Monday, November 5, 2012

Buddha Cat

This painting is about 5 x 7 inches, watercolor, gouache.  




I'd like to say I finished this painting today,
but it needs to set on a shelf for a few days while I decide if it's done.
Below you'll find a step-by-step. You'll notice I was working over some calligraphy practice.
Just trying to get color down. I get nervous starting a new painting.
It can be hard to stick with it when the painting looks like this.
I put some acrylic medium over the background at this point.
Here I kept building the white.
I hope this animation doesn't make you tired.









Friday, November 2, 2012

Exhibit at Oakwood Village, Madison, Wisconsin


The new month started with a new exhibit. I spent the morning of November first hanging 69 artworks in the halls of Oakwood Village on Madison, Wisconsin's west side. The exhibit will be open through December. I hope you can stop in.

6175 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705
Call Denny Geller for more information: 608.230.4324.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Press Check


Press check yesterday. Thought you'd like to see the press operator printing new bookmarks. This video is a pretty large file (close to 40 megs) so I've included a still in case you don't wish to download such a monster file.


video
The press operator is checking the
color saturation.





While I hung around for the ninety minutes that it took to print this run I chatted with Jeff, a pressman who was on break. Jeff's been in the business since the days of Linotype. We marveled at the changes in the print industry over the last thirty years. 

Here are the new designs that were printed yesterday as bookmarks:




Monday, July 23, 2012

Big Swim Ahead

Been spending a lot of time in water. Long training swims as my friend, Rayo, and I prepare for a five-mile swim event.

Imagine a hot summer morning. It's 5 AM and Lani and I swim across Silver Lake. We both stop swimming in an instant: the lake is turned on. The fog has lifted and the lake glows with the rising sun.

Here is Lani.



The upcoming five-miler that Rayo and I will swim requires an escort boat. Thankfully my sister, Linda, not only kayaks but lives close to the event in Minneapolis; she's kindly allowed us to press her into being our race escort. (So glad!)

Closer to home Bob and Kay Simandl met us at Devil's Lake with their custom-built ocean kayaks to practice. Bob patiently paddled at our relaxed swim pace of about 38-minute miles - yep, slow. He stayed good-humored. AND navigated perfectly. For hours. This painting was a thank you present. Notice the subtle water angel about halfway down.



I'll let you know how the swim goes. 


Minnetonka Challenge, July 28, 2012, 6:30 AM, Lake Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Five Mile Open Water Swim

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blues

I plan: paint abstract. 
My brush says: blue water, sky. 
Not very abstract.

(That's a haiku.)

I'm trying to use color theory: warm and cool, recede and come forward. Somehow I'm still too literal, thus blue water and blue sky. Can I break this tradition? But is has been interesting figuring out the blues: cobalt, cerulean, ultramarine. Maybe I'll get bold and try out prussian. 

And it's always a delight to add a touch of orange. Orange is a nice color.

Big Shoulders, Big Water: this is inspired by the 5k swim held in Chicago each September. The event is called Big Shoulders. Notice the tiny little orange swim buoy on the upper right?

I managed to get some pink and orange into this painting.


The tomato-shape on the left is a swim buoy. There are some tiny swimmers to its left and the Madison shoreline in the background. This painting is inspired by the Madison Open Water Swim held in August in Lake Monona.

A tiny swimmer on the lower left enjoys this ice blue and quinachridone coral lake. Perhaps I can consider that abstract for a Wisconsin lake.

 See more at LorraineOrtner-Blake.com.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Season of the Cat

The drifters are coming. The scraggly fighters, the lost domestics, the hormonal escapees. Stray cats are nibbling the kibble as they pass through this area of abandoned barns; some fight and leave, some rub ankles and stay. 

Over the years we've adopted the cats that are willing. I think we have eight cats now -- or is it nine. 

