I need to get busy and create my "wishlist" for Christmas. Of course the most important wish is that each person in my life be blessed with good health and success in whatever they are doing in their personal life as well as their career or job. Let each person know when sending out your holiday cards that you are proud of them and check on how they are doing.
Second: I'm wishing to work on changing my priorities so more time can be spent with my friends and family doing things together - just even having coffee or lunch with a friend will be something that helps to keep the balance in our lives that is so needed. Just making a phone call to have a conversation is a start.
Third: if there is an organization where there are annual fees to be paid or making a tax deductible donation in his/her name is always helpful and welcomed. My children teamed up to make a donation to the 100 Club of WSO one year and that was a gift I will always remember.
Fourth: there is always a need to replenish art supplies. So if you aren't sure exactly what is needed, a gift certificate to the artist's favorite local art store or online store is always welcomed. Or a gift certificate to the artist's framing store.
Fifth: How about a date to the local art museum or other art event happening in your area. Sometimes there are new movies out that relate to art in some way -- make a date to see one of them. Also you can purchase or rent movies to have a date night at home. Of course seeing a play or favorite musician or singer would be great too.
Sixth: If your artist has mentioned another artist's art, especially a specific piece of art, that will be not only nice for her but also her artist friend if you can surprise her/him with a purchase.
Well, this is a start. What would you add to your list for the artists you know?
Have a Happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas or Happy Holiday -- whatever you are celebrating! My wish for you is to be surrounded by people you love sharing good food and enjoying the traditions of the season. Don't forget the great conversations. I am forever grateful for the gift of being able to create art and share it with you.
I couldn't wait to proudly post that a young American cyclist won Stage 15 at the Vuelta de Espana on Sunday. It was an amazing race with different cyclists in several breakaways during the race. He usually is supporting the Red Jersey Primoz Roglic but he was riding safely in the Peloton 5 minutes behind his breakaway group so he waited. When he figured he could win the stage he took off and none of the other riders could catch him. I had heard that he had "chugged" the beer, which is a celebration for the stage winner from their sponsor each day. Yes, he did -- a first I guess! So cute. The other thing about him is with 50 meters to go on a steep climb he started Hi-Fiving the crowd all the way to the finish line. His smile tells it all. He is 24 years old and last year attended University of Colorado. Another American cyclist, Lawson Craddock on EF Education finished 7th.
Today's race, Stage 17 was the longest on this year's Tour, 219 Km. He gets the honor of finishing the race in record time for all races of this length to date. This was Philippe's second stage win of this tour. I've never seen so many in the breakaway -- more than in the Peloton. Of course one by one the breakaway cyclists get called back to support their team leader or just have had enough of the fast pace which they were going. The last part of the race was at around 60 km.
I loved the wonderful ruins and castles which have been maintained in today's venue. Tomorrow's race has four climbs so it will be a totally different race with probably different winners.
Andorra to Cortals Dencamp 167 Riders <100 Km stage. A stage for the climbers. Youngest rider in the race Polachar from UAE, 20 years of age, won the stage. He is from Slovania. Quintana finished 2nd to put on the Red Jersey. A hail storm greeted the cyclists near the finish and affected a couple of riders in the lead breakaways who crashed in the rain on this section of the course one was Lopez. The leader of the breakaway was called back to help Quintana and was visibly upset to do so but the interesting point is you ride for the team unless they turn you loose. Movistar has had a rough year deciding who to support Quintana or Valverde.
Stage 1 Team Time Trial Salinas de Torrevieja to Torrevieja 7.3 KM 22 Teams in race. Favorite Jumbo Visma crashed on a corner after water on roadway in previous corner all but 3 of the teams went into the barriers and thus ended up 40 seconds behind the winning team of Astana. Because of their win the first teammate to finish will wear the red jersey starting in Stage 2. Miguel Angel Lopez -- the 8th Columbian to wear the "red" jersey and win a stage. The scenery in this part of Spain was great -- loved the salt mine start --- looked like snow. The finish was near sunset over the port since the race started later in the day.
