l am a self-taught artist and a retired inner city school teacher. Several years ago I began painting watercolors while observing work done by artists who I thought had a special take on how they used color. As a starting point for my pursuit to paint with determination a few of the artist I have become familiar with are Alice Neel, Marlene Dumas, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet,and Henri Matisse. “Warriors” is the series title I’ve given to a block of my work.. This series is initiated in part from the colorfully painted faces and bodies of native peoples, who decorate for the various stages of life from birth to death. When I look into their eyes, I see their souls. I feel that in portraying them in the deeply saturated colors and patterns and symbols of my own design, I capture a mystery of humanity which is reflected in their eyes. I always strive to paint with loose, expressive brush strokes, and use bold, vivid colors. I work very spontaneously, mostly in mixed aqua media on paper because I like the way the paint flows and I like the transparency of the colors resulting in an organic piece. I am constantly experimenting with new colors and techniques.
This barn cat does not have the luxury of crooning. His survival is a result of his skills in the barn. He likes fresh meat, and there is plenty of it in the barn. Its a tough life but as long as those crooners leave him along, he does just fine.
Today I tried a new paper. I used in once before on one of the pigs. It is Fabriano and it is really different than the Arches which I am used to. In addition to that, there was a power outage in the middle of my painting. Turns out there was no lights for a good 3 hours. It gave me time to start a fire and finish a bottle of wine...I like starts and finishes. So this is it for today. I am reserving judgement . I am just glad I got it done.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear but a gentleman farmer with one big green John Deer. The Farm collection needed a Gentleman farmer so for day 23 of my 30 day challenge to paint a painting each day, I brought this Gentleman into the mix. He looks so serious, but Ms Farmer (number 15) knows better.
This is the 22nd painting out of 30 and I just wanted to do cats and a barn theme. I have nothing clever or funny to say about this. Sometimes, when one does a painting each day challenge, I have found the lesson is not to get it right, sometimes the lesson is to just get it done and learn what you need to do the next time around. On this one I learned how I would approach the cats in a different way. I also was not happy with the paper I used. I mistakenly got a few sheets of 90 lb paper in my inventory of paper and it really isn't so good to use with the way I paint. I use a lot of water and 90 lb paper warps a lot while painting so I had to stop and let it dry so it would be flat and ready for more paint but then it was too dry to do what I wanted for an effect. With a heavier weight paper, the paper can be damp with out getting wavy so it is possible to paint wet into wet without the paint running. I do like how the red barn turned out both in color and texture. Anyhow. after 22 days, I have gotten a bit more down to business. These crooners are cute, might do them again, on different paper.
So here I am on day 21 of my 30 day challenge and out of ideas that I like but wanting to go more abstract. So what do I do...I took an old painting that I didn't like. I soaked in in my sink and scrubbed it..yes you can do that with good watercolor paper. There was a lot of color left on the paper and it was mostly smudged..just what I like. I drew a cow on top of the mess and all day long I tweaked it, scrubbed it some more, cussed at it, added some more water, added more paint, threw paint at it, scratched it and cussed at it some more. So this is it. I give up. I am opening a bottle of wine. Salute. Cab is poured..
Well I am still in the challenge although I was about to give up last night. This is number 19 out of 30. I was all mooed out today and wanted to try the almighty Sheep. Worked on this baby all day long with many layers of color. It isn't easy to do white and curly white to boot. Hoping this puts a smile on your face.
This is painting 15 out of 30. That means I am halfway there for my 30 paintings in 30 days challenge. I could not pass up using this as one of my farm animal paintings. Part of a farm and farm animals is all of the babies that are born and the humans who must take gentle care of them. This baby Chicken is one that gladly accepted a couple of warm hands and some individual attention.
Who wouldn't be happy to get a full body MUD facial. Today I tried a new kind of watercolor paper. New to me that is. I used Fabriano 300 lb, cold press paper. Well, not all water color papers are created equal. The way they are made effects how the paint reacts on them. So all of what I usually do, did not work on this paper. I had to use much more paint and the colors did not mix the way I am accustom to. Any way you look at it, I had fun and it was a challenge and I ended up with this adorable mud drenched pig.
This piece is Number 11 in my 30 paintings in 30 day challenge. I want to tell you all a secret. I have only 3 colors on my palette and any variation in color is a result of how those three colors mix and blend together. It has been a liberating experience to limit my palette to that extent. I love the intense look on this gals face. I love her pink nose and her high cheekbones..she may be on the cover of Vogue next month..Enjoy
I am happy to have come up with one painting per day for the last 10 days. Now I have 20 days to go to complete my challenge and I have not run out of farmyard ideas. These paintings are done in two sizes. One size is 7.5 inch by 11 inch which when matted will fit into a standard 11 inch by 14 inch frame. The other size is 11 inch by 15 inch which when matted will fit into a standard 16 inch by 20 inch frame.
I agonized over this little guy. I had him in the field and on dirt, then I decided mud was his playground but the more I looked at him the more I realized that he had dreams of running off to a big mud pile in an Urban area.
These little chicks never stop amazing me...Really look at them..they pop out all wet and can barely stand up and when they finally get up on their two legs, they are still the shape of an egg. It is kinda amazing that they survive all of that drams.
I was suffering from a Migraine when I painted this girl and it looks like she suffered along with me. When I get a migraine, I get a bit dizzy and my eyes go in and out of focus. I thought I would just go with it and do my painting for that day..so here she is..
Turns out that not all Bulls have horns and some cows do have horns...Sooo that creates a dilemma. I did not get a close enough look at this one to confirm gender. If she is a girl, I will call her Char-lene. If he is a boy, I will call him Char-lie. That is the only solution I have, but either way,
For the month of January I am going to paint a farm animal each day while experimenting with different color palettes and techniques. Feel free to comment on your favorites. If you click on the image, you will be able to see a larger version of it.