Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pen and Ink Mushrooms and a bird

If I were more organized about my projects today's posting would include a landscape. Well I suppose in a way the mushrooms are a landscape but on a miniature scale. I just finished reading about large scale "Important" landscape paintings as in those created by John Constable (1776-1837).

Constable is a well know English landscape painter who did most of his work in the early 19th century (1800-1835). The son of a Miller who was successful in business he studied Art and spent his life drawing and painting, mainly landscapes but also portraits. He was part of the "new" breed of painter who felt that Landscape was just as worthy of being painted as Religious or Historical subjects. Another notable English painter of the same period is Turner.

From my vantage point here in the 21st century it seems odd to think that once large landscape paintings were not considered serious "Art" I have a feeling Constable would be bewildered by some of what is now called art.

I think my major take away from reading the book and looking at his paintings, is how much work he put into planning the composition of each major work. Course we are talking 6 foot wide canvases here, so probably each painting was something he worked on for months let alone weeks. Work of that size does need to be planned. Painters of the time had to make large paintings and show them at Royal Academy shows in order to get noticed and acclaimed.

Without a camera he was dependent on his sketchbooks or other paintings, some smaller plein air, as reference materials and his later works are often revisits to subjects/objects/locations he painted/sketched when he was young.  I don't want to paint like Constable but it was interesting to learn more about the times he painted in.

Constable isn't the only artist who revisits subjects. I seem to keep coming back to mushrooms. Finally managing to to finish this stipple work of a clump of mushrooms. I used as reference a photograph I made at Broadmoor (a MA Audubon sanctuary) in October of 2012.

I started this sometime last year, but put it away when I got tired of working on it. I had it with me over Christmas vacation and worked a bit more on it then, putting it aside when I got home for other projects only picking it up again about a week ago. This time I managed to finish it.

Since the the only white on the paper is the mushrooms themselves I had to make a lot of dots. Size is 6.5 inches square on Stonehenge paper, and done mostly with my 3x0 technical pen. Lighting could be better, but I had to use the flash on the camera to photograph these guys. But then I don't pretend that my art has any "noble" purpose.

Above bird, a parakeet here in the US, is another of the March WetCanvas Pen and Ink forum challenge images. I drew this guy out with pencil first then inked it in. I didn't feel like including the background which was chicken wire fencing so the image wasn't that complex to draw.

The above started out with me playing around with 3 colors of colored pencils and developed from there. Think Easter morning after the kids have been on their Easter Egg hunt, 3 colored eggs some jelly beans (miniature), a chocolate bunny and a "grass" nest. No clue where that came from except we are in Lent and I guess I must be thinking ahead to Easter. Anyway it was fun to do, hope you enjoy looking.

As my final photograph today, my neighbors cat, she enjoys sitting in the sun on the railing outside one of my windows. I will probably draw this at some point. Not sure what she was looking at, probably a bird on the roof, or flying overhead.

That is it for today, per usual comments are welcome.