Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Mainstreet Art Center Christmas Projects"

The week before Christmas is always a celebration at The Mainstreet Art Center where I go to paint twice a week.  I am one of those artists that does enjoy being in the company of other artists when I paint.  It doesn't distract me at all, and my main circle of friends is with other artists I've met since I started painting at Mainstreet in 2004.  Every year before Christmas break we do a special project and then we all eat lunch together with the morning classes staying late, and the afternoon classes coming early.  We each bring a dish to pass.  There are about 30 painters all together. The goal of our project this year was to add interesting backgrounds with different values to figures facing away from the camera.  We picked a specific color palette.  We were to bring references of figures seen from the back or side, one figure preferred, as we were to complete the painting in about 2 hours.

I got my references from Paint My Photo.  They are copyright free and all you need to do after you use a reference is let the photographer know, and link to your painting so they can see it.  If you have a page on their site you can show your painting there also.  Below is the reference called "Dancing Down The Road."  

Dancing in the Road

Below is my painting from Dancing Down The Road. 
10" x 8" Oil on gessoed panel, unframed

My other reference from Paint My Photo was called "Cuban Dancers", see below. 

Since we were only to paint one figure, I had to change the arms and balance of the figure.  This is not finished.  I need to put something in her hands.  I am thinking a jump rope(?). and I need to shape her face better and put a hint of  her features but not enough to distract from the overall figure.

See my WIP painting below.
7" x 5" oil on gessoed panel, unframed

I wish you all a Happy and Healthy 2015!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Reference As A Starting Point"

This past week I experimented with using a reference as a jumping off point for two different styles of painting.  The reference is from a photograph I took of one of the set-ups that I furnished for the palette knife workshop with Ann Feldman.

The Reference

The first painting was done with pastel in an impressionistic manner. Different colors and parts of the reference were left out.  I struggled with it, trying to get the colors and values what I wanted.

Impressionistic Version # 1

The second one came more easily because I "dreamed/thought"about it during the night, so I knew what I wanted to do when I got to the studio. It is a one-direction diagonal style pastel with lots of black interlaced.  I really like it.

Diagonal Version # 2

Both paintings may be enlarged to see more detail by clicking on the image.  After the holidays are over I may try some other styles modeled after the "Masters".          Any suggestions?  

Please contact me for purchase information.

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Have a good week and thanks for taking a look.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Four Mediums"

Today I am posting a pastel, titled"Texas Meadow".  It is from a photo shared with me by my friend Jeanne Dale.  It may need some minor touches.  But I think it is  pretty much saying what I wanted to say.  I love the viewpoint. and the barbed wire.
12" x 9" Pastel on LaCarte Sanded Paper

Next is a watercolor.  The watercolor was one of my efforts in the Frank Francese workshop at Mainstreet Art Center.
"Homestead"   16" x 20" on 300 LB Wallis
The oil, "Siberia in May",  is from a photograph I took out of the window of the Trans-Siberian Railway on a trip from Moscow to Vladivostok in 2004 with my mother. 
 "Siberia in May"  14" x 11" Oil on Canvas
Such a beautiful and interesting country Russia!  The Western areas are European, then as we traveled across Siberia we entered the more Asian areas.  We ended in the very cultural city of Vladivostok.

Lastly is an acrylic still life I am doing in Sharron Boxenbaum's class.  It is not finished, as I would like to emphasize more light on the left, change the handle that fights with the edge, make the background more interesting and change the edgework on the top of the bowl.
"Fluted"  Acrylic on Canvas
16" x 12".
I am linking to "Paint Party Friday", Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "The Palette Knife & The Weather"

I loved a palette knife floral that Ann Feldman did a couple of months ago and asked her when she would be teaching another class for palette knife. She didn't have any until Spring she said, but would do a special one if I could get enough people.  So I rounded up artist friends and all nine of us had a great day with Ann. 
Ann did a landscape demo first thing in the morning and gave us a photo as a reference for our painting after the demo.
This week I touched up my two oil paintings I had done with Ann in her workshop.
Below is my landscape using the reference.  We drew a rough outline in paint with a small brush first, then started our painting with the palette knife.
10" x 8" on canvas sheet.
After lunch, Ann and I set-up three still life florals for the artists to choose from.  I had brought all the vases and flowers to use for the still life.  Ann did another demo and then we started painting our own florals from whichever set-up we chose.

My choice to paint.

10" x 8" on Canvas sheet.
As far as the weather...considering the dilemma in Buffalo, New York we are extremely lucky in Chicago.  Here are a couple of photos of our first little dusting of snow.  One at night when it was first falling, and one the nest day from my kitchen window.

