Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Compositions in Sleeplessness

I have been doing a lot of business travel lately, as some of you will know. Lots of hotel stay nights... And in the past year I got asked to use a certain hotel over another, due to a better rate. It has an unfortunate location as the only tall building close to and overlooking a big intersection of a highway with the Washington Beltway. The traffic noise was intense, constant and very disrupting to prospects for rest. The black out, heavily lined drapes did little good. Earplugs muffled the noise some, and I got sleep, but not good amount or quality rest. The hotel was lovely in every other way, including very nice staff. But this location is not good; I tried it three times (stays), and have given up.

But last time I stayed there, I was very sleepless due to the noise, so looking down from the window, I decided to photograph the highways below and all the night lights. Cars like ants, moving in straightlines across the scene below. Some of the buildings had interesting light patterns too. I took some shots from afar and zoomed closer for others. The shot on the right has a close up of the same large building characterized by pale ghostly green stripes as shown at right centre of the last photo, below.

The colors are fun--glowy greens and washed out citrus hues, bright warm yellowish whites, some orangey colors, coolish pinks and of course, lots of red lines whizzing by (tail lights on cars). Against an inky black dark night.

I want to paint these, but have not done it yet, as I write this work travel calls again. But, I think it will be a fun and fresh subject, a good foray into abstraction. I have been looking for good subjects and compositions to take some of my painting in that direction.

Though after I paint them, if you notice they get titles suggesting sleeplessness, you will know why !

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Strawberry Guava

In early February 2009, we planted two strawberry guava trees in our backyard. This past winter one got a big chewing of its leaves in late winter by possums. However, it recovered in spring (when possums found other things to eat instead). And we have had a crop of guava fruit coming. The fruits are small, around 3 cm in diameter (1.3 " or so), but look like the big guavas in shape, but they are miniature sized. Saturday we checked a good crop on the trees, maybe 3 dozen or more guavas at various stages. And yesterday we saw that the first ones had ripened, turning a gorgeous strawberry red color in a matter of 3 short days. Hence their name.

Ian promptly ate most of the ripened crop before I could stop him (he loves guavas !). I managed to stop him from consuming one last branch of with several fruit and also leaves. And I trimmed that one off, because all its fruit was already ripe. And today I painted it. I used oils and did it on a small 8 x 10 " canvas. Here is an early version of the painting, shown right.

I added more shadows, which I chose to do in purples. I have had purple on the mind lately and it is coming into winter fashion here and I see purple everywhere. I had some nice purple pigments, Ultramarine Violet, one by Art Spectrum called Tasman Blue (a blue with a good dollop of purple in it. Both of these mixed with my reds to make stunning deep violet hues. To make them moodier, I added Burnt Sienna. Though I used that Tasman Blue straight for a few shadows, it really stands out next to the more violet shadows. I also did my shadows and highlights in the fruit and leaves, and that gave it more dimension. The finished painting is shown here on the left.

There are more guavas ripening. Not quite ready to eat yet, but one or two more days and they will be !

Monday, March 8, 2010

Interiors Colour Book Read

I have just gotten a chance this weekend to read Kevin McCloud's latest book on colour, Colour Now. I really enjoyed this, a great read with some really sophisticated insights to use of colour and also how to put certain colours together for good effect.

The book is organised in palettes, one to a page, with a photo opposite. The photos are rather sophisticated themselves, even subtle and some are very elegant. The colours in the palettes are taken from a collection of colours shown at the back of the book that is also available as a collection of Kevin's colours from Fired Earth (in UK). I have had that paint colour chart for some years and have mapped several of them to my favorite Porter's Paints colours available here. I know I will be reading this again and referring to it. One of my favourite interiors combinations is shown, featuring red and pale blue. There are some really great palettes showing greens. He describes how and what to use as anchor colours. One of the surprises in it is how purple can be a good interior colour scheme anchor colour.

I am going to have to give this some thought, it is an interesting notion. And I have become more interested in certain purple and violet colours lately. I never really have had a super strong purple phase (oh, well maybe a short stage at age 13, but very shortlived). But it is becoming more interesting to me. I think I may do some experimenting with purple hues and see what I can do with them.

If you get a chance and have an interest, do check out the book !

I will be back later this week, have a short Australia based travel jaunt for work tomorrow...see you when I get back !

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Second Two

I started work today on the second two degrees panel painting. The underpainting is done...Very exciting. I know it needs more work on it, and the first panel painting needs a bit of tweaking too. This newest one needs some fussy close up detail work to do the sheet music in the background. Can happen tomorrow. And I will work on getting the underpainting stage done on the third panel.

Here (above) is a shot of the first and second panel paintings together. I love how they look !

Here is the original post I showed these three panels' compositions:

Very exciting. Stay tuned for more tomorrow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Butterfly Shadows

I have been quietly working on an old canvas I had done a background on some time ago. I have picked it up and created a flight of butterflies on it, painting their silhouettes. I know they don't look like much yet. The canvas was originally done in oils, so I need to keep with that, and oils take longer to dry for me to move to the next step.

So, right now the canvas with their shadows looks very dark. But when they get their little colored highlights, I think it will brighten up ! Stay tuned, for more on the weekend !

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New ! Blue Koi Studio Paintings Gallery debut

Check out the new Blue Koi Studio Paintings Gallery on top right of the blog page. I am still learning to set this up, format captions, work out how to make it look nice, etc. It's all a learning process, right ?! This means, I will be making improvements as I go along and learn how to do it.

If you hover your cursor above the gallery, at the bottom of the gallery window you should get an option to pause the gallery slideshow or to continue to advance it, or forward or back arrow buttons to move forward to next or back to previous gallery slideshow images. At the end, it stops and you should get a right-arrow button to allow you to play it over again. Anyway, this is what I can see and do from my views, hope you can too !

Hope you enjoy the gallery :)