Saturday, December 29, 2012

A bit different from my Norm.

"Is She?"
Acrylics & Mixed media
on Birch cradled Panel
20" X 20"

This has been a long work, firstly because my eyes are still not fixed, and secondly because I am treading in uncharted waters with the mixed media applications here.

Initially I was roaming on line looking at different Art blogs that centered on Mixed media.
I happened to see a work that is somewhat similar to my end result, but by following the instructions the Artist gave was able to replicate the illusion of a cliff reaching out to the sky.
Like it was floating on another world.

What I did find very interesting was the way one could make the bottomside of the cliff look realistic.
It was done by molding stones/rocks out of polymer clay. and affixing them to the painting to emulate what the underside of a cliff might seem to look like.

Having no polymer clay, I improvised using light molding paste, and after shaping the rocks, I dried them on Parchment paper.
(Note:  The rocks as such did not fully dry until about four days had passed )

But, being impatient, I affixed them with Heavy gel, and worked carefully around them in the soft stage.
I sprinkled some Cat litter on the cliff and painted over that.
(the look of gravel and dirt.)
Then (again improvising) I coloured some tar gel a deep Jenkins green, inserted the gel into a large syringe and squirted the gel in random patterns as if it were roots growing down.I let it all dry for a couple of days and started painting in the bottomside of the cliff.
I started with a Bronze metallic paint, and wiped a lot of it off leaving highlights.
I let that dry for a day.
In turn I applied Reds/Ochres/Greens and Yellows again, letting each colour dry between applications.
Finally I applied a Green/Gold atop everything wiped it off randomly and was ready for the last step.
I used Gold interference paint and lightly brushed that on let it dry a bit and using a damp soft cloth wiped the most part of that of....The Stones now had a sheen.

Then to the top.
I created an edge to the cliff on both sides with heavy gel mixed with molding paste.
The sky texture was created by using molding paste and a long Palette knife stroked across the Panel with long right to left strokes in a random manner.
Nothing was smoothed out.
I knew I was going to insert a figure so I left the area behind that relatively smooth.
I went to Pose Maniacs and searched for a nude female image that "said" what I wanted.
I downloaded it, and re painted it on  paper, transferred it to my computer and reprinted it on photographic paper.
I cut her out with an exacto knife, and affixed her to the panel.
Then I started painting a somewhat sheer robe on her (again) with the "wind" blowing it from right to left.
My initial wash paint of the robe was done in interference paint (a mauve hue)
I then used Zinc white for the initial stages of the robe and let the washes dry between applications.
The interference paint shined through the Zinc white giving the robe depth.
Eventually just a hint of the nude body behind the robe was showing and the whole effect was quite pleasing.
There was a lot of "Movement" to her robe.

Initially I placed a "moon" in bas-relief in the upper right corner of the painting, but it did not work, so I removed that recovered the area with molding paste and painted in a smaller moon in white.  I edged the right side with Yellow as if a Sun was hitting it and worked in Silver interference paint around the left side.  The end result was much more pleasing.
Back to the cliff bottom.
I used a #0000 rigger brush dipped in a dark brown wash and lightly painted in the roots emerging out the bottom of the cliff, often following the gelled roots down to the edge.
I highlighted a lot of the roots in the cliff in the same way and achieved a consistent look to them.
On the advise of a good friend, I darkened the bottom of the cliff somewhat and touched up the top area where she is standing with highlights.

I darkened the bottom and Changed the moon/planet.
The end result is at the top of this blog.
And she was done.
I am pleased that I came across the blog with the directions on how to achieve this effect!
One problem, somehow I have lost the link to the artist and her blog, so if it is you, please let me know and I will link to your initial instructions.
I Am very grateful for your help with this.

Comments and critiques are always welcome.
(If you are not a member of Blogger just insert your name into your comment and I will post it as such, Thanks)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Just a short explanation re my absense.....

I apologise for the absence here recently.
I have been having a bit of a time with my eyes as of late and the problem 
seems to be that I have developed Cataracts on both eyes.
While they have not been a problem up until now, I am beginning to experience
difficulty with my abilities to decipher close-up images.

