Monday, March 10, 2014

Bluebirds Continued

Always & Forever Bluebirds,
oils on canvas, Feb 2014
We have been moving right along….and I realise that I did not post the completed Blue Birds painting. Here it is, turned out fab and I really love it !  Always & Forever Bluebirds, oil on canvas, Feb 2014.  Shown here in our shop Valentines & early Feb window display

And it would become a gift, except turns out it is a bit too large to carry in a checked bag, even in large suitcase.  A few cm too big in both dimensions.  In May I have a trip to get out and about, and among other things meet a new grand-daughter.  My daughter Karen and her partner Mike expect her arrival any day now (literally !)  Karen really liked the BlueBirds painting (and earlier did ask if I would do a painting for the baby's nursery) and so I have started a second one, this one on a slightly smaller canvas that I know fits in the suitcase I will take along.  So, Bluebirds 2 !

construction on enclosing of the studio as resumed--Yeay !
I am really enjoying the painting in the studio to be.  Ian's fingers have healed and in mid-February he started back on construction work to enclose and finish the space.  Its such a nice area, great light and now all four windows are in place.  Plus a new beam for the back door, the one that leads up steps to the clothes line (a good ole Hills Hoist, an aussie icon !).  And he recently put in the new door too (it isn't painted yet, that minty green door you see is it).

I do have to share the workbench (my workbench !) with tools and all manner of bits and pieces used for work on the enclosure during the week.  I can honestly say, it takes more time to set up, and then pack up/put away as I spend on the painting session each Sunday.  I will love it when done, because I will be able to have some painting things out (neatly.  kind of.  maybe !) and will not have to put away and set up every painting session.  I am hoping this will get me into more painting.  Because, I have a big pipeline of ideas to turn into artworks !
sketching the composition
for Bluebirds 2 on the canvas

working on underpainting:
Anyhow, back to Bluebirds 2.  First, Bluebirds 1 got its typography and I couldn't be happier with it.  Though, it was not easy to do, I found a good way to get the spacing and shape for the lettering onto the canvas and then used black paint and a whisker fine paint brush to paint it in.  With some later little touch ups when the paint was dry, it looked great.   For Blue Birds 2, I made a few changes.  Actually thinking the composition looks a bit better than the first one.  I like the big heart frame on this size canvas.  5 small hearts, instead of 10, but I really like the look.  Birds and big centre heart frame same size as on BB1.  I sketched out the composition and spent a painting session doing an underpainting in thinned oils.  Again, working in water soluble oils, paints by Daniel Smith and also Lukas Berlin.  I am IN LOVE with the texture and workability of the Lukas Berlin water soluble oil paints.  Outstanding !  And I am delighted I can mix the Daniel Smith ones in too.  This allows me to extent my collection of paints & colour.
end of Bluebirds1 Session 1:
underpainting done, but
much more to do !

Bluebirds 2, Painting
Session 2
I knew that BlueBirds 2 would require 5 or 6 painting sessions and then dry time before packing and traveling.  So I planned weekly painting sessions, on Sunday afternoons, which have been glorious for painting and are a bit of free time for me.  The second painting session for Bluebirds 2 focused on everything actually, but lots of time spent on the birds.  And flower sprays, big heart frame and edging, and smaller hearts.  I decided to use some lighter/brighter colours.  Miss Baby Grand-Daughter's nursery has been painted a tropical coral colour (walls) and so I decided to use colours that would go with that and also the baby quilt I am making her, which has aqua and periwinkle blues, coral and soft tangerine, fresh spring greens and charcoal & black (it looks better than this may sound !).  So Bluebirds2 got more Quinacridone Coral (hearts), and Cerulean (birds).

Bluebirds 1 shown right, Blue Birds 2 on left, during
painting session 3 and just after I got the lettering
painted on.  Looking good !  (see how I must share the
art workbench with construction tools
like saw and level ?!)
I haven't yet decided on what to do with the background, but mulling this over.  I think  I do like the duck egg ground in BB1, and may do something similar.  But not same-same.  I brought BB1 home to help be sure I got the birds in BB2 equally cute !

BB2 session 3 was yesterday.  I added more yellow to the birds bellies.  They are now nearly done.  I added last touches to the sprays of blue and pink flowers, and the leaves are close to done.  The hearts got some shading.  And I added the Always and Forever quote (in french).  Again, some simple transfer of graphite to the ground to get my spacing and shape of the font lettering correct as I could, then filled in with paint, which was a slow and careful process.  But looking better than BB1 I think !

Bluebirds 2 at end of Painting Session 3, 0
That's it for the week.  Fine-tuning next Sunday.  And actually for days there after.  Then I need to leave well enough alone, and let it dry !