Monday, December 10, 2012

Wild Rose Painting

I am working on this painting of a bee on a wild rose flower. I took this photo last spring in my mother's garden.






This one is acrylic on rock paper and I am laying down layer after layer of color to build it up.
I have also added a couple layers of gloss medium to help give space for light to get in on the layers of paint.

 We'll know pretty soon if its going to work out or not. Its getting there!






The following photograph is the same painting, but I changed it to Black and White in order to see more clearly where I'm at with the important values. I'm close, but need to push back the background some more.






If your wondering where the bee's wings are, they are moving so fast you can't see them. I am debating on whether I should add them or not!? You just can't see them in the photograph I am painting from. This is a good example of when an artist must practice "artistic licence". Maybe I will add just a suggestion of them. I can do that last anyways.



Quote of the Day:


One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. 
We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. 
Dale Carnegie 


Friday, November 23, 2012

Keep Your Art Photos Organized

Three Friends - Jacqueline Kinsey Photography available at Ebay.ca

Yes, I know, it seems like a good thing to do. The problem is, that some of us artist-types are not very good at this part; staying organized.

I am probably the last person on earth who should be talking about such a topic (since losing most of my organizational abilities from one too many traumatic brain injuries), but then again...I am familiar with the frustrations.

How many times have you gone to find something in a hurry and can't find it (for the life of you) even though you just saw it the other day!

I am going to just talk a bit about organizing your photo references and photos that you have taken of your work (in order to post them online).

First, I am an artist who does most of her work from a reference photo and because many of my paintings are inspired by my photography, I have literally thousands of inspirational photos on my computer(s).

It is so important to develop a system of storage and back up of those photo files. I say 'develop' because my system continues to evolve over time.

I will just explain a bit about my system;

First I created a file folder that I named "Incoming 2 B Edited". These are the raw photos downloaded direct from the camera. I have also got in the habit of going through and weeding out the bad photos (blurry, redundant) first. I don't use automatic downloading software anymore. Your camera usually comes with one of these. I find I can save some time by briefly scanning over "Extra Large" icons. (1) I can usually discard almost 1/3 of the photo prospects at this stage.

Now, ideally, would be the time to edit these photo files further, but, all too often I end up just getting them downloaded and they stay there for long periods of time. But I do try to keep up on my photo editing for two main reasons; 1- It piles up fast! One day of shooting can result in hundreds, sometimes even a thousand photos, 2- these large files take up a lot of space on my laptop. When I edit them, I usually make my reference photos into smaller files. I don't need them to be big because I won't be printing them out.(2)

I would like to mention here too that I also create two files within the "Incoming 2 B Edited" file; one is "Incoming Reference" and the other is "Incoming 2 Print", (because some of my shots might be good enough to make into available photographic prints).

Once I get around to editing the photos, then it starts to get complicated. I have a file for "Kinsey Art" and all photos for references, photos of completed paintings go into this file. I then have a file for "Most Recent Works" and I also have a file for "Blog-sized" works in progress that I usually use to post on my blog to show the progression of a piece I'm currently working on. When a piece of artwork sells, I try to remember to place it in my "Sold Archives" folder. From there, if I decide to make a limited number of artist prints of a piece, I place it in the folder "Prints 4 Sale".



Photography:

Once edited, I then place reference photos into respective categorized folders such as; "Horses Moving, Horses Still, Landscape Architecture, Landscape, Seascape, Trees, Flowers, Wildlife etc etc".

I must stress to try to keep it simple. I find it so easy to get too many "folders" going and end up doubling up on categories! That's when it starts to get frustrating trying to find something. You think you know where it is, but then at some point discover that you accidentally created two similar file folders.

Ultimately, you have to figure out a system that works for you.


Young Gull - Graphite drawing on paper. Original available for sale. Contact me for price.


Backing up of the computer files. 


We all know we should be backing up the files on our computers. That's a given. But, to truly back up computer files, we should be keeping a copy off site in a safe (ie. the inlaw's or sister's home).

We keep some files in our email files such as GMail and Yahoo Mail because they have large storage spaces. And then there is "the cloud", which we have not utilized, but its the same idea as saving to your email storage area.