So, while I will not be painting for a bit, I will try to maintain my blog with reports on my fellow Artists works.
As we all know Surgery re this affliction is very successful in this Modern day and age.
I have no fears, and look forward to painting again once the surgery is complete.
'Till then, let us celebrate artists that I so admire.
Thanks everyone.

Friday, October 26, 2012

"A True Artist of the North" More photos added.

"Camp Nanuk"

 Every once in a while we happen to meet someone so special that they constantly interact with what is good and nice in us.
As artists,  Diane Riley I have have started a page on Facebook for the artist to  exchange ideas. This site is without the political influences that are so common in the very large sites.
The artists involved in this site have no particular Genre of art but it is amazing at the diversity of the group.

"Mother with cubs"

One of our group....Kelsey an artist with great talent.
He is very involved with Dog sled racing, Polar Bears and lives in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada during 
"Bear Season".
Otherwise he lives in the Yukon
on the highway that leads travelers/tourists into Whitehorse, in the Yukon, Canadas true North.
There he  managing his Art studio
 (The Outhouse Gallery)

Kelseys art for the most part, depicts the Wildlife and Peoples in the North of Canada with a unique style and great sensitivity.
Kelseys Art is vibrant and full of life.
He paints in colours so vivid they  are a strong contrast to what the average person thinks
The North is like.

"Gold Rush"

Kelsey also has a  has a blog.
A blog about Churchill, Manitoba,Canada and its' interaction with Polar Bears during "The Season"
When the bears come on land to mate, and give birth before they head back on to the ice flows.
The insight that Kelsey gives us about living in an area that is famous for Polar Bears is eye-opening and very down to Earth.
 He tells us about how the bears are air-lifted to "jail" tagged, and marked to be released when the Ice forms.....quite often by air to a destination far away.

Kelsey tells us about "Dancer" a well known (Bear) visitor to Churchill and his antics.....seems Dancer is a kind of Icon in the area.


I urge you to check out not only his art, but his blogs. 
In them he will give you a realistic point of view
of life in the far North today.  
The unique problems faced by those who live with the bears, 
a tongue in cheek look at how the "Outsiders" opinions on the area usually differs from those of the residents.

Kelseys art:
To follow this blog and the wonderful writings of Kelsey Eliasson follow this link, you will not be disappointed.
Seasonal blog on Facebook: 85967-kathleen_sauerbrei-7cfc0cf460945bb161b27c580a229bdb

A couple of photos from Kelseys Blog;
 The infamous "Dancer"

Curiosity is Quite normal with these bears.
Everything and everyone is fair game to them.

A series of photos showing just who is in charge here.
I sure would not want to tangle with this bear.

All comments and observations welcome.  Please identify yourself if you are not a member of Blogger, so I can post your message.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Old favorites, New ways of looking at them

A few years ago, I had a friend that went to Japan and explored.
While there on a sort of Pilgrimage he took some wonderful photos of what impressed him about the serenity of the countryside.
I have three favorite paintings I had done  from these photos.
One of a hot spring, the second a series of ponds feeding off a Hot spring and the other of a set of stairs carved all the way up a mountainside to a Shrine at the top.
While all three are wildly different in colour/subject  and style, they are such favorites of mine, that I have never parted with them.

"Falling Water"
18" X 24"
Acrylics on canvas.
(My very first attempt to paint water)


"Steps of Miijima"
Acrylics on canvas
(My first attempt to paint depth without a horizon)


"Ponds  of the Enlightened Spring"
Acrylics and Mixed media
24" X 24"
(My first attempt with using molding paste (stones & rocks) to create definition)

I hope you enjoy these paintings, as each was in some way a new ground achieved in my learning to paint process.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Creating art from different angles.

 A few years back I painted a Calla lily.
It was a special painting, as I had never painted a flower with such detail.
Fortunately for me, and a lot of revisions I finally got it right.
Any flower I have painted since, I have liked but never as much as the gorgeous white Lily.
It has been my Pride & Joy.
It is Painted in Acrylics
on canvas 
12" X 24"

Recently I had a chance to see a bouquet of Calla Lilies and in looking at them I realized that the beauty and simplistic form of this flower formed a perfect spiral when I gazed at it from above.
At first I thought That nobody would know what I was painting.
But then as I gazed at my work in progress I realized that it was so obviously a flower.
A delicate exquisite flower.

