Linda Halcomb's Blog

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February 27, 2019 February 28, 2019

Last fall I took a workshop from a wonderful artist named Sandy Maudlin. She is a painter that uses Yupo as her surface and she typically uses watercolor and acrylic paints in various ways and combinations. Her techniques are what you would call experimental. For her “tape batik” paintings she uses tape to mask her paper as she builds up several layers of color. Her focus is on value (range of light to dark) and she asks her students to start with no more than four values. The color builds up throughout the process and she may finish an acrylic painting with a final layer of watercolor (on Yupo you could not do the opposite!) to achieve the darkest values. The end result has a batik-like appearance.

She starts with a black and white enlargement of the photo you have taken and uses gray scale markers to adjust the image to make a good composition. Then the painting and masking begins…in this image you can see my painting before I applied the darkest values and removed the tape. Looks pretty shocking doesn’t it?

I chose to work with scenes that I had photographed at Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park. A de-commissioned Army base, the park is now a peaceful place and I walk there as often as possible. I painted a bridge that runs over a small creek and was not unhappy with the results. As I get older I am more tolerant with myself and value the learning as much as the result. Here is my final painting:


Bridge at Ft. Ben State Park

For more about Sandy look here.

For more about Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park look here.

For more about Yupo look here.

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February 11, 2019 February 11, 2019

Filed under: Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:27 am
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Well we had two inches of snow yesterday but the temperature is rising and rain is due today. What erratic winter weather we are having. Keeps me inside drinking hot tea, reading and planning my next art project.

When I was in Europe this summer I bought a set of watercolor pencils in Edinburgh but I only did one small painting. I was in Paris at the end of my trip and was wandering around my neighborhood (close to the Sorbonne) taking photos. I stumbled on a small church named Eglise – St Medard. I went back to the apartment and painted this small painting in the sketchbook I bought at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. I didn’t have a brush so I had to paint with a Q-tip and my finger. The day was bright and sunny but the door was in a partially shaded nook where the sun was dancing through the leaves. It gave me a feeling of comfortable old age and nostalgia. I “cleaned the painting up” by using an ink pen to outline. All in all I enjoyed the challenge even if my door is a little crooked!

Eglise St-Medard Paris Sep 2018

 

 

January 26, 2018 January 26, 2018

Filed under: Acrylics,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:14 am
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I am fighting a cold and have a big, red, drippy nose so I decided to work on something that I could mess up and it just wouldn’t matter. I mentioned recently that I created a mess of mud trying to paint my first Circles and Lines painting. I decided to scrub off the paint and see what was left. It actually gave me a nice neutral background with a soft texture and an interesting mix of color. It, of course, had big blank circles! The circles reminded me of a flower garden, particularly a bed of zinnias. Zinnias are flowers that I love for their strength, vibrant colors and hardiness.

 

Flowers Experiment 1

 

I wanted to create more texture and depth in the background so I used a technique I learned from Warren Taylor (for more info about Warren click here). He taught a technique that I love. You use watercolor crayons and scrub heavy color  onto your paper and then spray it with water. Next you take sandwich wrap and press it into the wet color creating linear shapes that run randomly through the piece. Put a book on top and let it dry.  I didn’t use quite enough crayon but I achieved something close to the effect I wanted.

 

Flower Experiment 2

 

Next I began to paint flowers – red, yellow and white flowers. I painted them in acrylic straight from the tube since I did not want to use much water. That would have ruined the texture. I finished by applying another layer of crayon in yellow-green and yellow to brighten up everything.  I then wet it and let it dry. The painting is pretty rough but I always learn about the materials and techniques I’m using when I try something like this.

 

Flowers Experiment 3

 

 

 

January 16, 2017 January 17, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 9:43 am
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Brrrr! It is freezing outside…good day to paint…Once again I have been inspired by my blogging friend Barry Combs. Barry did a workshop and taught his students a very practical approach to create abstract paintings. I decided to use the first exercise done during his class which is described here . It is to create an abstract using one color (he used Sepia). Step one is to create a drawing on your paper. Barry used overlapping fruit. I am using AGAIN circles and lines. (PS can you tell I have a degree in math from Purdue University? Love the geometric shapes and am always looking for ways to integrate them in my art!)

 

Sepia Abstract Exercise 1 jan2018

 

 

During the next step you paint most of the shapes with a mid-value mix leaving some white for contrast. Because, again, I had some “felting” of the paper I went over the shapes more than once but I think this is still a mid-value.

