Thursday, December 10, 2009

Geisha Doll Art Collection

One day I discovered a Geisha Girl doll sitting in the rain and couldn't resist a rescue. Badly damaged from exposure to the elements, I decided to take the doll apart. This actually wasn't easy to do, as the upright standing figure was well mounted to a base. The plastic like material the hands are made of moulded into a rude middle finger gesture easily with a heat gun. Off came the large ornate hair piece to expose an empty head underneath, which makes for sort of astonishing sybolism. Each of the images in the collection below are a feminine expression in digital photographs that were manipulated for a painterly effect, and all have recently been added to my portfolio. Visit the link under each image to visit my portfolio where you can also use the great zoom feature to look close up at details.

Throughout the ages & cultures of time woman have been the prime target of marketing devises in combination with social restrictions. These images bespeaks of the gentlewoman's inner opinion of the world in a funky, not so genteel, manner. Part of the sociopolitical series, "Toys", where I explore the concept of childhood toys representing situations & ideas of the modern day world.

Ringer Finger art image by Tree Pruitt
Orientation digital painting by Tree Pruitt
Wordly Woman manipulated digital photography art by Tree Pruitt

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Carved Willow Magic Wand

My enthusiasm has gotten the better of me, so I must tell you about a wand I'm near to finishing! This wand is designed especially for use in Wicca magic and rituals. Even though my old camera will catch better images in the daylight, I've included some snap shots here. Made of weeping willow wood, it features a hand carved Mother Earth Goddess and pyrography burned symbols. I had a hard time holding back from the fun of adding detail to the human like figure so that the stick didn't become too fragile in the center; it's still as strong as willow can be! The natural under-bark is still in place in areas and some spots have indents that strongly remind one of certain female anatomy that is sacred -- indeed vital -- to birth, and I've accentuated those to emphasize the importance of the natural Yoni like symbols.

There's a lovely light catching quartz crystal shard at the top, but I chose to end the tip of the wand with a spiral rather than a stone. I think the spiral is one of the most important of the Wiccan religious mysteries. The spiral of life is where we often find ourselves in the same places we were in the past, but on a different and hopefully more progressed level or layer of the spiral. Bettering one's self for the benefit of all should be the goal of every Wiccan; this is selfishness through selflessness, (helping others helps yourself in the long run).

On the wand, Wicca mysteries are further alluded to by more symbolism. The tangle of hair the Goddess sports represents the web of life. The open carved space in the middle of the hair is the Center of all being where energy is waiting to be fulfilled to being. The handle portion of the wand holds simple line glyphs for the Elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and Spirit; indeed ALL of the Elements were involved in crafting the wand. The reverse side has words the symbols stand for burned into the wood too. At the foot of the Goddess is the double crescent and circle symbol that most commonly represents Her in the Triple Goddess aspects of Maiden, Mother, and Crone.

Wicca Willow Magic Wand
Don't think, however, that only the feminine divine is expressed here. The circle and crescent symbol of the God, often thought of as the Horned God, is directly balanced in opposite to the Goddess sign on the reverse. Wicca can often seem very Goddess centered, but because of the theory of Force and Form the God is always present even if not as visually represented as His female counterpart. The complexity of Force and Form can be summed up as the God provides the force, or driving energy, of the universe and it is the Goddess who gives it form and shape. In this wand the God is present through the sun's energy that allowed the willow tree to grow, the strength in my muscles as I carved the wood, and even the power of change that was required to make the metal hand tools I used. Though the Goddess features most prominently on this wand, I feel there is a good balance between all of the most important Wiccan symbolism.
There's little that's left to do before this 13" wand is offered for sale. I still need to buff on a finish of carnauba wax for a natural muted shine. I like using varathane because it's such a durable finish, but I think that would be too shiny for this wand. The hand rubbed finish will still be water resistant but will also have a lovely tone and feel. After the finish is applied I need to do the "core". This wand will have a magickal core which will work in a similar fashion to a totem animal medicine bag; No whimsical dragon scales or firebird feathers though! I have a very special bit of naturally shed elk fur that I'm considering placing inside the small hole I've burrowed into the handle of the wand. I'll likely consider appropriateness of the metaphysical energy of several other materials too before capping the hole closed with a tiny gem stone, sealing the core inside. It doesn't require much of any given thing to add to the magic because it's simply the blessing of the energy involved that counts. I'm always careful not to use anything dangerous, illegal, or unethical in a magical core -- that would defeat the purpose -- but I won't make final decisions until the action of "doing" is in hand. This is without a doubt the most elaborate wand I've ever crafted! I'm sorry the fun of the project is nearly over, so you can bet that I'm already contemplating another.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Thoughts on Ritual Tool Crafting