Sorry that I wasn't able to post the last couple of weeks. It was my error in trying to add different data analytics to this site. I appreciate the staff from Weebly, Malwarebytes and Google Analytics in getting me back up. Everything is okay and this website is secure.
The Tour this year has been remarkable in new achievements and exciting moments, especially for the French cyclists who have come to the forefront in winning stages and holding the yellow jersey. The script I had drafted disappeared so I'm going to post a few photos with captions. This next week should have spectacular scenery and is projected to be the most difficult final week in the history of the Tour. There has been a different stage winner through Stage 15 when Simon Yates got his 2nd win -- this hasn't happened in the last 25 years!
I created two paintings from photos I shot while streaming the Tour and they are shown below. They are both 8x8 watercolor on paper and will be either matted/framed to 13x13 or sealed and put in a floater frame. I'm looking forward to painting a few more before the tour ends.
The photos above were taken while streaming the Tour de France during stages 2 and 3.
I really had to share the top left photo of Mark Cavendish with the young man who tweeted Mark saying he would like to ride with him since he wasn't chosen by his team to ride in the Tour de France. Mark is the kind of man who took him up on the offer!
I love the team time trials because of the importance of the "team" in order to win. It reminds me of the sport of swimming when you are on a relay and the points you get by swimming on a relay and how those points affect the team who wins the event. The helmets and bikes are designed for ultimate efficiency and streamlining over the 17 miles in this year's course. Since Luke won Stage 1 their team went last (middle top photo). Team INECO (formerly Sky) was in first place a good portion of the day and thought they had it won, but the excitement of their team wearing the yellow jersey carried over to the entire team and they ended up with the fastest time of the day (middle row left photo).
I wanted to show you a couple photos from Stage 3 - Luke was wearing the ;yellow jersey and wasn't expected to be wearing it at the end of the stage. (middle photo middle row). At the start of Stage 3 you see him and the other jersey winners lined up at the front of the cyclists waiting for the start of the race. There was an expectation that Anaphilippe might win this stage -- and he did (bottom left). He had a handshake from Eddie Merckz at the start--hmmm. He had a great ride and left no doubt he was at the Tour to ride into Paris.
The middle bottom photo is of Le Moulin de Verzenay in the middle of France's champagne growing region. It is the last surviving 19th Century grain mill on the windswept Mont Rizan. The mill served as an observation post in the 1914-18 war and as an observation post for the American army in 1944.
Ruinart is the oldest established Champagne house, exclusively producing champagne since 1729 and one lucky commentator got to give us a visit there. Impressive area with mile after mile of vineyards.
Back to painting and my course........ have a nice day -- hope you enjoy the sport of cycling and the Tour de France.
Well this morning around 2:00 AM Pacific time the Tour de France (TdF) started in Belgium with Stages 1 and 2.
There are several key reasons why this Tour will be important. First, the yellow jersey will be awarded to the overall winner for the 100th time. The Tour will celebrate the 50th anniversary of five-time winner Eddy Merckx’s first victory. The race began with him dropping the start flag from the Director's car. Paul Sherwan passed away last December and will be greatly missed as one of the key commentators of this event. Phil Liggett and Bob Roll will be doing the honors. In the studio after the stage Christian VanDerVeer and Chris Horner (from Bend) who retired this year from cycling will head up the analysis following each stage. Bradley Wiggins, 2012 winner of the Tour is riding along on one of the motorbikes and will be delivering podcasts throughout. I also enjoy Jens Voigt's analysis out on the road during the race.
Several key faces will not be in the tour this year due to injuries in previous tours: Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin. Mark Cavendish was not selected to be one of the seven from his team. Stage 1 wasn't expected to have as many exciting moments or crashes and a photo finish with a surprise winner. Jakob Fuglsang, one of the top cyclists expected to do well, crashed but managed to hang on to finish. It was unknown whether his injuries will allow is return. Dylan Groenewegen was favored to win Stage 1 but crashed within the last 3 miles of the race so his teammate decided to go for the win. Geraint Thomas hit the footing of a barrier but wasn't injured.
