Hi Folks - well today is Memorial Day - my wife is working at the yoga studio - yoga folks do not know one holiday from the next!! When it's time to do yoga - it's time and it does not matter if it's Christmas morning!
Sooooooooo today is a day for me to play around - NOT THAT WAY!!!!!! I'm talking about playing with paint. I plan on doing a lot of plein air painting once we are in our RV and travelling around the USA - Canada & Mexico. It is not just landscapes that can be painted plein air - nope - trust me on this one!!! I love to do still life work outside (plein air) and since I mostly paint fruit I can use the fruit for my lunch - which goes along with my theory of waste not want not!!!
There is not a lot of wall space in RVs, so I started thinking - which for me can be an all day task - and most always ends up with a headache :>) and I decided to see what I could create in an 8 x 8 format that might give a shot of color to an RV kitchen!
A quick trip to the kitchen produced a nice red bartlett pear - not a red anjou, but a red bartlett!!! You ask what is the difference------- be dammed if I know!!!
Today is a very nice day in Santa Fe - a tad windy again :>( but our front courtyard is sheltered and has a great view of the Sangre de Christo mountains sooooooo out to the courtyard I go with painting supplies and my new found red bartlett! This will be a very quick painting, using about 4 colors, a palette knife and a swoosh here a dab there and a couple swooshes here - there and YES everywhere!!! When done in about 15 minutes, I shall sit - look at the mountains and inhale my red bartlett pear!!!! :>)
A quick outline of a pear and slop on some paint with no regard to staying inside the lines - this is going to be done with expression - emotion, and yes rusticity with spontaneity if not spastic movements of the arm!!!
I'm using a palette knife so this paint is going on thick - which is something I was told by a PRO - use paint like you are a millionaire!! I'm not - but I do!!
Once again I will not bother you or try to impress you with the Blah-Blah-Blah and all the artist talk that just really means - just keep putting paint on until it looks right - to you the artist.
Well, I think we have a painting - as I said this would be quick - the surface is only 8 x 8 so how long can one drag out the painting process????? Since it is done with a palette knife, one swoosh of the knife is equal to about 5 or 6 brush strokes! :>)
Besides which I'm done using the pear as my subject matter and I'm hungry - so I shall say goodbye for today and shortly it will also be goodbye to the pear Hmmmmmm good!!
Following are a couple of detail shots to give you an idea of the thickness of paint and the quickness of swooshes in order to create emotion, rusticity etc etc - all those other words I used above.
I have a few "tweaks" to do (tweaks are the fixing of tiny little mis-swooshes) which when fixed will present a better visual for the viewer. I have to wait until after lunch, as the paint is very thick and still very wet.
Well, this morning we drove down to Albuquerque to Rocky Mountain RV and looked at a couple of used RV's. The one we liked best was:
2003 Winnebago Sightseer 30 feet long. It was a Class A, which is shaped and looks like a bus (minus all the windows of course) - I'm sure you've seen them on the highway. They are like a land yacht!!! We have pretty much settled on a Winnebago as they are perhaps one of the best made RV's and have represented quality for many, many years. Most all the components are fabricated in house and parts for any RV they ever built are readily available. Additionally, Winnebago as a company is extremely solvent - which in this economy is very important as many RV manufacturers have gone bankrupt!
Keep in mind that we will be living in this RV full time for most likely the better part of two years - maybe even longer. The floor plan was very workable and one that we liked very much.
There are a lot of things to think of when buying a used RV. Lots of folks think that a used RV with very low mileage is a good thing. Perhaps if the RV is 1 or 2 years old that is true. However the rule of "USE IT OR LOSE IT" applies. If an RV or any other motorized vehicle is not used, things like seals, belt, gaskets, hoses, transmissions, etc etc dry out and when started to be used again, lots of leaking fluid can occur. On average, RV's do not get a lot of mileage compared to the family car but one should look for 7,000 - 10,000 miles per year. So a 2003 RV should have about 56,000 - 70,000 miles. Rv's being self contained carry a lot of "stuff" plus just the weight of the RV itself, tires are an important issue. Once tires reach 7 years old, REGARDLESS of the tread remaining, must for safety sake be replaced! The age can be determined by some of the digits after the DOT code.
