Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Masking and Pouring Watercolor

This is Karen Kapell teaching her watercolor technique in Woodruff, WI today.

What a nice gal and a good teacher!  She had a great group of about 16 of us eager to try out her ideas.  Now the masking that you see here is not the masking that I used for the rest of the project.  That is for something else.  But the idea is there.  What I need to learn to do is not make such big blobs as 
the ones you see there (which I will remove).
After she did a preliminary drawing based on a floral, she used a small coffee scoop to pour her liquid mask (Pebeo preferred).  THEN she uses a straw to blow the mask into interesting web like designs. If you look closely you can see some of that in mine. Learning how to make the mask be part of the total design takes practice. She used bit of cardboard and other tools to move the mask around.   I did not do a very good job on that!  But remember, this is my first try!!  

I poured the cobalt first and then dried it, then masked just the flowers and poured the cobalt violet. 

Each pour must be completely dry before you wet the paper and pours on some colors which you plan ahead of time on a scrap of paper to make sure they look well together.  

This is the the way my morning glories looked at 2:15 pm.  Karen suggested that I work a little more on making the flower petals look more "sculpted".  Now when I go back and look at Deb Ward's examples I can see that she did not try to force the paint into any shape as she poured but negative painted lat
er.  So next time I want to try that way.  But I know now what I need to practice!!!  And it was fun day (except that I am coming down with a cold!). NOT again. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I was reading Barbara Lewis' blog today. Barb is from Florida too. And as I scrolled down she was talking about garage sale artist material finds.  I've found quite a few too..old frames for sure...I do all my own framing.  Also found a great little portable easel for $5.  

As she was writing she was talking a little about her studio and I got to thinking it would be fun for some of us to share "where" it is we work.  Now this is my Florida studio (a converted guest room) but it does have great north light overlooking an abundant orange tree!  I don't have a lot of space but hubby plans to help with some more shelving this winter.  The old dresser is half mine (half for guests) and the white cupboard behind the easil is a great space saver and is full to the brim.  The hard part is storing frames, canvas, paper, and etc.  That you can't see because it's to the right of the photo and is messy.    

I'll post my north woods studio another is in transition and I am packing right now but I did get my own door to the studio...a real door this fall!  

Barb was also extolling the fun of artists trading cards.  Rhonda Carpenter blogged about those too. And hers are totally different!  What fun.  I am definitely going to try those.  Barb told about someone who came and did a demo on ATCs.  Great idea.  

Keeping Up our Spirits During a "Detour"

It'll be 24 degrees tonight in the north woods of WI! YIKES. It's definitely time to move on south!  

Right in the middle of our "count down" of packing yesterday,  we had a 15 hour power outage!  Now remember up here in the wilderness that means no water, no light, no heat, no stove!  And Monday was SO dark that even by the windows it was hard to read!  The fireplace saved us from having to go to a motel!  So..we were warm. But our furnace works on a blower so no furnace.  Our well works with a no water.  Yadda yadda yadda.

A pioneer I am not!  We have a oil lamp and flashlights. But it was a revelation to have time weigh so heavily on us when we could not read or compute or watch TV or work outside in the 50 mph winds!  In a forest, when the wind blows at 50 mph, you have Trouble with a capital T. Trees go down on power lines every time.  We played canasta and visited and visited.  We napped.  We ate cold meat loaf sandwiches and lemonade and listened to the ice cream melt in the freezer. 

 Wise is the person who finds something worthwhile in every detour.   We tried to keep our sense of humor...when we had lists of packing to do and it was too dark to see anything to pack!  I even got so I read by oil lamp for awhile in the evening.  How did Abraham Lincoln ever learn to read and write by firelight!!!  And before all the light disappeared I did do my 10 silhouette paintings (I think I was pretty dark to see them!).  Donna Zagotta would be proud of me!!!  The power resumed at 5 a.m. and so I have hot coffee and a cheerful heart again!!!  Off to the shower.  I have learned to appreciate small things again!  Such is the reason for detours.  