Sagan and Teunissen sprinted to a photo image with only a few cm giving the win to Teunissen. The first cyclist from Holland to win a stage in 30+ years. The final miles of the stage come back into Brussels and it reminded me of when they return to Paris -- in and out of the tunnel (but only once here). I liked the pink hat being thrust out near the finish line.
I always get tempted to paint scenery, castles and churches when I watch the Tour. I always hope to catch come fans doing something interesting with a cyclist in view of them. I love to paint the shadows of the bikes. I have developed some favorites over the years and Peter Sagan is one of my favorite. The sprint finishes are my favorite in capturing the effort and strain on their faces. There are several new young cyclists who emerged in the tours leading up to the TdF. I'll be watching for them to win a few stages.
I always want to give them as much publicity as I can because it is a grueling sport. My husband, brother, and cousin all are hooked on riding local races. We had hoped to get to France so they could ride some of the same routes on the Tour but so far health issues haven't allowed us that wonderful trip.
If you were collecting cycling art, what kind of paintings would you prefer? cyclists riding, scenery with cyclists, portraits of yellow jersey winners - please comment if you have a preference.
This was a trip of a life-time and I highly recommend it to everyone - young and old. There is not only a lot of geography to learn about the glaciers but there is a majesty to seeing them right in front of you. The Eurodam was an excellent choice because the people who chose it were really interested in the history and culture of Alaska and its Native American and Russian influences. I can't imagine living in either Juneau or Sitka where the only way in and out is by boat or plane.
Two things that were really of interest to me as an artist was learning that the hand-made tools used to carve the totem poles by a master carver. Each mark that is made with their tools is like a signature or brushstroke of an artist.
Our tour guide is a member of the Tlingit tribe. The Tlingit tribes' artwork is also frequently functional. Their artwork often consists of clothing and carvings, including canoes and totem poles, which are still well-recognized today. The tools generally used for carving are knives, traditionally made of shell, stone or bone, depending on the artist and what its purpose. The materials that are carved were bone of sheep or goat, and most often wood. Many types of wood are found in the southeastern panhandle of Alaska; some major species include cedar (both yellow and red) for totems and canoes, and finally, alder is used in making dishes and utensils for eating since that wood does not impart its taste onto food. Totem poles always tell a story, since the Tlingit culture traditional is an oral culture with minimal written history. Each animal on a totem pole represent family crests or tells a specific story.
The totem pole of Seward who purchased Alaska from the Russians for the US was really interesting. He had traveled to AK 3 times before the agreement was reached. Each time he had been given a gift. He evidently never figured out that one is to give a gift of "equal" value when you return. So the figure has a red nose and ears to depict his embarrassment for not knowing.
We visited a little shop in Ketchikan where the proprietor wanted to become a master carver. One has to start with learning to make the paint; traditionally this was done mostly by the women. “totem poles were painted with a type of fish-egg tempera, consisting of a mineral pigment mixed with a mordant of fresh salmon eggs and saliva. The colors originally were red, black, and green or blue. The red was obtained from hematite, the black from graphite and carbon, and green/blue from various copper ores common in the region.” She said that one would have to chew and chew to get the base to the right consistency before adding the color from berries or other materials. She didn't eat salmon for 4 years after learning this part of becoming a master carver. Today modern day paint is used instead.
I wanted to report on one of the most fun one-day workshops I have taken. At the OSA (Oregon Society of Artists) classroom on April 20th Linda Rothchild Ollis taught a class on "Creating with Courage." Most artists know that the blank paper, canvas, or other surface presents a challenge each time we start a new piece of art. Linda has created a workshop where there are no expectations in anything created in the workshop. We used specific paint, Yupo and treated paper, and applied different stencils with a foam roller. The four pieces below represent my journey as I let myself just create whatever I could think of with the tools available. I had recently purchased 4 plastic rollers with different designs and used one of them in the workshop. See the lower left painting for the pattern it created. Since it is spring -- time to clean out all the drawers and closets where we have stored our craft and sewing items you have collected over the years. You might be pleasantly surprised to see what other kind of stencils you can use in your art I have always been attracted to black and white art so this was really a treat. I would highly recommend taking this workshop from Linda any time it is offered or see if you can arrange with her to come to your group to "create with courage." You can find her on Facebook and she has made a You Tube video as well.
