Friday, May 29, 2009

Renaissance Men

12x12 oil on panel

This was done last week. I have been painting some, in snatches. I don't know the lady in the portrait on the wall...reminds me of Lady Macbeth. Anyway, the subject is from the National Gallery of Art in D.C.

In the free time I have today and this weekend, I am going to try to organize this awful mess I call a studio. Didn't I just do this?

My Palette

I've thought I'd share my colors, especially those that I use as substitutes for cadmiums and other heavy metals.
In some case, I find that the "hue" is nearly as good as the real thing, though maybe not as vibrant or intense. And who knows about longevity as of yet. I admit trouble with intense reds... I was painting a woman's red shirt recently and found that if I wiped it back and left it slightly transparent, I got the best effect. Otherwise it just wasn't bright enough.
My palette is heavy on the warm tones. They are always there while the cooler ones, aside from alizarin crimson and ultramarine blue, vary. Also, I've been told that I set my palette up "backwards"... but this is what works for me.

The colors that are always found on my palette are:
Titanium white, or quick dry white (combo of titanium and zinc) (Classic or Gamblin)
Hansa Yellow (Classic Artist Oils or WN)
Indian Yellow (WN) -- that brand is the best!
Permanent Yellow (Rembrandt)
Cad Red Hue (Sennelier)
Alizarin Crimson (Classic Artist Oils or WN)
Ultramarine Blue (Classic Artist Oils or WN)
Sap Green (Classic)
Mars Black (Classic)

Frequently used colors are:
Raw Siena
Prussian Blue
Warm Grey
Royal Blue or Violet Grey (depending on brand)

The brands I gravitate towards are WN, Classic, Rembrandt and Gamblin. Gamblin especially makes some fun colors in their "radiant" series. Classic oils come in large tubes, like caulk tubes, and they are so buttery and rich. Really nice to work with, but not great for travel. I love the large tubes though, they make me feel less frugal about squeezing paint onto my palette.
The palette I prefer is disposable paper palettes which I close up in the Tupperware-like Masterson box.
My paints dry quickly here in Austin. Its so dry and hot that I almost always have to start with fresh paint daily. The box helps some, but many colors will form a shell overnight in the summer.

ok - that is that. Now for a health update. Obviously I have not been painting/posting again. Ben's dad is home in Indiana and mending. Ben is up and down... down this week unfortunately. As if things couldn't get more weird he now has vertigo. I'm rolling my eyes. What's next?!

Friday, May 22, 2009

His Space

5x7 oil on panel
click to buy

This young man seems to be marking out a nice circle of protection around himself. Maybe that is my point of view at the moment as I settle back down to my work - reclaiming my space. My in laws left this morning and are on their long drive home. Father in law is recovering well enough. He will likely heal quickly as he's in very good physical shape but its not any fun in the meantime.

So its back to "work" for me! I am so glad.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moses Botkin Monthly Challenge

This month's challenge was "Pig Party" - and I was not quite sure what to do with that. But my little scene involves two pigs harassing a hippo. To be honest, I just sort of threw this together today while I had an hour. You wouldn't believe the week we've had here. Read my post below for the update.

What I liked about these little creatures are the open mouths... like they are all howling or singing.
I should mention that the choice for this theme was made long before the swine flu craze hit the states. :-)

Hog Wild
5x7 oil on panel
© 2009 - Robin Cheers

Party Ears
12x7 - oil on panel
© 2009 Vicki Ross

Piggy Bank Picnic
6x6 - Oil on canvas
© 2009 Marie Fox

Piggie Party of Five
4x6 - Oil on board
© 2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Swine Barrel
5x7 Pastel on Cansen paper
© 2009 Mike Beeman

Pig Party
11x14 oil/canvas
© 2009 Silvina Day

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News from the Studio

The news from the studio is that there isn't much news. Not as far as painting goes. "Downstairs" however, all hell has broken loose. Excuse my language.
Let me start at the middle. Ben has been getting infusion therapy of IViG for his autoimmune disorder. Its working. Good news. It makes him a little sick for a couple of days. Not so good. His parents came down from Indiana to help us out some. Good news. His Dad, an avid cyclist, FELL Wednesday and broke his hip and had surgery last night. BAD news. So he is in the hospital now recovering and we (mostly me - because I am the only one operating at 100% still) are all scrambling around. He is recovering nicely so far - so I think all will be well soon. I am extremely grateful for our wonderful neighbors though.

So - I think I am going to just write off the rest of May and maybe try to focus on June for getting back to the studio. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 01, 2009

Poodle Pup

6x6 oil on panel
$100 + $6 s/h - sold

I started a short series of dogs last week. Sort of a tribute to the one thing that is keeping me somewhat sane and relaxed lately in these rather trying times. My little Macy sits in my lap and lets me pet her as long as I want. Its a sacrifice on her part, I am sure, but she tolerates it very well. Dogs are always so happy and easy to please. I think God really blessed us with their companionship. Isn't there a saying that we should try to be as good as our dogs believe we are?

This is a friend's puppy who drew lots of oohs and ahhs when we painted downtown a few weeks ago.
Kim, I hope you don't mind my using him as a model.
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