The smartest thing a buyer can do is to have a qualified RV inspector check out the components of the RV. Much in the same way people have a home inspected B4 buying. Additionally, the engine components should be checked both visually and via computer by a qualified mechanical technician. Both of these inspections cost about $350 each and by all means should be done!
There are many, many, many other concerns regarding buying a used RV, way too many to include in this post. I've been researching RV's for almost a year now and believe me I've got a long check list that I will make sure the RV inspector and the Mechanical inspector use in conjunction with their check out procedure.
House has not sold yet, so the visit today was informative in nature as well as giving us a sense that we are still players in the search for our RV.
Today is my day off, but I love aspen trees and I love to paint aspen trees and since it is my day off - I can do what ever I desire - soooooo paint it will be!
This will be a very quick painting done wet into wet with big brush, with lots of paint for texture and sweeping motions full of gusto - rusticity and spontaneity of form and color.
Did you know that aspen grow in large clonal colonies ( a group of genetically identical plants - so in fact, aspens are clones of one another within the colony!) This is a true piece of information - trust me - as I researched it to the point of exhaustion!
To further validate my extensive research, individual trees can live for 40 - 150 years - BUT - I hope you are ready for this..........the root system of the colony in some cases can live for thousands of years! One colony in Utah titled PANDO is claimed to be 80,000 years old!! No lie - trust me!
Anyways here I go...........................
This is 16 x 8 on heavy linen canvas paper using a large brush with gobs & gobs of paint loaded onto it. Trees have texture - so texture is the word of the day - at least my day - which is a day off ------ did I mention that?
The first thing I do is indicate the presence of (happy little trees - Bob Ross talk) living in the forest. WOW look Ma no pencil marks - no lines to worry about going outside of!!!!
WOW!!! Look at that texture!!
Next I add some tree color to give the trees some structure and more identification as in "Hey -- we are trees - over here - look at us!!!!"
OK----- Time to generate some background color - I mentioned B4 that I always put my back ground in last as I really don't have a plan of composition or color and pretty much fly by the seat of the pants with most every painting I do.
It is kind of like people who say ....... play the piano by ear-------my father could play the piano by ear - never took a lesson in his life and I always wondered if he got a headache or an ear ache from doing that? :>)
Once again I'm going to spare you the Blah-Blah-Blah as I make up things as I go along and I really don't know what to tell you I'm going to do until I've already done it! Make sense? Of course it doesn't - it wasn't meant to!!
OKKKKKKKKAY - the next sequence is a pictorial representation of what I did to generate the background, some more definition of the trees, the light side and the dark side (that's a subject for another time) and the indication of other happy little trees back into the depth and darkness of the
bowels of the seemingly never ending forest in which evil could present itself in any form at any moment. Holy Crap now I'm afraid!!!
WE HAVE ASPEN TREES!!!
DETAIL OF THE TRUNKS AND FOREST FLOOR
I think I got some great texture on these trunks - what do you think?
Well, today is a play around day - playing with new techniques, different applications of paint and mediums and just plain having fun - HEY!!! I'm entitled!!!
Being a starving artist, materials are expensive and I hate to waste anything. "Waste not - want not" Or as a person once told me - his son was not eating his supper and the father said "Eat!!!!---there are children in foreign countries starving ---- his son said "Oh ---- really --- name one!!!" :>) I have not always been an artist so there were times when the food was plentiful and that was really nice - it's when I worked for a living! :>)
I remember Mr. Rogers saying "You can be anything you want to be!" I went to my father and said "I want to go to Argricultural School and become a Florist!" What did I know???
My father said "Only stupid people go to Argricultural School!" I said "YAAAAA what's your point?" So I ended up working for a Bank for 32 years and hated every minute of it. Sooooo all you kids out there - when it comes to your vocation - don't listen to your parents - FOLLOW YOUR HEART!! Being a starving artist is just fine with me - it's kind of COOL!!!
All kidding aside ( I was not kidding - it is a true story ) however----- on occasions - very, very rare occasions :>) A painting does not come out quite the way the artist would like - I like to think it was defective paint :>() !! I recently had one such painting and decided to re-purpose the canvas panel and give it a 2nd life.