Friday, September 25, 2009

Using silhouettes in paintings

I am borrowing an image from a wonderful painter named Michael Richardson from East Kent, England.  Click on his name to go to his blog which is filled right now with images from his trip to Venice.  Mostly all en plein air, I believe.  

This wonderful example of how the silhouette figures can be included in paintings came through my new friend, Florie Enders, (now recovering from a torn retina!) who read about Michael's trip and saw the images on Wet Canvas.  You can go and see them there too on that link. What a wonderful "find" to see Michael's work and hear about his very wet journey where it rained so much that the ceiling in his room fell down on him!  YIKES!  Anyway, I love how he has reflected his figures in the wet pavement.  So simple and so effective.

  Thank you Florie for sharing this great image and a wonderful painter!  

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Silhouette Challenge continues

I am finding I like ultramarine blue best for my silhouettes.  I also am finding I am not getting the legs long enough...a common problem.  I am going to have to go back to Donna's suggestion to make some divisions and see if I can get that more realistic.  I know everyone says exaggerate the legs in length and exaggerate the head smaller than you think.
I like making them in various heights because in some paintings I just want a suggestion of a figure but in others I'd really like a figure to be important.   


This autumn stylized acrylic painting on canvas (16 x 20) continues along.  If you look back at previous posts of this painting a few days back you'll see it emerge and then revise several times.  What I did this time was mix a phyalo blue with an acrylic glaze medium and a little water and I glazed everything except the brightest leaves (including the formerly too bright yellow road in the foreground).  I love glazes.  And glazing medium makes a glaze of any color you want.  

Then I painted out the small yellow bush that kept distracting me in the foreground and let the tree end on the grass instead of the road (which didn't read right).  Now as I look at it though both larger trees are almost at the same horizontal line which I didn't realize until now.  It might be better to have one be shorter and one longer so I'll think about that another time.  I softened the edge between the road and the grass.  Too hard a line there.  It's better.  I used a little opera mixed with naples yellow to zing up the colored leaves and tried to connect them in the painting so they were not just blobs disconnected. The composition is shaping up a little better now.  I am planning to leave this painting here in the north woods cabin.  I find that people in Florida want tropical birds, palm trees, and sea shells (not colored leaves from the midwest).   My acrylics are all packed for the ride south no more revisions on this one until spring!  By then I won't want to look at colored leaves!!!  I am working my way slowly through the studio now...deciding what paintings and supplies need to back to my southern studio.  It's always hard work thinking that through.   I am signed up for mixed media class in Florida in November with Carol Steven.  Her supply list includes collage papers so I am digging around for those!  Sounds fun.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Combining Two Hobbies

This is a sketch I did back in 06 but I thought of it today because we are planning our trip to Florida through West Virginia in hopes of getting to see and ride the Cass Railroad there.

My husband's hobby is trains...all kinds...real ones and model ones.  This sketch was done en plein air at Union Train Museum in Union, Illinois.  Greg was off exploring and I set up my umbrella and stool and painted away.  It was mid-week and not too many other tourists but according to the notes along the side, I met some very interesting people that day!!!  This is an example of two hobbies merging.  If you can manage it, it's very nice.  Everyone is happy!  
It's a rainy day in the north woods of WI today but I had to run errands and didn't make it to the studio yet...I might get there for an hour after dinner.  I need to keep up my challenge work for Donna Zagotta's figure painting.  

I am taking a neat one-day workshop next week from Karen Kappel that is going to be in watercolor with pouring and masking. If you look at Deb Ward's Sept 4 post you will see what I am talking about.  It is something I've been wanting to try for a long time.  Can't wait!     

Just as an's a wonderful article I just received that talks about the "presentation" of our art work for sale.  I've read a ton of them...but this one really has some nice tips.  

