Thursday, April 23, 2015

Family portrait fun

    Moving oil paint around on a canvas is fun. I decided a family portrait would be next. I put Joe driving his sport car facilitating our lives. The grandchildren are on the trunk watching a roadrunner. A southwestern landscape is on my mind because of a reunion I want to attend. I am painting with Farley beside me, wind blowing his ears. David is hanging on to Emmit, his Pug. What to do about the parents and uncles? I decided to pilfer angels from art history, to create guardian angels...not specific persons, but symbols. The license plate notes initials and ages. The flowers have meanings and refer to largesse bestowed. I started out with a toned canvas and added color. Click the photos to enlarge.

      Every time the Boston Marathon rolls around, Hannah is another year older. There was her soft quilted birthday card to make and the hard copy for clarity. I always think of Hannah as our prolific reader, so this year I grabbed a literary Paddington (we saw the movie) and added some of my favorite quotations about reading. I hope to stitch better next year. The batting dragged under the needle and I was running out of time.  

       In the spring,  Katie rounds up friends to make blocks for Project Hope, so I whipped up nine. I didn't have enough printed squares, so I took images from the novelty fabrics I did have and painted the blank areas with a Sharpie Rub a Dub laundry marker that doesn't bleed and Jacquard acrylic fabric paints that leave the fabric soft.  The four bottom left blocks were embellished this way.

       While I paint, Joe insists on building frames. All in the family portrait think he is a special guy to have around!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

March Madness with oils, yarn and wood

      School is over, but I am cheered to be painting in oils again rather than acrylics. I changed models and Joe was the victim. Also, I worked on and added to some of the self portraits (last blog) and did a painting that only the children, their mother and I like. I wanted to paint them in front of the stage set of our house which they love, but it was too saccharine. So,  I added above the house, part of Rousseau's The War to suggest the troubled times that hover over the world. Nothing connected or was unifying, so I took fence, windows and flowers from Rousseau's other paintings, but I couldn't paint the children in his naif style. An art teacher once said that if you try to paint in another's style, it won't work the same, because you will miss some elements that unify, make it original and fresh. Click photos to enlarge.

       For a break, Joe and I headed to NYC and ended up looking at a lot of contemporary art. What variety! I won't say "anything goes," but the thought is liberating. In the car on the drive home, I crocheted a Ninja, brontosaurus or alligator scarf for David. He had asked, "Linlin, will you make me a scarf?" when he saw my knitting the girls one. He will never use it, probably, but I stitched 2 1/2 feet from NYC to Boston. It was hard to get back to crocheting, but I kept trying and now I am fast. I was interested to see the pattern the yarn made. I tried knitting it, but the crochet made a better design.

        On return home, Joe cut back panels for the 1/4 inch plywood tile squares Beth cut for and corralled the children at the elementary school to paint for a fund raiser. Joe sanded the edges and glued them on the birch panels and evened the sides with his power saw. He varnished with polyurethane and added hangers. The class offerings will be auctioned.

      At the same time,  I took up Kathryn's new beginning art class charge to use cad red, cad yellow, ultramarine blue and black and white to paint gradations of these colors. That was fun, but I realized that the turpentine from my earlier painting life seemed a bit toxic. I did some research and think that Gamblin has made some healthy offerings for painters these days. They list these at their website re "studio safety." I will use more brushes in the future and try Gamsol. I am looking forward to making 8 or 9 blocks for Katie's quilt for Project Hope, a children's book theme, all after Easter this weekend.
Spring brings new life :*) Thanks for dropping by!