The back yard (click on photo to see more clearly)

And finally here is my new fish tank on the chalk painted(and loaded with three coats of hand-applied wax!)table.

Real plants and two fish.  A Fancy-Tail Goldfish and a small Koi.
Did you know you should only put one inch of fish for each gallon of water?  So I have about 6" of fish in a ten gallon tank.  In a year I will need a 20 gallon tank!

I am linking this post to Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.Pinterest

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Veggie Grid"

This week I made a couple of cards, and finished some projects.  The first is a Sketch Skool project for Jane LaFazio.  We were to arrange a still life, each part individually , draw and paint and add a grid line.  In my actual painting the grid is straight, but I couldn't get the top line to straighten out in this photo.  

The first card I made this week was a "Thank You" for a thank you gift! Redundant, I know, but the gift was...YUMMY!

What a great gift for just picking up their mail!

Next I got carried away with the invitation/reminder for my book club. We meet every other month at a different members' house.  That means we only have it at our house about once every other year.  We meet in alphabetical order.  It turned out to be my turn for the Christmas party.  We don't read a book for the Christmas party, but we usually exchange gifts.  We used to buy a gift and name a price to stay within.  This year someone suggested a "white elephant" gift exchange.   If we don't like what we get, we can donate it to the resale shop "House of Hope" in Barrington where a couple of our members volunteer.  Since the theme is white elephant, and a Christmas party, I combined the two.  Here are my supplies for the card.  The elephant is clip art from the internet, some stamps I have for the invitation inside, and the Christmas greeting outside.  Then I used some papers from a pad of Christmas themed papers for the background for my message about the gift this year.


Stamped message inside (minus some info!)

The gift idea reminder

The Craziest Christmas card ever!

The last project this week is the finished journal page I showed last week.
It is a "from life" drawing with watercolor I did awhile back when I went to a Tom Trausch open studio in Woodstock , IL.  It is held in St. John's Lutheran Church.  I added Zentangling, Stamped letters, a stamped pencil, some paper collage and crayon.

Have a good week,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Creating Everyday"

Hello November!  Where has this year gone! 
I am so happy to say I finally, after more than a year, feel like I am getting my groove back.  Out of that black hole where no desire lives for art.  

I had a very productive week, although some things started and not finished.
A Favorite Lunch

Lady Across From Me

Sitting in the Car, what I saw

Today I did a journal page with collaged papers from my collection and put in my shopping list as my journal entry, so not an actual sketch..  I tore it(the list) up and glued it on with matt medium.  I did a stencil and some watercolor pencils.  I also did a little Zentangle in a few open spaces.  I will be combining my sketches with this kind of collection of different mediums, I think.  Making the sketch the focal point while doing the other work around it.

Journal Page that needs finishing

Tangled Palm Up

Jane's Grid Veggies, needs painting

For Prash-Wet onto Dry "SKY"
People In Restaurant

For Prash-Wet into Wet "SKY"
Man across waiting for oil change

First Chalk Paint Project. Table Top of Rattan Table

Top Of Table

First Coat of "Cream" Chalk Paint showing desired texture

After Two Coats of Paint and One Coat of Clear Wax.  I am going to put three coats of wax and have to let it dry for 24 hours between each.  I plan on putting my new fish tank on top of this table.

I am posting this to Sketchbook Skool, Paint Party Friday, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Have a good week,


Monday, October 27, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "First Drawing for Sketchbook Skool"

After a hectic weekend and being up all night with a stomach ache, I took it easier today.  
I had planned on doing my first "Beginnings " lesson early in the day from Sketchbook Skool, but kept procrastinating with household jobs and trying to fix a problem with my computer.  
Finally after returning home at 6:15 from watching my grandson's soccer practice, I ate dinner and opened a gessoed notebook page and put down some watercolor paint.  I dried it with a heat gun then put down a layer of acrylic heavy-bodied paint.  But to my surprise it was transparent!  So after some sketching, I added more paint.  The first sketch was a little "sketchy", but I went over it with a darker pen. 
It is not really in good proportion but I like it anyway.  It wasn't as bad as I feared!  This is my New Balance sneaker.  
My sneakers are my most comfortable shoes and whenever I am at home or for flea markets and other casual long-days of walking I wear them.  (my orthotics and magnets fit into them!)

First layer over gessoed page.  The gesso made the rather thin paper very lumpy when it dried, but I like the texture.

