CQJP July Block

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Inspiration Sunday June 26/11

First, a few pics from my garden:

 sittin' on the dock near the bay...........
 I love this mini bird bath!
my hosta garden

My challenge:
card 1:- paint a still life of these three items: flowers, a piece of fabric, third object of choice
card 2:- use light and pale pigments and add a saturated medium-value pigment in a small area

my inspiration:

flowers, a paperweight from Zimbabwe, a gorgeous batik

After a quick sketch, I began:

no wishy-washy watercolors

the colors are matching the intensity of the fabric

The result:  failure!
I knew there was something wrong with the painting, but I kept working it, hoping to fix it. That seldom happens, for me. But, I'm stubborn. I worked at this for two weeks trying to whip it into shape.

I hated this! And tossed it.

  Lessons learned:
1) I had three blobs on the painting that were not integrated by shape, color, or placement
2) I was so intent on re-creating the colors of the fabric, I forgot to make a piece of fabric, in the painting, first
3) green blobs in one corner and nowhere else.
4) the 'painting' was stiff and hard without flow
 The only thing I was pleased with was capturing the fabric's color intensity in the painting

I have begun another to see if I can utilize what I've learned from this challenge to create a better painting. I've decided not to use the paperweight in this attempt, as its color was too close that of the leaves, unless I decide to sit it amongst the folds of the fabric. I have begun a softer background, and feel that the flowers have grown from it, rather than been slapped upon it.
I'll post a pic when/if I accomplish a finished painting.

The next challenge:
card 1:- do an unlimited palette painting using at least 12 pigments. To finish, glaze over all or part of the painting to coalesce the composition
card 2:- compose the entire painting as though it were a pattern

Hope you are having a good Sunday.
Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz


  1. Suztats,
    The first one wasn't a failure at all. There was many good things showing in that one. I thought it was really neat. The second one is also neat. It's softer colors & is coming along great! Remember when you think you failed at something,,someone else might not see where you are or have failed at all. I sure don't. But I understand it didn't turn out how you wanted or was looking for. Either way, you done a wonderful job!!

  2. Hey Bsotf, thanks for the positive comments. It's true there was some okay stuff, but, to me, the different elements didn't mesh, and so couldn't work as a painting. But you're right that we all see things differently, and what one likes, another does not. That's cool, too.

  3. And never, ever throw a painting away. I can see all kinds of wonderful collaging opportunities there! Beautiful colours! hugs Julie

  4. Fabulous use of colour on both pieces. Looking forward to seeing the further steps.

  5. Suz- it was wonderful colors, and like Julie said there could have been great finds in that piece for collaging :)
    Love your Hosta garden- those plants are just beautiful, I think.
    Have a lovely monday,dear.

  6. Beautiful hostas. Mine are getting a little holey, now but the neighbors ducks & all the garden birds help.

    That rich cerise fabric bit of the painting was lovely...did you really tossit? More CARDS!

    I totally agree with true bliss being found in the process, I mostly achieve that but one day I'll reach the stage in life that I can keep my work & not have to earn part of my living from it. Before that tho I'd like to earn my whole living from my work!

  7. Love your garden Suz and your views of the lake leave me speechless - lucky you! I don't believe you tossed the first painting - you captured the fabric brilliantly (how did you do that!) Can't you 'white over/paint out' the offensive bits ........ The second softer painting is coming on a treat .... Do you always stick rigidly to your challenge, or do you sometimes 'go with the flow' and 'let it speak to you'? Just wondered!

  8. Ah, Sesenarts, if I did collaging, I would agree with you. The color was the only thing I liked.

    Thanks Dian. I'll be working on the second piece. Cross your fingers.

    Thanks, Dorthe, I do love the hostas, and plan to expand the bed if we remain here.

    Well, Emma, I tossed it to the side, and then let it soak in a water bath, so I can re-use the paper for another painting.( paper isn't available here.....) and the elements were too big for cards, and I was frustrated with it, so it's gone. You're right though that they might have made nice abstract cards.

    Hi Val. Capturing the fabric colors took many days of painting and many layers of paint. I did try 'correcting' the offensive bits, but it just made the whole thing worse, so I decided to walk away from it. When I paint for myself, I am more open to letting things happen. But the challenges are just that, and so I do try to stick to them, in order to learn and hopefully improve my painting skills.

    Thanks everyone for you comments. Hugs

  9. I love that bird bad too! The batik is so pretty,I can imagine you wanted the colours to be right. Were do you find these challenges?

  10. Well, as long as we learn from our mistakes, its ok, isn't it? The vivid colours in your first painting were gorgeous, though. And I love your cheeky bird bath!

  11. Hi Annet. I purchased a book by Betsy Dillard Stroud called "The Artist's Muse". It contains 3 series of challenge cards with instructions guiding the artist to begin a painting. I usually choose 2 cards and indicate the directions, and I attempt the challenge. Sometimes I surprise myself, and other times I bomb, but every time I learn something

    Well, Puppet Lady, that's part of the challenge, too. Sometimes in the excitement of creating, I forget what I've supposedly learned before. ;-) When I saw that bird bath a few years ago in a little shop about an hour away, I just had to buy it. It still makes me laugh!

  12. That bird bath is adorable! i like both the pieces but especially the soft colourings of the second piece.

  13. That bird bath tickled my funny bone! I had to have it! So I saved up to buy it, and, luckily, when I returned it was still there.
    I'm hoping the softer hues of the second piece will allow me to gradually build up the folds in the material as well as the layers of color.
    I look forward to seeing your shibori dyeing results. Hugs


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