Friday, October 21, 2011

Reference Photos from Ellwood House

Last Sunday a group from the Kishwaukee Valley Art League gathered to do a little sketching, painting or photographing at the historic Ellwood House a National Register historic site located in DeKalb, IL. I have included 2 of my spring reference pictures of the tower and the children’s play house located on the grounds. I often use reference photos to work from when in my studio. I will be adding some current Ellwood sketches soon. On Sunday fall color was really nice, but I am afraid most of the pretty leaves were blown away in the winds Wednesday night.

Web cite
A FaceBook page

The mansion offers tours Tuesday through Friday at 1 PM and 3 PM and Saturday and Sunday 1 PM, 2 PM and 3 PM which meet at the visitors center. Local floral businesses usually decorate the house for the holiday season. Holiday Open House, December 9, 7 - 9pm; Dec.10, 1 - 5pm; Dec. 11, 1 - 5pm..
Ellwood House Museum
509 North First Street, DeKalb, Illinois 60115
Phone: (815)756-4609

Friday, September 2, 2011

Exciting Visiting This Labor Day Weekend

 Finally back after getting NIU Electronic Reserves ready for faculty and students. Saturday of the holiday weekend I am visiting  two Milwaukee museums: with a group from NIU.

Milwaukee Art Museum    to see the China Exhibit.
Then on to Milwaukee Public Museum

Some pictures from my trip to the Chicago Botanic Garden August 15th.

I loved the high color.all over and found the water lilies especially exciting.

Now I have more reference pictures for future paintings to come.

"The Sunflowers Three" will be featured on my next post, soon, very soon.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"The Sunflowers Three" is making progress.

The blue sky is underpainted.

The under painting is complete with the blue sky and yellow flowers.

"The Sunflowers Three" is making progress. The under painting is complete. Now to get on with applying the glazes. I love doing this layering of color. It wakes up the painting and wonderful things begin to happen. To me this is part of the magic of art.

A glaze is a thin transparent veil of color applied over the under painting or over another glaze. The purpose is to enhance the color creating jewel like tones and it can make the colors brilliant.

A glaze can be used to tone down a color patch that is popping or too noticeable. A glaze will enhance and add depth and life to shadow areas and push colors further into the background.

Warm colors are applied to bring an element forward on the picture plain. To push a color toward the background cool tones are glazed over an area. The complementary color grays down the color beneath it. To add luminescence a veil of a transparent white is applied over a highlighted area then more color is glazed over that.

In this stage of my work there may be from 5 to 15 or more layers of glazes applied. I keep adding glazes until the effect is pleasing to my eye. After that happens I will refine the the painting, possibly adding yet more glazes. I will get the glazes resolved and take another picture to post for that stage.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Moving Right Along With Sunflowers Three

Drawing-Pencil and Watercolor Pencil Study.

The 16" x 20" canvas started.

Enlargement of watercolor pencil study.

The “Sunflowers Three” title comes from the fiddlers three in the Old King Cole song I used to sing in McHenry Choral Club. I loved that song and our bases chosen to sing the parts and dress as the fiddlers three. Nice memories. These three sunflower images remind me of those guys. Wonder if they’ll make an appearance. in the work? I haven’t gotten that far yet.

I documented the working drawings which have led me to putting the image on canvas for the first stage of the painting. The watercolor pencils were so fun to use on the study I decided to try them for my under drawing/painting. Below is the beginning of the project "Sunflowers Three" with the underpainted stems.

Next stage is to underpaint the flower petals.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Add Artifacts to Bonsai

Somehow I did not think about posting without pictures.....I have felt I must have something to show. That is probably because I am such a visual person. If I try only words it may help me reach the goal to post more this year. Another goal is to increase the number of people who watch my blog. I need ideas about how to expand the viewer base.

I was very proud that the Bonsai Series mentioned in my last post is finally materializing. I have more than 200 plus reference pictures as source material from a trip to the Chicago Botanical Garden. When I enlarge the compositions to 11" X 14" or 16"X 20" I am thinking of including an artifact along with the post. One of the images from my MA show had a little insence burner that has popped up in some work from time to time. I think that will be one artifact to use.

My art is slow going as I work full time and art time is hard to come by. However,I have another sketch for the sunflower series that I started a while ago. I guess that deserves a post. :-) The sketch is for Sunflowers 4 (working title) and I have "Sunflowers 3" (title) sketched, a little watercolor pencil study and the drawing on the canvas ready to paint.

I started with one then two and now three and four are in progress. I am not sure if the number pattern will continue, but I do love sunflowers.

Laura Lein-Svencner, Collage artist, has inspired me to try collage. I think the sunflower 3 wc pencil study will be a part of my first one. I just need to prep my papers.

The telesummit I did with Creative Souls Unleashed run by Tamra Fleming gave me a boost too. The Creative Souls Unleashed facebook page is still up and continues to give great creative avenues to follow. Some nuts and boltsstuff, but with a creative bent, and then pure fun art stuff and creative people. I
encourage my creative soul friends to look it up on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where Have the Postings Been?

I have not posted in quite a while. No posting here was due to a health issue. A little mishap in November got blown into a full fledged problem for me in the spring. First my right foot was in a space age looking boot. It protected my ankle which had 2 fractured bones and a slight tear in a tendon on the inside ankle. I have been in therapy for the months of April & May getting strength back and limbering up the muscles. I have traded the boot for a brace.

I have missed putting my art work in several KVAL shows, but the barren streak has ended with the KVAL show at The Last Picture Show Gallery in Dixon, IL the past month. The "Bonsai Series" is represented by three compositions each 5" X7" done in acrylic. The red maple above and the two pines below.

I still participated in the KVAL traveling show with "Sunflower from Sue" and "Two Sunflowers from Sue" on display with several other pieces at Northern Illinois Open MRI located in the complex on the corner of Sycamore and Bethany Roads in Sycamore, IL.

Lots of good feedback for both shows. This has cheered me up and I hope to be back on track.