Painting from the Masters.

I recently did an ATC trade on WetCanvas.com. The theme was “Painting from the Masters”. We weren’t  picky on what master/artist it was as long as the work we were copying were made before 1923.

An ATC is an artist trading card. They are 3.5 x 2.5 inches, the size of a traditional playing card.

This card is based on Berthe Morisot’s “Woman at her Toilette”. Morisot was an impressionist. She studied with landscape painter Jean-Baptiste Camille Corotin and in Paris under the tutelage of Joseph Guichard who had her copy Masters at the Louvre. I’m sure she would enjoy knowing that people are copying her! My version is in acrylic on 300 gsm watercolor paper.

This card is also in acrylic on watercolor paper. The original by Canadian, Helen Galloway McNicoll, was called “Buttercups”. McNicoll studied under William Brymer in Montreal. She also painted in Britain as a member of the Royal British Society of Artists and was vice-president of the Society of Women Artists. She was one of the few impressionist who was able to make a financially secure living from her art. She was deaf since childhood and died young from diabetes at the age of 35.

This card is based on a wooden panel painted by John La Farge simply titled “Fish”.. He was a member of the Arts and Crafts Movement and was noted for his stained glass windows. He designed windows for the Trinity Church in Boston and Memorial Hall at Harvard.

To make this card look like wood I first did a ocher undercoat. When that was dry I painted over it with a thicker coat of an ocher/red mix. When that was almost dried, I gently scratched out wood grain like patterns with the edge of a palette knife and let it dry before adding the fish and decorations.

It was interesting copying the works of others but I have a tendency to change them to how I would like them to look, very cheeky I know but I can’t seem to help myself!

 

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2019

 

December Acrylics

These are some cards I made for a trade. They are all acrylic and in various card sizes, all smaller than 5×6. The first five were done with palette knives, some have a bit of brushwork.

It’s a challenge to use a knife on small pictures but it is entertaining.

This deer makes me laugh, he looked rather affronted at being painted.

“Deer Interrupted”

painting acrylic deer

“The Tree and the Icy River”

“Red and Gold Berry Christmas Tree”

“Snowy Path and Tree”

Palette leftovers.

The following are brushwork.

“A Small Fir”

“The Birches”

“Under a Purple Sky”

“The Firs”

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

The Lion and The Mouse

On WetCanvas (a forum for artists) there was a challenge to create something using Aesop’s Fables as a theme.

The Library of Congress, has each story in full (click link).  The illustrations alone are worth looking at. Many of the illustrations are interactive, I was charmed by them. Such a great site and resource, check it out!

Using ink and gilt,  I chose the Fable of the Lion and the Mouse. The following text is from the Library of Congress’s site. My original illustration follows it.

The Lion & the Mouse

A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.

“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.”

The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.

Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.

“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

A kindness is never wasted.

All text and images other than Aesop’s Fable are

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

Odds and Ends of the year.

This is a horse with tattoos, everyone has them now.

Ink and marker, 8×10 inches.

This is a lino print with Brusho (a watercolor product). 5×7 inches.

A quick drawing of a guy named Steve.

A cat that I embroidered on my apron because I like to be fancy when I’m cooking. This design is an original and is about 5×7 inches.

A photograph of a shadow from a lamp that looks like the Eiffel Tower.

A sepia self portrait, titled “Closer than she appears.”

The Chicago Waterfront.

And the Wells Fargo Bank reflected in the windows of the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. My favourite painting ” Blue Horse” by Marc Chagall lives at the Figge.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite acrylics of the year.

And yes to my Canadian relatives, I did spell “favourites” the American way.

A hot air balloon, 4×4 inches.

A still life, 5×7 inches.

A zombie that for some reason ended up looking like Patrick Swayze, 8 x 10 inches.

Another still life, 3×6 inches, I forgot to finish the lemon the left..ignore that please.

A sign for my house, 22 x 8 inches.

Some pizza, 3×3 inches

A fancy colorful sheep.

acrylic sheep animal colorful painting

And my favourite, an Ode to VanGogh and Space.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

My favorite watercolors of the year.

I haven’t wrote on here in awhile. I don’t know if people read blogs much anymore but I do enjoy writing so I’ll keep on keeping on even if I’m only entertaining myself. 

