Friday, October 21, 2016

Sixty-Six Days: Day Two, Tues 11 October

I seem to have hit a wall with the literary landscapes thingie, mainly because it looks like I will have to replace our printer. Annoying. I also need to learn a few more Photoshop skills for it. I was doodling some ideas because I want to add figures in there somehow, and it occurred to me that animals might be a good choice, for all kinds of reasons. Hm. I have some drawings and images of people that I thought I might like to use, but none of them are speaking to me. So I put those aside again. Can do nothing until I have the tech aspect of that sorted anyway.

So I ended up doing a quick coloured charcoal drawing of some clutter on the table in front of me, and again was reminded of what you can do with a limited palette. Sometimes impose that discipline in colour is refreshing, especially when done on coloured paper.

What kept going through my mind is a new painting project, and a name for it came to me. This morning I found myself looking for one of my sketchbooks so I could get started on some composites to make paintings. Group portraits, double portraits, two-faced [sic] portraits, scenes from the streets. I even came up with a list of people I'd like to portray. And do I ever have access to visual material ....

Sixty-Six Days: Days 3 and 4

This was a Wednesday and because I was going off to Pilates in the evening and had a pretty busy morning and early afternoon, I didn't get to do much artwork. So let's skip to Thursday, when I went and found some watercolour drawings I hadn't painted yet, and Friday, when I did a bit more of them.

I found five little sketches of people in Galway that I had made in 2013, when we went up to the city for a day out at the Arts Festival. Great, you might say, but unfortunately they are on 3 pieces of watercolour paper. So I have two double-sided drawings. But because they are on good paper, and the same size, I'm thinking that I will be able to frame them in such a way that they are double-sided pieces. Of course I have to finish painting the reverse sides now too. Watercolour paint needs to dry!

I also found some lovely pencil sketches from a life-drawing session in Limerick Printmakers a few years ago, when they were down on Sarsfield Street, and I have started painting some of them up too. I must get back into that, it was fun.

Bathroom mirrors can be so handy. 

Photo of three on the beach, Ballyheigue

2015 was the year that Ireland had a glorious summer, but everywhere else didn't. This photo was taken in April, and there were already some hardy souls out playing in the water - the cold North Atlantic - and enjoying the sun. We didn't realise it at the time, but the tide was starting to come back in and later on we would get caught at the far end of the beach, and our options were to risk breaking our ankles on the stones or climb over the dunes and find a way back to the village that way. We took the second option.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Sixty-six days: Day 1: the first Monday

The objective is to create a good habit, and according to research, it takes 66 days to cement a good habit into your life.

I might not do the entire 66 days one after the other, but what harm. I have other commitments too.

On Day 1 of 66, I finally finished a seascape in acrylic on paper to my satisfaction, and worked on another larger painting. The seascape was one of those that I'd put aside, in part due to other commitments not directly related to making art, but also because I couldn't see where the problem was and I have found that in such cases, it's good to put it away for a bit and when you see it with fresh eyes, it's much clearer what's not working.

What I did? Instead of beating myself up over not painting really early in the morning, I decided to take up the brush in the evening. I find I want and often need to do other things early in the day anyway, like meet deadlines for text work, sort out administration, run errands, do housework, gardening. And now that it's getting darker earlier, painting in the evening makes more sense when you need the daylight time to be outside.

I'm mulling over starting a new body of work, in addition to the literary landscapes thing.

Ballyheigue, seaweed and surf, 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Instagram, and a photo from 2014

A few weeks ago I started an Instagram account, and while it's fun, it's nowhere near as good as taking a photo with a proper camera, that you can edit.

My other half DigitalDolf thinks I should start taking photos as RAW files instead of JPG files because RAW files hold more visual information which makes for better images in the long run. He has a point, as anyone who has viewed his WordPress account will agree.

But in order to use Instagram, you need to be online all the time to shoot, edit and upload. It's great in many ways, but sometimes you might accidentally shoot and upload something first and regret it later .... while instant and online and globally shareable have their merits, there are times when it's wise to sit and wait.

And I haven't uploaded all the photos on my phone to Instagram, I will be keeping a few to use to make paintings. Am redisovering landscape ... and ways of using technology to make images.

Now all I need to do is find out how to replace the particular print head on my printer. Sigh.

Feel free to follow me on instagram.

The Skelligs in the Distance from Valentia Island, 2014