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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Horse Painting Tutorial

Following the same steps as my Dog Painting Tutorial, here is a slighly more advanced horse.
First, a word about your reference photos. I'm not the best of photographers, but I don't find it to be a great problem when working loosely in painting. The odd blurred photo can make the best painting reference. Here, I'm using a photo that has very dark shadow and very little detail, and I could have painted (for instance) the bulk of the neck in solid black as is shown in the photo. If it's believable in the photo, it is believable in paint. If more detail is wanted, online searches for anatomy of your subject or reference photos for artists can be searched and studied, but again, your photo is going to be of great value and help to you. Spend time with it. Offer it more than a passing glance. I'll often live with a photo, even three or more copies of it in my house to look at in the living room, kitchen, studio, etc. for a few days before I ever pick up a pencil or a brush. I want that photo imprinted in my mind.

My printed and gridded reference photo

The grid of squares on a grey painted canvas,  and a carefully drawn basic image in white charcoal pencil.

Laying in lights and darks broadly

Refining lights darks and midtones and double checking shapes

Laying in the background and glazing (using a very transparent layer of paint to cover the horse and unify it. The transparent layer (glaze) is made of very, very little black paint, and a lot of medium) Highlights were then added.

Finished Piece
"Big Black Horse"
Acrylic on Canvas

Friday, February 25, 2011

Are You Prepared For The...BEST?

So many are living in fear of a dreaded tomorrow, a time post apocalyptic, the invasion of zombies, an infestation of alien elbow fleas, or what have you. I hear talk of shelters, food and water gathering, protection. Many are returning to gardening and hunting in preparation for a nightmare.
 It could happen.
  I tend to find what I'm looking for. What I think about most is what I see. When my focus is on negativity, I find reasons to be negative.

 One question:
Have you prepared for the best?
It's as likely to come as anything. What if it should happen, your greatest dream? Are you ready? Say it's love or you've finally been recognized for your work. Are you prepared? Have you opened your heart? Have you done enough paintings for the show they may ask you to do?
  I've no particular connection to any belief system, and find little of use as far as biblical things, but there is one sentence I find most intriguing. "I go and prepare a place for thee." It speaks of love, and I in my heart prepare room for a beloved. I clear out old baggage of fears. I practice by loving myself and friends for the time when a beloved comes. I prepare paintings for a show I have not yet been asked to do. I prepare for my greatest dreams.
   When they come, will you be prepared?
tina jones

Monday, February 21, 2011

Messing With the Masters: Shakespear

"Let me not to the marriage of true minds
admit impediments.Love is not love
"Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove;
O,no!it is an ever fixed mark,
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown,although his hiehgt be taken.
Love's not Time's fool,though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bendingsickle's compass come;
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error,and upon me prov'd.
I never writ,nor no man ever lov'd."
William Shakespeare.......
Well, Billy.... Bless your heart........
What of love he missed in nailing it down
like a frozen fall or granite gown?
Love doth move! Indeed it grows!
Love is the very flux
banks swell and redux.
Love dances to a moon of tidal pools
Low and high in calls and coos.
No, Shakespear would have no more of love
than what he spotted as named then shov'd
it into captive definition
in doing so blocked accomodation.
"Alteration" is Love and Love Changed
When love is lost, Love is what remains.......Tina Jones.....So There! (hehe)
Acrylic on Canvas

Saturday, February 19, 2011

"Perhaps They Never Will"

I've just finished the last portrait in this blog of my son. The title refers to Autism which he was diagnosed with at age 2. He's 21 now. I have many of his traits, and in hopes of conveying to him how much I understand, I paint.
  I thought it might be of interest to show the progression of my painting and style through the years, so I'm posting different works I've done of him.
  What next? smiles. Anywhere the brush leads me.
Best to all,
tina jones

"Artist's Son" 1997
Oil on Canvas

"Baby Bear" 1999
Oil on Canvas

"Artist's Son" 2004
Oil on Canvas

"Perhaps They Never Will" 2011
(For my beautiful son)
Acrylic on Canvas

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How To Say, "No."

