Friday, January 31, 2014

CANVAS #30: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

For this final project, I did a painting of Edgar Allan Poe, but I didn't paint it on a canvas; I painted it on a fabric drawer.  Like this!

For progress pics and details, visit wonderstrange!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Canvas #29: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

This is my third and final tree in the series I am calling "Damn Strange Trees."  This tree is inspired by a real tree, but I changed the shape of the foliage, so this is not a really for real tree.

Even so, I think it loves you.

Canvas #28: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

This is my 2nd in the series I'm calling "Damn Strange Trees."

Again, though the coloring is different, this is based on a bottle tree, and it is a really for real tree that is real.

I am sad for the bottle tree.  I think it must have a hard time getting dates.

Canvas #27: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

I can't believe how almost over this challenge is.  I'm a little sad about it!

So here's something I've never, ever done in my entire life: I've painted multiple works with NO PEOPLE IN THEM.  Bizarre.

I call this series, "Damn Strange Trees."

These trees were inspired by "upside down trees."  The coloring is different in real life, but the shape is basically the same.  Damn strange, amiright?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Canvas #26: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

Somehow, I had it in my head that I was a day behind, so imagine my total delight this morning when I figured out that I was on track! 

This is my second mermaid for the challenge.  This one gives dance lessons, speaks German, and  yodels.  She has the mad talents.

Canvas #25: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

This is the last canvas in the ice queen series.

Canvas #24: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

Here's another tiny one in my Ice Queen series.  This is 2.5 x 3.5.  In case I haven't explained my concept, I wanted to steer around the sort of classic Nordic ice queen and do a fantasy-arctic-Inuit smashup.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Canvas #23: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

Here's another ice queen, wearing a crown of polar bear teeth.

Like yesterday's, this "canvas" is 2.5 x 3.5.  Tiny!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Canvas #22: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

For the first time in this challenge, I decided to go small.  Here's a 2.5" by 3.5" ice queen on the day of her coronation.  She is darn cold without her usual hood.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Canvas #21: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

This is a little bit of a moment.  For the first time in this challenge, I managed to paint all weekend and still produce a canvas the next day to keep myself on schedule.  I AM CAUGHT UP WITH THE CHALLENGE!  I had to shout that because it might not happen again.  One never knows.

This 21st canvas started out with a tree.  Have I mentioned yet that I love red?  Because I do.

That's where the canvas stood at 3am when I went to bed.  As I nestled into my pillow, I had this last thought, "Newton and a flying apple!"  By some miracle, I still remembered that idea when I woke up, so after making some changes to the tree, I painted in a slumbering Newton.

While I waited for Newton to dry, I worked on the trunk.  I am really, really proud of the work I did on the trunk.  The writing in the upper left corner is from the original Latin publication of Newton's first two laws.

Finally, I wanted to add some more diffuse white and also flesh out the dreamscape.

And there's the flying apple!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Canvas #20: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

Right, so here is something I have discovered.  Sometimes, I am the boss of the painting, and sometimes, the painting is the boss of me.

With this canvas - my 7th in three days - I thought, "I had so much fun with Acidica that I'll do a female super villain!"

Except that my figure didn't want to be a super villian.  She fought me, and she fought me, and finally I let her be what she wanted to be, which was . . . Frida, who is not in any way evil but IS apparently stubborn and persistent.

P.S.  I worked in those little pieces of Mexican pottery to appease my husband, who keeps bugging me to do a still life. Yes, it would be good for me.  No, I would not enjoy it.  So here.  That's as still as I want to get.

Canvas #19: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

I think I have already established that I love puppets,  This canvas started off nowhere and ended up in the closet of a puppeteer.

I think the Queen wanna be startin' something.  I really do.

Canvas #18: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

By the time I started this canvas, I was (candidly) exhausted. I think this is a ghost print (i.e. the second print from the same gelli plate), but I'm not positive.

At any rate.

Click on this first picture, and you'll see the pointy shape that I turned into my mole's head for this little scene from Thumbelina:

I don't know if you remember this from the fairy tale, but the mouse insists that Thumbelina have a summer AND a winter wardrobe before Thumbelina marries the mole, so the mole commissions all the spiders to work day and night to make everything ready for the big day.  Here, the spiders are working on the wedding gown itself while Mr. Mole gives his opinions.  (Everyone's a critic.)

Oh!  And I warmed up the red and the tan with a watered-down coat of Quinacridone Azo Gold, which I adore.

(Thumbelina is SUPER excited to get married.  I have scarcely seen a happier bride to be.)

Canvas #17: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

I've been mildly obsessed with saints lately, so for this canvas, I decided to do Acidica, Patron Saint of Super Villains.

Villains love red, right?  (Okay, fine, I am the one who loves red. At this point, I hadn't thought up Acidica yet.)

 Like a proper patron of the Super Villain, Acidica has plenty of deformities and defects, all earned in the commission of crimes.

After staring at Acidica for awhile, I decided that she looked a little too . . . saintly.  So I gave her a partial face mask to hide the place where acid ate away at her jaw, and I added some acid pouring down on her from above, just the way she likes it.