I try to keep several hard copies around on burned CD's, DVD's and thumb drives and we also have our back up drive that we just recently went through and cleaned up (which gave me the idea of this blog post). I believe the general rule of thumb is to have your files saved in at least 3 different places/formats.

Another topic to cover another day is the recording and keeping track of your artwork in a computer program such as Excel.




Quote of the Day:

"A mistake is simply another way of doing things". Katharine Graham



Footnotes:

(1) If you use Windows, you will find a drop down tab at the top left corner of your "Pictures" window titled; Views. Click on the little black arrow and it will give you size options on displaying your photo files.

(2) I usually save my reference files between 300kb - 1.5MB, depending on what it is. If its something that has a lot of detail and I will want to look closely at that detail, then I save it in a larger format. If its a landscape/sunset for example, I would save it at a smaller format because I don't need the detail of the photograph.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Ribbons and Art

Refined by Fire - 18" x 18" x 1.5" Acrylic paint on stretched canvas.
Contact me for pricing








Latest news for West Wind Ranch Creations is that I can now say I am an award winning artist...at least I think that is what you might call me. The big art show of the season; Twas the Art Before Christmas was held over the last weekend starting November 9th - 11th at the CASO Train Station in St Thomas, Ontario. It is put on by my Art Guild (STEAG) every year and this is my second year showing. I have previously written about this show and how much I look forward to it. 





Unfortunately, this year I could not attend, but was allowed to participate. Since I could not participate in the required volunteering, I offered to bake some cookies for the "Tea Room" at the show. I did not feel this warranted my submitting the maximum number of pieces allowed (12), so I submitted only 6 paintings.




Some Photos from the art show;



















So...back to the reason why I could not attend the show; I was scheduled for surgery on my knee for that Friday (Nov. 9th)! So, the surgery went well and I hobbled home on crutches (ever try to climb up into a 4 x 4 truck passenger side without a step-bar and with a right knee all bandaged up and very painful? - I challenge you to try it sometime - It was a bit of a comedy in the end).

So, for the next 2 days, while the art show was on, I layed around with my leg up, bored (in between when I slept) and moping around because I didn't get to even see this years show! I sent my manager/husband to the Train Station on Sunday afternoon, camera in hand, to take some photos of the show before they took it down at 5pm.

Coming Home - SOLD
So, when he arrived back home with my box full of painting...my heart sank just, ever-so-little, as I saw that all the paintings appeared to be back...but alas; one little painting was missing! My husband said he looked around for it but couldn't find it so they checked the sales list and sure enough..."Coming Home" had sold! I was pretty happy with that. Its nice to sell a painting now and then.



Then I caught a glimpse of red...red ribbon I think. My husband than smiled and announced that "you are now an award winning artist"! My mouth dropped open, my eyes bugged out and I said, "really? - Noooo"!

Yup, and not only did "Refined by Fire" win Judge's choice, it also was runner up for Patron's choice!

Now, I'm sharing how this all went down because it was a new experience for me. I seriously don't know what to do with it! What does an artist do with learning that they have won a ribbon...what ever color it is? There are some things that came to mind like; do I tell anyone? Will it sound too much like bragging? Well, if I don't tell anyone, then what's the point of receiving them...will the ribbons help my art or hinder it? I suppose time will tell, but I am already warding off the little voice inside my head that says, " now you have to keep that level of painting up, you have to do better next time, everyone will be watching to see if you win again or was it just  fluke"? All these silly little questions that want to present themselves as if they are important when all that is really important is that lots of people got to see my paintings and respond to them, good or bad. I enjoy sharing my art with other people and that is the bottom line. The ribbons are nice and might have drawn more attention to the painting which is a good thing.

All of this caught me off guard, but it kinda made up for missing the show (my manager/husband's blurry photos didn't do it justice).

I am feeling truly blessed and now onto more important things like getting rid of these crutches! Physio starts tomorrow, so it won't be long and I'll be able to get up the stairs to my studio and finish some of these paintings I have been showing as "Works in Progress" (WIP's).

I have been busy drawing; Saturday I managed to draw a couple sketches in my sketch book which I will photograph and post next time.



Quote of the Day:



Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.

Booker T. Washington 

Monday, November 5, 2012

This Artist's Heritage

My Great Grandmother - Elsie Martin training her two white horses for the Circus.





