I'll be keeping my fingers crossed! I'll be posting links and show information after that date. Now, on to the next project! Ah, what's next? Could be the silverpoint I've been wanting to do, or I could start playing with some egg tempera? So many choices! Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read this.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Graphite on Dura-lar Matte Film WIP

So sorry I've been absent here.  I am trying to make a deadline tomorrow.  I'm working on a graphite on Dura-lar Matte Film, small work for a local competition.  I started photographing it each morning before I worked on it so I could post some of the steps later.  When it was about three quarters finished, I took a serious look at it and realized it was too dark!  OH NO!!!  I tried to lift some of the dark, which usually works, but there were other problems as well.  Anyway, I ended up starting over!  I'll say and show more later.  As to now, I need to get busy!  I sure hope I can have it ready in time, but if not, there will be other places to show it.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Surprise Visit

I wanted to share a few photos of a bit of wildlife we were honored to have on our back fence last week. I know I aways complain about the location in which we live... too commercial, noisy, etc. However, this visit caused us to pause in awe and rush to grab the camera. I've not identified it yet for certain, but I think it's a Cooper's Hawk, could be a juvenile.

All our small birds that visit us were gone and stayed away for a few days, in spite of the feeder having food. Cooper's Hawks like to visit bird feeders looking for small birds to feed on! There is a storage lot behind us with a lot of weeds and blackberry bushes growing over our fence. The little birds like to hang out in them and pop through the lattice in the fence to come to the feeder. Notice in the next to the last photo, he's standing on one leg. He stayed there for quite a bit of time, but of course as soon as we got the tripod out to set the camera in a better location, he decided he'd been there long enough. These photos were shot with a zoom from inside, through a window. We heard him for a couple of days, but never saw him again. It was so exciting and his visit came at a good time. He was a messenger of good tidings.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

2009 MPSGS Honorable Mention Award!

I've just received my letter from the Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society (MPSGS), and I am so excited to have been given an Honorable Mention for my work Hay Bales in the landscape category in their 76th Annual International Exhibition of Fine Art in Miniature!! yippie!!

It was selected from the 724 works in the exhibition. I am thrilled! That show opens on November 23rd through January 2, 2010, with an awards ceremony Sunday, November 22. I sure wish I could be there. Sigh...

Congratulations to all my online miniature artist friends who's work has also been awarded!

Final Phase, Bringing it all Together!

Work in Progress, Acrylic on Gessobord, 4" x 4"


I worked on darkening the edge of the large rock, adding the holes, giving them depth. I also needed to pay attention to the rocks on the right side, give them some detail without making them too important. I added shadow areas throughout the holes and rocks.


I further refined the dark forest, adding tree trunks and branches, touching up the sky holes, bringing some trees forward, moving some back. I also added some cliffs on the far right side. Here is a closer view of the rocks in the foreground.


More branches were added here as well as some leaves. I also worked the roots on the upper rock on the right.


The front edge of the large rock has been further defined with the under shadowing and carried over where it meets with the other rocks. I like the shape and curve of this opening. All the details have been added and it's just a matter of looking to see what else needs a bit of tweaking.


In one of my photos of the area, I noticed a seagull. I really didn't see it at first, except when I was trying to see some other detail under magnification, there it was. I thought it would be a great addition. However, the seagull was not easy to paint! At first I just couldn't get it to look real, I did not want the cliché of a "bird". I realized my difficulty was the surface, it wasn't smooth, there was too much drag on the brush. So after letting the area dry, I added a thin layer of soft gel medium diluted with water, like an isolation coat, and let it sit overnight. The next day I was able to work the bird much easier, the brush moved freely on the surface. I was able to create the shape of a bird with some light and dark areas suggesting the body and wings. Whew! it was so tiny to paint! All I have to do now, is put the isolation coat on, and then after it dries, varnish and frame it. Oh, and yes, the fun part...a title!


Above is the final work in the frame I have chosen to put it in. I am pleased with the outcome. I really like the way the seagull breaks up the darkness of the forest and pulls the eye through the work. What struck me was the serenity of this place. There were so many ways for the senses to be stimulated, the feel and look of the different textures of the rocks, the contrast of the dark forest and the overcast sky. Not seen in this painting, but can be imagined, is the water of the sound on the left, the sand and pebbles and tidal pools below. It was chilly, but the air was fresh. I can't wait to go back!!

I'll be posting the final image on my website and here as well when it gets scanned and I give it a title! This work was done for the Miniature Masterpieces and More exhibit coming up at Kaewyn Gallery's holiday show. I'll be talking about that in the near future, so stay in touch.

Thanks for looking and reading about my process. I have done this for myself as well as anyone else who is interested. I think it will be good to have as a history, not only of how I worked at this point in time, but what I thought about it. I do want to make it clear that this wasn't posted in real time. I took a photo every day before I started working. Then I took the best photos in their order and posted the work a few at a time. I take a long time on each work, too long! If I posted them in real time, it would take forever between posts. Therefore I chose to do it this way. I wish I were faster, but I'm not and that's the way it is. Besides, it's the journey that's important! Now, next, graphite on film.