It's time for me to set up a wand crafting station in my new art studio space, so I'm a bit jazzed up with energy. I'd recently moved and things are just now getting settled into a peaceful state of some sort of organization. I've held off crafting wands and rattles until the main metaphysical power zones within my living space were established. Having peace and clarity is vital when crafting ritual tools. The time of year is a perfect building point for me to jump from too, as I always have a rather easy time with positive creative energy when moving towards Samhain (Halloween); I'll need creative inspiration to fit another work station into my live-in studio, but I'm confident things will flow well.

I've been having an urge to work with the natural materials required for crafting ritual tools. I've already gone through my packed projects that aren't finished yet, not only to verify they survived the move but also to rekindle the connection to the metaphysical energy of the projects.

Inner guidance told me to wait a little longer though, when I was tempted to start carving on a stick. I thought it was near time to work wands and that suspicion was confirmed recently when I felt what I refer to as a "calling". I felt pulled to a something and so began to look into the matter until I found that I was being called to stones. I've been very fortunate to come upon a large variety of quartz crystal points in which I feel an energy connection! I'm very excited to work with them and discover the paths they will take from my home. I'm positive now that somewhere in the bunch is the perfect stone to top off that stick I'd wanted to carve on until guidance put a stop to my hand. Getting the stones also confirms that it's definitely the right time to create a space for making wands and other ritual tools in my new home. I'm glad because it involves many art, craft, and ritual activities that I enjoy very much! I look forward to showing you all some finished projects very soon. Be sure to check for new releases!

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Celtic Goddess Epona

The goddess Epona is particularly a goddess of fertility, but is well known as a loving protector of horses, donkeys, and other animals. She is also a goddess of sleep, dreams, hope, ambition, and is helpful in manifesting dreams into reality. Epona is known as a good protector when venturing on a new path in life and indeed the leader of the human soul in the after-life ride. Although originally a Celtic goddess, she was accepted by the Romans and eventually incorporated into the Imperial cult by being invoked on behalf of the Emperor, as Epona Augusta or Epona Regina.

Celtic Goddess Epona Mini Statue Sculpture
I've recently finished making this miniature statue of Epona, depicted sitting side-saddle on a horse. It's an original design based upon an authentic ancient relic, sized at a wee 1 5/8" tall. It's sculpted in Paperclay® modeling material, which is a great product that dries very hard. I glazed it with a wash of thinned acrylic paint and sealed it with several layers of durable clear varathane varnish. The colors are the natural cream beige of the clay and brown umber.

 It's a one of a kind. Check store links for availability.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drawing on Change

I had interesting studio time yesterday. I discovered Digitally Imported, which is a site that offers continuous play music -- radio stations without the annoying commercial breaks. There are several ambient stations so I chose a "trippy" Psy Chill then moved to the studio area. An atmosphere was created and it allowed me several hours of uninterrupted focus. I did a drawing exercise where I tried to create a scene from memory and then later allowed for some free flow drawing. The second exercise ended up being a quite detailed combination of two scenes from memory, rather than random free flow drawing. I found it interesting that the pose and scene are similar to paintings I've done in the past, and the figure has a combination of my features with those of someone I know well. This seems very similar to something we do in dreams -- making combination characters. I can't say it holds any particular meaning as a symbol, but is likely the effect of simply being familiar with the forms and values of the imagery.

Another point I found interesting was the style of drawing I'd chosen. I'd reverted to a rendering style I used years ago, in my first full studio. I enjoy the return of drawing in this manner and hope my hand will carry it through to painting as well. Back then I had a greater freedom of space than ever before and everything in life was just about perfect. I was eating up everything art with unstoppable enthusiasm. The atmosphere was charged for creativity and relaxed enough for deep focus. Of course that eventually changed, and the shift was dramatic. That a style of line from back then should come through in my drawing shows that internally I'm feeling much better about my personal environment and healing is reaching a deeper level. I'm very happy that I can say I had moments I'd consider as nearly perfect bliss, but recovery from an extended bought of non-bliss has been a rugged challenge!

