Wednesday, September 30, 2015

rain, at times heavy

brought a tree branch down on the prius,
put a huge dent in it
500 deductible on insurance
bernie said where it is....he's worried about water leaks
and that the paint already is chipping off so he is worried about it rusting
he is taking to the adjuster tomorrow
there goes my second wood load...
he's going to have to work at least 1 night overtime to cover
meanwhile his company still hasn't paid the overdrafts that they
ASSURED us they would cover do to them neglecting to deposit his pay

i am pretty tired of all this

ok yesterday, i dropped the two foxes and a pen and ink of amelia and the other ducklings at the printer to be scanned..... i am not printing them atm, but getting them scanned so i can send the originals to their new owners
i have chickens to get scanned too-one i know is spoken for in payment for letting me disrupt the bird farm in my quest for reference photos
i am hoping one other is sold
those will go to the printer next
i also took the majority of this years paintings to show ed the printer
he liked quite a few of them......
i know he is looking forward to the time when i will be getting more printed, as he does enjoy doing that for the artists that he works with.
so next tuesday we pick up the originals and the digital files-
i just said to bernie
i can't do this anymore
i need to get mats for the gouache paintings.... even ed the printer said that they needed to be matted and stored in bags due to the abrasion
oh man
so i have to look into that.... in bulk, mats would be at least 4. a painting
more if i cut them myself as i would have to get a cutter and storage and mat board etc....

but he's right

Monday, September 28, 2015

tomorrow the printer~! PS: i got a bad cold thanks bernie

the painting 'two foxes' will be going to the printer tomorrow to be scanned for a digital file, then's new home in Massachusetts-  i am actually selling originals now.
folks have been asking
and it was pointed out to me that i am not getting any younger, so these paintings need to have their futures assured.
as if something happens to me, bernie won't allow any of them to be sold
and then if he dies they end up as land fill
so to avoid that
i have started to sell painting
i will continue to sell prints when enough people want a print of a painting (to make it feasible)

it's bittersweet about the paintings...but then i would have been a very protective mother considering how i tread the animals... and bernie and the people i think of as family

meanwhile i am thinking about two other that is foremost is the gouache project.
still considering that one
and i am thinking of a transparent water color project as well
i'd like to do a run of newts, more birds of course
and then something that is totally out of my comfort zone......which at this point i don't quite know what it is
something with light on form i would imagine

this is my thought process.....
'ok, i can sorta do this, i am used to it........ how about making a sharp left turn and therefore set my brain upside down'

that's how gouache on black paper started....... it was the total opposite of what i had been doing.....

and now i want to think up something again the total opposite to set my brain upside down

so i will think.....and think and hope i come up with something

meanwhile i am interested in gouache

Sunday, September 27, 2015

i can't believe i cut ALL ** the paper

** that was undamaged

i cut 16 sheets of paper yesterday...doesn't sound like a lot but i had to sit down between each one
so all the paper for the gouache project is cut pretty much, and in a box marked 'colored grounds for gouache'
i am planning on making sure all the materials and supplies are inhouse from now on, prior to the start of a project......
and while i thought i was done with gouache on colored grounds (at least for now) ...i realized that i want to do all four season, so in the end that would be 24 paintings
now the question is..... do they all have to be on black paper or can i do each season on a different colored fall could be what? tan?
spring could be on grey, winter maybe on pale blue?
or maybe continue the series on black and vary the subjects
my aim through this is to learn about how light affects your eye seeing things throughout the seasons.....
i've already learned that the dark ground causes you to focus tightly on the image....which during the summer was painted in a high noon type light for the most part
hard and harsh (to my mind) highlights
i am going to try to convey the softer more diffused light of fall that's colored by the leaves and sky .....i am not sure however if black paper is the right ground to showcase that.....but i go around and around --- so while the actual painting may wait-- the reference photos, and notes will be done as soon as i have the models in hand.