Here is the Finished painting.
Acrylics on Birch Panel
20" X 20"
"Lily Rising"

Detail of the flower center;

I hope you like it.
This was a real challenge to me, 
but, in all I think it turned out quite well.

Comments and critiques are welcome.
Later all

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Photographers and those Darned interlopers!

I take a lot of photos, a lot of them.
I see a cloud that appeals to me I take a photo.
I see a kitten in a very cute position and I take a photo.
I take photos to use as references for my Painting, many many of them.
Some I post on Facebook, some I post here on my blog and some I just keep for 
references to my Painting.

But, I have never ever called myself a photographer.
I have never claimed to know what all the accessories on my Little Powershot A480 are for,
and personally I do not care.

The other day a "Professional" photographer snidely made the comment that
"You are not a Photographer, and never will be!"
I asked her what prompted that accusation and her reply was.....
"You post photos all the time...."

Of course I do, and I am not about to stop.
I have photos of my grandsons, the animals about our home, the landscape around my home and of course
the skies.

But, as well, I photograph a lot of my own art so as to post it here and elsewhere.
Nope not as a professional.....That is for the Gallery owners to have done.
They know the specific people that are incredible in bringing out the colours on my canvas'.

In the world of Photoshop/Gimp and many others,  lies the problem.
Yep those darned  non -professional people that use these programs are stealing work
 from out of professionals mouths.

Ansel Adams had his own technique and perfected it.
So has Annie Leibovitz.
And many others,
Karsh is a very good example as well.
Do you honestly think that any person would assume that they could do better?
(Not being a pro, that is.)
I doubt it!

The people that do these things are having fun.
They are playing around with a camera and a computer program that when combined
usually end up as a neat picture.
They are playing around with toys and having a ball doing it.

So, if you are offended that I did not bring my Canvas to you (as a professional) to record for posterity so be it!

If you do not like a (Lucky) shot of my grandson that turned out wonderfully, I still refuse to apologize.
If you work hard, and take wonderful portraits, good for you.
I think it is about time for you to check your ego at the door and see random shots
(manipulated or otherwise)
as a different way of making it work for different people.
I am sure you have never used any type of photoshopping program in your art, 
because you are a Professional.

Art in any form should never be considered elitist.
Grow confidence in your own talents and stop worrying about what others do.
Be proud of your work.
Be so proud that those darn interlopers just do not matter.
Stop wasting your time ranting and do your own thing without a care in the world.

They have their world and you, yours.

Later all

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Guilded Tiger Work in Progress Finished.

12" X12"
Acrylics and Gold
on canvas

Part I
The beginning:

As most of those of you know, I love incorporating Metal Leaf
Gold/silver/copper and any other bling into my art.
To achieve this without loosing the integrity of the painting is not always easy.

Too much in the wrong place, and it looses what I call dignity.
Metals work wonderfully in Abstracts.
You can shape and form them and enhance it with paint.
But to do an actual painting incorporating (In this case) Copper  leaf is very hard.
That is what I am now trying to do.
I will document my progress here, and if the finished work looks good 
(meaning not tacky!),
I will keep it, otherwise into the burn barrel and off with it!
I started out with a sketch of a Tiger in the snow behind a stand of trees
Blocked out everything but the animal and gilded it.
It then looked like this.....
This photo was taken @ night so it is darker and less representative of the actual appearance.
Being that it is all I have of this stage I have to use it.

Part II
I then (with the help from Goldens tech service), painted a full layer of Gac200 over the whole canvas.
Then waited two days for 
it to dry fully.
(Insert twiddling thumbs and checking "it"  fingerprints on the canvas here)
The Gac200 provided  a base for paint to adhere to when I painted the stripes on the Animal.
(Metal leaf is not the best substrate for Acrylics.)
I ended up at this stage:
This is a pretty good indication of what the actual painting looks like now.

Part III

Now I am going to paint in the rest of the canvas.....
Not in snow as originally intended but in a forest like setting.
I have to paint the underbelly and features of the tiger in a cream.
With advise and suggestions from Diane, I will use interference paint mixed with my cream base.
(Thanks "Dee")
So, for now that is it, I should be finished blocking in the greenery tonight.
Wish me luck.

