Linda Halcomb's Blog

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July 26, 2010 July 27, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings,Portraits & Self Portraits — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:21 pm
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I really enjoyed seeing all of Leslie’s Self Portraits. I thought I had only done one in my lifetime but, while searching for the one I remembered I found another.

Self Portrait in Life Drawing Class

This a self-portrait I made during a life drawing class in the mid-1980’s. It is the only drawing in the sketches from class that was not a nude! The other drawing is a head and I have still not located it but I will keep on looking. I have several drawings of my hands. Maybe I will shot photos and add them. Hands are so expressive!

PS If nothing else, I got the big glasses right! Remember those?


July 26, 2010 July 26, 2010

Filed under: Acrylics,Daily Post,Drawings,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:58 pm
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Today we delivered eight pieces to the Indiana State Fair for the Professional Fine Arts Competition – 3 watercolors, 3 drawings and 2 acrylic abstracts. Just filling out all the paperwork and making certain the framing was spotless was exhausting. I also entered two pieces in the Watercolor Society of Indiana’a Juried show two weeks ago and entered two Abstracts in the National Abstract Juried Competition. It has been a busy few weeks! Whew! I keep reminding myself that I’m a newbie and to get ready for the rejection…

I only have one more local competition later this year and my art is ready for that so now I can regroup. A lovely, very experienced, award winning, published Indiana watercolorist gave me a list of artists and books that she thinks are super. I recently read Notes on Painting, a book that includes notes from classes conducted by Charles Hawthorne. The notes were compiled by his wife from class notes and critiques. Short and helpful! She also told me about a book called Master Class in Watercolor written by Edward Betts. She said it was a little hard to find and expensive when you can find it but that it was the ultimate instreuction for watercolor artists. I found a copy and started reading it last night.

Master Class in Watercolor

I was shocked when I opened it and found that Betts painted realistic watercolors and abstract acrylics. A Split personality – JUST LIKE ME! I am working on the first chapter called Sketching on Location. Nothing radical here but he believes that artists need to build a library of sketchbooks that become resource material for their later paintings. This got me thinking about my sketchbooks. First of all I have only completed two sketchbooks. I have four in various sizes and materials in process. I thought I would show you the first page from each of these two completed sketchbooks. The first book covers the years 1983 to 2008 (obviously I didn’t sketch very often!) The first page is a colored pencil sketch of John Jump-ups. They are like a mini-pansies.

Sketchbook #1 - Pg 1

Sketchbook number 2 was started in late 2008. I was taking a class called Idea to Paper to Paint and the instructor had just discussed free form drawing to music, a tool used to loosen up and release creativity. I noted the names of the songs I was listening to. ..still like these songs!

Sketchbook #2 -pg 1

Are any of you willing to show a first page? It would be great!


July 21, 2010 July 21, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:18 am
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Jakob and Ian working on their Geometric Fantasy Paintings

Yesterday the grandsons and I worked on our second watercolor painting exercise. We did the same type of activity as the day before EXCEPT we developed a plan after we painted our colorful underpaintings. I had them use my engineering templates to develop a drawing using geometric shapes. Then they had to number each shape based on the layer they we in. (You can see Ian’s drawing in the photo.) We did negative painting to pull out each layer of objects. We were actually pretty rushed for time since they had to go home yesterday so they learned all about using a hairdryer to dry your watercolors faster and the painting was a little sloppy. I was really happy with what they did! I like the “Cherry” look of Ian’s painting and the abstract expressionist quality of Jakobs. Great day! Fun exercise!

Ian's Geometric Fantasy

Jakob's Geometric Fantasy

Oh yes, we also talked about how “framing” can make a painting more attractive and how to link objects together. Fun but we covered a lot!

Grandma's Geometric Fantasy


July 20, 2010 July 20, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:28 am
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Last week was super busy. My grandson is now in Afghanistan and he sent a “rush” request for things he needed. I made two shipments to him and started a third. We do not know where he is at in Afghanistan but he has moved into the countryside. AND last Saturday we had a shower for the fiance of my oldest grandson. They are getting married in mid-August. The shower was lovely and hosted by my youngest daughter who lives near South Bend and works for Notre Dame University. Her birthday was in late June so we ALSO celebrated that. Whew!!! It was a hectic week.

Ian and Jakob's Fantasy Forest Paintings

My youngest grandsons are staying with me for a few days so we did an art project yesterday.  I saw this activity on someone’s blog and I tried to find it again so I could give them credit but I couldn’t find the post. I thought this exercise was really interesting and created beautiful pieces so we gave it a try.

Jakob working on his Fantasy Forest

Ian starting Step 2

We wet our paper and just painted in colors allowing them to mingle and merge.   Then we drew in the outline of trees and painted the negative spaces. We did this again later and wound up with our very own versions of a Fantasy Forest.

