Wednesday, March 18, 2009

new peony piece and art to share

'Crinkled White' Peony, reference photo
copyright Teresa Mallen

Peony WIP, 20.5" x 5.5", Coloured Pencil on white Stonehenge paper
Copyright Teresa Mallen

Here is a work in progress image of my newest piece. The photo reference was taken last summer. We moved last year and 2008 was my first summer here. I had no idea what plants would come up in the perennial bed. I had lots of wonderful surprises. Several varieties of peonies appeared much to my delight. I did a quick search online to see if I could determine what variety this one could be. If you like peonies, I recommend a visit to as they have a lovely catalogue you can scroll through. I believe the variety in the photo is 'Crinkled White' (they spell crinkle with a K but that sort of thing bugs me so I am using a C).

As you can see in the lower picture, I am cropping the piece such that only a portion of the peony shows. I am focusing on the lovely yellow stamens. The photo doesn't show much but I feel like someone who has had to run across town in order to get to the starting line of a marathon. My running across town being all the work I have done to create the line drawing - and I haven't even started the marathon! Today I transferred the line drawing and I started finding my way around the stamens. I am placing in my darkest values so that I have a road map of sorts in order to orient myself.

In each piece, I look for something that will be challenging. In this piece my challenge will be to draw the stamens (done) and to colour them in such a way that the individual stamens are distinct and that they have a strong three dimensional quality.

I am delighted to be back working on Stonehenge. My last two pieces were rather large and they were on sanded paper. There was so much pigment flying around that I felt like the Peanuts character Pig-Pen. I am enjoying the subtleties that the layers of colour give on this paper. Downright yummy.

I have art I would like to share with you. One of the nicest benefits of blogging is that I have had the opportunity to see wonderful art and to make friends with other artists. Christine at Creative Life Studio is one these friends and I would love for you to see her latest piece. Click here for the link. To really appreciate the drawing, click on the image in order to see a larger version. For me this piece has that something special that artists hope for. I see a lot of art that is technically well done. I also see a lot of art that I find very enjoyable to look at. But a piece of art that moves me emotionally isn't as common. Christine's piece is technically well done. She knows how to handle graphite! The image is composed well and the subject is appealing. Yet something else is conveyed. The control Christine used in handling the graphite yielded a tender mood to this piece. I sense the preciousness of this infant, his vulnerability and the love with which he is cradled in the hand. So allow me to add beauty to your life today by referring you to this beautiful art. I hope you are as moved by it as I am.


Teresa said...

This is going to be beautiful! I enjoyed reading your thoughts on the piece as you prepared it... helpful as always! I've noticed you work quite a bit in a long rectangular format... any particular reason why? It certainly does have a lot of impact.

Glad to hear that K's where C's should be bug someone else besides me. I look at all the cutesy misspellings on various products and businesses and am not surprised that a lot of young people's spelling skills are not up to par. Okay, I'll get down off the soapbox now..........

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Teresa! The format is just something I chose in order to capture the composition I wanted. I also have a vertical image in mind that I might do later that is mostly just the stamens. You are probably thinking of the Swiss Chard piece and that was a long narrow piece simply because of the shape of the chard. One thing is for sure, I am definitely a custom framing kind of gal. I don't know how people work in stock frame formats! :-)

And when it comes to cutesy spelling, you can get on your soap box anytime you want!

Jeanette said...

This will be lovely Teresa. I agree that it's sometimes a marathon to do the line drawing of a complex piece. There's always that satisfaction when you can finally transfer it and get down to the fun part - the colour!

I've recently bought some rectangular panels for painting. There's something about that shape that makes a piece stand out from the crowd and sometimes, as you say, you need that shape to fit the scene in mind.

Thanks for link to Christine's piece, it is stunning.

I'm a spelling afficianado too. Language is screwed up enough these days with internet use in chat programs. I work constantly to maintain language.

Jan said...

Ooooh! One of my favorite subjects! I'm looking forward to watching your progress on this one!

The cutesy spellings don't bug me nearly as much as the chat shortcuts and especially when people use "your" when "you're" is the proper usage! But, they all make me feel the same as fingernails on a blackboard!

I had seen Christine's baby and was also struck by that "something extra" it contains. With your post, others will be able to see it also.

Teresa Mallen said...

Hi Jeanett and Jan. It looks like I am not the only one to be bothered by the misuse of language in today's culture! Thanks for stopping by.