My photo
North Georgia Mountains
sculptor, painter, mixed media artist

Monday, July 27, 2009

the start of the Zen Garden; aka the first Zen moment

I see this as an art installation. Some call it gardening. I call it art. But my long-range vision is more about the art than the plants. So I feel it belongs here. Below is a before shot of the tiny little plot of land. The picture below that is after about 3 hours of work. As it progresses I'll add more pictures. The picture above is before I started any weeding. It's quite dense, filled with sticker bushes and mimosa trees. I do love mimosa trees. They have a prehistoric look about them and once a season are covered with feathery purple flowers. I do plan on keeping a few of them. But I can't keep them all. They sprout up like weeds. So I selectively removed most the trees. Mimosa's have such soft wood I was able to get the small ones with the electric trimmer. The larger ones required a hand saw. I also used the electric trimmer on the sticker bushes and then removed them from the spot using a rake. I got spooked once when I came across what looked like a dead rat. On closer examination (close, from a distance!!!) I realized it was a dead rat: a Halloween dead rat. It was part of my Halloween graveyard last year.

The picture above is after about 3 hours of work. I started early, 9ish, and then finished in time to go to brunch with my sister. I knew when I got back it would be too hot to continue. I think I got a good bit accomplished though. I've got all my supplies for the next step already. I'll do that next Saturday morning.
The next step: a wine-bottle wall across the back. As secluded as this little piece of land looks in the pictures, it actually overlooks the street and a neighbor. It's shielded by pine trees but if we're going to have a Zen spot, we need more seclusion. The wine-bottle wall will also have a recycled window set into it where we could have a view down the hill, if we wanted it. The wall across the back will be high, maybe 5 feet tall. I'm considering putting a wall around the other sides to make the Zen Garden completely contained. If I do, those walls will be low, maybe 3 feet tall.
After that: when the wall is completed I'll focus on creating a Zen seating area for us. This fall when we get our bi-yearly load of pea-gravel, we're going to get a double-load. We want to increase the size of our parking pad and spread the remainder of the pea-gravel thru the Zen Garden. I'm going to make cement paving pads and lay them in to create a path and a patio area. I'll also leave a few small beds for plantings. Or not. I might only have bonsai trees and container gardens in the Zen garden. That would be most lovely.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vampire Schoolgirl - WIP

So... I wanted to paint a vampire.

No, not a sparkle-y one. Not a NoLa Rock-Star Vamp. Not even an Old World Vamp... Though in the coming days I might do each and every one (though probably not a sparkle-y one. I don't do ~*~sparkle~*~.)

I decided to paint a young-punk-sexy-schoolgirl Vamp.

So I am. She's a WIP but I'm digging the composition so far. This will be a fun one.

Laughing Dog

First, the photo is incredibly dark. The flash kept bouncing off my varnish so I had to take the picture without it. Second, the background is way too dark. Yes, it was dark in the original photo. But it didn't translate well to canvas.

Anyways, this was just an exercise. I'm constantly in awe of artist who turn out good quality work very quickly. Some people seem to do a painting or two a day. I on the other hand get a painting 75 % complete in a day, then let it sit... for days, weeks, months, years.... So this was an exercise in ~completion~.

It ain't great. But I do like parts of it. I like Ellie Mae. She came out pretty good (though her detail is lost in the photographs.) I don't care for the background. I need to work more on backgrounds.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Him and Her; WIPs

Not a lot of progress here. I haven't been in a painting-mood all week. I did add highlights. And on Her I've softened the skintone. I still need to soften Him up a bit and then lay in my details.