Getting old, Blogging and Painting!!!

I had my 76th birthday a week ago! No problem but I am ready to start a new painting now... and there IS a problem. Here is what I want to paint-


Colchicum, with Lady's Mantle , Dying Hosta and fallen Magnolia leaf background. BTW, the big black triangle on the left about half way down is a SCREAMING , still VERY GREEN Hosta leaf I did not want so, out it goes!!
This is a Colchicum (Autumn Crocus) at our front door  when it was in bloom- Late October- early November. They are soo pretty. Such delicate looking blooms for the time of year and the gorgeous mottled fuchsia pink is to die for. I have some closeups of the stamens for my detail work. You cannot believe how beautiful they are. I SHALL post them eventually but let's get over these little hurdles first.

As I am getting old, my EYES are giving me grief- so it is VERY hard to see the details I love to draw and to paint. If you look closely at this photo, you will see that I have OUTLINED all the parts I have trouble distinguishing , using a fine Microperm pen. (I LOVE those pens!!)

Then, in preparation for DRAWING my bloom and sketching in leaves, stems, interesting bits from my background, I have drawn a 1" grid on an 8.5"x11" paper. This crop of the painting is 7.25" X 10.25" so, enlarged, it will nicely fit my half sheet of watercolour paper- 15" x22".

Now, here's the trick!! I can draw anything I really want to draw. Lucky me! BUT, as I cannot SEE the details well, I put a sheet of clear acetate over my photo, and trace over the nice clear little black lines I drew over the photo. . Then, I tape my original photo to a piece of heavy card for colour reference and the acetate tracing to the gridded paper... like THIS...

Gridded paper with the acetate  tracing taped onto it so I can see clearly to draw onto the WC paper

See how clear this is now!! I do not TRACE the drawing onto the enlarged grid on my WC paper. I will DRAW it myself, just as I would draw from the photo... if I could SEE the darned thing clearly! So, ya see- you Can work around developing cataracts if you are determined enough. I have not started my drawing yet but HAVE gridded my WC paper, 2" squares ... like THIS

A half sheet of Winsor and Newton 140 lb NOT paper with a TWO INCH grid drawn onto it.

I am excited to get at this painting. I have had a BIT of a hiatus, having finished the Kale a couple of weeks ago. It took me a while to decide which of my MANY photos to work from. The Colchicum won out!! NB, I am using a HALF sheet this time. It was fun working on a FULL sheet, but my back got pretty tired ( see the reference to my advanced age!)

I'll post steps as I continue working on this painting and will also post sone details of the stamens! They are GORGEOUS!! I am going to TRY to post this to Facebook too! Cheerio for now:-)







New Year

Greetings All and VERY best wishes to you for a wonderful, creative and healthy New Year. I have been VERY slack on my blog lately, partly as I am not quilting , partly that I am VERY lazy having had a lot of major health problems to deal with in my family! It wears me out but we ARE coping and getting along with things now, so hopefully, I'll be more regular!

I keep thinking I should close this blog as it is sort of "false advertising" now but it is likely where people know to look so perhaps just THINK of it as "rtpainter" now instead! I am in the middle of divesting myself and my laundry room/studio of all of my quilting and dyeing STUFF!!! MY goodness gracious, I have a LOT of stuff down there!!! I have one, possibly two friends coming next week to pick over the PILES and see what would be helpful to them. I want no money for this stuff, just the space and the peace of mind knowing that there is ONE SMALL corner of the house where there is SOME semblance of order. We are getting older and as we have only one child, thinking of HER having to clean up this place after we have shuffled off, is keeping me awake nights!
These pics represent a fraction of my STUFF! I DO hope someone can use it- some of it, at least!
Same stuff from the other end of the table!!!




I have finished my Kale painting. It is on Arches 140 lb cold press paper, a full sheet.. 22"x30". It was  really quite a HUGE job, started before my watercolour course and finished after it was done. I THINK , on the whole, that I am fairly pleased with it. It has been such a long time since I painted seriously and it feels REALLY good. Painting/drawing for me is a great retreat into peace and sanity. I always enjoyed the Fibre Arts but my true love has always been painting!

