Friday, April 11, 2014

These might end up in a painting someday

A while back I was traveling north on 441 on my way to Gainesville. In McIntosh, on the right hand side, is a great little antique shop that has this out front. Any store that has something like this sitting out front is just screaming at me to stop and see what's on the inside!

What did I find inside? The coolest collection of bottles I've seen anywhere. There's just something about old bottles- the frosty softness of the glass, the way the light filters through and gives them a glow from within, the smooth curve of the glass where so many hands have touched.

Colors bounce back and forth. Blue, gold, lavender, green - all points of the spectrum shine and entice, begging to be shot and captured. Of course the shop owner was smart in the way he displayed the bottles - on shelves in front of mirrors with strings of lights in the just the right places.

What was contained within these shapes? What fragrance, what poison, what remedy? Who belonged to the hands that held the bottle and wished for healing or relief or maybe just a buzz?

Was there a reason for the shape of the bottle? Why do some bottles have ridges and bumps on the outside? I asked the owner of the shop these questions. He told me that some bottles were manufactured with a particular design specifically to protect the consumer from accidentally using the contents in a way that would harm them. Bottles meant to contain poison such as insecticide would have bumps in a pattern or embossing on the outside of the bottle that actually said 'poison'. If you were up in the middle of the night with a stomach ache, it's dark and you're going by feel to find your medicine, you won't make the mistake of drinking something that's not meant to be ingested. Good thinking! If you're interested in more info about the history of bottles, check out this site.

Anyway, learning these little tidbits about the bottles makes them even more interesting. It's not a subject I'm painting right now but I'm hanging on to these pictures because one of these days.... you might see a new series begin. When that happens you'll know where it started.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Popping colors and crumpling paper.

The last week of March and first week of April were some crazy, busy weeks! I had the Friday Painting Party going on and my 2-day acrylic workshop down in the Villages on April 3rd and 4th. They have a great space down there at the Lifelong Learning College classroom at Spanish Springs - lots of tables, good demo area and good munchies. I had a couple of familiar faces from the first workshop I taught there back in the fall, and met some great new people.

We were doing landscapes with texture and complimentary colors. One of the techniques I showed them was how to do the tissue paper texture that I demonstrated in this video. It's one of my faves for doing landscapes. It just lends itself so well to the subject. And of course, adore working with complimentary colors to make the scene pop!

Some of the folks had to leave early and missed the critique time but these lovely ladies stayed and shared their projects. I love this part of doing workshops - when we line up the work and see what everyone accomplished. They did such a great job! Everyone was open and willing to jump out of their comfort zone and do something completely different. Some were really cranking out the work too - one painting after another, amazing.

I'm looking forward to working with the college and doing some more classes and workshops. :D