Well, I coloured the background in a mottled dark  and light green....This way I will have complete coverage when I begin painting in the foliage.
Looks kinda strange, but it will really make a difference.
This will give you an idea of where this is going.
Now for the detail painting, probably the tree trunks first.

Part IV

Well, here we go again, seems this painting is taking more time drying than in painting :).
I am now going to work in the tree trunks (Birch) and begin to lighten them and detail them before I work in the foliage.
So be patient with me as I watch the paint dry.
(Never a fun thing to do at the best of times)
"till the next up-date
Hi all, been a while, but have been working painstaking on the tree trunks.They are such an integral part of the painting that they have to be realistic.
Here is where I am at now, I will get the tree trunks done to this point, and then shade/highlight them all at the same time.
Hope you see this (so far) as a positive move.
Remember clicking on the picture gives an enlarged view.
Comment/Critiquess most welcome

Part V

Well, a slow process, but productive, I have all the trees roughed in and am now working on the foreground.
From this point on I will be attempting to refine the painting with the details to make it look like the Tiger is just viewed quickly as it silently moves through the trees and brush.
I will add rocks to the lower Left and foilage to the lower left, the trees will have to be finished and the complete background reworked.
so the real work begins now.

Part VI

Finally done, this was a very hard painting to do.  The problems the metal leaf (Copper) Posed were quite unique.
I had to place the leaf on the shape and then cover the gilding with Gac100 (Goldens) so I could paint on the stripes.
Yesterday I got to the final stages of the greenery in the foreground, and completed that!
Here is a detail photo of part of  that section;

The end result has a slight mist lowering down over the Cat as it moves Stealthily through the Birch Trees.

Acrylics & mixed media on canvas
12" X 12"

Thanks for following the composition and creation of this work.
I appreciate all of your input.
Comments & Critiques always welcome.
If you are not a member of Blogger just sign your name so I can approve the post.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Only one way to Fly! (Up-dated with much better photos)

In my world there are degrees of excellence.
Many people perform similar tasks, and while I will assume that they all are good at what they do, some of them require much more skill, while sharing the same title with others.
For the past few days I have been watching the Crop Dusters.
Amazing Pilots that fly unbelievably close to the ground dusting the fields with stuff that cleans out weeds/makes the grain grow better.
These pilots are exceptional and methodical. 
Once they begin a field they follow a basic grid until the whole field is dusted.
They soar, they turn they fly close to the ground, and are absolutely a joy to watch.
These pilots are Masters.
Nope, they do not get into an automated/computerized cockpit that basically plots routes and heights for them.
They do not sit in comfy seats and relax while up in the air.
These men "FLY!"
In these four photos I have captured the pilot flying from East to West.
I am standing on our rear deck, facing East,
which is about 25 feel above ground level.
The haze in the one photo was because I was shooting into the morning Sun.

In position

cresting the hill

Over the hill and down to the edge of the crop
Turn around for the next pass.

They are in these planes from dawn to dusk landing to refuel and off they go again.
If I was asked who was the better Pilot, I would not hesitate with my answer.
Flying a Jumbo Jet/SST takes skill.
But being a bush Pilot/Crop Duster takes uncommon skill.
It takes "Seat of the pants" know-how, and it takes a keen mind that is always aware.

In all of life we face degrees of excellence between those that are titled with the same name.
Some produce as is expected, and others allow their minds to become active and expand.
To my way of thinking the second lot are artists in their own right.
They are independent thinkers. they face problems head on and make decisions based on what is happening at this moment.
Not everyone can do this....most of us are not allowed
to think independently in our daily lives.
So, when you see someone that is doing anything that requires independent thought smile, and let them know that you appreciate their dedication to the task at hand.
Their dedication to "Getting it done!"
Later All

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sometimes an idea works....updated and final

The other day I was practicing with Metal leaf on a rather small canvas.
(12" X 18")
Painting over the leaf is hard, unless the surface is prepared to accept colour.
Acrylics (if very watery as I choose to use here) will bead and clump but not stick.  
So I experimented with a variety of colours atop the Gold/Silver & Copper leaf.
I dropped the colour and then inserted other colours inside the larger drops and let it all dry.
When almost dry I sprinkled Gold dust randomly over the semi dry surface.

