Linda Halcomb's Blog

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October 27, 2011 October 28, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:39 am
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On Wednesday Ken and I and some friends visited the Indianapolis Zoo to see the new baby elephant and the Dolphin Show. One of the dolphins is named Kimo which I understand is the Hawaiian word for happiness (if this is wrong please tell me!). Today Ken had his fourth Chemo treatment. HMMM, Kimo – Chemo, serendipity? I always take drawing tools with me when Ken has chemo and this time I took a 6″ X 9″ heavy duty sketchbook and my set of Sharpie markers. I used the edge of the Sharpie case as a straight edge – drew some lines, some curves, some spirals and started coloring. I stayed with primary and secondary colors because I wanted a happy, cheerful look…not that everything is going well but I was tickled by the play of words (Kimo/Chemo) and Ken and I had one of our best vacations ever in Hawaii. So a tribute to Kimo!

Kimo 10272011




October 25, 2011 October 26, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:47 am
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Tomorrow Ken has his fourth round of chemo. Last night I was thinking about our journey and how much I love him. I had my sketchpad with me and did a curvy, swirly auto-drawing with some hearts in it. The word I was thinking about at the time was Heartscape – like a landscape for your emotions. I did the drawing with a black Sharpie and then, having just finished the new biography of Lee Krasner and having just watched the movie Pollack, decided to use some color to “fill-in” the blanks.

Heartscape Drawing

It’s not perfect but I learned a lot about composition and balance as I worked on this last night. Hope you enjoy… Tell someone you love them today!


October 18, 2011 October 23, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:09 am
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A third Chemo painting from this cycle to share with you. With this painting I used cut strips of MASA to see how that would work. It was still a little tough to remove all of the mask but it worked fairly well. I like the way I was able to retain the bright spots and the water moved around the paper in a totally different pattern. A learning!

Chemo 7

Since I was able to “hold” the bright lights, I really “pushed” the darks in this one. I wanted to achieve something intense and deep.


October 16, 2011 October 21, 2011

I have never specifically shown the work of another artist on my blog BUT, as a huge promoter of the Watercolor Society of Indiana and a HUGE fan of the top three artists of 2011, I wanted to share the magic they create with you, my fellow artists and bloggers. I have included the Judge’s Comments and comments from the artists. You may also see notes from me since I pulled this information together for use by the docents at the IMA.

2011 Best in Show - A Sanguine Summer by Jerry Smith

Smith, Jerry, Sanguine Summer, acrylic on paper 29 x 21

Wilbur Meese Memorial Award: BEST IN SHOW

“This painting has beautiful flow, movement, and balance.  Everything good about composition exists in the painting.  The color is incredible—especially the grays.  I want to take this painting home with me.”

I’m constantly drawn to the Indiana landscape, especially the rolling hills and small farms found in the southern part of the state. In recent years I’ve been particularly interested in incorporating the textures and shapes of large foregrounds into my paintings. I’ve found the layering of acrylic paints useful in achieving the desired results.

Because this painting won Best-in-Show (and because I wanted to incorporate it in a Public Tour called Impressionism and Beyond) I sent Jerry several questions. Here are his answers to my mini-in terview. (PS I had to look it up…sanguine means cheerful or hopeful.)

1. Do you think of yourself as having a particular style or following a particular “school” of art?

I have not attempted to follow a particular style or school of painting. My beginning tendency was toward tight realism, but my preference is impressionism. I have spent many years trying to make this transition. I feel my main influence has been the Impressionists, especially the Cape Ann School painters such as Frederick Mulhaupt, Harry Vincent, and Aldro Hibbard.

2. Do you do plein air sketching and/or painting? Do you ever start a painting en plein air and finish in the studio?

Yes, I always carry and sketchbook and watercolors when I travel. I do both plein air and studio painting. When painting outside I prefer to finish the painting on location. However, weather or time limitations sometimes force me to finish or rework a painting in the studio.

3. Do you ever do a series of paintings of a specific location?

I love to work this way. Many times in the course of doing a painting, I get ideas about how the painting could be done in a different way or pushed in a different direction.

4. Do you have a favorite palette of colors?

I have no favorite colors. I use a fairly limited palette made up primarily of a warm and a cool in each of the primary colors plus a green and an earth tone, such as burnt sienna.

5. What do you consider most critical to a successful landscape (ie color, line, composition, value contrasts)?

It is very difficult to rank the order of importance for the elements of painting. They are all important. If forced to do so, I would have to say that it is critical to have a good composition before other things can be considered. It seems that color ranks very high among people viewing paintings.

6. How long does it take for you to paint a work like “Sanguine Summer”?

Sanguine Summer is a studio painting done from sketches and photos. A painting takes as long as it takes. Sometimes I work on a painting in more than one session and I tend to lose track of time when doing so. I also spend time planning and thinking about a painting before I ever start so I hesitate to put number estimates on the time put into a painting. An oft heard clichéd answer is “It took x hours to do the painting and a lifetime to learn how.”


