Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Work in Progress

This is just an update of some work in progress. I've got to finish one for the Artspan Gallery as part of this year's Fall Open Studios. The last time I was able to show here I sold the painting. That one was also a last minute paint and hang piece and I don't even have a photo of it. This year I am doing some smaller pieces based on my San Francisco Close Up series. The first one is an abstract Sutro tower, which may be just about done. It's interesting how looking at the painting through a photograph helps to see what isn't quite done or when it's finished.

The second one is an A from the Ghiradelli sign. This particular one is called Askew. Not only is the perspective a little askew (I even got a little dizzy taking my reference photos from this odd angle) but the frame I used to wrap the paper is also not square. I don't know if anyone will notice, but I'll be sure to tell whoever buys it, since it can't be framed in a normal squared frame. I still need to do a lot of work on the Askew painting. I'm definitely putting off the painting of the light bulbs. I liked the idea of them, but the actual painting of 50+ bulbs is less exciting.

Both of these paintings are done in a wrap-around style. The painting extends around the edges. I saw a painting in the CCSF gallery done this way and I was intrigued. Doing these painting was also fun, so if it's well received, you can be sure to see a lot more of these. Both are still in regular watercolor and will be spray varnished so that no additional glass is needed. I intend to do some smaller acrylic paintings with a watercolor technique. I've already prepped the wood panels, so all that's left is the painting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

100 little indians in a row

On a friend's recommendation, I made a point of driving down the Great Highway to Ocean Beach on my last AWS Friday. It was a little foggy on the coast, but it didn't take away from the view that day. San Francisco-born artist, Thom Ross, had erected his beautifully painted plywood cutouts along the beach in the same place as a his inspiration, a black and white photo of Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show, was taken back in 1902.

I took a few photos with my iPhone but the photos don't properly capture the scale and the fabulous detail work on all 100 life-sized pieces. I loved the flags, ribbons and feathers that were integrated into the painting as they flapped in the ocean breeze. It was a very enjoyable afternoon distraction. Below is my favorite indian. I was hoping someone would go up and pose while I was here, but alas no takers.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

stretching paper

I am branching out, so to speak, and trying something new. I was at a art material expo and was chatting with an artist who had these wonderful watercolor paintings of crystal and glass. She stretches her paintings over wooden stretcher bars and I was inspired to do the same. I boughts some big beefy bars so that there would be some substance to it and perhaps it would look so good I wouldn't have to frame it.

First I started with a big sheet of watercolor paper. I wet it in the tub and after the first couple of times I managed to stop spraying myself. I let it hang a bit so that I wouldn't slop too much on my way to the kitchen table.

I cut the paper about 3 inches over the frame and trimmed it again once I set the stretcher bars over the paper. I tried a bunch of different corner techniques and settled on one that gave me a neat square edge. I was a little worried about the bubbles, but after I stapled the frame using a standard canvas stretching pattern and set it to dry. They came out looking pretty good. I'll be doing some small and some very large paintings on it. I took a varnishing class as well so there are bound to be at least one or two good varnishing stories after I finish up the paintings.