Thursday, December 11, 2008

We're On Our Way: Painting, Partying, Planning

The holiday rush is on. I don't know about you, but I'm stressed, and I don't really have any big commitments for Christmas. However, there is something about this time of year that, at first, inspires curmudgeon behavior. Then, about two weeks or less before Christmas, I just want everyone to have a prezzie. 

Here is a portrait that I am working on (22" x 28," oil on canvas). I've been layering, starting over, re-doing sections for a few weeks now. My boy is going to be home tomorrow night after a very long and difficult semester away at college. He'll probably still have snow in his hair when he arrives. I know he'll be tired. I am going to be distracted for a few days. I may not be online for awhile.

Even though I'm not finished with this portrait, I wanted to post my process. The grand finale will come later...Oh, it would be nice if it could be finished before the end of the year. We'll see. I've got gifts for you, my online artist bloggers. The following links are for art submissions. I believe they are all legitimate. I know that I am hoping to submit work to at least one of these opportunities. Here they are: Emerge Manifest Gallery in Ohio Santa Cruz Art League San Diego Art Institute of the Living Artist Slow Art Los Angeles Printmaking Society Art interview online magazine MOTA Let me know, won't you, if any of these are ones you find interesting, or if you apply and get accepted? Best wishes to all!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Into the Wilderness--Plein Air, Sans Weapons

I'm shifting slightly toward another direction this week (I've got a portrait that is developing adequately, but I'm not ready to post it yet.) More on that soon. 

We took a short day trip down Sonoita way (45 miles southeast of Tucson) on Friday. Just before the Border Patrol Checkpoint (have you got your papers in order?), we turned off onto a small, bumpy road and headed west. There was another road about three miles later that led off to some hidden hills. We took this washboard dirt road, but became intimidated by the sign that warned travelers that drug smuggling and illegal immigration could be encountered in the area. 

We decided to park under the sign and set up our pochades. Was it quiet? Sort of...except for the single engine airplane (drug smugglers or law enforcement?), the friendly group of off roaders with the ATV and the man with his two huntin' dogs with subsequent shooting. Yes, it was mostly quiet. We brought along our German Shepherd, Loki, and his fluffy companion, Katie, for moral support, ahem, safety. I wondered out loud, again, about the laws concerning concealed weaponry. Actually, I could be heard blurting, Whars mah gun?! We looked at Loki and smiled, deciding that he's always loaded. It was bright and sunny, too. This hill, with its minimalist shape and few bushes intrigued me. I usually make different choices. Mr. artyfice set up across the washboard looking west. The dogs, watered and fed, lounged in the vehicle, at the ready, eyes attentive on the surroundings. As I painted, I asked myself how would Jeffrey Boron paint this? And, what approach would Silvina take? I really like how each of these artists use their brushstrokes and textured paint. Another great reason to visit artists' blogs. I'm still exploring this style. As we passed the Border Patrol officer on the way home, she smiled and waved us through.