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A 501-(c)3 non profit, all funds go to artist members. I had a successful campaign here for a project I designed. Read about it here: http://axully.com/repetition-with-variations/
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Jim's Pitcher WIP

Half the people we know are, and have been, without power for over 24 hours. While the sun came out...peeked out, really, soon it was late afternoon and clouds moved in. Virtually no clearing today. Randy, the hairy kids, and I just stayed in did whatever we wanted to do. For me, a new painting.

Last week when I was complaining about having to take a whole day to go to Poor Richard's Art, (my art co-op), Jim Young  had brought in some new pottery items. Jim is a master potter and a wonderful teacher. He even got me on the wheel...talk about a mess! ME and the WHEEL. While I enjoyed it, it didn't make my heart sing. What happens in pottery, stays in pottery!

He and his wife, Sarah gave Randy and me a very nice bowl the first time they came over. The next day I did a painting of it. They bought it on the spot! The title is 'Odd Man Out'.



The pitcher had to be mine...and became the subject of a new painting. Here is my setup...tried to get it close to the easel (ala Tim)...strong lighting...ala Qiang Huang...box with the top out...ala Theresa.

The light got a bit stronger as the afternoon wore on. I had to add the black cardboard because this spot is in a bay-type window and I was looking into the bright icy light.
This pitcher is a real beauty...shiny glaze on the darker green and a matte finish on the icy blues.

oops. my toning layer had too much liquid and most of it dripped off the bottom. I could have gone to thicker darks to go over the top...but forgot. Drawing looks pretty good.


Next stage...I like the drippys...elipse is off on the top. Colors not too bad. I'm using my Ann Templeton palette...and the Richard Schmid swatches I painted with her palette. Love using it! Even if I just pick 2 color mixtures, they are always something I wouldn't have thought of on my own. And from there, the sky is the limit!


lookin' pretty good...top is still off. added some table top, conscious of keeping the hard lights

I sure do like that little burst of color on the top right of the pitcher. Hope my elipse is fixed on the last photo. Colors are right on! Added some backgrounds so I could work on the shape of the pitcher.


Remember what Tim has taught...to sweep the brush stroke off the item and into the background for a believeable stroke. Then to come back and repair the background.

I don't know...don't think Tim blessed this box! And you can see in this photo how shifting your position to take a photo totally changes the viewpoint of the painting. I was sitting forward on the chair to paint, and sat back to take the photo. SO, I was looking down more into the pitcher than the actual photo shows. Whew, this painting life has SO many elements. Just noticed how my pitcher looks like it is slanting to the left, but so is the PHOTO. HOW can that be?

Elipse looks somewhat better. Later in the afternoon I started seeing the shadow on the left side. Decide to work on that a bit. have lost some of the roundness now

don't know what I was doing here...don't see much difference
not sure I like the backgrounds. looks like a beginner (teehee)...but the pitcher looks pretty good (sorry for the glare on the left side.
Still need to work on the roundness a bit. Drawing of the pitcher is pretty good. may tone down the hard lights.
I did keep a bit of that mark I liked on the upper rim of the pitcher.


here is the slideshow:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Flemish Method 2nd color layer French Girls

I have been painting, but on a challenge that is secret until posting date! Getting my first taste of waiting for oil paint to dry...these new methods build on previous dry layers. I learned alla prima (all at once) so you are in and out in 3 or 4 hours. Friend/mentor Ann Templeton made the comment about me 'if I could just get her to slow down'. Well, 4 hours today on just skin tones is slow enough for me.

Am finding that I am using methods, tricks, techniques from Tim and Delmus with these projects. And Mr. Les for his palette of colors and methods of applying the paint to the canvas...and of course, Ann for her spectacular palette...only occasionally adding Burnt Umber, Black, Yellow Ochre ala Tim.

As an OCD/ADD person...what, you didn't know about that? I either pick something down to its last molecule or just skim the surface! Anyway, I was using a size 1 sable at one point today...and loving it! Do I want to work this tight all the time? NO. I love the juicy pigments and drips and smears of looser styles...but, a combination of the 2 may will be interesting!

Here is the French Girls after color layer 1 (minus arms). I started with the remaining 'deal layer' areas, then moved into the 2nd layer on their faces.

