Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Next Stage of Acrylic Portrait of Ivy

In the post just prior to this entry I told of an acrylic portrait painting of actress, model, and Go-Go Dancer Ivy Blue. Working from a photograph, I've developed my own interpretation of the overall image using thick brush strokes and vivid color.

Below are two photos of different stages of the painting. The image on the right shows the results after an evening spent working on the canvas; the left is a "before". These are just quick snaps in the studio, so the lighting is a bit off, but the colors are bold and vivid. Using acrylic gel medium in addition to the paint adds layers with depth, much like the effect of an oil painting, but still maintains that modern plasticity of acrylic. There are a few areas that still don't sit quite right with me yet, so I'll likely paint some more this evening.

*Later that evening ... Below is a peek at what is probably the now finished painting. Tomorrow I'll make some lighting adjustments and get a better photo posted. It's very textural. I need to let Ivy know it's finished! I hope she enjoys it.

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

Monday, February 16, 2009

Acrylic Portrait of Ivy Blue in Progress

For some time I had to set the canvas painting aside and was only able to work with smaller or assemblage pieces. However, times have changed and I'm hungry to get my brushes back to some good dirty work! I really enjoyed working on the recent painting, "Wild Scarlet Macaw", so feel warmed up to return to some loved unfinished canvas paintings.

I was given the opportunity to work with images of a daring model known as Ivy Blue (her website). I'd begun two 16" x 20" paintings on canvas of Ivy; one in oil and the later of the two in acrylic paints. I'm sad to say that the oil painting is going to need to rest in storage for a while longer until I get moved into my new studio space. The acrylic version however is currently on my easel.

This piece excites me. I feel this painting is a good representation of my preference in style of brush work. The strokes are as bold and energetic as the subject herself exhibits in true life. My hope is that the complexity of each individual part will come together to create an image of both interest and beauty. I believe that only a few touches are needed to finish the piece, such as a strand of hair near the mouth area and the mouth itself. One can never really be certain what will happen when brush gets to hand, but can only have plans open to inspiration. I'm pleased, and a bit nervous, to share the completion of this painting.

Included is a quick photograph of the painting as it sits in the current stage. When I finish painting for the evening I'll take another photo so the progression can be seen. Please return again to see the final results of this painting and the next stage of the sculpture, "Nature Goddess", (see previous posts).

*Ivy Blue: Model, Actress, Go-Go Dancer

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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Finished Painting, "Wild Scarlet Macaw"

"Wild Scarlet Macaw", by Tree Pruitt.
11" x 14" acrylic paint on canvas board,
unframed but will fit standard frame without glass.

Please enjoy these first snap-shots of one of my most recent paintings, titled "Wild Scarlet Macaw". The available light sources were poor today, so unfortunately the white areas are a bit washed-out. Color variations and brush work are lost in most of these areas of the photos. At the left, see an example of the painting in a studio frame (frame not included when purchasing).

This unique piece incorporates both realism and abstraction, with Impressionist style brush strokes. The sculpted form of the bird arises from breaking the image up onto five separate canvas boards, the largest being 11" x 14", stacked and mounted to each other using heavy bodied acrylic gel medium. The image twists and morphs over the canvas boards. The edges are painted, and in many areas the design carries over onto another board. In other areas the image disappears, blending into the background.

The overall effect I desired to create was the experience of a Scarlet Macaw suddenly coming into the focus of the peripheral view; to mimic the action of a scene from a memory. The Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) is a large, colorful parrot. The memory involved a walk through a jungle like path at a public zoo, where I'd paused for a moment without having noticed such a colorful bird right before my eyes! The macaw shook its head, catching my attention, suddenly becoming a keen color contrast against the green foliage. So the bird may not have been actually "wild", but the finished painting offers a wild view! The event made for a pleasant memory and a very enjoyable art project!

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

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nature Goddess Next Stage of Sculpture

We've reached a new stage of development, this sculpture and myself. This is something that is growing, emerging from within and expressing itself outward; like the seed of a living plant. As yet unpainted like the largest conch, I have added a colony of the woody tree fungus. Formed in paper clay, the shapes cascade, as of yet unpainted, down the trunk form. I've always enjoyed the grace offered by such forms within living nature, having spent hours visually honoring the growths.

The task was simple enough, but required time and patience. The paper clay adheres well to itself but I took some precautionary measures. I first moistened the general area where a new growth-like shape would sit. I used drops of water from my fingertip so as to avoid saturation. Then, pinching off a bit of clay with moistened fingers, I gave the piece a general fan like shape. It was then pushed onto the main body, then slid up and down until I felt a grab. Using fingers and tools the new conchs edges were smoothed into a firm placement. At this point I moved on to another piece to allow for some drying time. After adding a second fungus shape I moved back to the first to pinch and push it into a more realistic form. The slight drying time allows the piece to achieve folds, cracks and surface wrinkles that such tree fungus actually has in life. They have dried well enough, having set in the hot sunlight, and I'll likely add a base coat of paint soon to bring the new portions into tone with the larger conch shape.
I'm not trying to imitate Nature, but to represent Her with my own artistic voice. I look forward to sharing what next develops with this piece, and enjoy helping this Goddess image emerge!

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nature Goddess Sculpture in Progress

Having been working this new sculpture in stages, I feel it's well worthy of talking about. A working title is "Nature Goddess" because all of the components are mainly natural and the form is surreal feminine. I'm working with a paper clay here that dries very hard and has minimal impact upon the environment.

I began with a chunk of reclaimed marble stone. It had been a garden feature so is a bit brittle and worn. Centering the sculpture on a diagonal to the base allows for the most views of the lovely grain in the stone. I then used a strong adhesive to glue a pine dowel rod upright, and when that was dry I created a support base with the paper clay. While the lower portion dried I worked the upper torso in a similar manner, working back and forth until both ends were set nearly as shown. Then I added a few drops of water to some iron rich fine grain soil I'd collected from Arizona state. I kneaded the soupy mixture into some of the paper clay to then spread it down the tree like trunk of the sculpture. It dried rock hard and offers a lovely contrast to the natural tone of the paper clay; I don't plan on painting the entire piece.
Just last evening I work two additional areas of the sculpture. Wetting the older set clay, I then added a coil of fresh material to the flat back of the head. This portion was then pinched and moulded with fingers and tools to make a loose feather head dress. I enjoy the paper like texture and the way the feathers seem to be falling forward.

The second item added was the Dryad Saddle tree fungus. I'm very fond of how this is turning out, and will likely add a few smaller ones cascading down the base. As soon as the clay was dry I lightly glazed over the fungus (sometimes also called a conch) with a mix of burnt sienna and Liquitex fabric medium. The fluid medium soaks into the surface of the clay well and being thin allows the base tone of the clay to peek through. I certainly plan on dry brushing a bit more color in to make the fungus as realistic as possible while keeping in style with the entire sculpture. I don't plan on adding arms or limbs back on; She had arms at one point but I thought they distracted so I broke them off!
I look forward to sharing the progress of this piece with you all. Any comments or input is welcomed! To see a current selection of available assemblage sculpture, please visit my Etsy store http://www.treepruitt.etsy.com/

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