   No, is one of the most difficult words in the English language, and likely in other languages. It hides in "maybe," "I don't know," and even "yes" sometimes. We regret having said, "OK" and end up resenting the people we said, "Maybe" to, all in an act to avoid the uttering of the word, "No."
  It's not an evil word. It's not a bad word, it is a nice word, and the people who care aren't going to drop off of the face of the planet if we say, "No." Those who do disappear, are simply making room for a better friendship in your life. When we hang on to people who would use us, we steal a happier self from those who really do care.
  Come on. Try it with me, "No."......"No, no, no, no, no." See? Nobody died. Whisper it in private, or practice in the mirror if you need to, just to see how it feels. You will be able to say it to another human being despite the lump in your throat, the sweating and even the shaking.
  We hear the word, "No, so much as toddlers, that it's one of the first words we learn, and then get scolded for saying it. It doesn't feel good. It feels wrong, and feels mean. Nothing,  however is more cruel to a friend or loved one, than our saying, "Yes" to something we don't want to do, then resenting them for not reading our minds. The resentment can last for ages, and destroy tender relationships, when all that was needed on the spot was a "No." Painful, mean or frightening as it sounds in the moment, "No," is one of the most merciful and loving (Did you hear that? "LOVING") words that can be said.
   No reason is needed for the word, "No." If you provide a reason that you can't do or won't do what's being asked, the person requesting will find a way to fix that reason for you. Not wanting to do a thing is reason enough. "No." is enough to say. There are multitudes of ways to say, "No." The easiest and simplest is a kind and firm, "No." I've gathered a few, "No's" that have worked for me. Use them, and use them often enough to ward off resentment.

1- "No."
2- "Hell, No!"
3- "Yes, but NOT with you."

   So many trusts are broken by unspoken, "No's." Often, we blame others, when the responsibility laid  in our own laps. We were dishonest, when we said, "Yes" to things that went against our truest selves. We can become more real with the ones we love.
  Suppose you commit to saying, "No," once a week for practice, and you mess up once? You can go back to the person, and say, "I was wrong. I need to say, "No" to this." Make it ok with you to be wrong, to make mistakes, to step in something, and step right back out of it.
   The beauty of "No," is more than freedom from resentments. Once people get used to you saying it, they begin to trust that when you get to say, "Yes," you mean it completely. When we are more true to ourselves, we are more true and open to others. "No," is a very, very loving word.
   Peace be with you, and those you love.
tina jones

"Kiss Off"
(Self Portrait)
Acrylic on Canvas

Sunday, February 13, 2011

"In Love We Live"

I am small, and I know little, but I grow, and I learn. Love has been the most illusive word avoiding definition, and dancing around pidgeon holing. It doesn't seem to like fitting in boxes, and regards placement as an amusing thing to play with. It seems to move of it's own having it's own life and intelligence. Intelligence that giggles at reason no less.
  Still, for today, here is my best description of the playful child.
Love: an inpersonal sense of good will, meaning I want the best for you regardless of what gain or loss that might mean to me. With the word "love," I'm reassuring others freedom to be themselves/pursue their happiness with my support. You cannot earn it, nor can you make my love go away. It simply is.
  Loving you is my gift to me and my joy for who you are. I'm left in awe by you, your dreams, your strengths and your loves. When I watch you fly, I am transformed. Part of me awakens to life, and my heart remembers it's wings. How could I do anything, but love you?
tina jones
"In Love We Live"
Oil on Canvas

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dog Painting Tutorial: Using a Grid

What if I gave you this  grey square and a white pencil or paint, and I asked you to draw only the small white part in the lower right corner? What if I told you it didn't have to be exact, just roughly 1/4th of the way from the right side, and about 1/5th of the way from the bottom? What if I said a little smearing was ok? Could you draw this? Likely, you could.

