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Posts tagged ‘Visual Arts’

Blood and Vapor:Threads

bblood-and-vaporties-copyWatercolor, Oil Paint and Thread on Watercolor Paper

I’ve packed this little painting with symbolism.  Another very personal piece.

*A new series, “Blood And Vapor”.:   Who lingers within you?   Have you ever felt an ancestral presence?  The inescapable tie of family:hundreds of individuals, yesterday and today, here and gone.  A powerful resonance or inconspicuous vapor?

Blood and Vapor Series Sketch

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Pastel Pencil 8″x10″   Although I enjoyed making this sketch, I wasn’t really going anywhere.   It’s too literal, so I’m leaving it behind.  I’m working on lots of other solutions. So far, not much is really hitting the mark for the series*.

*A new series, “Blood And Vapor”.:   Who lingers within you?   Have you ever felt an ancestral presence?  The inescapable tie of family:hundreds of individuals, yesterday and today, here and gone.  A powerful resonance or inconspicuous vapor?

Two Sides

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Two variations of K.bKerri glamor retouched copy

There are so many ways to portray a subject.  Even when the portrait is figurative, a straight forward depiction of likeness; a literal likeness of an individual, it’s a challenge to decide which aspect of your model you want to highlight or capture.  That said, I’ve been playing with “sets”.  These are two figurative, straight up portraits of an individual, exploring two very different ways of seeing her.

-Please forgive the less than ideal photos of these oil paintings. The human eye blends the color and values, my lack of expertise  with a camera seems to separate them-

 

A Slight Tint

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This portrait was created with thin layers of oil on watercolor paper.  It was monochromatic (green hues). Later I tinted slightly in Photoshop.

Happy Graduation L!

Watercolor Wednesday

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This is a larger watercolor than I usually paint, at 15″ x 22″.  The color is also far more restrained than my usual watercolor experiments.  There is also a touch of acrylic in this mostly watercolor effort.

Upon completion with the watercolor paint, I felt a need to lighten areas of the figure but found it was too late to lift those areas with a damp brush.   So, I enlisted a few strokes of acrylic. Perhaps I’ll try a little liquid frisket next time to hold the lightest lights.

Little Weirdies

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The bunny dancer from Watercolor Wednesday and the frog from Photo Friday chat in the forest under a shooting star.

 

Watercolor Wednesday

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Yes, you see a little white watercolor. Couldn’t help myself;)

 

Experiments In Oil#3

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I LOVE to paint portraits, people, figures, gestures.  In the hands of a skilled and thoughtful artist, Old Master or contemporary, there is no subject more compelling for me  than a portrait.  But, paintings of people can sometimes leave me less than satisfied.  They can sometimes appear to me, too pretty, or too gimmicky, too separate from the viewer, or too…vacant.  I wondered what would happen if I pushed all of these notions?  So, I did.

With this third painting, I decided to glaze with opacity (a paradoxical notion), in order to create a ceiling, if you will.  A separation between subject and viewer, like the photos I’d taken of debris, still, under a frozen pond.  This painting is no longer a portrait because it does not reflect what I know about my subject. Here, she is merely reference for a painting. It speaks for me, not for her.  Got to say however, that I enjoy this outcome:)

The three experiments in oils have helped me come to some conclusions about the way I like to work, what practical methods I find satisfying, and the thought behind what I want to make. I think that now I’d like to further explore both my appreciation for portraiture and my personal prejudices about portraiture, to see what might happen next.

Thanks for your kind comments and interest!  I’ll keep you posted;)

Experiments In Oil #1

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I’m without a commission at the moment, so I’ve been pushing into “what if” territory in oil paint.  I’ve played with three paintings, all handled differently.  The subject is the same, though posture and expression vary greatly.  Above is the first.  I applied many more layers of glaze than I normally use, to see if my usual technique could improve with the added work, or if the result  would just become too noodley. The later is the final verdict. The dozen layers or more of paint simply created thicker clumsy strokes. The painting does however, look better in reality. Photographing the painting sans the shine was a bear. The translucent quality resulting from multiple glazes isn’t apparent in the photo, and the transitions between values aren’t showing up well, resulting in annoying linear areas.

Note to self:Don’t overdo the glazing:)

Tomorrow, oil experiment #2

Watercolor Wednesday

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I’m just an amateur photographer, so sometimes great opportunities for marvelous shots are lost due to my inexperience.  This was the case recently when a spectacular heron modeled for me, but all my shots alas, came out blurry.  A photo disappointment for sure, but grist for some watercolor sketches.  Step 1 and 2 below.

Untitled-7

Watercolor Wednesday

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For those interested in process, above is the finish.  Below is the entire composition before I worked to my satisfaction.  I enjoy lifting the color to refine the painting. I may refine the finish a little more, but I will wait a day or two to see it with new eyes. The only downside of waiting is the reluctance of the watercolor to lift easily. Thankfully, Photoshop is always there to rely on for touch-ups when reproducing the paintings for prints.

