(The Leslie Saeta 30 in 30 January 2015 Challenge)
2014 has been busy - not as much with art related ventures, but with family life. My baby girl, Penny, turned one yesterday. We survived our First Year as parents! Yaay!
I did not post since the Grab Bag Challenge - mostly because everything went into overdrive. The Creative Shop (https://www.facebook.com/lcvalleycreativeshop) went into overdrive with events, press releases, ArtWalk, the holidays, more press releases.. Finally now as we come close to Christmas, we all get a chance to breathe.
I thought very hard about this Challenge - and figured out a compromise. I have over 100 3"x 3 3/4" hardboard panels. And since the last Challenge (The Grab Bag Challenge) I have been thinking about Rubber Duckies. I'm going to do 30 paintings based on this Rubber Ducky.
All paintings for sale - $25 plus shipping. So subscribe to my blog and stay up to date for the latest and greatest. Because you know you need a Rubber Ducky in your life.
I'm hoping this gets me back to posting on a more regular basis. I thought, on Mondays, I would share some of my tools in my painting/art process. It's the beginning of the work week, so why not start by getting your materials prepped? Why? Because I love the process.
I'm part of an art Co-Op here in Lewiston, ID - The Creative Shop. (in Morgans Alley, Downtown Lewiston) We offer "Challenges" every couple months. It draws in a number of artists from the area - the current challenge - "Grab Bag" Challenge, has over 46 people participating.
Each artist picked a number and got a bag of materials with the matching number, as well as "an inspirational object". I picked #42. (yes, my age)
In my bag:
1 (9x9) deep gallery wrap canvas
1 (11x14) canvasboard
2 (5x7) folded cards
4 (2.5x3.5) ATC cards
5 (4x4) canvasboards
My inspirational object? A polished (aka tumbled) river rock - deep blood red, cream stripe... funny I got the rock because it was one of the objects I donated! It was meant to be.
So - I started idea generating and decided to get started on the 4x4 canvasboards. I really don't like canvasboards. However, they are cheap & light. Great for schlepping out for plein air painting, great for studies and experiments - and if you hate it, just pitch it.
The problem I have with canvasboard is the amount of "tooth" from the primed canvas. I spend a lot of my time fighting this texture, and it's annoying (to me) to see it in the finished piece. I've worked with canvasboard for a number of Challenges (here and in Seattle) and I was given this particular tip by another participating artist. Acrylic Modeling Paste!
Using your handy palette knife (see above) apply a "skim coat" of acrylic modeling paste to the canvasboard. Not thick, but enough to fill up that canvas texture. Let dry, sand. Add another layer if desired. Seal with two or three coats of acrylic gesso. I know it seems redundant to re-gesso, since the boards arrive pre-primed. But the modeling paste is a little abrasive to paint on, the second layer of gesso helps.
Let dry - and you are ready to create! Oh - if you don't like regular Modeling Paste there is a "Light" Modeling Paste, that works just as well.
The Grab Bag Challenge will be up for our ArtWalk in September. If everyone actually turns in everything - we will potentially have almost 700 pieces for show & sale! Where will we put all the artwork? Stay tuned!
Acceptance, M and Her Mom, Oil on Canvas, 24"x 30" Commission
I rarely do portraits of people. It's too fraught with untold psychological issues. I find working with animals to be much easier. Perhaps it's just a mental hurdle, after all, "people are basically orange" (from my teacher, Jon de Martin of the NYAA)
However, this double portrait is special to me. It was commissioned by the sitter in violet, I will call her M. M is a trans-woman. She recently made the change. She lives here in Idaho - a brave soul to make such a life/body altering decision. She wanted a painting to show her new self, and we talked over some different ideas - until she showed me the reference photograph that eventually was the source of this painting.
This was the day she "came out" to her mother. And what I saw was unquestioning love, and it was powerfully beautiful. Her mother passed away not long after. I made a couple changes to the reference image - they were not holding hands, and both the mom's hands were hidden. I had friends help me create a close approximation. It's not perfect, but M was happy, so I shall be too. It was hard to let go of this one.
I was fortunate to have the opportunity last year to visit the Nez Perce horses while they were still in Lapwai, ID. They were for the most part, very friendly and curious. I believe these four were some of the guys. The girls were much more skittish. The Nez Perce horses are a mix of the Appaloosa horse and an Akhal-Teke, a central asian breed. I hope I can photograph them again when they return to Lapwai in the Fall.