The Chronicle of Wasted Time

Art, farming....and more!

 

Winter Is Coming

It’s surprising how much work is involved in getting ready for winter. Well, I suppose I should say, it’s surprising how much work is involved in getting ready for winter IF YOU ARE A CANADIAN.
My husband tells me we now have enough wood to heat the house for two years!

woodpile

We have been blessed with a long, mild fall this year. But the snow and cold will come eventually.  My chickens recently have been moved to their winter coop inside the sheep barn. And this year we have all new birds, including these beauties who were given to me by a friend.
  Campines

The hen at the front left is a Belgian Golden Campine. On the right is a Phoenix rooster. At the back are assorted bantam hens. They are bound to make an appearance in my collages sometime soon.
As for my most recent collages, they show a variety of subjects.
Blue Marina – 8×10 (sold)
Blue Marina 8x10 Sold

Blue Marina 8×10 Sold

Broken Footbridge – 32×36 ($2 900)
Brokenfootbridgelr

 

And then there is this happy little guy just perfect for the holidays.
Nutcracker- 7×5 $230
Nutcrackersmall

Lost and Found

I accidentally broke my website last week. And by ‘broke’ I  mean I basically destroyed it. “How?” I hear you wondering. Oh, you know, by doing something stupid.

So for the past week I have been picking away at the site, trying (with some help) to get the thing functional again, and this morning…EUREKA! I invite you to take a look here. There have been some renovations done, and some more still to do, but I think it is looking pretty spiffy. And if things are working the way they should be, this blog post will actually APPEAR in the site itself. *crosses fingers*

While we are on the subject of my stupidity, the other dumb art-related thing I did recently was to send in a meticulously presented grant application with the wrong number of CDs included. In my defense, it was a French form and I am a native English speaker. And who knew that when they said FIVE copies, they really did mean FIVE! Fortunately, the nice people at the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec let me know of my error, and I was able to correct the situation without being penalized or having my file dumped in the trash. Whew! Now to wait for the jury’s decision. *crosses other fingers*

So what else have I done lately that wasn’t stupid? Well, I made this:

Turcot Bridge 32×36 collage on panel

Black Orpie

Our old Orpington rooster is getting on in years, so it seemed to me that his portrait was overdue. Kepler is a handsome dude – and he knows it! His feathers gleam iridescent blue-green in the sun, and he has a fine voice. What more could a hen ask for?

Black Orpington Rooster- 14×12, painted paper collage on panel.

Waterfall

For the first time in a long time I have painted a landscape. And yes you read that correctly, PAINTED, not collaged. That makes two oil paintings in a row! No, this is the start of a major change of artistic direction. I had a couple of overdue commissions to execute and figured I had better get them done.

This painting is pretty big: 36 X 24, oil on linen. ‘Waterfall’ was inspired by a photo my daughter took in Mount Royal Park in Montreal a couple of years ago.

Waterfall 36 X 24 oil on linen © 2015 Alyson Champ
Mount Royal Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted who also designed New York’s Central Park. As you can imagine, Mount Royal is a gem! It is a green oasis atop the summit of a small mountain, right smack in the heart of North America’s most beautiful city…. Not that I’m biased or anything.
View of Montreal from Mount Royal
© 2012 Anna Kiraly
Okay, well maybe just a little.

Oil Painting

Since switching over to collage full time eight years ago, it’s like a mini vacation for my brain whenever I get a commission to do an oil painting.

I recently had the pleasure of immortalizing a Canadian stallion (yes, Canadian IS a breed of horse) who belongs to a friend of mine. He is a beauty and a true gentleman, so the job was a pleasure.

First I gridded up a drawing from a photo that my friend and I selected as our best portrait reference option.

To avoid unnecessary labour, the drawing was transferred to the panel via tracing paper and then drawn over with thinned oil paint to preserve the lines.

Then comes the  blocking in the major colour and value areas. The finishing of a painting is – for me at least- a process of gradual refinement.

I always marvel at artists who can work on isolated areas of a painting at a time. I need to bring the whole picture along simultaneously so I can see how all the parts relate to each other. I was taught to do this, and as I work, I can still hear one of my old painting instructors shouting to the class, “Start everything at the same time; finish everything at the same time.” I guess that advice stuck!
Here is a detail of the portrait near completion, and the finished product below.

Avery, 14×18 oil on panel

Summer

Summer is in full swing here on the farm. The vegetable garden is growing gangbusters- and so are the weeds! Weeding is what I do instead of a hobby. The results are worth it, though.

When not in the garden or the barn, you can find me in the studio. Here are a couple of new collages destined for Mackinac’s Little Gallery in Michigan. 
The Windermere 6×8

Wicker Rocker 5×7
Both collages say ‘summer’ to me. How about you?

Work and Recent Work

It’s a busy time of the year for work on the farm….oh, who am I kidding: it’s always busy. Our lambs are growing;

Wool covered lawn mowers.
the garden is planted; we have ducks, broiler chicks, and new laying hens in the barn. And we have this little guy. Do you see him? One of these things is not like the other.

Chick, chick, chick….goose?
That little ball of fluff in the middle of all those chicks is a GOSLING! He (or possibly she) was hatched in an incubator I borrowed from a friend. I’m looking forward to having a goose around again since Henry the Watchdog doesn’t bark. He just watches.
And in the new works department, these collages have recently arrived at Mackinac’s Little Gallery on Mackinac Island, Michigan. The first one is already sold!

The Grand Hotel, Summer 10×6 (Sold)

The Iroquois Hotel 6×8
And I especially like how this one turned out. Wouldn’t you like to stay there?

The Iroquois Patio 8×6

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