So, my sis says I’m not in love with ants so much as the marks I’m making them with. Smart girl! And it looks like I still have more to paint yet, because they’re getting weirder and I like that too!
WELCOME TO A NEW YEAR OF POSTING!
As we begin planning another trip to Norway this August, I’m thinking of the fjord where my Sweetie was born. This is a picture I did of it two visits ago – painted on the dining room table in the little cottage where I stayed.
Do you see that little white vertical line at lower left? It’s the glint of the waterfall on the far side of the fjord! Here’s a closer look:
These are our email seasons greetings cards from 2016 & 2015. I like them – and thought you might like seeing them again!
Just simple mark making – but with a brush even more lively than usual! Keeping that going clear through a picture is pretty darned tough, because you have to exercise some control, yet let things also go a little wild. Strange paradox.
Apparently it’s pretty easy for killer ants to end up looking like T-Rex’s kids!
This was our holiday card from last year – cool, right? The image was digitally collaged from a few of my Sweetie’s childhood drawings, which I then color altered and messed with quite a bit.
Below is a picture I made of a little wren. It was a Christmas present for Reidun some years ago. It’s time to figure out what I’m going to paint for her this year!
The wind is whistling outside and it seems like Spring is truly a long ways off. So, I’m revisiting some of my flower pictures this morning! The first one is a favorite.
CLICK ON EACH IMAGE TO ENLARGE – IT’S REALLY WORTH IT!
Been looking at some of my landscape paintings from the last round, prepping my brain and sensibilities for my next push, which will begin right after the new year. Am seeing things I want to work on or try for. Don’t usually think this much before leaping. I think it’s a good thing this time!
Below is another unfinished version of the view above, which is of Viking burial mounds in the Norwegian valley where my Sweetie was born. Now some of my advisory board are telling me not to touch it. Hmmmmm — – well maybe they’re right and it should just be what it is?
And here are more Norwegian views – – – that land has such incredible drama in it!
I’ve done almost 100 ant pictures – will probably keep at it for a few more still! And then there are a whole lot of butterfly wings that I should put bodies on, and another stack of unfinished Norwegian landscapes too. I have plenty underway to usher me into the new year!
I must get back to landscape painting soon! Starting to really miss it.
The picture above is the same view as that on our digital greeting card (but before snow started falling). Although the card’s image appears continuous, it was really done on two sheets, just like this one. Both may eventually be bound into a picture album – hence the brown backing sheet, which is visible here, at the edges and centerfold.
This year, it’s my work on our digital card – a view high in the mountains of western Norway. A quiet snow storm, and every reason to tuck in and stay snug! I hope ya’ll do just that.
Been on a HUGE roll lately! Have finished almost 100 pictures (mostly ants) since the beginning of November. Is it any wonder I sometimes feel as tired as the little fellow above?!?
If you’ll forgive my just so-so studio snapshots, here are a few more – good scans will come along eventually:
These two are from my Wednesday session – which was a pretty nutso round! The one above led to the one below – and get this: I’m just using India ink right from the bottle. But between all the washing, pressing and messing, I’m getting incredible tone, temperature and texture shifts! I’m not exactly sure how some of it even happened, but I wanna get back there today. Let’s see if I can!
THESE ARE REALLY WORTH SEEING BIG – CLICK ON ‘EM!
I had a particularly fine ink slinging day yesterday! These are two from that round. Nice, right?
I did the picture above a few weeks ago and got stuck – in my eyes, they were ant legs without their body or head – which I didn’t know how to put in. Was going to try to anyway, but EVERYONE on my advisory board said LEAVE IT ALONE – IT’S DONE!! Wow, really?
Okay, I won’t touch it, but that’s soooooo hard for me to do, so yesterday I did the picture below, which is a sort of stripped down version. Now I have it both ways and am content!
Seems weird to slam down a lot of ink, only to wash most of it off again, but that’s what I’m doing! Only a little predictability in it.
The first picture (above) scares me! You too?
It sort of feels like I’m painting every ant! Didn’t expect to be stuck on these peewees so long, but I’m just going with it. I’ll tell you what too – I’m constantly amazed at what can be done with just a ragged brush and black ink.
These are only quick studio snapshots. I’m about to start another big round of scanning. Hopefully soon(ish), I’ll be able to upload 150 – 200 new hi-res images of the year’s work to this website!
If you make enough pictures of ants, their heads start looking like little skulls! Makes sense really – they have exoskeletons, so their skulls really are on the outside, and the basic mechanics are pretty similar too, except for side mounted mandibles.
Oh, and it’s pretty fun to make ’em look scary. THEY ARE – or would be if they weren’t so peewee.
You KNOW how much I like messing with a picture, but do do it, I often must start with a much more straight forward version, just to sort out basic moves.
I didn’t use to like these beginner images that much, but now I’m beginning to realize just how hard I can lean on no nonsense mark making too. There is power in these, without too much viewer challenge.
Don’t worry – more odd ants are on deck, so you’ll see them soon too!
When my brush sort of wanders off on it’s on, as happened in the next two pictures, I’m left trying to catch up and thinking, ” It’s so weird that it’s going like this!” Good moments – want more of ’em!
Between now and next Spring, I’m gonna switch back and forth between more bugs, Norway and perhaps some Montana views. It should keep me busy!
Been looking at earlier work. Well, not that much earlier – these two are just a few years old. Below is the last picture in a series I did of Mt. Haynes (Yellowstone National Park). Those big trees are as I remember them before the huge 1988 fire. Their trunks still lie on the ground, and I leaned against one as I began the picture above, which was the first one.
I’m not sure I’ll paint that mountain again, but I still visit it every time I get back into that country!
CLICK EACH PICTURE TO SEE IT MORE CLOSELY – WORTH IT!