Monday, March 10, 2014

painting the figure: day 3 with gillian iles

todays class was taught by the awesome gillian iles.  such a natural at teaching, great clear instructions with incredible examples, very helpful live demos on colour mixing,  and a fun personality to boot.  it was a real pleasure being in her class.

deconstructing skin tones; tint/value/chroma; and how to apply it using a limited palette.

some examples of what she wanted us to do....  euan uglow:

painting, figure painting, euan uglow, uglow
euan uglow

painting, figure painting, euan uglow, uglow
euan uglow


my girls looked a little jaundiced, but a great exercise none-the-less.  i can't believe how much became so much clearer to me in just one 4 hour class.  she's remarkable that gillian iles.

these studies were quick and dirty, but i've been so inspired that i'm going to experiment all week with this lesson...  see if i can make my skin tones less jaundiced and more 'natural' looking, and more variation in my shadows.

figure painting, ocad
seated pose #1
yellow + red = orange, plus white to create three slightly different tones
red+blue = purple for the darkest darks 

figure painting, ocad
seated pose #2
yellow + white + red  = lights
red + yellow = orange + white =  mid tones with some dark added
red + blue = dark purple = darks
yellow + blue = green added to the dark purple for variation in shadows
there is soooooo much that is wrong with these studies, but hell if i'm not going to keep trying to get this right.  not to mention working on brush strokes, less is more with this type of painting, and learn to change brushstrokes to model the form...

oy.  so much to learn.  so much to remember.  a little overwhelming, but soo exciting.


 “I have not failed, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” 
                                         --Thomas Edison

ummm, that's what i'll keep telling myself thomas... now off to read this article, on creativity and the gift of failure.  ha!!


Monday, March 3, 2014

painting the figure

so the 'painting the figure' class at OCAD with bogdan luca has begun.


Day 1:  class work, a series of 15 minute poses
my two pieces are the third one from the left (top and bottom)


i 'figure' it's time my painted faces get painted bodies.   i wasn't feeling very confident about the class when i first signed up,  i've never really drawn or painted the figure.  but i must say, there's nothing like doing something you're afraid of to break new ground.

drawing from life, in the proper conditions with lighting, is really an incredible experience.  i thought i'd giggle like a school girl with strangers posing naked for me, but it was alright. ha! once you put some paint on paper, and get into the zone, you forget you're in a class room, and there's an instructor watching and critiquing.


figure painting, ocad, acrylic
Day 2:  one hour pose















i really need to get myself into a life drawing class more often....

first day we had a female model, who was at least in her 70's.  and boy was she confident in her skin.  she was a flamboyant blonde,  with a fresh lily in her up-do.  man, i wish i could be so confident in my own skin, and i'm half her age for god's sake.  perhaps in my next life, i'll come back as a life model.

our instructor, bogdan luca,  is a pretty fabulous artist and teacher.  i'm such of fan.  his classes are always interesting, and challenging pushing me out of my comfort zone.  this is exactly what i was looking for.

now if only i can get dom to pose naked for me, it would be a great help.  ha!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

ebb and flow

black and white, portrait, acrylic, painting, grisaille,
i wonder what i look like in your eyes
acrylic on 100% cotton watercolour paper, 8" x 10"

i'm still obsessed with painting in varying tones of grey.  it's reflecting my mood perfectly and am finding it very satisfying.

i have been in hibernation and haven't created much.   i have these grand ideas in my head and i've been writing it all down lest i forget...  so many ideas that they keep me up at night.  it feels like that saying, 'i've got way too many tabs open in my head".

i get into these moods where i think, what's the fucking point?, why bother to paint? what good is it doing in the world?, why am i expending so much energy on it?, WTF?, why am i wasting my time? ugh.

do you ever feel like that with whatever it is you're passionate about?

and then it fades and i get back to painting once the ebb turns back to flow, and i remember why it was so bloody important, and why all the time and energy put into it was so damn worth it, and continue on the journey of finding my reasons and believing them.

to kick start the year i've signed up for the painting the figure class at OCAD.  hoping to expand my repertoire by adding bodies to my heads!  i've never really drawn the figure, let alone paint it, but no matter. i guess i will learn.

until i get back to my painting, i will continue to slap gesso onto old pages and give a new life to old books. writing down lyrics to music i love is what i'm doing.  weird?  probably, but it's ok.  i think weird is rad. normal is has never been my style.