Following is a pictorial of that process with a lot of Blah-Blah-Blah thrown in to try and trick you into believing that I really know what I'm doing!!
The first thing I did was to coat the existing painting with a medium called Modeling Compound. This is a very thick product which is best applied with a palette knife - which I did with gusto and rusticity putting the presence of a sky and ground area.
Below you can see the gusto by which the medium was applied.
Next I very, very quickly applied grey-white-blue paint wet into wet in a very sloppy fashion - with no regard for sky or land. Did you know that in real life the colors from the sky really do reflect down onto the ground? Trust me they do.
The good thing about this is----if you think the bottom portion looks like a better sky, you can just turn the canvas upside down - always thinking ahead!!!
Close up of sky detail
Now I start throwing in some ground objects and color as well as the indication of a rushing stream. The ground cover is intended to represent autumn or I guess it could be the waining of winter - which ever you like - you select which you would rather it be.
TA - DAAAAAAAAA
It took forever to load this up onto my Google Blog as a week or so ago Google Blog had a problem and it has not run correctly since. I don't think
google offers much support to this product which is a shame - soooooo we just take what we get and live with it. It's FREE!! :>(
It took me longer to load it onto Google than it did to paint it Grrrrrrrr :>(
Well, I completed the painting that I posted yesterday and I was very careful not to over-work the paint - at least I feel as tho I stopped B4 that happened. One viewer pointed out that she liked the softness of the piece and yes, softness is something that I find develops from the RENDERING process as compared to at times snappy- jarring - boldness of expressing a subject.
When RENDERING, one tends to use longer more even brush strokes as well as a much softer touch of the brush to the surface and there is a lot more tedious color blending wet into wet directly onto the surface. Painting expressively is big bold swipes of the brush or palette knife loaded with paint and all you take is ONE swipe and then move onto the next swipe and keep moving and moving and swiping and swiping ------ WHEW------to obtain bright-bold-sassy-spontaneous color with a touch of (I must say) RUSTICITY!!! :>) I get all geared up just talking about expressive painting! :>)
Started a new painting and decided that this one needed to be a RENDERED piece instead of an EXPRESSED piece. I really do not enjoy the rendering process of painting. The major reasons being: It irritates the arthitis in my hand. A loss of spontaneity in both color and form. One tends not to know when to STOP and the piece can easily become overworked. An overworked piece LOOKS overworked and because of this there are passages in the piece that are "MUDDY" IE: not fresh, brilliant, bright, bold, sassy color. Of course I have to mention here that a portion of RUSTICITY is lost and since I really-really love this word - that is just not acceptable!!!!
These are two Bosc pears that became my lunch when I was happy with the way they were rendered. I'm still working on this as something has to happen in the background and some tweaking of the pears & pot are in order. I have a sign taped to my easel that reads; DON'T BE STUPID AND OVERWORK THIS!!!
TWO PEARS AND A POT - WIP
18 x 18 on Heavy Linen Canvas paper with Chroma Interactive Acrylics induced with Impasto Gel - not for texture but for Opal shine.
Once again I throw some color around so the white of the surface will not blind me - my eyes are old and tired -
Some color onto the pears to provide that all important road map so I get an idea of where I'm going with this - as right now I have no clue!!
Some more color onto the pears and I now start to develop the shape and color of the pot - in real life the pot is white - so now I have to think what would look good - I don't like to think when I paint - I just like to paint with spontaneity, but that does not happen when rendering!!!!
I started out thinking the pot would look good sort of a white-ish grey - however it did not appeal to me so in mid stream I went to blue-ish which is the compliment of the orange tones of the bosc pears. Sometimes I amaze myself!! :>)
Some more detail and color and shine on the pears - I keep glancing at my sign - warning me not to overwork this!!! It is soooooo easy when rendering!!
I throw in the beginning of a foreground as well as some shading on the shade side and bottoms of the pears. Yes - Yes I'm being careful not to overwork!!! Jeeezzzz!!
