Sunday, August 31, 2008

Last Wave (6"x10")

In Canmore, just 45 minutes west of our house it is SNOWING. Now, don't panic... it's just a little bit of snow. But it does tell you something about our weather right now. We are experiencing cooler weather. I like it. I think I'm going to enjoy fall and winter this year! It's not that I'm crazy about cold weather... lets just say I'm not as crazy about heat as I used to be. My little wave petunias have had a great year - loaded with blooms since I planted them in May. They just seemed to be saying their final goodbye to summer today - their "last wave". I plucked a stem and stuck it in this vase that I've been wanting to paint and I kind of like how it turned out. The stem on the bottom is a "popcorn orchid" given to me by a neighbourhood gardener named Michelle. This spring she was pulling the little plants out as quickly as they could grow... apparently they are a very aggressive reseeding plant. She offered me some of her little plants and they are now about 5 feet tall and covered with these little orchid like blooms. That reminds me... I really need to take the seed pods off as they mature or I'll have a time of it next spring!
I can't decide if I like this painting without the bottom 1.5 inches or with it... thoughts?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mediteranean Climb ( 9"x4")

Again, I am enjoying painting stairs. They fascinate me because they take me somewhere if I have the effort to climb them... In this case, I may have to rest a few times on the way up but it looks like fun and the weather is nice and bright at the top.
Thanks to Denise for providing the artistic material for this photo. She and her son David travelled over to the Mediteranean to visit with husband and dad Sandy, currently posted in Afghanistan with our Canadian troops. They took a Med cruise together and wandered a variety of towns and streets... LOTS of great stairs over there!
I think they set a great exampe for our family - when Matthew goes on tour in Feb 2010, I'm hoping we can pack the kids and Christina over to the Med for a week of R&R. It sounds like a great thing to look forward to. One consideration will of course be that a motorized scooter might not do so well on islands covered with stairs like these.
Enjoy your long weekend!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Floral Reflections (8"x11")

Again, I am not satisfied that I captured the reflections accurately in this lovely piece of pottery. However, as Jane Fonda says "good enough is good enough". I don't often quote her but... I'll make an exception today. "Perfection is overrated" she says - and I believe her. I like to think of myself as a recovering perfectionist... you could even say I have an entry level position as a recovering perfectionist some days, lol. I like the yellow flowers on the right hand side... they're pretty loose... just as I tried to be throughout this painting. I'm still tighter than I'd like. I'm giving myself as much time as I want to preparation but maximum 1 hour on painting. I hope this will loosen me up.

What I want you to see in this painting are the reflections of the purple and yellow flowers on the surface of the dish AND the lovely, sparkly lights that the bottom of the dish is throwing onto the table cloth. This candy dish is turning into a real fun toy... enjoy!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

St Albert Elevators (21"x11")

Growing up as a Saskatchewan girl the sight of elevator rows was not only common, it seemed permanent. Sadly for elevator lovers, they are disappearing from the landscape like dinosaurs did ages ago. Anybody reading this that has photos of elevators - especially those around Eston, Saskatchewan - please email them to me??? I'm gathering loads of material for the future and I've learned a whole lot about what I like to paint this summer... buildings are one of those loves.
I'm getting all nostalgic typing this... better get back to what I've been doing. I'm spending some time to sort out my art room in preparation for my fall classes. It's not like I'm actually going to school but I love my art supplies... never mind commenting Ron. I need to make sure I've counted all my stuff so I don't over-shop. The gadgets are building up to having a life of their own and I'm working on organization and finding everything a home. Unfortunately, I'll have to use last year's pencil crayons, sigh. [for 12 years running I hassled my mother for new pencil crayons whether I needed them or not. I NEEDED them because I could face anything if I had new pencil crayons. What a funny duck I was... ]
Now I have 6 grandkids getting ready for school - things change so quickly and it's only Kalista now that will be home with mommy. Two more tikes are off to school... Kiera is going to have an intereting year in Japanese pre-school. Ethan is joining his brothers and sisters for a home-schooling experience. It's going to be a lot of fun!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Head Shot (10"x10")

