Sunday, January 22, 2012

Caboose

 "Caboose"
oil on linen, 6 x6 inches
This is is the last little character of an old wooden pull toy. The end. My hope is to do a few more paintings of this little pull toy. The next will be of one of the other little characters on this pull toy and then another painting of the entire thing. This will probably a long painting so that all the little guys fit on the canvas. When completed the paintings will make a cute grouping. Available in my gallery and at auction at Daily Paintworks.

Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tangerine Tango Sunset


"Tangerine Tango Sunset"
oil on linen, 6x8 inch, unframed

The color of the year according to The Patone Company is "Tangerine Tango", a beautiful and vibrant orange. The above painting is in response to the Daily Paintworks challenge for this week. The challenge is to paint something using the color chosen for 2012, tangerine tango.

It did not take me much time to decide what to do. A few years back I spent a couple of weeks in Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The sunsets there still remain in my memory. I did take lots and lots of photos during my stay. This brought back some wondrous memories of days in the sun....especially as I stand in my studio today, the coldest day so far this winter, and the temperature is a few degrees below zero F.

Enjoy!

P.S. Make sure to come back and check on my future testing of more pastel papers. The next one will be a blue colorfix suede surface. I am not sure what I am going to do with that one.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Winter Stillness

"Winter Stillness"
pastel on paper, 7.5 x 11 inches
landscape, unframed
 
TESTING PASTEL PAPERS ~ Test #2:
  • This is the second pastel paper that I am testing out of a sample package of twelve sample-size papers. Each is approximately 9x12 inches. There is an assortment of colors, types and shades of paper.
  • My hope is to take each paper and produce a piece of artwork using it and then provide feedback on each paper. What I hope to gain from this exercise is more experience on different surfaces using pastels. One should "rock the boat" now and then and try new things. For me, this is a way to learn and experience new methods - Maybe even gain some useable knowledge.
THE SECOND TEST PAPER:
  • Art Spectrum Colorfix Supertooth. This paper surprised me. After my experience with the Colored Colorfix paper, I did not have great expectations for this paper.  The surface quality is much coarser than the first colorfix paper that I tried. I has a lot more surface area to grab the pigment of the pastel.
  • Paper Qualities.
    • The paper is creamy white tone. 
    • I did use a light watercolor wash for an undertone. It helps me with blocking in shapes gives me a bit of guidance in the design. Also, since the paper is light in color less pastel is needed to fill in the different values when an underwash is used.
    • The surface is fairly textured a bit like sandpaper. The surface appears to have tiny little bubbles that popped providing a rough textured surface (more surface area so that there is more for the pastel to grab onto.)
    • Fill qualities: Compared to the first paper that I used, I actually liked this one. I would even consider purchasing it. I could layer, blend and have fun working the pastel. I did not make much pastel dust with this paper as compared to the first one.
    • Blending: I tried a cotton rag (t-shirt material) and a tortillon blending stick. When blending with the rag, I would use short strokes in areas that I wanted to soften the pastel. The blending stick would great and I used it quite a bit.
    • Fixative: Did not use.
SUMMARY....or just my experience and opinion:
  • This paper gets a thumbs up. I did use a light watercolor wash and I found the paper to take the watercolor nicely. The surface is a little weird looking, but it did the job.

SUMMARY  CHART for the future.....:
After I complete the comparison of papers, I will put together a chart of sorts with the name of the actual paper used, the pros, the cons, the cost, colors available and the type of pastels that seem to work best (pencils, hard or soft)...of course, this is just my humble opinion.

Two papers tested and ten more to go...also a handmade surface to be included.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Misty Afternoon

"Misty Afternoon"
pastel on paper, 9x12 inch
copyright 2012 MaryAnn Cleary

TESTING PASTEL PAPERS:
  • This is the first pastel paper that I am testing out of a package of several sample-size papers. Each is approximately 9x12 inches. There is an assortment of colors, types and shades.
  • My hope is to take each paper and produce a piece of artwork using it. What I hope to gain from this exercise is more experience on different surfaces using pastels. One should "rock the boat" now and then and try new things. This is a way to learn and experience new methods - Maybe even gain some useable knowledge.