I did nothing to other parts.



photographing oils is very difficult...almost as bad as trying to photograph through glass...any tips will be greatly appreciated! In my old studio, I kept my camera on a tripod and always controlled the light. The results were a bunch more consistent than with my natural north light and hit and miss OTT lights. Grey days and sunny days yield different light.
AND, since everyone loves the process photos...here is the slideshow...4 hours of work!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Google Project, Prado in Spain from Gurney Journey

Now, this is interesting! Blog entry from Gurney Journey showcasing a new 'process' or 'experiment' with ultra-high resolution and photos of museum art. These are paintings from the Prado in Spain.

this is the blurb from Gurney Journey:


FRIDAY, JANUARY 23, 2009


Google’s Prado Project

Google has cooperated with the Prado in Spain to scan major works in the museum in a fully searchable and interactive format, built on the Google Maps model. You can zoom right up to the paint texture of your favorite works.

This little movie from Google shows how they did it.


Can you imagine the scope of this? The Louvre, Musee d'Orsay? Monet's Waterlilies? WOW!

Thanks, James!

---------
To enter the interactive search page at Google: link.
Read more:
Computer World report, link.
Guardian report, link.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Our Pledge for Our New Tomorrow

Watching Oprah's special show today from the Kennedy Center. Goosebumps.

Talked with Kippy today in France, who is staying at the apartment in Paris to immerse herself in the moment. French people and American Expat's are happy, hopeful, and anticipatory. Excitement in the air...in Kippy's words 'I just can’t watch for more than 2 minutes without tearing up. It is really touching me down deep, I think for all Americans as well. It is like we graduated or something.'

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher were first up. She directed a video of their friends where everyone states on camera what they are willing to do to help President-elect Obama make change. One of the statements that REALLY made an impact on me was 'to become an AMERICAN, not an African-American'.

Turn out the lights, be a better mentor to my sister, plant 500 trees...from the simple to the awesome...and there was just a snippet of the video shown. The entire video will be on Oprah's site...with space for everyone to make their own pledge.

I propose that our blogging, artist community do our pledges here, and now!

Vicki Louise Neil Ross pledges to only participate in positive comments about the challenges we now face. I will not tolerate negativity and will stand and confront it. If we all put good thoughts out into the universe, the collective power will be astounding. I will foster more aversion to toilet talk about our politicians, our country, our situation. I will be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

Take my challenge!

French Girls 1st color layer Flemish Technique (partial)

Stayed up way too late catching the HBO/Obama/Lincoln Memorial event. There was NO WAY I was going to cut that short...even though we were Tivo'ing it.

Spent the first couple hours of my day getting Baby B's oil changed, then caught a quick lunch with Randy and Al. By the time I got home, I tried to talk myself out of painting...and lost. So I gutted up and went to the easel.

I quit around 6:30...almost panicked, but settled down and had a fruitful afternoon.

For your review, the first pic is of the dead layer. Again, it was real tempting to quit and declare victory on the painting...but forged ahead. With underlayers thoroughly dry, I could always wipe back if I goofed.

Here is the slideshow of the progress. The shirt on the girl in the front is luscious shades of light pink, purple, golden white...all the same value, and they don't show up too good in these quick snaps. There were plenty of spots to quit and wipe off! Hmmm...I think I could push the darker values in her t-shirt a bit more.

The next snap is where I quit for the day.


I like this technique, but not for everything I do. I think I really prefer slapping the paint on over this meticulous stuff. Background girl's face needs much more, and she has hair dropping down over her left eye. Her smock looks like she has been working in a meat market...I got carried away with the yellow ochre. It is a small floral print with a bluish panel sewn down the side, but I sure don't want to get carried away with prints!
Hope you enjoy this in-progress blog post.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Painting Day: Flemish color layer on peony

WOW, 7 hours without one phone call...Worked on the 1st color layer of the Peony. Was halfway intimidated to touch the 'dead' layer because it looked pretty good. Gutted up and did it anyway...otherwise how are you going to know if you can do this technique?

BUT, before that, here is a painting I did at Tim's over 3 class sessions. He was showing me how to get smooth skin tones. Not sure I totally 'got' it, tho. This was another of his challenges...'here, see what you can do with this!'. It was one of his figurative paintings. With no time to whine about it, I jumped right in and started. His is on canvas, mine is on gessoed panel. That is why my hair is so crisp...straight pigment that shows brush strokes. If I'd been at home, I probably would have messed with it and ruined the effect. After working on the face for 2 days, he showed me how to do this Fechin type of background.

After the peony blitz, I worked on 2nd session of my Diana Moses Botkin challenge group

His painting is first, and forgive the bad photo...there is some shine on it, but I assure you his is great!


