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

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Tangled Bottles (An Art Lesson for You!)

I designed this combination watercolor and zentangle project as a lesson for the class I am teaching at the Riverside Arts Center.  The students are to overlap bottles creating an abstract composition.  Using analagous colors (I used variations of blues), they will start at the right side and paint the first whole shape - in this case the tall sky blue bottle.  Then they skip a shape (the wine glass) and paint in the next shape (the jug shape).  Then they would skip the turquoise bottle shape and paint in the round bottle.  They should try to shade with the watercolors, making the bottles appear round. 

They should then dry the bottles with a hair dryer, and paint the remaining shapes, making two of them in a contrasting color (the red-violet.)  They will be overlapping the original bottles where the shapes overlap - taking care to lightly lay in the watercolor so as to not disturb the original paint underneath.  

 Now, with a thin black marker,  they will fill in shapes with "tangles," but not bottle shapes, but the shapes that have been created by overlapping the bottles, using a different "tangle" design for every shape.  I have a source sheet of designs I have compiled, but they may design their own (preferred!)  Some shapes should be left empty for contrast.  I also added some black shadow-like abstract shapes around the edges to complete the composition.

I used another sheet of the Rivas BFK printmaking paper which is smooth and perfect for the ink designs.  The watercolor goes on it nicely, also.

Friday, October 26, 2012

At the Garden Gate

This is the daily painting for yesterday and today - couldn't finish it last night - had to pass out Halloween treats!  So much fun seeing all the cute little children in their costumes.  You could definitely tell that princesses were in vogue for the little girls and Power Rangers were the popular ones for the boys.

This picture is one I found on the internet - it was royalty free - but since I don't intend to sell or show it, I don't think that factor comes into the picture for me.  I painted it for the experience because I was trying out a new paper.  This paper is hot-pressed printmaking paper from Rives BFK.  It is very workable and takes a lot of abuse.  I think I like the paper and am anxious to try some portraits on it.  It is printmaking paper but has other uses.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Magnolia Blossoms

This is another of my daily paintings - I learned a lot while doing this...the most important lesson is that magnolia tree blossoms are NOT easy to paint - the way they are shaped is very difficult to create in watercolor.  This painting is small  - 6"x 10" and is painted on 140 lb. Strathmore cold-pressed watercolor paper.  In my opinion, this paper takes the paint differently than what I have been using...the paint lays on the surface and absorbs in a different way.  It also doesn't take "punishment" very well - lifting, scraping, etc.  Paper does make a big difference and for some people this paper probably works well - just not for my style.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Logan County Relic

I have been trying to paint every day - this is a small painting I did this evening from a photo I took recently in Logan County.  As everyone knows, I love old barns - especially "falling down" barns.  It is so sad that barns will soon be a thing of the past, so I am trying to paint as many of the old barns as I can in this area.

The painting is 10" x 10" and is painted on 140 lb. Fabriano-Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Wonderful Students and Their Art!!!

My Wonderful Students: Top row: Cindy Staples; Mary Alice Brewster; Patricia Crawford; Carol Taylor; Bottom row: Corinne Craft; Misty Steinke

I finally remembered to take my camera to class last night and got some great pictures of my intermediate art students and their projects (so far) for this fall session.  Next week we will have our last class for the early fall session, but we decided to go for another 6 sessions, starting on October 29th.

Isn't it amazing that you can take the same subject and get such different results - all lovely!

This is such a wonderful group of people and I have really enjoyed our time together - they are good friends as well as students. I am looking forward to continuing with them.  

As you can see, they are also excellent artists!

Monday, October 15, 2012

My Celebration of Autumn

I was so inspired over the weekend by the wonderful colors and the beautiful pumpkins.  Many crops didn't survive the drought this summer, but the pumpkins did -they thrive in dry weather because their large flat leaves collect what moisture there is in the air!!!  Last night I decided to paint a quick watercolor to celebrate the season...so I dug out my sea sponge and sponged a painting, finishing with brushes.  I am always struck by the complementary contrast in colors at this time of year with the oranges and reds on the ground and the beautiful blue skies!

