Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One Hundred Paintings (Part V)

Another crazy week befell me, but I managed to turn out three more paintings by Tuesday. I was more productive musically this week... which took up most of my free time, which may have been the reason I spent less time on paintings this week. I'm thankful though, as it's been so hard for me to write for the past year or more. I feel like I must stop everything and write when the mood hits me. Frankly, I'd be a little more appreciative if those times weren't at 4 a.m. when I wake up in the middle of the night, times when I have to do "grown up things," or when I have no instrument around me. For a while, I used to carry around a tape recorder to just hum melodies when they would sneak up on me. Melodies are very sneaky you know.

The first painting was again for Illustration Friday. The topic was "Swamp." I didn't really think outside of the box here but I thought it was fun all the same. Last year I created a children's book about a jug band of animals. However, I believe it was an opossum that was playing the banjo if I'm not mistaken. Banjo playing should really be reserved only for animals who begin with obscure silent letters (that are fun to pronounce anyway). I've had a banjo for a couple years now. I've yet to make any significant progress. I have my excuses.

The title here was a play on the song "Moon River." Breakfast at Tiffany's really has nothing to do with bourbon or cypress trees though. Well... maybe the bourbon.

"Moonshine River"

The next painting was a spin-off of an old sketch I did last year. The sketch was originally a marker drawing of my old golden retriever. A few days later I was sitting in class when I was feeling particularly silly and added a rocket to her back in pencil. I declared this made sense because my retriever often enjoyed both space exploration and mid-summer celebrations. Now she enjoys them with sunglasses on.

"The Return of Rocket Dog"

I've made a habit of sitting in fields or in the woods when I'm feeling down. When I was young I would make elaborate nooks from fallen tree branches and hide in them all day. I somehow think this is because I like to be reminded of how wonderful the world is in comparison to my own woe. It makes problems seem less significant. I've always had a pretty strong connection with animals. I believe dogs and cats really do have an intuitive and caring nature that you just sometimes need when you find people to be biased or misunderstanding. As annoying as it can be at times, I really love that my cat kneads me incessantly when I'm sad or sick. Other times she could care less if I existed other than to feed her but I see a change in her when I'm not well. However I've never been a bird owner. I really admire them but I find them to be kind of apathetic in my limited experience. Upon trying to explain this to a friend I said:

"Sometimes when I'm sitting outside and feeling jaded, I just wish a bird would come up to me and eat bread crumbs out of my hand, but I know that won't happen because I'm not Snow White and birds don't really give a cuss if I'm sad."

(I've edited the quote for obvious reasons... but now the delivery is just all wrong)

"Birds Don't Care"

Until next time.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Hundred Paintings (Part IV)

Welp, I'm a little late on these paintings this week. Not that there really is a deadline... but I coincidentally started posting things by Tuesday and so decided I would post every Tuesday. I suspect this is because of my compulsive nature to organize, categorize and put everything into routine. (Which by the way greatly conflicts with the other part of me that is impulsive, spontaneous and dying to be free). I will undoubtedly come up with some subtle, subconscious, and self-deprecating way to punish myself for not completing my homework on time. A deadline which doesn't really exist anyway and doesn't matter.

The first painting I did this week was for Illustration Friday. The topic is "Shades". I always like to be given topics. It forces one to think creatively. I suppose that is what I like about communications design so much. I wasn't thrilled with the painting at first, but I thought the concept was kind of charming. It's a monster waving goodbye to someone/something. That's about as clear as dishwater. I guess you'll just never know.

"Good Bye"

I had been wanting to paint a volcano for a while. No real explanation. They are just cool. I might paint another. That's a llama, that is. She's about to be in some hot water. (Pun intended).


I've been thinking a lot about swimming down in my favorite swimming hole. As the weather gets warmer, all I seem to want to do is take Max the dog to the river and have such an exhausting swim that we both have an excellent night's sleep. I really miss Max the dog. I seem to be painting a lot of bears (non-sequitur, I know. I can't even follow myself in my own head sometimes). I reasoned that it was probably because they lend themselves well to anthropomorphism. Say that 5 times fast. Plus, they are fluffy. I like fluffy. I think I'd really like to re-do this one in the future... but you know... better.

"The Autumn Soak"

I have passed the 10 paintings milestone. It really wasn't so bad. I just have to do that about 9 more times.
Have a most excellent week people of Earth.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

One Hundred Paintings (Part III)

I've had a very sad week this week. So I painted sad pictures. Although I think number nine is somewhat whimsical and it's the one I enjoyed the most conceptually speaking.

