Three Glass Bottles

I just finished my first oil painting after using acrylics for almost two years. The two mediums can look similar on canvas, but the feel of the paints is very different. Oils seem more like soft butter versus the stiffer feel of quick-drying acrylics. I can’t think of a good analogy for acrylics. It’s just more difficult to push them around the canvas than it is with oils. There are probably tomes written on the pros and cons of each medium, so I won’t go into that discussion here. For now, I’m learning how to use oil paints. Here is my first work in oils: The Glass Bottles.

Oil painting of glass bottles
The Glass Bottles, oil on canvas

The Foxes in my Sketchbook

Foxes pop up in my sketchbook in the same unexpected, and I hope charming and rather mysterious way, that real foxes turn up in my suburban neighborhood. They are always smaller than expected and trot so quickly past that they are easily missed. The top two-page spread of a Red Fox seems to have a story. It seems like an excerpt from a children’s book, but that’s all there is…so far. The portrait of the Fox also seems to have some story to tell. That seems to be the nature of these elusive animals. A flash of red, and then it’s gone.

Red foxes in the woods, painting
Red Foxes in the Woods, mixed media
Red foxes in the woods, painting
Red Foxes, mixed media
Drawing of a red Fox
Portrait of Ms. Fox, Conte crayon

My favorite story about a Red Fox was told by a friend. She believes that foxes symbolize her late mother and that when she sees one, it may carry a message for her. Her story was so magical that I painted my yearly Christmas card based on her tale of seeing a Red Fox on the beach. Here is the link to my story of Red Fox on the Beach https://crappycrafters.wordpress.com/2017/12/14/fun-making-the-yearly-christmas-card-the-true-story/

Back to my sketchbook: charcoal

My 2020 “Pandemic Sketchbook” chronicled my life during the lockdown through the advent of Covid vaccines. In 2021, I started a new sketchbook whose themes were more hopeful, so I didn’t think of it as a pandemic journal. It was just a way of keeping a habit of sketching several times a week. In 2022, I started a third sketchbook, smaller and the paper is best for dry media only. I made several charcoal sketches in early spring based on museum postcards, snapshots from my 1990’s instant camera and other visual cues uncovered while decluttering my house or reading the news.

Silver Vessel, charcoal
Garden Statue of Pan, charcoal
Sunflower for Ukraine, charcoal

Small projects after Big Projects: charcoal drawings of wildlife

I usually work on an acrylic painting on canvas at my weekly art class. These painting can take several months to finish. After a lengthy project, I often take a mental break by working on drawings that can be completed in a couple of weeks or so. After wrestling with the adorable snowman still life, which took more time than I had anticipated, I began a series of large charcoal drawings based on my teacher’s photographs of wildlife. These are about 11 x 14 inches on Bristol board, which should be the right proportions for making note cards.

Grackles, charcoal
Sanderling, charcoal
Turtles, charcoal

Snowman: finished!

Acrylic painting of a toy snowman and a poinsettia plant
Snowman and Poinsettia, acrylics

I finished the snowman painting a few months ago, but haven’t posted on my website for months. Here it is, ready to be turned into next year’s Christmas card. Having the card image finished well in advance should prevent that last minute panic about making the yearly Christmas card, chronicled in previous posts. However, procrastination sometimes rears it’s ugly head even with all this advance planning. We will see how panicked I am in November…