Claudia Stewart - Artist

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I am at last posting again after a long haitus. The weeks have roared by with nary a peep from me and I am sorry for it. I am on a graduated return to work at the library, as my leg mends and though my art has still been going on, albeit more slowly, other things seem to have gotten in the way of my blogging. 




Here at last, is a new piece in the portrait series. It is titled, "In Deb\s Garden." My friend has a lovely garden and when we did the photo shoot for her portrait, it was in her backyard, amidst the plants she so tenderly cares for. Though much of the garden in the painting, the rhodos and the ivy, are not from her garden, the yellow flowers that look like daisies are from the original photo.


The ivy comes from a lovely swath of it that cascaded over a fence on a visit I made by ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito. I love Sausalito. When I lived in Sausalito we often visited friends of my Dad's, a jazz cornet player and his wife who had picked one of my father's beagle pups as a pet. The ivy though is of a more recent vintage and it was so lush and beautiful, I had to take a pic. In the artwork




I'd transfered the jpeg onto a memory stick and stuck that into a photocopy machine, which copied it onto an 11"x17" piece of paper, which I cut out and glued to the board, after having painted the background. Then the rhodos behind Deb were glued on, then finally Deb herself. The line drawing was enlarged and photocopied onto Arches paper which I then painted in washes of acrylic. The chain around Deb's neck is painted on, but the pendant is real; bonded onto the paper, then the whole glued to the board.


I used a different technique to get Deb's silver salt-and-pepper hair I combined pearl metallic paint with Payne's Grey to get the shine. Then I went over it in places with the technical pen in order to put the "pepper" back in. In daylight it shimmers just the way her hair does. At night, it glows metallic

I am enjoying the coloured borders that I am keeping as a unifying element to the series. The other nice thing about them is that it is the artist essentially choosing the framing for the piece, control freak that I am. It really "finishes" the piece and saves the person from haing to go and buy a frame.


I will probably be taking another pic of this in order to crop it better. Am seriously considering shelling out the money to have a professional photographer photograph my work from now on. It is a difficult process to take the work into natural light and crop everything properly to show the work at it's best. 


Jazz the cat is curled up in a dissatisfied way on the elegant chair across from the sofa, not amused at the laptop on my lap as I stretch out with my foot up. He sulks because he is not sttetched out along my legs with his bum pointed at my face. The new age music is streaming from the laptop, keeping me company as I work. I usually stream jazz or New Age or play either on the cd player as I work on art. On occassion I put on Pop or Rock or Folk or occasionally Classical. Another thing I love to paint to is Gregorian Chant. I was introduced to it long ago by a boyfriend who would play it at night by candlelight. Lovely. So with that I leave you, with an image of candlelight, monks chanting and artists painitng by candlelight, by moonlight, forever entranced by their craft.

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