Above is a corner of my first full studio, crammed full of projects for the photo.
Life affects an artists art, and it was bound to show through changes of line and style. Though I was already aware of that fact, it didn't stop me from getting frustrated. There's a nasty cycle that goes a little like this...
Something traumatic and depressing happens in life. The artist wants to feel better so seeks comfort from the act of creating art. But because this thing that happened caused the artist as a person to change, the art results change; maybe there's a difference in line, brush stroke, something just doesn't seems to work right. Guess what? That's depressing, and that sense of being bummed out builds upon what was already there, intensifying the depression. During such times it's not uncommon for artists to render with a more tightly reserved type of line than with a relaxed confidence. This can make the person feel as if they don't know how to do it anymore. Some may even think they've "lost the touch" and give up art altogether. The painter Milton Avery said that such persons were never really artists in the first place and they probably made the right decision to stop waisting time. A true artist pushes through those down times, the dark times when creativity or skill seems to fail and the individual is plunged into near struggle rather than finding release in art work. When life relaxes the art work will follow. This is simply a cyle of growth, and it happens in ALL of the arts.
This isn't to say I'm not pleased with any of the work I've produced lately; I don't devalue any of my efforts or triumphs. I felt a familiar comfort while drawing yesterday that had felt lost to me, entering nearly a trance like state of being. Expression through art had become like a religion, offering transcendental numinous experiences; feeling a connection to the Divine. It was like I'd lost faith and it now had returned. I'm trying not to be overwhelmed by this sensation or get caught up in an emotional high; afterall it's not quite that monumental really. There's no flip of the switch, but it's rather more like a spiralling dial. I find myself back at the same spot but on a different level. Only time will show what effective changes -- good or bad -- have taken place. One thing is for sure -- I enjoyed drawing -- and I'm going to go reach for that experience again right now! ;)

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wrapped In Red Painting Progress

I started this canvas painting of a woman wrapped in red fabric near the end of Summer and have been casually working it along. It's not a portrait, in fact there's no real reference image being used, and there's really no hidden symbolism involved; it's a fictitious scene of decorative art simply for the pleasure of painting. I'd like it to have a sensual feel of feminine energy - a boudoir - without being overtly sexual.

"Wrapped In Red"

The images above show a very early stage, taken in day light, and also the results of my painting session this evening. It's an exercise, as each painting is in truth an exercise of one sort or another. Without a live model, or reference photos, it's been difficult to remember to be mindful of light sources and reflections, but I'm confident it will come around in the end. The most important factor for myself is that I was able to really relax while painting and allow the image to grow without too much worry of what's "correct". It's clear to see that a long necklace of pearls has been added, as well as definition to the eyes. The painting hanging on the wall within the room is a representation of my "The Ragnar Waits", which is an oil painting of a boat dock. Peacock feathers stand out on the background dresser, adding an air of romance, yet always to myself a symbol of the mystic female; the eye of the Goddess. There's much more to be done, but I'm happy with the progress I've made thus far.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Influences; A Painting on Paper

Influences is a multi-media painting on paper by Tree Pruitt.
I found myself awakened in the middle of the night and unable to drift back to sleep right away, so I decided to let my pencil wander through a bit of relaxed drawing; the little painting in this entry is the end result. I didn't seem to have anything in particular in mind but shapes and forms began to flow alright. By the time the paper seemed to have a composition to the group of images I was able to pleasantly drift back to sleep. The next day I worked the color and forms to a more refined level with Holbein water color paint, Derwent watercolor pencils, Prismacolor pencils, some acid free collage papers, and acrylic paint thinned with acrylic gloss varnish. I've included a couple of close-up views here, (though Blogger seems to show my images a bit darker than they should).
Clicking on an image will open a larger version, for a better look; you may need to click the page back to return here from viewing the image.

