Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Green Gables

Green Gables National Historic Site is on Prince Edward Island, Canada was owned by relatives of author Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the house was said to be the inspiration for the farmhouse in her classic novel Anne of Green Gables. The Cavendish coastline is stunning, and any visitor to PEI needs to make a stop at "Anne land" to pay homage to the island's most famous fictional resident. This home is fixed up inside as it was the Green Gables home of Anne, Matthew and Marilla, and is always fun to see again though it's been many years since I was last there, and took this photo which I have used as a reference.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Fort Beausejour II

I have used Fort Beausejour as a the subject of a painting before. It's located in Aulac, New Brunswick, Canada and overlooks the Tantramar Marshes on the edge of the Chicnecto Basin, which is an arm of the great Bay of Fundy. I'm drawn by it's lonely location up on a hill, surrounded by the marshes, and with the waters of the Bay of Fundy in the distance. I always get a thrill standing on the tops of the high earthworks looking out at the misty water in the distance. So tonight I decided to try painting it again.

Though really my mind is still on John Henry, my new baby grandson - one week old yesterday. I am having baby withdrawal as I have not seen him since Wednesday. One woman in my art class was trying to paint a portrait of her grandson, and another woman was trying to figure out how to get a photo of *her* grandson so she could try to paint him, and it really put me in "grandma" mode. But I still had fun with Fort Beausejour and adding another painting to my Canadian series.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

John Henry redux

As mentioned in my previous post I took a workshop yesterday, spent the morning on landscape and the afternoon on portraiture. I decided to try a second portrait of John Henry and hoped that with help I might be able to do a better job. But I'm not so sure! This is what I came up with yesterday after working with the instructor. Still nowhere nearly as cute as the original photo! But a fun subject to practice on. And Cecile even gave me some good advice on how to correct the original portrait I tried so I tried to incorporate some of her suggestions and have replaced the original photo in the blog entry a few days back with the updated version, which I do think is better than the original.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Port Elgin

I took at art workshop today taught by David Garrison and his wife Cecile Houel. It was an all-day workshop at the home studio of my regular art teacher, Christina Debarry. It was a full day, with an outstanding lunch provided by Christina!

David taught landscape and Cecile taught portraits, and students were allowed to work with one or the other, or even both if time permitted. I was the only one who actually attempted both, but I wanted to make the most of my day. I started out with landscape in the morning, and did this picture of the little town of Port Elgin in New Brunswick, Canada near our summer home, so I guess this is another picture for my Canadian series. This was a lot of fun today, and I basically finished it off just before lunch, so in the afternoon I worked on a portrait.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

John Henry

LOL, when I sent around pictures of my new grandson at work today one of my co-workers replied, "Now you don't have to keep fooling around with flowers and vases and pears." LOL. Not completely true since I'm *not* a portraitist, and I actually enjoy doing landscapes and still lifes. But I realized it was true, I did have a tiny subject now that I could practice on - and he's still too young to complain. :-)

So tonight I decided to try a portrait of my new 2-day-old grandson, using the photo from my previous blog entry as a reference. It was fun to try, but frustrating too, as he is clearly far cuter than I was able to make him appear. As I said, a portraitist I am not! But fun to keep trying. My biggest challenge is that I can often tell it's not quite "right" but have no idea what to do to fix it.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Corinthian Sunrise

Art has actually been rather far from my mind the last few days, as I knew the birth of my first grandson was imminent! Little John Henry finally made his appearance last night, at 6:18 PM on September 8. He's a big boy! 8 pounds 10.6 ounces, and 23 inches long, at birth. I took the day off from work and spent a few hours with him and his parents this afternoon.

But I left in mid-afternoon, and was able to get to my weekly art class tonight. I was too tired to tackle anything too complicated, and ended up choosing to do this picture of a sunrise that I took 15 years ago on a trip to Greece, when I was staying at a hotel right on the edge of the Gulf of Corinth, and got up early one morning to see the sun rise, and take a series of photos of it.

But the following picture is the one that is really consuming all my spare moments - a photo of little John Henry, my new grandson!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Kitchen Light

It's been a lovely Labor Day weekend here in New Jersey - just about perfect weather! I've had a great weekend even though still on tenterhooks waiting for my new grandson to arrive. But today I decided I wanted to paint a picture, so I chose a reference from a photo I took up at our farm in Canada.

I did this on a canvas board I bought at Jerry's - covered it with a leveling gesso to try to smooth the surface, then three coats of Art Spectrum primer. But I still *hated* it. Absolutely dreadful to work on, which may be why I'm less than thrilled with this. I may have to try it again on the regular Art Spectrum Colourfix paper.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Beach Holiday

Tonight is my usual art class night, but it was cancelled because Chris was tired from hanging our show this morning. But I couldn't *not* do something. I would miss having my weekly art session and really wish I had time to do it more often, except what would I do with all those paintings? My closet is overloaded with them as it is. :-)

But I have my easel set up at home, and I pulled out this photo which I took at a restaurant down in coastal North Carolina when I was visiting my family there. I just loved the brightly colored chairs against the brightly colored background. This was just a quickie, on 9x12 Art Spectrum Colourfix.