Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thinking Sunflowers

A brisk day in the north woods (for almost July!). 58 and windy at noon but at least the sun is shining today. My hubby likes these days...he feels like being outside trimming branches and sawing logs. And true, it's not bad weather as such. It's just so disappointing when you know it should be 85 and and it should be hot and delightful out in for boating or down on the pier!

I turned my attention again briefly to the sunflower challenge in acrylic/paper painting. I love all the colors except the red I chose for the table and that has got to go away.

Purples, blues, yellows. Then red? Nope. I was thinking more "orange" when I set out and it is indeed really an orangey red..but I don't like it. So this will a problem to be solved as I work my way down. Right this minute I am thinking of a pale blue table...very washed out blue in the sunshine and then shading over to purple blue in the shadow behind the bucket. That's what happens when you add something at the last minute in the underpainting without thinking it through.

I have done the bucket (except for the handle) and have started up at the top with the top two sunflowers. I see that I will need to do most of the leaves first so that the flowers will pop out on top of them. So am now going through my stash of green painted papers to see what I have. Because it is a fairly complicated painting it will take me longer to do this one.

My hope is to solve the table color issue and then to leave the sunflowers to do during the demo so I only have to bring papers in those colors.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Finishing Up the Portable Labyrinth

You can probably tell, I just put on the coat of gloss/varnish as it hasn't quite dried in a few places yet. I think it'll take a day or two actually. I will put the fan on in the studio and that should help a little.

I decided to use paper paint the outside of the labyrinth as a sort of interesting dark. The effect is watery and it kind of makes the labyrinth look like an island. I like that! I didn't start out with that thought but it sort of emerged!

Indeed a labyrinth is a kind of "island" of tranquility and thought and a journey. I also like the contrast between dark and light.

Schaper and Camp's book refers to the inward and the outward journey.... preparation for the journey and also reflection afterwards. My friend, Phyllis, wrote for prayers this morning...her husband may have breast cancer!!!! Oh my Lord. I have certainly heard of this. When I had breast cancer 15 years ago I read everything I could find, of course, and indeed that came up. But you don't hear about it often. So Joe's name moved up on my prayer list. He's having surgery soon but it's the lab reports I am praying about, of course.

Sunflower Underpainting

This is the acrylic underpainting for one of the paper paintings that I plan to use for the demo in July. (I think). I have always liked this photo I took of a pot of fresh picked sunflowers.

Compositionally I probably need to pull one of the flowers out and let it touch the right side (as in the photo. I see that now that I have looked at it online.

I stopped before I put in the red in the photo. I couldn't decide if that bright red added or detracted from the main subject matter. But the more I look at it, the more I think it might be a good dash of color...if I keep the red on the warm side for the foreground...hot red...orangey red.

I have never done a floral in paper painting. This should be interesting!!!

Gray, windy, 58 degrees in the north woods on Monday. Sigh. Not raining at present. Just gloom! But the music is playing and the coffee is hot and I have cookies baking in the oven. So never mind!

AND I have some lovely fun painting to lure me away into the studio later.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Soul At Last Is Home

Today I decided to make a small replica of the stone labyrinth that I could take back to Florida when I go. The experience of walking it whenever I want or need to has been an amazing pleasure this summer! This little one will be a reminder of the bigger one!

I haven't finished putting on all the stones yet of course. It is about 12 x 16 on masonite with two coats of gesso to seal the board first. It's going to have a little weight to it with the stones so I needed a good support.

I painted the labyrinth pattern to match Julie's pattern (there are many kinds) and then I took tiny stones from the actual labyrinth down at the lake and hot glued them into place. When I am done I'll coat it all with a coat of gloss varnish which I think may help the nice colors of the little stones come out.

In the "walking spaces" I collaged some meaningful words that I like to associate with labyrinths. I have taken my references from a book called Labyrinths From the Outside In: Walking to Spiritual Insight A Beginner's Guide by Donna Schaper and Carole Ann Camp.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A little watercolor sketch

The en plein air group was at Lakeland Discovery Center on State House Lake in Manitowish Waters, WI this morning. We've had nothing but rain again for DAYS but the sun broke for our event!

