Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog. It's a journal of sorts. It gives me a place to show my work-in-progress for my painting and photography. Comments are welcome --- add one at the end of an entry or email me at BarbBlumer@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Makeup Paintings: My Second One

16 x 20"

Here is the second painting I made using eye shadow.  It will be interesting to see what people think.

Name suggestions are welcome.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Make-Up Paintings (Painted with Eye Shadow)

Painted with Eye Shadow Make-Up

Switching gears now away from posting iPaintings and on to other work I have been doing.

As background, I returned from Japan very inspired and open to trying new things.  For example, I signed up for a pottery class so I could learn to throw a pot. (Japan has amazing ceramics.)

But I also wanted (and needed)  to return to my old routine, which includes oil painting on Mondays with Lin. 

I was very rusty and out-of-practice, not having painted anything since early October.  Once you stop, you begin to doubt whether you can do it again.  Artist's block, fear, call it what you will. 

To chase away the demons, I decided I needed to warm-up by doing something completely different, and out of the box, so that I couldn't have any preconceived notions for how I should paint.

The morning before our painting session, I happened to clean out my make-up kit,  and I realized that here was the answer! Three pots of powder eye shadow, two grays and one warm brown. 

They were going in the trash anyway, so why not paint with them!

I dug out watercolor paper, my water color brushes, and some photo references from my box of ideas.

Armed with enthusiasm, I went over to Lin's and convinced her we should try this.  What the heck, if it didn't work, we could throw it all away.

A few hours later, we both had interesting paintings and were smiling!

I liked doing it so much, I made another painting the following Monday which I will post it tomorrow.

16 x 20 including the size of the frame

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

iPaintings: Longitude and Latitude

Longitude and Latitude

Monday, December 12, 2011

iPaintings: Topography II

Topography II


Sunday, December 11, 2011

iPaintings: Topography



Saturday, December 10, 2011

iPaintings: Feathers



Friday, December 9, 2011

iPaintings: Untitled



Thursday, December 8, 2011

iPaintings: Turning Red

I worked on this iPainting in August at the lake.  And I am glad I saved it along the way.   I think I like the second one better than the other two.

Purple and Yellow

Turning Red


It has been a good exercise to look back on my work in the gallery of ArtRage.  

This one was done last August at the lake, without actual fruit, just ones I made up.

I  "saved"  along the way.   Now I think I like the second version better than the other two.

I am keeping some of the work, because I like elements of them, not the finished result. 

In this case, I like how I used the roller tool to add patches of color to the fruit.  (This review has also made me appreciate the roller tool!)

Overall, this painting is lacking in weight.  The values of the color are too close together.  If I did it over again, I would darken the shadows, and connect the fruits' shadows to the shadows under them, among other things. 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

iPaintings: Square Girl

Square Girl

A potential protagonist for a children's story.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

iPainting: Lucky Wish

Lucky Wish

Here's another way I have used the roller feature in ArtRage.  I made this iPainting around the time when I was fooling around with visually changing the spatial reality, as in my iPainting,  Coffee
It reminds me of making a wish when you visit a temple, or the beginning of a good children's story or fable.


Monday, December 5, 2011

iPaintings: Pink Ribbons

Pink Ribbons

She started out as a sad green face, more or less an experiment because ArtRage had added some new textures for backgrounds.

 A sad face
became a girl

with an odd eyebrow

and then pink ribbons

with green hair (and a softer face).

I haven't been able to delete her from my sketch book, so she must mean something to me. 


Sunday, December 4, 2011

iPaintings: Tower


Another iPainting done with the roller feature. 


Saturday, December 3, 2011

iPaintings: Taking a Ride

Taking a Ride

I have been wanting to revisit the technique I used for the New York City (NYC) iPainting (shown below).  I use the roller tool in ArtRage but the result reminds me of torn paper collages.

An imaginary giraffe came to mind, probably due to our visit to the San Antonio zoo with our nieces.  I chose to add a figure, to see how I might go about creating one, in this style. 



Friday, December 2, 2011

iPaintings: Samurai


Influenced by our recent trip to Japan.  I didn't start out to make a Japanese figure, but he emerged when I made the black strokes that must have reminded me of something I saw while we were there.  There is so much in our subconscious waiting to be awakened. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

iPaintings: Untitled

Thought I'd post the iPaintings I have done over the last few weeks while we have been traveling and busy with family. 

This first one was completed in the Detroit airport during our layover to San Antonio.   Any suggestions for a title?