Monday, September 21, 2009

Center of Interest?

I had a little time this afternoon in the studio and so I teased a little more out of this acrylic painting. I am trying not to worry about being too realistic on this painting.  The whole scene appeared stylized to me when I saw it and I immediately wanted to try it.  And I wanted it in acrylic, not watercolor.  The forest floor, for instance, is of course not that pristine.  But I didn't want the texture to compete with the the canopy.  And I wanted those horizontal shadows to contrast with all those verticals.  

But now I wonder if I should do a "Robert Genn" and glaze the whole painting a light glaze of phalo blue and then go back and paint the center of interest.  AND what IS the center of interest?   I wonder if I need to push back the forest in the background.  The photo I took of it on the easel has truer color...for some reason the larger photo is grayed down a little. You can see the start of this on yesterday's post.  

Autumn Comes

Songs of Northern Wisconsin Early Autumn 
It's that time now. 
The last guests of the cabin season are gone.
Softly the yellow leaves fall now, caught up in the chicory flowers and the last of the wild Indian Paintbrush flowers.
A lone morning glory bloom hangs from the window box facing the sun 
for all the world reflecting the color of a cobalt sky, leaf shadows snaking across the furred surface.  
Chipmunks, their cheeks bulging hugely, run almost frantically among the children's hills in the sand box, 
through the children's tunnels now softened and rounded with the wind and rain over the weeks.  
The sand toys beneath the cabin window are gone now...safely stored for another season, 
leaving a tractor tire print or a shovel hole eroding slowing away. 
The pale cobalt lake is a mirror to the cloudless sky this noon...absolute stillness is almost loud.
The loons have gone...a lone blue jay occupies the bird feeder this morning.  
Nuthatch and chickadee come and go in late afternoons while we work on the jig saw puzzle on the porch.  
Now and then a brown and gold needle from a pine tree drops 
or an acorn free falls from the heights of the oaks and makes a ping sound against a metal lawn chair or roof.  
The light falls at a new angle on the lake now...making shimmers and reflecting tinges of bright scarlet-lake and burnt-sienna on the water.
Suddenly one craves soup and pumpkin bread and baked squash.
I defrost the refrigerator in the garage where we kept the watermelon and corn of summer and
hang the sheets out on the line once more to dry in  the autumn sun.
We drink our coffee in the sunshine out in the adirondack chairs in the mornings with flannel shirts cozy on our arms.
Time to take long breaths and hear again the summer laughter and shouting, 
smelling again the suntan oil smokey campfires, tasting again the chocolate chip pancakes and cherry cobbler, 
watching the spray of the tube behind the motor boat and 
feeling the bark of the old tree against my back as I sketched out on the Island after lunch.
The last two weeks of cabin time are the transition time..blessed, sad, happy, and amazing as always.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thinking Simple Shapes

I'm kind of in a really different mood right now. Think Steven Quiller.  Our driving trip through Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest today after church and brunch in the wonderful autumn sunlight filled me with the intense yearning to paint in acrylic today. So out they came.  16 x 20 canvas primed in black gesso.  I took my pastel pencil (white) and jotted a few marks where I wanted some shapes and then began to lay out the tree trunks in a random sort of pattern thinking about shadows and negative and positive shapes.  Next I began to think of the tree leaf patterns...up on the tips of the tall oaks and pines.  While down below the tiny trees in the ground cover are beginning to turn bright reds and yellows.  I put in some sky to get the feel of how the over all pattern would begin to look and changed some colors to get a feel for where they might eventually go.  Tomorrow I look forward to sorting out the shadow shapes, working more with the undergrowth and straightening the tree trunks a little and adding some shadows.  I am going to try hard not to overpower the painting with details...I want this to almost be abstract. 

Friday, September 18, 2009

California: the final journal entry

The trip along Big Sur down to the Hearst Mansion was full of wonderful "views".  Then off up into the brown brown hills sits this castle. So out of context.  