I've painted in acrylic the last two Thursdays so I thought I'd do a little watercolor today. Landscape format too...not sure why but it just seemed right for the day. We were all in jackets or flannel shirts as it started out about 63 and breezy but by noon it was up to 73 and very pleasant. There about 7 of us I think.
I plugged my iPod in and listened to quiet tunes.

We went out to lunch to chit chat afterwards.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Never mind

Well, never mind what I said before about taking the watercolor class at Dillmans. I have changed my mind. Hopefully for the last time. I told you this gift certificate is making me like nuts!

I've decided on Bob Burridge's class the end of August. Totally different from anything I've taken before. And that is JUST what I need right now. The time is not too bad, starting August 22 for the reception and teaching the week after that. I wrote to Nancy Standlee in TX whose blog is a link on this blog and she has taken like 5 of his classes and said "go for it".

Bob is acrylic and collage. And a tad more abstract than my normal paintings!

This Painters' Retreat pushes you out of your safe zone and into a brand new looser, abstract direction. Painters use the first two days to reacquaint themselves with loose painting and drawing the undraped model. Starting each day with wet paint sketches plus Burridge's popular warmup exercises - fingerpainting - you will be producing a fresh new body of work with your own artistic voice and point of view. Days three and four cover creative tearing and paint splashing, starting each day with small paper collaging - making new work and al

so utilizing the figurative paint sketches. Plenty of lecture and demo notes, constructive critiques and personal painting time. Come prepared to paint your own stuff!

  • Contemporary Abstract Figure Painting (Mon-Tues)
  • Post Modern Painting & Collage (Wed-Thurs)

As a former kindergarten teacher, the finger painting part should be right up my alley...but the rest is way outside the box for me!!! More to follow!

Preparing A Demo

I promised the Manitowish Waters Art League that I'd do a morning demo of Elizabeth St. Claire Nelson's paper painting technique (with some of my own twists, of course) at the art show. So as you can see out the studio window...dark dark day again here on Wednesday!
Good day to get that started!

I want to be about 1/3 done and then I want to take one that is just starting and several that are completed! The demo is not until July 16 but I have a ton of company coming between starting July 2 and running through Aug 7. Now's the time for creative juices to flow!

I have some decisions to make...but one always does. I am currently thinking of leaving the red stripes in acrylic paint and not paper painting over them in order to keep the background from getting too busy.

The sock monkey is part of a trilogy of teddy bears and a sock monkey and a Kewpie doll: toys of yesteryear. I have done his face/ears and a little of the first white stripe behind him. 11 x 14 on YES canvas board.

Midsummer Nights Eve

Garrison Keillor has a wonderful "free" daily mail service which includes one poem and usually 3-4 interesting highlights concerning this day...usually poets or authors and now and then an artist. I love what he sent me today. It bring back amazing memories of my first visit to England where I was indeed served mead. It is absolutely wonderful and very potent and before you know it, you are not walking straight anymore and everything is funny! If you are interested in this free service google Writer's Almanac.

Tonight is Midsummer Night's Eve, also called St. John's Eve. St. John is the patron saint of beekeepers. It's a time when the hives are full of honey. The full moon that occurs this month was called the Mead Moon, because honey was fermented to make mead. That's where the word "honeymoon" comes from, because it's also a time for lovers. An old Swedish proverb says, "Midsummer Night is not long but it sets many cradles rocking." Midsummer dew was said to have special healing powers. In Mexico, people decorate wells and fountains with flowers, candles, and paper garlands. They go out at midnight and bathe in the lakes and streams. Midsummer Eve is also known as Herb Evening. Legend says that this is the best night for gathering magical herbs. Supposedly, a special plant flowers only on this night, and the person who picks it can understand the language of the trees. Flowers were placed under a pillow with the hope of important dreams about future lovers.

