Artists Statement

I paint as often and as much as I can. I take classes when I can afford it, but the money usually goes to buy more art supplies. This blog is to share the results with you! I am a Work in Progress.

Dianne Lanning Fine

Monday, September 16, 2013

I'm Baaaack. . . . (echoing) Hellooo?

OK, so this is what I've been up to. Feeding another obsession, or passion, whatever. Two new kirtles. I haven't taken pictures of the the first one and it's embroidery, yet. It was sort of a warm-up piece. For the first one I had some knit fabric(which did not exist in the Middle Ages) in white I knew would be comfy. This post is of the second one in a nubby beige.

Years ago I had purchased these lengths of fabric to make chemises and kirtles for some of my costumed activities. Then life took a different turn. But I'm back.

Kirtle/Lanning - biege, neckline embroidery and beading in progress.
This is turning out to be a "Sampler" kirtle. A basic dress worn by women and men(shorter versions usually) from shortly after the fall of the Roman Empire until about 1500. At that time they still existed, but became more of an undergarment or chemise. That's when corseting began. That's when I STOP now. Been there, done that.
Anyway, here is the neckline so far, all kinds of stitching and over stitching, all kinds of thread, floss, beads and perle cotton including metallic floss in copper. The crosses are in a really interesting DMC copper metallic floss that looks like actual metal. A trial to work with, but with patience (and some language unbecoming a lady) it can be done. These are something called a Syrian cross or a Persian cross or Armenian. Anyway, you embroider an unattached grid, then you weave the metallic threads round and through the grid to make the cross.
The light blue marks are for further elements.
Kirtle/Lanning - neckline and front opening.
This is a little more of the front. Since this easily slips over my head and will be a loose gown, I'm going to fake a front lacing (spiral style). I'll add hand sewn eyelets and a lacing cord, but not open the seam. Gap-osis prevention.
Kirtle/Lanning - right shoulder seam guarding
This is the right shoulder and armhole seam. I've always loved the guarded seams look, so I went to town on this one. All seams on this were initially stitched three times. Basted, then the seam allowances tucked and sewn down with gold thread. Then an insertion stitch in a deeper gold to connect the seam securely. Then I went back on these seams and over stittched in green to add that accent of color.
Kirtle/Lanning - left sleeve, braid
OK, here is the funny part. The woven braid at the end of the sleeve is what I bought originally to be the only trim, to go around the neck and the hem, too! Then I began to embroidery it, even adding that tiny row of green right next to the braid at the sleeve end! Maybe I can make a girdle (belt) of the rest of the trim, since it doesn't seem to be going onto the gown. Well, no there's not enough to go around the hem! Hey, I can use it to cover the openings of the pocket slits!
Kirtle/Lanning - seam guarding of gores
This is right below the armhole. The triangles are gores inserted into the side seams and often the center back and front. They were a part of a kirtle because looms tended to be rather narrow and this added width to the gown's hem. Being unable to decide which stitch I liked best, I did a different stitch (and color) on most seems to guard them. This stitching was used to actually sew the seam most often, but it did also strengthen the seam and protect it from wear. Used Grain of Wheat and a Buttonhole variation stitches here.
Kirtle/Lanning - hem treatment
Got a little carried away here. At the bottom I put a double cable stitch in brown, then a double herringbone in rust and deep gold, then another stemstitch row in rust. In wanting to secure the hem turn up from the top, I did a few more things, including some beading for accents in glass beads with copper lining. The little green circles and the gold overstitching are in cotton perle #8, the brown row above that it is perle #5. The one just below is cotton perle #8 in a brighter brown. Thinking it still needed something, I added the green cable stitch triangles. Hmm, still needs ... something.
Kirtle/Lanning - hem treatment - next
Hence the motifs within the triangles, I couldn't decide if I should only put them on the bottom. This is Gutermann metallic copper floss that sparkles nicely. Just not in my photographic attempts. Empty spaces, can't have that. So I added the motif to the top triangles. It looks funny, so I thought I'd fill the motifs. The fill is a lattice pattern, in green, with the crossings secured with rust colored floss. Not visible here. This is a bit more Jacobean than medieval. Medieval embroidery would be filled solid. I wasn't sure I had enough floss on hand and I can't afford to go out and buy a bunch right now. This will have to do. I am not actually a paid up member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, so I fudge a bit. Maybe later I will fill it in more solidly. When my ship comes in.

