The last few days have been filled with rains and wind, slowly washing the snows and ice away. This is the first time I've seen green grass since the end of 2010. In a few weeks the gardens will demand my time and attention, so am trying to get in as much painting and sketching as possible.
Last weekend I worked on two paintings for the gallery: an oil of a sunlit harbor filled with sailboats but in a very non-representational manner, working only with slabs of cold wax and a palette knife. It's a large one -- 22" x 28" -- and was begun last summer, then placed against the wall in frustration. But when I pulled it out last week, the colors sprang to life and gave me a thrill. See what a few months' worth of snow can do?
Below is another ink sketch of my daughter, using walnut ink and a double-pointed knitting needle (ha!). I found the knitting needle a bit more blunt and that it didn't gouge the paper.
Then, on a particularly rainy night, I took the scanned image and played with it. I applied several layers of texture by Jerry Jones at Shadowhouse Creations, then used the difference and exclusion blends. Suddenly I could see constellations appearing, the sketch lines now altered to look like celestial navigation lines of some old map. A few custom brushes and added text and a totally different image!