I had a good time and enjoyed working with the high key colors. The vibrant blue and pink are both created from Holbein brand water color paint. The 'Opera' creates a super hot pink and rich warm orange tones. The 'Peacock Blue' is probably my favorite blue of any brand or paint medium! These colors really "pop" more so than my camera and Blogger will pick-up. The butterfly and giant thumbprint are pre-printed collage paper I adhered with PVA glue, as well as the areas of artist tissue paper to the right side of the piece and over the moon like shape. The black dots are created with acrylic painted and gloss varnish that I allowed to thicken by drying slightly. I later added highlights to the dots in areas by pressing the painting onto another piece of paper, which when pulled away left small amounts of paper fiber stuck to the highest points of the dots. I personally think the differences in texture, layer and color are pleasing.

It wasn't until my husband walked by the studio table and remarked on the piece that I realized it was a self portrait - which seems silly now, in hindsight, that I hadn't noticed before! There are several metaphysical symbols within the painting that relate to myself, my eyes are green, and the inclusion of the nose ring on the same side as my own should have been a give-away! Now that my eyes are more open, I've enjoyed looking at the painting to interpret what my subconscious was leaking onto the paper, (and still chuckling at myself for not having been more aware). So, I've aptly title the piece as "Influences", and leave it up to the viewer to decide what each element may represent. ;)

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Medicine Woman Painting Near Finished

Recently I was overcome with the urge to sort of doodle, to allow imagery free flow from within, and the un-finished canvas shown here is the result. I had lain down to go to sleep, a few days ago, when the mental pictures began to flow. I grabbed some sketch paper to take notes and refer back to the next day. Tonight I feel as if I've worked this piece to a state of being very close to finished, so I took a couple of quick snap shots to look at it in a different way. Since it was moving towards evening the photos are dark, but I think the elements can all be seen well enough for now. Clicking an image will open a slightly larger version in a new window. The entire painting is done with Liquitex Acrylics and Prismacolor Pencils on canvas.

Generally a painting is well planned, or even fully mapped out, but I've had fun allowing this one to grow as it seemed to like. I can't say what inspired the concept; sometimes these things just happen. I've been in a phase of using Impressionistic brush strokes a little on the wild side, so it's been a bit of a challenge to switch back to Realism ... but this painting isn't exactly 'reality' based, is it? The main character is a young Native American woman wearing eagle feathers in her hair and a poignant expression; perhaps she's only recently discovered her Path as a Medicine Woman, perhaps she looks upon us with compassion. Her vision emerges from the energy of spider, the weaver of life. Behind her is the strong presence of raven, who is nearly always a symbol of magic in cultures and mythology. Behind her hovers a white moth intended to portray the presence of the spirits of ancestors. The background houses spirit orbs, pine trees, distant mountains, and a salamander in the Full Moon watches over the valley below.

I think I'll work on her jewelry accessories a bit more, and perhaps add a touch of a silver glint to the spider webbing in places. Whatever my choices are, when the painting IS finished I'll happily show it here in a better light.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Handmade Earring Get Honored

Recently, my handmade Spiral Comet Dangle Earrings were honored to be chosen as a feature at Mellow Tones, a handmade shopping guide blog. The earrings are from my Mystic Atlantis Primitive Jewelry Collection of one of a kind pieces. They are hand shaped hammered copper in a spiral with comet like trails that dangle & move; the style pretends it is an ancient treasure from the past.

The Mellow Tones mission is stated as, "to showcase simply beautiful handcrafted goods at fair prices from seasoned artisans... We value fine quality, individual style and patronizing cottage businesses. Our goal is to show you handcrafted goods with heart and soul can cost the same or less than department store banality. We tackle the maze of websites to find products for any budget, for those of us who have been around the block a few times... We only feature goods you can purchase directly from the artist, and this is not a paid directory. It's a place we hope you'll enjoy visiting. It's an online shopping guide for the rest of us. No fads, no hype."

Sandra, of Mellow Tones, is a fellow Etsian with her own shop at ReBopShop and also a fellow member of the Old World Shoppes of Etsy. OWS is a team of artisans representing historical crafts and vintage inspired creations. You can learn more about the OWS Team at our blog

These earrings were fun to make, and I'm glad to share them with the Net world!