The entire garment is hand sewn, indeed the seams were sewn at least three times to do it the Medieval way. This is still a work in progress. You should see the To-Do List.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Time for en plein air again,

Sunol Regional - Little Yosemite
This was to be a meet up with some plein air painting friends, but, since I am a declared weather wimp, I bowed out. Well, it became a popular decision when it hit 104 F, and the Park had some major maintenance with big machinery. So, hopefully it will be in the 80's in a few more days and we can get out there to try again.
I took this photo on a sort of scouting expedition earlier in the year as the rains stopped. It's from a narrow dirt road up on the side of the canyon, looking across at this big. . . rock.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independance Day!

The Red, White, and Blue!
It's the Fourth of July!
In London, Harrod's is having a big 4th of July Sale.
I'm spending it with Family.
I hope you do to.

Now, I need to learn to let go of my own baggage! Maybe a giant garage sale? Of course, then there would be so much more carpet to vacuum.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Manarola, a Goal

On the easel:
Manarola, Cinque Terre, 8X10 acrylic
An Italian friend gave me some pictures of this area. The other day I was doing my "Gallery sit" and they asked us to bring something to paint while we were there, so it seemed the time was right to start on this one. It's in acrylic, and recently I've been working in oils. Forgot how fast they dry! The Masterson sta-wet palette is wonderful for this, but I forgot and just plopped some "Gray Matters" paper palettes in the case and headed off. I should have used the sta-wet feature!! Fortunately I had a little spray bottle and kept moistening the paints.

This was odd because I started at the bottom of the picture. Perhaps I got entranced by the road system hanging off the cliffs and the reflections in the water.
Putting a lot of water and a little paint worked well to wash in some of the colors intended for certain areas. To keep them straight.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts

Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts
Wow, Look what I found on the web! I was looking for examples of Or Nue embroidery and heard there was a fairly recent (2010) discovery of a piece at Durham Cathedral. There was also this link to the British Library's Digitized Manuscripts files. These include the Gospel of St Cuthbert, the oldest extant European book! It was buried with him. We know how long something like that lasts, but anyway. It is still nearly pristine, unlike other manuscripts that have been "disassembled" or butchered, usually through greedy collectors and art thieves. The British Library bought it from Durham Cathedral, so it has a good chance of surviving.
The above is (I think) a picture of it. It was attached to the article, but not identified, so I am assuming it's the same book.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Landscapes, etc

One of the City Galleries is going to have a show soon focusing on landscapes and variety, mostly in style, I think. So my juices got to going, and I lost track of time the other day, but the result was this:

Hot City acrylic 8X10
 It's only 8X10 but I am excessively pleased with myself. Lets say it's an "impressionist/abstract." Don't know what else to call it. It's an image that sort of popped into my head and I thought I'd try it. The next thing I knew it was about four hours later. I'd missed a few things I was supposed to do. Gotta watch that. Yesterday I did a little additional highlighting and added a little more color. I just signed it (before I took the picture) and in looking for a dark mahagony frame I thought would look good, found this one. I'm not sure where I got this frame, it isn't my type at all, but I must have been directed to it, because it fits the picture in size and style.

Then there is this one, now an orphan:
Winter of The Seasons - acrylic 12X16
This goes with Autumn (Yosemite) and Spring (Weed Cabin) and they are all framed alike. The problem is that Autumn and Spring have disappeared. It looks like they were taken from my car. They were framed in the same Barnwood frames (Cheap Joe's) and would have looked pretty good together.