For the acid, I used fat drops of black ink, and it was very difficult to touch it to the canvas and then let it go, with no real control of where it would land.  *Deep breaths*  I figured Acidica likes chance and chaos.  *Deep breaths*  I like control.  *Deep breaths*

Excuse me, I have to go do an organizing yoga. 

Canvas #16: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

Okay, so here's a fun fact: If you have an 8x10 gelli plate and a 9x12 canvas, you will get a little "frame" effect.  That's okay, though, because you can turn that effect into an actual frame or border, and that will be kind of cool.

See the pink frame here?

The frame was even MORE apparent after I laid down a lovely, ornate circle stencil and gave the canvas a healthy coat of pink and orange.  As soon as I lifted the gelli plate up, I thought, "Hey, that stencil looks like a ferris wheel!"

Here you can see the ferris wheel in context.  Sadly, however, it is closed due to weather (hey, the wind is blowing and the sky is pink with polka dots - I'd be nervous, too).  I thought about giving this little lass a very heartbroken monster, but in the end, I settled on a very heartbroken possum, just because that struck me as hilarious. 

My friend Nick let me "steal" two CLOSED signs from his store, so I slathered one in gel medium and affixed it to the canvas.

Canvas #15: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

This canvas went on quite a journey.  Seriously, QUITE a journey.  Ready?

Hmm (I thought) for this one, perhaps I'll try a kind of abstractish, geometric sort of background.

 I fiddled with colors.

Then . . .OMG lava.  It was mesmerizing how much the bottom third looked like lava.  I had to stop myself from thinking about lava, and deadly volcanoes, and Star Trek Into Darkness, and Benedict Cumberbatch, and MORE Benedict Cumberbatch, and so . . .

I added a stencil.

 After the stencil released me from the lava monster Benedict Cumberbatch, I grabbed my new gelli plate - a Christmas present to myself - and covered all of it in a thin and (happily sometimes) patchy layer of yellow and orange.

 Once I had that, in place, I felt like adding some pink.  And then I turned it upside down.  And then I used followed the curve of the stencil to locate the eyes on a figure.

Who then became this little freak.  Sometimes, you have an alien living inside your chest, and it bursts out, and you die.  (See also Alien, Aliens, Aliens 3, and Aliens 4.)  Sometimes, the chestburster bursts out of you, and you don't die.  (See also this painting.)  Instead, you and the chestburster fall happily into a state of mutual adoration, so loving and so selfless that you take your chestburster to the fair . . . where it promptly eats too much cotton candy and throws up on your shoes.  Sorry!

Canvas #14: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

After painting many portraits, I decided to force myself a little out of my comfort zone with some semi-realistic trees.


With an emphasis on somewhat.

At this point, I knew the figure I intended to add would be one of two little girls who get into trouble in, near, or after being in the woods:  Snow White and Red Riding Hood.

I settled on Red.

After the challenge is over, I might go back in and add either a TINY wolf with giant teeth or a GIANT wolf with ridiculous teeth. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Canvas #13: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

It was probably inevitable that I would make a two-headed girl at some point during this challenge. This picture of her is not great, unfortunately, but my husband and I both futzed with it, and we both gave up.  You'll just have to trust me that the harlequin pattern involves blue and orange, even though the orange nearly invisible in this shot:

This is probably a good time to take stock (again) of some of the things I'm learning:

1) Impatience accomplishes exactly nothing.  Agitation will not make lines get shorter or paint dry faster so you can fix that thing you want to fix.  Swearing at paint doesn't fix anything either.  If you put your hand in paint, that's not paint's fault. 

2) No one is timing you.  Keep making choices that make you stronger in the long term, not ones that make you less annoyed or less busy in the short term.

3) Stretching yourself makes you vulnerable, uncomfortable, and incompetent in ways that don't feel very good.  Nothing could be better.  If you don't stretch, you don't grow.  What kind of person thinks it's more important to be comfortable and safe than to be growing?

4) Perfection is impossible - and for that matter, subjective.  Do everything you can do, and then pay yourself some basic respect by moving on to the next thing. You can make time to create new things, or you can make time to mourn and question old things.  The clock won't give you both at once.

5) You don't need to take guilty "me" time.  You deserve to invest in yourself.  Make yourself better.  Push yourself.  Astound yourself.

I think that's all for now, and I'm sorry it's not peppered with jokes.  I'm tired.  :)

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Canvas #12: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

I want to make clear from the get go that this canvas isn't finished.  I thought it might be, but the pictures confirm it: I am not happy yet. 

Shakespeare as a hand puppet makes me very happy, but the background isn't done yet.  There are problems.  After painting my ass off all weekend long, I am too tired both to articulate and to fix them.

I am putting this in a separate pile (with the Bride of Frankenstein from Day 3) to return to at a later date when I have more time.

Canvas #11: 30 Canvases in 30 Days

By this point in the challenge, I was focusing so hard on painting that I forgot to take progress pictures.  Whoops.

At any rate, this canvas is entitled, "No One Told Her There Would Be Clowns," and it's dedicated to all my favorite coulrophobics out there.  This little girl is summoning her courage to go to the party, and you should summon yours, too!