How about this square? This time the shape is about 1/4th of the way from the right, but it's about 1/3rd of the way from the bottom. It also has a little hot dog shape on it. Could you draw the shapes loosely? I think so.

How About this one? Let's see. A curve close to the lower left corner curves up to not quite 1/3rd of the way up on the right. It has some dark lines in it. There is another shape here on the upper right. Can you imagine drawing these shapes?

What if I told you that I was going to give you 36 squares to work with, but that 8 of them were already finished for you? Could you leave those 8 alone? Ofcourse, you could. Now, you have 27 squares to draw or paint shapes in that don't have to be perfect.

What if some of the shapes had angles? I think you can.

What if a few of the shapes had different directions of loose strokes. Here, at the bottm left there are a few curves from the bottom to the left side, and on top of them theres sort of an arrow shape pointing down.
  From the top dark and light lines mixed up all go toward the arrow.
  I think you can do this too. Remember, it's loose and it doesn't have be accurate, just general direction.
  Nice abstract, I'd say. smiles.

   The squares are from a 5x7 print. I measured with a ruler and marked off each inch. Then I numbered them. I've put an "X" on each square where there is nothing of the dog for me to draw. The first square I showed you, was 2 across and 2 from the top. See if you can locate the others.
"Sure!" You'll say, "but there is an awful lot of information in some of those squares!"
This is true. Take 2 down and 4 across, for instance. It has most of the face in it. What if I told you, we can simplify it?

Within any square, we can create another grid. Here I've divided 2 down and 4 across into smaller pieces. These smaller pieces are simpler to render. Look at the top line, three across. You can do this. 

For my canvas, I painted it a sloppy medium grey and I made a grid just like the one on the photo in a white pastel (like chalk) pencil. I can wipe the grid away when I'm done. I chose to make my grid on the canvas 2x2", so my painting is twice the size of the photo.  Here is the dog with all of the 27 squares filled in. More work will be done refiining, but already this is a good representation of the above dog.
Using your own photo, choose a simple image, even a ball or a cup. Print it and make your grid on the paper image. Create your grid on your drawing/painting surface, and start filling in the squares!
OH! And don't be afraid to play...

  Bring that Puppy Home! hehe!

11x14 Acrylic on Canvas

tina jones

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Painting and Drawing: Seeing For Fun.

Drawing is a fairly simple act of holding an instrument that makes a mark like a pencil an applying that mark to a surface like paper. Showing people how to see is the most important aspect I think. Once a person can see, recreating the marks becomes a straightforward process.
   Our minds have set ides about what different objects like "car," "dog," "cat," bowl" or "Person" looks like. We will impose these ideas onto what we see, then images become distorted, often until what is right in front of us no longer looks like what it is, but more like our ideas. In the following image, I've hopefully removed any concrete idea of what the object is. I've taken one of my works in progress and cropped, rearranged and pasted it digitally in order to present only small jumbled parts.
   The object of this is not to figure out what the painting was, rather to look at the random shapes and see what images you can find. After the first image, I'll post a list of five images to get you started. Seeing them isolated will help you find them in the larger picture. There are many other possible images here. See how many you can find. There are no limits and no correct, or wrong answers. The exercise is to help develope seeing as an important tool in drawing. Have fun!

                      Door Handle  

                       Marilyn Monroe

Man with Mustache and Sail Boat

      Man with Glasses and Scarf

                                   Sad Eye

In a few days, I'll post another exercise containing the original painting without rearranging.
tina jones.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Censorship and the Artist