Peony dead layer:
Peony 1st color layer (6th layer total)

Now here is today's slideshow process photos:

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

DSFDF Jefferson Memorial Challenge

OK, first back to normal challenge (the first was the portrait exchange) for Karin Jurick's Different Strokes From Different Folks . Photo is posted, artist have 2 weeks to post their finished rendition.

Had fun with this one...below is the original source photo:

Decided to do an extreme crop...way too much uninteresting sky and foreground. Love the lights and the spaceship dome.

Here are a few in-process pics, followed by the one submitted.


noticed that the dome is too much of a boob...trimmed it back down, exaggerated the glow of the lights, made some chunky whites on the dome.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Some Days are Just Like This One

Pulled a Flintstone today...wheels went round and round and I went nowhere...just like Fred!

Had to get utilities changed over to our name today...and found out that you just can't sell ice cream without the cone! (that is from a real life experience in California in the 80's with Sharron and Susan. we went into an ice cream shop and Sharron wanted hers in a cup, not a cone. After a lengthy argument/discussion with the 'scooper', he finally said he was trained that way...that inventory was calculated by how many cones were gone...therefore, he couldn't sell ice cream without the cone. Sharron retorted, fine...1 scoop on a cone with a cup on the side.)

The Electric Cooperative insisted I had to come down to the office, fill out a form and deposit of $25. They could do nothing over the phone. Even after 10 years of service with them. I didn't feel my blood pressure go up until she answered every one of my questions with the same scripted 'you have to come in and fill out a form and deposit and picture ID'. I finally for completely knocked off balance and hung up on her. We may operate with candle light.

Then after a wait on hold, the gas company was more cooperative, until they found out that my name wasn't on the account for the past 10 years...and even though I knew Randy's SS#, they wouldn't talk to me. SO, I got to tell him he was going to have to deal with these stooges anyway.

Water company was great...personal phone service, debit card, slam bam, thank you mam.

I've been so immersed in painting that I've gotten used to my goofy, airhead persona. These failed attempts today completely knocked me off my 'ooohm' planet. And I was all set to put layer 5, the first color layer, on my peony.

Luckily, Mary Jane called, and had decided to buy a new Mac iBook...and thought she was going to have to go to Tulsa for it...she had forgotten Mac is our middle name...by 5pm she was the proud owner of a tricked out iBook, new laser printer, and on her way to the 21st (22nd?) century!

Then she bought me some food and libation at Chili's. Randy opted to join us instead of going on his Monday evening shoot competition...and we were home by 7.

If I can't figure out how to 'be in the real world' without losing my balance, I may not be able to join the business world...even on a part-time basis. And just think,  I used prosper in the business world chaos (or at least thought I did)! Being an artist is a much kinder and gentler existence.

Am joining a new challenge group online...and have posted their blogs to the right. Some pretty heavy artists...wonder if they lose their 'ooohms'.

Tomorrow is Village Art Club board meeting and general meeting...home by 3:30. Won't start on peony then either. Need several hours to do/enjoy that process for the first time. Will most probably work on the other Challenge group I'm in, a painting of a Jefferson Memorial photo (at night).

Vicki likes being goofy!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Layer 4, The Dead Layer on French Girls

Productive day already today. Glazed a bit on my rainy day europe piece...darkening the buildings because I know that is the only thing that will make it read 'rainy'. Even though it was daytime, and everything was mid-tone...I put the photo away and am now trying to salvage this one.

where I left it after session 2

Session 3...I know I glazed the buildings, but you sure can't tell! Forgot I had moved my painting spot to the end of the table, perpendicular to the north light after I took this photo...took another, and you can see a bit of difference.
alot of difference. the light behind me was washing everything out.
THEN, on to Layer 4 of the French Girls
This is after layer 3, the umber underlayer:
This is after layer 4, the dead layer
Slideshow:


Thursday, January 8, 2009

The Peony...4th of 6 Flemish layers

Couldn't wait to get started on this 'niggledly' painting. As I was told by Delmut , this is the most important layer...if you get this correct, the color layers sing!


End of 3rd layer...burnt umber underlayer
With one messy finger on the instructions and the other mixing colors, I made the 7 'grey' colors for the 'dead layer'. Hit a bump with the scraping, tho. Smeared an onion over the surface, linseed oiled it, buffed it, and then ra-ta-ta-ta...put a razor blade on it to get any brush hairs or rough areas. Too hard, and ended up getting some pigment. Oops. Forged on.
Match grey color to values on the umber...slowly and carefully. 