Flower portraits intrigue me... The tulip lends itself well to a close-up with a huge variety of looks from delicate and unusual to the more common, garden varieties. This particular flower head shot is loosely based on a photo I took just down the street last year.
I enjoy drawing and painting things that have defined shapes like this. It's easy to concentrate on the shapes rather than on "painting a tulip". Thinking about the latter can sometimes impact my ability to paint what's in front of me.
Here's and example: can you draw a tree? Of course you can! You've been able to do that since you turned three. Make a circle and then make two parallel lines down from the centre. See? You can draw a tree. The symbol for a tree anyhow. The problem with that is now you have an idea in your head and it's hard to knock it loose. Your brain keeps on telling you that a tree is that even when your eyes are giving you better information. Learning to "see" the real shapes in a subject takes time and practice. In this little painting there are many ovals, a parallelogram, a (near) triangle, and a couple of circles. When you take "tulip" out of your thinking and deal with the shapes in relationship to each other... voila! a tulip centre emerges. Fun stuff... sign up for an art class at a community college near your home, lol...
Have a great night!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Flowers With a View (15"x15")

Flowers With a View - A catchy name for a painting that would have benefited from a few more minutes of planning...

What do I like? The colors are working for me - especially on the right hand side of the painting. I like that this was done from life, not a photo. I think that makes it fresher and more artsy... working from photo reference just isn't as much fun. The flowers are bright and cheery... and very informally arranged... I was still cutting flowers when Lindsey arrived to paint. An afternoon of color and light... it doesn't get much better than that (unless the grandkids are in town!).

What would I change? I would mess around a bit longer with the setup to make the overlapping sections interesting. I would use my viewfinder when I sketch so that the entire bottle has room on the page (!?!). I would make the flowers facing the viewer instead of having them facing toward their own personal window (which was added last to give the flowers "a view").

Overall, it was a fun painting experience - Lindsey was over to paint for the first time since our painting challenge August 12th. Where has the summer gone? Wasn't that a fast one? Here's a photo of what Lindsey did today.... lovely and loose!

Over the course of this summer I've come realize that I really love to paint still life arrangements. I'm not sure if this is because I get to the painting experience without a drive... or that some of the shapes are hard edged and I love that! More stairs are on the agenda folks.

Anybody else on Olympic withdrawal?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Middle Lake Kettle (4"x6" ink & watercolor sketch)

Ron & I have decided to see some of the nearby sites after living here for 14 years. There are so many treasures within one hour drive of our home it's a new goal to see as many as we can now while the weather holds. It was a lovely day... bit windy but that was fine. We wandered around today and ended up in Bow Island Provincial Park in the northern part of Kananaskis Country. Featuring in this sketch are the Middle Lake Kettle, Mount Lawrence Grassi (far top right) and I'm working on names for the rest of the mountains... Google Earth, be good to me!
What a beautiful place to stay with a trailer or tent. The day facilities are very nice too. We parked and walked in about 100 yards where we found a bench just waiting for us. Ron wandered about with the camera taking photos of interesting flora and fauna and mountains, while I set up to sketch the beautiful little lake and the spectacular backdrop Rocky Mountains. About the time I began to add the watercolor to my sketch the wind picked up and it was a challenge to get the job done before the entire set blew away. Hurry doesn't generally improve these sketches... and the wind blew away the overhead clouds, changing the lighting. So, I made adjustments as best I could and we packed up and moved along. What a fun thing to look forward to on a Sunday afternoon drive! The sense of adventure, meandering along with no firm thought as to where we would land up... lovely and relaxing. I KNOW I could enjoy camping if I had a good mattress. That's all I'd ask.... But, my honey requires a few more bells and whistles... we're dreaming.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Salsa Thoughts (10"x14")

