Thursday, December 13, 2012

Water colors: fantasy pomegranates

So I started working on some cool toned watercolors. It was a rather abrupt shift from the fall colors. But once the cool weather set and the snow fell... well it was time to whip out the frosty blues and greens with a bit of purple. I wanted some really quick projects so that I could crank these things out and start working the cafepress angle. No, it won't be ready for this year. I'll  have to plan a year out I guess.

And I want to get better at using the liquid masking fluid. So here it the first few steps:
  • the drawing
  • lay down some liquid mask. I used Windsor & Newton
  • while that is drying prepare you color palette. This one is Cobalt, Cerulean, Antwerp & Indanthrene blues, gamboge yellow, Permanent Violet, Dioxizine Purple, Phtalo violet an Purple Lake.
  • Next lay down the colors.
The unfortunate thing about this photograph is that the lighting is so bad right now (it's 11:45pm) that it took a lot of editing to get it to look anything but yellow. But you get the idea.

This is the second interpretation. The first one I did I liked a lot. But it was more realistic than I wanted for something that is totally colored in an unrealistic palette. I did like the first one. And because the layout was exactly what I wanted, and I knew that I would want to do several variations, I made a carbon of it so that you could see them side beside when I am done. And here is a peak at the previous fantasy pomegranate portrait.

water color on Strathmore paper with Tim Holtz tissue tape, gold foil pen
I think you can see that they are the same composition. The colors are brighter below because I took those photos in the daylight. Natural light is wonderful! I have some Michelle Ward stuff coming soon. And I think that I want to use some of that in with this set up too. Also contemplating a totally overboard canvas with a transfer of this watercolor and an onslaught of scrapbooking/rubberstamp tricks that I love. And maybe something will finally go back to Somerset Studio.

I can't believe it's been 7 years since I last submitted work.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

They're HERE!

My cafepress order came in. So now I know what I should and shouldn't do. Still learning the ropes over there. When I do the shop will be up an running. Keep you posted!

Monday, December 10, 2012


It is not a "winter" album. Not like Sting's winter album was a winter album. And not like his Hounds of Winter was a get through seasonal affective disorder was a love 'em and leave 'em panacea. I've been listening to Wolkenreiter on a constant loop today. I woke up late with even intention to do so. It was a long and painful weekend at work and I know my body needs the rest. So I've had it playing. It is the one that I leave home because it is reflective and not the adrenaline rush you need to fold laundry for 8 hours. And I have to say... I think it is my favorite winter album.

Wolkenreiter means "Cloud Rider". Now perhaps that is more a Summer thing since there are so many beautiful clouds that look like you could ride them somewhere wonderful on a fantastic voyage. Granted under these titian white skies with an uber faint wash of indanthrene blue (and I mean really faint!) there are no discernable cloud formations. The sky is flat and uninteresting where there are not scraggly tree tops piercing into the dome. A smattering of snowfall flocks everything that isn't road. The road is nothing more than a well spilled slushie of dubious flavor. It is one of those days evocative of a Dickens classic, all bleak and lonesome and junk. I half expect a raggedy wolf to wander aimlessly across the once grassy quad outside my window. Or a ghost of Christmas Whenever.... I've been painting in autumnal colors, pomegrantes in clusters and cascades. But today I want to paint in frosty blue, sage, violet and perhaps just a little quinacridone violet... nothing too red. And it is all due to the perfect pairing of this album as soundtrack to our first Winter day in Northern Michigan.

Wolkenreiter really is the best album for a day like today. Not soley a collection of ballads, and the ballads are not the depressing kind that you expect from our side of the pond. For whatever reason, artists here have an idea that a slow song means you have to be brooding and ponder the dark complexities of the sole of human existence and its relationships to other souls. But with this album, it is a positive relfection. In the song I just finished listening to, Matze offers the very thing that I needed and wanted to hear two years ago. He offers the thing that Sir Knight (psuedomymn, obviously) did and with no more expectation than to be a help to someone in need. Here it is in English: (my own translation. Not exactly word for word)
Come take me with you, I take a piece of you with me
until you're standing on your own feet
Come take me with you, I take a piece of you with me
Then you go on your own way
Come take me with you, I take a piece of you with me
off to the big fairground, the roller coaster of life
as it goes up and down constantly.
There is  not only cotton candy(joy), but also the ghost train(sorrow)
But whatever will happen, as life always happens
I'm here
come into my arms

This is comfort music. It is reflective but it doesn't wallow in self pity. In many of the songs you have the feeling that this is a man who can stop and smell the roses and doesn't care if anyone thinks less of him for it. These songs freeze a moment for observation and say "It's okay. In this moment I feel ____ and then in the next moment I will feel something else". It is the exact thing that I need to to help me keep from getting stuck in moments that serve no good purpose.

In another song Matze states that his heart is not a hotel that the one room in it is reserved for someone special, and only for that one person. And "on the door hangs a sign which applies to the others 'entry forbidden'."

And in Vermiss dich
where are you?
where are you?
I've often thought to tell you that we went a wrong way
i miss you
pleae miss me too
i believe very firmly that we can turn back time
come with me an we will start from the beginning.

American music tends to want to trash the other person in the relationship. Matze is always looking for a way to peace, either in the relationship itself or in his heart when reflecting on a relationship. We go all first wives club on someone. That is not the mature or helpful thing to do. Of course he is not perfect. And there is that song on Manner sind Krieger in which he says he'd like to flip off her new boyfriend when next they meet out on the street. But that is not the same as setting clothes on fire and blowing shit up. Rosenkrieg was for that.... I am digresing. Again....

No,Wolkenreiter is a very reflective, calming album and I am now in the mood to frost my sorrows with a little bit of sugar... and do some watercolors with sparkling H2Os. Laundry can wait another day.

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