To catch up, with everything I meant to post this year, I thought I’d do a couple of year blogs to showcase my favorite creations of the year.

These are some ATC’s, that is cards that measure 2.5 by 3.5 inches. These are all done with watercolor. These were done for a trade. watercolor painting Virginia Spencer vmrs ATC

This is also a watercolor but is a little bigger at 7×4 inches.

Here’s a warmer watercolor,  also a miniature at 4×6 inches.

And here’s a watercolor of a leaf and acorn. I think this one was 5×4 inches.

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

Me me me me me!!

I recently participated in an art trading card (ATC) project.

The theme was “All About Me”

That’s right. Me me me me me..

The cards are all 2.5 by 3.5 inches and painted with acrylic.

This one is a still life of flowers. I love flowers.

I also love tea and grow my own mint.

These art deco bottles belonged to my grandmother.

My gardening shovel.

One of my oldest and dearest friends. His name is Spot and we went on many an adventure together.

One of the Lincoln dresses, from the display at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield.

My breakfast, blueberries and peanut butter on a waffle. That’s right, I eat that.

My favorite color of nail polish, green!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

A beautiful ghost and a rather silly swan.

Over on WetCanvas in the Fantasy/SciFi forum, there was a challenge for the month of January. The theme of the challenge was to create something, in any medium, that had to do with a song.

Mine is from a Canadian singer, Loreena McKennit. She wrote and sang a song called “The Bonny Swans”. Loreena McKennit has such a beautiful voice!

The video is a bit long but the gist of it is that a girl is drowned in the river by her jealous sister. Her sister wants to marry the girl’s love. The body is swept around where the swans swim and eventually is laid out by a miller who thinks it’s a swan. A harpist comes sees the body and makes a harp of it. He is invited to the sister’s wedding to the girl’s love. At the wedding the harp sings the story and tells everyone what the sister did to her.

I’ve been looking at tapestries and have been on a medieval binge so I did this, in a naive medieval style in material ~ embroidery floss and linen. I did a quick sketch on paper and then pretty much free styled this as I went along.

It shows the sister in her wedding dress as the ghost comes out of the harp to tell of her murder and a swan is attacking the sister as well.

The swan cracked me up, it’s a silly thing.

Please ignore the fuzz by the swan, I didn’t realize it was there till after I took the photo. (and can I say how much I loathe how long it takes and the manner in which Windows 10 downloads photos)

This is on a 12 inch hoop.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2018

Merry Christmas!

I was involved in a Christmas card trade on WetCanvas with a few other artists. It was so much fun and I received some beautiful cards from all the world. 

These were the ones I made. They’re ink and metallic watercolor. The metallic are so much fun to work with but they are hard to photograph!

christmas art painting watercolor ink

I also did a Science Fiction ~ Fantasy Christmas trade. I made this dragon for a wonderful friend of mine,  who is a guide on the Science Fiction & Fantasy forum on WetCanvas. She does monthly challenges there that are so much fun and very clever. If you like scifi or fantasy, check it out!

This is watercolor, ink and a whole lot of glitter. 

I hope you have a happy holiday whichever one you celebrate!

Much love and good wishes to all!

 

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017

 

The Pumpkin Dragon

Through triangle eyes

He glared at the night

He stared at the night

He dared the night

 

To try and break through

His stalwart candlelight

He had read

Of a serpent

On a medieval page

Who loathed all pumpkins

And in a serpentine rage

Would crush the life

From innocent gourds

Leaving pieces scattered about

For the rampaging hordes

latin dragon medieval

He heard the leaves rustle

Crackle

And break

Oh no! It was that

Evil and Ancient old snake!

 

It wrapped round his midriff

And he started to shake

He found it surprisingly fuzzy

For a centuries old snake

And in that moment

As it started to lean

He realized it was only Dummy

Dressed up for Hallowe’en!

Happy Hallowe’en

From Sammy

And Zeus

Medieval Pumpkin Dragon ~ Ink and metallic watercolor, 11×9 inches

My rather shabby Latin reads “Beware the Pumpkin Dragon ~ It will eat your Eyes ~ Your Heart ~ And steal your breath ~ Beware!

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2017