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What Pen and Anna have been waiting for!

This is my inspiration pic:

It is a photo of a red eft by Michael Righi. It's been my favorite newt picture since I started looking for newtly inspiration in July. I've been staring at it off and on for quite a while, trying to figure out how I want to orient and crop it onto a canvas.

I particularly liked how, if I turned it on it's side, some of the marks in the rock reminded me of a ladder. Also really liked how there's some spots (look like water marks) on the fungus that are similar to the newt's spots.

Here's another photo from Michael Righi's photostream:

Here I'm pondering my prints of this again. I want to play up the "ladder" and, Anna will know what I'm talking about here, I'm thinking about Celestial Navigation.

Several layers of tracing paper, so I can manipulate parts of the composition independently.

I'm thinking I really like this one.

Then having second thoughts. Maybe I want a square canvas. I could make a newty sort of mandala...

No. Maybe I'll save that idea for another time.

I've started drawing my composition on a 16" X 20" canvas. Giant newt!
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The colors in this painting are getting wilder. It's even more violet in person (the lighting in that room is yellowy). I wasn't too sure about this technique for adding texture when I was working on it in class, but I think it's another example of my liking the painting better when I've taken several steps away from the easel.

Wonder if I can get this done by Halloween...
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A couple of those white lines are chalk, not paint. All that is left is to wait another day or so until I'm certain the whisker paint is dry, then brush away the chalk.


I painted! \o/
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The workshop I really wanted to go to on Saturday was canceled because I was the only person who signed up for it. :(

Talked with my painting teacher, though, and she's going to talk a bit in tonight's class about the style covered in the workshop. And perhaps that will get some others interested and next month's workshop on the same topic will have more people.

With the cancellation, I sewed instead of painting. On Friday, I bought a pattern/tutorial for making fabric bins from Nestings. I made thirteen bins this weekend. For friends at work: two with pumpkins, two with leaves. For my mother: two with snails. For me: seven in yellow linen. I'll be making a bunch more for me. (The seven for me hold 47 volumes of Naruto.)

I also cut two pairs of curtains from IKEA down and re-hemmed them. They're very cute. I'd post a picture, but unfortunately, they fell down already. I need to figure out how to span a five-feet-wide window with them--without a center brace--and make it strong enough that a kitty sneaking through the curtains isn't enough to pull the whole thing down. Using a tension-mount shower curtain rod did not do the trick.
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I missed this Monday's class.

I was out from work for the day, too. I was building shelves this weekend and maybe using the wrong tools for the job, so I ended up aching all over and really blistering up my hands. Sunday and Monday I couldn't really hold anything without pain. (I've still got some twinges now and holding the steering wheel isn't all that fun, but my hands are much, much better.) Felt really rotten for missing the class, and also sad that it's been about a week now since I've painted. I really want it to be an every day thing.

I've signed up for a three-hour workshop this Saturday called "Two Paintings in Three Hours." It's from the same instructor, but it's alla prima style, which I'm really interested in trying.

I'm also pondering another class offered for the Saturdays in October. It's with a different instructor. I think getting instruction from various sources at this stage would be a very good thing, but I wonder if it would be overkill? There'd be several weeks there where I'd have two classes a week and I'd really need to be painting on the off days, too.

I'm really enjoying painting. Think it's bringing a lot of really positive, creative energy into my life. But will it be inspiring or will it be burn out? (Also, I'm thinking of cramming in an extra class or workshop now because I know what a total wimp I am about winter driving. Once the snow starts flying, I'm not taking classes.)
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Inspiration photo

The Chickie underpainting as last we saw it, several weeks ago.

After Monday night's class... (taken Tuesday afternoon, you can see in the close-up that a good chunk of her hind leg is still wet)

After about an hour and a half Tuesday evening. I'm being pretty sloppy at this point. Still trying to get a feel for what I want to do with the color and texture.
(This photo was taken this morning. I made no changes to the color of Checotah herself last night--nor to the big, big rocks in the back ground. The differences in color there between this and the last pic is the difference between afternoon light and morning light in my apartment.)
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More people joined the class since I called the Center on Friday. There are five students. Marion, from last time, decided to join. There is also Dean, Eliane, and Margaret. (Please note that I am so proud of myself for catching everyone's name this time 'round.)

As this session is the color theory/mixing class, I mostly did my own thing. It was interesting to see what was done differently this time, though. The sample pictures were different and I really enjoyed looking at those.

I brought my Checotah painting in. Haven't touched it in several weeks. Before everyone else arrived, Deb and I discussed it and what my plan of attack would be for the session. Then I spent the session adding color (in a rather haphazard fashion). I didn't do much with color in the last class. The Mermer painting is basically black & white with a bit of earth tones. So, I was feeling a bit at sea while mixing up my colors. And I've gotten used to painting with adding medium to the mix. Going back to simply paint thinned with a bit of solvent meant my color application was a bit too wet and thin.

No photos for now. Haven't had a chance to look at it under good light yet. It was fun, just surprisingly more challenging than I expected. (And you know what's really weird? Cadmium Red Light and Ultramarine make a really good Chickie-dog color.)
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Hadn't heard a thing about the painting class that starts this coming Monday. Finally called the Center and it sounds like it will be going ahead with just three students. Good size--hope the other two are nice/fun.

(Guess I should do some painting this weekend. Have been reading lots this week instead of painting.)
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Some veggies I crochetted from cotton yarn this weekend. (It's been so long since I last crochetted that it made my hands ache. That's why there's not more.) There's a cabbage, too, but I'm not quite happy with it yet. These are for my nephew who is really going to wonder when he is older why his auntie keeps giving him veggie-themed gifts.

Pattern purchased from CraftyAnna. The cauliflower was tricky, but I love how it looks. I think the radish is adorable, too.

my desk

Sep. 1st, 2010 11:33 am
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A bright piece of oilcloth under my tabletop easel makes the desk much more happy (and me, too).

Got the oilcloth from The Fabric Farm.

Maybe I could still paint the fronts of the desk drawers orange...


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