Wednesday, December 15, 2010

More School Stuff.

Did a film and video course this semester. unfortunately because of a conflict with an other course could not fully appreciate what was going on. So many programs and new software to learn.
Anyhow, our final assignment was to create a video using pictures to tell a story. We had to use words, symbolism and some of the features of the editing software. Well this is my attempt. It's entitled:
 "An Epicurean Adventure". We were supposed to use an experience that we had. Enjoy my first video.

Be blessed,
GretaMichelle

Friday, December 10, 2010

Art School Tales and Woes

Abstract planar forms 
 foam core, 12x18

Still-life collage

Well, the semester is all but over. Evaluations and exams are winding down so I just thought I'd share what I've been doing with you. This semester was not my shiniest moment. Got behind and bogged down so I am not  confident that I gave my best. Still think I could have done so much more. Time will tell if what I did do was enough to scrape me through.
Cityscape, parallel/vertical line,
12x18, pen




 So much new stuff to grasp. This semester was a lot about technology. Worked with programs that I never worked with before, did things I've never done before. The beauty of learning is that that's what it's all about.

God is still good.

Be Blessed
GretaMichelle

Friday, December 3, 2010

Countdown!

I'm counting down the days to the end of finals for this semester. Only three more to go then I get to go back to working on my own stuff: my paints, my compositions.
Countdown with me!
Be blessed,
GretaMichelle

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Learning

It's always important to open yourself up to new opportunities to learn. In the middle of preparing for finals, I found myself having to attend a workshop dealing with integrating technology into the schools. Important subject yes, but not in the middle of finals and not when the workload is so heavy and intense. (Remind me to show you all the interesting and challenging activities from this semester). Anyway I went and was reminded that for everything you learn there is something else to be learnt.

Learning can be such an enjoyable experience if we allow ourselves to do so.

Be blessed,

GretaMichelle

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tales of the Brush

Beached
12x16, oil on canvas

Every painting has a story behind it. Some memory that forever links the artist to the piece; no matter how far away it travels. This one is no different. I started this painting as a 5x7 sketch on Grand Chemin beach one Sunny Sunday afternoon. The boat was all alone, almost on the sand, water sluggishly lapping around it. I became ill and had to stop. Even though my husband held an umbrella over my head, the sun was punishing me for presuming to paint on its beach.
Passed out when I got to the car. had to get water on my face and Limacol and all that drama. My one concern though was that I did not get enough time to finish my sketch. I did get enough info in the 10 minutes I was there to take home and complete on a bigger canvas.
I enjoy every painting experience; even the not so good ones. I also enjoy sharing them with you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to the Waterfront




the Breakfast Shed on the Waterfront
12x24 oil on panel
The day started out just right for a painting session on the Waterfront. It was meant to be an entire day of painting. Not only did I want to capture the Breakfast Shed, one of Port of Spain's famous eating spots, I also wanted to capture the sunset from that location. It promised to be spectaular.
This is as far as I got before the rains came and drenched me and the panel I was using. Had to run for cover. Will use the photos and this start to complete this work. Also plan to return for my sunset painting.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

President's House Completed!

View of President's House
11x14, oil on canvas
Available
Finally finished the painting of President's House that I did a sketch of three weeks ago. Procrastinated some I know but it's done. Onward to the next challenge.

Plein Aire on the waterfront

On the Waterfront,
12x16 oil on canvas
Available

Went out today to paint on the waterfront in the capital Port of Spain. The rains threatened but held off in difference to fellow artist Marsha Trepte and me. Was able to complete this beauty. It was good to be able  to paint out. the weather has been very unpredictable.
This piece is the fourth painting for the month  of August. Yes I know I haven't shown you the others yet but please keep following for peeks at the others.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Plein Aire President's House.

Went out today with fellow artist Beverly Fitzwilliams Harries to paint at President's House. We had to vie for time with the rain but I was able to get enough information down for a larger work before the rain chased us away.
President's House has a really nice garden and the house has lovely architectural features. Those of you who enjoy painting flowers and garden scenes would do well to visit. It's a really beautiful place for painting subjects.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 3

Sunset Sunday
Artisan oils, 16x23
Day three took a while. Life got in the way a little bit. However, for those of you who have been following along, here it is!
The painting is more or less finished. Just a few little touches to add  to the trees and of course sign my name. I made a few changes. I took out the street light that was in the foreground and some other little things. I was determined not to keep to the picture that was taken out so I more or less ignored it. I was able to create some sense of cloud movement in the sky yet maintain that peaceful Sunday evening sunset feel.
Artisan oils have gotten a new fan I think.

Rejoice with me for God is good!

It all paid off in the end.

The first two semesters of my adult scholastic pursuit ( My reading for my fine art degree) were tough. From wondering if I would get time off to go to class, to wondering if I'd get all my assignments done in addition to all my responsibilities at work and home, to no sleep and frustration, to doubt: "Did I do the right thing? Am I biting off way more than I can stomach?" The list of qualms were endless and are by no means over since this was only the first year.
But I can rejoice.
 I can rejoice in the family I have. A husband who supports me in all my journeying; artistic and otherwise so he sleeps on the couch to make sure I have company while I work. And works out the  calculations since he knows I'm lousy with maths and measurements.