This photo is , unfortunately, kind of woolly! I REALLY need to shoot pics of my paintings with the big Nikon Camera and proper lighting. These are all just phone pics... OK, but not beautiful!
I recently submitted a DNA sample to Ancestry.com. DH gave it to me for Christmas as he knows how hard I find it knowing only one side of my family! My Dad, born in 1919 was adopted by two maiden English sisters who worked for a while in Hamilton ON as Matron and Asst Matron of the WCTU Nursery, where Dad was left as an infant. I have the official adoption papers from 1925 when the whole thing was finalized. His birth name was James Davidson but Grandma and Aunty officially changed it to Theo Hamilton Morris. I have agonized over learning more about Dad's family forever. I MAY have a tiny crack opening in the secrecy as a result of the DNA test, but no answers and maybe NEVER any answers. Anyway, I have subscribed again for six mo to Anc.com so we shall see. Between that, trying to shed all this ballast and looking for my next subject to paint... I am pretty busy. Oh, and the health issues and their attendant appointments continue too. We are well booked up into mid August.

SO, Dear Friends, I solemnly promise to TRY to do better here on my blog and hope to hear from you. Happy New Year all and God Bless!

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

I AM SAD TO SAY THAT I HAVE JUST ADDED SECURITY TO MY BLOG! SORRY FOLKS BUT I HAVE JUST BEEN OVER AN HOUR DELETING A LOT OF COMMENTS, I THINK IN ARABIC! IF YOU ARE A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER, PLEASE COMMENT IN ENGLISH AS I WILL NOT READ OR REPLY TO SOMETHING I CANNOT UNDERSTAND. I AM SORRY BUT WE LIVE IN FUNNY TIMES. THANKS!

Backlit Spotted Pink Hellebore- finished but as yet, UNTITLED!!


I BELIEVE that my Spotted Pink backlit Hellebore is Finished??? I am at the "staring place"-- you know, where I prop it up and catch fleeting glances- or longer, so I can see it in different lights and watch for "little uglies" to leap out at me.

This painting is on Winsor and Newton 140lb NOT paper, half a sheet. Paints are all WN. I have learned SOOO much in the online course I followed with Marney Ward. It, and SHE are just excellent! I shall go back over my notes and the little videos MANY times, hoping to improve my work in stages as I go.

I am, on the whole, quite pleased with this piece. In hindsight, I would do the background differently. but I think this works reasonably well. It was very early spring so the original photo has lots of winter debris in it and it is quite "busy". I still wonder if I should not have tried for more variation in value in the BG to indicate the wonderful morning backlight! Guess I'll never know !

This took me a LONG time! Protecting all those stamens with Masking fluid to keep them paint free, eventually REMOVING it all, tidying it all up ( it was very raggedy on the stamen edges) , and then PAINTING them all ... and then, just for a giggle at the end- PAINTING ALL THOSE SPOTS!!!! This painting and I know each other VERY well now :-) We are very good friends now and I am pleased that I have learned so much and that I have been able to put it into practice.

I would urge you all to look at Marney Ward's website. Her work is soo inspirational. the thing with my painting is that technically, I guess it is alright but to me, it doesn't say too much. I want to learn to make my painting SPEAK, SING, COMMUNICATE. Skill first, esoterics to follow, I hope. I certainly intend to continue to strive for excellence.

I am on Facebook if you can find me??? Not sure how that works. I cannot find me???? Anyway, icy cold, bright Wednesday here in Ontario's Banana Belt. I wish you all well and hope you are healthy and safe and CREATIVE? 

Facebook

Well, I have FINALLY succumbed and joined Facebook! I am TOTAL RUBBISH at it and have almost NO idea what I am doing!!! I AM posting and I AM getting some replies but I find it cluttered and confusing. How long I will stay.... anyone's guess!

I have started my Watercolour course and guess what?? I am stressing and uptight a bit! Not sure why except that there is a LOT on my mind right now. So, I am soldiering on, trying to learn as much as I can. The course is EXCELLENT. I am not but I AM learning a ton!!
Our little pink Colchicum is in bloom at the front door. They are kind of gangly but soo pretty! One of the common names for colchicum is Naked Ladies because they lack leaves! The leaves come in the spring like grape hyacinth.

I am just shooting LOTS of photos at various stages.

These are OK but I THINK I have better ones on the camera from today!

If you can enlarge these, look at the colours in the stamens! Sooo pretty! 

Anyway, does anyone know how to ID oneself as being on FB?? I have NO idea. I have tried googling myself and can't find me- but I AM there.

I am going to go and spend a bit of time right now putting masking fluid on mu stamens- it's a hellebore! There are LOTS!!!



Too many Irons in the Fire!!!

There we are! This is where I REALLY am at the moment. Sorry it is fuzzy focus but you get the idea!

