It's the birthday of painter Henri Matisse (1869), born in Le Cateau, France. As a child and a young man, he had no interest in art. He went to law school in Paris and never visited a single museum. Had it not been for a case of appendicitis, he might never have become an artist. Bedridden for several weeks during his recovery, he took up painting as a way to pass the time. It was a revelation. He said, "For the first time in my life I felt free, quiet, and alone ... carried along by a power alien to my life as a normal man." At 22, he quit the law to begin work as a full-time artist. He was a revolutionary who dressed like a bourgeois, and he once said, "It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else."
Article taken from Garrison Keillor's blog today.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
This is watercolor on canvas.
I am using Peg Furlin's technique of "fracturing". I took my inspiration from a catalog I found showcasing interesting vases. One of my downfalls are vases and "containers". And I also love still lifes. I liked the idea of contrasting the linear painting with a few citrus tossed into the frame. And the flowers help to throw a little something more organic into the painting.
I thought I would try a different triad of color this time. Quin gold, several shades of brown, and aliz. crimson. At first I used a kind of Quin Sienna for the red but my hubby critiqued it and he said it needs to be punched up with RED. I think in this case he was quite right!!! I punched up the center of interest with black.
Originally, in the first wash I went too dark. (I am learning as I go along.) So all the white (slightly stained white) was the same color as the color strips leading out of the interior of the painting. Pretty colors but not what I was looking for. So I used a Mr. Clean sponge to wipe out as much as possible. I got almost back to white and didn't mind a little staining at all. I think one of the things about "fracturing" that pleases my eye, is the "mat" look of having an interior painting. Making the mat too dark makes you lose this. However, there are no set rules about it and there is no reason the mat couldn't be dark and the interior light. To try another day?
This little painting is a demo I started in my wc class a few weeks ago...using a John Lovett video for inspiration and also using one of his paintings for inspiration. I traced my drawing and handed it out to the gals and we all painted the same scene this time. I don't like to do that too much but sometimes it's nice to have a drawing that includes a lot of the techniques you want to teach. This had old bricks and stones to paint and then to "ink" and bleed. And it fit well with that gesso or gouache technique of softening the edges with a hake brush. I used "opera" for the curtains in the window to pop that center of interest. It's a tiny painting...just 7 x 11". (an 8th of sheet of Arches.)
I find this a pleasing little painting. Something nice about the slightly open door too, don't you think? Inviting?
Saturday, December 17, 2011
This painting that comes first is the "touched up" version. Scroll down below to the original painting.
I used a John Lovett technique to soften the edges of this too-busy painting (using white gouache and a hake brush).
I also darkened the center of interest and added a little more pizzaz to the redder of the lizards. And a little yellow green to the larger lizard to make him stand out a bit more.
This original painting was "okay" but awfully busy and with no center of interest to draw the eye to.
Watercolor on Arches 140#
11 x 15 (quarter sheet)
Note: These are little gems are actually called
Monday, December 5, 2011
I posted about this once before...but now the album (Exit 32) is out and for sale! My little sketch is on the back.
Steve has a sort of "Jimmy Buffet" sound (in my opinion) and uses guitar, banjo, flute, fiddles, etc. Really a nice sound. What fun!
You can find out how to order here. $10.
Steve manages to capture such diverse human experiences as living out of grocery carts near Interstate Exit ramps, to interpreting the songs of Cuckoo birds on overhead wires. A talented ensemble of musicians are also heard in this artful collection, including his effervescent wife, Leigh, who has an impressive list of accomplishments of her own in the bay area music community. Other familiar names include Rebecca Zapen, Tami Wingard of Hannah's Whirl, the legendary Joe Lala, the nationally recognized songster who "digs rock and roll music" Jim Mason, and Guitar Sal Belloise, who in this case is showing his skills on the Flute. A healthy assortment of other artists also come together to give Steve an easy off ramp at Exit 32. With stories of the heart and human aspiration, this Steve Humes collection of songs should earn him recognition as Tampa Bay's Musical Poet Laureate.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The Seno Woodland Education Center is now offering products to raise $ for the environmental center in Burlington, WI.
All the products feature my watercolor images! How cool is that?!!!
Here you see a kitchen magnet, a tile coaster and a framed tiles. But there are tee shirts, hats, bags, mugs, etc.
Click here to see the array of very nice products at very reasonable prices.
All the sketches were either en plein air or studio paintings from photographs at the Seno Center in Burlington, Wisconsin.
You can find out more about the center by clicking here.