Daub du Jour

My name is Marianne Plumridge. I am an artist of mythic fantasy works and fine art images. More of which can be seen at my website, 'MariannePlumridge.com', and also my main Blog, 'Muse du Jour'. These sites are in the links section of this page. This site began life as a painting a day blog in 2007. However that project has now passed, but I still find myself painting in that way. So this site will now be the showcase my new paintings as inspired by those previous efforts.

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Location: New England, United States

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Whisper of Rain...

(14x18", Oils on Linen)    Price: $ 600.00
I somehow managed to fall on my birthday in June, fracturing my right elbow, spraining the same wrist and opposing left foot. Not at ALL how I planned to spend half of that day. Thankfully, I had done a bunch of design drawings all through that month as preparation for forthcoming paintings. Those paintings are in progress. To jumpstart my lost momentum, I thought I'd start with something simple. I had taken snapshots of fellow artist, the lovely and charismatic Rain Delmar while she was in Halloween costume at Illuxcon in Reading, PA two years ago, and decided that it was about time that I put them to good use. So I tentatively drew Rain...my first attempt in over six weeks to draw again...and was pleased with how it came out. I drew the sketch down on to a Linen board, took a deep breath, swallowed the same old fears I have when not having painted for several months...and began to paint.  The usual array of colours on my palette: Gold Ochre, Burnt Sienna, French Ultramarine, Titanium White, Buff Titanium, Cadmium Yellow Hue, Sap Green, Chrome Green, and  tiny bit of Alizarin Crimson. The result is very rich in hue and texture, and I am quite happy with it.

 "Firebird" Painted Sketch
(5x10", Oil on Linen) Price: $300.00
I was trying to tidy up a bunch of boxes in our studio space last week, trying to make room for a dedicated photography set up. I sort of got fed up with some of it and felt my paints calling to me. Since I wasn't ready to go back to work on the large painting on the easel, I pulled out a small linen canvas and a couple more snaps I took of Rain. OMG she is so photogenic, with natural presence. I decided just to go with whatever I could carve out in paint on this minute surface. This photo doesn't do the original justice, and I feel that maybe I overworked a couple of things...but it was getting late and my eyes were beginning to get squinty. However, using the leftover paint on BOTH my palettes, I managed to make a credible painted sketch toward a larger work in the future.

If you want to see what Rain is up to, this is the link for her website...

There's more to see in the coming weeks, now that I actually have the set up to photograph on a regular basis again. So, please come back for a look, meanwhile, thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Little Red Rover...

"Zero G Walkies"
18x24", Oils on Canvas   Price: 700.00
 In my rush to get paintings done for the two big shows early this year,  I realised that I did not have anything representing my ongoing Birds 'n' Bots series for the shows except old design drawings. There were always going to be more Rover paintings, and more robot and bird paintings of other ilk in my creative future. But I just hadn't gotten around to any by the time the deadline was bearing down on me. So, I went back through my old design ideas, photos and thumbnail sketches and rediscovered some of my references for something I'd only ever called 'Walkies'. The initial premise was set in space, as you see in the finished painting, but not happy with how that was gelling, I at one time placed the setting in a garden with a tall 'owner' robot instead of the space ship. I did the sketch for that one some time ago but also didn't do anything with it. So, back to basics. I woke up one morning with the composition finally set in my mind...by adding the globe with the bird in it. Rover is chasing the bird in the remote control space globe. He is hooked up to the ship by a very long leash. Someone asked me why a robot dog would need to 'go walkies', euphemism for going outside to go to the bathroom. Well, I said, there is not only the obvious reason for putting your puppy outside, but to get the rambunctious little bugger out of your tiny spaceship cockpit before he accidentally presses any more buttons he shouldn't....let alone the self-destruct one or depressurization. 

"Lullaby Run" 
9x12", Oils on Linen  Price: $500.00  SOLD 
In the middle of the fever heat of creating for my shows, I woke up one morning with a complete Rover painting idea. Simple, elegant, lots of fun. However, none of my old reference photos of Rover worked, so I set up an elaborate dark setting in the middle of my new studio, went outside and rounded up some twigs, gathered up Rover and the camera and had me a little robot photoshoot. I took a bunch of photos and the resultant painting was a combination of two of them. Have you ever taken your babies out driving in your car to lull them to sleep, or seen someone else do it? This is what Rover is doing. He's rolling along with his two tiny passengers, trying to get them to go to sleep in the darkening evening. Hence, the title "Lullaby Run". One owlet is asleep, the other is resisting it, and Rover is just enchanted. Consider this a cute version of my painting "Branch Line".