meanwhile i plan on continuing work on the chickens..... i have the hackles on the lavender rooster to finish and then he's done...
a second buffie.....
the black and the white
then hens......
i may move the regular watercolor work over to my drafting table and then use the table easel for gouache work
i'll see if i can work on two paintings at a time....
so far i don't know how i can, as each painting takes a bit of time- anywhere from 100 hours....... up but at least i know if something is giving me grief on one painting there is another option i can jump to
this however may take some rearranging of the studio.......something bernie may not want to hear
* he also doesn't want to hear 'i need more bookcases'*
but really i could so use a bigger studio....i think if i did get to expand ( we were going to when we could afford it) i would like an etching press..... and a sculpting area......i miss both- plus i think that would be a good way to keep fresh while i'm working

anyway....i'm about to get to the easel ....having taken the day off to cut and prep paper.....
tuesday does still look good for potatoes and to drop paintings off at ed to be scanned/photographed

tiny ducklings are going to a new home.....(in black and white) and it looks like the two fox have a new home

Saturday, September 26, 2015

brushes and paper and paint --oh MY!

i got notice that part of my paper and brush order was in
i thought we'd have to wait until monday (when the second and final part of the order would be there)
but bernie ran to the post office
*** he's there RIGHT NOW**
so today.... i have to cut paper
(and freeze sausages from his shopping trip)
and in between i have to finish painting hackles on my rooster-

now so far yesterday, i had a pretty good fibro day, all things considered.....
i am hoping today will be just as good
i started to take the b12 in the morning instead of at night with the rest of my vitamins..... i think that has helped a bit
plus the weather is semi settled.

it has been decided that tuesday in addition to going (finally) for potatoes, that one or two paintings will be dropped off by ed the printer, to be digitized
and i need to have a discussion with him about the digital files
i need RAW + and as big as he can do them 5700 pixels is ok
i AM going to be selling the originals- which is scaring the living daylights out of me-
someone (actually several someones) made a lot of sense telling me that those paintings do no good in a box hidden from everyone...... (and those boxes are pretty full up now)

i am still wondering if anyone really actually wants them though
i also got quite a few opinions on pricing.....
from quite a few different people, not only artists, but collectors etc
they all seemed to agree that 300 per painting was a middle ground
so that's about it.....
i guess since most paintings take more then a week... *between 2-4 weeks* and the materials are 100% archival and lightfast....
that would give me a salary of approximately 100 a week...... for painting
see when it was put to me that way...... then 300 sounded reasonable- although it still makes me uncomfortable......which means i am probably in the correct ballpark

i still STILL need to get on the ball with the copyrights
i am behind on that
as in i still haven't done it yet and it's still overwhelming me and just the thought is robbing spoons (the spoon explanation of illnesses)
but it has to be done
i wish i could figure a way to have bernie do it
ahem.... then i could ignore it all...right?
go back to the easel in blissful innocence?

ok so it's time to go ......that easel is calling me

Friday, September 25, 2015

more winter preps

bernie went to shoprite this morning on the way home from work ** thank goodness cause i can't right now***
on sale ronzoni, sausage, teabags, some frozen pirogi at a price i can't even make them for, odds and ends....
we still need another 3 cords of wood
100# of potatoes
a tank of oil
a new storm window in one of the studio windows
crack filler and insulation for the studio and duck room
a roll of bubble wrap ( i found a 48'' x 125' roll)
two packs of sheet plastic
and bernie needs shoes

so i am going to most likely either do a kickstarter to print some of the paintings-
and or sell originals
** which still need to go to the printer for their digital files to be done***

meanwhile i am still painting chickens
which i need to get done soon
as bernie got me two pumpkins! so i have them too
the corn i was promised from CT so far hasn't shown up, - i'll have to see if i can find some around town.

i wish i could get the paintings done as cards..... it is still going to cost 70.00 PLUS per painting to get shot for digital print files......
so at this point that would be a bit too expensive just for cards... (that's why i do a run of 8 prints- that makes it so i pay for scans/prints and make a profit)

any suggestions are welcome


Thursday, September 24, 2015

little pieces of daily life

a piece here, a piece there.
bernie worked overtime so we are stocking up.... (potatoes weren't ready tuesday so next tuesday for them)
but we are stocking food..... tuna at .69 a can we got 14 cans of that but needed a bit more-
sausage on sale tomorrow....we'll get about 10# and that will hold us through to the next sale
odds and ends

i am restless, the weather has been so glorious, i want to go out...i want to pick apples and pumpkins and rake leaves.....
none of which i can actually do
i would love to take the ducks on a walk as well.......
or go horseback riding

meanwhile, i am continuing painting the chicken series..
and doing a lot of thinking about my work

i wonder if other artists go through this.....? i go back and forth about what i do.. i work daily, for the most part, i work hard, i push my limits .....but i don't push the envelope i think..... what really does what i do mean,?  if anything?
what is the point?
the only thing you could say about what i do is that i treat the every day, common images of life as portraits..... (i painted every damn kernel of that indian corn as if it was it's own individual portrait....took forever)
so in the end what does it really matter?

