Monday, May 31, 2010

How Short I Am

Still following the orange umbrella theme, here.  This is the last of them----for now.

Orange Umbrellas 2, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 16
Elizabeth W. Seaver

I promised one of my intrepid followers that I would show a picture of my BIG easel.  I had to have two helpers put the thing together (I am assembly challenged).  There was only one screw left over with no place to go.  So far, the easel still stands.

I am drawing on the collaged public art panel with a watercolor pencil.  Since the collage has dried with matte medium over it, all I have to do is wet a paper towel and scrub the line away to make corrections.  And I will have to correct the drawing.  I put my main figure too far to the left. The panel must be delivered in a couple of weeks.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Like Mushrooms on the Beach

Orange Umbrellas, acrylic on canvas, 18 x 36
Elizabeth W. Seaver

Life is good, but it's busy.  I have a full complement of students, a show I'm wrapping up to hang June 7 and a mural that must be finished by June 18.  I've really had my head down and my nose to the grindstone.  (Don't let my talk fool you.  I've got the best job in the world!)

Here are progress photos on the public art panel I've been working on just at the collaging stage.  I'm going to have to bring out the BIG EASEL for the painting process.  You all remember Crocodile Dundee...."That's not an easel.......THIS is an easel."

Getting started.  The panel has a backing of thin plywood with mdf on top.  I'm gluing the papers down with matte medium.  In the background you can see the faithful metal easel, only inadequate for this particular project.

Putting in the last piece.  I'm wearing my favorite Torpedo Factory t-shirt which says, "Go to your studio and make stuff."

Stay tuned...

Welcome to my new followers!

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Dad

 Migration Fallout, collage/acrylic, 24 x 36
Elizabeth W. Seaver

My Dad loves his family, the church, Texas, words, ideas, writing, reading, graveyards, genealogy, teaching, three squares a day, and my mom, not necessarily in that order.  He was a serious boy and young man, but learned to play with his children.  I was born when he was 35. 

A couple of stories about him...He had (may still have) a big black cape as a part of his garb as an episcopal priest which he wore in the cold and wet at funerals.  He used to swoop around the house in it, "scaring" us.  

He and my mom took us on month-long driving vacations when I was a young teenager.  We were just on the start of one trip east (from Texas) and had camped in the rain on the border between Alabama and Georgia.  The next morning we got a late start because everything was soaked.  We were finally packed in our Rambler station wagon, three half-grown kids and dog on the top of the load in the back.   My dad, not able to see to back up, said to us, "Watch that tree."  Well, we did.  While he backed right into it.  Needless to say, he was furious.  I don't remember how that all resolved itself, but I do recall my mother saying, "Well, John, they did what you asked."

He's a great man and a great leader and a great dad.  But he hated the beach and swimming.

We only saw him in swim trunks until we were able to swim well.  Then he stayed in his long pants and long sleeved shirts, shoes and socks and slept in the car when we went to Galveston. 

I love you more than words can say, Papa.  Happy birthday!

This painting is in your honor.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dining Al Fresco

Al Fresco Dining, collage/acrylic, 9 x 11, Elizabeth W. Seaver

Not that we've had good weather for outdoor seating the last few days...chilly and wet.  But we have needed the rain.  Speaking of ducks and geese...

There is a man made water feature in the local shopping mecca (the big box store one) and when they get bored with eating at home, many large water fowl venture forth to sample the fare at the near by restaurants.  Never mind that they must cross an insanely busy street to get to some of them.  (Think Make Way for Ducklings.)  They waddle over, bringing a party of five or more, and lurk about ready to snap up the leavings of the human diners.  It's a little unnerving, really.  And the sparrows put up a fuss and complain that THEY arrived first and had reservations!

This gentleman only wanted dessert. 

Well, would YOU tell him he must order dinner first?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Different Color Palette

By the Light of the Moon, acrylic on canvas, 8 x 16
Elizabeth W. Seaver

I love the quinacridone colors and found one from Golden that I hadn't seen before.  So, of course, I had to order it--quinacridone red light.  It makes a beautiful purple when mixed with cobalt blue and nice orange with cad yellow and y ochre.  By the Light of the Moon is the result.  I'll be playing with it again.

I cleared out space in my studio this morning for the delivery of the panel which is made of mdf over a thin sheet of plywood.  It has a layer of outdoor acrylic primer on it already, so as soon as I've finished a few more paintings for my show, I'll get started on the collage!

Thanks, everyone for your kind congratulations on my last post.  Your support means a lot.

More later.  Gotta get back to work.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

On Picking Up the Brush

I Should Have Turned Left at Albuquerque, collage/acrylic
22 x 28, Elizabeth W. Seaver

I found out yesterday that I have been chosen to paint one of six public art panels which will be displayed on the main shopping street in Old Town Fredericskburg.  The artwork has no overall theme, but is meant to showcase the work of each of the artists chosen.

The panel measures 40 x 56, and the painting above was the one I submitted with my application.  Those of you who follow my blog regularly may recognize the study for the painting in this post.  It is possible, even likely, that I will paint over the collage in the background with a more opaque layer, but I wanted the committee to see the "under painting" process I used.

