Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hedgehog Week

Don't worry, Hedgehog week isn't a 'thing'...(at least I don't think it is) my art from this past week was unintentionally hedgehog themed.
Hedgehogs are really interesting creatures and fun easy pets to keep. I've written about my female hedgehog named Robert before and naturally these projects are based on her! She recently had a little episode that was either a stroke or the beginnings of wobbly hedgehog syndrome. Since then she has been leaning to the left a little and falling over intermittently although her wobbliness hasn't seemed to progress in the past weeks so I'm hoping she will still live out her full lifespan.

I've been playing with ink lately and I am really enjoying it. This painting is Windsor Newton coloured inks and then white acrylic paint on top for her quills and fur. I really like the vibrancy of these inks compared with watercolour and I intend to continue to experiment and combine the two.

This was my first time playing with sculpey. I was buying clay for another project and felt the urge to make a little critter out of something that would harden. I love sculpey. It is easy to use and doesn't leave your hands feeling gross. I baked her for an hour and fifteen minutes. My sister and I felt a little weird about it though as she was looking at us from inside the oven. lol

Monday, July 14, 2014

Art at the Cabin

My Cabin is my favorite place. It is a little log cabin next to a river that my family built over 60 years ago. It serves as a quiet place to escape the city and reconnect with nature. It really is my favorite place to visit. :)
We spend our mornings at the nearby lake, fishing and hanging out in the sun (taking dance photos) and then my afternoons are free to be lazy and art filled. (Especially on really hot days!)
In between feeding Squeeker (the incredibly tame and energetic cabin squirrel) I managed to paint a quick plein air  painting of the front yard overlooking the river. I don't often paint like this or finish a painting in a day but I was rather successful this weekend!

 It was about 35 degrees Celcius this weekend so we sat inside for a few hours in the afternoon. around 4 we went out on the deck to enjoy the hot breeze. I set up my inks and painted till about 8:30. By that time I was swatting more mosquitoes than actually painting so I headed inside. Using a really cool candle powered LED light I completed the painting inside by around 10:30pm.
As I was painting my friend was building a new bird feeder/squirrel perch. This exact scene looks very different right now...so I might paint a new one next weekend when I go back up!
 This painting is now available in my Etsy shop!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Portraits ×Two

I love painting portraits, I really do, except for the fact that they are hard and there is always something a little off. I can finish a  portrait and feel satisfied about it until I look at it the next day and see all the little things that are wrong with it. This particular portrait was difficult because there were two subjects and I know one of them very well. (It is harder to draw someone you know because you have a strange concept in your head of what you think they look like vs. what you are actually seeing.) 

My friend and collaborator (Sebastian) found this adorable photograph of him and his younger sister a few weeks ago and I felt compelled to capture their expressions in a portrait. I used this portrait (which was gifted to their parents) as an experiment with brown ink and skin tone. I like the effect as it gives the painting a vintage sepia feel. 
I worked ten hours sketching and inking in the faces before I realized something was wrong. I had made a whole bunch of minor blunders that given the permanent nature of ink were impossible to fix. So after some deliberation and complaining I started the whole painting over. 

The second time around went much smoother and I am happier with this version minus a heartbreaking moment near the end where I accidentally dropped/threw my ink laden paint brush onto the paper. I won't tell you where, but it's there. 
Next time around I am considering taping the brush to my hand! lol ...but I might actually do it. :)