Making great progress on the Kale but it is on hold now for a bit! I started my eight week online course on Wednesday past and need to concentrate on it and on getting set up for this upcoming surgery adventure. So far though...
Still lots to paint at this stage
This is where I was earlier in the week. It took a goodly long time to get the rest of the first basic paint colours on and THEN......!!!!!! Over a day to get the masking off all of the frills and the veins! It worked well for me though and I have stopped at this point. I PROMISE to get a better pic in decent light as this was a phone shot in artificial light. The painting is NOT yellow!!!
HORRID photo but you can see that I have almost finished the basic painting this at this stage. I have ALL of the colours in place now and all of the masking off and will get a better pic shortly. 
Meanwhile, I have started my course with Marney Ward online and have chosen and cropped this photo to work from...
This is my crop and I will be drawing from this version ...
And painting from THIS version
Why two photos? Well the one I am drawing from is easier for me to see as the colours are lighter. The second one is a bit richer in colour and I like that better. It will be on a half sheet of 140 lb Winsor and Newton paper- well, SLIGHTLY wider than half. I may add more to this post eventually but DH is awaiting my assistance.

BTW, I am now, FINALLY on Facebook if you are interested. I am just running out of time. Three weeks and two days till surgery! YIKES!! SOO much to do ;-o

And so it continues!!

Earlier this afternoon
 I have spent the afternoon painting, waiting for paint to dry, waiting for DH who's been at the dentist for a surprise root canal and enjoying back and forth iMessage with an overseas relative! All VERY enjoyable, with the possible exception of the root canal! I am starting to lay in some basic colours in the individual leaves of this little Kale plant! How exciting that ALMOST every leaf is slightly different colours with an underlying grey greeny blue!

Rounding the bend with the lighter coloured leaves. It BEGINS to look slightly Kale-y/Cabbage-y. 
I am getting excited to lay in some of the delicious dark shadowed areas here and there and especially in the CENTRE! That SHOULD make it POP!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Talk soon!

Some small progress is being made but I have lost the good light for tonight

This house needs a few more light bulbs and a lamp or two repaired!! I have LOST any light that would help me so I am blogging instead of painting.

Here's the photo on the painting for reference. Actually, this version of the photo is a bit wishy washy so I am using the iPad for better colour.


I have been working this afternoon, mixing vein coloured paint and beginning to paint the veins. I will do them and a few pale or white highlights as well and then use masking fluid to cover those bits so I can paint my background freely and not destroy the details.

This is so much fun!! I have just gotten my receipt for payment for the course with Marney Ward! I am VERY excited and can't wait to get started. Unfortunately, I will miss two days in the middle for a pre op and then surgery on 19 Oct. Not to worry. Marney says all the material will be available ... so I am NOT worrying!

I feel like progress IS being made on the Kale. The drawing for this one was hard because it is so big- 22' x 30". I don't normally work that big. It's killing my back. When I put the masking fluid on, it will lie flat on the diningroom table. The easel is GREAT for painting but I want the whole thing flat and easy to turn around so I don't drag my hand or anything over wet stuff!


Here is the overview with no distractions. It is coming along and I HOPE to finish this part and let it dry tomorrow ready  for the masking.

My "homework"for Ms Ward's course is to either TAKE a floral photo or FIND one to use as a reference photo for my painting for the course. Do ya think I have enough floral photos???? ;-)I made an album on my Flickr of potential candidates! I have soooo many that COULD work! Just have to settle one the ONE that moves me the most at the moment! That'll keep me out of trouble for a while!!

Hope you are all well and gainfully employed! We have had/are HAVING rain today which is a true blessing. It is pretty darned cool too- another blessing!! OK, I am off. Take care everyone and stay tuned. 

Moving right along

If you want a treat some time, look up Elizabeth Tyler's paintings. She works in Acrylic and Watercolour and she has become one of my muses. She's an amazing woman, just a tad younger than I, widowed fairly recently and sailing SOLO for six months a year in the waters around Greece!! I will NOT be doing THAT but her painting, particularly watercolour and her methods, graciously shared on You Tube, and also an eBook($19.95 USD) that I have purchased are teaching me a LOT!!!

Elizabeth REALLY inspired me with a watercolour of a big Red Cabbage- google it! ( some day, someone needs to teach me to make links!!!) As I had recently bought a little Ornamental Kale for my front door urn, I have decided to try to paint it. Here is my reference photo...
I just love this little Kale plant. There are soo many glorious colours in it. I HOPE I can manage to do it! I am VERY motivated!
I have gridded the photo in one inch squares and transcribed the drawing to a full sheet (22"x30") of Arches cold pressed 140 lb paper. Hope I do not regret not using the Winsor and Newton paper!!!