I remember thinking that the brown dry hills of CA, as we flew across them into San Jose, looked like "an old army blanket someone had laid over a lumpy bed".  Huge contrasts in geography in CA! North to South and East to West. The pools and gardens of the Hearst Mansion was no exception set as it was amidst the dry brown desert of September hills.  

Hearst, like Vanderbuilt who dreamed up Biltmore, were 2nd generation wealth and both pretty over-the-top.  Hearst's father discovered silver and mined it and that was the source of the wealth that began that empire.  His father was dirt poor and hard working and willing to clamber over mountains with horses dragging ore, if I remember the story in the film correctly.  Hearst was no slouch either...starting the huge newspaper empire. But the seed money for that came from silver mines.  

And like so many of these mansions (Ringling included in Sarasota) they were built as party homes for the rich and famous.  And the hosts actually hardly lived in these places much of the time.  Those kinds of weekend or week-long parties must have been something else. People moved in and had these mini vacations with other rich and famous people.  The accommodations for guests were unbelievable, of course.  I'll bet a lot of hanky-panky went on!!!  

The windows pictured above were just part of a small guest house...there were several larger. It was covered in bougainvillea.  I loved all the gardens and pools with statuary and took a lot of photos of that.  This sketch was done after the time to stop on a guided tour.  I decided to paint the ticket stub which was quite picturesque and showed the outdoor pool and Greek columns.  I put my brother in law in with his back to us holding his camera just to give my perspective to the size of the windows.  So there is our trip to CA completed.  Although there are a ton of photos to think about painting for the future!!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Just a start.....

Today I had the good fortune to paint a few hours with Jane, Diane, Ken and Florie.  All members of the North woods Outdoor Artists. We painted on the Manitowish River...near W and 51.  I got there an hour late.  I just could not seem to get started this morning even though it was a LOVELY sunny and dry day!  I just poked around and finally got going.   

So I only have about an hour and half to lay out a little wash beginning on a YES canvas for multi-media.  11 x 14.  I sketched a teensy bit with a green pastel pencil for layout and then just began playing around with a 1/2 inch flat brush and watercolor.  The lighter painting is what happened en plein air. The darker version is what happened after I played around a little more with it at home.  It's still not done...but improving. YES canvas is kind of weird to work on but it does lift well.  

Thanks guys for a nice morning.  Nice to get to know you all a little!  We'll paint more next summer.   

The California Journal Draws to an End

These are two of the last 3 journal entries for the trip to California last week.  As you can see they are side by side with a map of Pebble Beach drawn across the seam in the Moleskin journal.  Pescadero Point was covered with this amazing red/green ground cover we saw all over the coastal area.  Does anyone know what it is called?  Up close it was a kind of thick stiff grass-like plant.  Obviously salt tolerant!  It ran over the edges of the rocks and gave the rocks such a nice contrast!  

The opposite journal page was done from a photo afterwards because it was SO windy at the point where we stood that no way could I paint there.  But we all loved the bridge that we had just driven over and I wanted to show it tucked into the craggy landscape.  

The map shows the points at which I painted.  The journal also mentions that we stopped at Rocky Point Restaurant for lunch after the bridge and had THE most fantastic view from there right over the crashing waves.  We were all starved by then too.  The last journal was from the Hearst Mansion which was our furthest southern point on the driving trip.  Stay tuned.  

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Watercolor Journal Class Fun

18 VERY special gals gathered in Woodruff at the Community Center yesterday for a full day of talking and making some art. The focus was the whys and hows of journaling. 

 The room was a great setting for a workshop with lots of windows and space and big tables and good light. And NO stairs to climb!  

Arlene and Florie are showing off their name tags which they decorated with "something that means something to them".  Sorry I cut Florie's head off but you can see her in the class room picture sitting at the yellow table.  We all loved what she drew on her name tag!!!  

