Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Twins

I have been busy preparing the lesson for my Monday evening watercolor class today.  As you can see - we are going to paint pears.   These pears are painted on gesso which has been stamped with a texture - rubber shelf liners.  The support is a mat board chip which is 5" x 8".  It is a whole different experience painting on gesso - very similar to YUPO paper.  It is easy to lift the paint back to the white surface and the paint pools on the surface of the gesso.  It is fun and creative!  Try it!!!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Signs of Spring

Today's painting is a watercolor of springy azaleas in a floral arrangement.  This painting is 9" x 9" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.    I love azaleas - they are so delicate and beautiful and I tried to capture that delicate quality.  I surely am in my "purple" period recently!  Well - I am getting older and you know what they say about older women liking purple!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hinton, West Virginia

We took some great photos when we were in  West Virginia last fall - this scene was one of my favorites.  This picture was taken from the other side of the New River and I zeroed in on the town which is situated between the edge of the river and the sides of the mountains.  It is a beautiful spot.  This watercolor is 12" x 9" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Rachel and Ryan's Eggs

My grandchildren colored beautiful eggs this year - so I just had to paint some of them before they become egg salad tomorrow!  This painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.  It was a fun time with and kids and fun doing the painting this evening!  Thanks to Uncle Tim and Aunt Peg for their help coloring eggs Saturday night!

Monday, April 25, 2011

New painting: Value Study

After taking a break from painting over the Easter weekend, I got back to painting this morning.  I worked from a photo I took in West Virginia last October and concentrated on the value pattern - I thought the shadows were interesting in this one.  Another building is casting a deep shadow on this structure.  The building was originally a log structure and I changed it to frame for greater contrast in the cast shadows.  This painting is 9" x 11" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Discovering Your Connection In Nature - Nature's Debris

The Beam book states that one of the functions of the artist is to create chaos, and then to find order and resolve that chaos.  In this project, you create chaos and add order by painting and lifting.   I wet my paper and layed down earth-toned washes and covered it all with plastic wrap.  The plastic wrap naturally prints patterns into the paper, and when the paint is dry, you remove the wrap and reveal the designs left behind on the paper.  Then you lift paint here and there and create new organic shapes with paint.
We have had a lot of storms and tornados recently in our state and this reminded me of storm damage which I call "Nature's Debris."  This painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hydrangea #2

I finished the second painting of the hydrangeas for my watercolor class this week.  I actually like the 2nd one better than the first - it isn't as tight.  This is painted on 11" x 7 1/2" 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rooster for Class at RAC

This rooster is my project for today.  I have prepared this as part of next Monday's project for the watercolor class I am teaching on Monday nights!  This painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gifts for the Gods

This, today's project,  is a painting using the "triangular" format - another project from the Mary Todd Beam book, Celebrate  Your Creative Self.  I decided to do some research on Sumerian art - using some of their icons and some of their cuneiform symbols.  This is a mixed media piece in which I used both watercolor and acrylics on watercolor paper.  This piece is 9" x 12".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tropical Textures

Well - I killed two birds with one stone today - I did two projects from the Beam book and combined them into one project.  I used the cruciform composition form and combined it with the tooled aluminum foil project.  After tooling it with some wood scratchboard tools and the rounded handle end of a paintbrush, I embellished the tooled designs with acrylic paint.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Using a Grid as a Compositional Element

Back to the book, again...Celebrate Your Creative Self... and the compositional styles.  This one uses a grid - which I combined with realistic fruit in a vertical format.  I used a 12" x 7" piece of matboard and oil pastels with watercolor for this quick composition.  In spite of the fact that I created this in an hour, I think it has a certain charm!!!  I was busy tonight cleaning out my oil painting plein air palette - taking out the crusty paint and squeezing in new fresh paint.  I use 2 small 7 day pill boxes - one for warm colors and one for cool and the paint tends to get crusty even when I store it in the freezer between painting expeditions.  Some day I will post my plein air set up!  It is fascinating!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Rainy Afternoon at Provico

Tonight I finished this plein air painting that I started last Friday while plein air painting with Michelle Walker and Chris Leeper at Provico in Botkins, Ohio.  It was a misty, cold, rainy day and I tried to capture that feeling in this painting.  The painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on a canvas panel.  It was such a privilige painting with Chris Leeper.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Arizona Dreams

Well - back to the Mary Todd Beam book, Celebrate Your Creative Self.  Today I worked with the compositional format "strata."  The source of this painting comes from my memories of Lake Mead with the sun shining on the cliffs and intensifying the browns, oranges and golds in the rocks - contrasting against the blue, blue intensity of Lake Mead.  Although I visited Lake Mead, my first vision of it came as my plane banked over the lake the morning of my arrival as we prepared to land in Las Vegas - the morning sun lighting the cliffs and making the water all that much bluer.  It was stunning!  This painting is done in acrylic and is painted on a chip of mat board 12" x 6".  It is abstract, and from my imagination - we all know that I didn't see cliff dwellers at Hoover Dam!  :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Watercolor Study in Shapes