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Wicked Black Cat

I've just finished a new painting illustration on paper featuring a black cat with the word, "Wicked". I'm happy with the results and hope it pleases others as well because it's inspired by a couple of my all time favorites. Animator Chuck Jones was an expert at creating expressive felines for Warner Brothers cartoons and he's close to being a hero of mine. His fun characters may have been inspired by the work of Th̩ophile Alexandre Steinlen who is most famous for his black cat poster commonly known as, "Le Chat Noir" or "Tourn̩e du Chat Noir". Steinlen (1859 Р1923) was a textile designer but became well known as an illustrator who created cabaret advertisements of music hall performers and his signature cats. Both artists had a good time portraying felines in art, as I did with "Wicked Black Cat".

My painting, shown at left, is done on acid free 110 lbs paper, and is painted with various acrylic paints, including a blue metallic that has a mild sparkle sheen for a magic touch. The image began as a playful monoprint, where wet paint strokes were applied to a piece of glass and then the paper was placed on top. This method creates fun, random background papers for me to later work into more refined art. The original may currently be available but here's a fun variety of Zazzle products featuring this image too including t-shirts, coffee mugs, poster prints, plus both blank note cards and special Halloween greeting cards.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blog Share & Dolphins

Today I'm offering some thanks to Meagan, who's chosen to feature my Minoan Dolphin hand drum on Fab Finds Friday in her blog "Kadean Krafts". The theme to her blog post today is music, and she's chosen some very interesting finds from Etsy to help the music sing! Browse by to see the fun listings Meagan has chosen to feature and maybe something special will strike a chord with your interests.

My personal fav (after my drum design of course, lol) is the Fancy bird head rattle. Being that I'm a member of the Old World Shoppes of Etsy Team, I'm especially attracted to earthy designs from days gone by, and this Native style rattle certainly fits the bill (get the bird pun in there).
Now, I must let it be known that my dolphin drum isn't just a one of a kind... it's going to stay that way because much of the design was drawn free-hand. So, I'll likely paint more hand drums in the future with a Minoan Crete theme, but each one will be unique from any other; it's more fun for me that way! Look for drum listing in my Etsy stores; Mystic Griffin, Curio Castle Shoppe. And if you just happen to be a dolphin lover, you may enjoy a playful painting on canvas board from my studio as well titled, Playin' Around.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Latest in Dance with Moon ACEO Series

The figures in my playful Dance with the Moon ACEO Series are created spontaneously through free movement of the media; I let the images happen in the moment, without an under-drawing. Thick paint strokes make up the first two in the series, but for the third card I allowed Prisamcolor Pencils to have some of the fun. Card #3 is a tree filled landscape scene created from wild lines and vivid colors.
Visit an earlier post here to learn more about the series, including what inspired them. See all of the available cards in my new Artfire Studio. Each Dance with the Moon ACEO painting will remain OOAK, having no reproductions made now or in the future, and includes an acid free Strathmore paper envelope with a clear sleeve protector.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cleaning An Old Painting

Solutions You Can Use To Clean An Old Painting At Home...
(Oil or Acrylic Paints On Canvas)
  • Remove dust with a paint or make-up brush making sure brush is soft, clean, and dry.
  • Use your own saliva moistened with a cotton swab.
  • Use, with cotton swab, one part of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to 5 parts of water, especially if mold is present; may lighten some pigment colors.
  • Use 1 cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water (= to =) with a cotton swab.
  • Gently rub painting surface with fresh Italian bread, without the crust. The kneaded bread crumbles away taking most dust and tobacco grime to the floor; use a drop cloth for easy work space clean-up. DO NOT use bread if mold is visibly present & follow with brushing off any remaining crumbs. Then use either the rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide solutions above.

While browsing an estate sale one day it was announced that all marked prices would now be half off, so without even looking I grabbed a $5.00 antique oil painting off the floor; what a crazy bargain! When I got the painting home I quickly realized they should have paid me to take the filthy thing! Having sat on its side for God only knows how long, over the years someone had spilled something on the canvas. In addition to regular tobacco smoke and grime residue, the mysterious substance had created very dark streaks running left to right over the painting. I knew I probably had a perfect candidate for testing out some amateur conservation and restoration techniques.

Shown at left is the painting after two initial quick cleaning sessions. Clean any painting at your own risk! A professional should be consulted for valuable or insured pieces. When cleaning a painting or canvas surface NEVER use bleach or dish soap, and always test a small area first with any cleaning method. If paint color comes off onto the test cotton swab, with only reasonable pressure, you might have to consider using a different method, allowing some paint loss, or trashing the painting altogether!

