I recently took my watercolour pencils into a coffee shop in Timmins and saw a table in the corner in front of a door that I found needed sketching. After a quick sketch sitting in the coffee shop, I finished it up with some water when I returned to the apartment.
As of late I have not been able to do much in the way of painting or drawing. The reason for that is where I work has been undergoing some renovations which I have been a part of leaving me little to no time or energy to lift a brush.
The renovations are nearing an end. Soon I will be able to hold a brush in my right hand and a glass of wine in my right. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to it.
Next Tuesday I will be heading up to Northern Ontario for a vacation. With the seasons soon changing I’m hoping to get some fall colours on the trees, however with the late season heat wave we’ve been getting I doubt there will be much in the way of reds, yellows or oranges. There will however be plenty of time for watercolour sketching provided the skies don’t start to drop water on me.
The plan is to spend some time in a couple of Provincial Parks. The first one will be Halfway Lake and the second, Chutes Provincial park just outside of the bustling metropolis of Massey. With some luck I should finish with plenty of material to do some landscape paintings in studio over the winter and hopefully several quality photographs.
For some time I have wanted to get a Cd player. The one I used to have died on me a few years ago and although I can play Cd’s through the computer, it’s not as convenient as popping a disk in to a dedicated unit. The computer in question is a laptop that has to be connected to the stereo. If your wondering what has stopped me from getting one, it’s the price. The lowest price for a new five disk unit is at least a couple of hundred dollars.
Value village came in quite handy today. I picked up a Cd player for twenty five dollars, and it works.
I’m now able to listen to music again as I paint, which is what I’m doing now. We’ll admittedly not at this exact moment because I’m writing this, but you get the point, right?
For this piece I used the master’s technique I learned at the Art Gallery of Burlington. I used a theme of hobbies for the setup; books for reading, chess pieces for games, a camera for photography, a stuffed bear for toys and flowers for floral arrangements.
I don’t remember what the vertical books were when I set up the still life but instead of using their titles I spanned the three books with a quote from Ansel Adams about photography. “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
The stuffed bear was something I “won” in a machine. What I like the most about it is it’s wearing the helmet and uniform of the Green Bay Packers, my favourite team in the NFL.
A few years ago at the Art Gallery of Ontario I went to the exhibit “Drama and Desire.” I was one of hte best exhibitions i have seen there. The idea behind it was to show how theater influenced art and how art influenced theater.
There was a room about halfway in that was all devoted to the work of Edgar Degas. Each time I went i lingered in that room and soaked in the works of the impressionist master. I was so inspired by his work that I used his style to paint “Dancer.” As much as I like the final result, I still much prefer the work of Mr. Degas.
At the Art Gallery of Burlington (formerly the Burlington Art Centre) I have taken several classes over the years. One of the best was learning the Masters techniques.
The class taught us how the renaissance painters made their incredible paintings. The different layers they used; the glazing of colours over the “dead layer.” During the class we copied “La belle Feronierre” from Leonardo Da Vinci.
Painting in the master’s techniques makes for a very satisfying painting. The only drawback is it takes a lot longer to complete. After the underpainting comes the Grisaille layer. Once you have essentially a black and white painting, you begin glazing on layers of colour.