I will always enjoy painting my robots, but Rover is close to my heart. Even as just a toy wind-up robot, he has loads of personality. He still hangs around my easel in my new painting digs.

More to post soon. Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Space Station Epics...

Starborn Station
(8x10", Oils on Linen)   Price: $250.00 SOLD
 Making a change from plain rocketship doodles, I created these two paintings to add to my display at a recent show. I love noodling nebulae in oil paint. The first one, 'Starborn Station' depicts one of my little space stations against a nursery of stars swirling colourfully in the night sky. Hence, the name 'Starborn'. I can see scientists living and working on the station, earnestly studying why, where, and how stars are born...waking every morning to that spectacular view.

Blue Horizons
(8x10", Oils on Linen)  Price: $300.00 
 I've been wanting to paint 'blue space' again for quite some time, now. Saw a space photo in a magazine and went... "I can do something with that". Bit of tweaking, bit of colour saturation in layering French Ultramarine, Pthalo Turquoise, and Cobalt Blues came up nicely. I added the rocket to give it balance and purpose. The title, 'Blue Horizons' is self-explanatory. What a view to wake up to!

My palette encompassed the usual suspects, along with the extra blues in Blue Horizons:  French Ultramarine, Burnt Sienna, Cadmium Yellow Medium, Cadmium Lemon, Cadmium Red Light, Alizarin Crimson, Titanium White, Yellow Ochre.  Paint brushes included a few size 0 and 1 rounds, a half inch Wedge Flat, a size 6 Filbert, and a big fluffy blending brush, and an itty bitty ragged round blending brush.

There is much more to post. I have been slack in posting the new Rover paintings and bird paintings, but I plead a crushing schedule this last four months. Will add new paintings soon. 
Thanks for stopping by,

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Super Sized Rocket Doodles...

Well, I had to rush to get a bunch of artwork ready for two shows in a very short amount of time. I had some ideas for larger rocket doodles...and two out of the three actually turned out. 
"Vector Shift"
18x24", Oils on Canvas.  PRICE:  $1000.00 SOLD

This is a place holder for a better photo of this painting.

"Far From Home"
18x24", Oils on Canvas.  Price: $1000.00  SOLD

And this one is a bit of a ringer, as it was painted for Boskone, Feb. 2017

"View From Titan"
18x24", Oils on Canvas. Price: $1000.00 SOLD 

These are all explorations of imaginative space, ala 'pulp' as envisioned through my eyes and inspiration. I will eventually paint my rocket/space station doodles this big again, but for the moment I'll be aiming for smaller sized epics, but no less large in heart and soul. 

Thanks for stopping by...

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Rocket Doodle RAWR!!

It's been a mad dash to get paintings done for Boskone this year, among them a plethora of small rocket doodle paintings with inspiration borrowed from legendary space artists John Berkey, John Harris, and Chesley Bonestall. Here's the spread of the small ones so far.  There may be time yet for one more big one, and maybe a couple of small ones... My new painting space has been brilliant to work in.

Shrouded Moon
(10x10", Oils on Canvas board)  Price:  SOLD

This one came out of nowhere, really. I'd had this board drawn up with a circle and a rocket crossing it for about the last six or seven years. I'd put it aside all that time ago when, either I lost the original inspiration or got distracted. I nearly threw the board out when I unearthed it recently, but thought 'what the hell' and started lashing paint on it in an effort to bust my painting block and get the creative juices flowing. It worked!! Kind of love how this turned out. It was inspired by a tiny moon in a much larger John Berkey painting in an old catalog I've got lying around. The inspirational bit of that picture was less than one inch square. Things don't have to be big to inspire big ideas. I've also found a new favourite paint: Buff Titanium/Bleached Titanium...just the thing to add that touch of nostalgic aged tint to what are ostensibly nostalgic paintings.

(5x7", Oils on Canvas board)   Price: SOLD
Not wanting to waste the left over paint on my palette, I grabbed another board to 'destroy'. I've had a bunch of small canvases since around 2007 when I was doing the painting a day project. All of them have been tinted with various colours for backgrounds. I nearly threw those out, too, but like the first painting in this post, I chucked caution to the wind and started experimenting again. Not a bad little piece for a quickly drawn up world and space station. Lots of smooshing with paint, and happy accidents.

Cloud Drifting
(9x12", Oils on Linen Board)  Price: SOLD
Yeah, been watching Star Wars again and am still absolutely in love with the idea of cloud cities. You may have noticed... Had a lot of fun with this one.

Cloud Station
(5x7", Oils on Canvas Board)  Price: SOLD
Got a bit of John Harris, crossed with John Berkey into this one. Another one of those pre-tinted boards I nearly chucked. When I'm working on a bigger work, and waiting for paint to dry on them, swinging into working on one of these mini space epics is kind of 'freeing', creatively. The photos never do them justice, either, sad to say. Really love the happy accidents in this one.