I also used gouache (pronounced GWAHSH) this week. I very rarely use gouache because I thought I hated it. And the word gouache doesn't even sound like a paint. It sounds like a late summer vegetable or a game you play with a wall. Or possibly even the sound of a midsummer bullfrog looking for some hot love but instead making me want to suffocate myself with my pillow. I can hear it now..."Gwhash... gwahsh...gwhash..." Oh the sounds of summer... How misleading indeed.

For a long time I also believed it was copping out on watercolor. Make a mistake on a watercolor painting? No matter... cover it up with gouache! It also always had this dusty, unblended look I disliked. And not in the way that you can see layers of beautiful crisp watercolor... just crappy. Every time I would see a painting where someone used gouache I would say...

"Wow I don't like that painting why is that watercolor so chalky?"

Then I learned that I just wasn't seeing great gouache paintings. So I'm experimenting with a mixture of watercolor and gouache. Testing the waters and easing my way in. Now you'll be looking at my paintings saying..

"Wow I don't like that painting... why are her watercolors so chalky?" (Let me clear that up for you... because I suck.)

Anyway... I felt like I was cheating on my watercolor paints with my gouache. Watercolor was saying... what am I not opaque enough for you??

Nevertheless I doubt we'll go our separate ways. I intend to wear them down until they forgive me.

"Dearly Departed"

"Has Anyone Seen The Wind?"

I've only just learned to fly a kite myself. Now having understood how amazing it is... I would be utterly heart broken if I could never fly my kite again.

In this painting I didn't want to make the stalking wolf totally overt. Plus I was afraid it would bear a horrifying resemblance to the ever popular "Howling Wolf Sweater" which I wanted to avoid at any and all costs. Though, now I've mentioned it, that's probably all you will see. I didn't want it to be "hip" in other words... (but now aren't I just like the hippest?!)

"Don't Let The Night In"


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Hundred Paintings (Part II)

Just very recently I have discovered how to read and write all Roman Numerals (at least to the thousands). It will be such fun to count to one hundred in Roman Numerals (C). Almost as satisfying as having painted one hundred paintings. But I digress...

To make good on my word I have painted three more paintings this week (with others in progress). That brings me up to six (VI). Which is almost 10 (X). Which is 1/10th of the way through my project. Whew.

Last week's paintings can be seen here: PART I (Or you can just scroll a bit)

Painting four was a comparison of two of the greater mysteries facing us. I was thinking about them the day I painted it. The deep ocean and outer space. It's funny how very little we know about them and yet there is plenty more of it than us. In fact we know more about space than we do our own ocean floor, which is surprising, as much of the Earth is covered with water. I suppose it's easier to look up and say... "Well that's curious." than to look at the surface of an ocean and say... "Perhaps there's something curious down there". There's a lot to distract.

Anyway, I could hardly imagine Aristotle philosophizing about angler fish. (Though much of what he said is applicable I'm sure, that's a joke and not a provocation for debate).

"You will never do anything in this world without courage..." and then he jumps into the Mediterranean, never to be heard from again.

With that being said, I painted some sea turtles for a nice peaceful effect. Plus... turtles are fun.

"The Unexplored"

The next painting was pretty spontaneous. I made up everything as I went. I didn't do any sketches prior to this painting. All I knew was that I wanted to use pink and have weird looking trees. The pink clouds started to look like smoke so I went for fire... I thought the white doe added a surprising and stark contrast.

"Smoke Signals"

And finally, for the last painting I wanted to do something that looked older. More subdued colors. In fact I orignally wanted to do something in black and white or sepia but I ended up adding some red and yellow to the painting as well. As a very last addition I decided to make this violin playing rabbit on a rainy street. The street lamps, rain and puddles were added at the very end. I think I could actually really like this painting if I refined some things.

I imagined ol' Hoss here playing "Well-Tempered Clavier" by Johann Sebastian Bach. I kept humming it while I was painting. This little bird is braving the storm to hear some sweet sounds.

"Well-Tempered Violin"

As someone who plays a stringed wooden instrument, I want it on record that I understand how horrible rain is for a violin.
In addition, if you want to know what it's like to live and die at the same moment you can listen to M. Ward's cover of "Well-Tempered Clavier" here: Well-Tempered Clavier

I myself have tried to cover this on guitar. I can only get some of the way through it before I realize my hands are the size of a child's and can't reach some of the chords. C'est la vie.

Until next time.