Shakespeare set his play "A Midsummer Night's Dream" on this night. It tells the story of two young couples who wander into a magical forest outside Athens. In the play, Shakespeare wrote, "The course of true love never did run smooth."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Critiques of this painting

I've had a lot of good suggestions regarding this watercolor/gouache painting.

So, I've added some trees off to the left side in the background. I've extended the fence line to the right edge. I've softened the darkness between the slats of the fence to a grayer tone (from sharp black). I've added a few see-throughs and made the large light colored tree in the background have a little more interesting edge.

My friend, Carolyn, says it suggests water to her off behind the tree line. That was unintentional but I "could" make that more intentional by putting a dim horizon in blue off in the distance behind the tree trunks. That has some appeal to me. What do you think? I really feel the composition is much stronger now. Many thanks for the ideas!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Rose Edin's beautiful work!!!

I mentioned on a recent post that I was so fortunate to get a gift certificate to a class at Dillman's Resort this summer. And how I was like a kid in a candy store trying to decide which one to take!!!

I "think" I've made up my mind. Rose Edin is teaching the last week in September (which would be good timing for me too.) I was wondering if anyone has taken one her classes?

Her work is SO lovely! And I just read one of her "Watercolor Essentials" article in Watercolor Artist Magazine, August 2010. Her new book Color Harmonies is just out now and I think I'll get a copy!

I haven't read up too much but I am thinking she is a MN artist and winters in FL. Anyone know? I shall have to look over her website more for bibliography. I just wondered if anyone had taken a class. I don't want to wait to long to sign up because if she doesn't get a minimum, she'll cancel out. This is a gorgeous time of year in the north woods you guys! We'll be at peak color the last week in September!!!
The class will be Sept 26-Oct 1 (starts with a reception on Sunday evening and runs 4 days and then closes on Thursday with check-out on Friday morning). The cost is $490 for the workshop and $309 for the room Sun night through Thursday night (including one dinner). Box lunches are ordered out for lunch. Dinners on your own. They have small kitchens in the cottages, I believe or there are many nice restaurants in the Minocqua/Woodruff/Manitowish Waters area. See more info about the workshop here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Watercolor and Gouache

Rhonda has been talking on her blog lately of the difficulty of critiquing one's own work. Amen. A common complaint for sure. Getting some distance helps. Squinting helps. And having a "list" of what you want in your painting helps. I also think waiting a few days and going back gives you fresh eyes. I think looking at it upside down or in a mirror can offer ideas. Laying a mat on helps focus your eyes.

I am laying a mat over this now to look at design elements. Light/dark values? Do the darks and lights "carry you through the painting?" The addition of the thrown shadows from the left of the painting helps to tie the the darks together I think. And the shadows the couple make tie them to the fence. The whites dance around through the painting nicely. The center of interest seems to have the best contrasts which is what I aimed for.

One thing that I usually critique myself is temperature..does the painting make a point of being more more warm or cool rather than balanced. I see this as high key and warm.

The one area I can't make up my mind about is edges. Usually I try to have balance of soft and hard edges. The trees and flowers do have softer edges while the people and architecture have harder edges. Gouache tends to have a "flatter" look about it than transparent watercolor. For some reason, to me anyway, that brings the sharp edges more into focus.

I left the corners on the bottom left and right white. I tend to have a bad habit of putting dark shapes into corners and drawing your eye away from the center. I wonder if anyone has a problem with those spaces?

In some ways I see this as an abstract of shapes and colors. I have reworked the shadow and shapes in the center of interest and behind the umbrellas several times. That is one of the nice things about gouache. Like other opaque mediums you can go back and layer and completely change a color or shape.

It seems as though, each time I paint something I have in my head that I am going to work on one or two things more experimentally. Either I am going to explore a new medium, or a new support, or a new tool, or focus on design more, or some of the other things I mentioned above. I keep "hoping" that by doing this eventually the critique will "internalize". I'll be able to keep all those things in the back of my mind somewhat unconsciously. (hahahaha...it's a goal anyway.)