I just needed to set up a still life and paint from it. I have this neat pewter cup - a remnant of my days at Arthur Anderson. I set this arrangement up, rearranged a few times and then sketched from life. Now, two days later I pulled out the tomatoes and set it up for painting. The challenges with this painting were the colors of the pewter cup... reflections in the cup seemed to be quite green. I like how this one turned out. It's very kitcheny and I'm excited to get it framed and hung.
This painting has a split complementary color scheme. The green bottle and leaves on the tomato are compliments to the red tomatoes. The oranges in the blinds and the drapery are complimented by the blue's in the cup and in the folds of the drapery. This was fun to do - still life is beginning to be a favourite subject of mine. I enjoy relating the items together, looking for good negative shapes, and watching the paint do it's thing.
Blessings to all... And welcome to Maverick John Coppola, born yesterday in Gilbert, AZ. Proud parents are Christa (my neice) and John Coppola, Proud big sister is Tula Belle 14 months old! All are well and looking very happy!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Burnt Orange Iris (6"x6")

I spotted these gorgeous orange irises in Colorado Springs at the horticultural art club's demonstration garden. I think they're just lovely colors and looked just beautiful with the bluish foliage. You can check out the demonstration gardens here... be sure to visit them the next time you're in Colorado Springs! Enjoy...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

So Glad We Came (6"x6")

... and I'd be glad to go back anytime! The sketch for this little painting is based on a couple of photos I took when I was in Nuevo Vallarta. This couple was standing just in front of us as we watched this astonishing sunset. They seemed to be reveling in each other and the memories of the week - a great week. It was such an awesome sight over the ocean and it lasted a long time. The reflections on the sand were more colorful than I've been able to capture here. Perhaps on a larger surface I'll have enough space to explore that more fully. It's on my list.

Folks talk about Hawaiian sunsets but Nuevo Vallarta served up gorgeous sunsets almost every night - any of which were more beautiful than what I saw during 14 days on the big island, 8 nights on Maui and 3 nights on Oahu. Don't get me wrong - I'd be quite happy to return to the Islands at any time... August is a particularly beautiful time there with the ocean SO warm for snorkeling.
Now, back to beach volleyball... until tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Little Red Tulips (6"x6")

I'm so happy to see that uploading photos works now on BLOGGER. That's' great.
These are little red tulips I mentioned last night. At first I lay down some nice yellow and scarlet lake to blend and mingle together. Then I worked on leaf colors and shapes in behind the flowers - these need to be interesting as well. I chose to use quite a bit of the complementary blue. That Makes the flowers pop. A fun little piece to paint. Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2008

60th POST!!!!

The Little Red Tulips (6"x6") are ready to post but BLOGGER seems to be having upload problems tonight. I'll post them tomorrow. Meanwhile, here's what I've been up to in my art world:
  • Painting - I finished a little painting of tulips which I attempted to keep loose... you be the judge tomorrow.
  • Visited with my sister-in-law Karen and my cousin Claire today at lunch. Then Karen and I headed over to Art Supply Direct where we picked out some brushes, pencils, and other fun art supplies that Karen will need in class this fall. That was fun - it's always a blast spending other people's money!
  • Yesterday I assembled the painting that I am donating to Shell's United Way campaign. This is the first painting that I have taken from zero to 100% complete all by myself (okay, Ron helped with the glass). I hope it auctions for a good sum... Shell has to match it and I love to see them part with their money... ;o)

How about Simon Whitfield and that gutsy come-back in the triathlon! I knew he was a good runner but THAT was incredible. I suppose it would've been a golden moment if the race had ended 20 meters sooner... when he was leading. BUT, hey... I'm not complaining.

Enjoy the Olympics!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hibiscus (6"x6")

The lighting on this photo leaves quite a bit to be desired... I'll re post tomorrow with better lighting. I am painting again and that feels good. I've had a couple days of cutting glass, mats, and assembling. That has it's own joy - it's great to see the finished product - but it doesn't compare to painting.

