Old Lilacs

Old Lilacs
A 5"x5" oil painting done in 2012

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 Fire Paintings

I've had to make some serious changes to my artwork again.  Eye problems and hand/nerve damage problems have steered me into fine art pyrography instead of oil painting.  Painting with fire takes a bazillion times longer to produce the work, but it's a very satisfying and calming way for me to keep rendering the portraits of the songbirds that keep me company here at my studio. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

I just had to try these nearly new (to me), gouache paints on a gesso primed surface to see if they would make me as happy with a songbird portrait as all the wild and wacky colors on the shaped "canvases".  Hmmm...not really sure yet.  The colorful, whimsical do-hickies that I've been creating this last month (see some of them below-or find me on Facebook), have been a wonderful lift to the spirits.  Sure do wish that Daily Paintworks would allow us to share our sculpted works so I could keep playing with the weird colors of my Calico Crazies.  I've been having the time of my life with them!

Monday, July 7, 2014

 I've taken a break from my normal songbird paintings to indulge myself in tons of wild and crazy colors.  I've made these kinds of pendants and ornaments for many years, but this is the first time that I gessoed them first, to make a shaped canvas to paint on.  The gesso allowed me to play with all the mediums in my toolbox, so I started making all new molds for a whole new set of characters to play with, and ones that worked better/easier for painting calico patterns and weird things all over them.

While I was digging out all my different paint sets to see what worked best for what I wanted to do, I discovered an old set of gouache that I've had for half a million years (I think).  I whole new artist was born!  Painting with gouache on a gessoed surface responds completely different from any other kind of paint.  Watercolors can't handle a candle to these things!  I am so impressed and have a whole new respect for gouache paints.  This kind of paint never runs or bleeds, no matter how heavy handed I get with the spray-on super gloss varnishes.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sculpted Songbirds from Polymer Clay

I've been sculpting figurines with polymer clay for nearly all of my adult life, but haven't yet put any of the (major) work online for anyone to see.  The sculptures have always been sold through local stores or craft/gift shows.  I figured that since I can't see right now enough to continue painting my songbird portraits the traditional way, I'll have to start painting them in the round, after they've been sculpted in polymer clay, and then share them with the world so that I can have someone to talk to.

The paints I use are a heat set oil paint that is made from the same stuff that polymer clay is made of, so once it's heat set, it becomes a part of the clay underneath.  The painting process is exactly the same as painting a normal oil painting.  I see these sculptures as little round canvases.  Usually the figurines end up being around 4" high with their perches, so are a little under life size.

Songbirds in their undies

 Here's a little collection of sculpted birds in their undies, waiting for their turn in the "dressing room".  Or should I call them blank canvases?  No.  They're alive and kicking and screaming for their clothes!

Next are 3 of the same birds with their "clothes on", along with some silk leaves and moss for extra accessorizing.  We all need our accessories, you know.

Bluebird 2


Wren 2

Red Breasted Nuthatch

Red Breasted Nuthatch 2

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Still enjoying the bigger paintings

Leaf Study
After all the years of painting almost exclusively miniatures, the wonderful freedom of painting bigger has still got me captivated.  I'm busy exploring what does and doesn't look okay with the birds' portraits, and while I'm exploring I'm just playing with lots of color.  For right now, color play is the name of the day.
Lace 'n Roses

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Christmas Ornaments
 Cameo sculpting is a technique I've been teaching for about 12 years now, and it never seems to go out of style.  It's sculpting in the half-round, and with certain variations of translucent and white clays can look like the finest hand carved cameos (if not better sometimes).

These little guys are done only with depth and deep carving to bring out the details, rather than with translucent clays that use the background colors for showing the shadows.  You can see the finished pendants for sale in my Etsy "TinyPaintings" store. 
Pendants without their fixings yet

Mossy Blooms

Here's something completely brand new for me-bigger paintings!  These are 6"x9", and wow, I sure do wish I had started doing bigger paintings lots of year ago!  It was amazing how the paintbrushes just started "doing their own thing".  My brushes and I had a ball playing with a new freedom that we haven't experienced before, and I have an idea that I probably won't go back to painting the tinies anymore.  I'm hooked!  Bigger is better.
Morning Mist