i also am considering the gouache on black..... i guess i am going to have to revisit it
as well as the other backgrounds- probably with seasonal things
and i am so going to have to figure a way to get some of what i need for models....i guess holly for winter? oranges? nuts?

anyway i wonder about the worth of what i do, even while i can't stop doing it
so there you go.....
part of today's musings on life

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

soft days of summer's end

you know the type, those perfectly brilliant days with perfect weather, in a very brief period of time between the demise of the hot hot weather and the onslaught of the cold and dark time of year.
days when you must must be outside,
when you must try to drink it all in
capture if you can the aliveness of it all
before being enfolded up into your cocoon for the winter
that's the reward for enduring the heat and dryness of august
the heat and humidity of the summer
and it's the memory that gets you through the seemingly endless slush and white coldness of sleep of winter

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

a potato day

at least i hope so
at least 2 bags of 50# each for the winter *** ahem, my beloved lehigh potatoes won't be ready until tuesday next ****--we are slowly getting ready
i wish most of this had been done earlier, (potatoes couldn't be done earlier- but wood could have been)
i wish wood was already stacked, trees cut back from the chimney, windows caulked, and covered with plastic
i also wish i had been well enough to garden, to build my cold frames and have tucked in winter vegetables under a blanket of mulch.
i'm better but not well yet.
i have some hopes of improving slowly.
meanwhile i am painting
right now i am in the midst of chickens.
i don't foresee corn at this point, but it is possible that in a week or so there will be corn and pumpkins and maybe gourds ......and colored leaves to paint
*** i need more lightbulbs*** (note to self-for the drafting table)
i am actually looking forward to getting the colored paper and starting a gouache painting on the drafting table while i work on my chickens on the easel.....

i did 6 paintings in gouache of the summer flowers here....... i am considering doing six paintings in gouache of fall/seasonal plants, possibly corn, leaves, berries, gourds, pumpkins, nuts...
maybe if i keep going i will, after a year, end up with 24 gouache paintings that could be called 'the four seasons' or something

now as an aside..... no one is more surprised then i am to find out how committed  i've become to all this work, and how one thing suggests another and how before i know it a series happens
and yet my subjects seem so randomly varied to me.... and simple, what ever is sort of to hand
and the really oddly interesting thing to me is, how involved i get when i'm painting whatever it is i am painting...
i also seem to be thinking of things such as...'what exactly is it about this light on this form'
all this is done while i am somehow in this weird meditative 'out there' state i get into while painting...

i never thought i would get beyond 'does this tell the story' , even though i am a great believer in 'just show up and work every day, no matter what'......
i probably should have/could have predicted this if i had actually stopped to think about it
as i type this
my painting is calling me .....i am redoing a purple chicken.....
don't laugh
he's giving me the stink eye and daring me to do better

Saturday, September 19, 2015

preparing for the influx of stonehenge

the paper that is
i had said if i could find a 25% off coupon for stonehenge i would get it.....i did, so yes i did get it (bernie actually told me to-he liked the gouache on stonehenge series)
now 18 sheets of colored stonehenge are on their way (or will be soon)
plus two sheets of  pescia by magnani (blue) and one each of strathmore charcoal in a dark grey and a cadet blue.
plus an archival box to store the quartered sheets in.
i suspect that the strathmore is going to be for colored pencil as it's pretty lightweight at 64#
the pescia is 300 gsm so about 140#.....we'll see about the surface though- that one only has two options for what i'm looking for..this blue and a grey- but if it's not sized for water media, then i may have to either size it myself....or again, colored pencil work.
the stonehenge is only 90# -200 gsm, and i can make that work

all these papers are 100% cotton rag..
i am dying to get my hands on 100% linen..... i am starting to think i am getting to the point where my work is worth it..... a 300# or more linen would make me very happy in a full sized sheet......unbleached, internally and surface sized.....*** i think i just fainted***..... we'll see after the new year about the mills that have this- i know one is in the midwest, one in canada and one in france.......

