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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Dead Fly 87 - Picnic


Dead Fly 87 - Picnic
acrylic on canvas - 14" x 14"

This one took a l-o-n-g time to do. I actually started this one a few months ago after I'd picked up a bunch of cheap acrylic paints from Michaels Art Store. I wanted to see what they painted like so went at it just kid of slapping the paint on the canvas using a picture I had in my mind. I wanted a dead fly on a picnic table. I painted in a glass of wine. Everything was all crooked as hell, but what the heck. Then came the struggle. I wanted clouds. Didn't know how to paint clouds so I went to YouTube and searched How To Paint Clouds. So many clouds! After much work this is what I came up with. The clouds looked good, The fly looked good. But the glass of wine looked like crap so eventually I gave up on it but had used so much paint in trying to get it right that the image was impasto. No amount of painting over it completely got rid of it so I decided to take sandpaper to the canvas and sand out the glass of wine. I was a little too over enthusiastic about this and went and sanded right through the canvas. Sigh! So much work and now I'd gone and wrecked the canvas. Well, I fixed it with a patch on the back and some plaster filler. You can still slightly see where the wine glass was, but it's not really obvious.

Dead Fly 86 - Self Portrait


Dead Fly 86 - Self Portrait
watercolor on canvas 14"x 14"

Unplanned subject, but I felt like doing a Dead Fly using just the black watercolor pencil. It started out as just a nice study of a Dead Fly in the middle of the canvas, then I added some water, then just let going. I had an original idea of doing one of those lovely little black and white studies of the subject but as I worked I started to see a face in the lines and shadows. Then I thought, Hm, that kind of looks likes me. So emphasized that area. Then saw another one, and another one, and another one... How many do you see? 

Dead Fly 85 Flying


Dead Fly 85 - Flying
watercolor on canvas 14' x 14"

Back to the watercolor pencils. I felt like just working with limited color to see what would happen. Like I said, at least I know what it will be a painting of.  It was tricky to add the yellow mustardy color to this one. One never knows what will happen when a new color is introduced. And like with all painting, you have to now when to let it go. Stop working on it. And say It's Done! After these watercolor paintings on canvas are thoroughly dry, I spray them with a quick coat of acrylic varnish.

Dead Fly 84 - We've Come to This


Dead Fly 84 - We've Come to This
acrylic on canvas with iron rust added
Six canvasses 14" x 14" each

This is my Fourth of July 2019 painting. I've been at this Dead Fly Project for a couple years now and each Fourth of July I wax patriotic and do a USA themed piece. This one took a while. First the layout. Then the painting. Then I carved the stars out of block vinyl for printing on the canvas. I carved six stars each one a little different and then as they were stamped onto the canvas, I took an extra slice out so that each one is different. Much like our own states. Each one has its own personality, problems, successes, political leanings. At this time I feel our country is falling apart. We're so divided. If we keep it up - well, Dead Fly. It's meant to be hung haphazardly like depicted. Troubled times. Even the stars lack order.

Dead Fly 83 - Experiment with Water Color


Dead Fly 83
watercolor on canvas 8"x 10"

I picked up a set of watercolor pencils and felt like trying them out.  One of the things that's fun about this Dead Fly Project is that when I do feel like experimenting with a new medium I don't sit there for an hour debating with myself about what I should paint. It's going to be a dead fly. So I just tarted drawing. Then brushing and spraying water on the canvas till it was done. I kind of like this medium. This one looks like stained glass. I like using it on canvas as well. That saves framing and matting which can be expensive when done properly.