Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Outside: summer flowers

It's nice to see some color outside...

I'm not sure of the identity of the first picture. The second picture are day lilies. The last picture is an Asiatic lily.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

please excuse my vacation...

Please excuse my absence, technically, I am on vacation. It's been a while, so I'm really rusty at this vacation thing. I seem to have spent the first day of my vacation cleaning the bedroom and the office / living room...

This did, however, prompt me to actually print out some of my own artwork for myself, and finish off some paintings and actually hang them on the wall. It's been a very long time since the artwork in the bedroom has changed.

Anyway, one of the last things I did on my way home from work was take some pictures of some flowers in a field by the highway. I admit that I don't know what kind of flowers these are. But, hey, there was a bee hanging out. It's always a challenge to try to focus the camera and get the shot before the bee moves on...

Whether you're at work or at home, I hope you all enjoy your week.
Oh, and since June 21st has already passed us by, which means that I am a year older, it also means it is officially summer. So, enjoy your summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

watching paint dry

There is a part of my brain that is always designing ideas and things... which is probably why I'm always thinking about the next thing I want to make or project I want to embark upon when I'm at my job and I'm supposed to be focusing on the task at hand.

I have several ideas & designs involving butterflies which I think will eventually be the project at hand. But the present moment has been all about painting. I actually started painting again because I happened to be in a 'discount' store and saw an insanely good deal on pre-stretched canvases. I then found myself at the craft store loading up a plastic basket with paints... And in the span of 1 week I had done 20 'implicit landscape' paintings on canvas. I just varnished all of them. And my next step is to finish the backs & add picture frame wire to all of them... Then, of course, I still have to title them.

There were literally times when I was sitting in my living room / studio waiting for paint to dry, which was quite an amusing notion to experience. Anyway, since I have a proclivity towards sprees: not only did I paint 20 11X14 canvases, but I then also made 23 smaller paintings. It would have been 24, but there was a snafu with cutting the illustration board, so, yes, it was 23. They are 8X10s done on illustration board.

I just finished naming all of them, scanning all of them into the computer, and varnishing them.

So, yes, in the span of about 10 days I made 43 paintings... clearly moderation is not a familiar concept.
These are some of the 8X10s:
strawberry guava phantasm

ruby cerulean phantasm

midnight violet guava sundown

Eventually, these will be for sale at my "sarahknight" shop on etsy. I was amazed & delighted that the first painting I listed actually sold!

Next week, I think I'm finally going to get to one of those butterfly projects that have been percolating in the back of my mind for months...

Hopefully you're been busy & creative too : )

Saturday, June 12, 2010

serendipitous daisies

I have this blurb in my etsy profile that reads:
I like to stop every now and then on my way to and from work to photograph whatever strikes my fancy.
And I'm not kidding. I will actually stop while I am driving to or from somewhere just to take pictures of something.

I was, in fact, on my way to Adrian to run errands when I noticed these white flowers on the hill that comes out of the ditch on the side of the road. I couldn't actually tell what they were as I was driving by, but I knew I was going home by the same route, so I decided I would stop and check them out.

Indeed, I stopped on the way back home. I was figuring that the little white flowers were probably going to turn out to be weeds... but I could still take some pictures of them and play around with them on the computer nonetheless. As it turned out, to my surprise, growing up out of the weeds and tall grass in the ditch was a large patch of daisies. Serendipity.

I must have spent 30 minutes traipsing back and forth in that ditch...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What I've been doing...

I have been making art since I was 2. And I've used a lot of different media. I think the first thing I drew as a very small child was actually done with a bic pen on paper, because it happened to be the writing utensil that was hanging around the house.

As far as rendering is concerned, prismacolor pencils are my favorite. Sometimes I have to throw a little black ink pen in there for the tough details... because it's very hard to find a black verithin that will actually stay sharp and not lose it's lead — seriously, it's a massive structural flaw with those pencils. And because the black prismacolors are also notorious for losing their lead when you sharpen them. But also because I own a lot of Zig Millennium pens, and I'm very fond of their quality. So, using them isn't something I fret over.

Anyway, in the event that I was somehow unclear: I love drawing with prismacolors. I would pick them over anything else on the planet. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy photography, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, pen & ink, etc., but when it comes to rendering something — get me my prismacolors.

So, when I paint, it tends to be abstract.
Abstract painting is really the kind of painting I enjoy the most. To put it in terms of litotes: it is the least tedious. Yes, I find painting "things" to be tedious. Abstract painting, on the other hand, is one of my favorites.

I'm not single minded, and I don't think there's an exact way that everything must be. That's just not the kind of person I am. So, it's not to say that I don't like or enjoy other people's paintings that render "things," just that it's not my personal preference.

So, anyway, I've been painting a lot recently. And, yes, the paintings are abstract. I think of them as "implicit landscapes" (which, yes, I know, implies that they are not abstract through and through, and yet I don't care). They're the kind of paintings I like making, because there is nothing about them that I find to be even remotely tedious.

These are some outtakes of some of my paintings. My scanner is only 8.5 X 11 inches, so these aren't the whole paintings, just parts of the middle. The actual paintings are 11 X 14 inches. Yes, I know, I could have taken badly lit photos of them that wouldn't really convey the 'details' or the color accurately, those are actually the qualities that I enjoy the most in my own paintings... But anyway, these are some snippets of some of the 20+ paintings I have made in the last week. I hope you enjoy color as much as I do.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Snow in June

Okay, so technically, it would have been snow in May, but I got busy doing some craft project and didn't get around to selecting pictures and formatting them...

The snowball bush has bloomed!

The blooms are gone now, and the petals have fallen to the ground, and subsequently turned brown... but it's always pleasant to look at while it lasts.

That and I've been playing around with Photoshop and got an idea for a new filter... so, of course, I had to make it and then apply it. I wanted something that had the look of the way paint cracks on antique paintings. Amusingly, I was wearing an old concert t-shirt when inspiration struck. So, now I have my new photo manipulation filter.

And I was playing around with some "bokeh" from some of the snowball bush shots and made myself a layer of it, and now my sarahknight shop on etsy has a new banner : )