Category Archives: Painting

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DIY verdigris

“What do you think? It’s verdigris.” “Looks like stuff I spent hours trying to get rid of when I was an apprentice.” “Good, that’s the look I was going for.” Husband and I don’t agree about verdigris. I love the patina, the idea of something ancient looking, the layers of character, and the colors. Husband just sees something that needs to be sanded and restored to pristine sparkle. The backyard bodega (storage shed) proved a little to damp for the NSF wire rack. It rusted and was on it’s way to a bad end. I replaced it with plastic shelving and attacked it with a wire brush. Then I got the brilliant idea of using copper color paint instead of bright silver. If I had used spray paint, maybe it would have worked better. It didn’t occur to me to take pictures along the way. The first layer is Berel 100% Acrilico Esmalte Metálico in cobre (copper colored acrylic enamel) ...

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Too much sun

Running errands after my painting class is not one of my brightest moves. On the one hand, it’s easy to catch the 66 Iberica bus to C 57 x 56 y 58, on the other hand, 2:00 is bad time to be out and about in the Yucatan sun. One of my last stops on the way home was the bank. Calle 65 x 62 y 64 has several banks located on it. The bank we usually use is the north side of the street, the atm machine inside an air conditioned chamber. Normally, we do our banking early in the morning, today, I arrived around three. Which is why I found myself on the south facing slowly baking wall in a long line wondering why I decided to get money on the quincena. I comforted myself with thinking since it was payday,the ATMs would have lots of cash available. Poor planning all around. Arriving home hungry and crabby, I ...

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Park bench sitters

Painting the men on the park bench was a challenge. The hats and body positions gave me fits. It all came together. Now I have two park paintings, I would like to do a series of them. Of course, that means I need to get out and take photos and do sketches.  Enough blather, here are the two paintings. Conversations in a park. Three Men, Two Benches Details from Three Men, Two Benches You can see the painting on my easel, in my post Artist at Work, the man in the gray hat changed quite a bit from when I started painting him.

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Artist at work

One of my fellow art students took some photos in class.                 Work in progress. I have to take a photo of the finished painting. I did this painting last year but never really liked it. I was trying to make it look like an old time sepia formal photograph. In my opinion, it looked too much like something that should be hung in the haunted mansion at Disneyland. Taking what I learned about under painting,I added some color to the painting. Now I like it, quite a bit, really. All the catrinas together, you can see my progress as an artist.

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Improving and Improvising

Practicing what I learned last week, I painted a portrait this week. I told Greenwood that I wanted to do something Rembrandt like. I had a photo from Halloween of BK’s husband dressed as a sultan and I wanted to use that as a jumping off point. We looked at an art book with Rembrandt’s paintings and those of his contemporaries. The turban and oriental costume was a frequent theme in art of that time. Greenwood pointed out to me that the backgrounds were dark to light. You can’t really tell in this photo but the lower right corner is much lighter than the upper left. I under painted the figure in shades of brown with the pants and pearls both being white. This is also one of my smallest paintings 14cm x 28cm (5.5” x 11”). I didn’t want to be too detailed. I want to take this to the framers and have a heavy gold frame put on ...

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Just what I needed to hear

My friend, PG’s husband is an artist, he also teaches art at the university level, listening to my woes he switched into teacher mode.He advised me. “What you should do is under paint in browns and white or black and white first. Think of it like drawing with paint instead of pencil.” He explained that it is a time honored technique. Thursday, at my painting class, I tried it. Taking it easy, I decided on a still life. I cropped this photo to make it more interesting. It took a long time to do the first step. I worked with raw umber and white. Adding color went very fast. All the hard stuff, like tones and shadows had already been worked out. For the first time in a long while, I finished my painting in one session! I’m very excited. You will have to wait until next week to see my finished still life, I left it to dry and ...

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landscape escape

Trying something new at my art class, I painted a triptych, not the  gorgeous religious ones you find in Russian and Greek Orthodox churches like the example on the left. Though the more I look at the more I want to do something like that. Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look, don’t you? Back to the subject at hand. I started with this photograph that I took of el Parque Arquelógico de Pumapungo, Cuenca.  It’s a little busy so with Greenwood’s guidance, I simplified it and stretched it out. Here are my three paintings, first as individual separate renderings and last as a triptych.                

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Busy Bee, that’s me!

In honor of the Borg, I have new nicknames for the granddaughters. They are now Juannafor, Tuafor, Threeoffour (formerly known as la nieta) and the once and future baby girl due in January who will be Fouroffour. La Primera mentioned to me that Tuafor was suffering from a serious case of handmedown syndrome.  I offered to make her a few things. She is still small enough that I can whip up stuff for her pretty quickly and young enough to like girlie stuff like twirly skirts. I have a friend who is heading NOB soon, which means the sewing machine has been whirling along. So for I have these things made. I planned on some simple skirts then I found a total deal on some sleeveless tops. At $10 each, I bought 6, so far I have combined one with fabric from my stash to create a long sleeve dress. I count stash fabric as free so it’s the seventy-five ...

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Nothing serious

Mrs WB and I have painting class together on Fridays. She paints tropical landscapes, sea shells, boats and all sorts of pretty paintings. I always admire her efforts, but somehow I can’t seem to follow her lead. It never occurs to me to paint a landscape, my fevered brain wants to paint things like Iguanas Playing Poker inspired by CM Coolidge’s Dogs Playing Poker series. I have, so far, resisted the temptation. However I indulged my penchant for whimsy with a pair of Catrin paintings, a revolutionary Adelita and a Bella Epocha lady. Last Friday they were joined by this trio of Mariachis. I couldn’t resist giving them all mustaches and eyebrows. Mariachis with Mustaches mixed media Normally my paintings are acrylic on board, this time I also used a white grease pencil, various Sharpie indelible markers and other felt pens in my possession. I also put a coat of triple glaze over it all. Here are all my skeletons ...

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Soldiering on

image courtesy  Joanna van der Gracht Rosado Adelita is the nickname that was given to the  women who fought in the Mexican revolution. I dressed up as one for the Grito party, Joanna gave in September. The Adelita is a powerful symbol, a strong woman, combination soldier, camp follower, nurse, often carrying a baby on her back alongside her rifle. Darstellung zweier Soldaderas image courtesy Wikipedia Deutsch Carrying on my La Calavera Catrina theme, this week’s painting combined an iconic image of an two Adelitas that I found on Wikipedia’s German Language Edition, with a calavera catrina. Spanish spellings seem to be variable because I have seen the word written as canterina, catrina and catarina, today, I am using catrina. Tomorrow? Who nows? For now I have separated the two companions. I am planning on painting the remaining Adelita next week and perhaps the two together after that.  

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