A daughter who in her youth probably doesn't get why mom needs to go back to school since she's already done this but will still make the trek to class with me and sit through it all and even get involved in my work and enjoy a few of my classes; once she gets a sub out of it.
I can rejoice in the fact that God worked it all out so that I could go to classes and still be at work and thereby satisfy both my lecturers and my employers

I can rejoice in getting my assignments done. Every sleepless night, every wire scratch, every time the plaster mould refused to work, every line of calligraphy I had to write for my storybook or do the illustrations,

or spend an entire semester drawing; an exercise that I'm not natural at but have come to respect as an integral part of the creative process. 
It all paid off in the end.














I thank God for the  3 A.s  and the lone B+ He was and is the One responsible for them all. So REJOICE WITH ME!
Onward to year two!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

While the Paint Dries

Since my Sunset Sunday is doing the let the paint dry I decided to work on my painting of Natasha. Just to refresh your memory I'm putting a link back to the first sketch here.
I learnt to draw the human face by first getting the oval for the head and then measuring using 'head' measurements where to put the eyes, nose, mouth and ears. The wonderful thing about art though is that it allows you to experiment and find other ways of doing things so I started with the eyes this time and left the contour of the head for last.
I tried to capture more than anything, the atitude of the pose as well as some likeness. Hopefully I did that.





Natasha
oil on canvas panel
11x16

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day 2

Day 2 sees some movement. After letting it sit one whole day; a day in which I had to almost tie myself down to stop from working on it, I have added some more definition to my clouds, house and foreground. I tried to work on each area at the same time to create a cohesive piece. The large tree and bush shape on the right will be further modified so that it doesn't look like that big dark mass.
The sky and clouds are coming together quite nicely. Will go back and do a little more work since I want to show some movement in the clouds at this point, but not much since I want to maintain the freshness of the colours.
My pallete as usual is limited. I am using the primaries: cadmium red hue, cadmium yellow hue, ultramarine blue plus viridian and titanium white. I enjoy mixing my colours to create the variety seen on the canvas. I especially enjoy creating the neutrals and finding new ways to get a neutral.
Glad you're along for the ride. Look out for day 3.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sunset Sunday Day 1

Just got my new paints. Winsor Newton Artisan Oils so I'm experimenting with water miscible oils. And what better way to experiment than doing a sunset.
I took some photos on the highway on the way home one Sunday evening. The sky was beautiful and awash with colour, There were some houses in the distance enshrouded by trees and shadows and  some lights that just called to you. I must admit that these days I find myself fascinated by night scenes; the almost monochromatic nature of it; yet when one looks closely there's so much going on in terms of colour and drama. I want to capture that drama here.
This is the start. I toned my canvas with a mix of umber, alizarin and Utrecht cadmium yellow hue using acrylic paints.
When that was dry I then thinned out the oils using the linseed and a little water, then proceeded to block in my large shapes and also put in the various values and colour notes. I'm going to let this dry and then start building up my composition.
Stay posted for day 2.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Closed Doors are not the End!!

Moonglow
24x12, oil on panel

I submitted this painting to an art gallery who had sent out invitations to their first mid-summer exhibition. They were seeking to introduce new artists to their gallery. I had hoped to be included in that slate since I am trying to establish myself as a professional artist. Unfortunately, they called to say that it wasn't accepted.

 This started a whole host of questioning in my mind. What caused it not to be accepted? Was it the wrong choice of pieces? Was it that it wasn't good enough? Am I just wasting my time and efforts trying to establish myself in such an iffy industry? I got to say I felt not a little trapped. I felt like all my efforts to move forward were being handicapped by forces beyond my control. A little melodramatic perhaps but there it was.
How do you deal with the rejection? How do you deal with the experience of trying to move when you feel as though you are stuck?

Well I don't know what your experience is like but I can tell you what I did. Tears of frustration with my situation were shed then I squared my shoulders and looked forward toward the next opportunity. I chalked this one up to experience; the experience of remembering that nothing worthwhile is easily gained afterall Monet was on the brink of utter bankruptcy, Van Gogh died a pauper. That one may not be a good example I know, but the moral is they didn't give up on their dream of creating art and neither should I
Neither should you give up on something you are passionate about. So hold fast and look toward the sky. As the song says "Stand like the brave with thy face to the foe"

Sunday, June 13, 2010

New Work

Safiya Walking through the Woods
11x14, oil on canvas panel

North Manzanilla is an area in my island home that presents many beautiful painting opportunities. It is still to some extent untouched and so is still unpolluted and fresh.
This is what we discovered when we went hiking there a few weekends ago. The rains had fallen so everything was bathed in water and the sun peeking through overhead. The air was quiet and subdued, the greens appeared greener and the air fresher. And as Safiya walked through the woods I felt drawn to the wildness and quiet of the morning.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Almost There

Progress is being made! I am far from finished since I am relying more on my memory and knowledge of colour harmonies than the photos I took on that rainy morning. It is slow and frustrating having to stop to go to work and do other things when I'd prefer to be painting but I will finish this weekend.

