Saturday, September 3, 2011

"Morning Silhouette" - 12x21 acrylic
This is the latest off of the easel.  I know some will say that it is only a photo effect where you get a silhouette, but when you look into water with bright morning light bouncing off and dazzling the eyes, you really do only see silhouettes.  This is just a rough photo of the piece but you get the idea.  The challenge of it was to have minimal obvious subject matter, but still make the background interesting.  In this case make the water look soothing and calming.
It will appeal to some and not to others.  Like any other work.  This was at low tide and there were tiny bits of sand showing through the water.  Red sand in this case, as we were in PEI.  The bird in the back was actually standing on one of these peeps of sand.  They are actually Greater Yellowlegs and were wading around in the water looking for breakfast.  Nice view to see first thing in the morning!
Till next time.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Eye surgery & Painting

    For quite some time I was needing to  have my eyes worked on due to cataracts.  I was really leary of doing this, as I was worried about how it would impact my painting.  Time came though when I needed to do something, as my driving at night became a problem and it was getting harder and harder to see things clearly.
    Now for most people I suppose that what I was seeing was fine, but I am a detail freak and like to see every little thing.  At anyrate, I decided to bite the bullet and go and see what could be done.  Up shot was they were going to replace both eye's lenses, and see if they could correct my severe astigmatism while they were at it.
    Really made me nervous, as I had fears of not seeing properly for what I wanted to do.  Thing was, I live a half hour out of town, so I need to see well enough to drive, and things had reached a crunch point.  So in March I went and had the surgery.  Scary... did not sleep the night before and was really nervous.
    They did one eye (the worst one) first week, and the other eye the following week.  So weird looking out of half a set of glasses for a week.  When I went back for the presurgery check up, I was sitting in the room, trying not to worry, and reading the panels on the walls about cataracts.  One of them said that there was a colour difference that was seen before and after surgery.  I covered my fixed eye and looked at my jeans.... yup they looked the same.  Then I covered the unfixed eye and looked at my jeans.  Wow!!  They were a bright blue!!  No way!  So I look with the other eye, and compared what I saw to the fixed eye.  Sure enough, the fixed eye was seeing colours much more brightly!  The unfixed eye made things appear dull, and muted, not to mention slightly blurry.  I started to feel better about the surgery.
    They checked my eyes to make sure they had an appropriate lens, and them sent me off to have the surgery.  I was still nervous, as I knew what was coming at me this time, but all went well.  Thing is about cataract surgery, it is an instant fix for seeing more clearly.  The other surgeries are not as instantaneous.  I walked out seeing more clearly than I had at any time in my life.  I had to wait two months for my eyes to settle to get a proper reading perscription, but drug store glasses filled the void.  That was great becasue I was taking workshops while all this was going on.  Now to be clear... The optometrist said most people would have been happy with the vision of my corrected eyes,  but after a bit I noticed that some distances were a little blurry.  Remember, I am a detail freak.  So, as you need reading glasses no matter what after cataract surgery, and since I had worn glasses since grade two and felt naked without them; I got progressive glasses that were for reading and corrected the last little bit of blurr that the surgery did not correct.  I am soooo not a flip back and forth with taking glasses off and the putting them on again for close up stuff.  No way!  So me and my new glasses are happy campers and I should be able to not have to buy more glasses for ages, or unless I want a different frames.
    The painting at the top of this was done post surgery, and I see my detail to my hearts content.  My eyes do still tire easily, but that is getting better all the time.  I joked with my husband that I would have pre and post surgery pictures that the colour would be a little different.  Thing is, that is true to some degree, in that my paintings tend to not be as yellow hued!  (On a side note, I mentioned this to my girlfriend; and she replied that her mother had had cataract surgery too.  She dropped her Mom home, and when she got home her Mom phoned her and said...."Did you know my dog was white?!"  Apparently, she had thought her dog was a light tan colour all those years!)
    So for those of you who need eye surgery and are worried about what the results will net as regards to your painting... I say go for it!  I have since spoken to other artists that were in my boat, and they are painting away just fine and seeing just fine too.  Though they tended to be happy with the flipping glasses thing for close work.  But as I say, I'm not overly patient with things like that, and I'm a detail freak.
    Till next time!
    Seeing clearly!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why Juried Shows?

I am the chair person of Lloydminster's Arts Without Borders Fine Art Shows.  One of these is a Juried show. When I have gone around letting people know about our show, and encourage people to enter it; some people have asked me “What is the benefit of entering a juried show?”  I have to say, I was stumped for an answer at first.  So I gave it some thought.  What I came up with is this:

For myself, I am always trying to improve and challenge myself and my art.  Entering a juried show, while you do not very often get direct feedback, you do get feedback of a sort.  If your work gets in, you can look at your work and see what you did that you think got it noticed and in.  If you did not get in, then you compare your work to the ones that did, and try to see what the difference was and try to see the reason.  If one of yours made it and another of yours did not, you can compare them and try to figure out the reason for this.  It is a gage of sorts, as to if you are on the right track with different elements and skills. You have to be objective about your work, and sometimes getting someone else whose opinion you value, to help with the postmortem will help too. You always have to bear in mind though, that one juried show, is not the be all and end all.  The process is subjective, and depends on the mindset of the jurors on that day.  What does not suit one set of jurors, will be awesome for another.  The trick of the process… is to have a longer column of acceptances than rejections.  In that way, you can see if you are improving and or going in the direction that you want to go.  Another thing to bear in mind…enter juried shows that suit your work, or have categories for your type of work.  No sense in trying to compare your apples to another’s oranges!

If you want to see this year's entires of the Arts Without Borders Juried show, they will be on the website ( ) shortly; or you can go to my facebook page, where they are already posted.
Every year we try to get jurors with National and International standing.  They are sent the art images that have signature erased.  They pick the placing images, as well as a Best In Show with a prize of $1000, and we also have a public choice of People's Choice award of $500.  Deadline for entry is always April 15th, and the Festival is always the 2nd or 3rd week in June.  Entry forms are on the website or can be requested from me.  Give it a try!  We take the without borders thing to heart!

Till next time...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Welcome to 2011!

Well, the next decade has started.  Hard to believe as it flew by so fast.  Makes a person wonder if they have enough time to do all that they want to do in their lives.  For myself, I think I would need about 3 lifetimes to fit in everything I want to do in just this life.  Problem is, I'm sure that in the other lifetimes I would come up with more I want to do, and will still not have enough time.
This is another painting that I have started.  One of three on my easels at the moment.  I wished I painted more quickly to keep up with what is in my head.  There are so many demands on my time, that it can get in the way of what I like best....painting.  I have lots of people tell me "you should paint more"  then follow it up with something that they really need to have me do.  Guess I am just going to have to get mean and say NO.
I like to set myself a challenge with each painting I do.  Have something in it that stretches my abilities.  This one is light and transparency of leaves, and have it look real.  It is getting there, but cartoonism is starting to creep in and I have to kill that.  I'll get it, but it may take a bit of thinking on the best way to avoid the cartoon bit.
All the best till next time.
Cindy Sorley-Keichinger