Grandma's Fantasy Forest


July 12, 2010 July 13, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:19 am
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I have been playing around with my last watercolor sketch from our trip to Madison. I need to learn when to stop. I overworked this little guy and lost some of the luminous look but I think you will get the feeling. This merman is one of four that decorates the lower level of a large bronze fountain on Broadway in Madison. It is a duplicate of one that is in Savannah, GA and is one of four in the world. It was originally in cast iron but was recast in bronze during the late 1900’s. I did not have time to try my hand at the entire fountain but did give one of the mermen a shot. Here he is:

Foutain on Broadway


July 10, 2010 July 11, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:37 pm
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We just returned from a long weekend in the historic town of Madison, IN. Madison has over 100 square blocks full of historic buildings. It is the largest area of historic homes in the state of Indiana. We took a long weekend and visited two wineries and three historic homes. The Lanier Mansion is incredible both from the perspective of the original innovative design created by Francis Costigan in 1844 and from the quality of the latest restoration which was completed 15 years ago. The home is now owned by the State of Indiana and we had a wonderful guide. I did two little watercolor sketches – the first en plein air – and I am almost finished with a third.

The first I did from the balcony of our hotel. The view looks straight down the main street of the town. The right hand side has a large power plant in the background so I painted the left. The mornings are, of course, misty and dense with humidity which gives everything a pastel appearence.

Madison, Indiana

We visited the Lauthier and Thomas Family Wineries. I brought apples and tomatoes to snack on and I had one of each left. I had a great time trying to capture the look of the bottles. Other notes about Madison: great art town, incredible restaurants and Cocoa Safari (Chocolate Shop – all hand made) is absolutely fabulous. Madison is a lovely city to visit for a long, relaxing weekend and is close to Clifty Falls State Park which has four 60-80 foot (yet unpainted) waterfalls. Madison, we will be back!

Madison Still Life


July 8, 2010 July 8, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 4:00 pm
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Another day of playing around. I love working with what Judi Betts calls the Desert Triad – Indian Red, Cerulean Blue and Yellow Ochre. It always seem to create work where the colors are in harmony. They mingle to make lovely neutrals. I started with my Sumi-e ink and bamboo pen and draw the abstraction of a canyon.  The painting was very straight forward but I did use a little salt to give some texture.

Canyon Abstract


July 7, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:14 am
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Another beautiful hot and humid day in Indiana! It seems that my mind needs to loosen up after I do a realistic (even if Impressionistic) painting so yesterday I decided to play around a little. I let my mind roam as I worked on this piece. I recently bought 1/2″ and 1″ angled brushes and wanted to work with them. The first thing I did was to draw an abstract design by moving my brush around sort of like I do when working on sumi-e style exercises.

Playing Around 1

I was not able to maintain the tight control that I strive for when I am practicing Sumi-e strokes but remember – I’m just “playin’ around”!

I chose yellows, oranges and reds to “fill-in the lines”. Recently I bought Vermilion, a color in the Stephan Quiller line and I wanted to try it out, to get some experience with it. I painted shapes, overlapped shapes and sometimes overlapped shapes again. Good reinforcement about which colors are REALLY opaque!

Playing Around 2

I continued to reinforce some of the colors and then – mistake! – decided that the design might be too limited and to add some additional “stuff”. Stuff and nonsense was what it turned out to be so I decided to paint a nice dark, black surround to block out my additions. Anyway here is what I had at the end of my day of playing around.

Playing Around 3


July 4, 2010 July 5, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 1:47 pm
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Happy 4th of July! I hope all of USA’ers had a fireworks fourth full of family, food and friends.

I want to thank everyone that offered a critique of my painting of geraniums. I appreciate your generosity and helpful spirit.  Universally the problem stated was value.  I believe 100% of you mentioned that. (And frankly I think I knew that but there are times when I seem to lose my confidence.) I have been working on the painting and think I have taken it as far as I can. I am on the precipice and if I do more I think my vibrant color will become MUD! YUCK!!#@! In my opinion the painting is much better than it was and this experience has reinforced (AGAIN) a couple of things for me. First I need to do a couple of sketches before I start. They may be small thumbnails but I need to check the composition and values. I can be impatient and too spontaneous and it always gets me into trouble. Also in most cases I need some sort of reference even if I am not painting directly from it. Light hitting geraniums would have been nice in this case. And value, value, value. Seems pretty basic, right?  Anyway thank you all. I appreciate your support. Here she is:

Geraniums in a Pot


July 1, 2010 July 2, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:29 am
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I need your help! I feel like I am stuck right now splashing paint. I painted this yesterday. I love Geraniums and one of my first paintings in 2007 was of geraniums and white verbena. I painted this yesterday with no reference and I did not do a drawing. I had the drawing in my head and “saw” my finished painting. As I worked I did think about the comment Leslie made recently about using one continuous line to make her drawing. I tried to make the red of the geraniums make a continuous whole (not always possible) so the red would lead your eye around the painting.  Now, like I said I feel like I am stuck and not making much improvement at the moment. I want to invite you to critique my work. Do not be kind. I need the information. I am not in any class right now so I am turning to my blogging friends. Just a note – I worked and worked but the color is slightly off – particularly the pot is more balanced with the rest of the painting than it looks – a little brighter and deeper valued. You are all so generous and talented I hope you will help me. You WILL NOT hurt my feelings and any thoughts are appreciated!!!!!

The Geranium Pot