Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Online Matting & Framing Services

I've noticed over time that a few of the visitors to my blog are Googling for matting and framing services which leads them to one of my older posts regarding this subject. In that post I refer to online or 'virtual' matting and framing. Unfortunately I never left a link to the site I use which has provided very good service to me...both in products, speed of delivery and their virtual matting/framing feature. I'd like to recommend
American Frame to anyone interested.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Miss Willmott~ Line Drawing & Color Study

I managed to complete a line sketch and have been working on creating a palette for this painting. I'd love to keep the colors on the cool side because I plan to put the completed painting in a silver metal frame. After experimenting with several colors I wound up using Phthalo green & Indigo on this thumbnail along with a little Cobalt Blue Deep and Ultramarine Violet to liven things up. Sorry for the sloppy looking thumbnail. It's approx. 4" X 6" and I just don't have the brush sizes for this small of a task. I was still able to get an idea of how this particular palette will work....or not.
*I think this needs more violet*

Although it really doesn't show in the photo I added some colored pencil to the background...Prismacolor's Black Grape, Ultramarine Blue and Cerulean Blue. I've always wanted to explore mixing other mediums with my watercolors. I'm sure I'll be doing much more of that in the future.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Painting Miss Willmott~Comp Study

I plan to paint Miss Willmott eventually. I hope to do her proud. I've been playing with a few comps and I like this one the best, so far. The movement appeals to me. It started as a rectangular format but I had too much 'dead space' in the lower left corner. I could've filled it with hazy background foliage but instead think I may try to create a border using artist's tape and let the lower right bract extend past that. I've even been toying with the idea of working some silver leaf into this one. It's just a thought for now. The main flower is pretty much dead center of the comp right now. I probably should shift it a bit one way or the other. Still playing.........

Eryngium Giganteum, Miss Willmott's Ghost

The name of this plant sounds like something from a horror movie and it does have a slightly ferocious look about it. Actually the common name comes out of the story of a gardener, Miss Willmott, secretly scattering Eryngium giganteum seeds around in gardens she visited. The plants would show up as if from nowhere with their ghostly flowers, thus the name Miss Willmott’s ghost. I first saw it in White Flower Farm's nursery catalogue many years ago and knew I had to have it. The cost was high for my budget but I was seduced by the photo. It was shown blooming with white liatris(gayfeather) and Stargazer lilies. What a combo! Grabbing my credit card I ordered one plant.

When it came it wasn't much to look at but I promptly planted it in my moon garden where I thought it would serve as a feature plant when it matured. There it languished for two years, doing nothing. I thought it had died. The third summer I was ill and couldn't get out to the garden to water as much as usual. All my flower beds looked pretty sad that year, dried out or drooping in the summer heat. And then it happened. Miss Willmott must have liked those conditions because she took off like a rocket, grew to about 3 feet tall and bloomed her head off. I managed to snap a photo of her with my old 35mm camera and I'm glad I did because after blooming she died but the old girl had put on quite a show before her demise.

A few years later I noticed these tiny little plants popping up all through the moongarden. I thought they were weeds but when I tried to pull them I found they had an extremely mean taproot that was almost impossible to dig up. I finally gave up and let them have the run of the place. I mentioned these strange plants on a garden forum and someone told me they sounded like little Miss Willmotts. I isolated a few to a holding bed and to my delight that's what they were! Last summer one made it far enough to maturity to actually produce a few blooms. Apparently Miss Willmott had left me a present.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Artist's Block

Brick walls can be built with artist's blocks. Did you know that? Well, I have been beating my head against this particular brick wall way too long. I've done three paintings that have hit the trash can since my last post. It was getting a little depressing. The more I forced myself to work through it, the worse it got. *ack* Finally I decided maybe I needed to head in a brand new direction for awhile in hopes I could come back with fresh eyes and renewed inspiration.

I was chatting last week with a friend and it got me thinking. Maybe it would be a good idea to really step out of my usual 'thing' and do something I've never done before....

#1 A self portrait

#2 Do it in charcoal, which I rarely work with.

#3 Work from life, which I never do. I always work from photos.

The results were mixed(it kinda looks like me)but it felt good to just be doing something. It turned out to be a real challenge. I was working without my specs(glasses)in low light. All I could see were just basic shapes, highlights and dark areas. When I finally called this one done I had added some 2B pencil, white charcoal and a little sanguine for a blush to make myself look a bit more healthy. Tada!