Raising and training animals is in my blood.




If anyone wonders where one gets an obsession for horses from....try this; a Great Great Grandmother who was in the Buffalo Bills Wild West Show, a Great Grandmother who was one of the first female Thoroughbred Race Horse trainers, trained trick horses for the circus, (trained all her dogs to do tricks too), Grandmother who raised, trained and showed draft horses, quarter horses and Saddlebreds and an Uncle and Aunt who raised, trained, showed quarter horses and still compete in Cattle Cutting in Western Canada.

Any further questions?

That is why I say, "horses are in my blood". I have always been an animal "lover" since I can remember.

At the age of 10, neighbors would show up at our doorstep wondering if I would like to nurse a bird back to health or we would end up with a litter of puppies dropped off nearby (which we would have to take to an animal shelter to find homes for them) and I always had some sort of pet. From budgies to bunnies, dogs, even a cat once or twice (even though I am allergic) and my weirdest pet was a couple Piranhas that got so big I got scared of them and sold them for $20 each! They do have big sharp teeth!

My family thought I should become a vet for sure...but, then I ended up in art school in Vancouver, BC. But that was not going to pay the bills, so I heard the RCMP were hiring "females", so I applied and became a Reserve Peace Officer first (for 7 years), then a full fledged Constable for the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) for another 13 years. I was also a prison guard for a time and  did security for the  Woodwards Store for a short time (it was too boring for me).

Several things have remained constant throughout my life are; my faith in God, my love of all God's creatures (great and small), love of drawing and painting (basically any form of creating), and my compassion for those in need. I have always had such a giving nature about myself. No questions asked, I have a passion to serve for God. Working for the RCMP allowed me to be there for people in their greatest time of need, which gave me the opportunity to be "the hands of Jesus" on many occasions.

Now that I am retired from the RCMP, I still have this passion for people in need and my goal is to use my art to help people find peace and to find that relationship they need with their Creator. I will always have a passion for all God's creatures and love to paint and draw them; exploring their shape, form, colors and spirit within...

So for now, I will continue to work to that end.




To see our Ranch Website go to West Wind Ranch Creations.com




Quote of the Day:



A #2 pencil and a dream can take you anywhere.

Joyce Meyer






Saturday, November 3, 2012

Layers of Color

A time to rest.


A Time to Rest - Acrylic on Terraskin WIP




Here is one I am working on. I snapped this photo while at a local rodeo of a horse waiting his turn along the ringside fence. I wonder if he like watching the rodeo as much as being in it? I started with a sketch in pencil, then started layering really thin washes of acrylic color. I have not used any gloss medium...yet, but starting to contemplate that. I actually started this one while on a road trip a couple weeks ago. It is quite the challenge to do such an elaborate sketch while moving down the road! It takes some getting used to and a few odd lines here and there, but not impossible. Hope to have this one completed soon, but working on a very large woodlands oil painting right now ( a Christmas present ) which is taking up my creative energy.



Quote of the Day:



Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. 

Thomas Edison


Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Little Painting

Today's post is just an update of paintings I am currently working on (I call them WIP).




Dressage in Grey - is actually a colorful little painting at 5" x 3" approx size. 

I am trying a new material combo. I am gluing Terraskin onto wood panels. I really like Terraskin as a painting surface, especially for liquid acrylic paint. Terraskin is a product made of stone and resin that creates a 'plastic-like' paper product. It is environmentally safe (no trees are used in its manufacturing). It is cost effective too. I have used oil paint on it too, but I think I still have to experiment a bit with it. It would probably suit more of a higher fluidity textured paint, so since I use water soluble oil paints, I will try adding more water and/or the drying medium with the paint (I find water soluble oil paints to be quite stiff).

If you are looking for a good price on my artwork, check out my Ebay listings at; Ebay.ca. I am always adding new pieces.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Make your subject pop!

I have been working on another horse painting. Big surprise eh?!

I decided, several months ago, to repaint the "White and Wild" white horse. I first painted  this wild white colt back in 2009, in acrylic, and I did end up selling the original painting. 







A year or so later, I was looking at the photograph of this fuzzy wild horse and decided I wanted to paint it again, but this time, include more of the body of the horse and to paint it in oil paint.

I started with a black and white photo.




