Sunday, April 01, 2012

complements of spring

Freehand sketches of flowers from my yard. Irises in March!
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

underway knitting

This is what I've got done so far on the kimono-style cardigan we're knitting in my class: have to finish the back piece by Saturday. The raised horizontal-stripe pattern makes a nice break in the (sometimes tedious to knit) stockinette stitch; although I've done three stripes so far, none of which look the same! I should tear it all out and start over ... but I can't do it: I know I'll never redo it, so, since it's the back, I'm just plunging ahead.
One reasson I can't redo are my other time-sensitive projects. This wrap for Peter's son's fiancee; the shower's in two weeks and the wrap is taking longer and requiring more yarn than I anticipated. This is all stockinette, but I wanted something without texture since the handpainted yarn is so variegated.

Then there are these two baby blankets, for Peter's daughter. She's not due till the end of August, but I have a long way to go on these. The yellow one is a pleasure to work on, but the other ... I substituted another, lighter weight, yarn for the one called for in the pattern and am learning (the hard way, of course) the perils of making substitutions: this is going to require a lot more stitches and thus time than it should; and the bump pattern--a row of knit 1, purl 1, then a row of purl 1, knit 1--is awkward to accomplish, moving the yarn back and forth for every stitch, for a beginner like me.
This is another project where I made an ill-advised substitution. Another throw, in light cotton, meant to be a birthday present for a friend, so I have until June ... Stalled on it right now, but if I don't get far enough for it to be a throw, I think I'll sew it up around a pillow form!
And these are the projects--along with a barely started black chunky ribbed wrap for me and a cowl in a luscious plummy purple edged in bright green--that I've had to put aside: sampler scarves from my first knitting class. I had bought the green cashmerino ahead of time but when I registered for the classs was told it was too heavy, so I bought the (slightly) lighter maroon yarn and started the project with it. As I went on, I didn't see why the green wouldn't work, so I started knitting it up too. Now I have two 1/4-done scarves.
 And finally, yet another throw, this one for my dad. It's all garter stitch and bulky yarn, which means it should knit up quickly, when I get to it. Each stripe is one skein: camel, sky blue, dark blue ... then cream, maroon, heathered brown, sap green. That's the plan.
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Wednesday, March 21, 2012


It seems to happen every year: the magnolia, forsythia, and daffodils are all in bloom, but every day my painting time is reallocated to do some other unavoidable and necessary task or other ... making me more anxious watching petals fall from the magnolia! 
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Friday, March 09, 2012

st mary's by-the-sea

St Mary's By-the-Sea is a retreat for nuns on the best piece of real estate on the Jersey Cape. I've painted it many times; it's distinctive red roof never loses its appeal.
Last summer the nuns agreed to let a class paint from their porches; then when we got down there (about 15 of us), they reneged! Worried about liability they claimed, their allegiance being more corporate than christian.
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

another (old) dpw challenge

From a reference photo at DPW.
I couldn't get this photo to appear as it really is: it's a bit too dark here ... which unfortunately really shows up how I overworked the shadows under the eggs--couldn't get that "glow" right. I think I was struggling between what I saw--light--and what my brain told me should be there--dark (i.e., shadow).
I'll do it again--and this time tell my brain to butt out!
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Monday, February 27, 2012

favorite subjects

A small white flower painting: this subject never loses it appeal.
Below, two done (except now I see I need to darken slightly the lower part of the front dinghy in the first ... one more wash) boat paintings that I may put in the show in April.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

warm and cool

Freehand attempts to paint the same bouquet of flowers using predominantly warm and predominantly cool palettes.

I didn't finish the cool one, wasn't sure where to go with it ...

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

chiles and lemon

From a beautiful reference photo by Sylvia Lang at Paint My Photo.
I think I'd like to try it again, holding on to more whites in the peppers.
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

fishing boats

Three 5x7 fishing boat scenes in three stages: done, not-quite done, nowhere-near done.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

an old dpw challenge

From a DPW photo.
I don't usually use mask; I can never seem to adequately integrate the white it leaves back into the painting and I can see from this photo that some of these whites need to be toned down ... But I want to start trying to paint more cats.
Just a couple of years ago I had four, three oldsters and one kitten, but I could never get good photos of them. I'd try to sneak up and get the photo but as soon as one my cats would see me, he or she would come running over for some kisses. So have a lot of blurry photos of big cat heads.
I was at an art show last week where I saw the most beautiful painting of two cats ...
Here comes my sole little cat now for some petting. Gotta go.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

magnolias preview

More magnollias, from photos. I can't wait for my magnolias to bloom this year--I now have two.
I started this intending to paint a dark background to make the flowers look whiter, but decided the background space was too large and just added some leaf shapes to define some edges.

A couple of smaller studies done earlier.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

1-day workshop

I did a 1-day workshop yesterday with my Monday teacher, Marie Natale, She has a showing hanging in Hammonton, NJ, about 90 minutes from me, of paintings from her trip to Italy last year and the workshop focused on Italian scenes, specifically on painting aged stucco facades, which is fun since they have so many colors and irregularities.
I started out a little apprehensive since--although I have no problem painting other people's "challenge" photos--I don't usually paint places I haven't been; I don't know, I think I worried it would feel inauthentic ... But then, it's just shapes and color on paper ... and it was fun.
Also, I had a fabulous lunch at a wine bar across the street from the art center. Typically contrarian, I had beer, Ommegang, and a fabulous little plate of three fried polenta triangles topped with tomato brushetta, black olive tapenade, and mushrooms sauteed in butter and sherry.
I got lost on the way home trying to find a Greek restaurant that I thought was on the way and had to go home without the taramasalata I'd been looking forward to all day.
Painting makes me hungry.

Practicing stucco: each square has blue, red and yellow (some have "foliage" at the bottom), with a different predominant color in each vertical row.

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Friday, February 17, 2012


Last summer a white gladiola bloomed next to my deck. I had no idea how it got there--I had never much cared for gladiolas, but I started to draw, paint, and photograph this one and became a convert. Last fall I planted bulbs for several varieties, including some flaming orange ones that I hope come up.
I think I confused the structure here a bit, but I had fun painting it.
Where I stopped last night:

Thank you for the great suggestions re finishing the dinghies painting: I'm going to work on it today.
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