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Watercolor Wednesday

It’s no secret that I very much enjoy painting drippy watercolor figures. Most of you also know that I don’t much enjoy painting figures in a scene.  Clearly, I need to push myself a bit, so here’s a comfortable compromise.    It’s a drippy magical creature (below) digitally manipulated to soar within a scene…of sorts.

Reflection On Reflections:A Collaboration

                                                                                               ©Karen McRae, 2012

Gifted artist/photographer Karen McRae  honored me with an exciting opportunity to collaborate. She offered two beautiful photographs (above) of abstract water reflections to change, embellish or transform in any way I chose. A gift like this is extremely exciting! Because I am so in awe of Karen’s work, I did not want to interfere with the images too much. I knew right away that I wanted to maintain much of the structure and color. In fact I did not introduce any new color, and used only what I found within the images. I worked digitally in layers directly over Karen’s work, not touching the original but taking my cues from it.

Each photograph presents its own special charm. After turning it on its side, the negative space in the “frog” piece spoke to me immediately of dreamy water creatures in motion and rippling below the surface.

The “figure” piece was quite the opposite.  It was its fluid line and dynamic composition that captured my attention. The swirls appeared to me as smokey figures frozen in perilous escape. The smoke alternately dissipates and collects, providing just enough presence to tell its story.

I’m a great admirer of Karen’s superlative work. You will be too when you link to her blog here-Enjoy!   Thanks for thinking of me Karen!

Artist’s Statement:

Caravela/McRae’s work investigates the nuances of modulations through the use of slow motion and close-ups which emphasize the Symbiotic nature of digital media. Caravela/McRae explores abstract and shaping scenery as motifs to describe the idea of infinite space. Using water loops, non-linear narratives, and allegorical images as patterns, Caravela/McRae creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of space…

Elena Caravela & Karen McRae, 2012

 

Watercolor Wed. 15

Only had time for one this week.  Fantasy has been the theme lately so here she comes, a drippy fey.

Watercolor Wednesday 14

This week’s Watercolor Wed. was fun!  Approximately two minute sketches.  Simply a dip into color, a smash of brush tip and drag to get the drawing down.  Add color into wet and it’s done.  This is the order in which they happened.   -The last one is my favorite-

Watercolor Wed.13

Watercolor Landscape my way.

I became so frustrated working traditionally with watercolor landscape, that I decided to make the experience mine and make peace with the fact that I don’t have the time/energy/interest in making it work.

You can see the progression below including a quick and dirty Photoshop intervention.   Still no masterpiece, but decidedly more me.

Sketchbook:Early Fall

                       Sketchbook          Watercolor Pencil, White Gouache

I adore the forest just before the leaves begin to turn. The greens begin to transition into varied shades. Some leaves have already fallen; brown and crunchy.  As the leaves thin, vines are on display.  A few upstarts are already showing off their colors, but most here in my part of the world are holding back…for a few more days.

Watercolor Wed.12

I’m pushing a little farther into watercolor world with a figure + back round.  While I’m not absolutely thrilled with the outcome, I’m sort of pleased that I’m getting braver with the medium. Frankly, there are still a few stumbling blocks for me.

Over -noodling is certainly a problem . I sometimes don’t know when to leave well enough alone. Case in point is the water. I’ve no experience with watercolor water, so it’s a real challenge.

I also tried a touch of liquid frisket on the leaves of the weeds to try and create a little dimension. Eh-I’ve a long way to go if I choose to move into serious watercolor landscape. And while I know that I should make it my next big challenge, I have trouble finding landscape painting as exciting as painting faces and figures. I’ll be fighting that one out with myself. Don’t know if landscapes will win;)

Pause Series Addition

                                                                          Oil Study on Wood Panel

I’m back to work on the Pause Series.  This time I’m disclosing the oil study before I present the final images.

The next seven Pause posts will be derivatives of the image above.  The process begins with a photo shoot, including fabric as a prop.  The subject has no idea that I am capturing the pause moments, the pensive moments, and not the posing moments. The next step; an oil study based on one of the unguarded/paused moments (above). The Pause images to follow, will wind up as very large custom prints. The process will dramatically rearrange features and expression. I’ll be posting one a week for seven weeks.

Watercolor Wed.12

My friend’s dog Hershey here. Hershey is a good doggie and the paint quickly became form, except for the right ear, which required definition. Alas, I feel back upon opacity.

Sketchbook-Two Natured

Graphite

Some creature study inspired by Nitzus’s photo. There was something in the eyes of this babirusa that appeared both feral and docile to me. The cat and crow are weighing in.

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