Linda Halcomb's Blog

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March 30, 2017 April 1, 2017

I always have fun painting my abstracts using watercolor. I use a very wet, spontaneous process and drop paint, spritz paint, tilt my paper and generally just “go with the flow” literally. My new painting is titled Celebration 1. With Easter approaching I have been thinking about all that holiday entails, including Mardi Gras. And that is one of the most exciting celebrations in the world! Full of color, movement and life. That was my inspiration and I hope that you are able to see that I have attempted to simulate confetti falling through my painting.

Celebration 1 03302017

Celebration 1 – 12″ X 16″, 140 # CP Arches, watercolor

 

I am very careful to let my layers dry completely between painting sessions. When I do this you can often see the layers and feel depth. This painting has seven layers of paint. It is painted on Arches cold press 140 pound paper and for this painting I used primarily Dr Martin’s Liquid Watercolors. They come in a dropper bottle and retain their vibrant color as they dry. I gave it a splash or two of white gouache and then grated some watercolor crayon to create the confetti and spritzed with water to adhere the crayon. Now its done…lets celebrate!

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March 27, 2017 March 28, 2017

As I walk at Ft Benjamin Harrison State Park I see the first signs of spring. The grays and browns are now accented by a froth of light green rolling over the landscape. The bushes are leafing out and lighting up the undergrowth with a gentle color and a clean fragrance. The skies are bluer and the breezes invigorate. As you may remember I tried a small color field painting using the winter colors I saw on my walks (here). I painted with my new acrylics and didn’t like the look of the canvas underneath. That painting was very small and I learned a lot about acrylics as I worked on it. I decided to create a new Ft Ben color field painting using burnt sienna to represent the leaf covered earth, a mix of light greens to represent the budding bushes, winter white to represent the sky and burnt umber to represent the trees. I started out by thinking about three blocks of color and a blue background. Then I decided to split the large upper block into three with white spaces between to represent the large, white sycamore trees that grow throughout the park. That was my starting point as  I worked on this painting.

The most important decision I made was to choose Strathmore Aquarius II paper as my surface. I soaked the paper until it was wet all the way through and then painted with my acrylics on very wet paper. I wanted blurry edges (the acrylics did run a little) and a soft look to the surface. My painting is 11 inches by 15 inches and, as you can see I further developed the idea of trees as I saw the painting develop.  I’m finding ways to love the Indiana winter!

 

Ft Ben Color Field 2 03262017

 

March 24, 2017 March 24, 2017

After I completed my post yesterday I realized that I had never posted the completion of my third “Zone” painting. I completed Green Zone earlier in the week and it was sitting on my mantle undergoing continual scrutiny. This painting went through only one round of revision while the Red and Blue paintings went through many more as I continued to learn. This painting was completed entirely with a palette knife and I like the effect created by the broad swipes. This painting completes the series of “Zone” paintings inspired by the three abstracts in Penny’s apartment on the TV show Big Bang Theory (see more here). I like the spontaneous approach and have now started a new watercolor abstract that uses what I have always called my splash-splash technique (because I paint REALLY wet).  This process is also spontaneous and responds continually to the way the watercolor is behaving…not always predictable!

 

Green Zone 03202017

 

 

 

May 22, 2017 March 23, 2017

I have mentioned before that I put my paintings through a lengthy “living with it” period. I have my three acrylic abstracts propped up in my family room so I can scrutinize them. I thought you might want to see them together.

 

Green, Blue and Red Zone Paintings 03202017

 

This final evaluation is very tricky. It is easy to ruin a painting at this stage. I don’t think that I will risk further changes. Your thoughts?

The painting behind my abstract is an original watercolor done by an Indiana artist named Jimmy Faulkner. My husband fell in love with it at a fundraiser. Paintings were awarded by lottery and – happy surprise! – my husband’s name was drawn. The painting could not have found a happier home. You can learn more about Jimmy Faulkner here. Be sure you check out the online gallery.

 

 

March 19, 2017 March 21, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 6:33 am
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I have been working on my Green Zone painting and as I worked I decided that I was not happy with Blue Zone (published recently). This style is very new to me as is painting with acrylics. I am learning as I paint and am finding that I need several days of looking at and “living with” a painting before I see and have thought through how to deal with basic problems. I have now updated Blue Zone and think that it is finished. It is at the paint that I am saying to myself “Do not ruin it by continuing to tweak…don’t over work it!” With abstracts that is very hard to do – a squiggle here, a dot there. When is enough, enough? I hope you enjoy Blue Zone redux!

Just a note: Ruth, a fellow blogger, had asked if I had purples included in the painting and complimented the use of purple so I increased the use of different shades of purple. You can visit Ruth here. For Blue Zone I used the analogous color scheme of green, blue and purple and for Red Zone I used red, yellow and orange.

 

Blue Zone Update 03192017

 

March 10, 2017 March 11, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:55 pm
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Have you ever heard the expression “in the zone”? The Urban Dictionary defines “in the zone” as “Being completely unaware of what’s going on around you as you are so extremely into what’s going on right in front of your face”. In other words you are totally unaware of time or activities going on around you. When I draw or paint I am usually in the zone.

So why do I bring this up? Well, the path I followed to get to my latest painting is rather disconnected and a little weird but I wound up in the zone. I bought three 12 inch square canvases when my daughter closed her shop and I was trying to decide what to do with them. I love color and normally like to work with clear, crisp colors – like the primary colors.  Thinking about the primary colors led me to remember that I had often noticed three abstract paintings in Penny’s apartment on the Big Bang Theory television show. They attracted me and I thought they were lively and interesting.

I have never been able to see the paintings clearly but the idea of doing a lively square abstract in red sounded like fun. I would be able to work in acrylics which would be a good learning experience and I could use a process that was spontaneous to create texture. This led to the creation of The Red Zone. This is a play on words since I am usually “in the zone” or totally focused when I paint. As you can probably see, I built up the paint in three layers. Acrylics dry really quickly so I had to stop painting when the paint became tacky. When the paint was completely dry I would paint another layer building up different layers of color.

 

Red Zone 03092017

 

Here is Penny’s apartment with the blue, red and green abstracts on the wall at the right side of the photograph. What an explosion of color!

 

 

March 1, 2017 March 2, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:41 am
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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.

 

floating-0222017