Sunday, June 30, 2013

Everyday Life: the weekend

This weekend is all about dog babysitting and Greta getting her ears pierced (2nd piercing, the first ones were done when she was a baby). This time we went to the Mtl Tatoo shop on St-Denis in the Plateau and she got first class treatment with her double "piercings". All very cool and hopefully the last I will hear about any other body alterations from my teenage daughter.
I've always considered a tattoo for myself, but I know that I would get tired of looking at the same image forever, so no tattoos for me. Too permanent and I probably could never decide on which image to use anyway.
This morning I biked downtown to the YMCA and did a 40 minute swim. Very happy and in a good mood now for the rest of the day. The sun is out too. Yay, no rain today.

Felix hanging out for the weekend at our place

Greta and her new piercing

Augusto putting on the finishing touches to his thesis paper.

Lorenzo figuring out what to paint on his canvas

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday Post # 12

This week, since it's summer (despite the rain), Frankenstein wants to keep things simple. Here is a quote that speaks volumes.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Only three words: Discipline, work and perseverance.

                                                                     -Alejandra Zermeno
                                                                      sculptor from Mexico
                                                      (interview from Saatchi Online)

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Girls on Clay new season

Girls on Clay,  magnets, acrylic on clay with varnish, 2013
They're back and this time with colour. Crazy how each one has their own personality...just like real people. These girls have attitude without saying a word. And they're magnetic. Cool.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Studio life: air conditioning

 This summer, we installed an air conditioner in my studio. We had debated whether we really needed one and if it would make a difference. I'm not sure what we were thinking, but obviously we weren't thinking too good when we didn't take up our brother-in-law's offer of a free air conditioner last summer. Which room would get it in the apartment...our bedroom, the living room, the kitchen? Would it be big enough and strong enough to make a difference? Well the answer is a big fat YES! Because of this little gizmo, I can look forward to a full summer of painting when usually, I quit midway through July because the heat is too unbearable in the studio and the sweat is running down my forehead onto my drawing paper.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I'm never going back to fresh hot summer air again...ever.

Plants, cute red tiny watering pot, art books and the air conditioner remote (so cool!)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gouache still life: white plant

White Plant on Table,  gouache paint on gessoed Terraskin paper,  (8 1/2" x 11"),  2013
I appreciate the final outcome of this painting only because it took so many layers and different drawings to build it up to it's final conclusion. The end result is a work of art that is painterly and gestural and for lack of a better word; easy going.
It looks like a plant sitting on a table and the impression of the terracotta pot feels solid and real. The leaves are white and of course they are not in real life, but it still works, doesn't it?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Portrait painting on Yupo paper

Acrylic, ink on Yupo white paper,  ( 9" x 12"),  2013
Yupo isn't really paper, but a special type of synthetic paper that is tree-free, recyclable, tear-proof and water-proof which makes it extremely durable and excellent for water media paints such as watercolours, gouache, inks and acrylics. It also has great super smooth surface paper that holds an ink line very well.
As for the portrait above, I think the simplicity of the white shoulders makes for a good contrast against the details and colours of the neck and face.
Sometimes a simple line is all that's required to create a shape or space.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday Post # 11

Frankenstein warns that the following quote may not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans.

"Meat! Every animal is made of meat. Your asses are made of meat. Everything is part of the buffet of the universe."
                                                  -Community medicine woman
                        (from the movie: Beasts of the Southern Wild)


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday Post # 10

It's official: Frankenstein's personal experience at home with pink hair dye is not a good thing.
Can we spell the word: S-T-A-I-N ?
As in stains on the towels, stains on the kitchen counter, stains in the kitchen sink and of course, stains in the bath tub, just for fun.
So what has Frankenstein learned from this particular experience? Pink is a great colour for cotton candy and for lemonade.
Here's his quote for today:

The greatest mistake in life is to be continually afraid you will make one.
                                                                          -Elbert Hubbard

