This morning I deleted my Facebook account. They made a couple of changes too far, compromised my privacy - and really made it less fun!
I haven't the patience for it. Which is odd, because as artists we have to have patience, to see our creations grow, to learn new techniques and to develop.
As a gardener, I need to have patience, for plants don't rush.
Perhaps my patience is selective. I wonder if yours is too?
Talking of gardening and plants, the bed in front of the garage was planted up. It will take a year or two for these plants to spread and fill the bed.
If you would like to use the photos in this post as a basis for a painting, please do so.
Butterfly - with hairs up to catch the warm air in the sun
and this one, I loved the shadow!
I hope you all have a wonderful week. With patience in all the right places :)
I painted this little sketch as a birthday present for someone :)
Whose birthday? The man who was plastering our hallway and up the staircase.
He did a wonderful job, the plaster is so smooth - its wonderful to see a craftsman at work. It was his birthday while he was here working, he owns four jack russells, so I painted this for him. Needless to say, he loved it :)
Here's a photo of his plaster work up the staircase. It will take a week to dry and then we can paint it white. Its going to be stunning.
On the good days, I've been outside painting the finished garage, which he'd rendered for us also.
The journey with working on the house is coming to an end.
Time to stand and stare, as a famous poet once said :)
Over on Painting Friends we've recently done another in our year of painting set.
Each month we have a photo reference set for us and we interpret it in our own fashion.
This month was a lady cardinal, a bird not native to the UK. I was a trifle concerned how I would cope with painting something others were very familiar with and me not at all !
The original photo had the bird sitting on a branch and lots of other branches and the tree trunk visible. I decided to remove all of those and just paint the bird with one snowy branch and a very wintry background.
I hope you enjoy the painting and if you have any questions on how I did it, fire away! I will do my best to answer :)
This and all my other paintings are together on my permanent gallery site HERE Do go over and have a browse - and enjoy :)
No, its not a dominance thing with Missy, we don't subscribe to that theory. Instead today's blog post is all about having fun with our dog.
We believe that kindness and fun are the way to train dogs, so we can enjoy life together!
We bought darling Missy some new agility equipment for use in the garden .
Here she is, ready for the off
Going through the hoop
Trying out the weave poles and thoroughly enjoying it
and having a go at flyball. She has to put paws on the board to make it release the ball.
and once she had the ball, she had to do a " lap of honour" :)
The joy in Missy's life spills over to ours. Its great to have such a fun companion.
Here is the finished painting!
I've deepened the shadows, to make it feel more three dimensional.
I do hope you have enjoyed seeing it develop.
It will also take its place on my permanent gallery site HERE
Enamoured of this three colour background, I wanted to try one more very strong set of colours before I mute them somewhat.
I decided to move away from Ultramarine, Alizarin and Aureolin and use Ultra Violet, Winsor Orange and Green Gold.
The door knocker is derived from the old medieval knocker which used to stand on the North Door of Durham Cathedral. In medieval times, one only had to knock and ask, and Sanctuary was granted to anyone fleeing from the brutal justice of the time. The Law of Sanctuary was abolished in England in the 1600s.
So my sanctuary knocker is set floating in the sky, representational of knocking at the Ultimate Sanctuary gate.
Drawing on the paper first, before putting the background washes in. They were very wet, because I wanted to press some cling film into them to create those interesting textural marks. When the cling film was in place, I weighted it with a couple of books to keep the film pressed in the washes. If you click to make the picture large, you will see that more clearly.
Next I start to paint the knocker, building up the colour in layers.
For this, you have to be patient. Each layer has to dry thoroughly. I'm hoping it will be worth it in the end.
Yesterday I spent some more time on the step by step, and I think its finished. But I will wait a few days before I make that final call, because something else might pop out at me, or someone may come up with a suggestion that makes me think - oh yes, that would make it better!
That does happen, and I am not above taking suggestion to improve my paintings.
Sometimes when I visit other blogs, I am mindful not to say how or what I would change, because that would make it my painting - and we should allow each their own style! But at times, I can see how the addition of a darker shadow, or continuity in light source could improve what is there.
I'm happy for anyone to make constructive comments in the same vein.
Anyway, here's the first photo from yesterday.
Using a sap green and ultramarine mix, with varying degrees of stickiness, I painted some vague foliage and then some more defined foliage.
I did this because I wanted to express that the three flowers could be on a vine, or could be three flowers standing independently. I like that kind of ambiguity. Not always do I want my paintings to be clear cut, so that what you first see is all there is.
I then added some splatter , in dark green mix, and alizarin on its own.
To do this, load one brush with paint and then tap it against a second one, held at an angle that makes a cross - an upright one, like Jesus' cross - not an X cross. Make sure you cover the flowers with a piece of paper, if you don't want them splattered too :)
I looked at the painting for a while and the flowers seemed a little bland to me, so I deepened some shadows and added some veins. I made them stronger on the right most flower, to give one flower that stood out more than the others.
I think its finished now, unless of course, you'd like to come up with a suggestion to improve it. I hope you've enjoyed how this painting has progressed.
One last hint someone else gave me. Click the picture to get the larger version, then squint as you view it. Apparently that gives you a rough impression of how you would see it on a wall, when you're seated!
This post is not about increasing your savings, but building interest in the floral painting :)
Underneath the flowers, brush in some clean wet water. Have your board at a tilt, so the water will run down a little.
With a light mix of ultramarine and sap green, dab the brush just under the flower, so the wash blends into the clean water.
Also - make a couple of stems and swirls with the blue/green mix and add some aureolin dashes of paint with your rigger, to make some interesting flower spikes and vine type clingers.
With any luck, it should come out, something like this.
I am working at the day job this morning, but will be painting again this afternoon, so hopefully should have some more to show you tomorrow.
It will be building up some greens underneath the flowers. So don't wash your mix off your palette!
Its been very exciting here - Missy had a TV star come to visit.
The star in question? Bubble the dalmatian.
Bubble was on The One Show ( see HERE at 38 mins in) and she was joint winner in the Waggiest Tail section.
Missy was completely unimpressed by the shows hosts, Chris Evans and Alex Jones - who obviously weren't the stars on this episode. Clever doggy! :)
We had the very great pleasure of Lottie and Bubble staying with us overnight on Friday / Sat morning.
Lottie is the owner of Pawsitively Pets - and she's the very kind lady who posts Missy's favourite treats to us - she provides all manner of pet supplies, all you need to do is request them and Lottie will do her best to supply them for you!
She posts to us in Essex, so distance is no problem :)
See HERE for Lottie's website and HERE for Lottie's blog
If you're in Sheffield and looking for a dog trainer, you couldn't do better than to go see Lottie. I had the pleasure of walking Bubble on my own whilst Lottie got ready, and she walked like a dream, no bouncing or pulling - and she watched me and obeyed all the commands I gave. When you think Bubble is a deaf dog, Lottie has done an amazing job!
I'd also like to tell you about Rain Rescue. Here, Lottie volunteers her time and helps with the training of the rescue dogs, improving their chances of being rehomed . You can see Rain Rescue's site HERE.
I think you can also see why Lottie and Bubble are truly stars, not just celebrities! Three cheers for you girls :)
Missy was a good girl, she learned that if she looked at me straight after looking at Bubble, she got a treat. That was great fun and very easy to do!
Then when Bubble was upstairs asleep, she made friends with Auntie Lottie
and now, when Lottie and Bubble are on their way home to Sheffield, where's our darling Missy? Asleep, exhausted by entertaining the famous :)