I love the color and the texture on the hibiscus so it's a fun subject for me. After I painted the petals I began lifting some of the veins... then I remembered to try floating. I took clean water on my rigger and drizzled it on the petals, waited a bit and then rubbed the color off with a tissue. It worked pretty well and gave the veins a lighter, softer texture.

Have a great work week!!!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

About being an Unseen Artist...

Yesterday was the opening for the Unseen Art Show. Tonight I'm sharing a few observations about this experience. Participating in this show has been a real eye opener for me. I learned so much about the business side of art. It's quite a process. Prior to this experience, I've never offered any of my art for sale. In fact (this is embarrassing) I didn't realize that there was a sales component to entering an art exhibit like this one. I realize that is very naive of me but, there it is. When I was told that I needed to provide prices for my pieces I realized I was in for a new experience. Settling on a pricing strategy that I can live with going forward took a bit of research and some advice from knowledgeable friends - you know who you are... thanks!

Further, I learned a great deal about framing art and the costs of doing it at home (Ron's future hobby ;) vs outsourcing it. Among other things, I had a lesson in linen hinging and discovered that many artists simply use acid free double-sided tape to attach their art to the backing board. Who knew?

Another observation, a critical one for me, is that it takes quite a bit of time. Since my "art time" is limited by my health I need to make conscious decisions about how I spend that time. Although I understand the learning curve is steep and I'm past a bit of that now, each art exhibit involves application, framing, delivery, showing up for the opening, picking up art at the end, etc. Many of the activities that I began during preparation for this show will become second nature (stretching watercolors as I complete them, framing immediately, archival photography, etc) and eventually entering a show will as well. The issue is this - promoting my art takes time away from painting my art. I'm going to have to consider if there are other ways to sell art more suitable to my needs - Internet sales, clothesline sales, or other new approaches... maybe I'll dream up something on my own. Any ideas?

Don't get me wrong... I am SO glad I have this opportunity to show my art in public! It's something that I never dreamed I would have the opportunity to do when I began painting 3 years ago. AND... I will do it again. To make future shows easier I will incorporate some habits into my art routine and that will make those opportunities easier to manage.

And lastly... NO HEELS ON CONCRETE! PERIOD.... never going to happen again folks!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cosmos (6"x9")

I came across a feathery, fluffy cloud of green, white and pink cosmos yesterday. They inspired this little painting. The cosmos flower represents beauty, order, and peace depending on which website you visit. Other than the doodling to sketch these up and half and hour to paint them, I've been puttering on cutting mats today. I've done enough to be pretty comfortable on my Fletcher 2000 - a true blessing! Despite the practice I've had I still made a goof today and had to toss out a piece of mat board.

Now... more Olympic coverage - are the Canucks ever going to get a medal? I suppose we shouldn't be surprised on our return on athletic investment - when it comes to tax time nobody wants to pay people to train. It makes it all the sweeter when they do well... cheers!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Creativity Workshop - Speedy Delivery

Ken Lampard, Sheila Schaetzle, Lindsey Stead, and I met here yesterday to execute our Speedy Delivery paintings. So, here are a few pictures of our day and the resulting paintings:
Lindsey planned, sketched, and painted Cherry in 1 hour. Ken, Sheila, and I had our paintings planned before arriving. We took a few minutes to explain our plans to each other (very helpful). Then at 2pm, we began painting and we cut it off at 3. There were a few shadows and minor things to do (which was okay in the rules - lol). We cleaned up, untaped our paintings and took these photos. I think it's an impressive 4 paintings considering the 1 hour painting rule.
Sheila had a lovely, atmospheric evening seaside painting. Ken chose a lake scape, I chose a backyard bench with a croquet game in progress on the lawn . ALL of us painted much faster than we usually do. This resulted in more wet in wet, puddling, etc.
Although we all began very wet we all found it difficult to maintain that through the hour of painting. This is something that would be worthwhile to do again.
It was fun! I'll submit this to Watercolor Magic for inclusion in their feedback about the event.

The four of us with our "1 hour wonders".
Ken and Sheila discussing the minor details at the end.