Origin and history of the Easter bunny
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Easter? As a Christian, the first image might be the cross or the empty tomb. For the general public, a blitz of media images and merchandise on store shelves makes it more likely that the Easter Bunny comes to mind. So how did a rabbit distributing eggs become a part of Easter?
There are several reasons for the rabbit, or hare, to be associated with Easter, all of which come through pagan celebrations or beliefs. The most obvious is the hare’s fertility. Easter comes during spring and celebrates new life. The Christian meaning of new life through Christ and a general emphasis on new life are different, but the two gradually merged. Any animals – like the hare – that produced many offspring were easy to include.
The hare is also an ancient symbol for the moon. The date of Easter depends on the moon. This may have helped the hare to be absorbed into Easter celebrations.
The hare or rabbit’s burrow helped the animal’s adoption as part of Easter celebrations. Believers saw the rabbit coming out of its underground home as a symbol for Jesus coming out of the tomb. Perhaps this was another case of taking a pre-existing symbol and giving it a Christian meaning.
The Easter hare came to America with German immigrants, and the hare’s role passed to the common American rabbit. Originally children made nests for the rabbit in hats, bonnets, or fancy paper boxes, rather than the baskets of today. Once the children finished their nests, they put them in a secluded spot to keep from frightening the shy rabbit. The appealing nests full of colored eggs probably helped the customs to spread.
Back in Southern Germany, the first pastry and candy Easter bunnies became popular at the beginning of the nineteenth century. This custom also crossed the Atlantic, and children still eat candy rabbits – particularly chocolate ones – at Easter.
Origin and history of Easter Eggs
Next to the Easter bunny, the most familiar symbol is the Easter egg. Like others, the egg has a long pre-Christian history. Again there’s no certainty as to why it became associated with Easter.
Many Ancient cultures viewed eggs as a symbol of life. Hindus, Egyptians, Persians, and Phoenicians believed the world begun with an enormous egg. The Persians, Greeks, and Chinese gave gifts of eggs during spring festivals in celebration of new life all around them. Other sources say people ate dyed eggs at spring festivals in Egypt, Persia, Greece, and Rome. In ancient Druid lore, the eggs of serpents were sacred and stood for life.
Early Christians looked at the connection eggs had to life and decided eggs could be a part of their celebration of Christ’s resurrection. In addition, in some areas, eggs were forbidden during Lent; therefore, they were a delicacy at Easter. Since many of the earlier customs were Eastern in origin, some speculate that early missionaries or knights of the Crusade may have been responsible for bringing the tradition to the West.
In the fourth century, people presented eggs in church to be blessed and sprinkled with holy water. By the twelfth century, the Benedictio Ovorum had been introduced authorizing the special use of eggs on the holy days of Easter. The timing of this blessing would uphold the idea that Crusaders may have brought the tradition back. Even though eggs had been used previously, the Crusaders may have made the custom more popular and widespread.
In 1290, Edward I of England recorded a purchase of 450 eggs to be colored or covered with gold leaf. He then gave the eggs to members of the royal household.
Once the custom became accepted, new traditions began to grow up around it. Eggs were dyed red for joy and in memory of Christ’s blood. Egg rolling contests came to America from England, possibly as a reminder of the stone being rolled away.
What about the familiar Easter Egg hunt? One source suggested that it grew out of the tradition of German children searching for hidden pretzels during the Easter season. Since children were hiding nests for the Easter Bunny to fill with eggs at the same time they were hunting pretzels, it was only a small leap to begin hiding eggs instead.
The Easter lily is another new addition to Easter celebrations. Throughout the years, painters and sculptors used the white Madonna lily to symbolize purity and innocence, frequently referring to Mary. This lily doesn’t force well, so nurseries couldn’t get the flower to bloom in time Easter.
In the 1880s, Mrs. Thomas Sargent brought Bermuda lily bulbs back to Philadelphia. A local nurseryman, William Harris, saw the lilies and introduced them to the trade. A more practical consideration was that they were easy to force into bloom in time for the Easter season. From there, they Bermuda lily, now the familiar Easter lily, spread throughout the country.
The Easter Lamb
Of all Easter symbols, the lamb is probably the most strongly Christian. Other than the fact that lambs are young animals born in springtime, it has no strong ties to pagan traditions.
The lamb comes from the Jewish Passover, where each family killed a lamb as a sacrifice. When Christ became the Passover Lamb for everyone, the lamb became a symbol for His sacrifice.
John 1:29 - "The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!"
1 Peter 1:18-21 - "For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God."
Thanks to Ruth Armitage for giving me permission to use her lambs and sheep in this blog.
New Clothes at Easter
New clothes have long been associated with the idea of newness and a fresh beginning. The familiar custom of having new clothes for Easter probably began with early Christians wearing new white robes for baptism during Easter Vigil services. Later, the custom expanded to everyone wearing new clothes in celebration of his or her new life in Christ.
The familiar sunrise service is a relatively new addition to Easter. A group of young Moravian men in Hernhut, Saxony held the first recorded sunrise service in 1732. They went to their cemetery called God’s Acre at sunrise to worship in memory of the women who went to the tomb early on the first Easter morning and discovered it empty. Moravian immigrants brought the custom to America, with the first service in the United States held in 1743.
IDistance, our March Color of the Month, evokes the faded denim look of the 1970s. It’s a muted blue that balances light-tone wood finishes with ease, lending a vintage modern vibe. I have a very similar color to "Distance" in our Master bedroom and I find it very peaceful. The darker colors help your room be completely darkened so you get a better night's sleep. Most of my art looks good hanging on this color. You can never go wrong with one of the Gray's above either (which I have in my studio). Red dominated paintings stand out against the gray very nicely. Would you choose any of these colors for a room in your home?
Here’s to prosperity, success, good health and extending kindness to others in 2019.
• 2019 is the year of the pig beginning February 5th in the Chinese Zodiac. The Pig is also associated with the Earthly Branch and the hours 9–11 in the night. In terms of yin and yang, the Pig is yin. In Chinese culture, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Their chubby faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well. Recent years of the Pig are: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019. I didn't know I was born in the Year of the Pig in 1947 so decided to check out if my personality and accomplishments might resemble the person I am today. You can check yours out as well on the website: https://chinesenewyear.net/zodiac
• I keep my hand in decorating trends from my past career and use the information about the most current paint colors in mind when selecting a painting for a client or in painting a commission piece for a client. Sherwin Williams’ color of the year is "Cavern Clay". You can go to their website and use their color tool to see if a specific color will look like in the room you are decorating. I used a similar color when I have painted wine cave paintings. I’m still partial to the grays they are featuring this year. Most viewed art benefits from this neutral.
It is more difficult to get my creative juices flowing when the world around us is in turmoil. An article by Alyson Stanfield, What’s The Point of Making Art When The World Is So Screwed Up? came to my email just in the knick of time. Her 8 points on why artists should keep painting lifted my spirits and my creativity. I'll be happy to share this article with you, just leave a comment that you would like a copy.
So, here's my process:
I spend hours looking through images and recreating a memory in my mind that went with that photo. I might need to do additional research before I even consider that image. I have to feel that excitement from that memory in order to start the process. It reminds me of the same choices when deciding what is for dinner -- some days I want to fix chicken and others fish.
The same process goes for deciding on a theme to paint for several months. Once I have identified at least 3-5 possible subjects from photos, I use my projector to enlarge the image to see what size looks the best and whether it is going to be a vertical or horizontal or square painting. I need to decide what it is that attracted me to that image while thinking about design and composition. Does it measure up to the standard or will I be able to carry off a "breaking of the rules?" Yes there are rules and they are there as guidelines but most successful artists have used them in their paintings.
Secondly I decide if this painting is best painted on which surface: watercolor paper (cold press or hot press}, on a clay surface or Yupo. If I choose the latter, on a cradle so no framing or matting will be required or 1/8" to put in a frame.
Now I do a value study using the App on my Iphone, NotanIzer, and usually use 4 values. Once I have the values fine tuned , I can transfer the image from my projector to the surface I will be painting on (enough to get the prospective and important details in pencil). I can choose my colors now. I really love that the midtones have been selected through this process so I can concentrate on the lightest and darkest tones.
Now the fun of painting can begin. Sometimes the painting can be completed that same day. When it is more complicated, I want to be more deliberate and take it in stages over several days. Often I paint on more than one painting at a time if there are similar treatments to do at the same time.
Hope that helps when you see a painting. You can still ask me how long it took me but you'll have to hear about the steps...........
One of the things that keeps my interest high in painting a series is to start more than one painting. In my last post you saw the first one I started. It actually only has two washes on it at this point.
There were two doors in particular that I wanted to add "gesso juice" to the whiter stones around the door and so I started in on them next. I finished the one below first. I had to do some research on how to create the beaded glass and am pleased with the result but it took several stages to create it. I need to write down my notes before I forget. I will have to look at it for several more days before deciding if it is finished.
II'm editing my post to include the 2nd door which I finished today. It is in Saint Emilion and had quite an ornate insert in the door panel. I ended up putting down several layers of green and teal trying to get the right look for the different colors of green on the door due to age and oxidation.
Your input is always welcome.
Have you visited France and seen some magnificent doors as well? I would love to see your door photos.....
Sunday was spent looking through all our photos, particularly our travel photos. What sweet memories were brought back and got me excited to pick a theme for the next several months. I decided to work on more Doors of France because I can use different techniques, sizes, and surfaces-- paper, AquaBord, and Yupo. There are so many to choose from but I'm starting with the one below. I've done my value study -- and that is what you are seeing. Next I'll choose what 3-4 colors as well as what techniques to make the wall textures. I'm excited. Please stay tuned. Maybe you'll see some of these included in my 2019 Wall Calendar which will be ready in the Fall.
Well I said I would post my paintings from the 2nd 3-day Sandy Maudlin workshop. I love painting with the fluid acrylics and am still learning how to mix my favorite colors using this media. I probably could have used different colors for this so I didn't have to make changes to the yellow. Love how the lower left corner came through the process of masking each value layer before adding more intense color at each of the four value levels in this painting. It was time consuming masking each time but I think the end result is very unique and more abstract than I would have done with watercolors.
This painting of an Avignon inner city side street was a little more complicated than I had planned. It meant a lot more masking for each of the four layers. I love the glow you get on Yupo and by intensifying the color through layering. Did you notice the lady scared the three pigeons? I'm painting it again on WC paper with watercolors so watch for the difference. Looking forward to getting your comments.
I forgot to take a photo of the cyclists before I started the process of exposing the whites and painting the darks. The two on either side was my 2nd pour done at the same time with the same colors. This was the first time I had poured with acrylics and so wasn't aware of how the colors would mix. I can't believe I got so much green because I started with yellow, then orange, then teal, and then a little phalto blue. I will learn more in the future but will stay closer to my favorite colors to use in this process to highlight the subject matter.
I am not finished with the cyclists but at least wanted to share with you because the process is so different than painting with watercolor alone on Yupo.
The 2nd pour isn't matching any of the images I sent to her so will be either doing another pour over this or finding an image that will work. I guess I don't paint that many green scenes from my photos.
I won't post again probably until Friday. I got sick from the alcohol smell with that many people using it, especially myself and those around me were using a lot yesterday to take off the acrylic. I'm hoping to go back tomorrow.
Comments always encouraged and welcomed!!
We were asked to submit images to her for both workshops. She sent back the ones she thought would be good candidates with a value black and white image of each. I missed the first day from the chemcial reaction to the alcohol from the previous two days, so worked on only one painting--the shutters on the building in Avignon, France. It turned out to be one of the most difficult to do with all the shutters being taped prior to painting each value. I but I did persevere. I'm just about finished and should be posting it soon. I learned a lot of different ways to paint on Yupo and look forward to a lot of exploration on this painting surface.
Just a reminder -- whenever you are painting in a workshop do not expect to produce your best work. It will take me some time to see if this "batik" technique is what I want to apply to my art.
This painting from a photo I took of a still life I set up with wine and roses from my garden was started in March in anticipation of not being able to paint for awhile due to family member having surgery. I like to finish a painting while my enthusiasm and excitement is strong. I have used mostly watercolor but also added "gesso juice" to bring back some of the whites and give the painting some texture. I didn't finish and started working it again several weeks ago. I'm not quite done with the curvature of the wine glass on the right and the red rose might need some light highlights. It just felt good to get my brushes wet after so many weeks of not painting. Any comments are welcome .
This was my first new start after the 8 weeks of not painting. It usually takes some courage to put those first strokes on the blank paper so I decided to go with a background under-painting on Yupo with webbing and spraying concentrated watercolors. I used a few more colors than originally planned so that added to how busy the background turned out. That is the wonderful part of painting with watercolors on Yupo--you can get back to the white of the paper by lifting what you don't like. When I start without a subject in mind I will look at the painting in different lights and turned different ways for several days. I often ask family members what they see in the painting as well. This one might require a lot of lifting to achieve the desired result! Paintings that were done like this can be seen in several of my "shoe" paintings and my first painting of the Peacock in Paradise done with webbing and concentrated watercolors sprayed.
Image "1" - The first shape I saw was a white boot and not in a good place for a subject. When you spray through the webbing you can always get interesting shapes and faces. I can see a king or bearded man and I see several blue horses.
Image "2" I can see making an abstract painting of cyclists riding towards us.
Images 3,4: I might have to turn the bottom two paintings upside down to see something to build on. I would really appreciate any ideas that come to your "eye" too!
So when you ask me how long did my painting take -- this is one reason it might be a lot longer time period than you were expecting. Painting is a process of creating something from your heart and feelings.
It is good to get back after 8 weeks to doing what I love to do.
For the second year in a row I achieved my goal to have some of my art "on display" each month in a variety of places such as shows, juried competitions, galleries, libraries, and group shows in churches and Retirement Homes. I'm always looking for new places to display. So if you can think of a good place, please contact me.
I believe that this exposure has led to an increase in visitors to my website in 2017 and the number of "views" which was 89,985! In addition I did increase my advertising on FB and Instagram which increased the number of new visitors to the website.
It isn't surprising to me that the most viewed art has been in shows and featured in my News Tab. Here is my list of most popular paintings viewed:
1 Fall Colors in Forest*
2 Sagan Froome Breakaway Finish SOLD
3 Figures in Abstract*
4 Bird's Eye View
5 Fancy Footwork LIMITED Edition Print
6 Zanzibar Door Hinge
7 Gratitude Rose
8 Peacock in Paradise Aluminum Print*
9 NW Blue Heron*
10 Nibali Breakaway, Tour de France
11 Never Enough Love Celebrations
12 Antique Wagon, Chehalem Mountain*
13 Where Our Travels Lead Us
14 Poppy Stanting Tall II
15 Friendly French Donkey
16 St. Emilion Inner City Ruin
17 Floats and Nets Drying on Dock
18 He Rules the Roost II*
19 Custodian of the Rock
20 Fall's Bright Flame*
*7 of the top viewed paintings were in the Solo Show at Tualatin Library which comes down on February 5th.
The "countdown to Christmas" special offerings didn't bring in the sales that I was hoping for compared to the effort to create the campaign. I believe it is still best for the artist to be present for sales to result. I spend a lot of time marketing each week and am still convinced that it will pay off at some point. It is difficult to keep up with technology and have the time to create. I'm still holding judgment to see if it is worth it in the long run.
Looking forward to 2018 and what new developments in the economy help artists get back on a positive footing with sales.
Your thoughts are important to me so please leave your comments.
What I found very refreshing about the Paul Jackson 5-day workshop is that he tailor's each workshop to not only what is inspiring him but what he believes the workshop participants will enjoy. Sometimes a more experienced artist might not want to paint the same photo as the instructor and everyone else in the workshop but I found this time around it is important for the artist as well as the instructor to see if you are getting the results of his technique. The second image we were asked to create our own "story" and change or add our own images which was really using our creative juices and testing our knowledge from the first painting.
I do love to paint glass and so this was exciting to see how the layers of color come through with a brilliance and translucent glow of its surroundings. I thought initially it was the mixing of the colors but learned right away that wasn't how he achieves the glow.
I have been toying with the idea of creating a separate tab for my watercolor paintings which have been sealed with clear acrylic. The reason for doing this is so you don't have to frame with glass or acrylic. In fact you don't have to mat or frame when using canvas or cradles unless you choose to. Many galleries don't like watercolor art because of the glass or acrylic glare from lighting or sunlight in the gallery which affects seeing the art from a distance. In recent years I was told that if you sprayed or painted clear acrylic over your watercolors it then became mixed media. I have personally observed many watercolors sealed versus acrylic paintings which are often sealed in the same way and there is a definite difference in the appearance of the painting. You don't lose that much of the wonderful characteristics of a watercolor painting when you choose the right style and subject matter.
It is a labor intensive process for the artist but it saves money for the buyer in not having to purchase expensive acrylic or museum glass, mats, and then a frame. I like to still frame my sealed watercolors and love that Ampersand recently has added "floater" frames for their product line. I like that I can send the art out the door with the buyer and it is ready to hang on the wall with no further expense. Below are several examples of my painted which have been sealed. I normally seal them before they are photographed so I used my print website to show you the canvas and framed print idea.
So do you think people looking for art would like to see these identified in a separate gallery? I would like to hear your thoughts.
I'm working on a third in this newest series of cyclists during the Amgen Tour of California race held May 15-21st. One of these years I hope to be there in person rather than streaming and photographing live. I guess I am just a cycling fan who admires the tremendous physical and mental training and endurance to be successful in this sport.
It is interesting to decide which of the many photos I've taken to paint. I started with Majka winning Stage 2 because he held the "Yellow Jersey" until the 7th day. He certainly deserved the recognition. They were meant to be quick sketches but if you know me they turned into more than a simple sketch. The 2nd painting speaks to my love of shadows and I've got many cyclist shadows in my files. I thought the design on the diagonal was especially pleasing and yet the painting is simple (I don't do that very often successfully.)
I might do a few more before the Tour de France starts -- any of you cyclists who have photos you would like to have painted -- contact me.
Please comment using the form below. I love to hear what you think
Well we certainly have had April showers and it did bring forth many of the flowers and trees without much sun. Some of my favorite flowers do bloom in May: peonies and roses of course with the Rose Festival coming up in early June. I don't usually paint for shows but my roses this summer were spectacular and I think I captured several of my roses in photos I took. I might not be done with this one yet. Need to look at it for a few more days. I love to paint shadows and reflections in water so this met the mark.
Please comment if you have a suggestion on title or on some changes you would like to see made. The actual painting is a little more vibrant than this shows.
I have just returned from a weekend in Eugene, Oregon for the Watercolor Society of Oregon Convention in combination with the juried exhibitions of both the WSO and Western Federation of Watercolor Societies and their annual meeting. I am still feeling humbled this morning after seeing the exhibits all hung so beautifully with so many talented artists contributing to the show. I hope each person reading this will be able to see the Exhibition now through June 19th at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. Our juror, Jeannie McGuire, selected paintings which truly make this one of the best shows with 200 pieces of watercolor media you can see anywhere. Thanks Jeannie for all your hard work over the past couple of weeks and for the wonderful insight you gave us into your art journey. You have made my journey much more exciting by what I have learned generally and specifically about my painting in the show and my painting from the critique. So stay tuned for what will follow.
Sharing my paintings with others is one of the joys in my life. Educating others about how I paint and the media I use is very important and why I wanted to reach out through this blog. Hope you will add a comment about what you see.