As usual I learned a lot from them!  There were NO beginners in this group and so we were able to cover a lot of material in a short time!

 Thanks to all who came and I hope we can all get together again next summer!!!  

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Good Grief...What am I Doing?

No, really, I haven't got a clue what I am doing.  My friend, Kendra, was up for a few days and I told her that I had received some very cool "touched up" photos from a friend in Florida.  She'd been using Photoshop to do them.  I've had Photoshop Elements 6 on my iMac since Christmas and only opened it once to register it.  Then never went back to look at it. (Hey when you've just switched to Mac you have a lot of other stuff on your mind!) 

Anyway, when I told Kendra this, she was was appalled.  SO much fun I am missing!  Well, obviously from the photo touch up above done in "sketch" in Photoshop I have a lot to learn yet.  I need lessons!  Hahaha.  Is there any good instruction online does anyone know? Otherwise I think I may sign up for some classes this winter.  I've been taking Apple lessons at the Apple store in Orlando but they don't teach anything that they don't produce themselves. So no photoshop there. I do have a book.  But then, you have to OPEN the book and read it. I've tried sleeping with it under my pillow but it doesn't seem to be working. 

Also I need to explore how I"ll use what I am doing here.  It's just slipshod digital art at this time.  But I mean perhaps it could be the inspiration for an interpretative painting?  I'll let you know as I play along here.  Are there any sites where I could see some of what other people do?  Should I sign up for Flicker and look there? 

The Lone Cypress

This 250+ year old Monterey Cypress is a real show stopper!  And I've been told since it is a symbol of the Pebble Beach area that you are not allowed to sell images of it without permission!  Not that I plan to, but that is interesting.  This was also part of the 17 mile drive that we took last week in California.  Cotman Field Kit and .005 Micron permanent pen.  

17 mile Drive at Pebble Beach

Looking back at these photos and sketches even makes me SMELL the salt air again.  There is no better way to "pay attention" than to sketch.  And my sister and brother in law ARE so wonderful that they'll take a walk or visit or walk while I take half an hour to make a little sketch.  You do have to pick your sketching buddies!!!  

I've seen people do a nice job of the spray affect with frisket (misket) as well, but I had not brought any along on this trip.  Does anyone else have any special way they do this.  I know there is a group of bloggers who do nothing but paint water. Their blog is called Watermarks. On their site under the label "breakers" techniques they mention working with thinned white acrylic, or acrylic ink, frisket, gouache, and razor blades.  If you put a razor blade in your check in luggage that would be an okay thing to have along.  Next time. 

The challenge here was to paint spray in watercolor.  I did have a little white gouache with me but I chose instead to use my "scrubber" brush (Fritch scrubber) and lift out the spray. The paper in the watercolor moleskin sketchbook took to this pretty well.  So for a quick "idea" of the spray I was okay with this.  The 17 miles ride around the Pebble Beach area cost us $9 per car but was well worth it!!!  Amazing.   

Monday, September 14, 2009

Creative Plagerizing

The view from my B & B window in CA was delightful.  I sat several times on these steps and painted toward the house and gardens so the spot I could see was doubly special.  I remembered one morning that I seen an interesting sketch on Lewis Lehrman's website.  He has a plethora of wonderful sketches to share and one was done out a window.  I want to give him credit for this idea which I creatively plagerized that morning in CA.  Contrasting a black and white ink drawing with a watercolor is a neat way to emphasize and make the center of interest a no-brainer!  Here's an idea for you to try!!!

California...the saga continues

The seacoast of the Pacific was endlessly fascinating to me since this was really my first good look at the western coast.  Sea going vessels coming in and out of harbors...and I took lots of photos of fishing boats.  I see sail boats, of course,  on the inland lakes but this was the view out the window of the lovely harbor restaurant where the wedding group was treated to a fantastic brunch by the bride's parents the Sunday after the wedding.  Service was slow and it gave me time to sketch right out the window!!!  Looking at the photo now...I kind of wished I'd put in the architecture of the home high on the hill with the tree overlooking the harbor from the other side.  But another day.  I did really enjoy the amazing winged horse on the side of the blue sailboat!!!  