Lindsey with her Cherry Painting - lovely!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walk in the Woods (11x14)

I suppose I could have called this "going to the light" - lol. I love the long shadows that come at the end of the day and I tried to get them on the trees in this painting. I'm really not crazy about this painting because of the sharp lines on the trees caused by using masking fluid. I'm not a fan of the stuff right now - I suppose that's a good learning. On the plus side, I like the variation in tree separation and the sense of going off through a meadow and then up into higher, sunnier glades of trees.

As I'm describing this here, and as I look at it in this smaller format, I'm seeing some things I may change... stay tuned.

I've just watched the Chinese women win the gold medal in gymnastics - beautifully I might add. Nice to see the home team, the inexperienced underdogs, win. They were just delightful to watch. That said, I'm feeling for the USA ladies who came a bit unglued. I really enjoyed watching Nastia Liukin flip and dance her way on the floor - she was so musical. Nastia was written off by pretty much everyone when she wrecked her ankle in 2006 and had a slow recovery from surgery. She worked very hard for her place on that elite team. I thought she looked great on the floor tonight and "rose above" the circumstances - good for her. She is a first gen American - born in Russia. Her dad, and coach, represented the USSR as a gymnast 20 years ago in Seoul. The world has changed quite a bit since then... Enjoy the Olympics - it's sure to be the best TV you see this summer!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sheep River Falls (6"x6")

Ron and I visited Sheep River Falls on August 2 during the golden hour - what an amazing view. The western sun, still warm amazingly, was catching the tops of the largest trees across the river. It was gloriously beautiful. I hope to revisit this site and do some plein air painting... maybe even yet this summer.
For those of you that are purists, I intentionally left out the little tree that currently grows out over the view - artistic license, etc. I'm sure it was like this at some point... and I like it better without that little scrubber getting in the way of the falls. Another time I might make it all about that little tree, but not today.
Views like this abound in the Canadian Rockies and in Kananaskis Country where this scene is found. I'm living 45 miles from this view and I've just seen it for the first time. Both Ron and I vowed we'd get out more - he with his camera and I with my paints. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tigers Do Best in Full Sun II (6"x6")

I had two purchasers for the lilies painting and so I set up another drawing, same size, same composition, and executed painting one more time. You can check back to July 21 and compare the two if you'd like. I like them both.... I certainly enjoyed painting this again. It's a fun, simple piece and fun to puddle on. My red and pink lilies bloomed last week - finally! I think there will be more lily paintings in my future.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Unseen Art Exhibit - my framed pieces!

Today's been a smattering of everything and a finishing of nothing kind of day. Consequently I have no new painting finished to post. However, I picked up my 3 framed pieces for the Unseen Art Exhibit and I'm sharing them with you tonight. Silly maybe, but I feel like a proud momma seeing my paintings framed.
In addition to my trip to retrieve my paintings, I sketched my next painting and decided on a theme for the painting I will execute (in a nice way I hope) next week when three friends come to paint with me. We are taking on the Watercolor Artist - Speedy Delivery Creativity Workshop Challenge. It should be fun... but for now the subject is a secret.
Have a great evening!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mexican Hibiscus (11"x14") on Yupo paper

While calling my sweetie outside a mall in Mexico, I spotted this gorgeous hibiscus flower. I chose it for my first painting on Yupo "paper" and I've been slip sliding around on it for a couple of days. Possibly I should have done a drawing of some sort before I started but since the paper is a special plastic I figured I would just wipe it off if I didn't like it and I did quite a bit of wiping, trust me. It's the next best thing to oil painting - white paint isn't added, it's subtracted. If you want white, wipe.
This was a fun experience but I believe I'll wait until I've done some reading and/or have some instruction before I tackle another one. I kind of like how this one turned out but it was a dicey thing at times - trust me because I just can't take the time to explain it all.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Still Standing II (6"x6")

