It rained most of the day yesterday and also throughout the night, melting the six or so inches of snow we had on the ground and leaving an icy mess. The temperature seems to be hovering just above zero, which means that any precipitation will come in the form of ice or cold, and muddy rain. Yuckky.
There is a chance of some snow on Tuesday and perhaps Wednesday as well. I hope we get at least a dusting, as it just doesn’t seem like Christmas without snow.
I am coming to the end of my ‘time off’ as the holiday approaches. I did some baking yesterday and I have some more that I want to do before Tuesday. I also have a couple of last minute gifts to wrap, but that shouldn’t take long at all. I can’t ever remember being so ahead of the game or relaxed at this time of year. Perhaps I am finally figuring it out.
I did get to work on my painting yesterday as well. While I wasn’t able to put the number of hours into it that I had on previous days, I still made decent headway. It is getting there and I hope to finish it up sometime next week.
All the while I am working on it, I am thinking of other projects that I will be doing in the future. The magazine will be expecting its submission for its May issue just after the new year and I have something in mind for that. I am still thinking about it though and need to let it develop a bit more. Hopefully by the end of the next week I will be able to move ahead with things. Before I know it we will be thinking about fall and Christmas projects again. Such is the publishing world.
As far as the painting goes, I have a couple of progress pictures to share.
I began working on the back body and leg of the mom snow leopard by laying in the under layer of fur. This once again established the direction of the fur and gives texture:
Since the back and leg have a lot of shorter fur that is facing directly at you, it was not really an easy task. I find it difficult to paint this type of fur easily, and while the pattern radiated from the central area outward, if done too uniformly, it would look unnatural.
Once the base was in, I added a couple of layers to fill in the area.
Finally, I added softer strokes to make her look ‘fluffy’.
I had to breath a small sigh of relief now, because for the first time she is starting to look in proper proportion. I must admit that there were times when I wondered if that would be the case, but I am pleased to see the result.
My own photograph had the front of her leg rather white and blown out, and while I realize that this is a highlighted area, I also realize that it needs to be toned down just a bit. It looks especially bright though without the cub in front of it filled in. I think that I will move ahead for now and paint the cub before doing too much adjustment, as I won’t be able to really tell how much toning is necessary until the entire painting is complete. Everything will be relative.
It is places such as these when it is difficult to let things be and move on. The way my mind wants to think is “start a section – finish a section” but I am learning that it just isn’t possible to do things that way and have them come out right. And learning is part of the fun of doing something like this.
I realize that the blog here has gone off in the direction of painting more than woodworking this past week or so. But to me, it is all part of the creating process. When I began writing 1200 entries ago, I mentioned that the focus wouldn’t always be strictly on woodworking, even though my main income is through selling scroll saw patterns.
Things evolve and people evolve and I am finding that there is a great deal of overlap between woodworkers and painters. While some woodworkers are strongly against painting wood in any way at all, I find that there are many, many of them who enjoy the different options that I have introduced and are open to learning about them with me.
I also find that as I am more active in the painting sector of creating, many painters are interested and can appreciate what it involves to work with wood and the scroll saw as well. It is after all, all about creating in general.
My guess is that I will keep fluctuating between woodworking and painting as long as I am designing. Some days I will be discussing all woodworking and others I may discuss all painting. My hopes are that even if you aren’t particularly interested in whichever topic I am focusing on at the time, it will still be an inspiration to you and encourage you to stretch your creative thinking. Perhaps by trying something new, you will find you really enjoy it.
With that said, I am going to get moving. I hope to enjoy the day and do some last minute things, as well as move forward again on my painting.
I wish you all a great Sunday today. I hope you are able to relax and perhaps explore a new horizon.
You must learn day by day, year by year to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens. – Ethel Barrymore
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"