Monday, 25 June 2012

New painting and butterfly-party

So, the italian party was a success, and why shouldn't it have been with all that food, Limoncello and Pavarotti... Needless to say, we had leftovers for lunch the next day!

With people now starting to leave Rizhao, we had had a few farewell dinners the last 2 weeks. One crazy evening last week we had a "Rizhao amazing race", organized by my friend Inga who I travelled with to Hunan. We started at the beach with sparkling wine and some games, continued to the university city for some beer competition, more games and a food challenge. Our food challenge was to feed our group of 10 people for ten yuan (=1.20 euros maybe). And with some really good dumplings and chinese fried egg-bread we did it! After that we continued to the first bar on the list, where we listened to some live music while having a drink, then the next bar, and the next drink... According to Inga we were only halfway on her 'to do'- list for the evening after this, and a few of the others continued to yet another bar before calling it a night... It was a fun evening!!!

Yesterday we had another party, or a 'cooking-at-home and empty-the-cupboard-event' just with the girls at Pia's place (Pia is Sam's colleague who is one of the people now leaving Rizhao). I had made some butterfly- masks for us girls, and we had a fun photo-shoot amidst the sparkling wine, cooking, baking, and trying on shoes and clothes that Pia did not want to take with her back home.

News from the studio:
I got a painting finished today! I always work at several paintings at the same time, so there are no order  in which they get finished...

First a page from my inspirational journal. This is a small long-tailed tit I got permission from the photographer of it to paint. I was playing with composition and colours. I reused an old linoleum print from my days at the university in Utrecht. I liked the idea, but decided to go with a more simpler background for the painting though.

Below the first stage of the painting. The background was made with book pages and a sheet of music on a 20x20cm canvas. I painted them with several thin layers of acrylic. Here also the first blocking in of the long-tailed tit in oil colours.

Next stage; more layers on the bird and the branches. 

And here the finished painting: Våstämning / Spring mood. It was difficult to make a good photograph of it with the background being painted with glossy medium. Hope you like it non the less!

Friday, 8 June 2012

WIP (= work in progress...)

Well, I was planning to finish one of my half done paintings the last few days of this week, but instead I started 2 other paintings... I am quite excited about the last one though, so I here it comes.

Last year I found a new species of predator bird that I have never seen before. And against my normal 'rules' that I only paint birds that I have actually seen in real life, I wanted immediately to paint this beautiful kite (Glada). It is approximately the same size as a Common Kestrel (Tornfalk), and behaves quite in the same way. This kite is also famous for hovering in the air while hunting. It is a beautiful almost totally white raptor with bright red eyes. It should be found here in China, so if I am very lucky I will have a chance of seeing it yet... The funny part is that there are three different 'kinds' of this bird, depending on where it lives. To my eye all three look exactly the same. But according to the ornithologist, there are some minor differences between them. They used to be known by the same name, but today they are cataloged as three different, although closely related, species.
Australia: Black-shouldered Kite ( Elanus Axillaris)
North America: White-tailed Kite ( Elanus Leucurus)
Eurasia/Africa: Black-winged Kite (Elanus Caeruleus)

Anyhow... Here are first the two pages with the kite from my Inspirational Journal, my sketch book where I try out compositions and plan paintings. Collage with different papers, watercolors, acrylics and what nots... A4.
With the first one I have started experimenting on canvas to get the perfect background, but there are still some work to be done before I will even start thinking of adding the bird. The second is the one I have already started to paint the bird on to canvas, being satisfied with the background.
You have to agree with me that it is a beautiful bird!

Below is the painting: canvas size 40x30cm. The background is build up by many layers of chinese book pages, over painted with acrylics. The bird itself I started painting direct in oils. This is the first blocking in stage, and I hope to get that stage finished today.

In other news.... we have an Italian evening planned for tonight at our place. My husband has ordered lasagna, tuna pasta, pesto pasta and 5 different pizzas from me. So now you all know what I will be doing the whole afternoon today!! I made the dessert yesterday already, I tried my hand at my first Tiramisu ever... We have a bottle of limoncello in the refrigerator, so the only thing missing now is some italian music and then the plans for tonight will be complete. Hmmm, lets find some Pavarotti!!!! :)


Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Studio update...

So, after posting my traveling pictures I thought it would be time to 'get down to business' and give you all an update on my studio progress. You might have seen these paintings on Facebook already, and if not: enjoy!

I'll start with the last painting I did before christmas in 2011. This is a small European Robin painted in oils on a 20x20cm canvas covered with chinese book pages. Title "Shy". Depending a little on the size of your screen, the image here is about the real size of the painting!

 The next one is "Sing for me" 20x20cm, a small Long-tailed tit. Oil and acrylic on canvas. The canvas has been covered with book pages and song sheets. The first painting to be finished in 2012.

The third one is again a small Robin. Oil, acrylic and book pages on canvas, 20x20cm. Titled "Yes?"

From these three it is the two Robins I am most pleased with. The long-tailed tit is really cute as is, but I am not very satisfied with the background. I think that I will use the same bird on another background and see if I can experiment forth something that suits it much better.
I am doing a whole series of these small 20x20cm paintings, the 3 in this post and 3 more on the easel. I am hoping to get at least on of them finished this week. So I am off painting now, more updates coming soon!