Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category
I see that I had not posted my completed painting “Pushing the Limits”. This will be our (mine and Jon, my husband’s and Jonathan’s father’s) graduation gift to Jonathan. We are extremely proud of him – he has worked very hard to get all A’s, and a 4.0 grade point average at a challenging private Lutheran school. We are still waiting to hear back from the colleges. Jonathan loves to push the limits, and he loves boats and sailing.
I’m now working on a graduation gift for my senior, Jonathan. He attends Lutheran High School South. His desire is to be a naval architect/marine engineer. Our gift to him is going to be an oil painting of a wooden sailing ship with 6 people in board, heeling at a sharp angle. I looked through a bunch of my husband’s old Wooden Boat magazines, and found this photo on the cover of an issue from 2009. It is being done on a heavy duty, high quality stretched canvas that is 24″ by 24″. This is the first time I’ve done a painting in a square format.
There was LOTS of drawing to do first. It took me about 6 hours just to get all of the drawing done. I know my son, he is extremely precise and technical, so I wanted to get everything in the proper proportion, and get at least the major aspects of the boat technically correct. I made an amazing discovery – in high winds, the boom will actually curve! I never knew that. I’m glad that I was diligent in getting the drawing right, because if I had a perfectly straight boom, it would have looked stiff and artificial.
There are many lines and hardware, and I’ve only got the major parts of the boat for now. After I paint the hull, the sails, and the people, then I will paint all the blocks and lines on top of that. It would be extremely difficult to paint the sky and water around all the different lines, and it is so easy just to paint lines over the water and sky once these are painted in. I did get the sky painted in this afternoon. It is a challenge, because I have to leave at 2:30 in order to pick up my younger son, Andrew, at 3:00. Being a parent and and artist is a juggling act. Andrew is going to be in the after school program one day a week, so that I’ll have at least one day where I don’t have to leave my studio so early.
I’m calling this painting pushing the limits. Part of this is because of how high the winds are, causing this boat to heel so sharply. The other reason I’m giving it this title, is that my son Jonathan likes to push his own limits. He is very ambitious and hard working, and likes to push himself to his limits and do his very best in everything he does. I am extremely proud of him, and I hope this painting shows that.
I did this a little while back. I’ve been quite busy with a college visit, and my son’s 18th birthday, which was yesterday.
This is the 3rd in the series. I’m very happy with the color combination. The bottom petals a deep, rich red violet. The use of accents of hot pink is a trick I learned from my mentor/teacher Jerry Thomas. It really brightens up flowers that are deep purple. When the sunlight hits the petals right, there truly are shots of hot pink on purple flowers! I thought the cool striations made for a very interesting detail. Note how the yellow in the lower petals is almost a chartreuse, with a hint of green, but the yellow of the upper petals is more of a gold/apricot yellow. Nature is so interesting! Also, see how the red/orange of the beards reflects onto the adjacent petal surfaces of the gold petals. Another interesting detail, is the bottom shriveled bloom, has just a touch of the vivid red/orange, along with the dull gray/brown of the spent flower. I really love to put interesting and unexpected details like these into my paintings. My very first art teacher, Yvonne Shephard taught me how to notice and paint these details. She was my art teach when I was 8 years old. I have fond memories of learning to paint with her.
My little guy Andrew was such a good sport Monday. He was sick, and he missed school because of it. My plan was to paint, and I promised him I’d let him rent a movie if he would go along with me to the studio. This way, he could watch a movie on his portable DVD player while I painted.
I was able to paint in the hair and the clothing. All those folds in Jesus’ robe. It makes for some interesting patterns of movement, and gives me a chance to play around with value systems. I made his inner robe a tan color. For the hilights, I added white and yellow ochre to the tan, and for the darks I added ultramarine blue and burnt umber. I was very pleased with the effects of the blue sky reflecting off the hair. I used burnt umber and white for the hair. That was straightforward. Here it is. I think Jesus mouth or mustache will need slight tweaking, as the upper lip seems to be missing, he. It is amazing how with the human face, if the slightest thing is off, it is so obvious. Whereas when I’m painting flowers, it is not noticeable if something is slightly out of proportion. I will add some hilights to the hair and to the robes. Then, I will paint in the background, which will be a soft landscape.
TI took my 2 boys Jonathan (17) and Andrew (10) to Maramec Spring State Park in St. James, Missouri. This place is very beautiful, and we all love to
trout fish here. I caught (and released) 2 rainbow trout. Jonathan loves to fly fish. Here he is:
This place has a large spring just several hundred yards upriver from here. The water is crystal clear, and has a beautiful blue green cast to it from the minerals in the water when it is underground. Trout thrive here all year round. There is a trout fishery between the fishing area and the spring, and a certain number are released into the fishing area just downstream every night. There are also wild brown trout that live here, too, but these are rarer. I caught one of these once.
The wildlife here is great. The muskrats were quite active, swimming back and forth, and diving down into the weed growing at the bottom of the stream. I saw a large woodpecker with a bright red head, and a fly with brilliant green eyes.
I also did a quick and rough pastel sketch of this scene here below. This site used to be an iron mine.
Well Friday the 13th wasn’t so bad after all. After I took Andrew, my 9 year old to school, I stopped at St. Louis Bread Co. for breakfast. Their asiago bagel breakfast sandwich is wonderful. Then I went to my studio to work on my oil painting. I painted Jonathan’s face, Andrew’s life preserver, and did a few details on Andrew’s ball cap. Yes, that is the SAINT LOUIS CARDINALS, YAY CARDS, WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS IN 2011!! I didn’t have that much time to paint, as Andrew got off school early today – 1:00 PM instead of 3:00 PM. Trying to paint along with family obligations, is tough, but I’m determined not to give up my painting. My elderly infirm in laws are not coping well at all with the deterioration of their health and ability to fully function. My husband is an only child, and he is really stressing over this. I’m working hard not to stress over it. Some days I’m able to stay calm, but I do get stressed on certain days. I’m also raising 2 boys, ages 17 and 9. However, I don’t think it is good for anyone if I were to take care of everyone else, and not take care of myself, too.
I’m really happy with the way Jonathan’s face came out. As you can see, it is in the shadow, as his back is to the sun. However, there is subtle ambient lighting, and the warmth, sun, activity, and deep love of sailing and boats has brought some nice color into his face. His desire is to become a naval architect. We are working hard to help him achieve his dream. He is incredibly smart – he is a 4.0 student at a tough private Lutheran school, and very involved in robotics, music, and cross country running. You can tell he’s a runner – look at them legs! And he does have really long legs.