This is an old friend:

Square bottle - watercolor 12X16

 This is finally framed. But to my chagrin, I broke the glass! I'm hoping Michael's or someone carries the right size in stock. Otherwise I'll have to get it cut to fit.

These two are much older, they've been sort of on semi-permanent lend to a friend who loves fuschia:
Fuschia I 5X7 watercolor

Fuschia II 5X7 watercolor
Sorry about the plastic covers, they've been on the wall a while. They are both matted in ivory and a narrow band of gold. Most of that got cropped out.

More excuses:
Cousin Red - oil 6X8
It's actually "Cousin Red had too much," but I shortened it. Then I ate the pears. MMMM.

Somehow I picked up some sparkles in the photo, In painting it I probably missed the medium and used turpentine to thin the paint. Not thinking, bad.

This last is too fuzzy. I must have gotten too close with the camera and not used the little "Flower" icon for close up.
Inferno Beneath - 5X7?
Well, there was this documentary on TV about the volcanoes on the Big Island.

How do you make ripples in black. Something to think about.

Love to all, and don't let your paint dry out, unless it's watercolor!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happy Easter!

Gift Lilly, watercolor 4X8

Have a Happy Easter everyone!

Peace for the world, and for those would needed proof.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Odds and ends from sketch books

America's Cup Trials, 3X5" watercolor
 Last summer we had the America's Cup trials in preparation for the real thing. It was too scenic to pass up! Had to watch it live on local TV to actually see anything. They had boats in the water broadcasting the action.

America's Cup Trials, San Francisco Bay, 3X5 watercolor
This is the truely pocket sized Moleskin watercolor book. It is so cool! It's wonderful quality paper, a sturdy cover with rounded corners, an elastic strap to hold it closed, and a pocket inside for whatever. I highly recommend these to keep with you at all times to get those snapshots of moments.
Oh, come on cat! In or Out!, 3X6" pen and ink
Who with cats hasn't been through this. Have you ever tried to convince a cat that you CANNOT MAKE THE RAIN STOP! Then they give you that look.

Gallery visitor, 2X4" pen and ink
Last summer I did my turn in the city gallery, and this was one of the visitors that came in that day. It's a high traffic spot, so there were all sorts of interesting people, but some just move too fast.
Bistro, 4X5,
Gnarled Tree, 4X5
House on the Park, 4X6                   

Hmm, I was trying to line three up, side by side. Sigh. Defeated. Well, it was a lovely day in Pleasanton last summer.

Tyko Drum performance 4X6
 This was a fundraiser for the city gallery and there was art and performance all evening. This group was well choreographed and very exciting. I caught a few of their poses and moves, but you can't see the precision of them all doing these moves and drumming together. I hadn't been at a live Tyko performance for a long time, it was great!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Landcape practice

Ok, I guess I've got to get out more! I'm painting landscapes from photos and the weather is starting to get nice, no excuses. Well, lots of excuses, no good reasons.

Arizona Weather, oil, long and narrow
Well, that was pure laziness, I didn't get up and go measure it. It's about that high, and longer horizontally.
Anyway, working from a photo in an old Arizona Highways. Remember those? When I was a kid I never saw the point, we were in Arizona all the time. When I close my eyes I can remember the smell of rain on the way. (I am rather please with the cacti.)

Winter, acrylic
Nope, now it's too purple. The trees look like little soldiers, but sometimes they do and you have to give them variety. Next.

Glen/Loch 8X10 oil
This has been in the works for several days. The right side will get more texture in the grass and make the ledges more irregular. Etc. It's a loch in Scotland, and it was just too beautiful to not paint it.

The Road to Helms Deep, 8X10 oil
Todays work.
This is from a photo taken either by Forrest or Sara. They both take great pictures and it wasn't labelled. They live in NZ now and they climb everything that goes up. They also take spectacular photos.
The spot in the middle ground was on my camera, not the picture. It's still all pretty near medium value and light value, the darker values will give it more punch. The little green bits in the foreground are actually full grown trees! The scale on this one is amazing.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

OK, ketchup (LOL) time!

