Linda Halcomb's Blog

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April 14, 2011 April 15, 2011

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:00 am
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Yesterday was a real bummer. We learned that, for whatever reason, they were not able to make the vaccine for Ken’s treatment this week. We were very disappointed. The feelings of frustration, lack of control and disappointment led me to work on another version of “falling”. I have been thinking about doing a painting with just blacks, grays and one other color so I practiced Carpe Deum and took a shot. I am actually very happy with this painting. It is on Arches paper and is roughly 8″ X 10″ ( don’t have the exact dimensions here!)

Falling 3

I am also working on a little “Blue” painting. It is on my new 6″ X 8″ block of Fluid watercolor paper. It was going very well but I think I’ve mucked it up and I’m trying to recover.  I may pull out the MASA paper and use collage to do some major revision. So many options…


November 20, 2010 November 20, 2010

Filed under: Abstract,Collage,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:53 am
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When I learn something new I have to apply it to really understand and use the knowledge at an intuitive level. I want to continue to work with the ideas I learned when working with my black, white and gray collages and paintings. I decided to work on a collage but I want to add some interest by introducing a bit of color. I love blue so I painted a sheet of 9″ X 12″ bristol board with big daps of Winsor Blue, Prussian Blue, Thalo Blue and Cobalt Blue.

BG&W Collage 11182010 - Step 1

I started playing around with the torn shapes I had from the last time I worked with my gray scale papers. I decided to stay with primarily white, black and mid-gray and I also decided that I needed a large “blocking” shape because the background was so active that it didn’t fit well with the very flat gray scale papers. The background had to be a small accent element not a major element. It is fun to play around with shapes. It is like doing a jigsaw puzzle with no “right answer”. The gray scale papers are so flat and cold feeling that I have to work with torn edges to give softness and interest and I like to have some of the edges touch or overlap to add warmth – like the touch of a hand. Anyway after trial and error my final collage turned out A-OK. It’s not really cockeyed. That’s my photography!

BG&W Collage 11192010 - Final


October 23, 2010 October 23, 2010

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:12 pm
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I  have been working on a third gray, black and white study. These paintings are small (roughly 5″ X  7″) and are on 140 # Arches. This one I played with and played with. After the first wash I did not use a brush again and I applied 6 or 7 layers of paint. I learned that after the 4th or 5th layering you have washed away the sizing from the paper and it is much harder to achieve interesting effects. I also learned that when you are not using color all of your paintings can begin to look alike. I thought I was done painting this little study and it was nice but I decided I could make it more exciting. So I finished by painting another layer with a toothpick and was able to get the spiky flashes. Anyway I am finished with this. I hope you enjoy it! This image is scanned so it looks slightly different from the photos.

Study #3 in Gray, Black and White


October 21, 2010 October 22, 2010

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:37 am
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I am still working on my forest painting but I did finish a second study in gray, black and white. I find that these studies free my mind and I immerse myself in them. Unfortunately I have not started pulling together my November/December Show and that has to start today! Here is study in g,b &w step 1:

Study 2 in Gray, Black and White - Step 1

Step 1 is the only step that included use of a brush. I washed the paper with clear water and then painted in splotches of Payne’s Gray, Neutral Tint and Charcoal Gray achieving a variety of intensities in order to create an underpainting. While the paper was still very wet I dropped in liquid white watercolor and let it mingle without my assistance.

Study 2 in Gray, Black and White - Step 2

I let the paper dry thoroughly and then sprayed the paper with clear water. I dropped in black liquid watercolor, payne’s gray and neutral tint and tilted the paper to form a pattern. I repeated this one more time to build up more texture and color. Here is where I begin to debate with myself. Am I done? I decided no.

Study 2 in Gray, Black and White - Step 3

I decided that the study could be more dynamic and exciting so I tilted the paper and sprayed across it dropping white and payne’s gray watercolor across in a diagonal. I then used a tooth pick to pull out the spiky points. Throughout the painting process I used my finger and paper towels to blot and smudge the paint as it developed. Is the study done now? Who knows? I decided yes.


October 18, 2010 October 18, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:52 pm
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We never know why we hit a slump and we never know why they end. I woke up yesterday with an intense desire to paint again. All I can say is Yippee! I started working on a couple of small watercolors and I finished (I think its finished…hmmmmm?) one today. This little guy was inspired by several things. First, I just recently finished a book by Edward Betts that included a chapter on painting without a brush. This painting is done entirely without the use of a brush. Second I have been thinking about the work that Chris and Leslie have been doing, especially Leslie’s post of October 3, 2010. She did a painting using multiple shades of gray and black.  Anyway here it is…I used payne’s gray, neutral tint, charcoal gray and Dr Martin’s Hydrus white and black.

Study in Gray, Black and White #1

Now that it is finally raining in Indiana I guess you could say I’m just splashing around.


September 7, 2010 September 8, 2010

Filed under: Collage,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 5:53 pm
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I am growing in appreciation for art in B&W…in all its forms. Photographs like those of Ansel Adams amaze with their texture and depth, drawings by the Renaissance artists are full of movement and power and abstracts stimulate our little gray cells. I completed another abstract collage and have one more in process.

Collage Exercise 09072010

This one fell into place easily.  I tore the first piece of paper smaller than I wanted so I started playing around with the “left over” shapes and I fell in love with the powerful black shape you see here. Focusing on balance, repetition and line I completed this piece without a lot of struggle. (Maybe I should have struggled more????!!) It was fun and my husband said “I think you’re getting it!”  This is fun and I think it will improve my paintings, even if it is all in my subconcious.


July 7, 2010 July 8, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:14 am
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Another beautiful hot and humid day in Indiana! It seems that my mind needs to loosen up after I do a realistic (even if Impressionistic) painting so yesterday I decided to play around a little. I let my mind roam as I worked on this piece. I recently bought 1/2″ and 1″ angled brushes and wanted to work with them. The first thing I did was to draw an abstract design by moving my brush around sort of like I do when working on sumi-e style exercises.

Playing Around 1

I was not able to maintain the tight control that I strive for when I am practicing Sumi-e strokes but remember – I’m just “playin’ around”!

I chose yellows, oranges and reds to “fill-in the lines”. Recently I bought Vermilion, a color in the Stephan Quiller line and I wanted to try it out, to get some experience with it. I painted shapes, overlapped shapes and sometimes overlapped shapes again. Good reinforcement about which colors are REALLY opaque!

Playing Around 2

I continued to reinforce some of the colors and then – mistake! – decided that the design might be too limited and to add some additional “stuff”. Stuff and nonsense was what it turned out to be so I decided to paint a nice dark, black surround to block out my additions. Anyway here is what I had at the end of my day of playing around.

Playing Around 3


January 21, 2010 January 22, 2010

Filed under: Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 8:09 am
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Thursday was rainy, dreary and busy. I had a meeting, a luncheon and volunteered at the IMA (Indianapolis Museum of Art) in the afternoon. I took my colored pencils and small sketch book to the IMA since my husband and I were working at the Information Desk and I expected just a small number of visitors.

CP Sketch January 21, 2010

I decided to see if I could bring life and vibrancy to the non-colors black and white. I decided to do a portrait and I wanted the girl to look young, fresh and innocent. I built up layer after layer of color to get the blacks. I know I made many mistakes and I had no reference material to tell me what a nun’s habit actually looks like but I was able to very freely use my imagination. I was happy and wish I had time to do more.

Just a note. I scanned the sketches from the recent posts but the actual sketches are not as grainy and are more “crisp” than they look.