Linda Halcomb's Blog

Just another weblog

August 29, 2010 August 30, 2010

Gosh, did I make mess yesterday. I started a new collage. My objective this time was to use only black, white and gray and to cover the entire surface. I started by collaging a small sheet of mid-gray paper as my background – rather like JMW Turner and other artists do when when preparing for multiple, rapid painting sessions.

Collage Exercise 08292010 - Step 1

Next I started tearing papers and gluing down pieces in a random pattern that seemed to have the potential for good design. This is what my collage looked like after I worked with a first go round with each of my non-colors.

Collage Exercise 08292010 - Step 2

At this point I thought it looked a bit like waves crashing through the entry to a sea cave so I worked with that idea applying additional pieces and using white acrylic to splatter spray. This result is, as Edward Betts would say, semi-representational.

Collage Exercise 08292010 - Step 3

I thought this looked too messy so I added more collage over the waves. I hated it, thought it looked kitchy and threw out my collage. This morning I pulled it out of the trash and tour off the last collage elements. I hope I learned from this exercise. I have a new idea for a slightly different collage that I am going to try to do today. Yesterday I started with no idea, Today I have a general vision. We’ll see which works best!


August 29, 2010 August 29, 2010

Filed under: Acrylics,Collage,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:16 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Did you ever do a painting or exercise that looked perfect the first time but you just couldn’t believe it? This happened to me yesterday.  I was working on my second collage in order to exercise the new insights I gained from reading the book by Edward Betts. I used the left over acrylics from the day before to paint a textured background on Bristol Board. Then I used my torn gray scale papers to layout my first attempt at a composition.  HMMM, this looks pretty good. But I can improve it, right? I don’t know this looks pretty good… Well to make a long story short, I could not improve it and I could not recreate it! Of course!  After several hours over 2 or 3 working sessions I created a new composition. It is fine and I do like it but boy was I frustrated that I could not recreate my original work.

Collage Exercise 08282010

I like the simplicity and cleanness of this design. I am doing these exercises on Bristol Board because I don’t like working on it and I am trying to use up the stock that I have. Have a lovely late summer day!


August 28, 2010 August 28, 2010

Filed under: Acrylics,Collage,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 1:46 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Gosh, I have not had much time to paint, sketch or otherwise create art this week. I am Treasurer for one of my groups and we are in the middle of our membership renewal cycle and we closed our fiscal year so I am preparing financial reports…and I am developing a new public tour on Asian Ink and Brush Painting that I have to give at the IMA next Friday…and the IMA is getting ready to open a new special exhibit on Andy Warhol and his whole body of art that I am studying for…I know “Quit whining! That’s life!” OOOOKAY!

Anyway I did read three more chapters in my Edward Betts Master Class in Watercolor book and all three chapters were very relevant for me. They covered Collage, Mixed Media and Painting Without a Brush techniques. He recommends that you work with each chapter for a couple of weeks before proceeding so I started with collage. I bought a pack of Gray Scale Papers and started working with it. I will probably use collage as a component of my watercolor and acrylic paintings. I think the real value will be in helping me improve my compositions and handling of values. I started by laying out an abstract design and I used ink to draw in a crackle pattern for interest.

Step One

I then decided – Yuck! – I didn’t like the crackle pattern. I used Yellow Ochre and Burnt Sienna acrylic paintings diluted with lots of water to tone it down. This was OK but rather dull so I used a coral Nu-Pastel to add a lighter pastel color to one of the sections.One difficulty I have when working on abstract paintings is to find and stay focused on the center of interest. My intented focal point was the split rock that is half black and half white.  This was clear before I added color but the color, especially the coral color seems to draw the eye away…there’s a learning there!


August 21, 2010 August 22, 2010

Well here’s the good news and the bad news. First the bad…neither of my submitted watercolors were accepted for the Watercolor Society of Indiana’s Juried Show. This competition had over 175 entries for 52 spots. I am sad but I will keep trying!

Now the good news…seven of my eight submitted works (three watercolors, one acrylic abstract and three drawings) were juried into the professional arts competition at the Indiana State Fair and both of my submitted works were accepted into the National Abstract Show. This show had over 130 entries from 17 states and I am not sure how many were accepted. Last year’s show probably had 35-40 in the show but that is just my estimate. Anyway here are the two entries that were accepted for the abstract show.

Carnival (13" X 22" Image)

Carnival is acrylic on a half sheet of Yupo Paper and White light is acrylic on a full sheet of Yupo and I had it framed so it can be hung either horizontally or vertically. Originally I thought I would hang it horizontally but now I prefer vertically. I (IMO) think both are equally nice. Both paintings are matted and under glass and White Light has a lovely frame that was recommended by my framer who gave me a great deal on it.

White Light


August 17, 2010 August 17, 2010

Filed under: Acrylics,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I have been out of touch – we had a funeral come up unexpectedly and my oldest grandson was married over the weekend. He is a farmer and the wedding was held under the trees with a lovely breeze blowing and was small and intimate. (With a BIG party afterwards!)

