Saturday, August 08, 2015

High Summer Tea

Hello Dear Ladies,

I so appreciate your visit today.  It really motivates me to post something you might be interested in that will give meaning to your role in the home.

Quite soon after the High Summer Tea that was attended by the two other ladies who travelled a considerable distance, I did a very sweeping pencil sketch of the photo of us at the tea table.

Two of the ladies are over the age of 60.  I thought I should tell you that to show they aren't falling all over faint and weak. All three ladies are avid gardeners and work hard.

Above you see Wendy on the left, Janet on the right, with me in the middle.  Before I go on to the painting, I want to say it was a gathering where there was not one discouraging word, and if there was any hint of any failing in our conversation, we quickly arrived at positive solutions. That is what is good about ladies getting together to build one another up.

I like the pencil sketch much better than the actual painting. I wanted the painting to have a Vintage or Victorian look, so I changed the clothing and hats and a few other things. The painting is not exactly like the picture.

Today I looked closer at the photo and caught the personality of the ladies.  Wendy, on the left, has such a bright face and is so keen on everything.  Janet, on the right, was enjoying the crushed blackberry tea so much she simply lapsed into a state of complete happiness.

After I finished the faces I did more background, such as the open door and the chairs and table.
As I am not yet very good at painting arms and legs,  I added sleeves to this picture. It was reminiscent of Mr. Woodhouse's remark about Emma's painting:  " You should have painted a shawl on her. She looks like she will catch cold."

I know it looks like the painting is getting worse once I put some color on it, but the faces will soon be showing up nicely; at least that is what I am hoping. Since I have no time for the lessons I had planned to take, I am pretending at this art thing, for now:-)

Because Wendy's outfit was mostly white, I took the artistic liberty of putting a blue skirt on her.  I needed more color in the painting because the walls and the tablecloth, so far, are white. I never thought to look at the color of their shoes during their visit, so I gave Wendy a blue pair and Janet a plum pair of heels to match the dresses;  so nice it didn't cost them a cent.

I have left the face details for later because as I fill in the background, I am looking and thinking about how I am going to do those eyes. Wendy has great big blue eyes and Janet has chocolate brown eyes., so I am saving the most interesting part for last.

As the natural light was fading, I had to quit the project until the next day.  

The next day I wasn't satisfied with the painting and made some changes.

I changed my mind about Wendy's skirt and gave her back the white one.  I need to remind myself to get someone to make a copy of the unpainted sketch before I color it, so that I can re-paint it when I make a mistake. Right now I have a technique of pasting a piece of white paper on top of the areas I want to re-do, so the skirt is a cut-out, glued on top.

Also, Janet had a napkin on her lap which I didn't notice and I decided to put it on by cutting a shape of it and gluing it there.  Watercolor gives a lot of freedom. I guess you could call it altered art by now.

As for the reason for preacher's wives and their friends to get together: preachers wives think they get picked on too much, so they get together with friends and tell each other their good points :-)

I am slowly accepting that painting will not be as exact as sewing and nothing will ever turn out the way I want it to.

Because I do not know if I will take this art very seriously in the future I have been reluctant to spend money on better art supplies.  I am still using 25 pound paper, a box children's water paints, and a set of brushes, all this from Walmart.  Right now I am hesitant to upgrade :-), especially if I lose interest in the craft.

I do not have much time to devote to it, and I have a few sewing projects to work on. So for now, the inexpensive materials will have to do.

 I am finding out, though, the importance of quality paper. Mr. S. Is trying to take me to Michaels or Hobby Lobby and buy me some higher grade paper.  Everything is such a distance from here that I keep thinking of all the things I could get done at home in lieu of travel time, and so now I am staying put.
The ladies expressions seemed more relaxed and happy in each stage of the drawing.  This is the first time I have made a fashion sketch of people sitting. My other fashion drawings show ladies standing, which is easier.

Janet, on the right, made her beautiful dress.

The only thing I have to do now is get copies of these to send to the two other ladies.

I hope you enjoyed this.  I did, but will be happy to get back to my cloth!

Below is that first crazy sketch I mentioned in the beginning of this post. It looked so bad I wasn't keen on finishing it but it gave me a basic idea of what I wanted to do.

You may not have noticed in one of the pencil sketches at the beginning of this post there was a tea cup in front of the middle figure.  I do a lot of erasing before I paint, and I erased that teacup and forgot all about it until the painting was finished. Realizing my mistake, I cut a teacup from paper, glued it on to the table and painted over it.

Below, I have made another version of this picture with the ladies dressed in Victorian white, using minimal outlining.  I am not real happy with the ink outlines so I might not use it if I do any more of this kind of artwork.


Anonymous said...

Three lovely ladies enjoying a cup of tea and each other's company and conversation (and looking beautiful while doing so!). The simple pleasures in life are the greatest.

Antiques And Teacups said...

Wonderful! I just love tea art and that is lovely!

Christine said...

I love how the picture comes alive as you add to it.
First the pencil sketch, all the way to the framed painting.

anonymous said...

Oh my Lydia,

the Lord has certainly blessed your hands and eyes. You captured each one of us as I remembered. You made us feel so welcome and special. Your friendship and encouragement are such a wonderful gift. Thank you for being our friend and my mentor. We so enjoyed your company, home and treats.


Anonymous said...

Absolutely wonderful! Thank you so much for showing your work in progress. It is good for us to remember that the beginning may not be as lovely as the ending. The same is true for people.

Unknown said...

Great job! Christina

Linda said...

I think the paintings are beautiful. What a lovely gift for your guests.
Your home looked so welcoming also. You are gifted in so many ways.

Thank you for sharing!

quakerhillfarm said...

What a lovely tea you had for your friends! What a wonderful way to capture your day! So much detail in your art and a wonderful way to save your memories! Have a beautiful day. Lynn

Dawn said...

You and your friends are so pretty and elegant dressed up for tea. I love that you all wore hats. It's hard to believe any of you are past 45 never mind being over 60. Such lovely ladies.

You know, I can imagine you making pretty note cards with your paints and ink and pencils.

Lydia said...

Very good ideas here. I still have not got a chance to get these printed for the other two ladies but will add the printed picture later.

Becoming a Woman of Excellence said...

Lydia you are very beautiful

Unknown said...

It was such a pleasure looking at this post. You ladies look beautiful in your pretty hats and dresses with smiles on your faces. I can just imagine the uplifting conversation and the sharing of delicious treats! There is something about the "personal" experience of entertaining in the home that is unique and very special. Your home looks warm and welcoming!

You usually only see women dressed up today at weddings and they are often scandalous rather than lovely. A lot of meals are shared on paper plates. I would love to have a tea party but my neighbors all work outside the home. I have my tea with the doily on the plate under my tea cup with only my pup by my side. I only wish I could share tea with you.

Thank you for your encouragement. You are a light in my world!

Lydia said...

Ladies thank you for your (overly) nice comments. I hope to post again soon. My China and tea cups get a workout each weak and I rotate everything. Anyone may come and if they call first and give me some time to get set up, are more likely to get some food with their cup of tea!