Thursday, September 29, 2011

Oil Pastels, Just Add Water

Just a quick update on my progress with the dreaded pastels. I pulled some water color paper from my stash and worked on another witch this morning. I think my goal is to do as many Halloween related painting and sketches as time permits until the end of October.

The paper I used for this witch is smaller, 9" x 12" where as  I used 11" x 14" for the others. I think I like the ability to blend the colors and smooth them with the water but since this is only the first piece I may be premature with my enthusiasm so I should  probably hold off before I make any more comments.

This is Zelda's glamour shot. She's even wearing a touch of lipstick and has combed her hair.

This is Bertha the witch I sketched yesterday on paper that I couldn't use water so the blending was done with a stomp. I think I like the way Zelda's hair turned out better. What do you think? Do you like the dry method or do you prefer the water blending?

Well that was short, wasn't it? I'll be posting more of the sketches and paintings as I complete them. I'm thinking of framing a few of them to decorate with for Halloween.

Remember, the winner of the pencil drawing of the Practical Magic house will be announced at noon my time on October first so check back for that and as always, thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Enemy Oil Pastels

Some of you may remember me saying at one time or another that I really do not like pastels. If so you may wonder why I'd even bother with them since I really don't care for them at all. I'm not sure myself except that at the beginning of the summer I spent some time with my sister Marlene and she was having such fun working with water soluble oil pastels that for a moment or two I had myself convinced that I should try working with them again before I made a final judgement.

The very next time I went to art and crafts store I picked up a box and brought them home where they got put in a storage box on one of my art supplies shelves. This seems to be part of my process. I buy things and then find a place to store them. I even go so far as to buy little storage boxes so everything matches and looks neat and organized. Some day I'll take pictures of my studio and post them.

Since I've been going through an exceedingly long "dry spell" creatively speaking, I found myself desperately seeking an idea or two for something to work on. I tried cutting out paper hearts to stitch together to make ornaments for my Christmas tree but wasn't in the mood to sew. I tried to roll out paper mache clay and cut it with a gingerbread man cookie cutter also to make ornaments for said tree but it didn't work the way I planned; too sticky. I just couldn't think of anything I felt like doing. I was so desperate to find something to do I started going through the supply boxes and found the oil pastels. I also found a Bamboo sketch pad that I hadn't tried yet. Now I had materials to work with so what was I going to do with them? Well, this is the first sketch.

This was the first sketch I made and I wasn't too terrible upset with it although I felt I could do better.

Then I did this one. I had to have a teddy in it for some reason. I'm not sure why. I wasn't too displeased with this but wasn't crazy about it either and I still wasn't loving the pastels. They're just too messy. They get on my hands and I leave smudges and I don't always like where they end up. Not all smudges are bad, you know?

Then I did this one.

Yes, I agree, it's just blah. Nothing to write home about but I'm not going to hide it as it's part of my experience with this enemy of mine. Then yesterday morning I did this next one.

Okay then, this is more like it! As always, my photography leaves a lot to be desired but it's close enough to what the real thing looks like to give you a general idea where this is going. In case you haven't figured it out, here's the sketch from this morning.

Now, this is more like it! Actually this is what I looked like this morning. The eyebrows ain't mine, I really don't have any that you'd notice, and the lips are much fuller, but still.....aren't there mornings when you wake up looking a little bit like this?

Okay, now you've seen what I've been doing the past three days. Do I like pastels any more than I did? I'm not sure. Do I hate them? Not really but I sure don't love them either. I am going to give them a chance and perhaps until I figure what I really want to do I'll keep playing with them. Since I've been using them to sketch on paper not intended for wet work I haven't been able to see how I'd like the water soluble aspect. Maybe that should be my next step.

I know that I said I was leaving the Practical Magic post up for the week ending in a drawing for the pencil sketch but since it's been awhile since I've received any comments on it I changed my mind about that. I'm still going to wait until noon on Saturday, October 1st to announce the winner.

How many of you buy art supplies and never use them? Or buy supplies that you're not sure you will like? Am I overly compulsive and suggestible and easily led into buying things I really don't want or need? Don't bother answering that last question cause I think I already know.