 Fine painting you have here! GENIUS, SIR!
   Thank you, I was a little concerned about the light in.....
Well, You're the artist, Sir.
Yes. Do you suppose your gallery would consider...?
 Hmm.What have you titled this work?
 "Nude on Canvas"
 Fine name it is, at that!
 So do you think..?
Well Sir, it's just that some of our clientele are, well...sensitive...
 Uh huh....
And well, Sir..You have genitalia showing in your painting.
  I see.
 If, perhaps you might..somehow..just cover the area?
 Well, Sir we have an array of decorative paint swatches. Might I suggest, white, or something in eggshell?
  White will do.
Very Good Sir!
  Ok, Do you think your.....
 It's just that... I don't like mentioning these things, but well...nipples.
   Say again?
 Nipples, Sir. They are showing in your painting.
   It's a man.
Still, Sir. Our clientele is of the utmost sensitive tastes.
  You're kidding, right?
 No, Sir. If you could just....?
   More paint swatches on the painting?
 Brilliant, Sir! Yes!
   Sighs, ok. That's three cardboard swatches. Now....
 I should mention, Sir that we've had people complain about ummm (sshhh) Fingers.
 You see, Sir. Some of our clientele have mentioned that some people sexual things with their fingers, so they think it only wise to not show fingers in a painting.
   Fingers huh? I'll be damned.
Sir, If you could refrain from cursing...
   Of course, yes. I'll just put these swatches here and here.
 And Sir if it wouldn't be too much trouble, the mouth?
    Don't even say it! I'm covering it now! Are these people medicated?
 Our clientele, Dear Sir is always right.
    Yeah, I should probably calm down. I mean I do want to show my work, after all.
Precisely, Sir.
    So, Now, the genitalia, fingers, nipples and mouth are covered. Do you think...
 I don't mean to nit-pic, Sir, but there is an awful lot of skin showing.
.  It's a NUDE!
Sir, This is a dignified establishment! Keep your voice down.
   Sighs, so.......swatches?
 If you don't mind, Sir.
   Do have another box of them?
 Right here, Sir.
   Thank you.
 As always, of course. We tend to our artists, Sir.
   Ok Fine. Everything is covered but the hair.
   FINE, The HAIR is covered too. It's nothing but a white canvas.
 Ah, now THIS is art! Expressive, original ...but
 The title, Sir. "Nude on Canvas?"
   What about it?!
 It's the word Nude, Sir. Our clientele find it to be overtly suggestive.
   Sighs, "ON CANVAS?!!!" How's that?!!!!
 It raises an eyebrow, Sir. The word "ON" is obviously perverse.
 Sir, Please don't make me sing "Let's get it *ON" by Marvin Gaye. What do you think he meant by "ON?"
   You're a nutcase, you know.
 Sir, It's only for our clients and in your best interest.
   So, "Canvas?!"

"Nude 7"
Acrylic on Canvas

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Cancer: Things I didn't know that may help you.

Following are my experiences and the best of my understanding.

Cancer cells are your cells that have lost their progamming, and they are weak cells. They die while people usually don't during Chemotherapy and Radiation, because these are designed to make all cells sick. The cancer cells are weak enough to die from the treament while most of of your other cells survive.
  Cancer cells grow quickly to make up for their weakness. Other quick growing cells like hair may die too during chemo and radiation, but these normally return to normal production after the treatment is stopped.
   I've read different information on sugar and cancer. It goes to extremes. My experience is that I had not eaten refined sugar in years, and the cancer that was removed from me was roughly 3inches in diameter. Diagnosed in January2010 and surgery in April 2010, it had not grown. and it was a "medium" growing cancer. Had I been eating refined sugar, I might not be here. At the very least, sugary foods should never replace nutrient rich foods. Some nutrient rich foods can actually help prevent cancer. (Link to the Mayo Clinic's information)
   The American Cancer Society suggests that, NO, sugar doesn't feed cancer, rather it creates a situation where cancer can develope. Studies are always ongoing, but if a food lke refined sugar has no benefit, and creates an environment for cancer growth, why do it?


Does sugar "feed" cancer?

