Saturday, December 15, 2012

                            Bells of Siena, Italy, 7 1/2" X 5 1/2", watercolor

I wanted to save posting this until all my cards were sent out. Now I can put it up because that task is done. I found the stamp about the bells at a craft shop and remembered that I had pictures of this bell tower in Siena, Italy. I think they were part of a convent there. It's different for me because I usually paint something more traditional but this is what inspired me this year.
I wish everyone a very happy and blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Magnolias on a silk scarf

                                                Left end 
Center
Right end
 
This scarf was done much the same way as the first scarf except that this is a smooth silk and the other was chiffon. The smooth silk allows the use of a fluid resist that allows the artist to keep the colors from running into each other. I used the resist around the petals of the flowers and leaves and also to make the branch shapes to break up the background. In the spots where I didn't get the resist applied you can see where the blue ran into some of the branch shapes. It's all part of the learning process.
 
 

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Painting on Silk

Right end
Center
Left end
                                 Hand painted Silk Scarf, 8"x 54" 

I took a workshop on silk painting last week end. I found it to be quite similar to watercolor painting. Our teacher, Linda Lucas, was an accomplished watercolor artist as well. This Lily scarf is the first one that I painted. We used a special pen to sketch our design onto the scarf which had been ironed onto a piece of freezer paper. The ink from the pen disappears when it gets wet. Next we applied our colors. I wanted the colors in the lilies to blend so I didn't wait for each color to dry. After they dried I applied the colors for the leaves, then when they were dry I did the background. When the scarf is dry the colors are heat set with a steam iron, then the scarf is washed, dried and ironed again. I really enjoyed the class and the technique and plan to do more.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Painting at the Gallery

 
 
 
Two weeks ago I had another time of painting demonstrations at the WildChild Gallery in Matlacha Florida. As part of being a gallery artist we spend two week ends a year painting and meeting folks who come into the gallery. I try to demonstrate some aspect of my work either in watercolor or acrylic. This time I took my acrylic paints and some small, 6x6 gallery wrap canvases to paint on. They are just fun little pieces that I paint from my imagination with textures and colors. It keeps me open to possibilities, ideas and materials.
 
 Got Stuff, Acrylic and Found Objects, 6"X6"
 
Sunset, Acrylic, 6"x6"
 
 
                                        Light Chop, Acrylic, 6"x6"

One delightful thing that happened the last hour of the last day was that a visitor from France came by and started admiring some of the work that I had displayed around my table. He saw a painting that he absolutely loved and immediately bought. I was astonished! I've never seen anyone buy a painting so quickly and with so much enthusiasm. Something like that is so gratifying. It really made my day!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Painting on Masa Paper

                   Baby Elephant Walk Watercolor on Masa paper 10X14

I'm not sure what Masa paper is but it's fun to work with. I first tried this technique when painting in a workshop many years ago with Chen Kee Chee, a wonderful watercolor painter and teacher. While working in a class last week I was reminded of this paper again. First you crumple all of part of it into a ball. Then you soak it in clean water until it relaxes a little. You remove it from the water and carefully open it up and spread it out on a clean surface. You then prepare a sheet of watercolor paper the same size by spreading a thin layer of YES glue over it. The Masa paper is then laid on the glue and smoothed with your hands and finally rolled with a brayer. I did a little light under painting at this point and left it to dry. The crackly, wrinkly paper just made me want to paint an elephant in the foliage. I used hand made leaf stamps for the foliage. It was one of those paintings that came together easily and quickly. What a treat!


Friday, November 02, 2012

Eve's Garden

                                     Eve's Garden Watercolor 15X 22

I've been working on this painting for several weeks; it's one of those painting that is hard to stop, you want to keep on adding and subtracting. I was still putting in finishing touches on it today as I was framing it. Once I get it in the frame I have to say it's done. I started this as an experiment on the back of another painting on 300# paper. I laid tissues, rice paper, coffee filters and other papers on the top, wet it a little and then poured watercolor on the papers so that it would soak through to the watercolor paper. It got really wet so I soaked up the excess water by rolling a roll of paper towels over it. Then I let it dry. I took the papers off and then decided by the shapes that were on the painting what to paint next. I started with the flowers on the left, put the figure in next to that and surrounded her with fruit and vegetables. Notice, she's not working in her garden but basking in the bounty and not a weed in sight.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

