Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Painting with Wool... Octohat and Contemplating the Cosmos

Someone said that needle felting is like painting with wool.

I gave it a shot and it is! I absolutely love it! Functional, wearable, warm, cozy art. It is just brilliant.

The whole idea is to put wool on top of other wool and stab it a billion times with a very small, very sharp, barbed needle, entangling the two wools together forever. Sounds tedious but it really is fun. No, really!

And here is another not so wearable form of needle felting. He is called Contemplating the Cosmos...

The hair was the most difficult bit. I was originally trying for a "cleaner," funky sort of coiffure but it got wilder with every jab. So I decided to just go with it. Now he has a mess that lies somewhere between Hobo and Dirty Hippie. It really is soft though. He must wash it, but never used a brush in his life...

He weighs 10 whole grams and sits about 5 inches tall from his bottom to the tippity-top of his messy hair. He will be on Etsy before long.

I had so much fun with this one that I started another and am itching to get another going at the same time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Chequered Chicken... or Go-Fish

Chequered Chicken
8" x 10" Oil on canvas board

I love this one!
I love the colors. I love the contrast. I love the subject matter. I love the feeling left behind after expelling it onto the canvas.

I had fun. Can you tell?

This one started a lot like the Sea Chicken. Doodling with dark purple to give me that oh-so-luscious coloring book feeling. Except this time the canvas was plain old white. Red is fun, but it takes so long to dry.

Realism is very difficult for me, but painting like this is just plain fun! Brad said, "Forget realism. That is why we have cameras."

This does not feel like so much of a struggle. I can just play and really get into a groove. But then, I wonder if it seems easier just because my hands and fingers and eyes are starting to wake up and remember how to manipulate the paint.

My Imagination is certainly waking up a bit. Last night it kept me up for a couple of extra hours daydreaming about a fat bug-eyed goldfish floating in front of purple striped wallpaper.

I think there are rainy seasons and droughts for ideas. Sometimes they flow and scramble over one another just to be heard, and other times they are scraggly and indifferent.

I love Monsoon season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

WIP- Socks on a Chicken and Etsy!

Work In Progress- Socks on a Chicken

I have made some changes!

I started by outlining everything in a deep deep purple and then giving it all a fresh wash of color and detail. I think it takes some of the stuffy seriousness out of it... If you can call that serious.

Oh! I opened up my very own little shop on today! It is called SaraWinters. The Sea Chicken is there, and the Grand Opening will be whenever you pop in to take a look. Have some cybercookies...

I am looking for an Etsy gadget to put on this blog, so if anybody knows anything about that I would be very grateful for the info.

In the meantime, here is the address:

I hope it works.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sea Chicken

Sea Chicken I
8"x 10" oil on canvas board

I had fun with this one. I had a dream a long long time ago that I lived in the sea, and my Sea Chickens were blooming. I have always wanted to paint one of them. My chickens always have a pigeon-ish quality about them... Hubby says its the thick neck. I think he is right.

It was still fun. And I still like the finished piece.

I worked this one in a very different way than I usually do. I started out with a canvas board painted red. I mixed a very dark color to draw with and started doodling. I had to make some minor changes to the drawing during the painting process, but I think it worked because I liked the overall composition. Having everything drawn out in big dark lines just begged the kid in me to color it!

It was fun.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Like Socks on a Chicken

Like Socks on a Chicken
16"x20" oil on canvas

My last employer said that once. "Like socks on a chicken." I had never heard it before and was struck, forcibly, with a mental image of a very serious chicken in socks.

This painting is several years old, but I plan on bringing it back to life. It is still somewhat in the underpainting stage. I sanded and oiled it up to give the new paint something to hang on to, and hopefully tomorrow I can start slathering it with deep reds, shiny golds, luscious purples and feathery whites.


The obsession returns...

So, here is what I have been doing lately. Not painting. Knitting.

It all started with the chill in the air. Brad and I were lamenting the fact that Soren does not have an earflap hat. I made one for Brad many many moons ago, and it keeps his noggin toasty warm. I was commissioned by the hubby to knit an earflap hat for the baby. How could I say no? I have been treating knitting like a guilty pleasure in the middle of all the ever pressing homework, housework, wifework, mommywork, and the "higher" art of painting. I love knitting. Its an addiction, I swear!

I finished the first hat in a jif. It was more of a skullcap for Soren than an earflap hat, so I tried again. I took measurements and everything... well, I took one measurement. I needed two more, but didn't realize it until after I lined it and everything.
A little pink stitched into the skullcap and voila! we have a teeny girl hat fit for a gift to the new baby in the family... coming soon to a hospital near you... December, I think.

