Linda Halcomb's Blog

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November 11, 2014 November 12, 2014

Filed under: Abstract,ATC's,Collage,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:17 am
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I have started working on a large set of ATC’s (Artist Trading Cards). I give these every Christmas to my family and friends so they can collect an “original work of art”. I started with a set of abstract collages for four of my friends.

Abstract 1 2014 ATC

Abstract 1 2014 ATC

Abstract 2 2014 ATC

Abstract 2 2014 ATC

I created one sheet of highly colored and highly textured purples and blues. I used watercolor crayons and plastic wrap. This is fun to do and it is amazing to see the colors “bloom” when touched with water. The result is like a miracle. Using this sheet I started cutting geometric shapes. I started with a couple of simple compositions. Here are my first two abstracts.


November 10, 2014 November 11, 2014

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:29 am
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“Painting is by nature a luminous language.”      – Robert Delaunay

Isn’t that the truth? I want to speak that luminous language so I continue my work with color. The painting I am posting today is titled Harmony in Yellow and Green. I am trying to understand the use of color and I have much to learn. Because Wassily Kandinsky’s book The Spiritual in Art influenced so many early modernists I have been rereading the sections about color. Some highlights:

A well-balanced mixture of yellow and blue produces green. The horizontal movement ceases: likewise that from and towards the centre. The effect on the soul through the eye is therefore motionless…Green is the most restful color that exists.

In music the absolute green is represented by the placid, middle notes of a violin.

I don’t know if I agree 100% with everything Kandinsky says but who am I to disagree! I do know that, while walking at the State Park this summer, I pondered why I always am drawn to paint the Spring and Fall seasons but not Summer. It hit me like a rock…too much green! Kandinsky’s words helped me understand this response.

Harmony in Yellow and Green was painted with 5 different yellows, 2 greens and one green mixed on the paper using Hansa Yellow Light and Pthalo Blue. I let each of the colors dry thoroughly before applying the next color. A painting takes three or four days to complete. I thought the value structure was much better than my last painting. I am always open for comments and suggestions. When trying to improve my painting, I leave my ego at the door!

Harmony in Yellow and Green

Harmony in Yellow and Green




November 9, 2014 November 10, 2014

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Uncategorized — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:41 am
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Tomorrow, along with another docent at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, I am doing a Printmaking Workshop for our Asian Core docents. Marni, my fellow docent, introduced me to gadget prints and I spent yesterday afternoon learning how to do them. Basically, you scavenge your home and garage for “gadgets” that have a nice shape and a sturdy composition so they can be hammered to make an imprint. I found that using styrofoam plates for my printing plate worked well. I could cut them into rectangles on my paper cutter and they are very soft and take an imprint easily. I made two different plates. The below photo shows my two plates after they were inked and their corresponding prints. I learned I could also draw on the plates using a wooden skewer as a stylus. The lighter work had watered down ink so it is not as dark. I learned a lot and like the print with circles (you know me – of course I like circles!) Anyway, this was easy and fun. I’m going to do more with my grandchildren. Enjoy!

Gadget Prints


November 7, 2014 November 7, 2014

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 2:59 pm
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I noticed that most of my paintings over the last two years have been inspired by the seasons or the weather of Indiana. Hmmm, and the seasons were specifically Spring and Fall. Why do these two seasons fascinate me so much? Color! Spring is full of the magenta of flowering redbud trees, the floating petals from pink and white crabapple trees and a rainbow of colors from flowering bulbs. In the Fall, I am always enraptured by the brilliant yellows, golds and reds of an Indiana autumn.

I have also been inspired by our two 100 degree Summers…not by the burnt grass and faded colors of the foliage but by the colors I visualize when thinking about coolness…laying in long grass under a cool, leafy tree, looking up through the greenness and seeing spots of fire in the unclouded, blue sky…or lying under water looking up through the cooling wetness at the blue sky.

Color, as always, is my inspiration. I decided to spend some time studying color and creating what I am calling Harmonies. I want to use a very narrow range of color to create a painting that is “in harmony”. The first color I chose was yellow. Delacroix said, “Everyone knows that yellow, orange, and red suggest ideas of joy and plenty”. We can never have too much joy and plenty!

Kandinsky, in Concerning the Spiritual in Art , says that yellow creates movement towards the spectator. Additionally, it will appear to spread beyond its painted bounds. With blue it is a polar color, defining light and dark, warm and cold. My first harmony was not a very good painting. I painted Harmony in Yellow and Orange using only shades of yellow and orange (sounds obvious – I’m sooo creative with titles!). I am not very happy with the composition and I did not find a way to introduce enough range in value. But I am learning and am continuing to study this painting to “see what I can see”. This painting used 5 shades of yellow and 3 shades of orange.

Harmony in Yellow and Orange

Harmony in Yellow and Orange


November 5, 2014 November 5, 2014

I have been doing a lot of painting in my head recently (too bad I have not been painting in my studio!). Recently both the Artist’s magazine and Watercolor magazine had articles about Judi Betts and her approach to bringing life to mid-value paintings. I took a workshop from Judi several years ago and was familiar with her approach to underpainting. She starts with color blocks in complementary values and then, using the same complementary hues, builds up her paintings. I decided to try a small painting and started with an underpainting of red/green and blue/orange to do a painting called The Elder. I couldn’t work my way through this approach to a finished painting but I did continue to work in a more traditional and realistic way. The painting was very tight and lifeless until I started painting fast and loose. That was my learning.

The result was this painting inspired by a photograph in Smithsonian magazine:

The Elder

The Elder