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Plants in casein paint

Plants Sitting on Grey Box,  casein on gessoed Stonehenge paper,  (7 1/2" x 11"), 2013
Another work on paper that I recently completed over the last couple of weeks. I think I can safely say that I have become quite comfortable with casein paint and that it is responding more in a way that I like. I have now started to indicate on my works which medium is being used, because it is starting to become difficult to tell between the gouache, acrylic and casein paintings that I am creating.
I assume this is a good sign because it means my work is becoming more consistent in manner and style.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Historical Portrait on Paper

Historical Portrait (untitled), acrylic on gessoed Stonehenge paper, (7 1/2" x 11"),  2013

This historical portrait was initially based on a specific portrait painting, but morphed instead into an arbitrary portrait of no one in particular. She is in fact a new person all together. I enjoy the fact that her eyes are not identical, which is true for most people.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gouache painting

Untitled,  gouache, ink on Arches hot press 90lb watercolour paper,  (7 1/2" x 10") ,  2013
I'm a big fan of gouache paint. I've always loved the consistency of it and the fact that the colours mix so easily. Funny that gouache paint is in essence the equivalent of opaque watercolour paint. I mention this only because I've tried my hand at doing watercolour painting and I've always felt frustrated using it. I prefer the chalkiness of gouache versus the watery effects of watercolour.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Ma tante Ginette

Ma tante Ginette,  acrylic, ink on terraskin paper,  (7 1/2" x 11" ),  2013
Living in Montreal, Quebec, the title for this work was very natural for me: Ma tante Ginette, which in English translates to My aunt Ginette. My son and husband love this painting. My daughter, not so much.
But that's ok, I think Ginette is cool. I love her red nail polish. She's the aunt that always smiles and laughs and has goodies in her pantry (that your mom never buys at the grocery store) waiting for you when you come for a visit at her house in the South Shore.
Here in Quebec, Ginette is a popular name. For some reason, a lot of middle aged women are called Ginette. I guess it was popular back in the forties and fifties. Not a name used so much among the young ones anymore. Chantal and Nathalie are also very popular names for girls among the French speaking population. For the French speaking hipsters, Charlotte is the # 1 baby name these days.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

4 foot table

The hardware store had 30% off on folding tables and so I went out and bought a 2' x 4' table which has been the most amazing thing for me in my studio. It is just the perfect size to lay out my completed works on paper while they dry. It's the perfect size and height to gesso canvas and boards. And it's light enough that I can move it around the room no problem. I can set up a still life and move the table to accommodate the set up.
It seems to be the perfect table for me right now. I dare say that it actually inspires me to create. I've made no less than 20 new works over the last 2 weeks.
I like  the way it makes my studio feel like a real artist's working space. Weird, but true.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Fish out of Water

Today started early for me at 5:30am when the alarm went off and I thought I was dreaming that the alarm went off.  The weather was iffy outside and I wasn't sure if I was going to leave with Augusto and go swimming while he was at work (he works part time at the YMCA downtown).
There was a break in the rain, so I collected my bathing suit and goggles and left with Augusto for the downtown Y at 6:30am by bike only to discover midway that my back tire that was supposed to have been repaired on Saturday was flat again. Not so great to have to walk back home and push a bike in a thunderstorm at 7:00am in the morning.
Did I get to go swimming? Nope!
Did I get wet? You betcha!
Was I deflated like my tire? Yes, I was!
Is it still raining outside? Yes, it is!
Did I eat my breakfast on the couch? Yes I did and I watched an episode of MAD MEN for the very first time. Excellent series. I have no idea why I've never watched this show before. Now I have to go out and rent all the first 6 seasons of it and catch up.
Do I need to go back to bed and take a nap? Yes, I do, so that I can re-start this day again.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Frankenstein's Saturday Post # 9

Frankenstein came across a quote recently that he thinks many people could benefit from time to time in their lives. Here it is:

A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.
                                                                             -Elbert Hubbard