Skirting the Sea of Moons
(9x12", Oils on Linen)  Price:  $ 300.00
Definitely a bit of John Berkey influence in this one. Loved the cool versus warm and the vintage rocket shape. Had a bit of fun with a different colour scheme than the muted tones of the previous paintings.

Scenic Route
(5x7", Oils on Stretched canvas)  Price: SOLD 

This was my initial rocket painting of the current crop. I wanted to paint space without using any black. I think I succeeded. The shadows are actually created from French Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna. It's kind of cute and pretty, but I've having all sorts of experimental painting fun since this one.

Some studio shots of my new painting space....

There are more paintings to come...some more space epics, larger ones, and a couple of new Rover paintings as well. Thanks for dropping by, come back soon.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Otherworldly Portraiture

"Elfin Jen"
 (16 x 20", Oils on Linen)  Price: $1000.00

We made some lifestyle changes last year, selling the family house that had served as our studio for nearly nine years and purchasing a second condo/apartment near ours to compensate. We pushed our personal effects across the corridor to the lovely new living space and used our old beloved condo as our new studio. It needs a LOT of renovation, so getting paint smeared and a bit battered won't be a problem. My husband uses our old bedroom, with its cathedral ceiling and exquisite northern light as his new painting loft, while I have my own relatively spacious painting space just below, on the first level. There is still that northern light to play with, places to put all of my art stuff, computer, three easels (floor, table, and mini), table, storage, files....and a wall for my reference library. We will still be converting space and finding places for things for the next six months or so, but meanwhile, I have had to paint like the wind. By the time all of the real estate shell game was done and the big shows and holidays were upon us, I found that I had not painted since January of 2017... AND, I had two major shows pending: my Artist Guest of Honor stint at Boskone in Boston this month which requires a LOT of art to show; closely followed by my first major gallery show, shared with my husband, Bob Eggleton at Dryden Galleries in Providence beginning 24 March 2018. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The panic is this: I have only two current pieces of art, THE MODERN ATHENA and VICTORIANA, available to show. Everything else of note that's been painted in recent years has found an owner and loving homes. It took me two weeks to carve out space from the melee and make my space to paint in, in December. Then I started to panic about what to paint and how to start cold from not having painted in so long. I am slow to start, but once I get going, can power along with familiar subjects. Portraits require time, careful application, love, and finding 'the zone'... Space paintings just require inspiration and enthusiasm, Space Rover requires a few ideas and me and Rover and a few other tin toy robots in a photoshoot (even the blurry photos are considered usable), and lastly, the fine art robot epics require equal inspiration and diligence as a portrait does. Currently, I'm going with the space paintings and Rover romps because I am not usually at a loss for ideas for them and I can paint them fairly quickly. That being said, I decided to christen my new space in December by beginning what I thought might be an easy portrait to paint.

Around Halloween, my friend and fellow artist Jen Waldon posted a few 'selfies' of herself in full blown elf ears and make up, with the declaration that she '...didn't want to look just pretty, but wanted to look otherworldly...". I looked at her photos and landed on the reference used for this one and mentally said... "I could do that". My comment on her Facebook post was 'Challenge accepted'. Might have inadvertently been a little more difficult than I expected, but I persevered.

Here is a shot of my easel when I drew up the canvas. No presketching this time, and the linen stretched canvas had been tinted with colour from a few years previously for another project that never eventuated. I used white chalk pencil to draw in the initial lines. After that, it was all go on the painting. Unfortunately I didn't take any more process shots of it, and changed my mind on background and colours a few times, trying to settle into the painting zone. It was a challenge. 

