to the challenge in September 2013. This collage was created using the free collage tool at Picmonkey. If you'd like to make your own free collage, just google Picmonkey. You don't even have to create an account!
As I’ve mentioned a few times, I’m a big fan of a wonderful
artists information site called “Artists Helping Artists”, which was created by
two amazing oil painters, Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry.There is a link to that site on my blog. It’s
a “blog-talk radio” site with archived shows, and I listen to it almost every
day.Leslie Saeta is such a sparkplug,
and she periodically issues challenges to motivate artists. One of her
recurring challenges is called “30 Paintings in 30 Days”. I’ve watched other
artists participate in the challenge before, but knew I didn’t have the time to
Well, this time I have no excuses, so I’ve signed up to
participate. The challenge is to paint a finished painting every day and post
it on our blogs or Facebook pages. The
challenge begins on September 1.It’s a motivator and hopefully a
skill-sharpener.I might be losing my
mind, but I’m going to give it a try. I’m not going to be too hard on myself –
if I have to skip a day, I will. But I’ll do as many days as I can. If any of you other artists out there would like to
participate, just google Leslie Saeta and go to her blog to sign up.
My theme will be flowers, of course – flowers in glass jars.
I might sprinkle something else in here
and there, but I’ll stick to my theme as much as possible. Wish me luck!
It's heating up here in Central Texas, and that means sunflower patches are starting to pop up here and there. Many of them are volunteers - they just pop up again and again in fields along the roads. Some of them are four or five feet tall. Pretty amazing. For sunflowers, I always start with W&N Transparent Yellow, and add accents with W&N Quin Gold (one of my favorite colors).
I like to stop once in awhile to do some very basic watercolor studies of veggies. They help remind me to keep my paintings loose and simple. They are perfect for watercolor students. Simple shapes, bold colors - a perfect exercise.
Baby Bird, painted in neutrals. Watercolor, on Fabriano Artistico HP paper.
I appreciate your comments and questions. There may be a small delay before comments appear on this blog. I sometimes get hit with comment spammers, so I have to use "comment moderation" from time to time. I apologize for the delay.
Purple anemones, painted in watercolor in a very high key. I think I'll paint them again in darker colors, as an exercise. I'm doing a lot of experimentation lately. I tried using a watercolor "gloss" product several times - didn't like it at all. Right now I'm experimenting with masking fluids. I think my favorite is the Incredible White Mask by Grafix. I like it because it's white and it doesn't stain the paper.
Several nice people have asked me if I have made any
tutorials or given any workshops. That
is so flattering, but I’ve never done that because I still consider myself a
watercolor student. I have so much to learn, and the more I work, the more I
feel like a beginner. But I could talk about the things that have helped me the
most, so far.
The best written watercolor information resource I’ve ever
found is Bruce MacEvoy’s “Handprint” site.It’s absolutely amazing, and all watercolorists should spend a lot of
time there. I especially love the section about pigments. Then there are the published watercolor books.
I must have at least 50 of them. My favorites are those written by Charles Reid
and Shirley Trevena. I learn from all of them, but reading about watercolor is
not nearly as helpful as watching someone painting watercolors.
The best way to watch watercolor artists paint is to watch
videos.I’m so grateful for painting
DVDs. My favorites are:“Painting
Flowers in Watercolor”, “Watercolor Solutions” and “Flowers in Watercolor” by
Charles Reid; “Expressive Watercolor Portraits” by Janet Rogers; “Breaking the
Rules of Watercolor” and “Taking Risks with Watercolor” by Shirley Trevena; and
“Light Effects in Watercolor” by David Curtis.DVDs are expensive, but you can re-sell them, and I believe there are
places online where you can rent them. In addition to DVDs, there are lots of
watercolor video demos on YouTube, and Cheap Joe’s Art Supply has some very
good videos on YouTube, too.More and
more artists are making their own tutorials, as well.
The very best way to watch artists at work would be to
enroll in classes and workshops.It’s
awfully hard to find a good watercolor teacher in most areas, but more and more
watercolorists are offering workshops around the country. You do have to
travel, and they are expensive.Over the
years, I was lucky enough to find two excellent watercolorists who gave lessons
in my general area. I still have never been to a workshop, but now that I’m
retired from my job I’m looking for a watercolor workshop to attend in Texas.
Can’t wait to have that experience.
Even when you’ve taken advantage of all the resources
mentioned above, you can’t really make progress unless you practice and
practice and practice. You have to throw away a ton of mistakes; that’s just a
part of it. It’s the solitary part, where you paint into the night by yourself,
with lots of failures – that’s where you learn the most. Everyone says watercolor is the most difficult
medium. I believe it.
Every holiday I wish that my friends could find the peace and serenity that I have found in my personal life. It took me many years, but I found the secret. It's actually simple. Life is very short, so surround yourself with only those people who treat you with kindness and respect. Period. That is my wish for all of you. Thank you so much for visiting my blog. I've just discovered that my emails from this blog have not been forwarding properly, so I have missed many emails. I'm so sorry. I've retrieved a bunch of them and I'm going to try to catch up! Oh dear!
Backgrounds are such a challenge to me. I'm happy with this one, though. It's a greyed green, my favorite background color. I used a softened Perylene Green in the foreground. I bought a tube of this color recently, and now it's one of my favorites. I've spent alot of my painting time lately making color charts, as recommened by Richard Schmid, one of my favorite oil painters. When I first made color charts, I made them on 11x14 paper. That was too big. I needed them to be smaller, so I did them again, only on 5x7 pieces of paper. A much better size, because it's much easier to stack them in front of me and shuffle through them as I paint, looking for the right color mix.
"Happiness is to hold flowers in both hands." ~ a Japanese Proverb