Category: best effort

A Bird In Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

A Bird in Your Pocket

I have had a very challenging year, health-wise.  The fibromyalgia flared up around New Years Eve, and has kept me lying low many days.

Last fall, while we were in Maui, I started sitting up all day.  This was the first time in over 18 years that I didn’t spend 99% of my days in bed.  I also got dressed every day.  This may not sound like a lot, but when you’ve lived in a nightie in bed for so long, it is huge.

When we got home in November, I continued sitting up in my art studio.  I was doing so well that at Christmas, I got a new, 27″ screen for my computer!  It makes a huge difference to paint on that rather than my laptop computer.  But then, the first of the year, I found myself back in bed more than in my studio.  It has been a real battle to get enough rest and still sit up as much as possible.

But, I feel like I’ve won the battle.  In the last few weeks, I’ve been able to go to my studio at least three to four days a week.  I’m even taking small walks down to our mailbox.

Now a Bird In Your Pocket.

Summer Dreams

Summer Dreaming

Summer Dreaming

This is a piece that I started in a new application, called Rebelle. Rebelle is basically a watercolor digital painting program.  It is unbelievable!  I have talked about it in my last two blogs.  It makes watercolors and inks that flow and drip just like in the real world.

In Rebelle, I laid down a layer of acrylics and then used the water to make drips coming down all over the page.  I also used the ink brush to add more details and drips.

Then I brought this into Painter and used oils to paint in the flowers and leaves.

This is another break-through piece for me.  It is loose and flowing.  Something I have tried very hard to get in my work.

I also managed to keep good light and dark values going in this piece.  Another thing that has challenged me for quite some time.

Dripping Down

Dripping Down

Dripping Down

I’m so excited, I can hardly stand it!

Since last summer, I have tried to get Painter to make drips.  Just little drips.  Nothing complex.  But drip, it would not.

A group called Escape Motions is in the process of releasing a new digital painting app called Rebelle.  Escape Motions is a group of artists who make digital art apps.  This new product, Rebelle, is out of this world.

It is a watercolor application.  It does watercolors just like in the real world.  It is totally amazing.  Then it also has an ink pen that paints, drips and is also, amazing.  In addition, the app will do acrylics, pastels, markers and pencil.  There is a tool that lets one add water, and then watch things run in drips!

Right now, it is in beta.  But it’s a very good beta.  I purchased the program for about $40.00.  This was a pre-release special.  It will sell for $59.99 when it is released. If you haven’t tried this product, I highly recommend it.  Even in beta, it works great.

I won’t compare it with Painter.  That would be very hard.  Painter is a huge application and does so many things.  What I notice is that Rebelle feels light and free.  That’s how I feel when I’m painting on it.

So, this is one of my first paintings done entirely on Rebelle.  I took it into Painter to sign it and do some technical end things like adding equalize.  Equalize is a tool in Painter that I use at the end of my paintings.  It intensifies the highlights and darks.  This is a very handy tool.

I had so much fun painting this.  I hope you enjoy it.

Spring Cherries

 

Spring Cherry

Spring Cherry

This is a painting I did in the Japanese Inks class I recently took at the DAA.  This is an on-line school that teaches art using Painter by Corel.

The class was a study of the philosophy of Eastern Art.  In Eastern Art, the idea is that through a simple stroke, you tell a tale.  One is to use minimal strokes in the painting.

I took this class because simplicity is an area that I have tried to focus on in my art.

It is so easy to overwork a piece.  I know this is something I share with many other artists.  It seems like I always want to add a bit here, a bit there, and the next thing I know, the piece is overworked.

What I am learning is that if a brushstroke looks good, leave it.  Don’t start putting the same brush stroke all over the painting.  That ruins the “specialness” of the one stroke.

In this piece, I did the tree trunks and branches with a particle brush.  Particle brushes are made using math and physics.  They are new to Painter.  I had not liked most of them, as they are very hard to control. However, Karen Bonaker, the owner of the DAA, made us a spectacular particle brush to work with in this class.  It literally danced across the page.

Then for the flowers, I used another brush Karen had made for us.  Just one stroke with it, and I get all kinds of blossoms.

Karen had us put the trunks and branches on a different layer than the blossoms.  Then she had us go back after adding the blossoms and erase some of the branches in the trees.  I found that breaking up the branches like that worked really well in giving the painting depth.

I have mixed feelings about using brushes that other people make that then lay down that person’s strokes.  I feel that every stroke in my painting should be my own.  I usually stay away from brushes that make strokes that look like something.  But I think I’m maybe becoming a little more open to them.  Karen makes such beautiful brushes, they’re hard to resist.

To finish this piece, I added a couple of textures to give it a background.  I used the multiply composite method on the layer the textures were on to make them transparent.  Then, on one of the textures, I added a mask to the layer and using a brush with dark gray paint, went in and muted some of the texture.