This painting had a working title of "Out For Lunch" but am not liking it anymore. Ideas? It is 11 x 15 on Arches hot press paper.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Framing Again

So now it's time to send in my application for the Manitowish Waters Art League Show in July. Deadline June 30. Three this time.
This is a new show for me. Manitowish Waters, WI, is a nice lakes community about half an hour from Lac du Flambeau.

I'm always tempted to send in "Untitled" for all 3 so I don't have to make up my mind so far ahead! Hahahaha. But I decided one of each media might be nice...one watercolor, one acrylic, one mixed media. I still have to put a dust cover on the watercolor and hang wires all all three. But there's time yet for all that.

Oh, and I just found out that I won a raffle drawing at the Lakeland Art League for some $ off on an art workshop at Dillman's Resort in Lac du Flambeau. I am so excited. I never win anything! There are some fantastic artists coming there this summer and fall! More about that to come! (It's an overcast and cool day here in the north woods.)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Final touch up on En Plein Air

I'm never quite sure but I think this is all I am going to do on this one. I looked at my photos and decided to add the darker shadow in the foreground...the yellow flowers and the interesting windowpanes...touched up the stone pillar a little and got rid of most of the background orange. I call this one "On Golden Pond".

Both Ann and I were working away trying to decide where to put shadows as they changed considerably from 9:30 to noon!

Greg and I are off to dinner. It is our 20th anniversary today. We both decided to let each other do what ever was their favorite thing to do today and then come together tonight to celebrate at a really nice restaurant. It was so lovely knowing I didn't have to even give dinner a second thought tonight!

20 years. What a ride it has been.

En Plein Air on Thursday

Do you see that on the ground? That is SUNSHINE! First we've seen here in the north woods of WI in about two weeks! Wow. We had like 20 people show up for en plein air today! Fair weather painters...that's us!

We painted at Cottages at Cardinals...a former resort now turned into beautiful north woods gift store in Woodruff, WI.

They also do still rent some cottages although the one I chose to paint (along with oil painter Ann Waisbrot from Marshfield) is not rentable any more. She did a honey of a painting and why I don't have a photo of her and her painting I haven't the foggiest. I feel terrible that I didn't take a shot of hers. I will email her and see if she'll send me one!

Several others did sketches and paintings of this derelict and deserted old cottage with the piney smells all around and tall wild yellow flowers popping up around it. Moss on the roof and all.

I have LOTS to do to finish it...any place you see orange is just the underpainting showing through. So I'll post it again in a bit when I have the details in it. GREAT morning. This was slightly larger than last week...11 x 14 on canvas.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Out For Lunch": Gouache and Watercolor

Some one of my blogger friends sent me the original photo that is the inspiration for this painting (with permission to use it) I added the figures and redesigned the space some. (I am fond of umbrellas.)

This is what I worked on in Karen's class today. Watercolor and gouache.

I learned more about how to manipulate the two mediums. And why many artists prefer to work with white gouache and watercolor rather than buy gouache paint.

The answer is that the combination of the transparent paint and the opaque paint has a special quality you don't get with gouache alone (which is flatter and chalkier). AND I learned that you can do a wash with gouache over watercolor or over other colors of gouache.
Karen had us do some preliminary exercises on wet paper adding watercolor and then white gouache. Blending and allow some surprises to happen. She often then uses this as an inspiration for a painting.

She also worked on a floral in the afternoon which she drew first using both transparent watercolor and adding gouache with it both wet and dry.

I was not in the mood for a floral so I used the drawing that I brought with me for my work in the afternoon. I still have a long ways to go and with gouache you have the opportunity to re-do so many things. I am particularly unhappy with the grays in the background behind the umbrellas...I'd like some muted and softer shapes but not what is there. I need to work through the figures so they do not distract from the center of interest but lead into it. I need to resolve both the left and right sides of the painting in the same way..interesting shapes but not pulling away and not too much detail or contrast. A nice day and a great group of people. (No rain today but no sunshine either. We all have our fingers crossed for the plein air tomorrow morning!)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

And Then There Were Three...in gouache

Okay...here is the same painting I did before (scroll down once post). The first one is in transparent watercolor. This one is watercolor and gouache. I added white gouache to my colors to make them opaque.

