Thursday, November 24, 2011

Of Snow and Sea

Two snowstorms paid a visit last week, leaving everything in a blanket of the white stuff. It still feels too early for snow to me, but it's a La Nina year so I suspect I'd better get used to it. It's going to be a long winter.

I've mentioned the multitude of magpies on campus in previous posts. Their antics are wonderful, and now with snow on the ground I can see signs of their visits even if I miss seeing them.

After snooping around the birdfeeder, this magpie flew off,
leaving a beautiful pattern in the snow for me to discover.

I discovered this collection of tracks right outside our front door.
I wonder what they were doing.

While it is clearly winter outside, it is summer in my studio - at the beach no less! This painting is not finished yet; a few problems have slowed my progress a bit, but it's been enjoyable to loosen up and experiment.

Step 1

Step 4

I built up the sand and sea colors with layer after layer of thin acrylic glazes painted over the original background. I wanted to keep the textures but define the areas as beach and surf. I am very happy with the background, but I'm having trouble with the bird. As I develop the details even further than this photo shows, the bird image feels cut and pasted on, rather than belonging with that background. Looking at this photo now, I almost wish I had left the bird like this instead of adding more details. I'm going to let the painting sit for a few days and perhaps a solution will come to me.

Meanwhile, a very happy Thanksgiving to all of my US friends out there!


marianne said...

not sure what feel you want for the finished piece, but i find that a glaze of a neutral color over everything can tie it together or sometimes spattering paint works well for me. love the background, would like to see where you are now with it. the piece will tell you what to do, tho it's hard to get there sometimes-

Gabrielle said...

Hi Marianne,

I should've had a link to your blog in this post as I was partially inspired to try the abstract background from looking at your work. I've been working on the painting over the weekend and I'm still not happy with it, but I will try the neutral glaze at the end as you suggest. I'll post some more progress photos soon. Thanks for stopping by!

marianne said...

hi gabrielle- thanks! that is so nice to hear. i've had fun playing with those pieces, tho it feels sort of strange at first.