When you add a mask to a layer, you then use black to get rid of something on the layer or white to bring it back.  When you use gray, it leaves something in between.

I am hoping this class has led me to start making fewer strokes in my abstracts.  I need to get busy with some new ones and find out.

 

Oh No You Don’t

Oh No You Don't

Oh No You Don’t

This painting is one I did a couple of months ago.  Somehow it didn’t get posted yet.

It is done with oil brushes and liquid inks and some pencils were added.  I did this piece in Painter 2015.

It was a very hard piece to bring to a conclusion.  I really liked parts of it, but there were areas, as it developed, that drove me nuts.  When I did this, I was focusing, as usual on lights and darks.  Values and good contrast are big parts of a good painting.

In Painter, it is possible to add a layer to the piece I’m working on, then I fill the layer with black and choose the composite method colorize.  When that layer is open, it turns the painting into grey scale.  It is then easy to see whether the painting has enough values going on.

I ended up turning this picture on its side several times before deciding that it would go this way.  That is something I learned in my first painting class from Flora Bowley.

It really comes in handy when working on an abstract.

I have had a very hard time this year with my health.  I have had a lot of break-through pain.  Something that hasn’t happened in over a year.  That, along with GOK (God Only Knows) has caused me to have to spend more time in bed and paint less this year.  I get very despondent on days when I feel sick.  It feels like I’ve stepped backwards and will never go forward again.

I think this is all part of the healing process from lyme disease.  A good friend and I have discussed this years’ setbacks.  I’ve concluded, with her help, that just maybe the bad days seem a lot worse because the good days are so much better.  I certainly hope so.

I try to continue to stay positive no matter what my health is doing.  I am just very grateful to be able to do art again.

 

Watercolors on the Computer

Asian Inks

Asian Inks

Asian Inks-a

Asian Inks-a

This is two versions of the same painting. I am taking a Japanese Inks class at the Digital Art Academy.  It is an on-line school that teaches art using Painter by Corel. We are studying sumi-e painting.

The idea behind Asian art is that less is more.  The negative is as important as the positive.  Just like the yin/yang symbol.

At the same time, over at Skip Allen Paints , Skip has put up some demos of new watercolor brushes for Painter and videos explaining the brushes.  Skip is also doing sumi-e painting with his new brushes. Please check them out.  They are gorgeous.

Taking what I learned at DAA and from Skip, I did this painting with Skip’s new Wet Water watercolors.

Then, I added a texture on a layer under the painting.  On a layer on top, I added black and used composite method on the layer and turned the piece to gray-scale.

I am struggling with the concept of leaving white in the painting and letting that act as part of the piece.  Asian art is also about letting just a few strokes tell the story.  That is something I am working on in my abstract paintings and the reason I took this course. I think I am not alone in finding it difficult to do less in my art.  I always want to add a bit here, a bit there.  The next thing I know, it’s overworked. I couldn’t make up my mind which one I liked best, so I posted both.

This is Blog 100

Japanese Inks

Japanese Inks

I’m so excited.  This is my 100th blog.  I never realized what I was getting into when I started blogging.

I thought I would be the lone blogger picking up a follower here or there.  Then, I found Word Press.  Word Press makes the blogging experience very special.

First, they make it relatively easy to set up your blog with a theme of your choice.  Second, whenever I’ve been stuck, people have been there to help me.

The community of Word Press bloggers blows me away.  Word Press works at bringing us together to share our love of blogging.  I feel like I belong to a special community that is incredibly supportive.

A huge thank you to all the people who follow me.  I never dreamed I would have actual, real followers who were interested in my art AND my health.  You are all special people to me.

As to my health, well, it is what it is.  I’m feeling better the last few days than I have all year.  I continue to be returned to a life.  For that I am grateful.

As to the art in this blog, well this is something different for me.

As you may know, I take classes at the Digital Art Academy (DAA).It was founded by Karen Bonaker, a fabulous artist.  Check out her blog here.  We learn art while using the application Painter.

Starting Saturday, I am taking Japanese Inks from Karen at DAA.

This is a type of art I have studiously ignored all my life.  I have had no interest in it at all.

So, why not broaden my horizon is what I figured.  I’m totally intimidated, of course.  Something new. There is a small part of me saying “you’ll never be able to do this.”  But, I’m happy to report there is a larger part saying “yes, I can!”  This is a huge change for me.  Mrs. Negative had her way with me for a long time.  But I have practiced being positive and loving myself and my art.  I put Mrs. Negative Voice on a time out recently.  I refuse to engage with her on any level.

Interestingly, I am finding that she is becoming less and less by my not engaging and fighting with her.  When she pops up, I lovingly as possible put her on a time out.  Of course, she will try to come back.  I just gently remind her of the time out.

%d bloggers like this: