Sunday, February 21, 2010

sibling rivalry

I don't have any siblings and have no idea what that family circumstance would be like but I do have some very good friends - including some who visit me here. I like that. A few years ago when I first started blogging I'd pretty much given up drawing and painting mostly because very few people ever saw them. It's just not the done thing to drag your artwork to your job to show co-workers the results of non-work related work and besides that, if you've mentioned you paint and people insist they're usually taken aback by my subject matter. No landscapes? No pictures of fruit or flowers? Where do you come up with that stuff?

I finally began painting this one yesterday and just got to this point about an hour ago. I'm not sure if it's finished but I got tired and decided it's done enough for the moment. Generally it takes a week or two to paint something I'm sure to be happy with but right now I need to loosen up by working fast. Besides, I couldn't let another whole weekend go by without something new and silly to show my friends.


The Crow said...

This is such a joyful painting, Susan! The colors and movement, the expressions on faces - most especially the bird!

Lovely work, as always, but especially this one.

The Crow said...

Is she wearing a garter belt?!? Too much - just too funny-much!

gfid said...

LOL!!! i'm out for an evening stroll to visit friends before bedtime. this is such a joyful picture! ostriches! love 'em! i was once approached by a runaway ostrich adolescent while visiting the Toronto zoo. too ignorant to know i should be afraid, i was delighted! eye to eye we stood, not 2 feet apart nose to beak, while i talked to talked to him(her?). the zookeepers cautiously tiptoed up and gently herded him/her back home, all the while glancing in astonishment at me, the idiot who hadn't enough sense to be afraid.

Nancy said...

Love it. She has lovely high heels. I also like the colors and bubbles. It is a very happy painting.

La Belette Rouge said...

You, my friend, are the best. I LOVE that the ostrich is not hiding its gorgeous head in the sand. It has "Pipps" and seems to be the life of the party. Strut your stuff, dear Ostrich, and you too!!

Liberality said...

If your pictures reflected your inner reality than I would say that you are colorful, playful, and mischievous. It's always nice to see your work.

linda said...

i adore the color, the children's faces, the little girl's dress is a close match to feathers but the best is the garter belt and shoes on your fashionable ostrich...she is wonderful and i can see how much looser you were in this one and how your color seems to be glowing and more intense, either you usually do more glazing or you used more than usual or you did something different or you decided you like orange as much as i do!! anyway, whatever it is, it is wonderful and something i would love to show my gkids!

how fun, you inspire me to get a little whimsy going in my work...i am tired of my 'landscape' if you can call it that...did you know it was a woman dancing, the other way around, long ways, but then, i liked the other i see lots but that's another story[always do]...

i am so enjoying seeing more of your painting so don't stop showing it! i would love to see more of your process as you build one of these up.
xoxoxxo- no pressure :)

Steve Emery said...

I love the ostrich's expression! The lipstick and those shoes! And the garter!!

I got a big grin when I realized that the girl is properly riding her bouncing ball - no sprawled legs for her!

susan said...

the crow - I'm so glad it made you happy and it really was fun to work on once I started. It was the only way to get the expression on the ostrich's face to stop haunting me and yes, she's wearing garters, stockings and open-toed shoes :-)

gfid - That's a wonderful story but I have to say I think your reaction was exactly the right one. Animals are much smarter than people usually give them credit for and you were exactly the person he/she was interested in meeting. No ostrich skin bags for such as us.

nancy - Ostrich feet are pretty unattractive if you get a close look so the shoes were essential. Glad you like it.

liberality - Maybe inside but the outside wears frequently laundered black clothes and sounds sardonic :-)

linda - I wanted to stay within a certain spectrum with this one so lined up a group of complementary colors in a similar tonal group. Usually I tend to steer clear of the intense Daniel Smith shades except for highlights and stick with my older boxed Pelikans. This time it's almost all DS. The ground color is Spanish gold ocher - followed by Mt Amiata natural sienna, Italian burnt sienna, burgundy red ochre and then the Quinacridones - sienna, gold and burnt orange. The violet was a mix and I had to add some peryline scarlet. By then there was so much orange (and outright color vibration being one of my favorite gambits), I dug out the pthalo turquoise and the undersea green. For you to see more of my process I'd have to post pictures of me stomping around grumbling :-)

I love your landscapes and your not quite hidden dancers. I think it's very cool we can inspire one another at a distance :-)

susan said...

steve - Yes, she's my version of a Mae West ostrich - not the most beautiful bird but full of panache and style in a ladylike way.

