Jul 30, 2009
Caves were discovered on the property in 1879, and that area later became Endless Caverns. There is more extensive information on the Internet about the recently updated caverns, and on the genealogy of the Zirkle family.
A few years ago I met a contractor who lived near the caverns who told me there was an abandoned field stone bank house on his property. I was immediately interested because my husband and I did some restoration on a similar house in Hillsboro, in Loudoun CountyVA, some years ago. (See my post Brushwashing, which included the faux stone fireplace.) He took me to see it-it's hidden and private-and it turned out to be very similar. Both houses had similar roots as well, Pennsylvania Quakers, who sure knew how to build to last.
Jul 27, 2009
Jul 25, 2009
THE REDHEAD 16x20 Oil /Acrylic on Linen (c) Margery Caggiano
What I should not have done, was put it on my web page.
Sometimes it only takes a day or two, sometimes a month or more.
I decided that the background was contrived and unnecessary.
Besides, I had wanted to paint her before I knew who she was.
I was in the audience at an event held at The Parrish Museum in Southampton, NY. About 10 years ago I think. It was to be a talk and slide show by Christo and Jeanne Claude about the Gates project in Central park. As the audience filed in, an apparition appeared.
Wow. Would I love to paint her!
She kept walking and went to the stage. Well well well.
Back to the painting and my original MO, which is usually to isolate the figure -aren't we all-and not tell a story. In her case, I felt that she could handle the color.
Jul 23, 2009
Be that as it may, I have a weakness for Makeover shows. If I was given a week in Manhattan, $5000 to spend on clothes for moi, and a haircut by a guy (I'm also a sucker for a cockney accent) who usually charges $500 to $800, would I blubber when some hair fell on the floor? It'll never grow again? It's spun of gold? What? Even Hercules didn't cry.
To get to the point here, I remembered taking my teenage girls, they were only a year apart, to Sassoons on Fifth Ave (Madison?) for a classy haircut. All of $25 each. Well, it was a long time ago.
I've painted them a dozen times over the years, but I loved the shape of that particular haircut, so I had to paint them again.
Jul 20, 2009
Jul 16, 2009
On that note, (how's that for a segue?) here's a little about paint media for oils. For starters, when the quick drying alkyd paint came out, I bought a set. It didn't take long to realize that using the medium only-Winsor Newton calls theirs Liquin-with regular oils accomplishes the same drying speed. Without the concern of the paint drying in the tube. Duh. Alkyd resin is available as a gel also under different trade names. It also contains dryers, sometimes silica for body. I don't particularly like the surface buildup, for lack of a better word, so I cut it with mineral spirits. A so called "magic" medium such as Marogers contains many additives along with mastic varnish . Trust me, it won't make you paint like Rembrandt.
SELF PORTRAIT Rembrandt
Pretty impressive drawing, yes? Especially considering that the original is the size of a postage stamp.
Blockx, which makes an exceptionally high quality paint, also makes an "Amber Medium", a resin that lays claim to"transparency and radiance" etc etc. I'll never know, because a 50 ml bottle is $441 list. So Keep It Simple. Skip the dryers, they can lead to cracking. You don't need turpentine. Don't use unrefined hardware store linseed oil.
A good practice is to start your painting with rapid drying paint: Burnt Umber, Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna, Pthalo Blue, Pthalo Green, Flake White (aka Lead or Cremnitz White) and a rapid drying medium: 6 parts mineral spirits, 2 parts sun-thickened linseed oil, and 1 part dammar varnish. Slow drying paints and medium are: Any of the Cadmiums, Ivory Black, Lamp Black, Vermillion, and Zinc White. All other colors fall in between.
If anyone has anything to add or correct, feel free, I'd like to know. Also, the finished Keith Richards painting, and The Redhead, have been added to my website.
Jul 15, 2009
GOLDSMITH INLET STAGE 1 (Gulls later)
This is an inlet in Peconic, on the Long Island Sound. The tides bring the gulls, one of my favorite birds. Almost as funny on the ground as Gary Larson's chickens. I never realized how big seagulls were until a motorist brought one to the vet wrapped in a towel while I was sitting in the waiting room with my cat. (He got goggle-eyed.) The gull had been hit by a car, and this particular vet (North Fork Vet.Hosp) would take in wounded gulls, ospreys, and even seals. Gratis.
What I want to know is, how did seagulls get to to the dump in Denver?
Jul 13, 2009
I'm glad now, because the mongoose brushes I bought last week not only cost more but are skimpier than the ones I bought a few years ago, same size, same brand. Another change is "mongoose like". It's Read the Small Print time, which is why the catalogs come in handy.
