the problem with Prussian blue

Oh dear me.  So I have this brand new tube Prussian Blue paint in oil (if course).  I tried to squeeze a dab out onto my pallet.  Only it would not come out.  So I squeezed a little harder.  Still no paint.  And then I squeezed a little harder.Success!!!! 

Painter Painting by Helen Shideler

 

Only half the tube shot out. Over the top of my pallet (as in all over the edges), onto the side of my water bottle, across the protective cardboard I had put under my work.  Phew!  Now if you know anything at all about Prussian, it has a reputation of getting away from you.  I really thought that meant as in messing up your mixes.  Nope.  I now know it means literally getting away from you! So, I thought- I can manage this and clean up later. 

I had my roll of paper towel on the table as well.  A breeze came up making the paper towel flap around.  Made it flap across the large squeeze of deep blue paint. 

Confession

When i paint I have a very bad habit of holding a piece of paper towel in my other hand.  This is never a good idea.  Especially when you have some unruly paint out there trying to get you.  I never noticed it until much later. 

You can see where this is going.  A fly landed on my shoulder and I shoed it away.  My hair was blowing in the wind and into my eyes, I tried to move it away.  Then an ant ran up my leg.  Could not let that happen - had to flick it off.  By the time the wind died down, I have Prussian Blue on my forehead.  Up the entire length of my left arm.  In my armpit????? Seriously, how did that happen????? Over the upper part of my right arm and shoulder.  And of course, remember the ant?  Down my left leg. Remember the cardboard protecting my table.  It shifted.  The nice white tiles are slightly blue even after I tried to clean up.

Not to be discouraged, I finished the painting,  Started to take my materials back into the studio.  Made three trips.  Came back for the cardboard and hit my really tall glass of lemon water.  It went across the table, into my hat, soaked a chair with the pulp-y juice.  Needless to say, I was a great source of amusement for my husband who felt the need to show me each one of the blue blotches all over me. hmmmmm

 

 

 

Oh plein air how you taunt me

Plein Air taunts me

So it was the hottest day of the summer so far.  30 degrees with a humidex of 38.  And I decide to set up to paint in my backyard.  I angled my easel into the sun. Smart!  Remembered to wear my sun hat.  And started to paint.  

Sweat dripping off my brow, running down my face making spots on my glasses.  So very hot. And a foolish teeny tiny red ant decided to check out the various colours on my palette.  I had a hard time convincing it to leave.  It got its tiny feet stuck in the yellow paint.

I had on a funky hat. You know the one - with the long back to protect your neck? Lightweight and with sun protection in it.  I bought it at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado (I admit, I just like saying that) a couple of years ago.  When I finally took it off, my hair was a mess of dripping - am I sharing too much?

100 degrees of discomfort

As the day progressed it got even hotter and soon I found myself in full sun.  It was at that moment that I realized I probably should be wearing sunscreen.  Opps.  And to add to my discomfort a mosquito or three liked my sunscreen.  And to top it off, my water mixable oil paints started to change texture. Paint gone wrong.  Dried to palette and was unable to mix colours.  The white, holy moly, went all gloppy making it impossible to mix or event pick up a small amount to create a highlight. crap

But I managed to create

So these two paintings took about two hours each. They say paint what you know - and I know this space.  I am hoping that one day I will be as confident painting en plein air as I am creating in the studio.  Fingers crossed

Backyard pond by shideler
Backyard garden by Shideler

secret commission

ouch - that I am unable to share

until next time, have a lovely summer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Rhodo Rhapsody

I little over a year ago, I was out walking along the seawall in Vancouver when I came across this amazing rhododendron.  It literally stopped me in my tracks.  And as good fortune would have it, I happened to have my camera with me. Pure rhododendron rhapsody.

Rhodo Rhapsody by Helen Shideler

The Vancouver difference

They grow to be quite huge in Vancouver - everything grows to be quite huge in Vancouver and, they have so many varieties.  I had never seen this one before ever.  It is amazing. I took many photos knowing I would one day be painting it.

I have since noticed that the nurseries in the Maritimes are now carrying them. We will be planting one for sure this spring.

When the sun shines

I love the play of light in this painting.  How the lower blooms are cooler and slightly in the shade. And how the top bloom appears warmer in the sun and how the bright sun affects the colours of the leaves.  The delicious little bits of light dancing across the leaves were so gratifying to paint. 

Confession

I felt that the painting was completed yesterday afternoon.  I signed it and proceeded to scrutinize it looking for areas that may require some colour balancing or attention in some way. Then this morning when I opened Facebook, I was presented with a memory from last year.  You guessed it (blush) - I started this painting exactly one year ago.  I could not believe it.  My how time flies.  In fairness I set it aside so I could work on a few commissions.  But a whole year ago!