Friday, May 11, 2007

Blue Jay

I've been yearning to do a pastel series of birds I've seen, and keep trying to get lots of nice photos with my camera. But with the shutter-speed lag time, and the speed of birds, they always seem to fly off or move before I get that perfect pose. I may have to spring for a DSLR camera next to replace my trusty 3-year-old Kodak DX6490.
But I did love this sassy blue jay who came to visit my feeders over the winter and often perched in the dogwood tree. Of course it was not in bloom then, but it's blooming beautifully now, so I took some blossom photos and have had a try at combining things.
I've been experimenting with pastel surfaces, and I'm not sure this one is a success. I usually use Canson paper as it's cheap and plentiful, but also flimsy - and I've been wanting something more sturdy. Of course sturdy also tends to mean "expensive". This was done on one of those canvas-on-cardboard supports readily available in art stores, and then coated with several coats of pastel primer.
But it was awful to work with. I felt like a sidewalk artist, as if I was laying my pastel down on concrete - very rough and gritty. Several times I was ready to toss this out the window. I'm not sure it's a favorite but I'm glad I persevered, though the quests for the perfect support (sturdy AND cheap AND easy to work with) continues.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dashiki Too

Tonight I was running late, and felt like a cold was coming on, so I stopped at Whole Foods to buy some chicken soup, and that made me later yet! But it was nice and hot and hit the spot. I still felt achy and sore-throaty though, and left class 30 minutes early. I just could not concentrate tonight. But this was the last week of the model in the wonderful dashiki, and I just had to capture some of those cool vibrant colors. So this was what I managed to do during the time I did spend in class.

No class next week as the museum is gussying up for "Art in Bloom" so I need to make myself work on something if I can get the discipline.