As always thanks for stopping by. Enjoy your day.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Practical Magic Blog Party 2011

Welcome and thank you for joining me today. Anna from Frosted Petunias is hosting this marvelous blog party and I'm thrilled to be one of the participants in it. I hope you enjoy what I’ve prepared for the occasion. I just finished baking some pumpkin muffins with walnuts and chocolate chips and they're waiting in the kitchen so go on in and help yourself.

This has to be my all time favorite kitchen. I love the dark plank floor and beams and the open shelving and tile work. I'm not sure I'm as crazy about the stove as I am about everything else in the room but I could make myself love it if I could have the kitchen and the house to go with it.

“Practical Magic” has been one of my favorite movies for over a decade. This is one of the few times that I liked the movie better than the book only because the movie has such lovely visuals. I love the story and the characters in the movie but most of all I love the house. It is my dream house and although I can never live in it nothing is stopping me from drawing or painting it. The house is beautiful inside and out and the grounds surrounding it are wonderful as well. My love of this house is why the drawing at the beginning of this post is my first offering for the party. The drawing is done in colored pencil on Bristol vellum. It has been double matted and will fit into an 11" x 14" frame.

Since I love working with paper mache clay I felt a need to make something with it for the party so I’ve made a small figure of each of the Owens women. The tallest of the four is Fran who is 8 1/2" while Gilly the smallest is just over 8" tall.

Shown left to right are Bridget, Gillian, Sally and Frances.

Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman were perfect in their roles of the Owens sisters and Dianne Wiest and Stockard Channing did an equally wonderful job portraying the aunts Fran and Jet.
The first piece I completed for the party was this portrait of the sisters Sally & Gilly. I used the cover of my DVD as a reference for the painting. This piece is acrylic on canvas board.

Although Sally and Gillian are the main characters, there are three sets of sisters. The aunts are so feminine and wouldn't you love getting a chance to spend time with them? Now if I could just find out where they shop for their wonderful outfits. I can't remember the last time I wore a hat but if I could find a shop that sells clothing like this I might just have to see what I'd look like all gussied up.


When I painted the four figures I used colors that you might find in a garden as the garden behind the house plays a major role in the movie and because the colors are very romantic as are these lovely women. 
The other set of sisters are Sally's daughters and they are completely charming. I especially liked them in the scene of the pancake breakfast and them running off with the pitcher of syrup.
A potion in the making

Breakfast in the garden
I'm sure that you'll agree with me when I say the sisters seem to attract very handsome men into their lives. Officer Gary Hallet played by Aidan Quinn could melt any female's heart, young or old.

You can't fault Gilly for being attracted to Jimmy, played by Goran Visnjic. The man is sinfully sexy, too bad his personality needed a makeover.

Now you see what I meant about the visuals. Alice Hoffman wrote a wonderful book, I loved every word, but don't you agree the movie has some terrific visuals?

I'll be leaving this post up until next Saturday, October 1st and on that day at 12:00 noon  I'll name the winner of the colored pencil drawing of the house similar to the one shown at the beginning of this post. The one shown above was accidentally destroyed in a work shop mishap. Don't ask. I think the replacement may be even better than the first.
If you're interested in entering the drawing let me know by saying I want to be entered in the drawing in the comment section of this post. There is no need to be a follower of this blog to enter but if you are a follower you will receive an additional chance to win.
There are many other sites out there who are participating in this blog party so before you continue on to the next site I wanted to thank you for stopping by.

September 25, 2011
I want to take a minute to thank all of you who have visited with me over the past few days. I also wish to tell those of you who have participated in this wonderful blog party how much I enjoyed visiting your sites and seeing all of the amazing ways you celebrated this shared obsession we have with the Practical Magic movie and book. I've tried to make it to every site to see what you have put together. It was very time consuming but well worth the time spent in front of my computer. Because of this party I've found blogs that I may never have visited and many where I want to return over and over. If there's a Practical Magic party again next year I hope to be able to be a part of it. To sum up, thanks to all of you for making this such an enjoyable experience.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Plot or Not

"Look Bellamine, Sebastian is having another adventure. Here he is with Cinderella and Snow White and Belle and Rapunzel & Flynn. I wonder where he is.  He is one lucky bear to have so many exciting adventures."

