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Life Sometimes gets in the Way

December 11th, 2014

Life Sometimes gets in the Way

Isn't it amazing when a year goes by before you know it. Sometimes there are just so many other things to do other than paint or draw. But I am slowly getting back into it. My latest inspiration has been Peter Deligdisch or as he is more commonly known, Peter Draws. I came across his You Tube videos and fell in love with his drawings and his gentle musings on life. Check him out here

https://www.youtube.com/user/Palivizumab

His sketchbook doodles got me back into making sure I have my art stuff with me most of the time, so I can jump on the chance to draw whenever and wherever I can. Lately I have been posting some of the pictures to Instagram. I signed up so that I could post some #inktober sketches, which although I arrived late to the party, was still a lot of fun.

http://instagram.com/sheepmctavish/

Anyways, I am hoping to keep working hard and drawing every day. It really is what I love to do more than anything. Mantra for 2015 should be 'FOCUS'.

Long time no post

April 18th, 2012

Long time no post

So the first post of the year - my, my and its already half way through April! But I haven't been slacking off (well not too much). Firstly I FINALLY finished off the pastel of Z that I had been working on for about a year! It was my first real attempt at using soft pastels and after finding that I could use a smudger to almost paint with the pigment, I found I was able to work into the page to create a pretty realistic feel. Although, I still have a LONG way to go in developing my skills, this type of realism is quite addictive when you start trying to perfect small areas. I think I must have redone her chin about 30 times trying to get the shadows to lie just right! Anyway, it felt really good to complete and to finish it off, I used a 19th century looking gold frame to give it that extra Queen Victoria kicks ass kick!

Then came the princess. I was commissioned to do a couple of cows and sheep and if possible a small princess picture too. I knew for sure that I did not want this princess to be the overly pink cutsie princess as I had already been balking at the fact they were making games like Twister and Connect 4, gender specific! So I went with a more fairy tale princess and before I knew it, the frog showed up. I love it when I am sketching and trying to figure out how a character should look, like the frog this time, and all of a sudden, once you get the way the eyes and the mouth fit together just right, the damn thing starts talking to you from the page. Bold as you like and out of the blue... 'RIBBIT'! That's when you know you've got him.

Then came "The Pandorica Opens" or as the real title of the picture is 'Blue Box Exploding" I wanted to paint a picture for my friend for her birthday and having just watched the episode of Dr Who, it was a no brainer to try to pull this one off. The hardest thing was to find a good picture of it online somewhere that I could copy from and eventually I ended up using two images taken at different angles and trying to figure it out that way. I kind of worked though and gave me some freedom to add my own little bits in there while trying to stay true to the original. I also found this kind of textured and blended painting pretty hard to do in acrylics and wished done it in oils, but as always, I was running out of time to get it finished. Acrylics dry fast!

So that's you pretty much caught up to date. Now I'm working on something to show at the Starbucks downstairs in May. I have 3 different ideas started and its going to be interesting to see which one starts literally speaking to me.

Sheep On The Stairs

December 19th, 2011

Sheep On The Stairs

So this was another very busy weekend and fortunately the weather was kind. Started another couple of paintings and finally set up the Cafe Press shop, only 6 months late, so not too bad. You can check it out here www.cafepress.com/sheepmctavish

They also allow you to customise a whole bunch of things, if you know your html, so of course I will be using my extremely limited html skills to try to change a colour or two.

And so to yesterday's creation. The Sheep on The Stairs. My friend requested these a little while ago and after finally getting a couple of sketches to her, I was able to put them in place. They are at the top of the stairs on the left-hand side and were not as awkward to paint as I thought they were going to be. There was not too much preparation of the surface required, as she had stairs painted a couple of months ago, but I still feel that they will need a little varnish to protect them from any scuffs from the vaccuum cleaner.

The boots of the stationary sheep were by far the hardest, just trying to get my body in a decent position to hold the brush steady. The whole thing took about 90mins and I must say, they are not too bad for my first mural - hehe.

