Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Work In Progress...

I can honestly say I haven't had this much painting time in a very long while!  As the kitchen and bathroom refits  take their course, there is not much else I can be doing around the house while it is full of workmen, dust sheets, equipment and mess.  So continuing the vague theme, I have started another animal portrait in acylics on board, a raccoon this time.  I had fun with the background, using lots of glazes, stippling, sponging, dripping...and then rubbing half of it off in order to get the effect of tree bark.  Nearly over-did it, but luckily I have a magic sponge that takes the paint off very efficiently even when it has dried.  We have another three days of work in the house, perhaps I will be able to complete this by the weekend!

The kitchen & bathroom are nearly done - we are in fact a day ahead of schedule thanks to the lovely tiler staying very late on Monday to finish both rooms, and the painter yesterday finding it an easy job - we look after our home, it just needed a couple of coats of paint, not much else.  It's all coming together and looking very nice indeed. I cannot wait to start putting everything back and returning to normality.  I think the dog must be feeling the same way - I bought a crate for her which has been wonderful, a safe haven as well as a means of keeping her contained if I need to pop out.  She's only been shut in it a couple of times for no more than half an hour, but it's good to know the option is there should we need it and that everyone remains safe. Three more days...

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Fine Fox...

Despite the chaos around me, or perhaps because of it, I have finished this in record time - nothing else I could do this week other than sit and paint while they do the kitchen & bathroom.

This is now for sale in my Etsy shop - acrylic on mountboard.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Before & After...

 This was our kitchen early yesterday morning...
...this is it now.  Yesterday was noisy, chaotic and cold (door wide open as the guys worked) but they'd finished ripping the guts out of it (and the tiles in the bathroom) by just after lunchtime.  While the workmen were doing their thing, I shut myself in the living room with the dog - who wasn't as hysterical as we'd anticipated, although she had been given a sedative with breakfast - and painted.  I got to paint for about five hours, which hasn't happened in years! 

So now we don't know where anything is other than the kettle & teabags, the rest of the house is stacked high with boxes of kitchen equipment, etc., there is a possibility that we will have no way of cooking for the next three days and the washing machine is not plumbed in.  But it's all happening and should be done by next Friday - I'm looking forward to getting it all neat and tidy, which is something it hasn't been for a while!
I am going to be very sad to see this go though - it took me a week to paint this in the bathroom and now it is going to be completely tiled over. Oh well, you can't have everything!


Monday, 9 January 2017

Today's The Day....

 ...they come in and rip our kitchen out!  Dreading it, but at least it should all be over and re-fitted by next Friday.  I've put in some work on the fox, pleased with how it is coming along.  I'm just hoping that with all the disruption I will still have the inclination to paint - it's going to get noisy, plus I'm not sure how the dog is going to react...
I crocheted the final figure, Charlie Brown, from my Christmas present kit - think I might lengthen his arms...

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Foxy...

It might go very quiet on here for a couple of weeks or so - we were informed barely a month ago by the housing association that they were going to completely tear out and re-fit our kitchen and bathroom, starting 10th January.  While I have no objection to getting a new kitchen and bathroom, completely decorated, it would have been nice to have had a bit more warning.  And not to have it start so soon after Christmas & New year - who is going to take everything out of their kitchen over Christmas?  So this week is devoted to transporting everything from bookshelves, cupboards etc. upstairs and trying to find a home for it.  I sure have a lot of very heavy books.....

In the meantime, I've started another painting in the small series of square animal portraits - not sure I will have time to work on it but at least it is there as a respite from the ensuing madness should I get a minute or two.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Lurch - A Very Fine Bear...

 I completed this yesterday - it's a portrait of a bear known as 'Lurch' who lived at Brooks Falls,  Katmai National Park in Alaska.  He was a big and powerful old bear, took no nonsense, and I used to like seeing him on the live cams.  However, this July he stopped appearing and a decomposed body was found nearby that was pretty much identified as him by the teeth - it was quite sad, but part of the circle of life.  I didn't plan on painting him, I just happened to see this great photo someone had taken that I wanted to paint from, and the fact that it was Lurch was just lucky.

This has been painted in acrylics on canvas board, and was kind of a follow on from the wolf I painted earlier this month, both close up portraits with no background on square canvases.
 I'd like to do more in this style, just considering which animal to focus on next.
This watercolour portrait has been kept under wraps for over a month as it was a Christmas present for my nephew's wife in the USA.  Hopefully they have opened it by now - I've not heard anything...

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Steep Learning Curve...

Took my new camera for it's first outing yesterday - fog was possibly not the best weather for it, but I gave it a go.
I still have not got a clue what all the buttons and dials do - my son gave me a bit of a tutorial yesterday but I think it's just going to be a matter of trial and error in the end.
I suspect taking photographs with one hand while holding a straining dog lead in the other probably wasn't the best way of doing it either...