This photo shows one of my space magazines out for inspiration for the initial go at a background I was contemplating. The first paint in ended up being all nebulous purples and pales, and me not sure where I was going with it. The second iteration was tending towards a full 'otherworldly' space background which I was increasingly reluctant to paint. ME, reluctant to paint floofy 'space'. Never thought I'd think that. As it was, the last space reference I had out for the second iteration was various pictures of my beloved Orion Nebula. And as I was painting that in, Jen's face and hair began to sink into it. I instinctively knew it was wrong for this portrait. Sigh. This was in December. At that time, I was being distracted by holiday things and I needed to think about it a bit more. Just after Christmas, I decided that I needed to return to my original portrait practices of the face being the foremost, unchallenged element of the painting. And I concluded that 'otherworldly' didn't have to mean an otherworldly placement or space background. Jen's face said it all, with the two point key lighting aspects and her make up and strength of gaze. Took me awhile to figure out, and I hope in time that she will. There is a fine tensile strength in her regal gaze. Seeing this in some of my subjects and bringing out qualities for others to see in a positive light is one of the reasons I have tentatively returned to portraiture. So long as I can choose my subjects, I am good with it. Forcing me to paint what I don't want to paint is disastrous. Probably why I don't take commissions per se. As you can see, I settled on a dark green, almost black in parts, nebulous 'foresty' background, happily noodled with big brushes and a floofy blending brush. Jen's face and hair 'pop' right out and I am very happy with the result. I considered creating a 'crown' of sorts to top her hair with, which explains the space above her head. However, after many tries a designing such, I thought it would end up as overkill. My design eye felt it needed 'something', though. So, I created a braid behind her upswept long bangs and added a flower/leaf silver white clasp to it to catch the back light and sparkle. Simple, clean...otherworldly, even. Thank you, Jen, for being my muse today...

You can see more about Jen's work at  https://www.artstation.com/works_of_jenius

Thanks for stopping by. I have much more art to post here in the next week or so. So, come on back and have a look.



Friday, May 26, 2017

Steampunk Sarah...

(Oils, 14x18")   Price:  1000.00

Last year, at Illuxcon IX in Reading, PA I had a chance to do something that has been close to my creative heart for several years. Moving the annual mecca gathering of artists, collectors, students and fans of the art of the fantastic to its new, bigger location, I finally got to produce the Illuxcon Costume Salon and Sketch Lab on the top floor of the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts. It was a four day dedicated work space for artists to collaborate with volunteer models and a mass of loaned costume pieces and props, and watch daily demonstrations about working with models, creating costumes to enhance ideas, photograph them in a professionally lit space, and also to sketch them. It was a fantastic experience for one and all, and so many of us exhibiting artists were torn between manning our tables and running upstairs to create and play. I personally took over 350 photos, sometimes on the fly as one of our costume clad volunteers was escorted to a perfect place to be sketched or photographed by an entranced gaggle of spectators and participants. We learned a lot last year, and will be applying that new knowledge to this years efforts of the Costume Salon and Sketch Lab. Meanwhile, of the many, many inspirational photos I took, one group stood out and I just had to take brush to canvas to capture my version of it. Sarah, who graciously hosted the four day event, and patiently wrangled not only costumes but enthusiastic artists and models with panache and aplomb, also became the model for my painting 'Victoriana'.

On the Saturday of the workshop, I had left my table in the hands of my husband and darted upstairs to the Salon to see what was happening. Sarah was modeling her authentically made reproduction Civil War ballgown, complete with hoop, petticoats, hair and makeup, and other essential accoutrements. I arrived just as her session on stage ended and she headed over to where fellow artist, Ruth Sanderson was standing with her camera in hand. Sarah announced that it was time to change things up and she wanted to 'steampunk' up her ball gown. Mair and I looked at each other and went 'suuuuuuure' and swung into action. Out came the hoop skirt and petticoats, in went a ruffled and upswept new petticoat. Sarah chose a leather vest and belt off the tables, and a little 'fascinator' top hat affair that she perched at a jaunty angle on her  head, leather gauntlets, etc. The sunlight streamed through the nearby window, and when it fell on Sarah in her costume, I just knew magic was in the air. I took soooo many photos of that particular set up, and eventually returned to my table and art very much inspired. Below, are a very few of the photos I took that day. The last one is what served as the basis for my painting.

Following on from my last painting and wanting to test myself, I decided to start Victoriana 'cold'. I did not do ANY pre-sketching. Instead, I scrubbed Burnt Umber oil paint into a canvas board, covering it, and scrapped off the excess...giving it an aged look. When it dried, I took a fine liner brush and drew basic lines and compositional elements on the canvas in freehand. It was a concerted effort to get the oil sketch correct, but I did make an initial error in the model's right arm. It was fixed while painting sometime later in the process. The goal this time was to be able to create a full painted figure using only my eye, my instincts and experience, and my love of the painting process. This was a follow on from painting 'Jeannie' freehand. I reached my goal and was rather pleased with the outcome.

Sarah in her Civil War ballgown.

After we added and subtracted a few things...

A fine closeup of the finished effect, and ready to be used as basic reference for a painting...

And this is the photo that inspired me to paint 'Victoriana'. Isn't that a glorious lighting?

Anyway, there are sooo many more things to paint from the reference photos that I took at the Salon...and so many more memories and creative situations to make at the upcoming Illuxcon Costume Salon and Sketch Lab this coming November. I'm really looking forward meeting up with everybody again, costumes and props in hand, and making magic...

Thanks for stopping by,