"Why don't we have exciting adventures Wendy? We never get to go anywhere.  We never get to have any fun. All of the other bears get to do things. Remember when we met Prudence? She had just come back from Camp Good Bear. Mom didn't let us go to camp. Remember when Wilbur was on TV and Mom wouldn't let us watch him?"

"You weren't even put together when Prudence went off to camp so of course you couldn't go. Lulu and Flora didn't get to go either because they're too little. We didn't get to watch Wilbur on TV because we don't get that station here.  We get to do all sorts of fun stuff."

"No we don't. I can't think of anything fun that we get to do. Mom won't even let me have my own blog. All of the other bears have blogs. We don't ever have any fun. Waaaa...."

"We do too have fun. Don't you remember when we went to play with the snow kids and we built a snow fort? Wasn't that fun? You like it when we get to visit the reindeer, don't you? How many bears do you think get to feed real live reindeer? There's probably not very many aside from us."

"Hey, what are you looking at? Didn't Mom tell you to turn off the computer and help us put things away?"

"Isn't that Sebastian with Cinderella? Ugh!! Bartholomew, scoot over. You're squishing me." 

"You're squishing me, Clarissa. Both of you move over and give me some room here."

"We can't see the monitor Wendy. You and Bellamine need to move over and make room for us too or I'm telling Mom you didn't put the computer away."

"Don't be a Tattle Tale, Clarissa. Here, is this better? Bellamine, scroll down and see who else Sebastian got his picture taken with."

"Whoa, is that Snow White? Oh look, there's Belle. Oh, she's so beautiful. Hey, there's Rapunzel and Flynn. Remember when we saw their movie?"

"Should we leave a comment Wendy? Let's see who else left comments. Look, there's one from Prudence. Hey, there's Wilbur's granny. Wendy, write something."

"What's going on in here? I thought I told you to put the computer away and pick up your room. You're not still reading your blog list are you?"

"Huh..hi Mom. We're leaving a comment for Sebastian. He just had another adventure. Look, he got his picture taken with some really famous people. See the crown he's wearing in this picture and see, here he is with Tinker Bell and there he is with Peter Pan."

"Go ahead and leave a comment but do it quickly. Santa and Mrs. Claus are coming for dinner tonight and I'll need someone to set the table."

Mom: For a minute there I thought they were plotting on ways to convince me into letting Bellamine have her own blog. Now, that's a subject I don't want to revisit.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sneek Preview

I have been working on pieces for a blog party that I'm participating  in later this month and because projects don't get finished as fast as they once did I haven't gotten much else done. These little figures that I'm going to show you were supposed to be part of my offering for the blog party but I decided that instead of saving them I'd show them to you now. They're not as large or as detailed as most of my pmc figures because I'm trying to come up with something that doesn't require as much file work as my usual pieces. I've discovered that the easiest thing for me to do is paint so I'm relying on the painting to give them detail.

The first little figure is Fran and she's my favorite. I love the way her eyes turned out.

She was supposed to be holding something else but I wasn't happy with the thing she was holding so I cut it out and she ended up with this little sprig of flowers.

Next is her sister Bridget also called Jet.

I haven't found the right flowers for her yet so she's empty handed.

This is Sally and she's also waiting for me to find just the right flowers for her to hold. It's really a shame that I can't find what I'm looking for.

Last but not least we have Gillian, or Gilly. Lucky for me the white flowers show up nicely with her green gown or she would have been flowerless as well.

These are the Owens women, and they are witches. I realize they do not look anything like the ones you're used to seeing on Halloween but they are four of my favorite witches.

There is a type of doll of Japanese origin that is made of wood called a Kokeshi doll. On one of the blogs I follow the doll artist named Susie McMahon has come up with very attractive cloth and clay dolls she calls Sukeshi and if I can create a similar style using pmc that I like I might call them Makeshi dolls.  Sounds like a terrific name for a doll, I just don't know if I can come up with anything worthy of it. These are experiments along those lines but I don't think I'm going to be calling them Makeshi dolls, that name is reserved for the real deal.

As always, thanks for stopping by.