We get the panels today or tomorrow, and the painting must be finished by June 21st so that the paintings can be sealed and opened on July 2nd.

Needless to say, I am extremely pleased and excited and nervous. The rest of May and  June will find me picking up the pace with my brushes.

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Putting Down the Brush

Orange Umbrella 2, acrylic,  approx. 11x11, Elizabeth W. Seaver

Put down the paintbrush and back away from the painting, is my favorite quote from an instructor.  Knowing at what point to stop painting is a hard thing for an artist to learn, I think.   We always want to keep fiddling with something.

This week, I planned a series of shore paintings with a simple underlying design.  Once the under paintings dried, I was going to add collage elements on the umbrella domes(?!)  But at that point, the paintings felt nearly finished.  I did some detail work and put down the brush. 

Hard, that!

It will present a framing challenge, since it is on 3/4" mdf and an odd size--reclaimed, in fact.  I will paint on almost anything.  Don't stand still too long when I have a brush in my hand.

Am I the only one who loves orange and blue together in a painting? 

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ice Cream on the Sidewalk

Ice Cream on the Sidewalk, collage/acrylic on board, 5 x 7
Elizabeth W. Seaver

This is not the sad tale of ice cream on the sidewalk having gone splat, but the hopeful story of a cone on the move.  She's an assertive gal who, rather than waiting in a cold tub for the prospective ice cream aficionado to choose boring vanilla in a cup, dresses herself in chocolate, strawberry, pistachio, and French vanilla and stands on the sidewalk, watching the world go by.  A strong cone, ice cream firmly in place.

Actually, I'm more of a cake and cookie person, and can usually pass a cone right by.  But other people make it look so good.  This particular panel with collage just needed an ice cream cone on it.  So it told me.  And so I painted.  

Bossy thing.

I am working like a fiend with three weeks to go until my show.  There's also plenty of stuff in the "must be done" category that is not nearly as much fun as release, advertisement, framing, etc.  

My awesome Sis' braved the scary world of on line printing to make my poster and post card.  They arrive within the week.  The show hangs June 7th.  

Everything will get done.  

I know it.

I have been up half the night making lists, the talisman which will insure it!

Thanks all of you who made such nice comments on my 200th post.  You truly enrich my life.  And I have new followers--welcome to you all!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

200th Post

 Strange Gardener, acrylic/collage, 5 x 5, Elizabeth W. Seaver

I can't believe I've been blogging more than a year and a half.  I stunned those who know me as something of a techno-phobe by setting up the blog myself in November, 2008.  That's why it has so few bells and whistles like some of your cool blogs I visit out there.  Perhaps I will celebrate my 200th post by adding some of the things I've liked on other sites.

But, what fun it has been to meet artists from around the world and in my own backyard over these months!  Thanks for your support, encouragement, advice, laughter, appreciation and your fabulous, inspirational art.

Here's to another two hundred posts, perhaps happening more quickly.  Cheers, everyone!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Sweet Nest

Happy Birday, acrylic/collage, 5 x 7, Elizabeth Seaver

Oh I have a story about nests.  One less appetizing than meant to be in the painting above.

Sunday afternoon, I heard much commotion outside my kitchen window and looked out to see two robins in a very agitated state.  They were flying away and back to a tree at the bottom of our driveway.  The flights were short and jerky and the birds were making alarming sounds.

I went to stand below the tree and saw a nest in the crook of two small branches which I had not noticed before.  And wrapped around the tree with its head in the nest was a long black snake.  The birds dove at it again and again, trying to drive the serpent away.

I stood below in a quandary.  My instinct was to pull the snake out of the tree by its tail and fling it into outer Mongolia.  But truly, how long could I keep it from coming back?  Was I going to set up camp in the ivy to guard the little ones?

Finally I came to the painful realization that this was nature at work, and it really wasn't my job to interfere.  

Soon, the snake reversed its way down the tree and disappeared into the undergrowth.  The male and female robins fluttered around the nest a little while, but I have not seen them near it today.  I don't even know whether there were eggs in the nest or peeplings.  Sigh...signs are not favorable for their survival.

On a happier note, I am having such fun painting little things, and several paintings have gone to good homes lately, including the duck in a beach chair from the last post and the two paintings below.

Evening, acrylic, 6 x 18

Midnight, acrylic 6 x 18

Welcome to my new followers!  More later....

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Birds on the March in May

Happy May Day to all of you in my half of the world.

My output has been in small to tiny units over the last few weeks.  My big painting is 5 x 5 inches.  I've made oodles of my collage pins for sale at LibertyTown (you see them here ready to march to the shelves over the weekend.)

And, I haven't been over to see them on display yet, but I was asked to be a part of the local artist spot in a new bookstore opening in Fredericksburg area today, Joseph-Beth Booksellers. I have plans for another "migration" and will share if it happens.

I've also been working on a commissioned work for someone who wanted a piece of mine in a show last year, but it had already sold.  She asked me to paint something similar for a friend who is retiring.  If she doesn't like it, I will put it in my show next month.  Next month.  Yikes.  I've got to go paint!

All This and Retirement, Too, 5 x 5, collage/acrylic, Elizabeth W. Seaver