Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tree of Life

Here's how the piece is coming along so far. I started work on it today to take a break from the eagle and recover from the loss of my favourite liner brush.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Requiem for a paint brush

Yesterday, while working on the eagle, I became distracted and set down a brush loaded with paint onto my wet palette and left the room to talk to my daughter, then took a phone call, left the house on a quick errand that turned into a 4 hour absence, returned home just in time to prepare dinner, have a glass of wine, watch a little television, settle into a hot lavender-scented bath, climbed into bed ... this afternoon I returned to the studio - uh-oh, the brush. I'm hard on my brushes, usually replacing several every couple of years. But this one was different. It was a favourite, inherited from an artist who willed his art supplies to my uncle who then passed this brush and others along to me - it must have been 25 or 30 years old when I received it, and I've been using it for about 12 years. A lovely thin sable liner brush, made in England, the perfect brush for incredibly thin lines that flowed off it's tip with amazing grace ... used so often and so intently the paint has worn off the handle.

I picked up the brush, aghast - the entire length of it's once supple hairs had hardened to the point where it could now be used as a toothpick. I rinsed it in tepid water, tried peeling the acrylic off with my finger nails - oops, a few hairs came off on my first attempt ... I tried rinsing the bristles in warm and then hot water (not too close to the ferrule, though, as I didn't want to melt the glue holding the bristles together - an artist only makes that mistake once!) and rubbed a little soap onto it, worked off the acrylic as best I could, losing a few more hairs along the way ... unable to get all the dried paint off near the ferrule ... oh dear, it's not the same brush anymore - won't hold nearly as much paint as it did, doesn't let the paint flow off the tip in lovely straight flowing lines of seemingly endless lengths ...

I've attempted to prepare for this situation for some time, knowing that with the loss of a hair here and there over the years this favoured brush would one day need to be replaced. Whenever I'm in an art supply store I look through the liner brushes, but can't find anything close to it - I suspect the decades of use enhanced the brush's extremely subtle graduated taper-point.


I have several seldom used liner brushes, and now I shall begin using them to facilitate their 30 year evolution to becoming THE perfect liner - I'll be 80 years old by then, probably just hitting my prime as a painter. Then watch out!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New work on the easel

I'm taking a break from my week working on the eagle and started work on a new piece I began in November. Here's a detail shot of a work inspired in part by the romantic pre-Rafaelite paintings. Quite a departure for me, but I'm injecting my own style and symbology into the work, as you can see.

I'm determined to improve on my organizational talents and submit to a few more juried exhibitions this year than I did last year. I have several sketches and ideas on the back burner and intend to finish this one in time for the Arts Council of Surrey's Arts 2009 deadline of May 15th for their show at the prestigious Surrey Art Gallery.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Back to the studio today

It's been a few months since I've picked up a paint brush, however, today was the day to get back in the saddle and get painting. I've the eagle to complete over the next few months, and I've begun a new series of paintings I'm excited about. Once I make some decent progress I'll post an image.


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Home again, home again; shovellin' ain't done!

Here's what we arrived home to - actually we couldn't see the car at all when we arrived home; this photo was taken this morning after an evening of rain greatly reduced the snow mass!

I don't mind my car being stuck today as the situation has encouraged me to get back in the studio right away to complete a few big projects. I was brought up with the paradigms of positive situations are "meant to be" and disappointments were the result of "it just wasn't meant to be" and I also heard a lot of "the Lord works in mysterious ways". So for those of you inconvenienced by the huge snowfall, I must apologize because apparently it was created by either fate, kismet, or the Lord to help me get back to work!

P.S. Here's a link to a visual dictionary I found on my friend Andrea's blog - enjoy!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Mexican Sunset

What can I say...? A picture paints a thousand words.