The more you know

Facebook can be a very dangerous thing for me to visit, as I get easily distracted by photos that my friends post. I go through the photos and get some cool new ideas and pretty soon I'm off on an unrelated tangent to the piece I was probably waiting for to dry....and then before you know it I have two totally different paintings on the go and some notes scribbled for another new painting. Right...what topic was I on? Newfoundland. I should be working on building abstracts but with the snow and some lovely winter photos posted by other friends....I really would like to paint some winter scenes. Instead, I am staying focused and outlining the next Newfoundland painting. Yay me?

"the government lighthouse" ink & watercolor on paper in my sketchbook

This is the government lighthouse at Cape Spear. The sketch is so tall because it spans the entire length of my sketchbook. The lighthouse attendant lives in a regular house just a few feet away from this lighthouse. Public tours can't go inside unfortunately. Still....I finally got the coveted lighthouse pictures I missed on my trip last year to Halifax. (Oh Peggy's Cove....I WILL come and visit you!) I wanted to emphasize it's relative smallness on the bare hill under all that lovely sky. I also really like the shadow it was throwing on the rocks because of the low sun. There is something really striking about the long shadows cast in the fall because of the sun being lower in our hemisphere. That and the intense gold that everything gets bathed in between 3 and 5pm. Colors look way more vibrant, lines are more crisp, shadows have more contrast...even people's eye color in photos in that kind of light take on a greater intensity. There is a fair amount of daylight to work in during early October, but not as much as I would have gotten say....early September. Next time I go I need to time my trip a little earlier I think.

I'm having a bit of difficulty deciding how to paint some of my photos from Newfoundland. I really like the mixed media of the buildings....but sometimes the sweeping skies, grasses and boxy houses seem to call for a more painterly effect. I've decided to just take it one painting and one subject at a time, rather than think of it as a collection of works that should match in style. I do want to see what the landscape paintings would look like with the mixed media touch, as I really liked how my "a poplar hangout" painting turned out. I had to get a new pot of self-leveling gel because I almost used my first one up. I also am using black acrylic ink instead of india ink....and it's great stuff. Plus it won't flake away if I need to put a layer of gel on top of it for some reason. It's a mixed blessing having super-talented artist friends who work in the art supply store one frequently shops at to tell you all these marvelous tidbits of creative information. It's like having a dealer of sorts....except it's not ruining my health. It is however taking longer to dry. (Thanks a lot Angella!) Thank goodness Gershwin is around to help me kill time waiting for layers of gel to dry by playing endless games of frisbee in the front yard. Frisbee, crack and art supplies. I had no idea they had a common thread either. Huh....the more you know.