Monday, December 24, 2012

Succulents in Terra Cotta

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!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

White Anemones

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

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Violets and Ivy Watercolor Painting

I'm still in my purple flowers phase.  Can't get over how much purple and green compliment each other.  My favorite purple, used here, is Winsor & Newton Winsor Violet.  It's one of those colors that I never mix with anything.  I tend to tinker with so many colors - greens (always), blues (usually), pinks (often)....but this beautiful Winsor Violet is so perfect I wouldn't touch it.  And it is so nice against the crisp white of the paper.  I drew this little vignette while doing another of my favorite things:  listening to "Artists Helping Artists".  What a wonderful show.  I listen to at least one archived broadcast every day, and am so grateful for it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Live Oak Tree and Bluebonnets

I've been working on prints again.  I started with this Live Oak Landscape I painted a few years ago.  The print-making process is so much more complicated and frustrating than I ever imagined it would be. There is so much technology involved.  The camera, the camera color settings, the photo software and its own color and editing settings, the artist's computer monitor and its color settings, the printer and its color settings, and of course the potential purchaser and their own monitor settings.  After all those steps, it's almost impossible to get the final print colors to match the original painting exactly.  You just have to do the best you can.  And that's just the color problem.  There are lots of other areas to sort out, such as printer size capabilities, aspect ratios, paper type, ink type, etc.  I tried making prints in three different ways so far:  (1) printing them myself, (2) using a professional printer and (3) using a print-on-demand service.  All have their advantages and disadvantages.  Since I'm a micro-manager, I prefer to do all the processes myself.  But it's exhausting.  I've been working on print-making for several years, and I know I still have tons to learn.  Anyway, I have a few of these landscape prints in 5x7 and 8x10, and I'll put them in my Etsy shop.  I'll keep working on prints, because I would like to make a calendar and note cards someday.  Oh boy....

Monday, August 6, 2012

Peony in Teacup

I like to paint little ACEO-size quick studies to try out new colors and to have something small to paint in the evening after work.  Just so I can pick up a paint brush every day.  Painting small is a good exercise in proportion, too, I think.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Three Flowers in Baby Food Jar Version #3

This is the third painting in my experiment. I painted the same subject, using the same colors and the same painting technique, on three different types of watercolor paper, to see how the paper affected the results.  This last painting is on Fabriano CP paper. Each paper was CP (cold-pressed) and had about the same amount of texture. My theory is that the difference results from the amount of sizing the paper has.  More sizing means that the paint absorbs into the paper slower, which gives me more time to manipulate the paint. Less sizing means the paint absorbs quicker, which results in a softer effect. I am a slow painter, so I like the paper that I believe has the most sizing (the Fabriano paper).  I'd love to know what my artists friends think. I do these little experiments often, and am always surprised at the differences I see.  Which of these three do you prefer?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Three Flowers in Baby Food Jar Version #2

Judy asked me to show the results of my experiment with different paper types.  The first version of this painting (see my previous post) was painted on Saunders Waterford CP paper, an absorbant paper with a slightly creamy color.  This second version was painted on Kilimanjaro CP paper, an absorbant paper with a whiter finish.  Using the same painting technique, paintings can turn out quite a bit different on different paper types!  I'll post my third version tomorrow.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Flowers in Baby Food Jar

I'm still fascinated by painting flowers in little glass jars.  I love the combination of gorgeous flowers in a very simple casual container.  I'm also still experimenting with painting the same subjects on different papers, to see which is the best for my painting style.  I've painted this on Fabriano, Kilimanjaro and Saunders Waterford papers.  This particular one is on the Saunders Waterford. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Daughter By Old Fence

My daughter Kelley, when she was younger. We were walking around the old Texas town of Florence, looking at old fallen-down farmhouses. This one had crumbled to its foundation, except for a bit of fence and this charming old rusty gate.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Baby Bird Watercolor Painting

Whimsical baby bird in watercolor on Strathmore paper.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Patio Garden Watercolor Painting

Sometimes I just want to paint something whimsical, something that lets me experiment with color. I love the pink and blue patio furniture colors together. Makes me want to go out and paint a chair blue for my patio.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Poppies Watercolor Painting

Poppies, using Cadmium Red and Geranium Red.  I like red flowers painted botanical style, with white backgrounds.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thoughtful Beauty

A portrait of a girl in thought, painted a few years ago in my portrait days, painted in watercolor on Fabriano paper.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Rookiepainter Challenges

I think I've mentioned the Rookiepainter site before. It's a really neat painter's challenge site. Challenges are so good for painters because they force us to paint things we wouldn't usually paint. I've only entered one of their challenges so far, but one of their earlier challenges contained a photo that knocked me out.  A bowl on a shelf. So simple, but I loved it. I was too late to enter that challenge, but I couldn't resist painting from the photo anyway. In fact, I did several versions. This one is on Yupo synthetic paper. I hope to have time to enter more of the challenges soon. Check out their site if you can, because there are some wonderful painters that participate.  

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lavender Field Watercolor Painting

Been wanting to paint a field of lavender, like memories I have from a trip to France when I was young. This is my first attempt. I wanted it to be soft like a misty morning. Painted on Fabriano CP watercolor paper, and the purples are Winsor Violet and Thio Violet.  Prints are available in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Garden Flowers Watercolor Painting II

I wanted to compare results on Yupo paper vs regular watercolor paper, so I repainted the daisy on one of my favorite regular watercolor papers, Fabriano Artistico CP. I still prefer regular paper, but I need to keep exploring.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Garden Flowers Watercolor Painting

I'm experimenting with a pad of Yupo paper that I bought from CJ's Art Supplies. First I painted this simple sketch on Yupo, and then I painted it on my regular watercolor paper. This is the Yupo version. I've learned that you can't erase very well on Yupo. I always use Pentel Clic erasers (the soft white kind). When I use it on Yupo, it leaves an area that resists paint. Yupo is great fun, but lots of frustration, too. I'm not yet sure if I love it or hate it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

For Nicky

Finally finding a little time to paint. This one is for Nicky, my beloved brother-in-law, and my daughter's beloved uncle. We love you, Nicky.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mixed Bouquet

Another of the mixed bouquet watercolors I painted a few weeks ago. I've been away from my watercolors since then, due to projects at work, but think I'll have time to paint again very soon. It's good to take a break sometimes. I'm very lucky to have that option.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Watercolor Paper

The type of paper you paint on really does make a difference in the outcome. If you're a tight, realistic painter, you will probably want an absorbent paper, and if you're a loose, flowing painter, you will probably like a harder, flatter paper. My favorite papers are Fabriano Artistico hot pressed and cold pressed, Strathmore 300 cold pressed paper (the back of the paper), and now Yupo synthetic paper. I always try the front side of the paper and the back side. Often I like the back side because it is harder and flatter. This carrot was painted on a new kind of paper called "Fluid" watercolor paper.
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