Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hay Bales and Sparrows

Greetings All -

A couple of weeks ago I shared a demo piece that  I had started in Valentine, Ne., while sharing a workshop with the Sand Painter's Art Guild. Go ahead and scroll down to the last post, I'll wait.

It was almost done...almost. Those of you who participate in creative endeavors understand that "finished" is a relative term. Sometimes it takes years to be relieved of the itch to make just one more little teeny tiny change that will transform a piece into a masterpiece. Sometimes that itch never goes away.

 This is where I left the demo after adding bales to fill in, and a flock of sparrows to tie in the right and left side.

 I was close. So close. 

And yet. Something was still not quite right.

It took a few hours of hemming and hawing, staring out the window, checking email, doing a few dishes, painting on and wiping off to achieve this:

Just three little dashes of paint with a teeny tiny brush. So what's the big deal?

Those three little swipes of the brush build a bridge from left to right

and continue the sweep of the road upward toward the tree. 

©2013Patricia Scarborough  12x16 oil
It's small, but significant, like a fine silk that holds a lovely garment together. Now I can declare it finis! 

At least I'm pretty sure.

You're invited to see for yourself. This painting and many others will soon be hanging at Graham Gallery in Hastings, Ne. for an exhibit titled "Elements" with wood turner Harold G. Adams. Soon as in October 2nd through October 31st, just a few days away.

Stop by Friday, October 4th from 5 to 8, I'll be there with Harry and you can tell me for yourself; did those three little marks do it?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Demo Part Two

Greetings Friends -

A few weeks ago I shared a piece that had been part of a workshop demo for the Sandpainter's Art Guild in Valentine, Ne.

When all was said and done - or at the end of the workshop anyway, I had a pretty decent start on a pretty decent painting, at least enough to give the students some sense of how I progress through a project.

I had reached a point where several things needed to happen.  It was time to make serious decisions about certain things; for instance, does my original idea of putting a road in hurt or help?  Second, what to do with all that background space? Third, where's the bathroom?

It's been a few weeks now. I've forgotten some of the original plans for this piece and can look at it with a fresh eye. The first decision is to put that road back in. 

Include a few hay bales up front to fill some of that empty space...add some interest into the foreground with some small birds...
©2013Patricia Scarborough Valentine Demo

 Touch up a few places and voila! 

... or, almost voila.

As I've said before in this blog, seeing a painting in a different context gives clues to solutions you may not have known you needed.  And so it goes with this one.

This demo isn't over yet. Stay tuned.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Studio Genetics

I have a genetic quirk handed down from my father, and probably his father's father. This dent to my DNA makes it nearly impossible to buy a product which is actually made for a particular purpose.
In a painter's studio a taboret is a must. It holds paint, brushes - all the miscellaneous stuff you need to focus on your creative endeavor.  However, due to this recessive gene, purchasing such an item proved impossible.
My chemical quirk took me to a consignment store, where I found a perfect substitute and paid a hefty $5 for it. Another $5 for paint and I'm ready to roll. The suitcase was used to carry my pastels  until my collection outgrew it.  Now I keep it around for storage and quick get-aways.
Speaking of pastels, these are boxes I made from foam board. Originally I went against my genetic code and actually purchased a real box made to hold real pastels from an art supply store. The box was named after a noted pastel artist, and I was certain that if I owned a Famous Artist Pastel Box that I too would become a famous pastel artist.

 Evidently the simple hijacking of a name does not imbue quality in a product.  Taking that as proof positive that my genes were fit to survive this challenge I used the soon-to-be returned box as a template and made several trays of my own...

to fit inside this handy dandy plastic box which was purchased at an office supply store.  ( So far my boxes have outlasted the original by nearly a decade. Yay evolution!)

For a quick brush holder I've been known to fold over a piece of corrugated cardboard. Mine fits exactly where I want it to, unlike a real live brush holder which fits where someone else thinks it should fit.

 For larger collections of brushes a potato chip can works wonders as well. Extend it with some sturdy paper and 'presto', you're good to go.

The advantage of making your own brush holder is that you get to determine the size you personally prefer, and the survival of your project is sustained by it's own food source.

My drying rack is a re-purposed wire shelf ... sensible and handy since I wasn't using that shelf anyway...

and equipment blossoms from containers of all sorts and sizes - each one perfect for its contents.

I'm sure that scientists around the world are currently employed by art supply warehouses and are working to fix this genetic glitch.

Even as I type this, petri dishes in laboratories from east to west may be full of genes growing to circumvent this chromosomal crisis.

I've got an idea for them...