A Bird Told Me

Yesterday I got a chance to work on art almost all day long.  It was a rare event and I savored it.  When I was working on my illustrations for the video Never Going Back to the Gravity by Mad July, I didn’t have time to work on my own illustrations, but I still worked in my journal.  I write in the morning and sketch when I get the chance.

In March there were a few times when I was in meetings or on a long bus ride and I got to do some stream of consciousness sketches.   It was interesting to me to see how little scribbles turned into visual narratives of a sort.  There was  no set direction and no goal.  A different sort of energy comes into play than what would happen if I was drawing from life where I get super focused and aware of the world around me.  In these, I became more aware of the world within me.

Three of them, I am developing into painting.  All of them speak to reconnection with the natural world.  This one became the painting I posted last week:

Pencil and colored pencil
Spring Redemption

 This one:

Became this new painting:

A Bird Told Me, watercolor, ink, pencil, colored pencil on 300 lb Arches paper treated with absorbent ground gesso

These drawings and paintings helped me move forward a bit with my art.  The Spring Redemption painting took three tries to get the face the way I wanted.  After the first try failed, I decided to paint over it with Daniel Smith’s absorbent ground gesso.  It covered the first painting fairly well although there was still a shadow.  When I painted, though, the paint bleed outside the lines I had drawn.  It was not a happy accident.  I don’t mind loosening up when the watercolor won’t let me have my way, but I wanted subtle use of color.  I got a fresh piece of Arches Paper and everything went well the third time around.

The paper that failed me got another 2 coats of absorbent ground.  I purposely made brush strokes for texture.  Since I knew the paint might bleed, I paid attention to edges and stopped before I reached them and let the paint settle.  It mostly happened with very wet applications. 

I painted the dress of the woman in real lapis lazuli paint from Daniel Smith.  It’s a duller blue that ultra marine, but I like that it’s “real,” and provides for me a little history and earthiness to this woman who is listening to nature sing.

The next sketch I’m turning into a painting is a bit more abstract and I’ll show that hopefully next week, if I can keep carving out painting time. 

Life is good.

All comments and shares are welcome.

Thanks for stopping by.

If you’re interested in purchasing any of my art, please email me or check out my Etsy Shop.

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Winter’s Got Spring Up It’s Sleeve

This is my first post for a group blog called Paint Party Friday.  It’s a venue for artists to link up and share their works in progress as well as finished work  They also feature an artist interview a week. There’s a wide range of professional and amateur artists and lots of different styles.  I like that it gives me a nice soft deadline for finishing a painting.
Last weekend on my favorite jazz station, KMHD,  I heard the song “Winter’s Got Spring Up It’s Sleeve” by June Christy.  It was the first time I’d ever heard it, though it was recorded in the 60s.  I loved that image and immediately got a picture in my mind of a winsome winter spirit in a blue robe with warm sleeves spilling flowers — the heat from the flowers blowing winter’s robe skyward — a circle of life sort of thing.
On this piece I tried using masking, salt dispersion and layering color. I tried to combine loose color and detail.  I glazed Winter’s skin with iridescent acrylic and splattered the same paint for more snow flakes.  I’m not sure it was entirely successful, but dear husband and a few friends gave me good feedback, so here it is:

Winter’s Got Spring Up It’s Sleeve * watercolor, acrylic & ink * 7×10″