I am always conflicted at this time of year - it is so beautiful, but yet I tend to get depressed because the days are getting less sunlight and there is always the knowledge that the dark, cold days of winter are rapidly approaching. It could be, also, that my birthday is in the fall. :-(  At least the beauty of the season helps.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pouring Demonstration - Finished!

I finished the demonstration painting this evening.  It took 3 additional hours to complete, in addition to the 4 hours yesterday and the 1 hour at the demonstration - a total of 8 hours.  That negative painting process sure takes a long time - but I love the results and in my estimation, it is worth it. 

This painting is still a little busy, but I think - because of the busy subject- I will not work into it any more.  I left some of the areas untouched (other than the original pour.)   I am not ruling out the possibility that I will work into it some more after I study it for a few more days, so will not sign it for a while.

As I said in the first post, the painting is 14" x 18" and it is painted on 140 lb. FabrianoArtistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Pouring Demonstration - 2nd Day

Well, this is the second installation of the poured leaves demonstration.  I now have around 4 hours in this one - I usually don't keep track, but someone asked me last night, during the demonstration, how long it takes to do a painting, so I am keeping track of this one.

It is beginning to take shape - you can at least see the leaves now.  There is still a lot of work to do on this one - I still have to finish the negative painting around the leaves and then I will start to finish the detailing on the surface of the leaves.  I can see that I still have to set up a definite value pattern to determine eye movement and focal point, but am still tippy-toeing around those elements right now! 

Hoping to find time to work on it tomorrow night - I have a doctor's appointment in the afternoon, so won't have time to paint until after dinner.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Demonstration painting

I did a pouring demonstration for a local womens club this evening of autumn leaves hanging on a tree. The size is 14"x18" and it is on 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico cold-pressed watercolor paper.  I had already done the preliminary drawing by using the grid method.  I wet the painting with a sponge and then dropped in the paint using an eye dropper.  After drying the painting, I started to do negative painting to make the positive leaves stand out.  I will finish that part and then do the detailing to finish the painting.  It was a nice evening and the refreshments were delicious.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cubistic Reconstruction of a Painting

The October monthly project for the online group, the Watercolor Workshop is to take an old painting and re-do/reconstruct it using any methods you wish.  I took a painting I did in a workshop with Marge Brandt and turned it into a work in cubism -( so-to-speak!)

First I took my ruler and ruled out areas to create shapes.  Then I used masking tape and taped the edges of some of the shapes and using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser  removed much of the paint from those areas.  Then I removed the tape and started painting in areas with watercolor trying to balance out colors and shapes - I repeated colors in the original painting, but in unrealistic areas.  Then I added some interest by repainting some of the weeds and branches.  This was a fun exercise and I actually like the results.  The painting is 11" x 14" and is on 140 lb. Arches cold-pressed watercolor paper.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pipestem Utopian Dream - part 2

Today was my day to paint with the "Muses."  Theresa brought a delicious pumpkin roll to celebrate my birthday which was on the 23rd of Sept. and we pigged out with dulce de latte coffee.  Yum!

Today I revisited my photos from Pipestem, West Virginia and decided to paint this shed as my 2nd painting from the "series"- from the photos I took that day2 years ago at the abandoned village just down the mountain from Pipestem Resort in southern West Virginia.  This little oil is on a canvas panel - 8"x8".  Now that I have a chance to look at it on the monitor I can see that it is too busy for my taste - so I imagine there will be some changes in it's future! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Apple and Silver

                                                                             Silver #1

                                                                            Silver #2

I used this painting (which I painted a month ago) for my lesson Monday night at my intermediate watercolor class.  I always do 2 paintings - the first for the example and the 2nd along with the students during the class.  Although at first glance, they may look alike, I think it is interesting how different the 2 paintings are, when analyzed,  done by the same artist - using the same supplies.  In my opinion, the first is better than the second - the values and the apple are better in the first.
In every lesson, my aim is to teach specific watercolor skills. My students did very well on this painting - a lesson in painting reflections on a shiny object.  I will post their works when they are all completed.