(New work)

I, was actually pleased with the outcome.  While some thought it could stand alone as it was, I wanted to add a dash of contrasting colour somewhere.
Because the  (now) background suggested a floral garden to me, I felt that maybe a Red Flower would be just the thing to bring this canvas to light.
Maybe a Poppie?
And I remembered....A while back (actually in an earlier post here ) I had painted three Poppies on canvas. 
While removing it from the stretcher bars for shipping, I noticed that somehow a very fine white line ran through the middle of the painting horizontally.
The line was visable only in the darker area, but very visible.
So that sale was off, and the painting stayed rolled up for a couple of years on the shelf. 
I could not bring myself to trash the painting, as I had done some of the finest brush work ever on these flowers.
So there it stayed.

Until last night.
I got the idea, that if I could cut the flowers out of the canvas and somehow superimpose them on 
the new canvas I would have the Red I wanted, the floral I wanted, and save a painting as well.

Now cutting any fine line out of a Canvas is not for the faint of heart.
It shreds, Will not stay in place, and is just about impossible to do.
But I did it.
 (The original painting) 

The next problem was how to affix the cut-out to the canvas, attend the loose threads at the edges 
give it some stiffness and bring it all together.
I decided to make a base with Goldens semi gloss gel, superimpose the cut-out on that,
 let dryand then cut it out again.  
This would give the cut-out some substance and stiffness as well.
I got my trusty pane of glass layered the gel on it, and lightly dropped the cut-our atop it face up.
(Bottom view of the gel process)

Then with a paint brush handle I gently pushed the
Image into the gel so it would adhere to the gel.
And now it is drying.  A long process to be sure, but when dry I will have to trim it again and decide where to go from there.
More to come on this.

( top side of the imposed flowers )

Well I got the Poppies mounted on the gel, cut out (again)
and mounted on the canvas.
I do have a bti of detailing to do on the over-lay, but I can see this work is going to be just what I imagined.
Yes, I guess I can (sometimes) actually follow through on an idea!
I am a happy Artist this morning.
steps below.

 What it looks now!
The overlay is on and looks wonderful.

 you can see the white lines of the edges of the cut-out canvas here, I used a #0000 brush to
paint over the white, and I am pleased.

 Close up of the final work.
Later all
Remember clicking on any photo will enlarge it for better viewing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Night Skies (detail of Moon added)

I love the Night skies.
Here in the Northern section of North America we have beautiful skies.
We have wonderful cloud formations/deep blues and an ever changing vista when we look up to the Heavens.
My favorite, has always been the night skies.
I live just a few minutes from Calgary,Alberta, Canada,
We are still we are in an area where our skies are not marred by the glow from the urban centers.
The Nights here allow one to star gaze, watch the Northern Lights when they dance above us, and to enjoy the ever constant changing blues of the night.
My Latest:
"Night Skies"
Acrylics and mixed media on cradled Birch Panel
20" X 20"

Detail of the glistening snow below

The electricity of the sky amid the "Northern Lights"

Detail of the Moon

Hope you like it.
Comments/critiques always welcome
Later all

Sunday, June 3, 2012

But, then again....Finished:)

For weeks I have been working on a painting that will entail the Northern lights.  They are wonderful and so magical.  Initially I wanted to paint  something that described a wonderful passage from a book I had read, but the Author never answered my request to use her words as an inspiration for the work.
As in totally ignored my request.
Sei la vie.
At least I cared enough to ask permission, where many would not.
No loss though.
So I had to take another look at how I could do it.
I had everything done, Birch Panel prepared and was ready to paint and assemble the work, but something happened to my idea.
It seems that a brush in my hand has it's own idea of what it will do, 
 I started with a wonderful Green hue that had no business on a painting that would depict the night skies.
Then some Molding paste and a template over took me and then some Copper foil, and then Yellow.
A little bit of Silver leaf, and round indentations on opposite sides of the panel.
Yesterday while browsing my computer, I came across a wonderful site named
Paper Street Supplies.