So, now I have my drawing all done except for tidying up and making a few spots clearer. This is hard to see but here's a quick pic from my phone...
Sorry it is so wispy but I NEED the drawing and don't want the pencil lines TOO obvious. I could NOT do this one without pencil guidelines!

The next job will be to paint then mask the veins and some of the leaf edges. I have not had great success with masking to this point but in this case, A- I am VERY motivated and B- I have pens, nibs, a ruling pen, GOOD masking fluid (W&N), and a number of different brushes I can use. Wish me luck and remember me in your prayers, please. I THINK, that if I can get the veins and edges painted and nicely masked, the rest should be easier and actually FUN! I LOVE colours and look how many there are in the ref pic! GLORIOUS!!!

I have also started working on choosing a palette. The vein colours and that VERY deep shadow colour are my biggest concerns at the moment. Very exciting experimenting though. Did I mention at all how much I am enjoying this???


A really wretched pic but Elizabeth Tyler's palette is down the left side and my auditioned colours and mixes are starting along the top
A bit clearer view- I AM liking some of the very darks!

And ET's palette. I will play with these colours and try some mixes although Elizabeth's final outcome is quite different colours than my little plant and my reference pic so I may be on my own!
I plan on visiting Fibre Content on Tuesday coming with my Aunty. From the catalogue, it seems like a nice show. If you are in the vicinity, do drop in! It is at the Art Gallery of Burlington, runs every day until 16 September. See you there perhaps!

The end and the beginning

Good morning All! It is a brutally HOT , HUMID morning here today. I'm just getting ready to take my three quilts to the Art Gallery of Burlington for the SAQA show, Fibre Content 2018. I submitted and had juried into the show, three quilts- "Ruby Dangles", "Bug Lunch" and "Unloved, That Beech Will Gather Brown". Almost 250 pieces were submitted by 123 artists and 90 pieces were juried into the show, representing 60 artists. I feel fortunate to have had all of my pieces accepted. The show runs from 06 Sept to 16 Sept. Drop in if you are in the vicinity! If I can find pics of my pieces, I'll post them.

The Daylily finished but not signed here- it is now!
This was a lot of work but I learned a TON and know a lot of things I'd do differently another time. I had a hard time with background-
This was just too high and busy so I washed as much of it away as I could and tried THIS...
...and I found this just TOO dark, though it doesn't look badly here.
Eventually, I washed some of the dark away and added three overglazes of yellow to "sunny it up" a bit. Here's the final look-
I like this a lot better. The yellow picked up the glowy centre and it made the greenish pistil more obvious too
I was having a hard time working as I have lost my good lamp in the diningroom where I used to work. I moved to a small table in front of a big northfacing  bay window in the livingroom and it is much better. I searched for , and FOUND a great little compact table easel so now I am SET!
FYI, the easel is called a Ravenna Sketchbox Easel and I found it on Amazon.ca. There are lots of versions of the same thing. LOVE the drawer but DH is going to put a wee knob on it so it is easier to pull out. Other than that, it is FABULOUS and REALLY makes a comfortable place to work.

There we are, Mildred Mitchell, done, dusted and in situ in the window on the easel!

I shall look for pics of the three quilts and post them later but have to get ready to deliver them now. Tirra, all. More later!

Well, I found them. Here are MY quilts and the cover of the catalogue....
Ruby Dangles- it is a bit brighter than it looks here


My Beech Leaves- it is much bigger than Bug Lunch in reality

Bug Lunch
And I got my own, personalised copy of this year's catalogue!!!!!

So there you are! Dates for the show and some of the work. Nice to be a "Cover Girl"!!

Now, I need to make lunch and then shop. The larder is almost bare! Tirra, once again.

Progressing

I AM making slowish progress on my Daylily- Mildred Mitchell. DH has not been well. I have hurt my back. It is a sad story but here's where I am.
Well.. here's where I WAS a few days ago!! 

And, bit by bit, Progress IS being made. I have had a LOT of interruptions and a LOT of drying time because of many layers of glazing washes but this is where I finished off before supper today. Now I have pretty much lost my light for the day.
I am really enjoying this and am VERY anxious to get a good long run at it but it has been very sporadic- and not the best atmosphere for keeping one's mind on the task at hand!

Some of these colours are BEASTLY difficult to figure out! I'm using a mixture of Winsor and Newton and Daniel Smith paints. I know W&N pretty well but DS colours are still relatively new to me and even though I THINK I know what a particular colour looks like and how it mixes, I get foxed... OFTEN!There has been a LOT of experimentation. I am learning!