so anyway i am getting ready in the studio for the paper to arrive
i've sorted my cut paper boxes, and pulled all the fabriano that i use almost exclusively, out..... it's all in one box now.
the other box has misc. paper from when i was experimenting with surfaces and weights.
i had decided that fabriano artistico 140# hp in extra white is my go to work horse paper.
for the most part, after testing and painting on a lot of other paper. i am only sorry i didn't get more in the 300# weight but at least the 140# is workable.
i have a few paintings on some of the others, and on cp and rough surfaces .....even one on soft press- they are exciting and wonderful-BUT- are a nightmare to photograph for reproduction, where as the artistico hp is much easier.

the stonehenge quartered paper will have it's own box (and yes i labeled all the boxes now with what's in there on drafting tape)

i figure if i can ever get flat files a 10 drawer unit should be ok for me.... i can put finished paintings in four sections per draw......and sort out the full sheets with a draw for halfs and quarter sheets......

and i need a bigger studio..... really i guess i do... i could use a cutting area and a matting/framing area (which i don't do now due to space) ....... storage ** hahahaha, storage around here means NOTHING.....there is none***
and i could use photography lighting..... if i could only get some glare free lighting i am actually capable now of shooting some decent usable digital files, except for the glare
that is my studio goings ons.....and my wish list/ goal list
or my 'when i hit the lottery' list

but it is nice to have sorted the paper out i wish i had somewheres other then the budgie  cage top to store it
-- as does the budgie--

Friday, September 18, 2015

toning watercolor paper

i tried an experiment  on my watercolor paper, using staining pigments to tone it.
i'm not happy with it
this is what i did
i mixed up a solution of pigment (pthalo blue 15:3) distilled water, and oxgall
i wet the paper back and front and lightly wiped off the shiny spots-
and when it was sort of damp and flat washed on the pigment with a large flat soft brush, as evenly as i could manage....
let dry and did it again-
the surface i would imagine would be wonderful for colored pencil or even pastel
but i don't think it will be a good idea for gouache, it's already buckling like crazy- not what i wanted at all
now the next logical thing is to just attempt to work with the stonehenge which while i am not totally crazy about the least is 100% cotton and i know i can use, although i would really like to mount it
and if i can find an archival glue i will....
so far all the so called archival glues aren't...... which leaves me with hide glue
so i  will have to think about that for a while

Thursday, September 17, 2015

slowly slowly

how come things never get straightened out as fast as things get screwed up?
we're still having issues with bernie's company making good on the fees associated with their not paying him his vacation pay.
they screwed up and now are giving us a hard time, even AFTER assuring us that they were going to fix it

meanwhile, i'm still out of sorts
the weather is wonderful...i should be very very content, but out of sorts yet- staying away from almost everyone ** so if you are hearing from me on a semi regular basis, know that you are one of the few - i know you're reading this**

i just realized that if i am going to do any print runs this year ....i need to do something NOW
meanwhile i am still painting chickens
i'm about done with the second one...... i'll finish him today, i am not however sure if i didn't ruin him or not
i have two more roosters then hens to do
i also really need to put in a paper order for gouache paintings..... i want more of the stonehenge in some of the other dark colors..... there is a brown, blue, two grays and a tan called fawn i am thinking would be a good idea..
i think i'm going to get three sheets of each, (three sheets should give me 12 painting surfaces so two series in each ground color)...i also found two other papers to test...
i need brushes ( so what else is new) and some odds and ends.. but i am hesitant to put the order in's not going to be a cheap order... it's going to be over a right now, it's only 15% off on 100, i want to wait until i can get 20 or more % off (and i have the wood and oil taken care of)

so that's pretty much it
i am really wishing i had that paper already but it will have to wait......after all i will just paint on it...... thereby avoiding the rest of the chickens and the corn i have to do on the regular paper with the normal watercolors right?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