No. Sugar intake has not been shown to directly increase the risk of getting cancer or having it progress. But sugars and sugar-sweetened drinks add large amounts of calories to the diet and can cause weight gain, which can affect cancer outcomes. There are many kinds of sugars, including honey, raw sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, and molasses. Many drinks contain sugar, such as soft drinks and fruit-flavored beverages. Most foods and drinks that are high in sugar do not offer many nutrients and may replace more nutritious food choices. For this reason, limiting sugar intake is recommended"
 Above quote from this page:

   Another quote on sugar and cancer from Pam Stephan at
 "Processed sugars such as white or brown sugar and corn syrup should be avoided or limited. Consuming too many sugar calories can lead to obesity and high insulin levels, which would contribute to your increased cancer risk."
  Above quote from this page:

   Cancer happens as the program (dna) print wears out, like when you keep making copies from copies of a document. Eventually you end up with something that is no longer readable. Things that prematurely age the cells, therefore can cause cancer. One of these things is a low oxygen environment. Imagine how you'd struggle to survive with little oxygen. Cells do the same thing. Ways to have a low oxygen environment are smoking ofcourse. Lack of exercise to get oxygen to the cells is another. If you have a respiratory condition that limits your oxygen like asthma or emphazema, treat it and keep treating it. Meditation involving controlled breathing to oxygenate the body is good. It not only provides oxygen, it can reduce stress markedly. (stress ages us quicker too!)
    Ofcourse there are other causes like over exposure to sun. I'm someone that has always felt lethargic in direct sun and heat. I had had a heat stroke before and a few sunburns. My cancer was Squamous Cell Carcinoma (Sun Cancer). If you think that only appears on areas exposed to the sun, guess again. One can get a bad sunburn one day and years later cells that ran out of programs prematurely can show up anywhere. Mine did.
   How to get cancer and keep it growing: Don't exercise, eat sugar and other high carb foods instead of high nutrient foods, smoke, get a good tan, don't treat asthma/bronchitis/emphazema and don't exercise or meditate. There are other ways, but that's a start.
  The word, "inoperable" is sometimes relative. I was told that I  had "stage 3, inoperable" cancer. They said they could not do the surgery, because of the location of the cancer, and that it "was not done." A second opinion got the surgery done, and I am whole. Ofcourse this won't alwasy be an option, but second opinions can save lives.
   I was also told by the first Doc, that I had to have chemo and radiation. That I had to "come in five days a week for five to six weeks." I'd told them this was a 40 minute drive for me, and that I could barely stand, couldn't get out of bed daily, much less drive and get around a facility while becomming progressively sicker and weaker through the treatment. It was an impossibility for me, as I had no one to drive me or help me get around there or at home, and had that been my only option, I wouldn't be here....Point: If the Doc you have is not listening, MOVE ON.
  Money:  I had no insurance, and had applied but it was to go in effect six months after I was diagnosed with cancer. I had been in pain for near a year before the diagnosis, and held out four more months after it. (READ: 16 months of pain...Do not put off pain, ever!) The surgery had been perscribed to be done as soon as possible, and it was going to cost a horrendous amount of money which I simply did not have. What I learned through the urgings of a friend and not from the docs or hospitals is that if you pay ahead and ask, they will take off up to 1/3 or more of the bill upfront. The total expenses that were to be welll over $20,000.00, costed me less than $9,000.00, and I happened to have that. If you do not ask, they will charge the full amount. The surgery was done within days. It saved me two months of increasing agony, and probably my life. Here is more information on financial assistance from
  Fear of a thing is often worse than walking through it.  In my case, the surgery was extreme and painful, but at no time following the surgery was I in as much pain as I was when I had the cancer in me.   
Take no one's word or experience as fact, especially not mine! Your situation may be quite different, and I am no professional. I'm just someone who survived cancer.
    Look up information, take notes and take them to your doctor. ASK a lot of questions, and if there is any doubt, ask again. Never assume that any one person can know all there is on any subject. Get second and third and fifth opinions if necessary.Annoy people if you can with questions. Ask important questions, embarassing ones and ridiculous ones. Just keep asking!  If you present a question or a treatment you've heard of that the Doctor has not heard of, he'll look it up and learn it. It could save your life and the lives of future patients.
   Be tough with your questions, firm with your decisions to take care of you, and gentle with your body.
   With much love,
tina jones