Soren has been needing another hand-knit, super fantastic mommy sweater for this winter as well, and after starting over three times with the perfect hand-spun, hand-dyed, super- yummy-soft cotton yarn from Manos Del Uruguay (that I found in a yarn store sale bin five years ago) I am happy to say his sweater is coming along nicely.

I'm actually using a pattern this time.If you squint at it sideways with your tongue sticking out, you can just about make out the bottom edge of a sweater... (That big hole in the middle is where his torso will go.)

Luckily, the little man is just that- little. The sweater will go fast.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Peachy

Just Peachy
7.5"x 11.5" oil on canvas

This was another fun one!

The peaches were a lot easier to paint than the plate, which still has some issues...
I have been working on putting the paint down and leaving it alone, rather than dab, dab, dabbing until everything turns into mud. I managed to get some of those bold brush strokes on the fruit. It felt really good.

I made some changes...

I made a little adjustment to the reflections of the red boat and white boat. I was trying to figure out why the blue boat's reflection worked, but the others didn't. I think it was because the reflections of the red and white boats were too close in color to their floating counterparts. The lights needed to be a wee bit darker, and the darks needed to be a wee bit lighter. There is a rule there, but I cannot remember for sure... I'll have to look it up.

Oh! and I goofed on the post below... I meant to say the blueish boat to the left, not the right. Oops.

Hmmm... The red boat seems to have its nose on the dock... I'll have to paint it again sometime and see if I can make it sit on the water where it is supposed to be.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh! I love painting boats!!!

Port Townsend Boats
7.5"x11.5" oil on canvas

This summer, before school started for Brad, we took a trip to the Olympic Peninsula for a bit of camping and sightseeing. We stayed right outside of Port Townsend the first night, and I got a load of great boat reference photos. I love painting boats on the water. Reflections are fun!

I started this painting last night and finished it this afternoon. I just couldn't stay away from it. The reflection of the blueish boat on the far right is my favorite bit.

All in all, I had loads of fun with this one.

Friday, September 19, 2008

National Talk Like a Pirate Day... I forgot till just now

Kamiak Barn
5"x7" oil on canvas

Well. I ended up on the dark side of the barn. Next time I will chose a spot that shows the light and shadow of the thing. Funny how I was on the dark side, but everything is a little washed out. The darker streak to the left of the barn looks like a shadow, but it was a streak of grass and small shrubs.

It was an interesting little barn that looked pretty much like a rectangle planted on sloping wheat fields. I was reminded why it is so important to mix the colors that are there, because this does not look like the scene I saw... except for the barn and the trees from Kamiak Butte. The light was gorgeous but faded fast. Next time I'll catch it!

This would have been a wiper, but I had fun doing it. And it was the first plein air painting I've done in ages. I like it by default.

And in case you other land lubbers out there be forgettin the greatest day o' th' year- today was indeedy National Talk Like a Pirate Day! So get out there and swash some buckles, batten down the hatches, and don't let your peg legs get tangled up in yer eye patches! Aaargh!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The wipers on the bus go swish, swish, swish.

Today's painting was another wiper.

I learned something though! A decent painting has to start with a decent composition. I started by just slapping a pear right smack dab in the middle of the canvas and was frustrated with it from start to finish.

Tomorrow I will redo the painting, this time with a plan.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Painting in a hurry

Bud Vase
4.5"x6.5" oil on canvas

Today I have to pack to go away for the weekend with the family, so I didn't think I would have a lot of time to paint. I doodled. It was fun. Not my norm, but hey, its good to try something different once in a while.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day 3- Three's company

Hothouse Tomatoes
4"x6" oil on canvas

I had fun painting these tomatoes. I love the crinkly crackly stem sticking out there. The sticker on the tomato is a favorite as well.

This painting was challenging in many ways- mostly its size. It was difficult to get all those colors into such a small space. I am happy with the outcome though. Somehow, seeing it in a photo makes it seem more polished.

Funny how doing something you love can provide so much peace. I am blissing out- I got to paint again today!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Day 2- Ick

Today's painting was a wiper. My drawing abilities have decomposed somewhat. That was evident in yesterday's tomato. It was a little skee-whompus.

Well, here is an opportunity to improve!
Must move on.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Day 1- Beginning Again

Mater Plate
5"x6" oil on canvas

Well here it is - my first painting in almost two years. My arm, wrist and fingers creaked as they tried to maneuver over the canvas in ways that were once so familiar. The final result is better than I thought it would be after such a long break. I spent the rest of the day in bliss because I actually got to paint!

The lip of the plate is my favorite part. It really seems to show its weight.