So, this month as I worked on understanding color -- as it recedes and comes forward -- I looked to the cats. Cats are truly the best models ever.
Blue Pillow Stretch

A Cleaner Cat

Life is Good

Life is Really Good


Cat I Am

Sunny

How many legs?
This is the most recent painting.


Orange Bike on Green
And just for the fun of it, a bike painting, too.

These paintings are watercolor and gouache on 300-pound cotton watercolor paper. They are about four inches square. Matted and framed to about 10 x 10 inches they are $85 each. If you would like a larger digital file for a closer look, email me or call 608.742-7795. Thanks, Lorraine.



Saturday, April 7, 2012

Adorable

I think of this painting as a shrine to a bike.












Yep, I was raised Catholic, I admire saintly art and icons.















I envisioned this painting while on a treadmill. It made me smile to see the helmet floating in front of a glowing sunflower halo.

Spokes are yet to be added and some areas lack contrast and definition. But it's getting there. I'll post when it's done.














 Finished. Posted this May 24, 2012.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Entering Eden


Saw this Georgia O'Keefe painting when I was a student in the 80s. It's simplicity puzzled me then. Since then, I've often seen skies that brought the painting back to mind. It's has grown to intrigue me now.




So I looked around at cloudy skies...
 and giggled as I thought about the possibilities.









Here's the digital rough.















And the pencil drawing.


 The painting partly done.

Clouds in the sky include kitties, dog (or sheep, depending on how you look at it), banana, butterfly, angel, whale (very like), beer bottle.


Was a fun painting to create. Welcome to the bicyclers' Eden: flat road, no wind, far views. (Is this at apple I see before me?)


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Double Reverie

As you've noticed, I've been enjoying a divergence into painting fantastical bicycle scenes. I miss including words (I AM primarily a calligrapher and graphic artist after all). To make up for the lack of type and letters I'm enjoying using images as symbols. And as far as bicycles go, tandems are full of meaning.

"My husband, Kent, and I ride an orange tandem," Holly emails, (Holly, the biking, California cousin of my bike buddy Sue.) I start a thumbnail.

Then I rethink the thumbnail: she's a CALIFORNIA girl. Time to get the Wisconsin out. Change to California poppies (symbol of loyalty) and Joshua trees. I send a sketch and promise Holly and Kent that I'd paint shorts on the butterfly girl. Kent's input, "Bike shorts are optional!" I think: "shorts optional" must be a west coast thing. Jim, my husband, thinks: why shorts? why shirt?

I start painting, keeping colors light and sunshiny. TWO suns, two hearts, two trees - tandem, get it? Jim says, "Why is there only one person?" I don't have an answer for this one either.

Notice how butterfly-girl has only one arm at this point? Don't worry, she's get a second arm.
Orangy, double-sunny. Just some fine-tuning on the horizon line, amongst the flowers, and on the bike chain. Also adding a morning star for aspiration and cows -- Jim's ideas.                 

Include a few Holsteins as a bond between Wisconsin and California. I like learning that cows can represent power, earth, and rain, all important elements to a biker.

Jim suggests the title "Double Reverie." And it's finished.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But...butt...

So, let's just pretend you had a choice of three bottoms: all perky, all featured (chagrin here). But they vary in their intensity. You see, it's a night scene and the light source is on the other side of these robust buns.
Version 1: Buns just didn't seem dark enough in the shade.

Version 2: The bouncy butt seems sort of muddy.
Where has this biker fairy been?

Version 3: Aiming for the nighttime loss of vivacity but
tried to keep things glowy with a sort of blue buttocks.
 Which version would YOU choose?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Biker on High



Inspiration: bike poster from the early 1900s.



Digital thumbnail, using bits and pieces from many sources.












Finished painting, about 6 x 9 inches. (Click the picture for a larger view.)

Things I like: the tri bike, some of the hills, the subtle swimmer and runner in the clouds to the right and left of the girl. Things I wish I had done differently: more colors in the sky and land, more distinct shadows and shapes on the clouds.

Next time.