More Sketchbook pages

                                                                          Grid


                                                                   Morning Brew

                                                                 Combined Pages



I've done some more experimenting and playing with some stamps, stencils, and crayons. It's good to know what kinds of marks you can make, how effective a stencil will be. I want to know what the watercolor crayons do when they are wet once and then wet again. What does a half a stencil look like, can I use just a portion and still have an interesting design? Is it more interesting? What does it look like upside down? These are some of the questions I ask myself as I work in my sketchbook. I can go back and find what I've used and how it will look before I commit to it on a painting. I'm very enthused about keeping an experimental sketchbook.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I've Got Wet Brushes



                                Sketchbook Journal pages, continued..,


Now that classes and regular painting time are back in the routine I'm painting a lot more than in the summer. The larger pieces that I'm working on are still in process and not available for the blog, yet. In the meantime I'm continuing to explore some of my materials and stamps in my sketchbook journal. On the left page I collaged some butterflies and flowers, some from napkins, some from printed pages and some from stamping on thin rice paper. On the right side I tried to stamp the palm tree from a stamp I made out of a piece of foam tray that the local grocery store packs with veggies. The dots are made from a piece of non-slip drawer liner that I have painted on and then used a brayer to deposit the paint on the paper. The circles are from whatever round things are within reach and the red is collage of stamped tissue paper as are the diamond shapes and clock. It's good for me to know how these items work on the page. Do they wrinkle, smear, or disintegrate? If so, I don't want them in my "toy box".
Click on the image if you want a larger view.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rembrandt

                                     My Art Journal Sept 24, 25

When I was visiting friends in Minneapolis this summer we went to the Minneapolis Institute of Art for their special show, Rembrandt in America. Paintings, sketches and lithographs done by Rembrandt had been gathered from around the US and displayed there. I happened upon the entry ticket and decided to do a couple of Rembrandt pages in my journal. The ticket is on the lower left page and I found some iconic Rembrandt images on line to add to my painting, stamping and stenciling. It's been great getting to experiment with some of my "toys" without fear of messing something up.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Journal Pages


Since I'm in between painting projects and I want to do more painting everyday, I've decided to start a daily painting journal. I can experiment with different paints and techniques. I can try out some stamps that I have in my collection and some that I have made. I've decided there will be no rules except to paint often and to have more fun. The fish stamps I made from a piece of foam egg carton. I will be making more of those, they are so easy to imprint with a pattern using a ball point pen and can be cut out with a scissors. I hope these pages will be a motivator to do larger paintings.
Last week end I was at the Florida Watercolor Society convention. I went to lots of demonstrations and especially enjoyed the one given by the show juror, Nicholas Simmons. He said we need to think and paint larger. It's the large paintings that grab the attention and we need to think of museum size not local  exhibition size. I may have to clean off some space on my painting table, it does tend to get cluttered. In the meantime, I'm off to do more journal pages.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Wet Brushes?

I haven't posted anything for such a long time. Guess whose brushes have not been wet? It's been a ridiculously busy summer but now fall is about to show up, classes will start, things will get back on schedule. In the meantime, next week I'll be attending the Florida Watercolor Society convention in Orlando. I didn't enter this year so I'm not in it but I love to see those paintings that did get juried in, meet up with fellow artists and browse at the trade show. I hope to get back in the groove with the blogging this month. I have tried to keep up with everyone else who have been posting. The best tip I picked up this month is www.handprint.com it has great information for watercolorists. Thanks!

Friday, August 03, 2012

Lots of Layers

                               Happy Walk, 15X22, Mixed media

This has so many layers of stuff on it I've lost track. It was an old painting that I covered with torn pieces of hand painted tissue. I thought the surface was too blotchy so I put a thin layer of gesso on it. I tried a rather geometric abstract on it in watercolor and wasn't happy with that either. By now I have nothing to loose so I just began to play with colors and stamps and collage. Finally I stopped when it was a painting I liked.  Along the way I had collaged the words happy and walk. This made me think of Psalms 1, so at the end I collaged that below it towards the bottom right. I'm still looking at it to decide if I'm really finished, but I think I am.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

3 Postcards

                            Garden Wall
                                  Old City Wall
                                             Old Window


It's been a month since I last posted! I have a good excuse, we've been on a cruise. My DH decided that to celebrate one of those milestone, decade birthdays we needed to do something I've wanted to do for a long time, a European cruise. We started in Southampton, England, stopped at all the Scandinavian ports and went as far north as St Petersburg, Russia. We were gone for two weeks and I think I could have stayed on that ship, Queen Victoria, for two weeks more. It was a trip of a lifetime. Ever since reading about Peter the Great and later, Catherine, I've wanted to see the fabulous palaces of St Petersburg and the Hermitage Museum. They more than lived up to their reputation; unbelievable opulence. 
On the days that we were at sea there was opportunity to paint with an instructor and some other passengers. I had my own watercolor kit along so I painted the same pictures everyone else painted but mine were postcard sized instead of 8X10s. it was a wonderful way to spend afternoons at sea.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Think It's Finished