Both are the same size exactly and are both on Arches 140# hot press.

Hmmm. Now I haven't taken Karen's class yet. That is tomorrow. I am just playing around in preparation for her class trying to get a feel for what are the questions I want to ask.

I have seen Donna Zagotta's DVD and read her article in a recent magazine (gosh, now I forget which one). So I have a little idea of what this is about.
The darks are straight indigo watercolor with no gouache...hard to get a dark if you add white.

Most of the whites are the paper. Although some of the wave action and some of the feathers on the gulls and the clouds are gouache. I just couldn't get the point of covering the white paper with white paint, but I think that Donna does. Her painting is ALL paint when she is done. Many things are easier to do in opaque medium (like waves, clouds, etc. since you can put a lighter color over a darker.) That is the main difference. Although there is something quite different in the feeling of painting with this...no pools of colors mixing. Or at least I haven't found that to be available. Tune in tomorrow!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Painting in Transparent Watercolor First

On Wednesday I'll be taking another class from ever-versatile Karen Kappell. I don't think there is anything she can't do. She teaches pastel, paper making, many different watercolor techniques, collage and a lot of other things I probably don't know about! What a gal!!!

So anyway now I am thinking back toward a medium I have only "played with" a little and that is gouache.

What's kind of fun about gouache is that being an opaque medium (like acrylic) it bridges the gap between my two favorite mediums! Maybe.

This seagull "sketch" is a sort of "blocking in" of color and value...I did it very quickly on hot press (Arches 140). Not only is this a somewhat unfamiliar paper for me, but I was using a palette that is not my usual one. Here's why: Karen says "you don't want to contaminate your #1 palette with gouache." Amen. So what I chose is to take out a bag of watercolor tubes that are not my current most favored ones in order to play with them. They do not last forever, I've found out.
What you see here is strictly watercolor at this point. I am blocking in shapes, values and a little work with transparent color. I chose hot press because that is what Donna Zagotta works on (although her hot press is on board). Karen just said to bring regular stretched watercolor on Wednesday.

My idea is to block in first with transparent watercolor. Especially looking at value and composition. Because once I start adding white gouache to the colors, they'll all become opaque and I can layer them on as I please...sort of. Part II is what I am am going to this class for. My first attempts to use gouache were not successful. I'm going to try again!!! I took the photo reference for this on St. George Island on May 17. But gulls are gulls. They could be anywhere. Does anyone know what kind these are? Are they Laughing Gulls? They sure laughed at me all afternoon. Creepy laugh. Hahaha. The working title is: "And Then There Were Three".

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Reception for Art in Public Places

That's my painting on the left on the post card. Cool, huh?

The reception was last night and I am hoping to get feed back and some photos from friend, Ann Blasic, before too long.

The reception was in Winter Garden, FL and I am in northern WI. Sigh. Wish I could have been there. The exhibit will go on through the summer (through August). A very very nice follow-up for all the artists that enjoyed painting on those lovely days in April. A good memory.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Touching up my En Plein Air Acrylic

If you scroll down to yesterday you can see the two steps I photographed then: blocking in and then the way it looked after two hours.

When I got it up on the blog yesterday (which is a nice way to see if from a distance) I could see there were not enough value changes and I wanted that whale carving over the door to show up.

I liked the basic shapes I chose but I felt the whole painting was too dark. The day was slightly overcast...bright overcast but enough to have shadows so the sky was grayed down. Later I decided to forget that and brighten up the sky and make the shadows a little more distinct. And speaking of gray...my grays are a tad on the purple side. Which is okay. But I am practicing making grays in acrylic and I was using Robert Genn's formula: white, black, a touch of magenta and a touch of yellow ochre. And he means a "touch". The overuse of the magenta is what is making these grays too purple. I need to learn what a touch means. :-)

In the first photo it looks like the sky is two different shades of blue but in the second photo it seems to show up correctly. I think it was just the way the light was hitting it...it's pouring rain again here so everything is artificial light again.

