There is a wonderful place in upstate New York called Speculator. I wish I lived there just for the fact that I could say I was from SPEC-ULATOR!!!. There's not one WalMart or CVS within 50 miles! Peace and serenity. That is how I would describe it. I've lived along the I-95 corridor (between Boston and NYC) for the greater part of my life. Peace and serenity haven't been a regular part of my vocabulary.
My better half's family [JuliaLoveMiller] has a cabin in the woods up there. It is a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Thankfully they do have electricity and hot water, but that is about it. Entertainment comes in the form of quiet solitude, friends and family, or the great outdoors. One joy I get there is the satisfaction that my Boy Scout training was not a waste. It might be my inner pyromaniac at heart, but starting the nightly fire in the wood stove is INCREDIBLY satisfying.
I decided to do a sketch of the wood stove. It had a bit of rust that I hoped to capture with the red pencil undertone. Above is the original pencil drawing with a Venetian Red water-soluble pencil.
Below is what it looked like after I used a brush pen filled with water to mix with the dry pigment from the pencil. I left in a used paper towel that I put on the stove, thinking I would throw it on the fire later. Somehow that was really important to me. I REALLY looked forward to seeing the paper towel burn. Yeah... I've got a lot of pent up pyromaniac fantasies I need to let loose! Anyways, that paper towel was a huge pain in the ass to paint... I wanted a challenge but next time I will forgo my ego and compose things a little bit more wisely.
Next I added some value and color to the sketch with some watercolor paint. I painted around the lighter areas and left them the white of the paper for now.
Next, I added another wash of my bluish-purple color to the wood stove. The background I added yellow-orange wash everywhere else to solidify it and cover up the remaining white areas.
Here is a picture of the paper towel I was using to test the colors I mixed and to soak up excess paint from the brush before I applied it to the paper.
If I were to do it again, I would spend some more time on the drawing step, the rafters above ended up being quite a bit wonky by the time I finished the painting . I ended up trying to fix it afterwards, which almost never works as well as if it were perfect in the beginning! Painting is so much FUN and drawing is just WORK!
The final product. Not as impressive right next to the picture, but considering it is just a sketch, not too bad. I'm a work in progress, what can I say?
Bernini, Bernini, Bernini
I was immediately captivated by this sculpture when I walked by it at the Kimball Art Museum in Fort Worth, Tx. .
He's quite the looker, isn't he? If he was in the model-spoof movie Zoolander this expression would be called Smug Indignation. That just seemed to pop in my head but it seems to fit the face below, too.
Or maybe it's the original duck face?
Image courtesy of Google image search.
It is called Modello for the Fountain of the Moors and it is by Bernini. The expression on the man’s face is something between anguish, fear and confidence… a combination not seen very often! I don’t really know how else to describe it other than intriguing. This is probably why I had to stop right there and sketch it. I used a Venetian Red AquaTone (water-soluble) pencil by Derwent.
Again I was surprised by the hospitality down south when the security guard offered me a stool to sit on while I sketched! I am so used to being told off by security guards up north… usually to stand further away from the paintings or to be ushered out ten minutes before closing time. I politely declined. I didn’t want to get use to that kind of treatment!
Above is the museum tag for more information. Below is a picture of the actual fountain in Rome.
"Fontana del Moro Roma" by Jensens - Own work. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -
Where did the origins of the ubiquitous duck face come from and why do (young) females think it makes them look attractive?
A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to the great state of Texas. While I was down there I was able to explore the Dallas-Fort Worth area and I came across the Amon Carter Museum and the Sid Richardson Museum, both near downtown Fort Worth.
After visiting the Sid Richardson Museum first, I found out that back in the day, Sid Richardson and Amon Carter had a big rivalry going on. They were battling over who could have the best collection of Western American Art, and this meant they had loads of Remington’s and Russell’s in said collections. When I got to the Sid Richardson Museum I did not expect to fall in love with the artwork, I was definitely skeptical of the subject matter (cowboys and Indians - to use the stereotypical terms). However, the nocturnes by Remington in the Sid Richardson Museum really blew me away, even though I had a short amount of time to take them all in.
Frederic Remington Ridden Down
I got there at 4:30 and they closed at 5:00 (although the museum store stayed open until 7). I used every last second up, as the security guard stood patiently waiting for me to leave the gallery. I must admit, they were very nice there; normally I am escorted out at least 5 minutes before museums close!
I was really excited to go to the Amon Carter Museum with my new found fondness for Western American Art. One of the best parts of this trip was that both museums were free to the public! Parking was more or less free, too. (I had to pay for a meter at Sid Richardson but that’s nothing compared to going to the Met or the MFA in Boston!)
Here is a sketch I did at the Amon Carter Museum while looking at Frederic Remington’s An Indian Trapper, 1889.
I was a little worried that the security guard would tell me to put away my paintbrush because when I inquired earlier I was told no painting but drawing was allowed. I have been inspired by James Gurney’s technique of sketching with water-soluble pencils and then using a brush pen filled with water. The pencil lines mix with the water in the brush pen to create a watercolor paint on the paper, technically, I am painting with just clear water! Anyways, I wasn't hassled, except very politely when it was closing time!
This is what I was looking at:
Here is an image I snapped before I started painting and the museum tag if you want more information about the piece. I always snap a picture of the museum tag so that when I go through them (many months or years later!) I don't have to waste time Googling anything for more information.
One last note on Texas-- The waffle-maker in my hotel only made Texas-shaped waffles. If I ever wake up dumb, deaf and mute from a coma, I can only hope that I find my way to a Best Western in Texas, at least then I will know what state I'm in! I guess if you had a REALLY bad hangover that would be pretty useful,, too! I can't imagine many OTHER situations where a state-shaped waffle could be of use to you but maybe I'm wrong?
Landon R. Wilson
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