This work in progress is the first of five pieces planned for the Reflections of Nature 2012 wildlife art show this fall in Saskatoon. This tiger is a work in progress because she’s going to be in full colour when complete (the first layer went on last night).
My scratchboard technique is very deliberate, detailed, and pre-planned; particularly when compared to my painting technique, which is much more intuitive, loose, and spontaneous. When I work in scratchboard I feel as though I’ve gained an intimate knowledge of my subject because I’ve carefully observed and rendered every whisker, feather, or scale – like I’ve actually touched the animal while I worked. When I paint, however, I feel like I’ve captured only a brief glance of my subject because I’ve tried to work quickly to capture colour and light before the scene changes – like I’ve taken a Polaroid snapshot.
The differences in the two process are interesting to me as an artist: Perhaps this is why when I work in scratchboard it’s very easy to see each piece as separate and distinct, while when I paint I want to explore the same subject over and over again, for example as with my series of paintings of Smith Point?
Reference photo courtesy Scott Liddell (“hotblack” on morguefile.com).
Just what is it exactly about tomatoes on the vine that makes them so delicious? So unlike those giant, pale tomatoes you see for sale in your grocer’s produce section?
Well, according to Dr Harry Klee, professor in the Horticultural Science Department at the University of Florida, it’s a complex blend of sugars, acids, and a wide variety of volatile flavour compounds. Mass-produced tomatoes, unlike heirloom tomatoes, have been bred to be large, fast-maturing, and firm (to withstand being harvested by machines). What these tomatoes actually taste like hardly enters into the equation. And Dr Klee is hoping to change all that by isolating those compounds that make heirloom tomatoes so tasty and re-introducing these compounds into mass-produced tomatoes.
If it results in tastier subject matter, I’m all for it!
Pear on Blue. Acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 in. © 2012, Tania Nault.
On the weekend I went out to a local thrift shop and picked up a few still life “props”. Among them was this soft, grey-blue scarf. I couldn’t resist the play of warm of the pear nestled in the cool folds of the scarf.
Bonhomme des oranges. Acrylic on panel, 6 x 8 in. © 2012, Tania Nault.
This past winter was one of the mildest on record here in Saskatchewan. Oddly, however, that hasn’t translated into an early spring: Easter weekend it snowed. Well, blizzarded really. And it snowed again this past weekend, too. But I just couldn’t bear the thought of painting the gloomy outdoors, rather I stayed inside and painted this stack of mandarin oranges resting in their papers. “Snowman” in French is bonhomme de neige, which translated literally is “nice man from snow”. By my reasoning, bonhomme des oranges is “nice man from oranges”.
Charmlee's Grover. Novice A High in Class (192/200). Trial #3 Judge Carol Allison. Sunday, April 1, 2012.
Charmlee’s Grover. Novice A High in Class (192/200). Trial #3 Judge Carol Allison. Sunday, April 1, 2012. (2nd leg towards CD.)
I entered Grover into four CKC obedience trials this weekend at the Wascana Dog Obedience Club. He passed two trials, one Saturday morning (186/200) and the second this morning, which gives him two legs towards his Companion Dog title.
My goal for the weekend was to pass one trial, so two is great, and to get a high in class with a score above 190 is excellent for our first ever obedience trial!