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Cusp of Autumn

It's one of those jewel-like days in the north woods where you hardly know what to do first: go and lay in the hammock and read that book that's been waiting, walk in the woods and look the tinges of bright color, throw open the studio windows and paint that painting that is in your heart, get out your easel and set it up down by the lake shore, pull up a comfy chair and work on that jig saw puzzle, write poetry, read poetry? 
I just got a wonderful new book of poems by Mary Oliver..."another year gone, leaving everywhere it's rich spiced residues: vines, leaves, the uneaten fruits crumbling damply in the shadows........I try to remember when time's measure painfully chafes, for instance when autumn flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing to stay--how everything lives, shifting from one bright vision to another, forever in these momentary pastures." And so I did do a lot of these things...moving through my studio and readying things for the class next Wednesday...making plans for the last few art projects in the last 3 weeks here in the north.  

A tree fell last night in the darkness right across our drive...Greg heard it crash (I'd fallen asleep) and it is a huge one totally blocking the road this morning.  It is an oak with some living branches still on top...bright green acorns still clinging.  So my husband and a neighbor have been sawing away in the bright sunshine.  A limb from a maple came down with it and when I brought them lemonade at mid afternoon I could not resist lifting some leaves up to admire them.  It looked exactly as if mother nature had used spattering to make the colors of scarlet lake, lime green, new gamboge, and Winsor red.  

So I got out my little hand made piece of screening, 2" x 3" wrapped in tape, and blew the paint onto the image. Make yourself one of these little spattering devices...they are swell. (Love that word swell).  Just paint the paint on the screen and hold it close to your paper and blow briskly.  Voila.  Nice even spatter.  

The California Journaling Continues

On the day of the wedding...that was so beautiful and sunny...I got up early before breakfast at the Sand Rock Farm B & B and curled up with a hot cup of coffee among the lovely flower gardens surrounding it.  The town is Aptos, CA, by the way, not far from Santa Cruz.  Just off Hwy 1.  But the B & B is deep into the woods with redwoods on the property and half a dozen old overgrown and lovely gardens with fountains.  A painter's dream.  This particular morning I sat on the step across from the kitchen door and painted the old stove that the owner (Kris) had by the door along with assorted gardening equipment and a wonderful old wood fence with square peek holes into another garden behind the house.  

The green coffee cup, also painted, was a gift later from my sister (the mother of the groom) and I cherish it as a wonderful memory of this morning. 

Again I was working in my moleskin watercolor journal with water brush, cotman field kit, and a Micron .005 permanent pen.  

The facing page with the flowers and the cup was added the next morning. The red berries were currants, I found out later. 

Friday, September 11, 2009

Silhouette Project

Donna Zagotta has started posting her challenge to herself to improve on her figure drawing.  Since she is already a pro at this one wonders where this will all lead!!!  But for one thing it leads the rest of us to better drawing and painting if we follow along.  She calls her project the Silhouette Project and I think she has done two posts about it at this writing.  Myra Wacknov has picked up on the challenge and she is posting her work on this subject too.  She found a Gap ad with darling figures to use.  WHERE did she find that?  I started out, as Donna suggested, by cutting out a lot figures from magazines and made a pile of those.  Then in an inexpensive sketch pad of watercolor paper I started in tentatively.  