Lollipop Jungle Tongue

December 14th, 2011

Lollipop Jungle Tongue

And so here is the finished article. I spent the whole of Saturday (after taking care of my hangover) finishing up the painting. I re-mixed a good few of the colours so that they were not so transparent - mostly by using the matisse naples yellow or white - and more or less got the flatness I was going for. I probably spent about 20 hours altogether on the picture and loved every minute of it. There is something to be said for painting a picture, that after you get some eyes and mouths in, is constantly smiling back at you. I think that is what is drawing me more and more into the whimsical paintings I seem to be doing at the moment. I also have added another 4 paintings to my to do list and now cant wait to have a quiet Xmas break at the dinner table - where my acrylics are all spread out!

So much to learn about Acrylics

December 14th, 2011

So much to learn about Acrylics

So this has been a very fun week as I have tried my first serious painting on a largish Ampersand gessobord. Having first of all being inspired by a quick hour lesson on the merits of stretching one's own canvas, the answer to my most pertinent question was "hardwood or masonite with gesso".

And there it was. It had been staring me in the face all this time. I can use the jigsaw to cut the hardwood and then use gesso to properly prepare the surface! And so, it will come to pass in the year of 2012, that these thoughts will hopefully come to fruition.

But back to the present for a moment. So I thought that for my little Nursery painting project, I might as well get used to painting on the hard wooden gesso and found one that was all ready and raring to go for $20 - thank you Ampersand and Jerrys! (and wills).

I spent the first night trying out the different paints and colour combination's to try to match the picture I had of the kid's quilt. I was pretty luck to find the whole nursery set online by doing a google image search, which helped with the sketches. However as with any online colour selection, it is IMPOSSIBLE to tell if I am matching the colours, or just matching the brightness of my screen and the uselessness of my printer.

The second night I was brave and finally sketched out the design and started with the first couple of colours!

T-Shirts and Air

October 18th, 2011

T-Shirts and Air

Painting Outside.

Every day when I drive home up Lamar Blvd, there is a tree that always pops out at me. I want to paint it so badly. But how would you? I'd have to stand in the middle of the street to get the angle I want. Maybe I could get up very early in the morning and take a picture. But its just not going to be the same as the way my eye catches it as I turn the corner.

Anyhow, as I was researching how to paint this tree, I came across Plein Air Austin.

From their website, Plein Air Austin is a group of artists, in and around Austin, who paint together on location throughout the Texas Hill Country. There were a couple of things that struck me about this. The group was founded in 2001 to encourage the pursuit and appreciation of "plein air" painting. Plein Air Austin is composed of serious artists dedicated to the tradition of painting on location in a direct manner.

Firstly, did they really paint outside during the summer? This past summer has been hotter than (insert your own hotter than... phrase here). I wonder if they have tents or if they go to places that have large air conditioned buildings with huge windows?

Secondly, if they are 'serious artists', would there be a size limit on the canvas you could use? I've often wanted to take a pretty large canvas somewhere downtown with a six-pack and just have at it. Kind of like busking but more performance art than music. Usually when I paint on the larger canvases, I start off using a pretty big brush with the oils but it slowly degenerates into a more hands on, finger painting style. Its mostly laziness at not wanting to clean my brush and just wiping my hands on my trousers. Would they frown upon my style? Would they tut at my beer drinking in the a.m.?

So, I don't know if I will make it out to a meeting this year, what with having my family in town and then my trip to Barcelona in November, but hopefully we will have a nice Spring that is not too wet. And of course, I could always start with a smaller canvas and some wine in a bag to see if they'd let me paint with them!

http://www.pleinairaustin.org/

However, what is on the agenda for the next month, or should I say, by the end of the month, is the Jerry's Artarama t-shirt contest. I have a couple of t-shirts from the opening in Austin and get so many compliments from people that I really want to have a go at designing one myself. The competition deadline is October 31st, so I better get going with that.

http://jerrysaustin.blogspot.com/

The Choice

July 27th, 2011

The Choice

Today, I choose to paint.