Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A preview of what's to come ... I did this from a photo I took on Pigeon Key last time I was in the Keys and, inspired by Suzanne (http://www.suzannemcdermott.blogspot.com/) on Lama-Li, handmade Indian paper, which is resistant, that is, the paint sits on top and blends or moves easily--which I like; lifting is not easy (which I don't do much, or try not to, but which is a characteristic of the paper I most often use, Fabriano). I do very much like the wove texture, which reminds me of papers used by Sargent.
Posted by Picasa

Trying to get ready to go to Fla. Thurs.--and I can't find my bathing suits!--so I'm not committing to much painting; too frantic and distracted. But last night I painted this from a photograph I got at Jan Hart's (http://www.janhart.com/) New Mexico workshop in October. I love snowscenes, and this composition is so pleasing.
I'll be in Fla.--or on the way to or from Fla., with my copy of Jan and Michael Stern's Roadfood onboard--from 12/20 to 1/5. My plan is to paint a lot, everyday, more than once a day ... but the place we're staying doesn't have a wireless connection. The restaurant next door may, and so I will try to post from there, cafe-style.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 17, 2007

Computer problems yesterday ate up a lot fo my time (and sanity), so I just did a little painting. The sort where I leave everything out and then, once in a while, can't resist going over and dabbing at something for a few minutes. Not the best way to work, but it gets the paints wet.
I finished my second pine cone study, then played around abit trying to the get the colors for a few silk flowers I have: chinese lanterns, poppy, hydrangea, and (I think) batchelor button.
In the evening began this pine cone, similar to the first one; this one is unfinished as yet.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Doing a little photo-file sorting; found this from last year ... I like--in my own work and that of others--little scrap sketches and preliminaries; like the quick studies done in life class, which are usually my favorite work of the day.
Posted by Picasa

Slept late, then went out all day, but, not wanting to totally relinquish my momentum-building, I set the oven alarm for 30 minutes and started this ... Another proof that painting first thing in the morning is the best way to be assured of it!
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 14, 2007

filling in

Filling in is always a bad idea. I thought yesterday I'd try to bridge the two sides of my little sketch, which was not a bad idea, though they started as two separate tries at the subject.
The first photo here shows the beginnings of the attempt.
And the second shows the attempt gone too far! I really was just filling in the "spaces" and as soon as I was conscious of it, stopped.
Note to self: be conscious!
Brings back what Jan Hart (www.janhart.com) says about stopping when the painting's an adolescent and thinking it over.

I went back to the dying orchid study this morning after painting the pine cone, which I drew last night. I'm not going to critique the painting--I think it's a little timid; perhaps all those lace holes get me too much into a left-brain mode--but I like the subject--there must be so many ways to approach painting a pine cone!--and want to do it again.

Today I really practiced Suzanne's advice: I set the oven timer for 1 hour ... That hour really flew by too!

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 13, 2007

taking a little advice

... from Suzanne, who made a good point to me about the necessity of daily--even if brief--practice.
Gray, rainy day here. I was just about to finally dispose of the nearly expired orchids Chris brought me at Thanksgiving, when I thought, here's an opportunity to do my daily practice: 10-15 minutes (that's all today; other days more, I hope), of getting the paints wet.
Thinking I may extend the exercise a bit and paint right to left, filling that empty space in the middle ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I've been tagged ...

Suzanne McDermott, a wonderful watercolor artist, has "tagged" me on her blog, Landscape into Art (http://suzannemcdermott.blogspot.com/). On Suzanne's blog I'm tagged along with four other artists ... I've looked at their blogs and am delighted to be in the same list with such accomplished art bloggers.
Being tagged means I need to list five things about myself and then tag five other artists ... It's a great way to encourage people to visit more art blogs.
So first, five things about me:

1. Today is my birthday!
2. I'm not as disciplined as I used to be (Exhibit 1: I spent all day trying to finish a job that I should have finished days ago!)
3. I find it really hard to think of five things to say about myself ... after two I was stymied.
4. I wish I could a) paint a tree like Andrew Wyeth, b) ice skate, c) have more cats.
5. The love and affection and support of all my good friends and my brothers, every single one of whom called to wish me well today, means more to me than anything and makes me feel very grateful and humbled.