'for you' lyrics by bruce springsteen

i will forever be inspired by the lyrics and music of this man. i would love to have a show that somehow incorporates music, words, and art all in one space.  it's so much of what makes my work mine.

and i leave you with this beautiful rendition of 'for you'


Monday, February 3, 2014

emerge: making my home feel more me

it's been 13 years of wear and tear in our home.  we've literally loved every item in it to death.  when we furnished our home 13 years ago, i was a different person, different goals, different ideas.

not only have i outgrown the furniture, but that girl has outgrown herself.  i'm a very different woman than i was 13 years ago.  changed in so many ways.  when i walk into my home these days, i no longer recognize myself in it.  it no longer suits me.  this prompted a huge huge change, and a major impromptu shopping spree this weekend.

deer head, resin deer antlers, wall decor
a resin deer head with antlers (for my living room) from home craft decor in toronto


i chose pieces that spoke to me.  the items literally chose me and i knew i had to take them home the minute i saw them.  i love when that king of magic happens.

i finally have a beautiful set of durable kitchen chairs.  i have a vintage round table, to be painted with annie sloane paint, and these chairs will make the perfect new addition to complete the look.  mixing old with new.

eames, reproduction, eames repro, gunmetal finish, chair, design republic
from design republic in toronto

eames, reproduction, eames repro, gunmetal finish, chair
eames reproduction rocker from home craft decor in toronto

real sheep skin, one in charcoal and one i n pink (like the carpet below) one will go on the rocker above and one on the couch for extra comfort
from  romni wools in toronto

vintage rug from design republic - YES in PINK


the florence couch from design republic - BUT will be in charcoal grey (NOT this colour pictured)...  tufted seats, clean, mid-century look



teal buffet - will go in my hallway from rusteak in toronto
making my home feel more me feels very important right now.

i will have my own space, the kids and husband will have their basement tv/play area, and I will have my garage studio (in the spring when the ice melts).

it's all in the works.  just takes some time, energy and lots of $$.

getting there.  slowly but surely the new me emerging through my home.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

paolo e francesca

during my undergrad days studying italian, i took an entire full year course dedicated to dante's  divine comedy.  my copy of inferno, pergatory, and paradiso are lovingly earmarked, and highlighted, with many notes in the margins.  every once in a while i'll pick it up just to read from it just to feel and hear the words as they roll off my tongue.

just listen to this (it's canto v, of dante's inferno), my most favorite and the best canto in the entire comdey, in my humble opinion.  when you hear this you'll understand why I fell in love with it.  pay special attention to the very last line...




"E caddi come corpo morto cade".
                               -- Canto V, Inferno

so why am i writing about this?

not sure.

but i do know that i may have to paint something very soon to get these images i have outta my head of this canto.  not sure yet if they'll be painted or in charcoal.  must mull over ideas and make some sketches...

love when inspiration strikes and emerges just like that....  from a simple reminder, a memory..  like magic.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

welcome 2014

yes... i'm on puppy overload, so you're going to have to bear with me and the puppy photos until the novelty wears off.

finally made it through 2013 without falling apart.  adios 2013.  welcoming 2014 with open arms and a new puppy.  yes.  cuteness overload here at the di leo house.

chihuahua, puppy, dog, pet


he's a pure love bug who loves nothing but cuddling up into your neck.  it's the sweetest thing.  he's a whopping 1.5 pounds as per the vet.

chihuahua, puppy, dog

he's been making us laugh so much since he came home to us.  he gets these spurts of energy, and then totally gets tuckerd out and falls asleep standing up...  so funny.

video

dom calls him 'cocado'.... short for comer, cacar, dormir....  this is his life, on repeat.  pure little angel.

we're so happy to start the new year with this little love bug.