Friday, March 25, 2011

Yellow Crested Night Heron

Yellow Crested Night Heron, watercolor on acrylic, 11x15

This handsome fellow hangs out near the gallery where I was painting. He was trying his best to convince his "lady" that he was really the one she should choose. He shows his long yellow crest feathers and brings twigs and sticks for a nest. He looked quite sincere. They flew away before we found out what the ending to the courtship would be. They are very striking in appearance, with their black heads and white spot and yellow crest. I painted it on one of my watercolor papers that had been coated with the gesso juice and then had a pale olive green wash on top of that. The dark green background is supposed to hint at the denseness of the mangroves they like to sit in.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sea Grape Leaves II

Sea Grape Leaves II, 11x15, Mixed Media

So I had to go and do some adjustments after looking at this painting on the easel for awhile. I decided I wanted a little bit of the yellow on the right side and to add some shadows to make the leaves look more individual. Working on paper that has gesso on it is similar to working on Yupo. What watercolor is on the paper can be lifted so easily if you try to paint something on top of it. Even with paint on your brush it tends to go to the white of the paper instead of putting color down. It's a learning curve for sure. The advantage is that if I don't like the changes, I can try to take them out and replace the original color. But, you still have to problem of taking it down to the white of the paper. The whole thing is an experiment at this point. Do you think it worked?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My Time at the Gallery


Sea Grape Leaves 11x15 Watercolor over gesso-paper with collage.
This is one of my favorite subjects to paint. I love the way the Sea Grape leaves become such a range of colors from dark green to orange, yellow and red. I painted this while at an outdoor set up at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida. We had pretty nice weather, the temperature was in the low 80's F. About 28 C. There was a nice breeze most of the time and very bright sunshine. The 7 artists all had big umbrellas for shade so we were quite comfortable.
This paper had a coat of the gesso juice that I mentioned in an earlier blog. It seemed to work well with the subject since it also had a layer of multi color watercolor as an under painting. I put a little bit of calligraphy collage in a few places just to add a little mystery to the painting. I had nice comments by folks who were visiting the gallery about the paintings I had on display which makes it all worth while.

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I started watercolor painting earnestly in 1991 after I moved to Florida. My husband and I are retired, and we are both artists. We both have works displayed  at the Wildchild Gallery in Matlacha Florida.