Sunday, June 21, 2009

Reference Photos....aka Scrap

I am painting trees right that means painting some of my favorites......tree bark and snaky, gnarly tree roots.......there is also lots of snow and a bunny, a duck, an owl, a doe, a red squirrel, a mouse and a little girl and her daddy involved but for now, everything is trees....the lines that tree branches trace against the sky, the larger branches flung out wide embracing the sky..... the grays and browns and purples and russets and umbers of tree bark, the glorious undulation of roots like a basket of snakes......I'm loving painting trees!
Lucky for me, I live on a tree covered island so I can take a million perfect photos of trees for reference to use in painting. It's wonderful to take reference photos oneself and not be a slave to someone else's photos online or in a book....luckily I am not painting Baobob trees,

as, unfortunately, they don't grow here. One of Baci the Corgi's and my favorite places to walk is a nearby property where a house was torn down so it's like a secret park.....accessible down a long, tree lined driveway, then opening up into a large grassy area where the house once stood and a huge and glorious Maple Tree.
There are some oddities there that have caught my old, no longer seaworthy, wooden boat sitting askew in a sea of lawn.......and four chairs, ceremoniously arranged by someone, that appear to be waiting for their occupants. curiously formal as though in preparation for the audience who will be watching.......something mysterious and unknown. I find these quirky leftovers of someone's life enormously appealing and touching.

Back to painting now...well maybe I'll go workout for an hour.......then paint.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Peonies and Snowmen

I can hardly believe it's been nearly a month since my last appears I've been even more reclusive and swallowed up by the quotidian routine of painting a seemingly endless vista of picture-book illustrations than I had thought...sometimes I worry that one day I'll look up and find a year has passed.
Outside, a new season has arrived and amazingly, although there hasn't been a drop of rain for over two weeks, flowers are blooming their little hearts out. I adore peonies, they remind me of the girliest, most full blown prom dresses and rather like heads of butter lettuce in glorious shades of pink. Here are some perfumed pink beauties and some rather lovely and incredibly scented lavender roses found blooming on a rather sad and forlorn bush hidden away below some towering cedars......and a partially finished painting........

and then, some happy new pieces from my "let it snowman" licensing line, in progress. I'm learning how to do all sorts of things in PhotoShop and Illustrator that amaze moving lots of individual illustrations about until they become border designs and repeat patterns and just today, making type go around in a circle!
Anyone interested in learning how to make repeat borders and "toss" patterns in repeat from "icons" should go visit Tara Reed's website and order her one who knew virtually nothing about creating anything digitally, I have found her instructions incredibly easy to follow and wonderfully clear. Thank you again, Tara!
Maybe a plate........?

Maybe wrapping paper?

More to come, but enough of a start to begin feeling excited!

Back to what seems to be an infinity of feathers, tiny strokes of raw umber, shading angel wings. Back soon.