The funky little posts the restaurant had to the left on the painting "read" as part of a tree in the first paintings so I fixed that and brightened up a few places on the birch and on the yellower leaves. I extended the roof line off toward the left.

It isn't signed yet...I am working on the wrap-around edges yet..a few more touches on that. Some folks just paint their edges in a neutral color (like black) but I like the picture to carry around. And I like to do that before I clean up my palette..while the colors I used are all still there!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

En Plein Air on Thursday June 10, 9-noon

The Manito Art League En Plein Air group met today at the Thirsty Whale for a little practice!!! I decided to try acrylic again...I keep struggling with it. I picked a small canvas 8 x 10 (which helps).

And I took a limited palette ala Robert Genn...Hansa yellow (I took Arylamide yellow) , magenta, cad red (I took Crimson), sap green, yellow ochre, raw umber, carbon black, titanium white, pthalo blue. (and I added two other greens.. Hooker, and lt. Emerald green).

I think most of the colors were Atelier Chroma which tend to stay wet a tad longer than most. I added "retarder" to my water. I did not use a sta-wet palette for en plein air...but a small palette that on which paint can be "peeled" off after it dries. I put a wet sponge inside when I wasn't using it.

I remember Robert suggesting that you tint the canvas first...a medium color range (I used a slightly pinkish gray). Then I just put on shapes. I like to make some more interesting shadow shapes. /

Now I'd like to go back and touch up a few things and lighten or darken in places. Get more contrasting values. The whale over the door needs to be more prominent.

All in all, however, it was fun and no time ever goes more quickly for me than when I am painting this way.

I wish I had time to go around and photo the other 4 people who painted but they were on the other side of the building somewhere and I didn't have time to go hiking. Hopefully next time. And I think next time we should bring our paintings to lunch and have a show and tell.

With A Little Help From My Friends....

Here are Florie Enders (Manitowish Waters) and Ken Drawz (Mercer) painting away in Minocqua, Wisconsin, this morning! Florie (in oil) and Ken (in watercolor). Seven of us gathered along the shores of Lake Minocqua on a lovely morning...it was a sweatshirt day but when the sun was out we felt SO comfortable and NO WIND...what a gift for en plein air painters!! The bugs were not bad and we all had a great lunch at the Thirty Whale around noon.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Coming to a close on the Tea Pot paper painting

I haven't signed this and I haven't varnished it. I need to sit with it a few days or so and look at it with fresh eyes. It certainly entertained me all afternoon on a VERY VERY cold and rainy day!

It has not stopped ALL day and in fact at 5 pm started to pour even harder! The temp never got above 50 all day. I closed off the loft and shut all the bedroom doors so that the main part of the house will be cozy. And I am having a nice cup of hot Tazo ginger tea (with a touch of pear). Ahhhhh. Appropriate, right?

The photo is under artificial light, of course, so you can't really see it well but you sort of get the idea. I chose not to collage the background. Just left it white. If I were to do this one over again I think I'd give it a pale yellow background before starting. Oh well.

For now one thing I want to do is continue the dark blue line under the teapot which has come to look like a shelf (that is not finished.)

The teabag, incidentally, is a real tea bag, cut in half and painted yellow. The tea is teensy little pieces of paper.

Possible titles: "Tea For Two", "Cure for a Rainy Day", "Ginger Tea with a Hint of Pear", "Hurry, The Water is Hot",

Paper Painting: Moving on...

It is 50 degrees and POURING rain in the north woods of Wisconsin. This is a day you have to get VERY creative to enjoy!!!

So...I am baking brownies. (Warm oven, yummy smells) and am working in my studio pushing on without any suggestions on that third color (from yesterday's moan).

I have chosen MAGNETA as my 3rd color in the triad and am using a stencil to give help make some more interesting negative spaces. Hopefully it won't be too "busy".

THEN while that dried I finished sketching my fun little sock monkey...enlarging it from the ATC card that I made the other day (see it displayed in front of the sketch). Then I did the underpainting on the sock monkey and painted the papers to go with that project (hanging them on a clothes line IN THE GARAGE because it is raining!).

