August 26, 2009

Something new on the easel

Just started off with a new watercolor painting showing five grey herons, four of which are youngsters with a funny "haircut" that looks sort of "punk-like". I took the basic photographic material at a place in Vienna where you can find some old trees on a very small island in the middle of a lake which host approximately 15 heron nests. It is a paradise for wildlife artists on the hunt for new motives ... size of the artwork is 16' x 16', watercolor on streched canvas.

August 17, 2009

Building a wooden box ...

for shipping artwork. One of my new artworks 'Circle of life' (you can see it on the right hand) has to be shipped to the Netherlands in a few days to be exhibited at 'Survival' exhibition at Oog voor natuur wildlife art gallery in Opheusden / NL.
I made my first boxes for ship
ping out of cardboard, but this material will not be strong enough to protect your artwork and in case your artwork will be shipped back after the exhibition a wooden box is the better choice.
I use two masonite boards which are about 10 cm / 4 inch larger than the artwork. Also a wooden slat cut in four pieces, two as long as the length of the board and two which are twice the size smaller than the thickness of the slat. I also use a power-screwdriver, a lot of screws and a permanent Edding to mark which srews have to be unscrewed to open the box.

I fix one of the longer slats to the masonite board using screws and a power screwdriver, after that I go on with one of the shorter slats, then the second longer slat for the third side. With two screws at each side I fix shorter and longer slats together at the corners for stabilization.

I fix the second masonite board on top of the slats, and then I've got a wooden box which is open on one side, this will be the removable lid ...

I always wrap the artwork as good as possible with bubble wrap and protection for the corners of the frame. I attach at minimum of two printed labels with name, address, phonenumber and e-mail to front and back of the box which contain information of the place of origin as well as the addressee.

This boxes are very strong and can travel back and forth without any damage to box and artwork ...

August 09, 2009

Starting the nuthatch artwork

This will be the artwork of a nuthatch taking of a branch. I did a little sketching on the canvas to have everything correctly in place. This artwork will be 12"x12" done in watercolour on stretched canvas. Early in the year I took the reference photographs at some scenic fluvial topography of the danube river which runs directly through Viennas City, where I live. The nuthatch artwork will be part of a series of artworks which I will paint to illustrate a magazines article about wildlife in a city. There is a lot of wildlife in big cities, much more than you would expect. Have a look at places with water, like ponds in parks or riversides. Watching wildlife is a fantastic thing to do. Sometimes you only have to stand still and wait some time until everything around you has settled. The animals will go back to their daily business and you will have the great chance to watch.

August 07, 2009

The Beginning -
let's start with a white canvas ...

... the greatest fear of many artists. I've never had a problem with that, it is more excitement and curiosity for what is coming than the great fear to fail ... but let's go back a little further. I'm most comfortable to stretch and prime my own canvas, it is sort of "pulling all the strings" and not leaving anything to chance. I use a heavy, very smooth and fine woven canvas as I paint in watercolours on canvas and need a surface that is as even as possible.

So this is the complete artists business from the first thought about a motive, research, taking photos, choose what and how I will paint, decide about the size of my artwork, over putting together the stretcher frame, stretching the canvas, prime it with gesso, let it dry and then do the first stroke of the brush, work the way over the whole canvas to the last stroke of the brush, fix it, give it a name, a frame, and a signature ...