It seems that both my dd Kim and sil Stephanie each left a bit of her heart on the West Coast of the West Coast. So, to keep the family peace, I agreed to paint another little scraggly tree as viewed from Pacific Rim National Park. Kim gets to pick which she wants.... She was, as she pointed out, with me when we spotted this tree. The other I will mail to Stephanie in Wausau, Wisconsin (home of the Woodson Art Museum).
Here's my second try at the little twisted pine. This time I toned down the sky by using warm ultramarine blue instead of cool pthalo blue. The tree has just a bit less foliage and I like that. However, my first attempt is, in my opinion, wilder and reflects the mood I was in when I painted it (see July 23rd post). Six of one, half dozen of the other.... Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Little Yellow Petunias

Small, sunny yellow petunias don't seem quite as hardy and strong as their darker counterparts. I based this little painting on a pot in McLellan's garden where the little yellow guys were coming out a bit later, and were a bit smaller than the others. Even the tiny, feathery purple flowers (what are those anyway? are they baby ducks?)... were growing out over the little yellow pets.

Life lesson? The term "bloom where you're planted" applies even if you're a little yellow flower...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Black Pots (8"x8")

Stone staircases like these are the norm for old homes in Manitou Springs. I've got a thing for steps and stairs and the bright light and deep shadows on these fascinated me.
I've been thinking about chiaroscuro, the Italian word denoting the contrast between dark and light. Can anyone think of a word in English that means exactly that? No? Interesting concept isn't it? The Italians have been talking about chiaroscuro for ages. Mainly as it relates to art of course. For you Scrabble hounds, chiaroscuro is in my spell checker as a valid "English" word.
Try to imagine these stairs in flat light - no strong shadows, no strong lights... just straight pink rock. If we were to attempt to ascend that shadowless staircase we would have a hard time figuring out where to put our feet. Our eyes are geared to see light and dark and our brain interprets the information so that we can operate our feet, and climb the stairs to the top. Chiaroscuro is vital information for us.
Now, apply chiaroscuro to life. Would we appreciate or even notice a sunny day if we'd never experienced a rainy one? Would we appreciate a beautiful face without the highlights and shadows? Without contrast, our lives are boring, dull, lifeless. This can be applied in all areas of life - physical, emotional, spiritual. The next time I'm having a dull or dark day, I'm going to be thankful that I've got the ability to recognize one from the other. There's really nothing worse than being stuck in the middle... having a "gray day" or pondering a "gray area" of law/politics, morals. I can be thankful for the dark in the past because it contrasts with the light and helps me see. It makes the path clear. Cheers!
The How-to paragraph - The last putzing hour on this painting involved glazing the stair risers darker and warmer or darker and cooler depending on their location. Then I separated the rock wall that the pots sit on from the wall behind. To do this I lightened the staircase wall by scrubbing it with a sponge, then I cooled and darkened the wall of the house (behind the plants) by glazing it with dulled blue to push it back. A bit of dry brushing over the rocks gave them a rough look, a bit of lifting around the pots sharpened them. Then I added a bit of color for the flowers and it's done.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

On Tuesday this week I had a plan... you may remember my plan. Well, here it is Friday. I'm still working on it and it's probably only half an hour from done. Unfortunately, I am done. Don't you hate that when you're done before your project is done? lol.

I'll post the completed painting tomorrow. Here's what I've done so far:
I painted warms - burnt sienna and a bit of quin red over all of the stairs and the stones on the wall behind. Then, I took some of it off b/c it was too pink. next I glazed the stair risers to give their shadows more value... I used cobalt blue & violet. I loosely painted in the greens and blues for the greenery in the garden. I used yellows and some red to define the taller flowers. Lastly, I prepared a lovely black from Quin Magenta and Pthalo green and quickly painted the black urns.
Left to do: I must separate the wall that is curving behind this staircase - this will be done by painting brick by brick until they are finally look right. Then I just have to sketch in the flowers for the pots. See you back here tomorrow...