Now for the easy part: recommending the sites of other artists whose work I enjoy.
First, I'd like to direct you to the websites of Jan Hart, whose New Mexico workshop I attended (and loved; see my archives) in October, and her son, Jay: http://www.janhart.com/ and http://www.jonathandowens.com/.
I've been exploring numerous inspiring blogs (when I should have been working; see #2, above), and I hope I'm not violating any blogging etiquette by tagging these bloggers who I don't know personally, but I really enjoy their blogs and think you will too: http://www.laurelines.typepad.com/, http://www.janefranart.blogspot.com/, and http://www.kerriarceo.blogspot.com/.
And I have to add an honorable mention to the first blog I started visiting, the one that inspired me to create my own, and keeps inspiring me in so many ways, Sarah Wimperis's delightful www.muddyredshoes.blogspot.com.

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 01, 2007

more possiblities

Overwhelming myself with choices here, and not actually starting anything because of work (have to at least make a dent in some paying work here!) ... Maybe making these photos and looking them over will turn out to be beneficial: percolating, rather than procrastinating.
Posted by Picasa

what's next?

Took some photos today, trying to clarify in my mind what composition to try. I was planning on something simple, natural, but couldn't help throwing the Battenberg lace in there ... don't know why it appeals to me so much! Actually, I guess I do: it's the holes ... I especially like when in some places you see dark through the holes, and in others the lighter dark of the folded fabric.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 30, 2007

back at it ...

A little (1/16th of a sheet, 5.5x7) sketch done from my Pa. snowstorm photos. I was trying to concentrate on more neutral shades in the distant foliage; and unintentionally got a nice halo-like bleed around the larger trees on the right--probably couldn't re-create it if I tried!
This study has too much "blank" space to me--not enough tension I guess between what's there and the negative space ... Perhaps if the road was not so steep. And I think I made the line of grass in the middle ground too straight! It is straight in the photo, but that's no excuse. May try this again, but, as a subject, it doesn't seems so promising to me ...
And anyway I have a bagful of pinecones that I want to start trying to draw and paint!
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 17, 2007

dunes in snow

Putting these aside as done for now. I was trying for a more neutral palette (!)--but neutrals built from mixing or overlaying colors, rather than from the tube. When it comes to neutrals, though, looks like I need to stick to to the tubes: when I put down a violet or yellow or blue, I don't want to lose it!
May try, as Sue suggested, a limited palette, a good exercise though one I don't subject myself to often enough--I usually jump in without a plan: sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But I have found, in classes and workshops, that having some restraint imposed on your usual habits can produce wonderful results.
I'll give some thought to which colors to use and try to done another over the weekend.

This scene of a road in Delaware County will be the next subject in this flurry of little studies.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 16, 2007

next ...

A final, for now, try at the trees, with snow this time.
Next: a dune in snow. The top one was loosely drawn first; the bottom one, where the distant trees are already muddy looking!--I went back in too many times already, trying to get that warm, dark gray--wasn't.
Posted by Picasa


Had this frame I stashed away sometime and decided to do a third tree study: here's the very nearly finished product.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 11, 2007

is it done?

Not too happy with the fine branches: I used a bamboo pen dipped into pools of watercolor, I think it could work but 1) I need more practice getting the wetness right and 2) I need to draw more graceful lines! May just stop here on this study ... Thought of adding some trunks and branches in the background trees (oh, that's what that blob or orange and pink is!), I'm stymied on this for now.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 10, 2007

beginning study 2

Here's the first pass on my little diptych: on the left, a mix of wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry painting. I washed out an evergreen I had painted in the left-corner foreground, and also some unconvincing and distracting foliage from the right corner. It lifted really well--one of the characteristics of Fabriano paper--especially considering it was green!
On the right, not much yet, the first pass of blue in the study I'm going to build by glazing.

Second step: On the left I've repainted some of the trunk that was washed out when I removed the evergree. On the right I've added a wash or raw sienna, and I put in some shadows, changing their direction from what they are in the photo ...
I'm going to stop with these for today, while they're what Jan Hart would call adolescents, and think them over.
I especially need to figure out how I'm going to treat/achieve the network of very fine branches. May draw them in with a bamboo pen nib; or perhaps add as the very last step with a water soluble lead pencil, blurring some lines and leaving other sharp.
May need to attempt some studies of just such tracery before proceeding.
Posted by Picasa


Posted by Picasa