October 14, 2011 October 20, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:51 am
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Chemo 6 - Arches CP - 12" X 16"

Back to my earlier process…no experimentation or Masa here…just thinking and feeling the chemo, the cell-killing chemo. Do you feel like the painting is floating in fluid? I tried to make it look like the flow was surrounded by other fluids and the cancer cells were being destroyed and were losing their vital, life giving blood. Maybe my words are too melodramatic but I keep screaming internally – kill, kill, kill that cancer!



October 13, 2011 October 18, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:13 am
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Haven’t been able to post for a few days because my camera was sick. I finally figured out, after trying several things, that my rechargeable batteries were shot. I bought some new lithiums and they are working fine.

Ken had his third round of chemo about a week and a half ago. We spent last week at home and he was able to run errands with me by the end of the week. He is still weak but was able to attend the opening of the Watercolor Society of Indiana show on Sunday.

This is the fifth in a series inspired by his Chemo and I tried something new. Leslie has inspired several artists to work with Masa paper collaged on watercolor paper. It can give very interesting effects. I wad and soak the paper before I collage it to my Arches CP paper. I don’t apply any color until after the collaging is complete but I often paint before the collage is dry. I use masking fluid on my paintings and I wanted to see if I could remove the masking from the Masa. You can if you apply it heavily but it doesn’t work very well. Ken really likes this particular painting and it has not motivated any modifications during my “living with it” phase. Hope you enjoy!

Chemo 5


October 11, 2011 October 13, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 3:27 pm
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Another ATC for my holiday stash…this one is of a hillside village in Switzerland. I really enjoyed doing this. It is watercolor and graphite…I still have trouble with the small brushes…too shaky!

Swiss Village - ATC


October 10, 2011 October 12, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:23 am
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For those of you who were interested in my post discussing automatic drawing (yesterday) check out this video from YouTube. It helped me understand a practical application.

I started working through the EDM (Every Day Matters) list of objects several months ago. I did the first three items rapidly and then got stuck. The fourth item on the list is a mug, cup or glass. I knew immediately what I wanted to show. My mother bought a cheerful set of red mugs 25 years ago. I always really liked them. They were bright red with small whte roses and bright green leaves. When Mom died in 2002, she still had two mugs from the set and I inherited them. I still use them for my morning coffee almost every day. Everytime I look at them I am still cheered by their fresh, bright color and I think of my mother. You get it…they mean a lot to me. I have this thing – I am scared to death to paint something that is extremely meaningful to me. I am afraid I will not be able to communicate what they represent for me – that I will fail them – dismally, heartbreakingly! Sunday, when I had my markers out to work on automatic drawing, I just jumped right in. This sketch is not a good one, it does not communicate well but at least I have broken through this barrier. My mug is surrounded by the orange juice, english muffin and cereal that I have for breakfast almost every day. I am a creature of habit! Done quickly and roughly but done…

EDM 4 - My Mug



October 9, 2011 October 11, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Drawings — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:48 am
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Last Thursday and Friday were spent at the Simon Cancer Center as we  went through Ken’s third round of chemo.  This is a journey…we just don’t know yet how it will end. I always use this time to explore – this time I am still trying to get my arms around automatic drawing and I am struggling. I have used the internet to try to understand the definition and have used YouTube to watch artists creating using automatic drawing. Some of these are clearly NOT automatic drawing. Anyway on October 7th, 8th, and 9th I created automatic drawings. I think they got more exciting as I created each new piece of work.

Automatic Drawing - October 8, 2011

Automatic Drawing Oct 7, 2011

On October 7th I started with a spiral shape and went from there. I have trouble moving away from my first shape so as I shifted I used derivatives of a spiral – ovals, circles and dots…in this case pretty ho-hum!

On October 8th, I started by drawing some intersecting lines and then began adding trapezoidal shapes. This did not fire my imagination so I began thinking about the boomerang shapes on 1950’s tabletops. I drew kidney- bean shaped amoeba like shapes and then embellished with circles and dots. ..a little better.

On Sunday, October 9th I watched several videos on YouTube, and while I don’t believe I had a break through in understanding, I was able to draw a swirling homage to nature. Not sure if it is automatic drawing but it is very pleasant to view.

Automatic Drawing - October 9, 2011

I still wonder…how is automatic drawing different from doodling?


October 3, 2011 October 6, 2011

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:30 am
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I love travel and was lucky enough to be asked to work in Europe during my last six months with Roche Diagnostics. Ken and I lived in the old area of Heidelberg and I worked in Mannheim, Germany. We visited 16 cities across six countries and took three weeks of vacation during our time in Germany. Marvelous! and, for Ken, life changing because he learned to see dogs as family members in Germany. As I create more ATC’s I decided that smalltowndad had inspired me and I would try a European cityscape. Not as refined as Ryan’s work but here goes…

Prague - ATC