I drew out the horse in pencil, in a fair amount of detail. I then blocked in the blue sky and grey tones on the ground (it kinda looked like snow). The painting stayed this way for almost a year. I got busy working on other pieces and it got lost in the pile of canvas' along the walls of my studio.





When I came across it again, while tidying up the studio, I thought it might be time to re-tackle this guy. Besides...I had started a series of "White Stallions" at the beginning of the year and had not done any lately. This is a wild, white, albino colt (young boy horse), so he does count as a "White Stallion" for my series!

Although I liked the snow-like landscape in the background (some nice effects happening there), I did not like the color of the sky. So, I thought I would try something different and this is where things really started to happen with this painting!




I also enlarged the eyes a bit to compensate for what the camera does to depth of field (exaggerates it).
"White and Wild Colt" - 16" x 20" oil on canvas board WIP.


What a difference the greens made! By adding some grasses and sagebrush, trees into the painting background, the horse (subject) comes forward and at the same time, depth is added to the subject itself! Now the face and head really "pops" out at you! By the way, I did not change the grey's and whites of the horse! Look at the difference! Its as if the horse's body lightened all on its own! This illustrates a good lesson about how colors affect each other.

As I added the green landscape in the background, I did a common mistake that artists do; I did not step back and look at what I was doing. I got too carried away in developing the bushes, trees, sage brush and grass. But, when I did step back and sat on my couch...I sure was shocked at the difference! I had to laugh at myself. As much as you learn this stuff, and know technically what you should be doing, sometimes we get caught off guard and I think the things we have learned along the way, just happen (fortunately), on their own.
I believe this is when I get some help from above, and I really don't mind the help!

So...today's lesson(s); don't forget to add dimensions to your painting, even within the subject itself. Don't forget to stand back often and don't get in too close to your painting, so you can see how it is working (shapes, color harmony, flow). In other words; don't do as I do, do as I say!

Happy creating!


Quote of the Day:

Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. 
Rita Mae Brown 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

When an Artist is Inspired

This is one of the things that can happen when an artist is inspired. If it seemed the trees changed colors quickly this year, then how quickly they shed their leaves has been even more shocking! There is still a fair amount of color in the woods, but it has been very windy here lately and the spirits of Autumn have stripped away the dying leaves.

The paintings below were inspired by the colors of Fall.

Changing - 18" x 24" x .75" Acrylic on stretched canvas. Pallet knife painting.

Fall in the Valley - 18" x 24" Acrylic on stretched canvas.

Cropped section of "Fall in the Valley"

Cropped section of "Fall in the Valley"
Both of these paintings are made up places. I looked at a couple photos as I painted them, and took bits and pieces of each as I drew out and painted them both. I still have a few things to add to "Fall in the Valley", so it is not quite finished.




In other news, I have made my submissions to the upcoming BIG annual Art Guild Show and Sale in St Thomas on November 9th 'til 11th at the Historical Train Station(1) .

I am a member of the St Thomas-Elgin Artist Guild which holds this show every year and call it T'was the Art Before Christmas Show. The sad news is that I won't be able to attend myself this year because I have my knee surgery scheduled for the 9th! Talk about bad timing, but the Guild has graciously allowed me to show my work.

If you can attend the show, I must say that it is a great opportunity to purchase good art at great prices! A percentage of sales goes back to the Guild to support future en-devours, as they work towards promoting art in the region. Money raised at this show, also goes towards paying for the great venue we have at this Historical Building (Train Station)(2). If you have not visited this Historical Landmark yet, this is the perfect excuse to make the time to take it in. They have restored the interior of the building to closely resemble what it might have looked like "back in the day" when trains were our main transportation.

Unfortunately, while researching this fantastic venue, I discovered how poorly represented it is online! (I could not find a website related to it and when you google 'train station in St Thomas', the "Elgin County Railway Museum" comes up several times, which is something different at another location).What a discouragement. I guess you will just have to come see for yourself what an amazing building it has been restored to! I will continue to promote this show around the Aylmer and London area.



Quote of the Day:

We require from buildings two kinds of goodness: first, the doing their practical duty well: then that they be graceful and pleasing in doing it. John Ruskin



Here is a photo of the Train Station venue I found online, with no credits attached...looks like it was winter-time with snow on the ground.

