Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Trail Tales

I love biking and the way it allows me to explore new places. Last weekend, we drove to Geneva and biked along the Fox Riverside Trail.

This is where our adventure brought us to. The historic Fabyan Village, where an old Japanese Tea Garden rests.

How timely for my ongoing 'hundred gardens' project. I can't wait to jump to the seventh painting. Right now, it's time to resume working on the sixth.

But wait, you still have to see the fifth.

- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Saturday Secret - Straightening Doors

Novice and professional painters alike occasionally come across the challenge of painting straight edges. Let me share you one of my tried and true technique - masking. With what else, but a masking tape!

As I was working on the fifth painting, trying to straighten a brush stroke with a tired mommy hand wasn't just happening. Plus, I didn't want to lose the 'impressionist' feel of the painting by restricting the movement of my loose, freehand strokes.

Masking tapes are plein air artists best friend too. Here, I just put a three-inch tape to achieve a somewhat straighter edge. By doing it, I was able to continue painting loosely without worrying about the edges too much.

Voila! My door frame looked like what it's supposed to be. It's not perfectly straight. But painting isn't about photographic illustration. For me, it's about creating shapes, strokes and smudges that represent 'something'.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Focal Shift

Working on the fifth. Right now, I'm deciding to shift the focus from the obvious focal point, which is the blue door. I want to lead the viewer's eye to something unexpected.

Stay tuned to see where it will be. But while you're here, why not tell me what you think. I'll be happy to hear your suggestions.

- Posted from my iPhone

Pastels and Patience

'Robin's Peach Tree'
Chalk pastel on paper. 9 x 12 inches.

I learned that although my boy enjoys painting with me, you can't expect two year olds to sit down on a 'real' art workshop. Not yet.

During the recent arts fest in our town, I signed him up for a two hour pastel workshop for a mere $8. The first fifteen minutes, he was doing fine. Until he realized that it was more fun to run outside. The 'fifteen minute attention span' won over.

So, there I was. Left with a box of pastels and a black paper scribbled with abstract lines and curves. I felt sad for the teacher, she must have thought my boy didn't found her workshop interesting enough.

I apologized and was relieved to hear she knows exactly how toddlers are. I decided to 'salvage' what was in front of me and this is what I came up with in less than an hour. The only time I could spare before I lose sight of my toddler and my four month old baby (in my sling) wakes up.

I could have left it as is and brought another abstract work to add in our growing collection (and I mean 'growing'). Moms and dads, you know what I mean.

Instead, I took that opportunity to show my boy what patience can bring forth. When he exclaimed, 'Mom! My bird, nice!', I knew it was worth the effort.

- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

4. Garden Companion

'Fletcher and the Geums'
Acrylic on canvas. 11 x 14 inches.

Posted this afternoon at 5 pm.

I'm heading out to the door, but I wanted to share this to you. I'll be posting the details and inspiration behind this painting when I get back. See you later!

Update tonight (It's 9 pm right now here in Chicago).

I'm back. So, you're wondering who our furry friend is. Say hello to Fletcher. He's one of Mark Delepine's garden companion. Mark is a math teacher and self-taught master gardener from Berkeley, California. Ever wonder how to grow a lush garden in drought-prone area? Mark has the answers in his blog A Garden for a Serial Plant Fetishist.

Thanks Mark for sharing this adorable shot of Fletcher. And thank you Fletcher for keeping me company for the past few days.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Brushing the Hair

The day is almost done, and so is my painting. My boys took quite longer naps this afternoon, which allowed me to paint a little longer than usual.

Tomorrow, I'll post the photo of the finished painting.

Hope you like it and I'd love to hear what you think.

Mystery Subject Revealed

I posted this inverted image last Saturday to ask readers what they think this is. One reply I got from my Facebook Page is that it could be a vintage upholstery. Now, let me introduce you to my newest subject - Fletcher.

I'm getting more excited to finish this painting. It's a step outside my comfort zone, since I don't usually paint pet portraits. But when I got this image for the 'hundred gardens' project, I knew instantly I have to paint it.

Stay tuned as I keep you posted on how this painting develops.

Right now, I'm making the darks darker using a mix of phtalo green, burnt umber and alizarin crimson.

- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Going Green

Egg cartons for planters, anyone?

That's what I call 'thinking outside the box'. Better yet, 'planting on the boxes'.

Happy Sunday! Go green and grow greens.

- Posted from my iPhone