Everybody knows girls are naturally better riders than boys :-)

Elaine- said...

wow, you're amazing, this was JUST pencil the other day and now it's full of joyful color!! i love it!! now YOU are talented!! but thank yoiu for the sweet comment on my page, you knoooow it's very much appreciated, nay, needed :)

Seraphine said...

i'm stunned. a watercolor without a border? that's as silly as not drawing a pear on a wooden table.

there is nothing more real for me than this moment. are there parallel worlds-- heavens, hells, places where down is black and air is water? probably.
plato surmised that everything we know is mere shadow. he thought there must somehow be a 'perfect representation' that is more real than what we experience as mortal humans.
socrates thought if we could see the 'good' in life, then we were privy to the essential nature of the universe.
i'm not convinced that the universe "knows" goodness, perfection-- or anything else-- from a hole in the ground.
and i don't want to be in that hole in the ground.
even though it's probably filled with fairies and beauty and everything unshadowy.
"i'm chained to the wall. i'm nothing at all."

susan said...

elaine - Ever since I started the blog I've only ever posted a couple of times a week because otherwise I would have come and gone long ago. Things are only fun when you don't feel obligated and goodness knows we all have obligations that aren't easily avoided. Blogging at its best is like a long slow party where guests come and go but it's nice there are some who'll help with the tidying up between times :-) Glad you like the picture.

sera - That's sort of what I meant about it being finished. Maybe I'll paint the border while I consider the design of a slower painting now residing in the back of my mind.

I know I'm of a dreamy kind - practical for sure when needs must - but prefer to let my imagination wander. You speak of Plato's cave, an image that shook me to my core when I first read the story. We imagine the world we're in is the real world but science has shown us that we have a blind spot in our vision that our minds fill in with what it assumes should be there. Yes, we inhabit physical bodies that are affected by the vagaries of nature and what appears to be an uncaring universe. Maybe when we're dead we're just snuffed out and gone but there's no proof either way. When someone's alive one minute and dead the next something not quite tangible has disappeared. It's like the echo of laughter in an empty room. I'd prefer to keep looking over my shoulder and twisting the links of the chain. Why not?

Randal Graves said...

Oh, when will this crusade against the still-life end? All kidding aside, I'd actually love your take on such a banality. I think it'd be different and groovy, though I'm sure if I garter and heels on a bowl of oranges would work. ;-)

Mary Ellen said...

I have four older brothers and if that was me and one of my brothers in that painting, we'd be hitting each other over the head with those sticks.

I do love that painting and I love the fact that you always put sneakers and stockings on animals.
And please...don't paint fruit, unless the banana's have legs and are wearing running shoes.

gfid said...

thanks for the vote of confidence. i'm considered the family 'idiot'. ...but, in honesty, i have to say that birds seem to like me. i once approached a parrot in a shop, who seemed kind of chatty and friendly, so i held out my arm for him to toddle up. he did and spent a cozy few minutes crooning in my ear. we were having a lovely time till the shopkeeper appeared, and said, in some alarm, "usually he bites people!"

Gary said...

I'm happy with it :)

Nice work and thanks.

Pagan Sphinx said...

Wow. You paint well when you paint fast!

I love those bouncy-balls. We have a number of them at school and it's very comical to see the children trying to cover ground on them to get to a certain place. Sometimes I feel like the lady ostrich watching them! (without the high heels!) By the way, I love the way you painted her lips with red! Something about that just got me giggling! :-)

susan said...

randal - I like to tell people I paint what I see. Now I'm seeing you in a a garter and heels balancing in a bowl of giant oranges :-)

nunly - I just knew it wasn't a very realistic family representation. Thanks for telling me :-)

I'd never put sneakers on a lion or tiger because they have beautiful feet - birds, not so much.

gfid - You were luckier than me in the close call I had with a parrot owned by some friends in NY. His favorite trick was to act friendly, climb up your arm then stick his great long tongue in your ear and poop on your shoulder. I refused to enter their living room unless he was in his cage :-)

gary - It really was fun and made me think of you :-)

pagan sphinx - The next one may take a bit longer which means I might actually have to write some - or maybe Crow will was prophetic :-)

The ostrich was a given in this one since I knew how she'd look. The difficulty was in getting the kids high enough and then I thought of bouncy balls. Problem solved :-) I'd love to see you watching over those kids.

Spadoman said...

This one is a little different. Where are the beautiful border designs? It doesn't make it bad, but it made it a bit different. Well, so much for being predictable, eh? I do love the colors. My personal favorite anything is red and yellow, (and oranges goldens).
You are right about showing and telling about your work to others. A fine line between humility and just wanting to share. For me, it;'s not so much that others like what I do, it's that I like what I do and want to share it with others.
Keep up the great work. This one exudes happiness and giddiness to me for some reason. I like it.


Seraphine said...

i remember a couple of years ago when i first visited your blog. i thought you seemed shy, even though you posted the most incredible artwork. that seems funny now, because you aren't shy at all.

Seraphine said...

p.s. keep twisting those chains.

susan said...

spadoman - This one may or may not get 'bordered' but it's okay for now and I'm glad you like it. Sometimes being giddy is the right thing.

sera - My natural tendency leans toward restraint ☂

lindsaylobe said...

O dear - that bird is no party pooper but the life of the party who’s had his far squill,judging from the facial expression.

It’s quite a humorless attractive painting full of mischievous fun and colour - well done

Best wishes

susan said...

lindsay - Yes, she's indeed a happy bird looking forward to wonderful days to come as Spring heads north.