Aug 142017
 

Lunch Hour Paintings
Ever since I discovered the existence of pangolins (through an art museum) I have loved them. They’re as incredible as armored dinosaurs. They are REALLY had to paint though, not because of technique, but because of reference images. If you do an image search, you’ll see that about half the photos of pangolins depict their horrendous abuse, poaching, hunting, and worse. Hard to look at.

Lunch Hour Paintings
This dog is having a relaxing time with his new record.

Only two paintings to share from last week. I have other projects taking time, but they are not in a state ready for sharing.

Aug 072017
 

Lunch hour painting
Thinking about fish and space. The two work together. Space is where the really big, rare, idea-fish live.

Lunch hour painting
Sure, you can summon a cat spirit; easy with some cat nip and sacrificial moths, but they give terrible advice, lick the flavor off your Doritos and shed spirit fur everywhere. You just can’t sticky-roller that stuff away. The purrs are otherworldly, though.

Lunch hour painting
A bit random, I’ve been thinking about how to make large numbers of small poppets. This came about when it was time to paint. Two of the white rabbits are suspicious of the black cat in their safe rainbow area.

Lunch hour painting
The Bone Raven, one of the magical creatures in the graveyard. He’s not awake often.

Lunch hour painting
Wanted to paint a squirrel doing something human and as a human, I definitely wait impatiently on Amazon deliveries. Once I thought it, I had to paint it since squirrels are so fast and jumpy.

Aug 032017
 

Recall how I said I’d be working on the latest quilt over the weekend to get it done?
Remember when I explained that I had enough fabric to last decades?

Yeah.

When I went to bed on Friday night, I had the perfect vision of a zip pouch made of a fabric, the print of the fabric was a bit grunky, the background was a deep, sweet red. The zipper on the pouch was black. I was enamoured.

So, instead of doing what I said I would, I spent the weekend making this fabric design.

The red I wanted doesn’t exist in Kona cotton, so I took three yards the darkest hot pink that does exist and overdyed it with cherry red. It took a lot of time, but the color was perfect. Meanwhile, I drew the design, scanned, printed, exposed screens and mixed up printing inks.
Making fabric
It took another day to get the printing done, there was a lot of mess. It is excellent! Just what I envisioned.

Making fabric
This is the first layer alone, in a silver-glitter white combo.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
Then, using my max-visibility zip pouch method (calling it a pattern seems wrong, since it can be made in any size instead of a limited pattern) I made a zip pouch from my new fabric. It is EXACTLY like I saw it and wanted it.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The start tab has a cheeky eyelet for hanging.

Used my handmade fabric to make a pencil case.
The interior lining is a thick, silver glitter star print.

Now I have in my possession the precise thing I saw in my head. I don’t think I can appropriately convey how happy, satisfied, and generally blissed-out this makes me. I swear I get a warm feeling in my chest when I see it and hold it. As well, I have somewhere to corral my drawing pencils for my latest drawing sketchbook. To maximize chances of success, I made two in one go; the second is listed in my Etsy shop, if this is somehow your dream, too.

After all that, I did finish the quilt; although, it is awaiting the final de-lint and de-thread session before photography.

Aaaah. Excellent.

Jul 312017
 

Collection of paintings from last week.

Lunch hour painting
Blue milk cap (lactarius indigo) mushroom and field mouse, above its burrow. I’d wondered about unusual blues in nature and discovered this mushroom, which is edible but its taste varies greatly.

Lunch hour painting
Attracted by the pancake breakfast, a mutant giant slug incidentally destroys the Depot Plaza, bringing a halt to many CFD activities and breaking the record for slowest destruction of a building. I was inspired y this giant snail meme:
Snail meme
… which I found hilarious.

Lunch hour painting
Reindeer, somewhat out of place in this part of the graveyard.

Lunch hour painting
What I saw on the shower door this morning. The condensation formed a leaf on a stem and a tiny mushroom floating above it. Was pleased to observe shapes in the droplets. They were crisp and distinct.

Jul 272017
 

Last Sunday I cleared out the center of our living room to lay out and pin the latest quilt.
Latest quilt
The upper right corner had direct sunlight on it and somehow the color vanished in the pic. That corner looks gray for some reason, but I assure you it is not.
It fit with just enough room for me to get around it. This picture shows it pinned, edges trimmed, about to be folded up and taken downstairs for quilting, which I finished last night. Now I only have to bind it and the rest is wash, dry, photograph.

