Saturday, July 27, 2013

Citrus Fruit Painting, A Slice of Lime, by Kim Blair

A Slice of Lime
oil on canvas

I was having one of those 'fruity' summer drinks the other day, you know the ones with a slice of lime sitting pretty on the rim of the glass, and thought about the series of paintings I created of lime wedges.

All the paintings had the lime section(s) sitting on a piece of crinkled aluminum foil.
The reflective quality of the foil produced interesting shimmers of light that gave the whole setup a rather ethereal quality.  Perhaps it was my imagination running wild from the 'fortification' in the drink I was using to drown my sorrows about having a nasty summer cold... what do you think?

Anyway I am almost over my cold (hurray!) so time to think about picking of a brush again.  Maybe I'll treat myself to a new sheet of foil! 

Wonder what I'll place on it this time?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Life Drawing, Graphite and Ink Study on paper, by Kim Blair

Life Drawing Study 
Graphite and Ink 
on paper
Life Drawing Study
Graphite and Ink 
on paper

Life drawing is always an adventure... you never know what may show up in your sketch book by the end of the night.   Each of these twenty minute poses had me working uber fast in order to get something down before the model moved into the next pose.

It's funny how twenty minutes can seem like an eternity when you are waiting in traffic, but during a drawing session time collapses... and twenty minutes feels like twenty seconds.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Woad is Me, self-portrait, by Kim Blair

Woad is Me
12x9, oil on canvas

Every once in a while my Scottish heritage shows up... or perhaps some distant Celtic roots.  The Celts often painted their bodies with a bluish dye derived from the woad plant, and although this portrait leans more to the purple side it does have blue tones... the complement to my orange hair.  I like to think that my warrior princess alter ego is 'captured' in this painting...

Woad is said to have antiseptic qualities, which may be one of the reason the Celts liked to paint their bodies with it before heading out to war (although some sources say the blue woad painted bodies is a myth, but certainly makes for a colorful story and perhaps frightening sight to behold on the battle field.)   Like broccoli, caulifower and rape seed it belongs to the Cruciferae family and sports fragrant neon yellow flowers that appear in May.

The blue pigment from woad was the only light-fast blue dye available in Europe from before B.C.E. until the 1600's when Indigo was introduced from Asia.  I read that there is a resurgence of growing woad and perhaps this renewed interest in the plant is fueled by research suggesting that it contains 20 times more glucobrassicin ( a compound that is said to fight breast cancer) than broccoli.

Monday, July 8, 2013

I See You, Do You See Me?, Self-Portrait, by Kim Blair

'I See You, Do You See Me?'
oil on canvas

I must confess that I have been allowing Toulouse-Lautrec to influence my paintings lately... especially some self-portraits I have been exploring... but of course Van Gogh is still in the picture too (pun intended).  Creating a self-portrait is a fun adventurous experience because one never really knows where your brush will take you.  By choosing to utilize Vincent and Henri's influence I am able to play with reality... exaggerating color and perspective.

My portrait journey will include other people and each portrait will be an exploration... 

In 1886 Van Gogh became a fellow student with Toulouse-Lautrec in Paris at the Cormon atelier, and they participated in a group show at the Cafe du Tambourin.   This Cafe may be the setting for a portrait Toulouse-Lautrec painted of Van Gogh (pastel on board, 1887) in profile sitting at a table, perhaps caught unaware, deep in discussion.  Discovering that they studied together and perhaps (as some have written) they influenced each other's work makes their art all the more meaningful to my art practice.

Frank Milner's beautiful book, 'Toulouse-Lautrec,' has been entertaining me over the noon hour lately... and I was starting to feel a tad guilty.

Maybe today we can all have lunch together!