Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Light of the World

Lately I find myself drawn to the richness of color found within those subtle shifts of hue.    

I seem to be paying more attention to how the light can change the entire mood of an object.  

Since finishing up my first Farragoz project that I shared with you here, I decided to use the techniques I have learned and apply them to a quick little painting that I was able to finish, in between working on my second Farragoz project, a clock face, which I will be sharing with you in a later post.   

But first, I wanted to show you some splashes of color we are still enjoying in our part of the world during our daily walks.  Both of these were taken this past Sunday on Ocean Avenue in Sorrento.  


Now for my quick project.  Below is a framed print on a board I found at a local thrift store for $2 that I ended up using for this makeover.   

I decided to do another painting, using some techniques I have learned from the online course: The Art of Patina given by  I was offered this course in exchange for blogging about my experience along the way.  This time I did a version of the "Light of the World" painting of Christ as a child.   There are 8 layers of paint and stain on my board.  The first 4 layers are the gesso paint that was used as a primer.  The other 4, were oil stains, each in a different color.

A few minutes later, after some tweaking, a much different version began to emerge.  A less blond and a much younger child version seemed to unfold.  

I have decided to share my progress with you even though it may or may not be finished yet.  I will let it set for a while, as I am discovering that tweaking it here and there can really change up the entire mood of a piece. Knowing when to stop is one of my challenges.  One thing that is so much fun about this course, is the ability to apply the techniques you learn to different projects.  Just in case you want to learn more about this course, I have included a link up at the top of my sidebar.  It is highly addictive and very empowering to learn how to make your own paints and oil stains from scratch, and then learn the techniques to apply them to create your own masterpiece.  Who knows, I may even sign this one when I am finished.  

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Acadia Solitude

Today we savored every bit of Autumn color still left along the park loop road in Acadia.  

Pink granite, stone arches and glowing foliage were all there to welcome us back.

Gathering clouds and faded foliage were plentiful.  

It made us realize how much we had missed it here.  

Counting ourselves lucky to have this treasure close by.    

We were so happy to be back here once again. 

 Acadia reopened today and we were there!  

Saturday, October 12, 2013

In Memory of Ceil

Well into her 80s,  our spunky, adventurous, lovable neighbor came with us one day to haul lobsters, back when we still had our lobster boat, Fearless.  

She was always so proud of this moment and I think this one of her, may be my favorite.

Or maybe it is this one.

I remember how much fun she had showing these pictures to her friends and family. I can still hear the laughter and excitement in her voice as she related the story of that day.  She told how we made sure she wore a tightly wrapped life jacket and had even put a whistle on it for her, just in case she got lost!  

Thanks Ceil, for all the memories.  The pleasure was all ours and we will never forget you. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

FARRAGOZ: Learning the Art of Patina - Module 1

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to take an online course for free, in exchange for blogging about it. The course, created by Farragoz, teaches techniques for achieving the look of aged patina that is found on centuries old objects and artifacts. I have just completed the first of 5 projects I will be making during this 12 month course. My first project was to make a Byzantine icon of the Archangel Michael.

The Farragoz version shown below is truly an exquisite work of art.

You are asked to create your own version of this project by following the easy step-by-step instructions and video they provide. You are also assigned your own personal online instructor that is with you each step of the way. I must tell you, by the time I completed my first step of using a jigsaw to cut my wood down to the proper size, I was already feeling pretty empowered. The subsequent instructions had me making my own gesso, casein paint and oil stains, and before I knew it I was learning how to build up layers of them to get the result I was trying to achieve, but not entirely without making a few mistakes that turned out to be invaluable. My first few layers of gesso paint, upon drying overnight, sprouted huge cracks and when accidentally bumped, crumbled into nothingness. My instructor was reassuring and encouraging, and my second attempt was much better.   Now I was ready to begin the process of layering oil stains and applying techniques I learned along the way, which brought me to the version you see below.

Now on to the fun part -- it was time for me to give my project a sense of history.  Tania, my instructor provided such valuable guidance and support all along each phase of my project.  She forewarned me that the steps of aging may make me cringe, but encouraged me to come up with a story explaining the history of my piece and what it may have endured that would go along with how I chose to distress it.  So before I show you my completed project, my imagination has run a little wild, and I hope you bear with me in spite of it.

Perched high above the sea, on the edge of a rocky cliff-side path . . .

There sits an old stone Inn that is left vacant most of the year.   Only recently there has been talk that this former Inn has changed ownership and is being converted into a private residence.

The South wing of this commanding structure overlooks a beautiful sand beach.

The structure itself faces out to the sea, but directly below, you will catch the sight of vast jagged outcroppings and treacherous terrain.

Just inside a dimly lit room perched high above the ocean is a long forgotten object.  If you were able to peer inside this window you would catch sight of it resting upon an old, dusty settee, quietly awaiting discovery.

So go ahead and peek right in there.  You will see it right away.

By the look of this piece, it must have endured exposure to the elements of this harsh terrain.  Did it suffer a fall from a sudden wind during an outdoor art exhibit this former Inn was famous for? Or perhaps extreme temperature fluctuations caused the cracking and flaking you see in its surface.  Here, take my binoculars and get a better look of it.  I know, the window is a bit cloudy, but I want you to see it up close.

Yes of course! A summer wind must have swept it up high into the air before it began its slow spiral to the rocks and salt water down below.  Thought to be completely ruined, no one bothered to wipe away the bits of seaweed that will forever stain its surface.  It got stowed away, instead of discarded.  Still, someone remembers it is there, stored high above the ocean in a dimly lit room.   Someone who will never again return for it, still believing it was completely ruined.


As you can probably tell, I had fun.  I may have never told you before, but attending art school was something I had always wanted to do way back, when I was much younger.  This online course is truly fulfilling my dream of what it would have been like.  I do not know how I got so lucky to be selected for this experience, but I can tell you I am savoring every minute of it!

I encourage anyone, who may want to learn more about this course, to visit the Farragoz website by clicking the link found here.  I have also included a link on my sidebar to make it easy to find information of how to sign up for this course.   

(And isn't it rather sneaky of me to include images from a recent trip we made to York, Maine for the purpose of illustrating my story.)