Unseen Art Invite

I'd love to see some of my Calgary friends and family on August 15th. Here's a copy of the invite with the details.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sandy McNabb Park (4x6 sketch)

My brother Harvey, his wife Stephanie, and their two children Ole and Larissa are here for a visit from their home in Wisconsin. Today my family gathered to visit with them at Sandy McNabb Park, which is west of Turner Valley in Kananaskis Country. WOW - I've never been there before and it is so beautiful. And quiet... nice and quiet. We had a great visit and I took lots of photos. Ron took lots of photos too. His are really amazing - he has a gift with cameras. We really need to get him an SLR... but I digress.
While there I sketched up a view of the Sheep River and I added the watercolor just now. I hope you like it... I think I would have been able to get the color better had I done it on site... plein air.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Creativity Workshop - Speedy Delivery - Aug 12 at my house

No painting today... Just a bit of housekeeping and a promise of another painting tomorrow! This message is going out to the folks that will be attending a creativity workshop hosted at my house August 12.

Hi all... I'm sending out this reminder to those of you that have committed to come to my place August 12th to execute your Speedy Delivery painting. Here's the latest:
  • There are currently 5 painters coming - Cheryl, Ken, Sheila S, Sheila W, Lindsay. This will be a fun group.
  • Ken Lampard challenges us to use a minimum 1/4 sheet of watercolor paper... Good Idea!
  • Let's keep it simple and loose with smaller brushes. I challenge us to use a minimum of 1" flat and a large (minimin 16) round.

I suggest the following format for the Aug 12 get together:

  • Hour 1 - while we have a coffee/tea, each painter will explain to the others what they have for a composition, review value studies, color scheme, painting plan. I think this will help us all by allowing us to learn from the others and possibly change our plans on the fly if we want to incorporate a new idea. By the end of this discussion, we should have figured out our work areas.
  • Hour 2 - Paint... One of the problems with this method is that sometimes it's hard to leave a piece alone... we want to continue beyond the "done" stage. I recommend we get partner up so that we can give eachother feedback as we go.
  • Hour 3 - discuss how we feel we did, take a group photo with our paintings, and wrap up.

The online instructions gives us most of the information we need to proceed. To give you a better idea of how you need to prepare I have the magazine which has ALL the instructions on how to plan the painting. The following is quoted from the full text of Kathy Collins' challenge in the Watercolor Artist magazine:

"Step One: Choose a composition. The simplest designs, such as a cruciform pattern or layers of color in varying sizes, usually work best for me and help me to connect large, dark shapes.

Step Two: Sketch a value study with a strong white pattern in contrast to the darkest darks (everything else in the painting will be mid-toned). For maximum impact, the value pattern should be simple and apparent to a viewer across the room.

Step Three: Have big brushes at the ready. I prefer flat 1 1/2 or 2 inch synthetics with a sharp edge. A large brush is a key element in single-session painting because it allows you to cover large areas and connect colors and shapes before the paint dries.

Step Four: Decide on either a war or cool color dominance and limit yourself to no more than four or five colors for unity. For example, if you're using a warm palette, you'll want mainly reds and yellows, but you'll need at least on cool color, such as a blue-green, for contrast.

Step Five: With the big decisions made, you're ready to paint. Starting at the top of the paper, brush in midtone colors and progress downward, laying in foliage or abstract shapes for the background. Next transition from mid-darks to the darkest darks, painting negatively around the centre of interest, such as people boats, houses or still life forms. Change colors every inch or so, using thick but fluid paint to enrich the most intense values around the focal point (were the deepest colors meet the white of the paper).

Step Six: It's critical to avoid having too much water on your brush. Keep the colors intermixing by charging in flowing, wet paint next to the still-wet colors already on the paper. The remainder of the work is done in dark to midtones, leaving some pinpoint whites for interest. Soften some edges to smooth the transitions or to achieve the effect of distance.

Step Seven" Finally, if need, push the values around the focal areas to make brilliant whites pop against an almost-black background. The painting is finished in one session."

See you August 12th!