In  our Chris Leeper workshop last week, he taught us to paint positive and negative shapes directly on the paper - one at a time - eventually pulling the painting together.  I selected a photo I had taken some time ago because it has strong darks and lights.  It did come together and at one place in the process, I questioned that it would.  This was an excellent exercise and I plan to do this often.  This painting is done on 1/8 of a sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celestial Dreams

I revisited the Mary Todd Beam book, Celebrate Your Creative Self, tonight and worked on composition.  This painting uses the concept of "circles" in composition.  I painted it in watercolor on a piece of mat board and then manipulated the image with photoshop so that I have both the original and the adjusted posted here.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hydrangeas Revisited

We had our first watercolor class of the spring session at Riverside Arts Center in Wapakoneta.  I had the class start the hydrangea painting and had them paint along with me - so I am doing another painting of the hydrangeas.  We did not finish - still have to finish the glass vase, leaves, and stems inside the vase.  I will have them finish next week.  This is my work for the day - I attended a funeral this morning and didn't return home until 2:30 p.m.   - always sad.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Time Was...

I did some final tweaking on this painting from the Chris Leeper workshop last week.  This was my attempt at painting directly and spontaneously.  I am happy about how it turned out and it is much looser than my usual style.  I am not certain that I can do this without the help of the wonderful instructor!  This is 1/4 sheet of Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Springtime in Athens - Ohio, that is!

I spent the day  with the Ohio Plein Air Society painting along the banks of the Hocking River under a canopy of cherry blossoms!  This painting is 9" x 12" and is painted on a canvas panel in oil paint.  I had a wonderful day!  We stopped in Columbus on the way home and had a wonderful meal at a Thai restaurant.  Life is good!  What a priviledge to spend the day in such beautiful surroundings!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shape Study in Greens

I did this painting in the workshop tonight - it is a study that started with value shapes and then I worked up to details at the end.  This is also much looser than I usually paint.  The workshop was wonderful and I learned much from this wonderful teacher - Christopher Leeper.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Keeping Watch over the Rainbow Fruit

This was one of the projects this week at the Chris Leeper watercolor workshop.  His challenge on this one was to do a painting using 3 primary colors - a blue, a yellow and a red.  I used Pthalo Blue, Quindacridone Red, and Cadmium Yellow medium.   It is amazing that you can get such a wide range of colors with just 3 colors - even the saturated darks (which used a lot of paint! :)   We were allowed to select our own source pictures so I selected this still life from the reference library at WetCanvas.com.    After layering in the dark background, I found that I had to go back into the fruit and add more color because the dark background faded out the colors.  This is painted on Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper and is on 1/4 sheet of paper.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coffee for Two

This was my 2nd project in the Chris Leeper workshop.  The challenge was to select a dark color and an earth color and do the entire painting with just those two colors - a value study.  This painting is done on 1/4 sheet Fabriano Artistico 140 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper.  I selected diox. violet and indian red for my color mixture.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Keeping Warm

I finished painting this today before I went to the Chris Leeper workshop.  This cute little guy was designed by my good friend Donna Clark and she has generously offered to share it with me for my classes.  This will be one of the lessons I teach during the spring session of watercolor classes at Riverside Art Center.

Christopher Leeper Workshop

WIP - Painting # 1

I attended the first day of the 5 day Christopher Leeper watercolor workshop yesterday.  Wow!  He is a wonderful teacher...I learned so much.   My objective this week is to learn how to be a "loose woman" and I got a start as you can see in my work in progress - certainly not my usual style.  I can't wait to get there today!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Still Life with Hydrangeas

I painted this tonight in preparation for my classes which begin on Monday the 11th.  This will be the first project for the spring session of the watercolor class I teach at Riverside Art Center.  This painting is 11" x 8" and is on 140 lb. cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Low Horizon Line with Vertical Composition

Today's project was doing a composition with a low horizon line with a vertical format.  This is a small, abstract, acrylic sketch done on an illustration board chip.  It is 5" x 7".   I might point out another compositional element, sometimes considered a mistake, unless it is done on purpose.  (And sometimes it is still a mistake!) : The area in the lower right .  In this case I converged lines and objects in one place on purpose to pull attention to that area. This is call a tension/stress point - usually considered poor composition.  You should usually separate or overlap elements in a composition - but they shouldn't "just" touch!

Friday, April 1, 2011

High Horion Line with a Horizontal composition

I went back to the book, "Celebrate Your Creative Self!"  This particular exercise was designed to teach the composition using a high horizon line in horizontal format.  I decided to use a chip of illustration board which is 8 1/2" x 4 1/2", and a limited palette of burnt sienna, ultramarine blue, sepia and touches of alizarin crimson.
This afternoon I prepared a demo sheet  on the rose succulent painting which I sent out to the Watercolor Workshop Yahoo group.