 

Sepia Abstract Practice 2 Jan2018

 

During Step 3 I applied a darker value of sepia. Just a tidbit: One reason I did this exercise is because Sepia and Payne’s Gray have always been two of my favorite colors, especially when used together to create rough wooden structures.

 

Sepia Abstract Practice 3 Jan2018

 

Finally you add a fourth layer of very dark color. Barry has taught a very simple, straight forward approach that works well for me right now as I reenter the world of watercolor. I enjoyed creating this little work of art and plan to try the second process described in Barry’s post today or tomorrow…so on to color and scaling up!

 

Sepia Abstract Practice 4 Jan 2018

 

 

 

 

January 14, 2018 January 15, 2018

Filed under: Abstract,Daily Post,Watercolors — lindahalcombfineart @ 10:39 am
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Happy New Year to Everyone! I have been slogging along trying to find time to draw and paint but haven’t been very successful. The weather has been frigid and we’ve had high winds and snow. With the new year I have had lots to do and am struggling to maintain my exercise routine with the nasty weather. Very stressful. I have been sketching with a set of Micron pens with sepia ink but I keep getting distracted and haven’t finished anything. I tried a simple watercolor exercise last weekend and let it get away from me. I just created a lovely painting of mud…quite discouraging!

This weekend I was brave enough to get out my watercolors again. I have a new set of paints that I wanted to try. I did some color testing earlier and found the colors to be nice, even vibrant. I would say my exercise was partially successful. At least I got paint on a brush and finished something!

 

Circles and Lines exercise 01142018

 

You may see more of these “circle and line” exercises since this is an activity I learned from and artist named Judi Betts at a workshop a few years ago and I love it. You work with versions of the three primary colors and I do this activity occasionally because it lets me warm-up before more serious painting, test new materials and learn about new colors and color mixing. I did learn two things.

I used a 6 in X 9 in block of Canson Aquarelle paper. Last weekend I used it and I glazed pure unmixed colors. Some sections had 10 or more glazes. Both last weekend when I glazed my colors and this weekend when I mixed my colors I saw some “felting” or “pilling” of the paper. I think I work too wet to use this paper for my larger works.

I also used a new set of paints. I ordered them by accident but the reds were vibrant during color testing so I want to continue to work with them. They are called MYARTSCAPE artist quality watercolors. The reds are carmine and vermillion which I don’t normally use. What I found, I do like the colors but if I had a blob of paint remaining on my palette it did not reconstitute well after it dried. I kept finding small particles of dried paint in my brush while painting. The paint looked like it was smooth and well dissolved but wasn’t. I had several hard lines streaking through my painting that I had to try to smooth out.

So with both the paper and paint I would say I had mixed results but I guess that’s why I do this kind of experiment. At least my little painting uses warm colors…good to see on this very frigid day.

 

November 18, 2017 November 18, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Daily Post,Uncategorized — lindahalcombfineart @ 4:42 pm
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Earlier this week I posted an acrylic painting that I mentioned might not be complete…well it wasn’t. I have looked and painted and looked and painted. The additions are very small and minor but I think they make a better painting. I am to the point that I think one more change might push it over the edge. I’ve told myself ENOUGH! Here is my revised painting.

 

 

Abstract 2017 - L2 revised

 

 

 

 

 

November14, 2017 November 16, 2017

Filed under: Abstract,Acrylics,Collage,Daily Post — lindahalcombfineart @ 7:50 am
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I had another day of “creating” with my grandson. We worked on three different projects and enjoyed trying our hand at something new. We started by making reverse prints. We used styrofoam plates as our printing plate and bamboo skewers as our drawing stylus. Ian got two interesting drawings and I worked on a simple poinsettia. I struggled because I did not leave a deep enough impression on the plate. When we printed our images we had some problems because my ink is old and pretty thick. BUT Ian had several successful impressions of his two images

 

Print 2017 - I2Print 2017 - I1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and I finally got one.

 

Print 2017 - L1

 

 

Then we worked on new abstract paintings. I think Ian was rushing a little. He chose many colors this time and said he loves color and having many choices gave him more options. Again I worked really wet like I do with my watercolors so my painting took a lot longer to complete. I am not sure it is actually done yet!

 

Abstract 2017 - I2Abstract 2017 - L2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we did two more collages. This was fun for me but Ian became frustrated because I wanted to natter on about “composition”. He said he likes to learn by failing! Oh My! Doesn’t this sound like a grandmother and grandson??? Ian’s is on the left and mine on the right. We had a very good day all in all and I thought he created some very interesting, fun art. Hope you enjoy!

 

Collage 2017 - I1Collage 2017 - L2