Friday, October 21, 2011

Aengus and Caer 7- Solid colors

BLOCKING in solid colors is next. I still hope to finish this by Saturday. 3 more days to go...


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Aengus and Caer 6- Black Lines

BLACK lines are painted on bright orange canvas. I buy my acrylic paint from Artex Manufacturing in Los Angeles. It's called Nova Color and most muralists use it. I love it- and shipping time is amazing. If I order before noon,I always get it the next day. And that's fantastic when you're working on a mural at another location.

TOMORROW I will start painting. I love this part the most...


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Aengus and Caer 5- Swans

THIS is my finished design. I'm going to enlarge it to 36x48" and print it out in 8 1/2" sections on my b/w printer, then trace onto 36x48 canvas that has been painted bright orange.

SEE you tomorrow...


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Aengus and Caer 4- Background

I NEED a background. I searched my DVD of Early European Photographs 1890-1915, Stock.Xchng online, and my reference files for lake pictures in Ireland. I dropped them behind my figures to get a feel for what I'm looking for.


Not quite.

I LIKE the lake.

I LIKE the trees, but...

REVERSED is better. I think I want to combine the lake from pic 3 with the trees surrounding the figures. So I drop out image behind the trees and drop in lake picture behind trees.

THIS WILL work. Now for the other swans...
SEE you tomorrow...


Monday, October 17, 2011

Aengus and Caer 3- Swan and Birds

HEY – I really like my first shot so I'm leaving this. I wasn't sure what to do with the bent knee but it worked. All the parts of the swan are from different photos. They are scanned in to my computer, the backgrounds are cut out and then each piece is placed around and behind the girl. Each piece is on a separate layer, which lets me move them around until I like the fit. All of this is done in Photoshop, which cuts my designing time into 1/10th the time it would take without Photoshop.

4 BIRDS added to Aengus. This is done the same way as above. Each bird is drawn, scanned in, put on its own layer, and moved around until I'm happy.

WHICH makes it easy then to place him in front of Caer. This is my basic design. Not sure where to go from here.

TOMORROW I'll figure it out. See you then...


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Aengus and Caer 2- Models

STARTING a design is fun. I have my story and now I need to decide how I will tell it. I can't say everything – I must pick elements that will be exciting to look at and at the same time depict this specific story. I can visualize a man holding a swan while becoming a swan; I can also see two swans in flight. But I think I want to show the moment when Aengus reaches for Caer, that split second before she vanishes.

will be necessary. I've been told I lead a charmed life. Whenever I need something, I find the universe to be very generous with her gifts. Yesterday, my daughter and her boyfriend, world-traveling trick-riders in the e
quine show Cavalia, arrived for an all-too brief and infrequent visit. Landon is beautiful with long blond hair and Alex has an athlete's body with long curly hair and beard. Serendipity.

of every kind are found in my reference files. I've been collecting pictures for 4o years and, even though the internet is amazing for research, I still like to browse through hard files. There's something about the smell and feel of 40 year-old pages. I have hundreds of swan pictures – I really liked the pictures with wings out-spread. And now I can see Caer in a similar pose, maybe with a swan behind her. And that's i
t – I see my painting. Not complete, but Landon and Alex leave tomorrow so here goes....

I will show you how I meld the swan's figure with Landon's. At least that's what I think will happen. See you then...


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Aengus and Caer 1- The Story

REPOST from 2 years ago!
ON 1ST SATURDAYS, I participate in a town-wide art festival here in Three Rivers, CA, opening my studio to visitors to eye my latest project, enjoy food and drink, and listen to story-teller Rae Ann Kumelos tell a tale from her radio show "Voice of the Animal."

is the theme this month. Passion for art, passion for people, passion for life. This is a month to celebrate those you love – to call a faraway friend – to send candy and flowers with a heart-felt missive. So, I'm trimming my studio in red, white and black and looking for a story to paint. Rae Ann has chosen "Mating For Life," accounts of monogamous animals, and one segment is the Celtic myth of the passion of the love god Aengus for the swan-maiden Caer. It goes something like this...

AENGUS was the god of love. He was very handsome and about his head flew 4 of his kisses turned into birds (some say that's where the XXXXs at the end of a love letter come from.) Aengus was adored by many women and he was happy with his love-life until, one night, he had a dream in which appeared the most beautiful woman in Ireland. But when he reached out to touch her, she disappeared. A year went by and every night the woman appeared, sometimes playing beautiful music on a harp. And at the end of a year, she vanished.

AENGUS was by now in love with the maiden and grew despondent. He stopped eating and became very ill. Many physicians tried and failed to cure him until, finally, he was diagnosed with love-sickness. After searching Ireland for 3 years, his parents found the girl Caer, discovering that she was a shape-shifter – living alternate years in human and swan form.

AENGUS was told by Caer's father that he could marry her if he could identify her as a swan. He was sent to the Lake of the Dragon's Mouth where he found 150 swans. He stood in a man's form at the edge of the loch and called out to Caer, who answered him, saying she would come to him if he promised to let her return to the water.

AENGUS kept his promise, turning into a swan as he held her in his arms. They returned to the water and then flew into the sky together, singing a song so sweet that all the people of Ireland fell into a peaceful sleep for 3 days and 3 nights.

Hmmm... I think I have my story. For my next post, I will show you how I develop a composition.

SEE you tomorrow-