Thursday, November 17, 2011

"The Princess and The Pea" Oil Painting

"The Princess and The Pea"
11 3/4" x 13"  Oil on Panel

Just framed the final version of "Pumpkin on a Pillow" and named it "The Princess and The Pea."  I will be dropping it off at West End Gallery later today for their opening on Friday night, 5 to 7:30.  West End Gallery has a new website, too.  Check it out.  www.westendgallery.net.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Japan Trip - Takeo Takemasa Exhibit

We recently returned from a two week vacation in Japan.  (Don't worry, we were far away from the nuclear reactor fallout.) We really enjoyed our experience -- the scenery, the people, their history, the food, the gardens, the art, the ceramics, the trains, etc.  I came back very inspired.
Ticket and Flyer for Takeo's Exhibit at the Daimaru Museum Exhibit

One of the purposes of our trip was to see Takeo Takemasa's art exhibit in Kyoto.  He is a master glass engraver and we are lucky to have as our next-door-neighbor back home, here in Corning. 

It was a rare opportunity to see his 35 pieces of his work, created over the last 20 years.  Most of his collectors are in Japan. Few people from Corning -- I think we were the first -- to have seen an exhibit of his work.

It was amazing!  And the visitors were truly excited to see the work. 
Each piece was shown in an individual case, lit from above, so you could walk around and around the piece to view it from all angles. 

Some of the pieces are quite tall.  Most of them are multiple pieces of glass which fit together in clever combinations.

All are exquisitely engraved.

The glass is ultra pure, ultra clear, and highly polished which showcases his beautiful tonal engravings.

 The glass shape, size and arrangement is as important to design as is the engraving.

An overview, written by David Whitehouse of Corning Museum of Glass, was presented, shown here in English but also in Japanese.

In addition, some of his drawings for the pieces were shown.

Here is a drawing for the piece featured on the ticket.

And here is the actual piece.

Takeo also created  a video of his process and studio. It showed Corning Market Street, the Corning Museum of Glass, his studio, his home, and even our street. 

 A companion 120 page book, featuring all of his work was created for the exhibit. 

(I made the portrait of him for it.)

He signed the book for us.

Takeo is a celebrity! He was being interviewed for newspapers while we were there, and will be doing features with other master artists on television. The exhibit will travel from Kyoto to two more cities before he returns home to Corning in December.


Monday, November 7, 2011

"Field of Dreams" Oil Painting

"Field of Dreams"
8 x 10 Oil on Masonite

Put this painting in the mail today. I used a warm silver frame which I ordered from JFM Enterprises that is new to me. The wider frame makes an 8 x 10 look bigger, which is a good thing. The finished size is about 16 x 19.


Monday, October 17, 2011

"Catching Rays" Oil Painting

Catching Rays
8 x 10 Oil on Panel

Finished and framed another painting from the grid yesterday.  David chose this one.  I painted it from a B&W photo I took with my film camera many years ago.  As a result, I had to create my own colors, since I did not have a reference. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin on Pillow -- Almost Finished

Almost Finished - Week 5
approx. 12 x 13 Oil on Masonite
Pumpkin on Pillow

Today I liquined the pumpkin painting to see what I painted last Tuesday night in Marc Rubin's class.   Liquin (or varnish) brings back the color and vibrancy.  Oils go flat and change value when they dry.

Marc added a 5th week to give us a chance to critique our work and then fine tune it one last time.  The critique of each other's work was one of the most valuable aspects of the class so far.  It was fascinating (and inspiring) to see how everyone chose such different approaches to the same subject, and to get advice from each other. 

In my case, I decided to add a shelf for the pillow to sit on instead of leaving that part of the painting so vague.  Also, I  cleaned up the background where I got orange mixed into the gray, and really worked on the highlight (where the brightest light hits the surface of the pumpkin).

I am pretty happy with where I ended up.  They only things I want to change now are 1) the stem, which I can do from my week 4 photo.  (I messed it up trying to put a highlight on it --  lost my place, but  I think I can get it back) and 2) straighten the shelf.   Then, I will feel I learned as much as I can from this painting.

Week 4

Week 3
Week 2

Week 1
Marc's class will be starting a new still life next Tuesday. It will be pears, a much smaller size (10 x 8), and last only 2 weeks.   I won't be able to join them.  But, I encourage anyone who wants to see Marc's technique to try out the class. You could learn a lot in just 2 weeks. 171 Cedar Arts now allows you to buy drop-in passes for classes. 


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Pumpkin on Pillow Painting - Week 3

Pumpkin on Pillow Painting - In Progress
Week 3

I will be going to Marc Rubin's class tonight for the 4th Tuesday (and the last time) for the pumpkin painting.  So, I thought I'd assess where I am after three classes.

I am satisfied with the look and feel of the pillow. And my colors. But I continue to struggle with how to render the pumpkin.  I pretty much feel like I am at the same place as I was at Week 2.  I spent most of last week's session on it and ended up in the same place as I started. 

Week 1 - painting with lots of turp, directly on the masonite

Week 2 - oils only (no turp or liquin) -
we painted the background, corrected our initial drawings and started to develop the pumpkin and pillow

Week 3 - Trying to render the pumpkin and make the pillow look soft. 
Marc paints much thinner and more carefully than I do.  He takes his time and enjoys the process of studying every bit of the still life. Looking, looking, looking.  Tonight I am going to try to zone in on exactly what I see, like he does, and hope if I can make a breakthrough.