I think the sock monkey might be a good choice for the demo in July...I am taking photos of it as it goes along.

Both of these paintings are on YES canvas board 11 x 14 and are under painted in acrylic.

I think this sock monkey and the teddy bears I did previous might be part of a series on old but lovable toys. Can a toy train be far behind? I am looking now for a photo of a Kewpie doll. Remember those?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Paper Painting: need help on prep work

One of the things Elizabeth St. Claire Nelson suggests in her paper painting DVD (and on her blog) is that you do an "underpainting" in acrylic to help layout composition and lights and darks.

One of my biggest problems in getting started in this amazingly fun medium is picking SIMPLE and engaging subjects without getting too complex.

I am working 11 x 14 on YES canvas board. Elizabeth's backing of choice is birch boards 9 x 12 with a clear coating. She uses a very watery acrylic mixture for her under paintings so that pencil lines will show through. They are after all mostly going to disappear once the torn paper collage goes on over them. Since the canvas is pre-primed with gesso, I do not have to do any prep work on the support. But you do miss seeing the wood grain that shows in some of her paintings so that I think that some time I would like to try the wood.

I am not using a photo actually, except to look at a photo of a ceramic teapot. And I am not using local color. So this is an exp
eriment in color and design as well.

I am fond of the blue/yellow combination but I am needing some suggestions about a simple background and also some ideas about adding a third color. I usually like to use a triad of some sort. I am thinking perhaps something in a reddish violet.

I am not thinking of adding any other objects but maybe even stamping something in the background or dripping some color into the background. In my original sketch I had some darkness in the right top corner to balance the pot. I like to paint my papers as I choose the colors rather than the other way around. Once I do the underpainting and know the colors I am using, THEN I paint the papers. So what is my third color, guys?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Collaborative Art Work

Thanks to Sue Wendlandt of the Manito Art League for sending me the final picture of the collaborative art from yesterday!

It's really quite amazing how Karen got this to all go together! Roots and leaves and all. She really did not "assign" us anything except it had to be about "trees". Karen prepped the background and tore the component parts ahead of time. So they would all fit together later.

You'll see which piece is mine if you scroll down to yesterday's post.

Karen, the teacher, is the first two photos across the top and I am #4 in the tan sweatshirt. The mini workshop took place at the Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin, Community Center.

ATCs: a way to play

These are, of course, little teensy art cards (the size of playing cards). Artist Trading Cards...if you haven't heard of them...try googling them and you'll find dozens of sites. Artists like to trade them..and believe me, what you see here is pitiful compared to what people are REALLY doing with these. Some are REAL works of art.

I am just beginning to do a little playing. I wasn't going to do this today but when I was cleaning in the studio the bag of ATC cards I had cut out earlier this spring fell out and they seemed to have a life of their own! What you see here are combinations of watercolor, collage, water based marker pens, fluid acrylic, stampers, watercolor pencils, permanent marker. I'll get back and try some more another day. The sun is shining today and I want to be outside!!!

The other two little pencil sketches were done in the waiting room of the clinic this morning while waiting for my husband to have some lab work done.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Karen Kappell's Pastel Class

Pastels? Me? No, not really. But I just felt it might be fun just to for once dabble in them.

Here is Karen demonstrating this morning at the Manito Art League meeting and workshop. (Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin).

Pastels are like some sort of magical medium to me. I am drawn to them in other people's work. But for me, no. What Karen was attempting to do here was to teach 6 of us some of the tiniest bit of the basics of pastels (to whet our appetites) and to also do something in "collaborative art". You know, art that is put together in some way by a group.

Because I had to leave early, I didn't get to see how the finished painting turned out. The theme was "trees" of all kinds, shapes, sizes, and seasons.
There were 6 artists involved in this project.

That is why my picture at the top is such an odd shape. That is just my tiny piece of the collaborative work. I will have to wait awhile to get to see how it all goes together!!! Hopefully I can include a photo of that later!!!