                                            Ampersand, 15X22, Acrylic

I've been away for part of the last month and haven't posted anything so I decided to get this abstract out and look at it one more time. I did a little tweaking but I think I'm done. It's hard for me to know for sure that an abstract painting is finished, or if it's gone beyond finished. Have I worked on it too much or too little? This one has been in the works for several months. I work on it a little and then put it away so that when I look at it again I have "fresh eyes". I think I have gotten this one to the point where I don't want to do anymore to it. It's hard to tell from a photo but there is a lot of texture underneath the paint on this painting as well as the visible texture. The ampersand is done with a metallic gold and that is also not discernible in the photo. I tend to overdo the metallic paint so this time I've decided to exercise restraint. I'm in a class this month so I hope to have more paintings to post soon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's a Funny Art World

                                   Ebb Tide, Mixed media on paper, 15x22


I posted this painting several weeks ago as an abstract seascape. However, it was originally posted with the blue band on the top instead of the bottom. In the meantime I took it to the frame shop for a frame. When I got it home the framer had put the wire on it to hang this way. Since I had signed it vertically they couldn't have known by the signature which way I intended it to hang. I decided that as an abstract it could hang either way and entered it in our art leagues nautical themed show. I was awarded an honorable mention and I had a great time at the reception explaining to people that it was hanging upside down. The show judge saw rather ethereal masts and sails of ships in the painting. What do you see?

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Sunset Finish 11X15 watercolor
Our local Art League has a show in the spring with a nautical theme. One of the sailing clubs in the area chooses a painting from the show for their T shirt for the regatta they have in the fall. This year my painting, Sunset Finish, was chosen. I understand that I will be invited with spouse to the regatta and all the festivities. It sounds like quite an honor, indeed. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

                  Abstract Seascape 15X22 Acrylic, mixed media on paper


Is anyone else confused by this new blogger "interface"? I guess I don't like change; maybe it's my age. 


This painting is similar to the painting called "What Lies Beneath". The difference is that it's painted on paper and the other was on canvas. This one has little bits of egg shells pressed into the molding paste for added texture. I've enhanced some of these with colored paint. The disadvantage of doing a painting on paper is that it has to be matted and framed with a spacer so that the glass doesn't touch the raised areas. It does look very nice with a rounded white frame, though, and I'm already to enter it in a show. 

My photo got grey on the edges and I gather from reading another blog that it's a function of the camera to "average the whites". My camera is just a point and shoot so I don't know if I can turn off that function or not. Has anyone else had a fix for this?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tangled

                                    Tangled acrylic on canvas, 16x20

This painting was made by using spider webbing stretched over the canvas. The webbing is a material available usually at Halloween and is stretched about to look like spider webs. It takes very little of it to pull and stretch over the canvas and I fastened it down with push pins into the back frame of the canvas. The acrylic is thinned with polymer gloss medium and water so that it can be poured and absorbed by the webbing. Spraying with water also helps to make the paint run. It makes an interesting abstract pattern. After it had dried I used a thinned gesso to veil some areas, I thought I would do more but fellow artists said it was "done". Since I didn't know what else to do with it, I took their advice and signed it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Photobooks


Folded Photo book 6x6 watercolor and printed papers.


I learned how to make folded photo books last summer. I have been using the pretty double sided scrapbook papers that you can buy in craft stores. Then I got the bright idea to make the fronts and backs of the books with some of the watercolor paintings that I have. Many of them are paintings that were done in a workshop so they are not eligible to be put in a competition or they are not quite the quality for framing but they have some nice areas. I laid the painting outside and gave them a good coating of Krylon matte finish so the watercolors wouldn't be damaged. Then I chose areas in the painting that would make a nice cover and papers that would be compatible with the painting. The books are tied shut with a ribbon. The light was fading when I took the pictures out on my deck but I wanted to get a shot of it before taking it to the gallery tomorrow. The top picture is the closed book, the bottom is the opened book which looks a little like origami. I think they make very nice gifts.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

What Lies Beneath

    What Lies Beneath, Acrylic with mixed media 20X20 wrapped canvas

It's been way too long since I posted a blog. I just don't know where the time goes. I started playing around with this technique after a workshop taught by Shirley Mancino. Modeling paste is applied in a swirly manner on a section of canvas or paper. Some of the paste, along with glass bead medium, is dragged down the painting. After it dries you can paint it however you choose and encourage the paint to run down the canvas. After the paint was dry I added tiny seashells with gel medium. It made me think of what was underneath the white caps if you could see a cross-section of a wave; the seashells tumbling and the seaweed hanging. I love the texture of the modeling paste and the glass bead medium and I plan to use it again. As a watercolorist it was also interesting to use acrylic in such an aqueous manner.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Zentangle?