First thing I did was to determine whether or not the painting had any great financial value; it could be worth a costly trip to a professional for cleaning. Look at the photograph of the entire painting above (click image to enlarge). You're seeing it after some initial cleaning to remove those very dark streaks, and the photo is a bit out of focus, but even in such condition it can be seen that the artist was skilled though probably not a Master Painter. An inspection of the frame and canvas itself revealed common construction methods used at the turn of the last Century, offering a date between 1880 to 1915. During this time period it was common for well-off folks to take the Grand Tour of Europe, and indeed easel painting was considered a fine activity for gentleman and ladies alike. I figured the piece was likely the results of a genteel vacation activity; painted en plein air. A later Internet search of the inscribed word "Eibsee" confirmed this suspicion when I discovered the location is still to this day a popular site for tourists; a lake in Bavaria, Germany (ironically the region my own family immigrated from). Though there are artists named with the other inscribed word "Koch", none of them match this piece in painting style or skill level; those artists are high museum quality. So I determined it was worth my $2.50 investment to try my hand at cleaning this very dirty old painting.
Frame is covered in bubble wrap for protection.

At first I used a simple Swiffer type dust cloth to remove the initial layer of dust debris. I decided not to remove the canvas from the frame, so wrapped the frame with several layers of bubble wrap to avoid any further damage. Placing the whole package onto my artist easel gave me easy access to all areas of the surface, but laying flat on a secure table top works just as well. I then began testing by first using a cotton swab moistened with saliva. It sounds gross, (the painting is gross already anyway), but spit won't soak into the canvas fabric like water and the acids in saliva break down grime without damaging the paint or canvas like a solvent; Do not drink anything other than water if using the saliva method, to avoid transferring food type substances.
Use cotton swabs, not balls, for cleaning any painting. Notice how dirty the swab comes away just from using saliva in a circular rubbing motion; don't over-scrub, being gentle yet firm in stubborn areas of soil. Hold the swab on its side, as shown, for best results. Work a small area at a time with any moist cleaning solution, carefully dabbing and rolling the swab. Working from left to right helps you keep your place to get the whole job done. As soon as a swab is soiled replace it with a clean one. Cleaning a painting takes time, but it can be worth the effort for a beloved piece.
Next, in an area of very heavy soiling I dipped another swab into window cleaner. Though it removed the black streak, it seemed to lift off some of the paint as well, leaving the surface a bit dull and dry looking. The detergents and ammonia in most household cleaners will likely cause cracking of paint or weakening of the canvas later, so just avoid using them at all in your own project. Lastly I used a mixture of equal parts rubbing alcohol and water, which did indeed remove the streaks but simply didn't remove the more general grime as quickly as saliva. For cleaning most oil paint art dilute a solution of 1 cup denatured or rubbing alcohol to 1 cup water. Always use care with rubbing alcohol and remember that it is a solvent that can remove or fog a varnish layer on a painting and will dissolve acrylic paint. Use undiluted rubbing alcohol only to clean frame glass, but avoid using it on acrylic or other glazing materials. Don't lean directly over an item you're cleaning with this solvent to avoid hazardous fumes, and apply a good hand lotion after prolonged contact with skin.
BELOW: before and after areas of cleaning.

Below, vertical streaks of soiling can be seen in this photograph, lessened in appearance already by a quick pass over with saliva dipped swabs.
I've decided to finish cleaning the rest of the painting by using two substance methods. Using circular scrubbing motions with saliva and swab, I'll quickly remove dirt, as shown by the clean streaks in the lake area of the landscape. For more stubborn soiling I'll use the alcohol mixture. Then, when all is as clean as I can get it, I'll go over the entire painting again gently with the alcohol mix, using a less moist swab this time.
* Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute
Travel Zugspitze

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stormy Tornado Sky

I'm no weather expert, but I know whether or not I like what I see. I was most impressed with the cloud formations near Indianapolis Indiana yesterday. Like the beauty of a wild beast, stacks and layers of stormy colored clouds crossed overhead. Once the lightning had well passed I was tempted to venture outside with my camera (visit my fine art portfolio to see results). I don't recall having seen anything like these clouds in the Midwest except from my nightmares of the Super Outbreak of tornadic activity back in 1974. The colors were made even more intense by the setting sun, and though a warm solar glow was added, the light also revealed that cliche sick tornado green.

