Monday, July 29, 2013

The Painting Process - Part III

I recently painted my living room walls and need to find a painting to go over my red leather sofa.  I decided to flip the orientation from vertical to horizontal, and added lots of juicy drips along with some periwinkles and light blues.  Based on the comments I received off-line and on my Facebook Fan Page, I began rethinking this strategy and decided to flip it back to a vertical orientation. 

I think going back to the vertical position was the right choice for this painting.  It's starting to get a little busy at the top, but the colors remind me of rainbow cotton candy.  Depending on the final outcome, that may just be the name of this new JJ original.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Painting Process -- Part II

I start to lay down some color on top of the China Red gesso and let the paint drip and slide down the canvas.  I make some sgraffito marks in the wet paint which exposes the red background and throw paint around like a whirling dervish.  Basically anything goes with this first layer -- it's my "loosening up" process.

I am pulling out colors to establish my palette for the painting, and as you can see, I've chosen some pretty bright colors!!  This reminds me of rainbow sherbert right now.....I want to quit painting and get an ice cream cone, but I don't :-)  I start swirling the brush, making small circles and add some paint dots for good measure.  I like this piece as it is, but it needs more paint and least in my mind it does!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Painting Process......Part I - Getting Started

Starting with a large blank canvas (60" x 36" x 1.5"), I covered the surface with China Red Background Gesso from Matisse Paints.  I love prepping a canvas with colored gesso -- especially a bright red.  It really helps the next few layers "pop"!
The next step involves using a charcoal pencil and twig charcoal, and making random marks and lines on the prepared canvas.  I do this with my left hand (I'm right-handed) and lay down a suggested composition.  Sometimes I follow the lines; often I don't.  It just depends where my artistic muse takes me in the next process!!

If you want to follow me "live" - like my Face Book Fan Page and see what this canvas looks like today!  No worries if you don't do FB, though -- I'll post more updates tomorrow.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Heatwaves, Cloudbursts and Summer Breezes

36" x 24" acrylic on canvas

It's summertime in my hometown of Sacramento, California and we're headed for another heatwave this weekend.  The past few years have been relatively mild for our Capital city, with temperatures occasionally rising over the 100 degree mark, but they're usually tolerable given our Delta breezes that occur after sundown.  

On the 4th of July, Sacramento hit 112 degrees around 6:00 p.m. and I can assure you it was NOT pretty!  I was heading to a friend's house for a pool party, and took this photo of my car thermometer with my iphone on the way. 

I'll be the first to admit I'm a bit of a weenie when it comes to hot weather.  It's easy to bundle up and get warm when the temperatures hit the freezing level; but when the heat comes with a dose of humidity, then I am the first in line to get out of the area and avoid the fire.  However, because of previous commitments I wasn't able to escape and decided to paint instead.  Here's what I produced that horrible, hot and humid day:

"Summer Breeze"
48" x 24" acrylic on canvas

The colors made me happy and reminded me of the flowers in my Mom's garden when I was growing up.  The summers were hot indeed back then (I grew up in Sacramento and we didn't have central heat & air until I was in my teens!) but somehow I don't recall them ever being intolerable.  Being outside with the fruit trees (cherries, nectarines, apricots and plums) and enjoying the flowers in the garden while swimming in an above-ground swimming pool, I actually looked forward to the heat.

I no longer have a pool or any fruit trees, but I do have my paint and plenty of canvases, so I'm enjoying the process of making lots of swirls out of color and blending everything in a memory of what I grew up with. 

I hope you are all enjoying your summer -- I know a lot of my Mid-West and Eastern friends have been experiencing crazy rains for days on end.  It's weird, isn't it?  Not at all what we're "used to" but I have to admit, I'm liking the change :-)