Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Sometimes, you've just got to have fun!


Now don't laugh at me...but sometimes it does you good just to have fun...and I have had fun!!  A friend had given me a box of stretchers (the pieces of wood you slot together to make the basis for a screen (for screen printing) or for a painting)....well I have LOADS of screens for screen printing.....so didn't need more...

....and then another friend gave me several yards of canvas   (very handy to have friends cleaning out their studios!)....and I thought let's make some canvases for painting!  I love the new square paintings that are so "in" right now...and I really like the look of cats, they have so many different colors to their fur.  And our life painting group only meets once a week...whereas I can get photos of cats any time!!

Plus, I soon discovered that my knowledge of using acrylic paint, of putting images together, of enhancing color, of matching color, of cropping to get a good composition etc etc - in fact all the things you need to know to become a better artist in any medium - including art quilts ( Of Course)
has been immensely enhanced by this very refreshing exercise!  

I began with the rather demure kitten at the top...I think I only had 3 tubes of paint, for some reason the rest were in the car (yes, I keep a bag of every different activity I attend in the car - ready to go! - it's a great system if you have a big enough car!)....so she's not all that colorful...but I was very pleased with the expression.
And then came Freddie posing for his mug shot!  I think he looks a bit like a rabbit - must be a cross!!


Thistle, the house cat - glaring at me daring to paint him.  It was a challenge to create interest in his large dark brown blob of a body!  But you know - when I'm teaching designing art quilts, I always suggest you don't use one chunk of dark fabric for a large dark area, but instead put together lots of bits of similar value but varied colored fabrics...and that idea works well for Thistle.  I also deliberately chose a complementary color to his golden ruff.

Can't you tell right away that Hermione is THE boss cat in her house?  There are (at least) 2 other cats and two dogs (yes, I'm going to try them next!  but will have to get some glossy paint for those wet noses!) in her house but she is The Queen of that castle!  Again I'm thinking complementary - rose versus olive...and bringing that background color into the cat....having a complementary background color will always make the central subject sing.   And it's very good to have all your colors spread throughout the piece...not just blue in the sky, red in the roofs, green in the grass...but everything popping up everywhere - Unity -  right?

Only young but I think she'll grow up to be rather a particular cat!  Now I was beginning to think about blending color - I didn't even realize you could do that with acrylic!!  It's amazing how much you can learn just digging right in, putting  the music on full blast!  (Bebo and Cigala and yes I groan along with them!)  I was thinking about how I could use the contrast of hard and soft edges to convey the sense of the soft fur against those sharp eyes!

And here is the next one in progress...an old guy relaxing on his laurels!!!  I ran out of the small stretchers so now I'm into bigger canvases so it's taking a bit longer...I'm experimenting with a different kind of brush stroke on this one....

So if you're bogging down a bit with what you're doing now, consider a different medium and subject for a while..something light hearted...you can get more practice in the basic design activities and not worry too much about Having to Get it Right!!

And if you have been, thanks for reading...yes I'm the one out stalking the neighborhood cats  with my camera!!



kay said...

What an expression Priscilla has! I know a cat who looks just like her.

Elsie Montgomery said...

Good for you! Hope you are not experiencing any flood waters...?

Elizabeth Barton said...

oh gosh no flooding here, thank you - we're way above sea level...though quite a few trees have come down with the ground being so waterlogged. thanks for asking!

Sarojani Naidoo said...

Enjoying your blog.Like the complementary colours on Hermione.Thanks

S Africa