This quilt is also a first for me. I usually piece my backings together from multiple pieces of fabric. This one with so many pieces on the front didn’t feel right do that for, so I (dah, dah, DAH!!) ordered a piece of backing fabric! Woot! This fabric is 108″ wide and made for this very purpose, especially for folks who quilt on a longarm machine – those big, room-eating monsters that allow you the possibility of quilting a king size in an hour. I don’t have one those, but I wanted to have a single piece on the back. This was a conflict to decide for me for a few reasons:
1. I have plenty of fabric. I likely have enough fabric to keep me stocked for the next 25-30 years, seriously. I could absolutely use some of that fabric to piece a back instead of buying more fabric.
2. One solid piece of fabric at that size calls out to me for a purposeful quilting design on it, since that is the only visual interest such a piece will have. This quilt front, however; does absolutely NOT support some free design dedicated to a back. The front is boxy, piece-y and demands quilting that furthers its composition, and deserves it.
3. After some fun, but significant expenditures this year, I am really trying NOT to spend money on things I don’t need. I don’t NEED this fabric.

Those are the biggies, but I did it anyway. In hindsight, I still think it was the right choice. And now I’m even more excited to do a wholecloth quilt one day. The back, being solid black with my quilting in black, looks enticing in a way only monochrome texture can. Yes, despite my love of color (passion?) I do like monochrome. I like the visual fabric interest in all its forms, I suppose. All black patchwork makes my heart race a bit.

Anyway, the backing piece goes down first and I’d started taping it down, but the masking tape I’d grabbed was one of the super-delicate painting tapes I bought so it wouldn’t rip up my watercolor paper. I chose it because I assumed it would still be sticky enough, but it seems their claims of gentle stick were true. Who knew, truth in advertising!?! Anyhow, I went back downstairs, grabbed the regular cheapo, crap masking tape and by the time I came back up, Friday was having a spree. She was taking running slides at the backing fabric, diving underneath it and looking around the new world there – same as cats do when you’re making a bed. I had to take a picture.

Friday on the quilt backing
By this time she’d somehow managed to get it accidentally flat again and laid on top of it to catch her breath. Silly cat.

That went well, after Friday and Oz lost interest with my yelling at them, and now the quilting is done, as mentioned. I will likely get the binding done this weekend and should have photos up next week. As for naming, there is word that fits this quilt very well, but I cannot bring it to mind. My second biggest problem with having a decent vocabulary is that I cannot always find the explicit one I want – similar to my trouble finding the perfect item in an overcrowded workshop!

Jul 252017
 

I’m posting this lunch hour painting out of order today so that all the locals who visit the blog can enjoy the visual while it is relevant.
Lunch hour painting
Attracted by the pancake breakfast, a mutant giant slug incidentally destroys the Depot Plaza, bringing a halt to many CFD activities and breaking the record for slowest destruction of a building.

Jul 252017
 

Lunch hour painting
Friday is our most independent and adventurous cat. The world is a grand fun time for her.

Lunch hour painting
Pine martens are adorable, scary creatures! I love these guys. This is one of my favorites.

Lunch hour painting
Mice, celebrating pizza. As one should.

Lunch hour painting
Thinking about existentialism.

I seem to be doing four paintings a week at work. One day always gets away from me. Last couple weeks are caught up now.

Jul 242017
 

Three weeks have passed? Dammit! I am going to have to share these weekly or I’ll never keep up.
Lunch hour painting
Testing out some small paper samples with identical paintings. This is a six-spotted burnet, a day-flying moth with vivid red spots against black wings. I like the Legion Stonehenge paper on the right better.

Lunch hour painting
This didn’t turn out well. I was done with lines and just starting watercolor when something at work got a lot of drama and I had to click buttons and reassure people. It went horribly awry (nothing to do with me) and I only had a few minutes to slap some color on and shove everything into the file cabinet. Oh well. They can’t all be good.

Lunch hour painting
This one was inspired by my echinacea plant that has only one bloom now. I like how that flower turned out; will probably make a badge from it.

Lunch hour painting
Heavy heart, fast painting.

More soon.

Jul 202017
 

Not a lot of progress lately, mostly because this quilt is taking forever. The struggle is partly because I didn’t have a clear idea of what it was going to be or look like when I started, so there was a lot of time spent staring and thinking, but the bigger part of time is because the damn thing is big. The flimsy (top) is finished which puts this at halfway done.
Finished flimsy.
At 60″ x 100″ it is taking up a lot of my workspace. I prefer smaller items, for many reasons, but sometimes things need to be big and I let them. I hope to get it actually quilted this weekend, but that is probably a vain hope. Merely basting the layers together is going to require moving furniture out of the living room for layout space.