You HAVE to go to Donna's blog to see the original two posts on this so you get started correctly.  But look at Myra's too for her fun additions.  Both of them are planning to challenge themselves with quite a few of these silhouettes!  I am not sure yet...They don't take long too do but they do take concentration.  My goal is to do at least 5 every time I go into the studio and before I do any other work..for the next month.  Then I'll see where I am at!  

ps...trivia: The word silhouette is an eponym of Etienne de Silhouette, a French finance minister who in 1759 was forced by France's severe credit crisis during the Seven Years War to impose severe economic demands upon the French people, particularly the wealthy. Because de Silhouette enjoyed making cut paper portraits, his name became synonymous with these portraits and with anything done or made cheaply. Prior to the advent of photography, silhouette profiles cut from black card were the cheapest way of recording a person's appearance. (Wikipedia)

California Redwoods

I sketched this redwood while turning my landscape style moleskin watercolor sketchbook lengthwise. The object was, to try in a humble way, to get some of the height into the painting.  (you can probably just see the seam of the stitched book across the middle of the painting.)

Henry Cowell State Park near Santa Cruz, California is one of those rare jewels that you just feel that you have been gifted with when you come upon it.  I have heard since, that there are numerous parks and places to see sequoia and redwood in CA.  But one of the special things about this first generation stand of forest is that it is not as well known and just far enough away from San Francisco to avoid the huge crowds.  The paths are sandy here (not black-topped) and people come by in small groups or alone or as a runner.  We spent over an hour here and made the loop of almost level land which was so easy to walk.  There are other parts to the park but we just stayed on the "old growth redwood trail".  There are lots of things to do there as well as camping facilities.  

This was an extremely quick sketch (about 20 minutes at tops) and I used a #6 Simmons watercolor brush and my Cotman field kit.  I did a light graphite sketch first.  The bench at the bottom was important for scale, of course.  

This old growth trail smelled just like the inside of a cedar closet. Exactly. I kept taking long deep breaths (which is good for you too!) Someone suggested I was smelling the Bay trees which also grow between the redwoods.  But I am not sure if that was so or not.  Anyway, it was a mystical spot.  A huge "tree cookie" was hung there that had been cut in 1934.  And on the rings...I kid you not...was the birth of Christ.  Toward the outside rings the Declaration of Independence was marked.  You feel very small in a place like this. 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

California Dreamin'

OH my gosh.  What a whirlwind and exciting trip we just had in California.  You are going to be hearing about this trip for weeks!  

These are my first two trip journal pages which I did at the Sand Rock Bed and Breakfast in Aptos, California near Santa Cruz.  The bridesmaids and bride stayed here as well as the immediate families.  The gourmet breakfasts were fantastic.  If you are ever in the area.  BE sure to stop.  This was my nephew Danny's wedding.  I included a little map to remind me of where I was and I'll probably journal a little in the white space.  I haven't had much time to go back to do that. I did these in my new watercolor moleskin sketchbook and I LOVE it.  I used watercolor (my Cotman travel set) water brushes and Micron pens mostly.   

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

On the Cusp of Change

Well, OBVIOUSLY, this is not the north woods of Wisconsin!  But I actually did do the painting here a few summers ago.  It is now in my sister's collection of paintings in South Carolina.  

It is one of my favorite paintings.  It is SO Key West.  I chose it to share now now just to reflect on my thoughts this time of year.  I am beginning to think about travel south to my home in Leesburg, Florida and palm trees and warm days. (We leave Oct 1)  
This was painted from a photograph taken in Key West on a side street...a typical old style Key West home.  I got everything right on this one...simplifying the shapes, shadows and keeping the palette colors warm and well related. I wet the paper and let the pinks flow down simply painting the negative darks between the slats later.  The colors are Caribbean. There skies are manganese and not cobalt.  It says "sleepy, hot, quiet, happy".   It was painted with Winsor Newton watercolors on 140# Arches cold press and is about 11 x 15.   

So here in the north woods we are on the cusp of autumn but in my heart I am also on the cusp of returning to my tropical home.  

I am off to California now and will be gone for 10 days.  So bear with me and don't forget me and check back around the 12th of September.  I am taking my sketchbooks, watercolors and pens.