 I am enjoying the process and the testing of my memory of how primal yet so serene that rainy morning was.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finish

Boats in the Mayaro morning Mist


Revisiting an old canvas that I started plein aire at the beginning of 2009 but was unable to finish.  Decided to finish it now. Sort of symbolic of the direction I really want to go in where I don't make excuses for missed opportunites that I have talked myself out of because of fear of rejection and failure.

 The irony is that besides the fact that I now will never know if I would have failed or not, I rejected myself by not taking up the challenge. So now here  I am standing at a cross roads the potential for success or failure staring me in the face. It's sink or swim time and I want to swim. So i'm going to work on the old canvas and make it new the way it was meant to be; finish what I started then move on.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Cloudy Morning (WIP)

Made some changes- well a lot of changes. I scraped down the canvas and started over. I felt that I had overworked the canvas while trying  to achieve the desired effect. So instead of having fresh, vibrant colour I had mud.

Here is the scraped down canvas. Even scraped down there are some interesting things going on here.
The new start has more movement in the clouds and less sharper edges.


I have built up the values that I want and still kept the movement; especially in the small clouds underneath Reminded me of some alien flooring.
This is where we are right now. At this point I pause to give the paint some time to dry so that I don't
overwork and muddy the colours. Again. When it's a little drier I'll start to add some depth to the colours. I am satisfied so far and should be finished with this by tomorrow.

Detail (of brush strokes)


In the meantime I'm going to start on the second piece. See you later.


Oh ...Your feedback is important so...
  REMEMBER TO COMMENT! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Cloudy Morning (WIP)




Went turtle watch on Saturday night. Ended up hiking and sleeping over under a tarp surrounded by walls made of coconut leaves. Of course, saw no turtles.
It rained so I didn't even get to paint. Not Happy about that. What I am happy about though is that when I got up the next morning The sky treated me to a rainy weather sunrise show. Since I couldn't paint I opted for photos and that's what the next few paintings will be from.

This is the start. I'm working with oils. I have layered on the colours with glazes; just to get a feel for where the major shapes are. I'm working from a limited palette: the primaries plus white and umber.





Not quite satisfied with the grey I got in the largest shape so will be doing some tweaking there. Stay tuned.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Natasha 1st Sketch

Getting my feet wet again after such a long time away from the brush by painting my cousin Natasha. she really is a striking beauty and when I saw the picture I just wanted to paint her. My experience with portraits is limited to myself but there was sometihing about the way the light hit her face that just called to me so here I am.

The first sketch is done with Derwent drawing pencils I just love the buttery texture of them. From here I can work out any technical issues like the slight twist to her mouth and the correct proportion to her jaw, etc.
I also decided to sketch first since I haven't decided what paint I will use yet; whether watercolour, oils or pastels so from here I can experiment; play around with each.
It's so good to be painting again.

Friday, May 14, 2010

End of Year One


This is the cover for my storybook. I really enjoyed doing it as part of the Visual Arts and communication course. The story takes a look at one aspect of our folklore tradition, based on my memories of time spent with my grandmother in the countryside.
The course definitely shoved me out of my comfort zone, since I do not consider my talents to lie in the area of design and illustrating; basically graphics. But some aspects, like the storybook was a win win since I love to write.
Looking forward to what next semester will bring as I forge ahead to attain my degree. I dreamt of studying art for so long and even though it's not where I wanted to study I am making the most of it and having a good time along the way.
Thank you Lord for taking me through year one (by faith) successfully.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tiles and an End to the First Year!

Working on the initial design which was inspired by sea weed that I saw floating in the mangrove.
Played around with the picture of the seaweed on photoshop. This chromed effect caught my eye.

Here is one of the moulds I made using the plaster of Paris
Here is the other

Final designs. I used coloured cement to make the final products. I sought to create a measure of continuity with the colours as well as with some of the lines. Two different designs but still a sense of harmony.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs Everywhere!

Dragonfly! This one's mine.

As part of our final evaluation for Three-dimensional Design, we invaded the main quad at  UWI (the University of the West Indies, St Augustine) Imagine the other students shock when they came out of exams on Monday to find the quad had been invaded by bugs of all description. We had to install them so as to get optimum exposure for them. This is just a little sample of the bugs on display.


There were some bugs I didn't recognise.
He stole the show.
A panoramic view of bug invasion
Here is dead bee.

This is the culprit (He's not really a culprit) here who gave us this assignment. See him there in his orange tee-shirt. Close to the dead German roach.
Locusts were there
and jack spaniards.


 This guy was a cutie.
This one was only trying to crawl up everything.

Some students admiring the installation
Palance!
All in all it was a fun and interesting and challenging assignment. We worked with some materials we had never worked with, experimented with those we had so we could use them in a different way, learnt some new techniques, nursed all our cuts and bruises from the mesh wire and knippers. Basically, had a blast.
Onward to the tiles!
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