Cup and Saucer Zentangle 4 1/2 X 6 Sharpie on paper

At our annual Art League spring luncheon we were all introduced to Zentangle and given the opportunity to try one ourselves. Of course we didn't get formal instruction, just a piece of paper, some pens, and some examples that were passed around. All of us in attendance make art in some form or another so it was interesting to see all the different things that were drawn in about a 10-15 minute time frame. When I got home I checked out Zentangle on the web and found that it is a bit more sophisticated than our playful doodles. They have actual instructors and formal names for the designs that fill the space. I looked to me like they are mostly done in black pencil. It was fun to do and another interesting art form to learn about. I would love to get comments from anyone who has some information about Zentangle.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Another Great Workshop

                                      Untitled, 16X20 Acrylic on tissue.

I just finished another great workshop. This week end I was with Shirley Mancino and 8 other wonderful artists exploring abstract or semi abstract art. Shirley's art can be found at http://www.shirleymancino.com/. I have this painting, which is finished, and two that are almost finished in just two days. It was more like play than work and we enjoyed Shirley's teaching style and methods a lot.
This painting was started by spreading acrylic paint which was thinned with polymer medium and water carefully on tissue paper which had been crinkled. The tissue was laying on a plastic bag surface so that it could be peeled off when it was dry. Shirley explained that some plastic bags work better than others. The tissue gets very fragile when it is wet so care must be taken.
After the tissue was dry templates of the horses were drawn onto the painted tissue and then painted negatively (the blue around the horses). I think it makes quite a striking painting and I'm enthusiastic about trying this process again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Artist trade

                         Me, this week end at the Wild Child Gallery.

I painted outside at the gallery this week end. I did some, what I call, little wash pictures. They are small and easy enough to work on in between talking to visitors as they come through the outdoor part of the gallery. We had a lovely week end, lots of sunshine and friendly folks from all over the world.
I don't have a photo of the paintings because at the end of the day yesterday one of the other artists suggested that we trade our works with each other. Since the other two were jewelry makers that was more than OK with me! I ended up with two lovely pairs of earrings in trade for my little 1/8 sheet paintings, which I hadn't photographed. I was so excited about the trade I forgot to take pictures. So, here's a picture of me at the table with my brush in hand. Behind me, on the fence, are copper sculptures by another artist.
Hope you all had as fun a week end as I did.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Abstract with Collage

                                Impending; Acrylic/collage on paper 15x22

This is the latest of several abstracts I've been working on since the last workshop. This one has been fun to see evolve into a finished painting. It started out with the band of tan on the top but as I worked on it and turned it the painting wanted to be this way. The thick stringy collage near the center (why do I always do that?) has been "gilded" by using stamp ink and embossing powder set with a heat gun. I've always loved to put a dab of gold in my paintings. In regards to the title, perhaps I was influenced by the disasters in the center of the US last week, but the dark areas reminded me of storm clouds and the line coming down of a twister tornado. To me there is the look of an approaching storm. To the left is the hint of a rising sun, the hope of a new tomorrow. 

Friday, March 02, 2012

Sailboat techniques

                    Sailboat from Janet King's workshop, watercolor, 15x22

On February 1-3 I took a workshop from Janet King. Our first exercise was to paint using her chosen colors on her drawing of a sailboat. She had an interesting method of starting out; after drawing the subject on her paper, she wets the paper thoroughly and adds diluted yellow and pink randomly to the paper. After allowing this to dry you have subtle colors as an under painting and no stark whites. It seems to give the boat and water a glow without the glare of pure white. Following her instructions for the sailboat went pretty well the first day. The next day I tried to translate this method to children on the beach. I wasn't very successful, but then everything worth doing takes practice, and lots of it!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Abstract Impressionism


This is what I started with:


