Tuesday, December 23, 2008

I finally did it!

I've been meaning to start this blog for quite some time. Okay, maybe just a few months. I thought if I started it now I would have it ready to greet the New Year in a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to 2009 as I'm sure many people are after a tumultous 2008.

I plan to document my journey into a career in fine art. I had declared a Major in Fine Art in college but because rent and car payments called, I ended up quitting college and entering the Oakland Police Academy after being hired by a Bay Area Police Dept. All through my police career, folks would ask me if I painted and I would always say, "No, not really."

A year after my retirement, I took some private lessons to learn some oil painting techniques and every once in a while I'll go back to water color but there is something about oil.

I thought oil was going to be like a slow drying acrylic paint which I was totally used to and very confident in. Not so Uncle Joe! Even with the fantastic developments in additives, textures and new techniques for acrylics (which I am dying to try also) there is so much you can do and learn about oil. I'm back to being a student but I'm loving it. After learning the basic techniques by painting landscapes [which I still don't like to do] I painted my first chosen subject. That is the painting at the beginning of this entry.

The splitstone or Lithop is a plant that has always fascinated me. The plants are native to the arid lands of Africa and grow only to a couple of inches across. I love how the plant appears to be a bulbous green blob until it splits and another "stone" appears and starts to grow and separate the "rock". Fascinating. In this painting, I didn't include all the little spots and blotches and kept the surface more smooth because I ended up liking the look of it. It's 24x30 and took me about 3 or 4 days to paint and then tweek a little after about a week of letting it dry.

1 comment:

Art with Liz said...

Hello Sheila. I came across your blog and found it absolutely fascinating. I don't know if you'll read this because it is in a later post, but I just had to say that I recognised the subject of the beautiful painting - I have seen them in the Karoo and Klein Karoo here in the Western Cape. As you say, they are not as pristine as you've made them - rather dusty in fact, but you've caught the shape of them. I tried to grow one in my garden, but it was too wet for them.