The Art of Sandra Busby...
Painter of Playful Light in Glass and Still Life


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrum roll.......................... Ta da!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, here it is -  The first in my series of Vintage Teddy bears, which as I mentioned in my previous post, dried far more quickly than I had expected and so I was able to varnish and frame it in time for Fathers Day!

The painting is of my Dad's teddy bear, which he has had since he was around three years old.
I thought it would be a sentimental but fun subject to paint and so, with the help of Mum, I secretly borrowed the bear while he wasn't looking ;0)

Apparently, he did question where the bear was at one point, but Mum told him that it was in a drawer and luckily he didn't question it any further!

My plan was to paint a portrait of the bear in a style similar to that of the old masters - You know? With a really dark background and strongly lit from one side? I thought that the style might be quite fitting for the bears age!

I propped him on the table next to the large gilt framed mirror in my art room and used the frame as part of my composition - but using my artistic licence, I turned the mirror into a Monet painting, just for fun. 
I even copied the corner of an actual Monet painting from a book I have!

© Sandra Busby - and Claude!!
I thoroughly enjoyed forging Monet's signature - It turns out I am quite good at it! Hmm... Now there's an idea ;0)

I had thought of putting my own signature there instead, but decided that this painting was meant to be set in much older times, so Monet it was!

He also happens to be my favorite of the old masters, so it seemed quite fitting.

Of course it meant that once I signed the painting myself, it de-valued the painting by about one million pounds, lol! 
But, the sentimental value is worth far more :0)

© Sandra Busby
 I just love these old fashioned, jointed teddy bears. This one is stuffed SO full of straw that he feels quite solid! He has had several patches sewn on where the straw has started to poke through his particularly worn bits...

There is evidence, particularly behind his ears, that the bear was once covered in fur (a bit like my Dad really, lol! Actually, that's mean - my Dad isn't there yet ;0)) 

But, the bear is now almost completely bald! 
I wonder what he looked like before he lost it?

I hope that both the bear and the painting stays in the family for many years to come, and I hope that by immortalizing the bear, I have might have even made a family heirloom!

With this in mind, I thought that it would be nice to put some details about the bears history on the back of the painting...

© Sandra Busby

I hope you can read that! If not - it says:

Painted for my Dad, Ted Crumplin, born as James Edward.
This is Dad's childhood teddy-bear, given to him by his Mum, Molly, when he was about three years old.
He was small enough that he remembers the bear dragging along the floor when he held it.
He later removed the bears roar because he didn't like it!
The bear is still lovingly kept today, some sixty-three years later and he currently sits on Dad's dressing table!
Happy Fathers Day Dad!
Love you lots, from Sandy-Pops xxxx (That's what he always used to call me - still does from time to time!)

By the way, the splodge next to my name is my thumb print :0)

So - Should this painting ever end up in a loft some day, dusty and forgotten, perhaps someone will discover it and learn the story of the painting along with a little family (and bear) history too!

If you didn't see my last post, you might want to look at it now as it gives lots of info on how I went about the painting, right from the very first sketch!

I enjoyed every single brush stroke of this painting and I really hope that it shows :0)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Shhhhh... It's a secret...!

Be warned - cup of tea and slippers required as now follows an EPIC post....................

My Dad has been banned from my Blog until Sunday, when I will finally be posting the oil I have been telling you about! 

It dried far more quickly than expected and so I have been able to varnish and frame it already!

The painting is going to be my gift for my Dad for Fathers Day, which here in the UK is this Sunday - and I will be explaining the reason for my chosen subject on the day.
It's a nice story, which I'm sure you will like :0)

Anyway, I decided to share the process with you, a step-by-step, of how I went about the painting from the very beginning, right the way through the under-painting... but - I will be missing out the final stage, which I will reveal, only on Sunday!

So, here goes... 

After setting up my subject, I made a sketch to the size I wanted...

© Sandra Busby

Next, after shining a lightly strongly from one side, I added some shading to establish the dark areas...

© Sandra Busby
© Sandra Busby

Now it was time to prepare my canvas. 
I needed to warm it up a little and get rid of that stark white....

© Sandra Busby

At this stage I set my easel up with everything close to hand...

© Sandra Busby

...and was ready to transfer my sketch to my canvas...

© Sandra Busby
© Sandra Busby

 Next, I used both the bear and also the sketch as a reference to under-paint the darks of the bear...

© Sandra Busby

...and the background...

© Sandra Busby

At this stage I wanted to make sure I was happy with the lights and darks and decide if anything needed changing. 
But I was quite happy...

So, now I began to really re-enforce the under-painting with a much richer tone....

© Sandra Busby

So, that's the under-painting finished! And I'm happy! :0D

Next it was time to begin the over-painting, which involved several layers of subtle colours, allowing each layer to dry before adding any more. 

Once dry, I added two coats of varnish and a frame, very carefully chosen to form a very important part of the painting.....

.....But, you can't see any of that until Sunday! 

And it looks very, different than what you see at this stage!

I really hope you will like it!

See you then ;0)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Fields of Gold... (and pink and blue and red and green)...

Hola Amigos!!

I am back from my trip to Spain, where I was lucky enough to spend my fortieth birthday.

I have had so many people asking me whether becoming forty bothers me.
It's an odd question really because what's the alternative? That doesn't bear thinking about, right?
Besides - it's just a number, and when I checked, on the morning of my birthday, everything appeared to be in the same place as was the day before. Phew!

The only thing that bothers me is that time is passing by so quickly and I want it to slow down! 

We had a lovely time in Spain. Aside from giving us the break we needed, it also gave me new inspiration!

As you know, landscapes are not my thing. Actually, I don't enjoy painting them at all.
That said - the landscapes in Spain were so different than what I see daily at home, that it gave me that little spark of inspiration that I needed.

The light in the Mediterranean is different somehow and as a result of this, the colours are pure and the shadows strong.

We stayed with friends who live amongst acres of farmland and there was a particular route cutting through the fields of wheat, straw, barley and such like, along which Paul and I walked everyday.

It was during one of these walks that it struck me just how many colours there where in what appeared at first glance to be simply gold.
In fact, as the hot, summer breeze swept through the golden fields I noticed that each stem revealed an abundance of colours; pinks, reds, greens, blues and golds.
Suddenly I could see just why Monet had depicted fields of straw in the many colours that he did.

Unfortunately, I only had a pencil with me...

© Sandra Busby. Graphite pencil

But still, because of the strong contrasts, it works nicely just as it is :0)


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