Monday, July 07, 2014

Paintings and Drawings

"Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice reduces the imperfection."
                                                                                      ~ Toba Beta

Chambered nautilus study in colored pencil

My father-in-law's shell collection continues to inspire me. My enthusiasm has caught on and now he is searching the house for long-forgotten boxes of shells to give me. He found one box the other day that included a magnificent chambered nautilus shell.

The nautilus is a cephalopod like an octopus or a squid, however its tentacles do not have suckers. It is also the only cephalopod with a protective outer shell. It has changed very little over the millions of years that it has existed, so it is considered a "living fossil".

My nautilus shell model, I fear, was store-bought. To stem the decline in nautilus populations, some countries have banned the commercial trade of nautilus shells, but others have not. I will try my best to make lots of beautiful art with this shell, as I would never buy one myself.

Plate of Shells - 6 x 6 acrylic on canvas panel

Here's a little painting I did of an assortment of shells. The plate wasn't perfectly flat in the middle, so the shells sometimes rattled and shifted positions when I would walk around near the little table I had them perched on. The painting was really finished 2 hours before I put down the paintbrush, but I kept fussing with it and of course ended up overworking it. Oh well.

After 5 weeks of class, my first figure painting in oil is done.

I finished my figure painting in class at PAFA. We'll start another painting with a new model this week. I'm excited to try a new painting, but this week also marks the half-way point of our summer adventures. Nooooooooo! How can it be halfway over already!? I haven't even gotten my fill of East Coast pizza yet - and believe me, I've been trying!


Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

Oh, those seashells are so beautiful. Didn't know that the nautilus were becoming rare... I look forward to seeing your next figurative painting (and all!) Well done.

Gabrielle said...

Hi Diane,

Thanks for visiting! It's really hard not to become totally obsessed with all these beautiful shells, and I am loving the figurative painting as well. I guess I'm becoming a bird, shell, and people painter now!