I wanted to tell my fellow artists about the neatest site on the internet for artists. It's a blog with live broadcasts called "Artists Helping Artists". It is the creation of two very talented and successful oil painters, Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry. These two fabulous ladies are amazingly generous with their valuable time. Every week they do a live broadcast of a subject that is of interest to artists. They also archive the broadcasts. On the right side of the blog is a list of the archived broadcasts, and you can click on them to listen to them at any time. Subjects include how to sell your art online, how to photograph your art, using Facebook to sell your art, and many many more. These ladies are both powerhouses and I can't believe how generous they are. They also have live interviews with very successful and respected artists, such as Carol Marine. Check it out at http://artistshelpingartistsblog.blogspot.com/
Here is a portrait that I painted a few years ago when I was doing children's portraits. This was a practice study - not one of my commissions. I love painting portraits, but I got burned out doing portrait commissions. One day when I have more time I'll paint more portraits.
Have a peaceful and relaxing Thanksgiving. Peace and calm and tranquility are of prime importance to me. I endured alot of stress and pain, years ago, before I finally learned to eliminate the negativity from my life. Life is so short. Don't struggle with people who bring you down. Surround yourself with only those people who treat you with respect and kindness.
Now that I'm getting a little more settled into my new (old) house, I've started to unpack some of my paintings. I'm taking them apart, cleaning them, adding fresh mats, and taking digital photos of them (up until now I only had polaroids, and those had gotten very old and faded). Here is a painting of my daughter Kelley that I painted when she was about 10 years old. I did a bunch of paintings of her at different ages, and I'll share more of them as I get them photographed. Kelley is 38 years old now, so this was painted a very long time ago!
I'm always looking for opportunities to use my favorite complimentary color mixes (pink and green, and lavendar and green). Using beautiful complimentary colors just seems to give you a head start on a satisfying painting. I love garden flowers tucked into everyday glass jars. This is a very simple study, but it gave me much enjoyment.
I painted this for a Daily Paintworks Challenge. They gave us a black and white photo, and we had to create a color painting using the same values from that photo. I didn't follow the rules exactly, but I was still very pleased with the result and happy to be able to participate. I always start with a pretty detailed pencil drawing. That is the "bones" of the painting. For me, it's very important, because I paint such "loose" watercolors and I probably am a bit of a minimalist - I tend to consider a painting "finished" before most painters would. I just don't like to overwork a watercolor.
One of my favorite subjects. They bring back some of my favorite memories. It's amazing the different sizes and shapes they come in. This is a watercolor, of course, painted on Fabriano cold-pressed paper. I have recently learned to make prints using my new Epson printer, and this is one of the first paintings that I made a print of. They came out so well, and I'm very excited about learning to do more.
Zinnias are such a perfect plant for our scorching Texas summers. They are so good about tolerating the heat, and I love the variety of colors. They have the oddest hollow stems. They seem kind of old-fashioned, which I love.
I love tulips. They are such tidy, clean-looking flowers. When I paint red tulips, I use so many reds and pinks. Carmine, Geranium, Madder Lake, and some orange mixed in. Red is a tricky color in watercolor, I think. There are so many other colors that seem to clash with red, so paintings with red need to be kept simple. Course I can already think of one very special exception, Shirley Trevena. She can put red with any other color and make it look great.
I love to use green with pink, and vice versa. It's my favorite color combination, the most complimentary mix I know of. Pink doesn't go with every color, though. For example, I think pink and dark blue or navy blue are usually wretched when placed beside each other. I've ruined many pink florals by trying to add a dark indigo background. I hope I won't make that mistake again. While pink and green are my favorite compliments, pink is also the best color to "grey down" a sharp green.
I've never learned to mix my own purples, but who cares when there are such nice pre-mixed purples that are perfect for African Violets. For this painting, I used Grumbacher Mauve and Grumbacher Thio Violet. Old fashioned colors, but they're such nice clear, transparent purples.
To tell the truth, I don't know what kind of flowers these are. I was going for something lacy and soft, like petunias or dwarf azaleas. Here in Texas, we use alot of terra cotta pots in different shapes. I love the fat ones that have groves all around.
I've been wanting to do some more "umbrella in the rain" studies. I love painting rain. It surprises me, because I hate to paint water, like in sea or beach scenes. This type of painting just appeals to me because I prefer simple, uncomplicated themes, where you don't tell the whole story. And I guess painting rain allows me to paint lots of "controlled blooms" (my favorite watercolor technique). You've got to grey down your colors when you paint rainy scenes, though, I think. I greyed down my greens and blues here with sepia.
I'm so happy with the progress I've made painting chrysanthemums. They put up a struggle at first, but we've made friends now and I'm having so much fun with them. I love this one so much! I guess I've painted a dozen pots of chrysanthemums in the last few weeks. I suppose some painters would get very bored with painting the same subject over and over. It doesn't bother me, though. It's just the approach I use to get a handle on a subject that I love. I just keep hammering away at them until I find my way (usually).
Another step in my series of chrysanthemum studies. I feel like I'm making progress here, towards what I have in my head. I really like this one. To some, it may seem like I'm going backwards, or deconstructing --- with less detail. What I'm really doing is trying to paint the mums looser and more watercolory and fluid. That's just the type of watercolors that I like. Watercolorists will understand that it takes alot of practice to make it look easy-breezy.
Another in my series of studies of chrysanthemums in terra cotta pots. Feel like I'm gradually getting a handle on the subject, because I'm liking them more. Course any watercolor can go off the cliff at any time if you overwork it. To my eyes, that's a common watercolor mistake. Overworking, too many layers, too much nitpicking - those things take the freshness out of a watercolor. I think you have to know when to stop, and then stop 3 or 4 steps before you get to that point. Not so easy.