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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Life of an Artist

After painting 6 or so hours, in my own tape helping me stay in the zone...I quit around 6pm. Went to wash brushes and saw the most wonderful scene out the window.

Randy was sitting on the driveway with our new neighbors, Jill and Scott, and their precious daughters...Demi (3) and Steely (8). The girls were running up and down the driveway, Demi in her ubiquitous pink tutu. Both were barefoot. I couldn't wait to get out there!

About the time I finished chores, another neighbor (from Brazil with a wonderful accent) was riding his bicycle with his 4 year old daughter Isabella.

Well, an hour or so and several beers later, we all decided to go for pizza. Isabella has the most precocious personality...asking me 'why does your hair do that' which I replied, 'why does YOUR hair do that'.

At the table, she asked 'what color is your hair'. I replied, 'Red'. and she retorted 'no, ala'range'. Her mother is Portugese and Isabella is learning the language. I know I horribly mispelled her color name...but it was evident she said ORANGE!

All three girls are so precious. The artist in me can't wait to get the camera out to try and capture those perfect rosebud mouths, curly hair, and boo-boos from bike riding.

All in all, a wonderful spontaneous evening! Can't wait for more...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

DSFDF Diana and Friend Challenge

See all the fine entries at Different Strokes From Different Folks...competition is getting tough! This was a fun one...Be sure to go peruse all the different versions!

Diana ©2009 Vicki Ross
oil on panel, 11x14
Here is the original photo. Karin Jurick wanted everyone to paint the entire statue, not just a piece of it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just a few tweaks and the WIP paintings are finished!

What an absolutely gorgeous day! This morning the temp was a balmy 68°. Of course, I'm usually not out and about at 9am...but anything for art. I sat on the front terrace and enjoyed the birds and flowers while I painted. After lunch it was edging up on 85° and my perfect spot was in the sun.

Thought you'd like to see the final paintings from the last blog. I knew there were a couple problems, but was just proud I had gotten them as far as I did before stopping. This is sorta like two photos and finding the differences that are hidden...except I'm going to tell you what they are!

The first version of 'Montmartre'. I knew there was a bit of a perspective issue with the frame on the left...and with the stark white of the painting's paper. I knew I had nailed his face and the woman on the right...but know enough to know just a few tweaks would make all the difference. SO, toned down the whites, did another session on his face, extended the width of the caricatures painting so his nose would 'pop' more. I also did some chunky strokes on the 2 background paintings and made the frame in the back have a vertical to more resemble a painting in the other row.
"Montmartre" ©2009 Vicki Ross
Oil on panel, 12x16"
On the Black Iris, I took a chance with the dark background. Originally thought a 5 value in an umber would do the trick, but when I tried it in photoshop the flower died. Just bringing the background a value lighter and warmer did the trick! Restating the darks in the flower and a few brushy strokes made this one finished.
The original above, and the mildly edited one below:
"Black Iris" ©2009 Vicki Ross
Oil on panel, 12x16"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

WIP Last 2 weeks

"Tim's Corner" ©2009 Vicki Ross
11x14" oil on panel

"Montmartre" ©2009 Vicki Ross
12x16" oil on panel

"Black Iris" ©2009 Vicki Ross
11x14" oil on panel

I have been so busy painting, I forgot to blog! And this is not all for the past 2 weeks. I have a new challenge painting for DSFDF due next week (I'm done early), a half-way at Tim's last week that I will finish tomorrow, and a new flower.

Check out the slideshows:

"Tim's Corner"


"Black Iris"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

April Moses Botkin Challenge–Favorite shoes

Drumroll, please! The April Challenge is now coming out of the closet (pun intended).

Here is my painting:

"Shoo-Fly" ©2009 Vicki Ross
Oil on Panel, 8x10 
And, yes, I really have a pair of these shoes...2 pair, actually. These are hand-made, bench made in the old fashion...the softest leather you will ever have on your feet. Originally from Alaska, these craftsmen do selected fine-art festivals across the country. Funky Feet will send you a pair, almost on approval. I can tell you that I usually wear an 8, but these I wear a 7. No two pair are ever alike. The handpainting is a bonus to the fabulous leather patterns. (The fly is not there, the octupus is).
Here is a photo of the real ones!
Here are the rest of the esteemed group I paint with: oops, their shoes.
"The Red Shoes"
Oil on canvas
12" x 12"

(c) 2009 Robin Cheers
8x9 Oil on paper board
Mike Beeman “Red Slippers”
6” x 6”
Pastel on Canson paper
"Knights in Pink Satin" 7x5" Oil on Panel
"Baby Shoes" 6"x6" Oil on Board
©2009 Michael Naples

"Red Silk Espadrilles", 11x14 o/c.
©2009 Silvina Day

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Outer Space and Under the Sea Creatures

I think Tim stays up at night dreaming of wierd challenges! It is really fun. As he says, he teaches 400 level classes and you will absorb what you are ready to absorb. I'm hangin' in there!

This was an exercise in complimentary colors and mark-making. Discussions were lively...about 'my kid could paint that' to 'I can't believe that stuff sells' to 'painting abstractly is harder than realism' to 'do you have to understand realism before you can abstract' and finally, 'realism painters can paint abstracts, but abstract painters can not always paint realism'.

BUT, it was fun. And I hope some of these marks start to show up in my 'real' art!

"Shooting Star" ©2009 Vicki Ross
9x12 oil on gessoed panel
"Sushi?" ©2009 Vicki Ross
11x14 oil on gessoed panel
AND, I'm about finished with the Flemish method "French Schoolgirls". Halfway through an evening dusk painting of the Charles Bridge in Prague. Also have spent some time devising a pastel painting illustration for an ad for the IAPS Program for La Bonne Etoile. Just because I took a few days off, does NOT mean I'm not painting!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Victory with Peony Flemish Method pastel and oil

©2009 Vicki Ross 9x12 oil on panel
I really slowed down with this painting. Very much enjoyed the process and learned alot. I was supposed to use more of the damar/oil/turp on each layer and it would have had more of a glow, I think. I will definitely use this method satisfied my niggledly/anal/OCD tendencies.

©2009 Vicki Ross 12x16 pastel on paper
The oil painting looks richer. Might just be a fluke of photography...the slideshow for the oil version is below, the slideshow for the pastel version is here. The underpainting on the pastel was in acrylic and provided a great roadmap for complicated petals. Don't know if it was worth the effort or not, since pastel is opaque.

here is the slideshow for the oil: