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.
The show at Art on Broadway for March, "A Way In: Windows and Doors" motivated me to pull out my photos from our two trips to France. I had wanted to paint the doors in Bayonne since we found the Nadal Ancestor who lived there in the 1800s and the specific apartments she had lived in still as they were when she was alive. I loved the colors of this door since it represents French colors. I loved the shadows on the doors and from the lamp. This is the first in the series. Check out my "News" tab for going to see the show and the two paintings that were juried in of mine.
In both of these paintings I wasn't satisfied with the texturing that I got from my usual techniques. The paintings were basically done but just lacked the color and pizazz I wanted to see. So I added "gesso juice" to the entire surfaces, except the doors. There is a lot of contrast in this second door which is very fancy and painted smaller than the first one. I think it improved them so I am happy. Both paintings are 15x11.
The first 4 are "starts" except the Lighthouse and Willamette Stone Path photos which are the images that I took my starts from -- no photos yet so I'll keep you in suspense. The lst three are tugging at my heartstrings to paint. It is easy to get scattered when you like to paint so many different subjects. I usually like to work on several paintings at a time. I'll keep you posted as I make some progress. Comments are welcome always if you have a favorite to help me choose........ I do respect your opinions.
I was truly excited to get going on this painting before the end of the year but it was a very complex painting. So much for my simplify goal for 2016. Also, I didn't want to rush it. As I painted the details on the left half, I realized that I was really wanting to paint the right half because of the strong design which the nets and sails provided. I tore the painting in half and was much happier and delighted with the right half. I don't recommend cutting paintings in half or cropping them significantly unless you really are unhappy with the overall painting. So I ended up with two paintings, one of which I really feel expresses my inner feelings about the sails and nets of the fishing industry.
I would love to hear comments from any of you who have experienced the same thing or what you think of the paintings. Did I do the right thing?
I have been wanting to paint this man for about 10 years. I've looked at the photo over and over until I finally got the brushes wet to do it. My creative juices were somewhat stifled by all the negative news surrounding the election but it was a good diversion for me because you have to be positive to create!
I started with different textural techniques and a couple of stencils using my gesso juice mixture (Gesso and Mat Medium with a little water). I let it dry and then focused on the man on the left and the dark shapes around the Chef. I decided to keep the colors simple and even though I consider him very masculine I chose varying hues of quin magenta. I found myself feeling very excited to get his face completed but took my time. The meat on the grill took a lot more effort than I expected. I had to subdue the people eating in the outdoor restaurant because they were taking away from him. I had to work on the squewers at the end. Thanks to my critique groups for the final suggestions.
I would love your comments....
I've been tweaking these two paintings for since I last posted them. Finally am finished and happy with the results. I submitted for jurying the cycling painting from this summer's Tour de France to the spring show of WSO. I'll find out in late December if it will be accepted or not. This was a significant moment I selected after viewing the Tour for 27 days when in Stage 11 Froome (leader of the Tour in the yellow jersey) and Sagan (leading the point count for the Green Jersey which is the sprinters jersey) each broke away from the Pelaton early and stayed away until the finish. They each had a teammate looking out for them. I guess it had never happened before. It was a surprise to see them both sprinting at the finish but of course Sagan took the win. I hope my excitement for this awesome sport and event comes through in this painting. I do like to paint action sports. UPDATE: It was accepted and please watch for exhibition details in April at the Museum of Art on the University of Oregon Campus beginning April 7th.
The wine cave painting is part of my latest series of wine related scenes and hopefully I can get these hung in some establishment soon. I'll keep you posted. I love how all five of our senses can be awakened in a wine cave. The smells of wine, limestone, dampness all add to the excitement of finding wines aging in barrels and bottles just waiting for someone to purchase them. Of course we always did make a purchase. The walls of the old caves are hard to see in the dim lights but this cave had really good lighting so I wanted to focus on that so the cave walls could be enjoyed as well.
These are two paintings I have started in the past couple of weeks. I always need to be working on several so I don't get in a hurry and mess up.
The first painting looks really spooky right now which is why I went ahead and posted it -- HAHA Halloween! I don't fill in the facial features until I have a little more of the background done but I am pretty excited about this one. I started by applying gesso/mat medium mixture using different rollers and stencils. When it was dry I could then start applying the watercolors. I wanted to put some of the darks in to see how much more will be needed to balance the painting. I am trying to stay in the purples/pinks/grays contrasted with the whites of the main character. It is nice to take it slower than I usually do.
My boat and nets painting is more complicated and I've tried to work on small sections at a time. All the details under the nets as they hang had to be painted first and there is still a lot of detail to be completed. Just wanted you to know I'm still here painting away.
Comments are always welcome as well as questions.
I took the 5 day WSO Workshop with Kathleen Conover several weeks ago in Silverton, Oregon at the beautiful setting of the Oregon Garden following the spring convention of the Watercolor Society of Oregon. I have primarily been a realistic painter and for the past several years was venturing out by creating abstract design in my backgrounds but still keeping a focal point that was realistic. I can share with you that from the minute I heard Kathleen speak about design and composition I knew that I had strayed from my basic foundations learned years ago. I guess I thought I didn't have to follow the steps on paper as long as I had a plan in my head. I was fooling myself. I will now have a plan before I venture to the paper with my brush, mostly because our brains can trick us away from following our plan. It was a very intense but worthwhile 5 days of learning -- often outside my comfort zone. We had "starts" in the workshop and three were close to being finished. There was a lot of lifting and adding paint but I am very happy with the results. It will be fun to see what comes out of my studio next--allowing myself six months to really work through all the information I have been given and see where it leads. Thanks you Kathleen for your outstanding teaching!
This painting started with covering the watercolor paper using a wallpaper design tool rolled across the surface with gesso juice mixture. Once dry, I applied the watercolors which gave an overall design in two tones. I knew immediately that I wanted to paint a 1925 shoe image which had been requested by a very dear friend (Thanks Kathy Gray). I didn't have all my paints with me but used a silver pen on the shoe. I loved that the background comes through in between the silver and black paint. I had thought of doing the other shoe in the background but it just didn't reflect what I wanted to say. I searched for period accessories and really anything from this time to add as a collage. I loved the headpiece of the lady in this painting which seemed like something that the woman would have worn as part of her outfit.
The next step was a first for me. I applied mat medium to the front of the female image and let each layer dry -- 6 coats in all. Waiting 72 hours to soak and lift off the acrylic tray I used and then scraping off the paper from the image. I let it dry but had to scrape a few more times. Finally I decided to put her in a period frame (which actually is a door in France). and added white watercolor inside the frame to create the mystery and aging to the photo. I used more mat medium top and bottom of the photo -- not sure that was totally correct but it worked.
Now I need your help in naming it. The person who comes up with the best title will get 5 fine art cards when I have them made in a couple of weeks. CONGRATULATIONS Dee Rommel for suggesting the title I thought expressed what I wanted to convey in this painting: LOOKING BACK, "THE DANCE."
COMMENTS are always welcomed!!
I still have a couple more paintings in the Peacock series. I took the time off from painting them to attend a workshop with Kathleen Conover -- paintings to be posted next post. I'm very interested in the detail of the head and the crown, particularly the eyes of the peacocks. The colors are always so beautiful that I can't resist painting. The first painting is done on Yupo and so the colors stay true from the first application. This one gave me the opportunity to add my vision to what I saw in many different photos we have taken as well as others.
Bird's Eye View
The second painting is one I've been waiting to paint. I really do like painting different shapes -- especially the long horizontal ones. When we were in Palos Verdes last Fall I saw this "dragon-like" bird flying across the sky while watching our Grandson's soccer game. In the B&B where we were staying they flocked to this giant tree. We came home each night too late to see them fly in but I got up early each morning and saw a few of them up in the tree and a few flew away but none were large males. I'm looking forward to our next visit because I'm determined to catch one in flight.
Modern Day Flying Dragon
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.