We’ll see. I am eager to work on other things.

Jul 062017
 

Wanted to paint something other than cute animals in amusing settings.
the galaxy in my heart
My heart burns stars for fuel. I’ve painted this subject in a more symbolic way; thought I’d try leaning towards realism. Went terribly awry and I had to bring in some color pencils to get it to this “okay” status. I really worked that paper – it started to pill and shred in the middle.

I’ve switched to a Stillman Birn in Beta series instead of Zeta as previously discussed. Reasons and photos of why are still to come. I need to bring this sketchbook home and do some microscope photos so you can see some of my consideration points and I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I have so many things I want to do!

Anglien, a toothy creature
This creature is born from my desire to paint a monster. So, I made a monster. It is heavily influenced by anglerfish (teeth, eyes), snakes (jaw), telepathy (brain and skull arrangement), Abe Sapien from Hellboy (general), and the Gorn from Star Trek OS (general). The last two references I didn’t notice until it was done, but they are in my brain, so they must provide some influence to my creations. Of course, that is true of every single thing ever in my existence; it is exactly the monster I would come up with. I’m listing them as influences anyway, despite not actually thinking of them at all until afterwards. I call it an Anglien (anglerfish + alien = Anglien).

Toothy creature
This one wasn’t a lunchtime/work painting, but a quick sketch at home to play with the latest (July) ArtSnacks box contents. Whenever I get art supply boxes with colors that stump me, I find there is always some kind of bird happily flaunting those same colors in nature. This is meant to be a blue-gray tanager, a South American songbird. Birds are at the bottom of my list for painting subjects. I like them, like painting them, but they become monotonous quickly for me. I keep them as a backup subject when I can’t settle on anything else.

Jun 292017
 

I had a few leftover dye samples from making my last swatch board, and I decided to give them another, final use. The colors left were odd, and I did a couple sprinkles of raw powder dye to make them a smidge more interesting. I wasn’t too much into this process, so I tossed each into a bucket and dumped the dye on top. Easy.
Dyed cotton.
This was watermelon and power berry. Worked well, definitely can use some of this in my current quilt.

Dyed cotton.
This was terracota and an unidentified green. I grabbed some reddish powder and it left tiny splotches that never dissolved. I love this effect. I might have to pursue how to make it on purpose – it reminds me of my powdered watercolors.

Dyed cotton.
The last one is on a long strip of fabric which is folded in half over the line. It is a natural scarf like this, maybe a low-key hem treatment to finish it off. The soft orange dye color seems to glow with the sunlight behind it like this. Maybe I’ll leave this piece, maybe I’ll add to it. I’ll let it sit for a while and see. I definitely like it.

I’m kinda tired of dying fabric and will take a break. Now that the samples and leftovers are used up I don’t have anything pushing me to dye. Also, I’ve used that single bottle of dye fixative up and need to order more. I use it as a double-safety fix on my printed fabrics as well as these dye pieces, so I will always be ready with supplies one way or another.

Jun 272017
 

Fennec foxes in the graveyard.
Another lunchtime painting, this one of fennec foxes enjoying a sunset in the graveyard. On Instagram, a couple artists have started a monthly art subject suggestion of unusual animals and June’s is the fennec fox. This sunset is painted from one in Lion’s Park, when Slick and I had walked and played our hearts out and were stumbling home, tired. I had to stop and take a picture when I saw how colorful, bright and dramatic it was.

My last two lunch painting sessions were interrupted severely and I didn’t get to finish. As soon as I get a chance to complete them, I’ll share them here, too.

Jun 222017
 

Paintings completed on lunch break, not paintings of lunch

I mentioned previously that I’ve been painting on my lunch hour, but haven’t shared much of it. Since I recently started a new sketchbook for this, AND managed to share the first two paintings, I’m going to keep it up. At some point I’ll go back and photo/scan all the first sketchbook, but that is a later project.

Creature discovering coffee.
Slick named this creature a Slork. I was explaining my snippet of dialogue as a thing to do if you meet a strange creature on your morning constitutional. Be reasonably friendly, introduce them to good things in your world, like coffee. This led to an interesting discussion about the addictive nature of coffee combined with the eventual potential for 30 Slorks waiting for you every morning and how expensive that much coffee would be over time compared against the natural benefits of being generous to appreciative recipients and potential supernatural benefits that might come to you from the tribe of Slorks.
We have silly discussions with non-silly connotations sometimes.

