Paintbrush in Hand, Cat Hair in Paint, Total Mess on Canvas

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Isn’t Anything…

In which our fearless (or should that be hopeless, useless or brainless, perhaps?) “artist” discovers that — who knew — there really is a lot more to making those pretty abstract paintings she so admires than just slapping a load of bright paint all over a waiting surface and slopping it around a bit. It’s bloody difficult. Another garish and abysmal mess in progress…

Today’s Effort… A Tree Kinda Thing (in Progress)

Very blurry photo, but oh well, that’s what you get with my ancient iPhone. This looks like the work of someone under the age of ten, but what the hell… I’m having fun. Blob, blob, blob with the painting knife. There are still lots more “leaves” to go (have to wait for the current crop to dry first so I don’t make too much of a smeary mess when I try to paint overlapping ones), and then… what? I have no idea. Like I said, it’s fun, no matter how ridiculous it looks! And oh yeah… Happy New Year. One “post a day” down, 364 to go.

All This Time

Nothing to do with my inability to paint, I just felt like posting this video up since I’ve watched it four times in a row. I love this song. S’funny… it reminds me so much of London, as it was being played on pretty much constant rotation on 6Music in 2006ish. At the time I had no idea the Heartless Bastards were from Ohio… and now here I am living just down the street from their hometown. Sigh… I was hoping they’d do the same thing as last year and play a local show right about now while home for the holidays. We saw them at the Southgate House on December 26th, 2009, and they were just mindblowingly awesome. Alas, no such luck this year. But anyway. Without further ado… here is the vid (edited to add: or at least, a link to watch it on YouTube… “thanks”, Sony):

Post A Day 2011!

So… I just read about the “Post A Day” (and “Post A Week”) challenges and thought, given that I could clearly do with a regular kick up the arse to encourage me to remember my blog exists (this is judging on past performance, you understand!), I should sign myself up, post haste. I’m going to attempt a post a day…. they may not be very big posts or very good ones, but it should be possible… right?!

Hah. Yeah. Right.

Oh well. Here goes nothing…

Well, It Didn’t Work

I don’t have a photo, but I tried to scrape more paint off of the Mess from the below post, and… well, I feel stupid for not realizing instantly that this would happen, but obviously the thing had started to dry on the outer layer. So It was like trying to scrape fine lines into a bowl of custard that had been developing a thick skin on it for a few hours. The paint beneath the skin was relatively creamy and spreadable, but there was this thick rubbery… skin on the top, which dragged everything else along with it. If I had infinitely more talent I could maybe have done something with the “skin” with solvent, and gone from there, but… no. I scraped the lot off and dumped it, and rubbed the canvas down with mineral spirits so I could reuse it. There’s some texture on there in places from where the “skin” of the last paint stuck to the gessoed canvas beneath, but hey… it’ll add character, or something, right? I’ve no idea what I’m going to do with that canvas, but tonight I had fun brushing on a very very very thin layer of paint in assorted very bright (Cadmium Red, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Orange, Magenta, Dioxazine Purple… I think that’s everything) colors, all thinned down a little with OMS and spread on in a spirally mess with a palette knife.

Yeah, I have no idea why I did that, either. But it should be dry tomorrow, I can paint… something… over it, and it was very relaxing and soothing to paint, somehow. Shame it looks like a section cut from one of the tie-dyed/batik creations that I thought were the height of fashion (hello, Saffron Moon!) twenty years ago, but oh well… maybe I can go the whole hog and stick some of those tiny mirrors in the thing and be done with it. It’ll look just like that ridiculous smocky dress I used to strut out in on a Saturday night with my para boots and bright magenta hair…

… yeah. I digress. I’ll show the mess in question when I do something with it.

Mess In Progress

OK, so this photo is a little bit blurry and a little bit glarey (OK, very glarey) and you can’t see the whole canvas either, but I think you get the picture, so to speak. It’s a mess.

What I was trying to go for was something like this guy’s approach, which I read about a couple of months ago and thought “hey, that looks like something I could do, I’m sure!”… I watched his tutorial videos and everything! The Husband clearly thought I had lost the plot as he watched me spend Christmas morning layering an insane amount of paint like I was spreading marmalade on toast or something, but I knew (or thought I knew!) there was method in my madness. Sadly, after spending HOURS on the preparation, I then rushed into the next part (where you scrape away the paint – CAREFULLY – to reveal what is below, and actually make your painting) after realizing we were running short of time and would need to leave for my mother-in-law’s house imminently. So after all that careful layering and all that paint, I ended up with a haphazard and ugly mess.

Luckily I have a feeling that paint is not going to be even remotely dry anytime soon (although I may be wrong; it may be just dry enough to be unworkable now), so I am going to go back to it and see what I can do. I think a good start would be to work on it on a tabletop, rather than on my easel, so that I can attack it from all angles. I will report back with the results, whatever they may be…

Oh yeah. This is how come I ended up with a (former) Thai curry paste jar half-full of Phthalo Blue paint – it’s from all the scraping-off I did on this thing. Also, we got back on Boxing Day to find ourselves the proud owners of a tabby cat with an ever-so-slightly blue face. He’d obviously got up on the easel while we were away and rubbed his face possessively against the side of the canvas, to mark it out as his very own property. After a brief panic and a lot of Googling, I figured out that a little bit of Phthalo Blue was unlikely to hurt him… I wish I’d taken a photo of his bright blue beard. We thought it might never come off, but he’s all back to normal now. Still, that happened within 48 hours of me unwrapping my oil painty Christmas presents; I’m sure the cat will find plenty of opportunities to get himself covered in it soon enough.

Right. I’m going to grab a palette knife and tackle the mess. Wish me luck!

Here’s An Apple

So this one is/was supposed to be an underpainting or something to that effect. I actually quite like it as it is, or at least, I quite like it in monochrome. The idea was to paint colors over the top, but… I have to say I have absolutely no idea where to start, and will most likely mess the whole thing up horribly. So maybe I should just do some more layers in greys? I know it’s a bit wonky, and it’s floating shadowlessly in an expanse of orangeness, but I am absurdly pleased with my apple, because… well, at least you can tell that’s what it’s meant to be. Can’t you?