And I saw a couple of pages of Mushrooms and thought immediately of Spores and I bought them.
Making any sense yet?
It did not to me either, but this is a prime example of how some of my paintings actually happen.
I swear, there is something inside of me that takes no direction from any idea I may have,
It makes me produce Art works that are (eventually) pleasing, colourful and balanced in the end.
It is now all coming together now.
I am beginning to see the direction of this work and it, while being rather unusual, is going to come together wonderfully.
I have attached two photos of the actual base for the completed work and when there is more will up-date this post.
Acrylics/Mixed mediums on cradled Birch Panel.
20" X 20"
 The whole Panel
showing the different medias used so far.

A close-up showing the "spores" floating and the use of the molding paste used to get the effect.
Yep, this will eventually embody Mushrooms....
And if you were to ask me how I managed to come up with this idea, I would have to truthfully tell you.....
"I have no idea!"
~~More to come :)
Later all, Kathleen


 I have now applied the Mushroom applique.
I like the contrast in colour and the meaningful way the "spores" relate to the image.
Many touch-ups are needed at this stage so, again, I will up-date this post when finished
Have a good one all

So here is the final work.
All dry and looking wonderful.
Hope you like it!

On to the next one.
Later all

Saturday, May 26, 2012

How it happens

Quite a while back my friend (and fellow Artist) John Roof Posted a photo of himself leaning into a huge blank canvas.
I was taken by the despondency of the image.
I have felt this way so often when facing a new canvas.
"Will it turn out okay?"
"Have I decided on the right colours?"
And then I pick up my brush and begin.
The end result, (for me at least) has very little resemblance to what I had originally planned.
I do not follow plans very well.  I am more of a "Let it happen" kind of artist.The end result of what I paint is always better than I had formerly imagined
(To me at least)

This is the photo that inspired me....

This is what I painted

(If you click on the image it will enlarge,)

It is Acrylics on canvas
12" X 18"
Using a Clear painted Matte gel overlay of the figure of John.
I used Brushes/Pallette Knives
Matt gel/Molding paste.
For the overlay of John I line painted his image on a 1/8" thick
strip of gel
and cut it out.
Once the actual painting was dry, I affixed the gel to it.
It is transparent because we bare our soul and whole self to the world with every work we produce.
Every work of art we produce shines through us.

I tried to convey the lonesomeness all Artists feel when they begin to paint.
What all Artists feel when they reach "the ugly stage"
"Why did I start this, Am I totally crazy?"
The fear when we stop of
"Is it done
is that enough?"
 And somehow the Joy and sense of accomplishment when it is finished.

~~Later all....

Thursday, May 24, 2012

To the Skies and beyond.

I have always been fascinated by the sky.
I have loved following the Stars/Constellations in the night sky since I was a very young girl.
My grandfather taught me who was what in the night sky and how to always find the mythical
Gods represented by the stars. 
I still await the arrival of my friend Orion every Fall, and know that Spring is here when he disappears.
So naturally, in this day and age of Space travel I am a serious watcher of the NASA home page.
And, in particular the Hubble images that are so beautifully captured during its' travels

Now, because of my age, I have seen many things that were never available when I was a child.
Flash Gorden had a rocket and his space travels were pure fantasy.
Wonder Woman and her Space craft....Well, we hoped.
Isaac Assimov introduced us to prototypes of the now IPad/Phone type
Hand held communicators.
The original Star Trek series followed through with all this
Supposed technology.
And boys and girls  read comics and Science Fiction pulps with Stars in their eyes....
Nothing beat dreaming of the possibility of being
"The one."
Nothing beat wanting to be on the "Enterprise" with Kirk and his fellow travelers.

Acrylics and mixed media on canvas
16" X 20"
As is obvious, Space travel is no longer a little boys/girls dream.
Given the opportunity we all would have been Flash or Wonder Woman.
But who knew?

The photographs from the Hubble have fascinated me since they began to
The pictures are of pure fantasy and riotous colours.
And, most of all,  they are beautiful.
They inspire me.

"A galaxy in flux"
Acrylics and mixed media on canvas16" X 20"

I can only imagine what my grandsons will marvel at when they are in their 70s.
Actually I cannot think of whatever new under the Sun will appear.
But it is there, I know it is there.
It is their turn now.
To marvel at this wonderful universe that is opening up.