I have often wondered if I would work better in oil or acrylic instead of watercolor. Since this is a time for exploration, I used a very small 6 inch by 8 inch canvas to paint a scene in acrylic. My husband and I spend six months living in Germany at the end of 2014. I worked in Mannheim and we lived in Heidelberg. One of our favorite explorations was a trip to Amsterdam that allowed us to see remarkable art and to explore the Dutch countryside. We visited late in the year, a time of damp and rainy weather. I decided to use a view of a windmill for my first, tiny acrylic painting. I wanted to see if I could capture the feeling of a damp, misty morning. The actual painting has a more unified surface and my dabs (particularly in the sky) do not stand out like they do in the photo. I’m no photographer but I love my iPhone and it usually does a great job for me. Oh well, I do my best!
March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017
I often call my abstracts splash-splash paintings. That should tell you a lot about my process! I started this painting with my liquid watercolors and it got too dark very fast. I created a real mess for myself. I looked and looked and decided that there was no way to recover if I used watercolor so I switched to acrylic. I don’t use acrylic often but I have a few dropper bottles of acrylic ink and a few tubes of heavy body acrylic – basically primary colors and a few secondary colors.
I had just finished reading my latest National Geographic magazine and it has an article about the state of our oceans. I began to think about schools of small fish and the way they flash like floating sparks as they move. Light, color, movement – that is what I was going for with this work. Sparks of floating color.
I used my spray bottle like I do with watercolor and was able to soften some areas and to build up some transparent areas. This is on 140# Arches CP paper and is a quarter sheet.
February 27, 2017 February 28, 2017
Recently I have been struggling with motivation. I decided that taking a class might add the incentive to be more disciplined so I registered for a Life Drawing Open Studio. We had our first session yesterday and I really enjoyed it. My mindset is that this class is just for fun and I can sketch what and how I want but I did learn very rapidly the importance of placement in the room. Need to get there earlier next time! I am not going to post everything I did yesterday but thought I would post a couple.
Both are 15-20 minute sketches on newsprint. In a life drawing class it is rather unusual to do a portrait but I thought I would give it a try. Here is the result…
February 26, 2017 February 26, 2017
It has been a tough few months for many reasons. I haven’t had much time or energy for painting or drawing but I am beginning to get back to my studio. Have you ever noticed how your studio and drawing table get covered with lots of PAPER, magazines, flyers and other detritus when you are not actively creating? Well I am beginning to get my space organized again. I still have a stack of tax paperwork but that will be gone soon. Maybe I should do an abstract based on my emotional response to taxes…oh my!
Last week I completed this very small watercolor. It is not much larger than the image but was fun to do. I just played. Brushing, pouring, squirting. As many of you know I love color and I was trying to capture the idea of light splitting as it went through shattered glass. I have always been fascinated by the prism lightcatchers made by Pollyanna in the movie of the same name. So simple and such a beautiful effect. Light dancing on a wall…so beautiful!
October 25, 2016 October 25, 2016
I am posting a second sketch I did at the Women’s Rejuvenation Retreat set up by RoadScholar at the Land of Medicine Buddha Center. We were near the town of Capitola on Monterrey Bay and were surrounded by giant redwood trees. It was a beautiful, serene, fragrant, peaceful environment. I have always loved seeing prayer flags moving in the breeze and visualize prayers for peace, health and happiness being sent out to those that need them. There were prayer flags adding color to the greens and burnt siennas of the redwoods throughout the site. This view greeted us as we arrived and said good morning to me as I started each day. May it bring you a sense of peace and well being.
October 17, 2016 October 17, 2016
I have been out for a little rest and relaxation. I spent the last week in the San Francisco area and had so much fun. My middle daughter and my oldest granddaughter went with me. Three generations wandering the streets of San Fran munching, looking, wondering. We spent three nights in the city and then went to a Road Scholar “Womens Rejuvenation Retreat” in the redwood forest above Monterrey Bay. We were at the Land of Medicine Buddha Retreat Center and it was a wonderful experience. Qi Gong, meditation, vegetarian meals, aromatherapy, reflexology, herbs for healing…wow, I can’t wait to go through all my notes!
At the Center I finally had time to do some painting. I used a 6″ X 9″ block of Canson Montval watercolor paper and my little 8 pan set of Yarka watercolors (my kiddie colors) to paint this view of a path through the redwood forest. I hope it takes you to the peace I felt.
October 2, 2016 October 3, 2016
I am just a little slow. After my last post I had to think about what I was doing. The pages in my Stained Glass pattern book are very hard and slick and nonabsorbent. Not the best for watercolor. For this work I laid down a layer of colored pencil, then watercolor, then more colored pencil and then more watercolor.
I picked this pattern because I walk my dog, Baxter, at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park every morning. The forest is still largely green (I overload on green during the Indiana summers!) but there was a lovely gold and coral sunrise and the early sun hitting the tops of the trees gave them a glow. I tried to capture several shades of green, the blue sky and the drying grasses and undergrowth. I am still fiddling and diddling but am about ready to get serious!