Thursday, August 28, 2014

Color and icing and pattern, oh my!

colorful oil painting by Joan Terrell titled My Big Fat Fauve Cupcake
My Big Fat Fauve Cupcake
An original oil painting by Joan Terrell
Dimensions: 6" x 6" x 1/8"D on gessobord™ panel
© 2014 Joan T. Terrell

One down, one to go of this colorful, fauvist cupcake. Layered on the icing using a palette knife.

using a palette knife to layer on the oil paint for My Big Fat Fauve Cupcake

Hungry this morning and wishing that was real icing instead of oil paint. Used Rembrandt Cadmium Yellow Lemon straight out of the tube for this accent. Look at all that luscious "icing".

I'm signed up for Leslie Saeta's palette knife workshop in October and can't wait. Leslie's the genius behind Artists Helping Artists Blog Radio (see link over to the right).

Here are some closeups of the finished painting. Visit past blogs to see step-by-step photos.

closeup of main part of cupcake oil painting by Joan Terrell

Washing the paint and solvents off of palette knives is sure easier than wiping and washing brushes. I love the heavy texture this technique adds to my paintings, too.

closeup of patterns in cupcake oil painting by Joan Terrell

Really enjoyed painting the illusion of the intricate pattern. Love the illusion of impressionism. Hopefully just enough suggestion so your mind fills in the rest.

closeup of pattern in fauvist oil painting by Joan Terrell, including signature

Signed by yours truly. Signing is difficult. More on that in a future post. Looking for tips and tricks. Got any? Be sure to let me know by adding a comment to this post.

Later, cupcake!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Keep going, and going, and going...

I love the swirl and twirl of life and being in the rhythm. There are four paintings on the easels right now and working on them in various stages on different days helps clear my mind. While one or two are cooling off, others are heating up. Two of my French easels were garage sale finds, one is from the Tuesday Morning store and one is from a friend's teenage daughter who never used it and went twirling off with another glittering interest of the minute. Life is like that. It's the natural ebb and flow of the endless tide.

Life is also like this sometimes:

RIP Brushes

Last week an 18-wheeler decided he wanted my lane. Thank goodness I had a way out. It was hi-ho silver pine and up over the curb into the landscaping at a doughnut shop. Not knowing he had crunched me, the 18-wheeler kept on going. Thank goodness for the kind people of Athens, Georgia who phoned the police. The 18-wheeler was pulled over down the road and its info is now part of the accident report.

Amazingly, I am fine, except for a small gash on my left forearm that we're keeping an eye on and a purse full of glass from the two side windows imploding. It could have been worse, a lot worse, and believe me, I am giving thanks every day!

Now it's back to having fun with these two fauve cupcakes. Here's where to find their history and progress steps. Just a little more baking and they'll be done. I love this "putting the icing on the cake" stage. OK, ok, enough with the analogies, but I couldn't resist!

Almost finished

Until next time, let's just keep putting one foot in front of the other and dance the dance. Later, cupcake!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Backwards and in heels

If anyone had told me an artist could be this busy, I wouldn't have believed them. I feel like Ginger Rogers, dancing and twirling through the rushing days. Remember that saying? Fred Astaire could really dance, but Ginger could dance, too... backwards and in heels!

Until next time, enjoy these Astaire/Rogers clips and let's get up and get to it! Here's the secret: Go and keep going! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

My big, fat fauve cupcake

I brought this beautiful cupcake home and set it up in the studio. As my assistant, Bella Z. Ball, suggested in Monday's post, a colorful napkin was added because the fauve artists were not only fond of bright colors, but plenty of patterns. Then I got to thinking... a big, fat fauve cupcake is a terrible thing to waste, so I took a photo of it and then struck that setup and changed the napkin to a teal stripe. I held up another napkin behind it that complements the stripe and imagined it was wallpaper.

I taped both of the 6" x 6" gessobord™ panels to a piece of cardboard, decided to do "2 up", and off we go. As you can see, I toned the panel on the left with Gamblin Transparent Orange. I used to tone all my canvases this way. First, it gets rid of the "fear of the white, blank canvas", secondly, it provides a midtone, so I can work with the darks and lights better (in theory anyway), and thirdly, I think it provides a warm surface for light to bounce off of, even when it's covered with paint. I painted over the pencil lines with thinned magenta.

To tone a canvas or panel, thin a little transparent type oil paint - such as Transparent Orange or Permanent Rose, etc. - with some mineral spirits - which I call "turps" - and brush on. It's somewhat runny and best done outside because of the fumes - even if using odorless mineral spirits. Don't make the mistake I did and tone a lot of canvases inside because the fumes were overwhelming and I'm glad I didn't blow up the house!

I save the plastic inserts from Nonni's™ biscotti. Their ridges make the best brush washing, gessoing, and toning mixture trays ever. Of course, I had to gain a pound or two in the process. What we have to sacrifice for our art!

Being new to choosing and mixing patterns, I did some homework. First, I visited some "how to mix patterns like a pro" sites (like this one), which explained the basics, and then it was off to the store. First, I visited Pier I. Being a thrift hunter, I scoped out their clearance section of orphaned napkins. Pier I is really good about having complementary patterns in their napkin section, so being new to this, I left it up to the pros. I also got some solids because it's hard to let go of my traditional safety raft.

After being inspired by Pier I, I visited the clearance remnants at Hancock Fabrics. So much fun walking around and trying to find crazy, complementary patterns! They have a lot of potential to be used as inspiration for wall paper, tablecloths, chair upholstery, anything you can imagine, in future paintings. It really flipped me over to right brain mode to just think of colors and patterns. A crazy, fun outing. Even the staff at Hancock got involved as we took samples around the store to the clearance bins without thought of fabric type or practical use. "What about this?" "Hey, this one may pick up some of that purple!".

So with that being said and the two panels being set up and ready, I put on my Enya Memory of Trees CD and got started. Number 1, I love Enya and painting to her music puts me into a good "block in" mood. Number 2, the CD runs for 45 minutes and I'm due to meet Pam for a haircut this morning and don't want to be late. You know how it is when you're flipped over to the right brain... no sense of time. Just color, pattern, and music!

Got to go now and get that haircut. I'm getting my bangs back and am sure she'll use her special "10 years younger" scissors. It'll be refreshing to go to a shorter style in this August heat and humidity.

Later, cupcake!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Hello, Cupcake!

We celebrated birthdays recently and so far successfully dodged the cake and ice cream, but then, while innocently strolling past the baked goods, like a shaft of light from above shining on a glittering treasure, there was the THE ONE. Whoa! Who is that fauvist bakery artist working back there? When I put the glorious cupcake in the hand cart, its colors outshone all the healthy items. Gone was the healthy broccoli and cauliflower mix, along with the organically grown zucchini and the Suddenly Salad™ pasta mix.

brightly colored cupcake

After carefully hiding it from my husband (wrapped in a plain brown wrapper and stuck in the back of the fridge and then camouflaged with the healthy vegetables in front of it), I stealthily removed it early one morning and carried it to my studio to paint. However, my assistant, Bella Z. Ball, enters stage right.

Bella sneaking up on cupcake
H-mmm, what's that I smell. Is it the turps? 

Bella getting closer to cupcake
While she's distracted at the computer, I'll just move around this pesky easel thingy.

Bella caught near cupcake
 Oh yeah, that's definitely for me because I just turned 3. What, huh? Oh, I was just thinking how nicely a wild patterned napkin would go with this crazy thing. Seriously, that's all.

colorful cupcake with patterned napkin and plate

Good idea, Bella!