Two rabbits smoking pipes in a burrow.
This one was inspired by two very active rabbits I could see from the window during this morning’s (over-long) meeting. I knew I couldn’t capture their speed and frolicking, but maybe what they’re doing in their downtime. They’ve put up a sign in their borrowed burrow (did you know cottontails don’t make burrows? They make above ground nests, but will reuse abandoned burrows or cubbies) to make it more cozy.

Foxes in the coffee shop, yawning.

Sleepy foxes, starting their day. Free rodent with triple shot.

Painting from my poem.
Poison Pie, a summer special. Inspired by one of my poems I stumbled across again this morning.

One day I’m going to make a book/booklet/zine/some sort of collection of my poems with my art together. One day.

Jun 162017
 

All people, artists or not, have moods about creative focus and things you don’t want to do. Infrequently, I will have an aversion to a project that I think needs progress. Sometimes I can push through that feeling and get some good things done, but if it is a strong aversion, I listen to it.

Years ago, when I was building the workshop, I had a few hours in the evening after getting back from work and felt that I HAD to get some more drywall up, even though I really did not want to. I mustered all my available willpower and went down and got to cutting the drywall and by the time I was done with one sheet I was in tears with frustration and unhappiness and had to quit. Tears would soak into the drywall and leave little bubbles, after all. Hah. Plus, my cuts were imperfect, meaning I was going to have to do more work later to clean it up. But, that experience ratified my personal truth of having a limit when it comes to moods, projects, and sucking it up and getting on with it. Very occasionally, I simply cannot force myself to do certain things. That is okay. There is always something to be done in the workshop, like winding bobbins, cleaning up and organizing, or doing some other, different project.

Last night I entered the workshop with the plan to work on the dyed fabric quilt, but I simply didn’t want to. At this point in the quilt’s creation, I need to feel some drive and inspiration to move forward, because it is okay as it is, but I’m not excited about it. And those fabrics deserve some excitement. Thus, I did not work on the quilt.

With no quilt work going on, I instead thought about what I would like to do, (because I was also not looking forward to cleaning the workshop – I try to do that on weekends) and thought I’d like to make a Scrappy Cat – I haven’t done one for a while. But, the full figure was too much, a Flat Cat would be better and after the cat head cards, maybe it would be nice to do a cat head portrait in fabric. I didn’t want them to be cutesy, nor weird, so (after a coincidental video of Snoop Dogg) I thought I’d make Angry Cat portraits. That idea went fucking wild in my head and now I have about six interesting ideas for this incidental new series. I got one started, but then realized it was going somewhere I couldn’t see the full concept of, so I started a second and MAN! It is coming together! I like it a lot! I’d show photos, but they are still so unfinished that I don’t think the idea comes through yet, it remains in my head. Soon.

Now I have a new problem. A few weeks ago I bought three foam boards to use as project-in-progress boards. The Ganesh quilts are on them and now I have a new series of at least five Angry Cat portraits that need project boards. My choices are to finish the Ganesh quilts to recover the boards, or to buy more project boards. They don’t take much space, they’re always useful, and I have a current need for them. The Ganesh pieces only need a backing and hanger, but I don’t want to do that yet. I think I will wait for a “finishing” mood to come along, and in the meantime buy more foam boards.

This is how my workshop gets overfilled.

Jun 152017
 

Many months ago, I noticed I was working through most of my lunches. That, of course, it a bad idea! My working time includes an hour of lunchtime, I should NOT be working for it. It took a few weeks to break the habit, but I’m taking that hour to do something creative, which is very good for nullifying work stress. My two “at desk” projects are a small hand stitching piece, and watercolor paintings in sketchbooks. Here are two of those.

I like opossums and wanted to portray one in a “pretty” setting to help counteract the negative opinion that many people seem to have about them. This was my first shot at it. I liked it a lot, but I saw that my lines were messy and (for some dumbass reason) thought I should do better. This is a dumb thought because these paintings are quick sketches, fast and loose. The lines SHOULD be all over the place. This is a larger size (new sketchbook) and more detail and color than I normally use for a less-than-one-hour piece.

Anyway.

The next day I did the same painting again. I spent more time on the layout planning and line work preparation. I don’t normally do much or any linework – generally a couple marks here and there to remember where to put what color paint. That alone took most of a lunch hour. Most of the painting had to wait for the second day.

It is more controlled, cleaner lines, but the same general idea of painting. This is fine, but I think I have a miniscule preference for the first, loose and fast style.

So, there you go. Two paintings, almost the same, but different.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...