Twister Passed, by Tree Pruitt (see below).
Here in Indy these two mixing severe thunderstorms shown in my photographs tossed out large hail, at least one possible tornado, and did prompt several reports of funnel clouds across portions of central Indiana before moving on to my former home of Ohio. I'm sure the warning sirens were sounding off well where I used to reside in Clermont County Ohio, which just last year had been beaten up by Hurricane Ike. Near to that location is the weather station in Wilmington, which was able to visually confirm a twister last night touched down right there! It was a strange sensation watching these storms move from my new home to my old. As much as I revelled in awe at the cloud formations and distant violent lightning, I hoped with all hope that no one was being harmed by these amazing skies. Before the sun finally set, a rainbow arched across the grassy field.
I've chosen a few photographs from yesterday to manipulate for art prints, but I'm also working on putting the entire set of unenhanced images into a public photo album for free viewing; please do check back for more information.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sociopolitical Goya

The Spanish painter and printmaker Francisco Goya (30 March 1746 – 16 April 1828) has been regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and as the first of the moderns. The subversive and subjective elements in his art provided a model for the work of later generations of artists, including Picasso. Known as a chronicler of history, Goya produced numerous thought provoking paintings, drawings, and etchings such as the one shown here.

No se puede saber por que. Digital ID: 1109956. New York Public Library

The etching includes the title of "No se puede saber por que", which translates as "No one knows why", and it is one example of many sociopolitical artworks produced by Goya where the artist portrays the unexplainable horrors of war; indeed no one knows why such acts are performed by one human upon another of kind. A publication from 1914 further explains Goya on this matter...

"About the greatest of human illusions he has no illusion. In drawing after drawing he states without mincing matters his conviction that to fight is after all only to murder. I think that it is this insistence not merely upon strife but upon murder that gives these drawings a character of horror more emphatic than that of any other representations of warfare. And it is not only against the barbarousness of war that he utters his passionate protest, but also against its tragical illogicality. It is not the business of art to attempt to solve the problem of pain or to hazard guesses at the riddle of the universe, and that Goya showed a just sense of its limitations in preferring to exhibit slices of life rather than to attempt an interpretation of the whole. He tosses us these raw and palpitating fragments and leaves us to digest them as best we may."

See my Squidoo Lens, About Sociopolitical Art, to learn more about social and political expression in the arts.

*Francisco Goya. (2009, May 19). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 06:23, May 20, 2009, from

*The New York Public Library Digital Gallery

*Goya - Disasters Of The War, originally published 1914

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dance with the Moon ACEO Painting Series

I've been enjoying painting a series of ACEO's (miniature art cards) based upon the theme of dancing naked in the moonlight. One of the first things new neighbors will ask upon learning that I'm a Pagan is, "Are you gonna dance around naked under the Full Moon"? I generally reply with a chuckle, and explain that not all Pagans or Wiccans skip around nude (though I might) and usually don't do it at all in open suburban backyards. Each time the question is posed I get the sense that folks might wish -- just a little bit -- that they could be so open as to dance naked with the Moon, so I began this series of quick little paintings in honor of letting that wild spirit break free!

Shown above is card #1 Dance with the Moon, which features a long haired woman stretched back in motion. She's shaping energy for magic between her hands, while a naked branched tree watches from a hill in the landscape background. The painting is almost abstract in style, with thick brush stroke texture, which lends to the sense of motion in dance. Each in the series will have a similar style with a dancing figure, the Full Moon, and may or may not have a tree in the scene. Each painting should stand well alone as an individual, but a group together would create a coven of dancers in motion; should be cool!

I'll be adding card #1 to my fine art store soon for purchase. Each card is made with acrylic paint on quality Strathmore water color paper. They'll come with a clear protective sleeve and also a black edge top loader frame. I hope visitors enjoyed viewing this peek at the first Dance With The Moon painting and will come back again to see the next two cards in the series.

*Original art images ©Tree Pruitt, unless otherwise indicated. Contact the artist prior to ANY use or for purchase information.