Swan 4X5 watercolor
I did this a while ago, trouble is I cannot recall the source. It was a photo, I think. Apologies and gratitude to whoever took the picture, I can't remember. (Embarassing.)

Last Flight 5X8
What a day, this was done while watching the Last Flight of the Shuttle on live feed. It flew all around Sacramento, so I was able to find a local TV station's feed from that part of the flight, then later went back to the broadcast from the escorting jets. Wow, I wish I had a pilots license.
Lunch at Applebee's 4X5.5
This was another treat. I took myself to Applebee's for lunch and dragged my kit in with me. These were the ladies at the booth near me. The one never got off the phone. And yes, that upholstery really does look like that.
Don Edwards Regional Park plein air 5X7
This was another Friday. I left out the city scape that is tucked in between the marshes and the hills. Artist's License in hand, we can paint what we want, right?
Roses 8X8
Again, a mystery source. I may have been watching a painting show on PBS, but I don't remember! Sorry. It was good practice of a technique I should keep trying. It's dated 2011, so I barely remember the fact that it was I who painted it!
Japanese Fountain 8X8
This I remember! Yeah! It was last summer at my brother's house. We were sitting on a wooden porch swing and it was very shady. It was my plein air kit, so I had trouble with the values, all dark. Lots of mossy areas too. The red/orange spot was a leaf floating in the bowl. The weeping spruce is too regular, I need to mess it up a bit.
Good Grief.
Major screw up. First, cheap paper. I got carried away and I was using a sketch pad so it's all wrinkly. I finally had to give up because it got too wet and I couldn't do any more on it. Maybe I should have stopped long before this stage! It was a bleak scene as I was watching a documentary on PBS.
  Then, of course, I forgot all about rotating the picture! It seems my H-P Photo(not so)smart C4580 refuses to talk to my new (2011) laptop. It will grudgingly print, but it won't even recognize the scanning function. No help on line. I had to resurrect the old (2006?) PowerBook G4 laptop to scan these pictures, put them on a flash drive and dump them on to the new one. What's up with that? (*&^%+#@$!) Such language.
OK, I should be grateful I have both, and that I can do it at all.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancake Day and The Great Cinnamon Heart Hunt

Glass Heart on Lace - watercolor, 5X6
Actually, today is Shrove Tuesday. Which is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. (?)I first heard of this while living in Merry Old England. Suddenly there were all these adverts on telly about Pancake Day. They were for "Jiff", which confused me because here that's peanut butter. In England it is all things lemon. The Pancakes to which it refers are what we would call crepes. 
   Fortunately I was living with a group of wonderful elderly ladies that were a rich source of information on all things England. There is no better way to get to know a people and a country! I was full of questions and they were delighted to fill me in, we had great lunch time discussions. As a special treat Cook made pancakes for us for lunch!
   Shrove Tuesday is just before Lent, so to hold off temptation and not let anything spoil, this is the day all the rich stuff gets cooked and eaten. Hence Pancake Day. You make a stack of crepes, excuse me, pancakes, and get a bunch of lemons (this is what brought up the questions in the first place) and sugar. Castor or Superfine sugar is best. 
   Place a pancake flat on your plate, sprinkle it with sugar and then lemon juice to taste, roll and eat. Free style. Amazing! It really is delicious! Other popular toppings are berries with sugar or Golden Syrup. What's that? Well, it's not made from corn, so no Karo. It's similar to honey, but man made. It is a sugar syrup. So if you don't have a Cost Plus or other supplier of the unusual near by, use honey.
  Now for Valentine's Day. I'm going out after this to find those large cinnamon jelly hearts I love so much! After I've had my Pancake Day pancakes for lunch.
(Contented Sigh)