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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

May Goals

Many thanks to Candied Fabrics' posts about monthly goal setting, she has inspired me to do the same.  Putting it out here for all to see keeps me to it.  I already know this works from doing this with annual goals and setting a one-word theme for the year.

Here is May's task list, not necessarily in order:
01. Blog at least twice per week.
02. Order business cards (That's a big must-do, quit printing them myself!)
03. Update website. get all the new art on there.
04. Build my presentation about Facebook for Artists, for the East Pierce County Open Studio group. (mtg. at end of month).
05. Develop feather-painting class for the kids signed on to June's American Indian Daycamp at the Fred Oldfield Western Heritage and Art Center
06. Complete the eight current commissions. (2/8 done!)
07. Paint studio floor (preps for Open Studio Tour)
08. Adjust background on the canvas painting. "The Auld Man and His Flock".
09. Finish "Eilean Donan Castle" canvas painting.
10. Research local printing costs.
11. Vision Board (80% done!)
12. Daily Affirmations (80% done!)
13. Return to the habit of writing daily gratitudes (so far, so good!)
14. Lose ten pounds in May
15. Add 'About' page to blog
16. Pull body of work together for June's 2-person show, "Feathers and Flutes".

It's a pretty good list, but I can do this... even along with prodding my boy to keep his grades up and make Star rank in Scouts.  I'll revisit these goals at the start of June and post how much I knocked out, along with the posting of goals for June.  Some of this inevitably won't get completed, as it is a lot and I accept that.  I will at least show the percentage completed on those tasks unfinished at the end of the month.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Challenging Myself

Although the bulk of my work still lies in painted feathers (and probably always will), lately I've been pushing myself to play more with canvas.  Many friends at shows over the last several years have been encouraging me to do so, but I resisted... until last Autumn.

I started with that 16x20 of The Auld Man and His Flock (sheep on the Trotternish in Scotland) and learned SO much from that one.  For the past 20 years feathers have been my canvas and I know how acrylic paints behave on such a support.  They glide on and blend easily for me... I've learned how to handle the brush so the barbs of the feather won't split.  But canvas?  That's a whole different animal!  Feeling still too intimidated with oils, as for an acrylic painter it's rather like learning a new language, I kept to acrylics in painting The Auld Man.  And I learned how thirsty canvas is in comparison to feathers... and that one really should use Gesso before painting on canvas!  Lessons learned!  Obviously I don't Gesso a feather!

I'm about 2/3 through my second experiment on canvas, and I'm finding this time it's going a bit easier.  Along with using Gesso (what a difference!) I'm also using underpainting more as well as a lot more glazing to achieve the desired effects.  Acrylics dry so quickly, so glazing in layers and details over this much larger surface is immensely helpful.  I'm applying some of the things I've learned from Robert Walton and LeRoy Jesfield in the two classes I've taken with them.  Bob's class was in oils, but LeRoy's class was in acrylics and because of him I learned you can apply the same glazing techniques as you do in oils.  I think it's made a big difference in my painting.

Eilean Donan Castle. Progress photo. 16x20 acrylics on canvas

I still have a fair amount of work to do on this one, but it's coming along.  The bridge will have as much detail worked into it as the castle does.  The midground, foreground, and left side of the castle still need work as of the taking of this photo, but since then the castle has been completely finished and just the mid and foreground are yet to be completed.

This is being painted from my own photo.  I was very fortunate to have been camped nearby in Glenshiel where I could come and visit the castle first thing in the morning.  I was also blessed with a stunning sunny morning too - with the early morning sun at my back, I got several great reference photos from which to work.

I'll be coming back to this castle.  I hope to return to Scotland in 2012, this time with my teenaged son in tow.  We plan to climb the Cuillin Mountains next time.  Exploring this beautiful country will be such a fantastic experience for my son, and I am very much looking forward to returning.