I need to put more shadow under the pears so they will not look like they are floating, as well as some additional foreground work and some background work. I like what I call "dancing light" and movement in the FG. The BG is another story -- by the time I'm done with the painting, I always put the BG in last as I feel it needs to pickup some of the subject color and I'm not always sure what this will be, so I leave my options open. Blah-Blah-Blah--- Who am I kidding ---It's called procrastination!!
Finished piece another time - for another post - stay tuned.
Wellllllll - thought we had a buyer yesterday. Some people flew into Santa Fe and looked at 5 houses, and boiled that down to 2 house - one of which was ours. Such excitement!!! However we ended up being a bridesmaid!!!! They chose the other house - and this is the 2nd time this has happened. I believe that you have to wait your turn to sell a house and after TWO not ONE but TWO times a bridesmaid, I think our time is just around the corner.
In our search for used RVs, I found an older one which does not have any slides. a slide being part of the side of the RV moves out about 3 feet thereby providing more space inside. This is a very nice feature - however lots of slides are prone to LEAKING!!! We don't need no STINKIN' LEAKS!!!
The RV I found is a 1996 Rexhall Aerbus - 33 feet long and the interior was completely redone in 2006 in sort of a MIAMI RETRO style - real leather couches etc: which we find to be quite nice, and just love the look! It also has a king size bed - WOW!!!
The price is just right and if we had the money today we would go to Houston TX - have the RV inspected and if that phase was positive, we would BUY IT!!!
However - needing to sell the house B4 we can buy an RV, we need to get out of this Bridesmaid mode!! Send good thoughts our way!!
# IV in the series. Heavy linen canvas paper 16 x 20 - done wet into wet alla prima with Palette Knife using Chroma Interactive Acrylics. This piece is very much about EXPRESSING and nothing about RENDERING. It was painted with lots of emotion, expression, vigor, gusto and yes Rusticity - still loving that word!!! :>)
Completed in a loose style of spontaneity in color and form.
First I swoosh some color onto the surface - that sure did get rid of the glow from the white of the surface!!! Works everytime!
Next I start playing with various shades of green - I've got to do this quickly and gingerly as some of this paint is 1/8 inch thick and it is very wet- I love using a palette knife - it's kind of like playing in the MUD!!
Another reason to work gingerly is not to mix the paints on the surface, as it can cause some pretty ugly results. I'm not try to mix the various colors, as I want each individual color to show. Some times I put different shades of color on each side of the palette knife blade - which gives me a marble-lized look. Ya I know I'm crazy- BUT IT WORKS - LOOK AND SEE!! How many shades of green can you see?
No prize will be rewarded for a correct answer!
Again I'll skip all the Blah-Blah-Blah and the next series of photos are the tweaking and retweaking, stem creation and foreground creation and cursing until we are done. Well not really WE ----- but me, as I painted this------not you :>)
Once again, the little indentation where the stem lives (a little Bob Ross talk) is fun to create the illusion of DEPTH on a flat surface - pretty tricky if I must say so myself!
Do any of you readers know how it is done? Wellllll I'm not going to tell as it is my secret!!! :>)
16 x 20 on heavy linen paper - Chroma Interactive Acrylics - painted wet into wet with big brush - alla prima -with emotion - expression, gusto, and of course RUSTICITY with freedom of strokes in a flowing expressionistic style. Impasto Gel was used not to create texture as this is a "smooth" surface piece - it was used to create passages of "shine" within sections of the piece - the "opel shine" I've made mention of in past pieces.
I now add some color so I'm not blinded by the white surface - although this color is starting to make me sick to my stomach!!! I've got to find those sunglasses!! The actual color is a very soft reddish yellow however digital cameras do not always see well and then Picasa has it own version of what it sees!!
The next sequence of photos show the various colors I add as well as the development of the shadow side, the little bruise (worm hole) indentation, the stems and general over all tweaking as I go along my merry way. I always get hungry when I paint fruit so after I'm done, 2/3 rd's of these will become lunch!!! I've always said a painter who paints still life with fruit as the subject will never be a starving artist. Although I believe this--- it just AIN'T TRUE!!!! I'll spare you all the Blah-Blah-Blah and just show the pictorial progression until the last photo of the finished piece upon which you will see a sign of FINI