chickens .... up to my ears in chickens

i started to paint roosters, from the bird farm.
i did the lavender orpington, and am working on the buff orpington-
i've been sort of not online to much....i'm going through some of 'those' days
i don't know what it is really
but i'm out of sorts
i guess between bernie's company totally messing up his past 4 weeks pays....
and worry over this winter and the heating situation
*our wood got rained on badly the other night, it's not stacked yet-i can't stack*
etc etc
i wish i had been able to put in a back up kero or propane heater in the studio for nights or even for the bad part of winter so i can paint without films of ice on my rinse water ..
but meanwhile i am just painting
i would like to get some of these paintings printed as prints and cards, and the images put on some other things like house flags and calenders but that is not going to happen right now

i also appear to have allergies against a lot more things... probably mostly involving molds as after the rain i got worse.
thaddeaus too ....... maybe calpurrnia a bit also......* i am dreading heating season-
i found a bottle of zyrtec on the shelf so i been taking one a works the best out of all the allergy meds

so until some of this straightens out around here i guess i'll continue to be out of sorts
but i'll also continue to paint

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

gouache and possiblities

i've been researching grounds for the gouache paintings again-
i would like a different color ground....
i found some ideas that could work maybe
if i can get to experiment--- i keep hoping someone says 'oh i got the perfect thing for you, it's exactly what you need'
but so far not in america

so this is some of what i been thinking of

all involve work and are an expense i really don't want or need
 1) 300# watercolor paper and acrylic inks- downside..... the ink won't be perfectly even, it will be a mottled look
2) casein on mat board- downside..... this would be a 'lean over fat' which is not good
3) acrylic gouache on mat board- downside......the pigments aren't as lightfast as i would like

all i want is an approximate 300# HOT PRESS -100% cotton rag with a few completely lightfast colors......
dark blue
dark red
deep purple
dark green
and a sorta moody selection of various grays

is that too much to ask?

Sunday, September 06, 2015

goals, new work, and progressions

i started work on chickens painting yet, just sketches of buff orpingtons
i plan on doing the 4 colors of them and i will decide later on the progression of the series
i can do series of 8, so two of each color..... the first four just the roos the second four the hens or any combination thereof.
right now however i am just going to reacquaint myself with orpington anatomy.

i have also reassessed my goals....
and i have a few new ones
but i am working on that still so i don't know if i'm really ready to share
oh and it's about a year since that agent contacted me, haven't heard anything more from her- i am thinking that's a lost cause.
so i am also figuring that one was not meant to be for me
meanwhile i am of course STILL painting

i do have to make a priority to get my pdf of painting thumbnails done for the copyright office .....even though i am protected currently i need to know that i have it covered for the future

then i will upload to the website i made (*** mobile friendly ***)
and again start to submit for licensing

i am hoping also to get to print some paintings next month
if folks want them to give as gifts
i need an assistant i think too
but again...meanwhile i paint

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

wood, stress, tires and more stress

well first off..i finished the last painting of flowers on black paper in gouache.
so this series has, two pansies, two petunias and two rose of sharon......
i do have the columbine, and orchid also in gouache on black paper.....but they don't 'fit' this series
i hope to return to white paper for a while and transparent watercolors
i am sort of waiting a bit, as i have some stuff to deal with (bernie's job screwed up payroll and he's not been paid for two weeks cause a whole bunch of stress and problems for me to deal with, and for him to deal with)
and before that little tidbit hit the fan......we bought our snow tires and part of our winter wood... then found out that we had to cover the overdrafts caused by the direct deposit not happening and the auto pays coming out...
this should be straightened out by the 5th i hope

we did get our snow tires.....we got them online for a savings of 200.00 over the local b&m stores... we did try to buy local but when we started to shop around, we got hit with 'i ordered them for you they are 110. each'----- yeah forget that, we asked for an ESTIMATE.. so for 84.00 a tire and free shipping we got tires, delivered ups
they are now sitting in my living room along with a bushel of green peppers i have to process for the freezer.....

meanwhile, i found out yet another friend of mine died!.... what is this with all these guys dying before 60? so far this summer i found out about 4 of my friends dying!

meanwhile i am again in a fibro flare, so far it's shoulders and fingers........ and my ankles are threatening to spasm if i don't watch it... poor bernie never seems to get sleep on his nights off due to either me with asthma or me with fibro..

so it's stress, stress and more stress.... interrupted with wood and tires...

and how is your end of summer going?