I am hoping to audit a Watercolour Class in the fall if all goes well. The artist who runs it, Marney Ward is a SUPERB Canadian watercolour artist, specializing in florals. Check her out. She juries the people she allows to take the full course but, as I have virtually NO body of work ( in watercolour, anyway) this is not the year to apply to do the full course. However, I believe that as long as one pays, anyone can audit. I am VERY much looking forward to the course beginning. Meantime, I need to finish up, pick a new subject to do to follow along with the class and get my W&N paints in order. Marney is a W&N girl  with a few added DS colours and she works on W&N 140 lb paper. Assuming the class runs and that I am allowed to participate, I'll post progress as I go. Stay tuned.

Enough for now. It is a TAD cooler tonight. We have a mission to do right now and then home to put the garbage out for collection tomorrow. Cheerio all. Take care and keep on creating!

BTW, Fibre Content show will be starting very soon. I had three pieces selected to be shown- likely my Swan Song in Fibre Arts. I'll post the details shortly.

Mildred Mitchell and more

Hemerocallis Mildred Mitchell


I have a new Daylily in the Garden. Her name is Mildred Mitchell and she is STUNNING!! I have bored my Flickr Friends with her photos ENDLESSLY and finally decided  to try her in Watercolour.

Below,  is a VERY poor photo of Mildred, because the room was dark and I took it on my phone. In reality, it is the same as the one above but on regular paper. This is the one I used to draw my outlines... The original photo is on 8.5"x11" paper. Mildred will be twice that when she is finished- I HOPE!!!
A blurry picture of Mildred with the grid lines - Kind of like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds??

Anyway, I have made my faint pencil outline and have a wee bit of paint on. This pic is very hard to see but if you try very hard, you'll see where I intend to go.
The paint was not FULLY dry so the paper is a WEE bit warbly. Nice and flat now.
You'll see the garish green bit in the upper right corner of the reference photo. That will NOT be in the final picture! It is slightly more than a half sheet of Winsor and Newton WC paper- 140 lb, cold press.

I have been spending a LOT of time drawing, messing with paint colours and generally getting back into my WC comfort zone. Mind you, I am SO used to working SMALL and now I am working BIG- or at least biggER that the Comfort Zone is not actually TOO close just yet. I have some trepidation about this piece as there is so much space with so little detail. I am just going to have to work REALLY hard!

However, Drawing feels great again and I keep picking up little things I find in the garden and playing with them...
I found this lovely little Amelanchier leaf on the front lawn and fell in love with it! Somehow, our trees seem to change colour quite early and this new tree is doing it too. It doesn't show too clearly, but the left side was almost all yellow, while the right side was various corals and reds with lime green veins! The other sketches are of a pink coneflower. 
So, you see, I have not been idle. I am not very good at Idle! We have very very hot, humid weather just now and I am VERY happy to remain indoors, painting and drawing. I hope you are all managing to remain cool, comfortable and SAFE. Stay hydrated and think cool thoughts. It seems not to matter where you are in the world, we are ALL HOTTT! Take care and Be Creative!

Ta DAAA!!!!!

I am finished! (I think) I have it propped on the mantle for some serious "staring time" to see if anything jumps out at me. If not, I'll sign it! On the whole, I am pretty happy. I have never done a watercolour this big- 22"x15" ( half a sheet of Winsor and Newton 140 lb NOT) and have not done w "serious " painting for - maybe 35 years!!! Anyway... here it is!

The copyright needs to be removed. That is from my photo. My "signature" is VERY small! Sorry, forgot to remove it!
I decided, in the end, on greens with some yellow as there are bits of light shining on and through some of the petals.

Then, I decided I HAD to do something to keep track of my paints! I have a LOT and wracked my brain for a way of keeping track of them and allowing me to see what a particular colour looks like when making up a palette for a new piece of work. They are only in spectrum order - red, orange, yellow, green etc but not sorted within a section. I used strips on watercolour paper, name on the back side and eventually, I will record a Munsell pigment number and other pertinent info on each colour too.

 I BELIEVE this is BRILLIANT- for me, anyway. May not work for you.
This is the weekend of the Memorial Picnic for Mum. The whole family of my Mum will be here ( DD et al arrive here on Thursday !!!!) and we are all ready to roll... and the weather sounds potentially VERY unpicnic-like!!!! Fingers crossed but my brother and his wife have a big house which they have kindly offered in case we get rained or worse- THUNDERSTORMED out! So, I am frustrated but not painting this week. I'll have two little boys to play with in a couple of days! That'll take my mind off my paintboxes! They are 4 1/2 and 21 months and FULL OF LITTLE BOY BEANS :-D

So, kind folk, Have a wonderful week yourselves and Happy creating! Back soon.