In the next step we were to make a general outline of the object we were painting.  As you can see I made the end of the shoe shape going off the page.

Here is my final drawing after a second coat of ink with a bigger nib.
I used an 01 Sakura Pigma pen first then an 05
With all my lights on in the family room I also got some shadows in the picture!

I am posting this to Paint Party Friday, Facebook and Twitter.

OOPS!  There is more Below, My first page of journaling, and my desk top in my family room.

I have started to journal very amateurishly!  Yesterday my day got away from me as usual, not being in the habit of having what I need with me.  So I journaled it today, just drawing little pictures of things that caught my attention yesterday.  I went shopping at Costco for a new blender.  Then spent several hours with my daughter-in-law and my grandson, who is 6, at Goebberts Pumpkin Farm.  It had suddenly dropped in temperature and was extremely windy.  So we kept on the move to see the pumpkin eating dinosaur, the three tents with animals(chickens running free).  There were all sorts of exotic animals including the big cats that I especially love. Three baby tigers, and leopards and a couple of Linx.  There were various deer type animals & goats, pigs, a cow, ostrich, Alpaca, Parrots, etc.  Then we ran to the corn box, which is filled with shucked kernels, then to the maze that was inside a structure and the piled hay/straw made it seem warmer.  We hid from each other and ran in opposite directions for about 1/2 hour.  Then it was time to checkout and get some Kettle Corn!  On to dinner at Portillo's( for me) it was a chicken sandwich and onion rings.  I got home about 7 and fell asleep on the sofa!
The last questions that Danny asked about our feelings on the class at the end of the week and my answers.  You can probably figure out some of the questions.  

I feel better now that I am into it a little more.  I think it is a good idea to journal, because as has been said, we forget the minutia that is really what makes up our lives.  I really like that I don't have to be perfect in my drawings and can just put down my impressions.  What scares me is doing it on the spot in a public space.  !. I don't sit down in an area like that ever!  2.I always need some other supply.  Today at home I had pen, paper and watercolors, but decided to use my Derwent watercolor pencils and then wet everything afterward.  I would not normally have that.  I also needed the cardboard box the blender came in to draw a facsimile of it for my journal.  I needed some scissors too!  And paper towels.  And my camera!!!

Today I shopped for ingredients to make cornbread to eat tomorrow night with chili that my son is making.  We will have dinner together after my grandson goes trick or treating.  I measured all the ingredients out into bowls and cups.  Then I took a picture to use as my sketchbook journal page for today.  After the cornbread muffins and sticks were baked, I took a photo so you could see how delicious they look!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gloria J Zucaro's "Tracy & Her Demented Friends!"

Another surprise!  A package arrived from Tracy Delisle.  In it was an abundance of fun!  A wonderful "Nevermore" plaque.  I love ravens, crows and other blackbirds.  But especially Ravens for Halloween.  I think she thought that "Demented" was missing his other friends in Delisle Land so she sent along Mister Raven to keep him company.  There was a little easel to rest Mr. Raven upon and I quickly put him up by "Demented".  They are a happy pair.  Some other special additions to the package were candies of all types, two glow-in-the-dark skellies, and some Dracula teeth for me to use on my still-human friends!

On Wednesday morning I took a "Chalk Paint by Annie Sloan" class at "Tattered Tiques" in Barrington.  What a great welcome was given to all the class-takers!  A goodie bag with notepad, pen, paint brush, decorated clothespin clip, a paint chart, a postcard from the store telling about Fall specials, a detailed handout of instructions to help us after we got home.some peppermints, some script in French for adding to possible painted pieces a picture frame, and 4 other pieces of raw wood for practicing the Chalk Painting techniques on while in class. 

This was the frame I picked.  It was just your ordinary medium brown wooden frame.  But we did a two color process on it and then distressed it and waxed it.  
It looks so cool now, a little "beachy".
The orange piece also got  orange Chalk Paint and two different types of wax, clear and dark. You can see the difference above.

This piece was the typical traditional 1970"s or 80"s gilt frame with ornate carvings.  Since many people no longer like that style of picture frame anymore, we did a one-step plus wax process to tone it down.  Doesn't it look neat!?

The last piece of raw wood is oak.  Oak has a nice grain so we did a one step process called "liming".
As you can see, I started to write my name on the wrong side.

Below is my first attempt at paper collage from Karen Sako's class.  I really enjoyed adding all the paper pieces to my moon and crow.

Up close view of papers

The 6" x 6" whole

I am linking this to Paint Party Friday, and Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Have a great week,