Footnotes:

(1) this link shows you a series of photos before renovations
(2) this link is to the CASO-Canada Southern Railway Station

Friday, October 5, 2012

Waking up to Color


Old Maple tree on the family farm



Doesn't is seem like the trees change colours so quickly? I remember last year that the trees' leaves had barely begun to change when they all dropped to the ground. This year is different. The colors are spectacular around here. I was having breakfast, looking out my kitchen window on a dull and dreary morning when suddenly, the sun peaked out from behind the grey cloudy skies and lit up the tops of the trees. I ran upstairs and grabbed my camera, tripod and disc and got outside to the hillside as soon as possible. As I took the lens cap off...yup, you guessed it; the sun disappeared again! I looked up at the cloud-covered sky to see if there could be a possibility of more sunshine poking through...but it did not look promising. Being an optimist, I waited. I noticed that the wind was blowing quite strongly, so maybe those clouds might separate and open up a whole for the sun to reveal itself through once again. It made many attempts, but did not fully reveal itself again...but I did click off a few pics anyways. Here are a few of them;

View from my Kitchen window this morning



Looking out towards the west






Geraniums in October


Lavendar blooms in October



As an artist and especially as a photographer, we must always be ready to capture those special moments. Yes...the sun will come out again, but maybe not before this year's autumn leaves hit the ground! Seize the moment!


Quote of the Day

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

Confucius

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

How to be Creative

Coming Home - Fishing boat return home to Port Stanley full of fish. Acrylic on 3/4" thick wood. Gloss varnish, signed and ready to hang on your wall (sides painted black).





Now that I have your attention...I have a big secret to tell you...you may or may not know this already, but I will share it anyhow.

Did you know that we are all creative by nature?

Yup. Even if you are quite sure you can barely draw a stick man, you are still a creative being. You are human after all.

I used to get all uptight when I heard someone confess that they can't draw or paint. If I had a dollar for every person who has visited my booth at an Art Fair and confessed they can only draw a "stick man"...I'd be twelve dollars richer! And, has anyone told the poor stick man that he is not actually a creation? Who is going to break the news to him/her (usually cannot tell gender of stick men...but then again, we do call them stick 'men')??! - There's a question for you...is there such thing as a 'stick woman'? Sorry...just thinking out loud.

Now, I am fully aware that most people just say that to illustrate a point they are trying to make; that they are not artistically inclined. I just completely disagree.

If you are a human being, born here on planet earth, I am sorry to break it to you, but you are in fact creative and even 'artistic'.

Every time you devise a plan to do something, decide what to wear, write an email to your mom, solve any problem...you are actually being creative. What I am trying to convey to you is that being creative comes with the territory of being a human being and comes with living our daily lives and that creativity comes in many forms. Apparently...the right side of your brain is your creative side and if you use the right side of your brain...you are being creative.(1)

Its not just a painter's abilities to solve the problem of how to show you a flower from their point of view, using paint. It might be your superb ability at figuring out how to staff a restaurant for the upcoming long weekend that required some 'creative thinking' on your part.

Have I made my point? I don't know...I might have even offended your sensibilities. Sorry about that...did not mean to. I guess I am speaking to those who tell me they don't have a creative bone in their body!

Now, there are different levels of creative abilities or of being tuned in to the creative vibes. Some people are better at being creative than others...but I have a suspicion that this is due primarily to their convincing themselves of this and therefore creating their own reality of not being creative.

There are many articles online that deal with this topic that I have come across over the last few years, and I have only scuffed the surface here, in this post. This is my perspective on the subject.




Quote of the Day:



I think, in the end, the Maker's High is the greatest high we can possibly experience.  You're closest to God when you're in this "zone."  After all, if we're created in our creator's image, why shouldn't we get "high" by creating great things?   Clint Watson




Foot notes;


(1) From: Left Brain vs Right Brain
Understanding the Myth and Reality of Left Brain and Right Brain Dominance
By , -The Right Brain
According to the left-brain, right-brain dominance theory, the right side of the brain is best at expressive and creative tasks. Some of the abilities that are popularly associated with the right side of the brain include:
  • Recognizing faces
  • Expressing emotions
  • Music
  • Reading emotions
  • Color
  • Images
  • Intuition
  • Creativity
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