Here’s a little fun thing I’ve been doing today. I find after completing a large painting, I am at loose ends. I have a hard time getting going on something new. This is a great compromise I’ve found. I can go into my computer sketchbook, and throw some bits together and have a new image in an hour or two. I’d come up with a clever saying for it, but I’m done for now. Perhaps you otter.
Here is the latest image I’ve been working. See some old characters? Probably. But some new fish added. Trying some new backgrounds with new brushes.
I find it fascinating in this new medium, as I have just discovered, that you can create your own brushes. As an artist, over the years, the hunt for the perfect brushes had become practically a holy grail. Expensive little things too. You would not believe what you have to pay for about 16 bristles just because they come of the hind end of a rare rodent’s tail. Or so they say.
But back to the com-painting. If you need a brush that they don’t have in the list, you simply create it. No pruning it with tweezers when a hair get out of place. No babying the tiny brush with the perfect point, to keep it going through just one more painting. And I am still just scratching the surface.
So, for the viewers, I hope you like it. For artists out there who see these, and who like me, thought never in a million years will it do what I need it to, you have GOT to try it. It is a blast.
Don’t get me wrong. I love otters. There are not many critters that are cuter. But, as an artist, I am the first to admit, they are hard. If you try too hard you end up with something that looks like a dyspeptic gopher. Not enough effort, and you end up with something worse. Simply not cute. So I took a break for some mermaids.
Several years ago, I did three images for the world renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was one of the high points in my career.
In looking back at them now however, I notice that I only put one sea otter in them. It was a beach scene.
I find is odd now because one the things the aquarium is so famous for is it’s sea otters. It is the most popular exhibit. Not to mention it has a otter rescue program, where surrogate otter moms, raise orphaned pups till they are ready to go back into the wild.
They are about to re-open their exhibit after a big renovation, so it has been in the local papers a lot and much more information on their web site. So, I have had otters on my mind and thought I’d spread my wings a bit with my computer paintings to include them. I’m still perfecting them but thought I’d fling this try also, to go with my Spring entry. I have to say, they are very hard to capture on canvas. More than one try ended up being hurled into the recycle bin.
This one I was satisfied with. I hope you like it.
I suppose I should have a whole category for this subject. I remember as a little kid, poring over picture books about fairies, and elves and fantasy in general. I wanted to crawl inside them, they were so beautiful. I wished I could paint pictures like that, create little worlds of flying creatures. Eventually, that is exactly what I did.
So in life, when I feel weighed down, it is with real joy that I paint one of my little friends, put wings on her back and fly away with her. And sometimes, tell the truth, don’t you wish you could too?