Darkest areas first. Leaving some of the umber showing between strokes so you can tell where you are.
Here, I am still on the background.

Background corrected (another brush to remove excess paint) and blended smooth.

Flower blocked in with grey values
Then correcting, and blending. I took my time, and realized I did not want to blow it now.
THEN, worked on edges, pushing the background in and pulling some strokes out to make a more interesting shape

FINI! 
Tomorrow I work at Poor Richard's Art (one of my 2 days for the month), so won't get to work on my 'lil French girls' until saturday. This one will have plenty of time to dry...and then the first colors!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Stinker and a Cutie

Well, the Flemish paintings were not dry enough for the 'dead' layer. Kudos to me for not rushing them...by the time I get back to them (tomorrow is paint day at Tim's) they'll surely be dry. So I looked for something else to do with my day (plenty of non-painting stuff)...but I was set to PAINT.


I started this a week or so ago, and just couldn't get it. Warmed up with another session on it...figured I can take it to Tim for some rescue tips. It is a bit better, but definitely not 'done'.

First session. Pretty much all the same value, xcept for some darks. Doesn't look anything like a rainy day in Paris...

darkened the foreground a bit by glazing, which made the reflections some better. 
Will let you know what Tim recommends.
Now for the fun. Yeah, I know it is difficult to wrap your brain around, but Vicki did something just for fun. Erika had sent me her photo she sent in for the challenge, and I thought it captured her so well I'd just see what I could do with it. So, without further ado, here is her photo.
and just below that is the end of the day painting. and just below that is a slideshow showing the progress over the afternoon.
drumroll please...da-da-da-DA...
oh, China Doll aka Erika doesn't know about this yet!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Challenge 1 for 2009, Vicki and Flemish Painting

Well, as long as I don't run out of things to try...you will know I am still engaged! The challenge on DSFDF of the portrait swap got me kudos from all over. So, I didn't embarrass myself.

I happened on this site here over the holidays and it seemed a less painful method for attempting this style of painting. Of course, had to give it a bit of the 'ole Ross spin.

Didn't want to prep the canvas, but since our goal was an eggshell surface, I used one of the Ampersand boards. Then went to trusty Photoshop and posterized to 6 levels. that gave me 4 greys, black and white.

Did the first 2 steps yesterday...got the drawing done, and inked that...then the impramatura (fancy for 1st layer). I did mine in acrylic so it would be ready today. My color did not have enough yellow ochre in it, so mine is a bit more grey than olive green. I also got a bit too heavy in spots and almost lost my inked drawing. oops.



So, here we are for better or worse...'cept I'm not marrying this technique. Just playing. Something I need to do more of. The top photo is a peony, the bottom 2 young french girls playing.
Got up today ready to start...but forgot I didn't have any burnt umber. Trip to Hobby Lobby...pigments on sale, so were brushes. Added a few more inexpensive mop brushes for all the blending necessary.
Started around 1:30, and quit around 5:30 with the 3rd stage complete. 



Wow. Randy thought it was a photo (I guess that is a compliment!)


He left before he saw this one...can't believe it actually looks like something already.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's stage 4. If these are dry enough. That is the bugger with this Flemish technique. In the old days they'd have to wait  several days between stages. If this was 'your' chosen method of painting, you'd want to have several starts so you'd have something to work on every day.

Realized I didn't have Prussian Blue for tomorrows 'dead' layer...back to Hobby Lobby. We are supposed to have ice tonight/tomorrow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Different Strokes for Different Folks

A new adventure! My first online painting challenge. Karin Jurick started this blog sometime in 2008, and Erika has been doing it for awhile. Typically Karin posts a photo and everyone interprets that photo in his/her own style, then they are posted together. Fun!
This time, she had us submit a photo of ourselves, and she 'awarded' them to other painters. We had no clue who we were painting...I was determined not to wait until the last minute, but ended up being too realistic and had to wait for paint to dry several times during the process.
Here are the pics:
my source photo...you can tell I took a bunch of time with it...even had my bluetooth earpiece in my ear that I had to 'remove'.

My assignment

Day 1
Day 2

Day 3 (Yeah, I bought this box from Tim hoping his talent would rub off on me)

Day 4

Day 5

Day 6
FINAL Vicki Ross paints Carol Horzempa 

Carol Horzempa paints Vicki Ross (she got the square eyes right!)
I have also been invited to join another online challenge painting group...this one will be from life. Whoever is in charge for the month will call for an item (common item, bottle of tabasco, apple, etc). It's fun to paint under duress!