So today I finally put the doodles aside and painted a small realistic acrylic – very unusual for me! This is only the second realistic acrylic I’ve ever painted. It is of a giant oak tree that is the pride of our neighborhood. The old weathered branches swoop out and then down almost touching the ground. I call it The Giant and frequently visit it when we walk the dogs. It is so iconic that our neighborhood newsletter is named The Tree. It is not perfect but I was pleased with the way it turned out…

The Giant

I will replace this scan with a photo when I get new batteries for my camera – or a NEW camera! This is a 9″ X 12″ painting so my scanner cut off some of the painting. I mixed the acrylics with water and used them like watercolor – except I didn’t have to feel guilty for painting white highlights.


August 12, 2010 August 14, 2010

My diddle, dawdle, doodling week continued… I am still playing with my colored pencils and created this organic, warm colored abstract. I was thinking about autumn and fallen leaves, especially maples which are abundant in Indiana.

Abstract Doodly-do

I was also thinking about the Self Portrait Challenge and I loved Leslie’s SP of her feet. It was striking. So I did a really quick rough sketch of my feet. This is an important time for my feet since I am recovering from plantar fasciitis. The shoes are new walking shoes and they are like walking on clouds! They look clunky but – wow – are they comfortable. (I know – too much information!)

Linda's Feet


August 11, 2010 August 12, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:25 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Well this was my grandsons’ last visit before they go back to school next week. We made dragon collages (they love fantasy and dragons). After we finished the dragon project Jakob and I did a shared watercolor painting. I did a mingling of colors. He painted over this and made it a beach scene with a BIG moon and then I added people and a dog walking on the beach. Jakob wants his Mom to post it on Facebook.

Fun – but I didn’t get photos today – the zippy little devils were gone too fast – but I did just scan my dragon.

Dragon Collage

Our dragons were not great but I think we are all learning from the activity. My dragon looks he’s from Dragontails! He is flying through pink and purple clouds strewing flowers and hearts.


August 9, 2010 August 11, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The doodling continues…I really feel the need to play and not do anything serious. Just being lazy in this extreme summer heat. I pulled out a magazine and sketched this with my colored pencils. I was fascinated by the Christmas tree like shapes of the floating ice.

Ice Flow

Later I sat thinking about how I could abstract this and I thought of the minimalist work done by Donald Judd, which I really enjoy. I came up with this simple little guy…

Icr Flow Abstract

I always feel guilty and lazy goofing around like this but I hope this is the break that refreshes! I just finished reading a little book called The Blank Canvas: Calling the Muse and again, as many times before, I heard that the key is to keep putting pencil to paper, paint to brush…JUST DO IT! So I am…


August 7, 2010 August 9, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:38 am
Tags: , , , , ,

For two weeks I have spent time cleaning and reorganizing my studio. It is tiring work. I have four large bookcases in my studio and needed to get rid of some books to make way for other things. My reason – I needed to find a home for my Sumi-e materials. Everything else had a home but my new set up is better for my paper storage as well. I think I am finally about done!

Last night I realized that I really had not created any artwork, except for the important pieces I did with my grandsons, for a few weeks. Last night I sat on the couch while watching the Hall of Fame Bowl and just doodled. It was like stretching my art muscles! My first doodle was done while thinking about connections and networks.

Network Doodle

My second was done while thinking about faces and creating faces from geometric shapes and building up color while still maintaining vibrancy. This is not any one I know or anyone I saw. Just drawing from basic shapes of everyones features… It was fun and no pressure so I really enjoyed myself.

Face Doodle


August 4, 2010 End of Summer Challenge August 5, 2010

I think “Challenge” is the wrong word. “Sharing” might be better! Recently Leslie started a new discussion by sharing many of her self portraits. This seems to be a topic of great interest for many of us. I would like to continue what Ryan (SmallTownDad) started in the Spring and Richard continued by challenging my fellow bloggers to share a recent self portrait. No rules for us! The self portrait can be a drawing, painting, a poem or a prose description – nothing is off limits – even music (wow that would be cool!). As Leslie demonstrated, a self-portrait does not have to be a face – it can be hands, feet or a posture! Please describe yourself for us and participate. We will all post our “Self Portraits” on September 21, 2010. Please post a note to my blog so everyone else will know you have posted. And please spread the word. This should be fun!

To start us thinking. I am including some older things I’ve done. The first is a quick 10 minute sketch from 1990.

Self Portrait 1990

Well, actually my eyes are smaller, my face is wider but my husband has always said he loves my firm, strong jaw and you can see it here. For 10 minutes work it is not bad.

Like Leslie I have also spent time drawing my hands. Is this a fascination? Maybe these represent me best? I think I draw so many hands because they are very challenging.


July 2009

Nov 2009