Most of the time I hang a painting on the wall to work on it; and maybe a second on an easel. Which is fine for big stretched canvases. But I occasionally work on boards or small paintings and find it frustrating to keep either one stable on an easel made for big paintings, especially if you don't want to sit down while painting. So I blew the cobwebs out of my lovable, adorable and most of the time, useless, french easel. Low and behold, it's perfect. But in the cheap tricks category, it's not.
All of you plein air painters -and you seem to be multiplying exponentially-are experts at setting up french easels, but I was thankful that no one was around to watch me. I'm going to leave it set up. I can't go through that again.
GOLDSMITHS INLET Stage 1 Oil on Panelli Board Margery Caggiano
This is a suggested list of necessary supplies for painting in oils on a budget.
Palette: Plate glass taped over neutral grey cardboard- or a disposable pad.
Brushes: Bristle or mongoose, better to have 3 good ones than 6 cheap ones. Try round and filbert shapes. You can gesso with a sponge.
Brush and hand cleaner: Goop, available in hardware store.
General cleanup and medium: Low odor mineral spirits, quart. Available in hardware store.
Refined linseed Oil, small bottle. Dammar Varnish, small bottle.
Paint: (Don't buy "student "grade. Don't buy "hues") large Titanium White,-Ivory Black,-Raw Umber, Burnt Sienna,- Yellow Ochre,-Cobalt Blue,-Ultramarine Blue,- Alizarin Crimson,- Cadmium Red Med.,-Cadmium Yellow Med.
Make Your Own Medium: Use a glass, not plastic, jar with a lid. Mix 1 part dammar Varnish, 2 parts Linseed Oil, 3 parts mineral spirits. For slower drying, eliminate the dammar varnish.
Make Your Own Retouch Varnish: If the painting is dull and dry. Use a glass jar. Mix dammar varnish and mineral spirits 50/50.
If you are a beginner, you can learn a lot by starting with the first five colors, which are also the least expensive. Then add others one at a time.
The books say to lay out every color you have, and even suggest an order. But a beginner will use them all and end up with mud. Then they'll dry out. Look at Andrew Wyeth's paintings, (even though they're egg tempera.) for what can be done with a relatively limited palette.
Jul 11, 2009
GREENPORT LIONS Stage 3
Adding to the confusion was a recent comment that suggested I put Bo behind the screen door.
Jul 9, 2009
what hands-down beat the rest,
was saying a none -too-fond farewell to sex.
Jul 7, 2009
Meanwhile, our son, who couldn't care less, was collecting turtles in our back yard and labeling them with a marking pen. (Names? Numbers? Latitude&Longitude?)
Jul 5, 2009
drawing than painting.
Jul 3, 2009
I've been "nominated" to exhibit in the Florence Bienniale. Huh? Blah blah blah blah feet of wall space blah blah blah euros, converts to about $3800 to put a pretty fancy name on my resume.
That doesn't include crating and shipping of course.
And if you want a show in New York, or any other big city, and don't know a vanity gallery from a co-op from a legitimate gallery, stay home and save your money. I have no problem with co-ops, (only if they're artist/member run) they can sometimes be an introduction to contacts you wouldn't get otherwise. Not to mention feedback and friends.I've been in several, and they're a good solution if you want to control your work.
READ THE SMALL PRINT!
Jerry's has been for many years, one of my favorite art suppliers. They're running a series of art competitions that I looked into. Wow free entry? That's a surprise. Of course you have to buy the brand that's sponsoring the contest. Hmmm. No big deal. The big prize money is kind of a gift certificate to use at Jerry's. Hmm. Retail value I presume. Oh well. They get a great mailing list. OK why not. At least it's free, right?
And if, somewhere down the line, you see your work used in a way you never intended because you gave it away, don't say I didn't warn you.
Jul 1, 2009
Ira Rennert-NY Times International-June 25, 2009 by Simon Romero Re:Toxic Site+Andes
I'll leave out the details, just quote what is revelant to this post. "Mr. Rennert is a NY billionaire, who built one of the largest homes in the United States, an Italianate mansion sprawling over more than 66,000 square feet (that's just the house, folks) in the Hamptons. whose privately held industrial empire includes a Peruvian smelting company named "Doe Run Peru", in La Oroya, high in the Andes. Quote: "LaOroya has been called one of the world's 10 most polluted places by the Blacksmith Institute, a non-profit group that studies toxic sites."
There is a lot more to this article, including "providing employment" while 97% of the chidren in La Oroya have toxic levels of lead in their bodies.