THE FIRST TEST or paper:
  • Initially, I thought that I would love this dark grey pre-toned paper. Wrong. I started two different paintings on this paper, but I eventually wiped each one of them off after struggling with each one of the trials. I am pretty sure that this paper is going to find a new home some place else.
    • The paper has a dark tone, which I like, but for the subjects that I tried using it the colors just seemed to sink into the darkness - it is seems a bit too dark for my preferences. 
    • I also did not care for how the pastel took to the paper. I like to layer pastels and I also prefer to blend very little - just a little when I feel the need. 
    • The tooth of the paper just seemed to fill way to quick for me and after one or two layers, I made pastel dust really, really good. 
    • I did try blending, but what seemed to happen then was dust and the layers just disappeared...gone.
    • I even tried a spray of workable fixative. Now this is something that I just do not do. That did not seem to help my dilemma either. The pastel just sank into the dark toned background...disappearing into never-never land.

RESULT....or my humbler than thou opinion:
  • I believe this paper probably works fine for someone who likes fine lines and detail work. Just not me. Maybe I need to work more with it. In the end, the paper and I did not click.
NOW the WINE COMPARISON....
  • For me, it felt like I drank a glass of not-so-great wine. Had a terrible headache and an awful taste in my mouth.  I am going to compare this little gem to Bali Hai. Some people may be old enough to know what that wine is or may actually like that wine - that is, if you can still get it. It also is probably not so bad if mixed with soda or something to kill the terrible after-taste...hmm, maybe the paper needs something else to make it better....
SUMMARY  CHART of sorts for the FUTURE RELEASE of the NAMES:
After I complete the comparison of papers, I will put together a chart of sorts with the name of the actual paper used, the pros, the cons, cost and lastly....the wine counterpart ...of course, this is just my humbler than thou opinion.

More to come. Enjoy!

MaryAnn

P.S. If you just can't wait, the paper is an Art Spectrum colored one - a very dark gray. I typically use a Wallis paper so I had a difficult time re-adjusting my style for this paper type....drove me crazy. I also like to tone the paper using watercolor and a paper with a lot more texture.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Pink Wheelbarrow

"The Pink Wheelbarrow"
8x8 inch, oil on linen, unframed
copyright 2012 MaryAnn Cleary

The Painting:
The above painting is something that I did this fall during a workshop with Scott Anderson. It meant driving to the "Cities", but for this non-city person I felt the workshop helped me with looking at what I paint with a different perspective. We painted plein aire or outdoors on site and in places that I had not visited prior to the class. I am not a "city" person. However, I had a great time and I loved finding new subject matter to paint and having a taste of city life for a couple of days.

What is new this week:
This week I am testing out several different pastel papers. Tomorrow I will photograph them and list the ones that I am trying. It is a sample pack from Dakota Art Supplies with ten different papers. A couple of them I have used previously and they are some of my favorites. As I go through the papers, I hope to post the pastel paintings I do along with pros and cons about the papers. I also hope to make some boards with my own ground painted on them to try out, too.

Make sure to check out the Daily Paintworks site. I have a gallery there and a couple of auctions going.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Grapefruit Morning

"Grapefruit Morning"
6x6 inch, oil on linen panel
copyright 2012 MaryAnn Cleary

This painting can be purchased at a Daily Paintworks auction.

This small painting is this week's challenge on Daily Paintworks. A fun challenge.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Black-Eyed Susans

"Black-Eyed Susans"
size: 8x8 inch
oil on linen, unframed

This painting is of  black-eyed susans that was painted from life on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Lots of clouds hung around the shoreline that day. In the area that I found this wonderful abundance of flowers, I could easily set up my easel and paint right in the parking lot. They danced gingerly around the area and I felt delightfully surrounded by them.

This will be for sale on an auction at Daily Paintworks.