This is my final painting: Abstract G, water media, 15x22

I took a 3 day workshop with Sue Pink, a very talented artist who does abstract impressionism paintings. She was very generous in showing us her techniques and helping the class progress, layer by layer until we all had individual paintings we could be pleased with. We worked with watercolors and acrylics on paper. Some of the paintings were done on new white paper, some were old watercolor paintings that were covered over with a mix of gesso, water and matte medium. Abstract G was done in approximately 5 layers. You begin with layers of random colors and lines making imprints as you go. After that dries Sue told us to begin by covering the areas that we like the least with a neutral color and continue doing that. I found that to be a very easy way to start, eliminating things until I got to the point that I liked what was left. You add textures and lines using whatever you have on hand. We used stencils and stamps; manufactured or hand made; watercolor sticks and pencils, there really was no limit. We just let our creativity rule the day. It was great fun and the days were gone in a flash.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

                             Batik Pink Orchids 11x13, watercolor batik

This is my second painting that I did using the wax batik method. It's painted on kenwashi paper which is thin and has a lot of threads visible in it. It was painted over a year ago but I just got it framed for the last show, hoping for a sale but it's still with me.
I have another workshop to participate in this week. It's being taught by Sue Pink. Sue does interesting abstracts on paper using acrylics and watercolor and a whole list of supplies which I have yet to assemble. So this post will be short for now. Look for some new material soon!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Busy Season

                                         Paris Flowers, Watercolor and collage

OK, I know I've shown this one before but it won a second place in our local art show so I thought I'd show it again. It's a very busy time right now because it's the "season" when all the northern visitors are here to get out of the winter doldrums. So, there are art shows and art sales going on every week it seems. Also, art workshops are a constant draw on my time. I just finished a workshop with Janet King so I have been painting, I just don't have anything finished to photograph and put on the blog. I read the blogs that I follow and comment when I have time. I have another workshop this week, I hope that I can get something finished to get on the blog soon.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Outdoor Cafe

                                       Outdoor Cafe, Watercolor batik

A couple of years ago I took a workshop in watercolor batik painting. I loved the class and the look that is achieved using this process of using melted wax as a resist and then cracking it when it has cooled in order to put on your dark paint to get the batik look. The part I didn't like was using an iron over newspapers to melt the wax and absorb it out of the painting. It took a long time over a hot iron to get all that wax out. I've never been fond of ironing. I did manage to paint another batik painting and thought I would do more but I haven't. Now I wonder if I could remember the process.
Anyway, I found this painting when I was looking through my stash. I decided to frame it and put it in the art sale our local art league is having this week end. I'll be at the sale with my paintings and cards for sale. It ought to be fun.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Geranium Card

                              Geranium Card and envelope, watercolor.

While I was painting outside the other day I also did a painting of my brave little geranium plant. I call it brave because it came through the summer even though it was sorely neglected. Before I left Florida for the summer I put it in it's pot in the landscaping where it would get irrigation and rain whenever it was provided. Geraniums don't like wet feet so they don't usually make it through the summer here. But, this one did. It looked pretty awful, scrawny stems and tiny leaves. So, I watered and fertilized and even though the leaves are still small it is blooming like crazy! It adds a pop of color to my lanai and it deserves being painted onto a card.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daisies

                                  Gerbera Daisy Card and Envelope

I decide to paint some cards for an upcoming art sale at our local art league. I do these quickly and  don't worry too much about accuracy. I just concentrate on getting the paint on the paper without drawing my subject. I'm painting on Canson watercolor greeting cards, they come with envelopes so I put a little matching design on the front to make a complete set. It was a beautiful day to sit out on the lanai and get some painting done.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Burrowing Owls

                      Two Young Burrowing Owls- Watercolor and Ink
                         Hootie In A Palm Tree- Watercolor and Ink

Where I live in Florida we have these little creatures called Burrowing Owls. They dig a burrow in our sandy soil during the dry season (winter) and raise their young. It's fun to walk by their home in a vacant lot and see the little ones lined up outside their burrow under the watchful eye of their parents. The adults mate for life and both take care of the young. They are in constant danger from hawks, raccoons, and other predators and they are loosing their habitat as more people build homes in the area. As a result they are a protected species. We have a Burrowing Owl festival every February to inform the public about these delightful little birds. Our art league is sponsoring an art show with birds as a theme and is working in conjunction with the Owl Festival. I've been trying to come up with some ideas for painting these little birds. These are little ink sketches with watercolor that I'm using as a springboard for something a little less conventional. I'll be posting whatever I come up with. If anyone has an creative idea I'd love to hear it.

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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.