Valley Splendor

 

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on Arches 300# rough 15.5 x 20 inches

I usually don’t paint on Sundays but I couldn’t resist that creative call. Those dark areas are not as dark as they appear, there is dimension present but my camera didn’t pick it up. I am thinking that this is finished for now. I might try it again because I lost something in the grasses, perhaps a clear vision?

What is fun is that at some point I noticed that I was holding three brushes in my hand and alternating between them. I have been using up to 6 brushes now in a painting session. Also this painting is the second largest painting to date for me. It didn’t seem to be any different than working smaller, so I think that might be a good sign.

Colors used: Cerulean Blue, Quin. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Indanthrone Blue, Fr. Ultra. Blue, Hematite Genuine

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

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“The Falls”

 

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painting #1 on Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

Painting more detail (for me) with this painting of the falls located about 3 miles down the road from my house. I have visited here often to paint, it is a favorite swimming hole with the nudists. I used my plein air (photo below) as a reference though about half of it was painting by instinct. I might try this again and far looser and work on giving the focal area the credit due. I think that I got too caught into rendering and lost my focal point. I have been lately trying to exhibit more feeling rather than just show a scene.

 

 

 

 

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plein air of the falls on Arches 140# cp 7 x 9 inches

I think that I liked the main focal rock better in my plein air than the first painting at the top. I liked how I handled my tonal values better in the plein air and especially the dark value of the main rock. Perhaps I will give it a another try and go for a deeper value. It is all practice and exercising my artistic muscles.

colors used in painting #1: Lunar Blue, Raw Sienna, Quin. Gold, Fr. Ultra. Blue, Green Gold

colors used in painting #2 (guessing): Fr. Ultra. Blue, sap green, yellow ochre, Burnt Sienna

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

 

 

 

Quarry Trail Brillance

 

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On Lanaquarelle 140# 11 x 14 inches – reference photo provided by Lisa Leonti Nottingham

I started this painting several weeks ago and am now pretty satisfied with the results. I might try painting this again to see if I can tweak it some more. I am looking perhaps for a better depiction (or perfection).

I was given permission by a photographer who lives in Northern California who also hikes. I follow a group of ladies that hikes Northern California. Quarry Trail look here is located between Auburn and Cool, which is rich in gold rush history. My husband and I have taken many motorcycle rides through the area.

This is the second time that I have painted on Lanaquarelle watercolor paper and I am quite happy with it this time around. I wasn’t sure the first time because it felt different from anything that I have used yet, except for perhaps Fabriano. I plan on buying more because now I am in love with it! The texture has a scratchy feel and I like how it reacts to the brush. Paint lifts easily without a “oh no”! reaction.

colors used: Quin. Gold, Quin. Sienna, Quin. Red, Hana Yellow Light, Cobalt Blue, Lunar Blue

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-Abstract out of Angst

 

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On Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

I wasn’t able to marry up the above photo to the actual painting but I tried. There is a raw sienna that isn’t showing up, especially in the bottom of the painting. The yellow is not as intense in reality and more cohesive, bear that in mind.

This painting had an awkward beginning full of turmoil, angst and finally an acceptance with a dash of love. My first plans for this painting was to re-paint a scene of a Sierra alpine lake. I had wetted both sides of my paper and put it on a piece of plexi-glass and proceeded to paint. Well, it was disaster from the beginning. It was mainly to do with my attitude and approach. I sometimes forget that a painting require time and patience to be allowed to develop.

I decided it wasn’t working and I washed it completely off and since there was a ghost image, I turned it over and started to paint on the other side. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing. I know by experience that not having a clear plan is disastrous.

As I brushed on paint trying (in desperation) for trees, I struggled through the entire process. I decided to stop fighting it and go with the flow. Before long I realized that my scene was turning into a semi-abstract of a swamp. What is very interesting is that I have been feeling like painting a swamp for the past week. I did not intend to paint a swamp at all, when I started to see a semblance of one emerging, it dawned on me that this was a desire of mine for several days. Isn’t that amazing?

My process of painting of late is that I paint intuitively and in the zone. If I am not painting in that ‘zone’, I take a break. I want to exhibit feeling and intuitive creativity. The later 50% painting of this piece was in the zone and that is truly what the painting experience is for me.

I have always loved the swamps of the southeast part of the United States and it has been years since I have seen one. The first time I have seen a swamp was in Louisiana when my family took a month long road trip back east. To this day, I have always been intrigued by them. I plan on searching through my photos to see if I can lay myself on a few. Happy Painting!

colors used (Daniel Smith): Indanthrone Blue, Hansa Yellow Light, Raw Sienna, Cobalt Blue, Prussian Blue

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

Busy with Landscapes

 

 

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painting #1 on Arches 140# cp 11 x 14 inches

I decided to paint a scene that is dear to my heart, I had painted it once before, here  Glory Be! I wanted to see what I can do differently but with minimal fuss.

 

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painting #2 on Arches 140# rough 11 x 14 inches

With the painting above I wanted to see how minimal I can go with the background and foreground but not so sure if it worked. I started to fuss with it and that is when I ditched the painting.

 

 

 

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painting #3 on Arches 140# cp 11 x 14 inches
  • To paint a scene like this is new for me, a barn no less! I will have to return to this and try it a few more times. Many problems with it though I wanted to remain loose with it, a “let’s see attitude”, I didn’t have high expectations and that is alright! It looks over worked and a little kitschy. Next time perhaps I will do better.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

 

 

 

Landscapes Galore

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painting #1 on Bockingford tinted paper 11 x 14 inches

I took several photos off the evening sun across the landscape on my way home from town. Here in Northern California we have had so much rain and snow that there has been road failures, landslides and now a comprised dam. I had to take a long way around to make my trip into town and I took advantage of being out and about when the sun was setting.

I haven’t had too much opportunities to paint the landscape in the evening. En plein air it is more difficult in the evening because the time is narrowed by a margin. Taking photos is the best option for right now.

colors used: Quin. Red, Quin. Gold, Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Moonglow

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painting #2 on Saunders 200# 11 x 14 inches

I decided to paint another seascape. I wanted to go for feeling and not necessarily get lost in detailing this.

Colors used: Hematite Genuine, Green Gold, Cobalt Blue and Quin. Gold

 

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painting #3 on Bockingford tinted paper 140# 11 x 14 inches

Since I was having difficulty posting here on WordPress, I slapped dashed out another painting! Imagine that! I am in love with this paper. I have noticed it does dry faster and it is very fun but also you have to be on your toes which I like anyway. I wanted to go dark with this one, compared to the first time I painted this scene, I think that I have gone darker. Here is that post, painting #1  Valley Scenes .

colors used: Quin red, Quin. gold, Moonglow, cobalt Blue, Green Gold, Hematite Genuine, Prussian Blue

Have you all noticed that I haven’t been including my reference photos? Reason being that I take it much further than what the photo shows and plus I am trying to focus more on the paintings themselves. I will include photos when I go plein air painting or when I feel I need to include them.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

Another One to Add to the Valley Series

 

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on Bockingford 140# cp 11 x 14 inches   

After receiving a new shipment of paper, I wanted to try out Bockingford tinted paper, eggshell to be precise. I ordered only one sheet and I thought I would give this paper a try. At first I was taken back by the blueish appearance of the paper but realized that against the warmth of my washes it really seem to contrast quite nicely. I love the paper! I am not sure if my room was too warm but it seems to me that Bockingford dries faster, I will have to keep an eye on that in the future. No problem because I would keep that in mind and react accordingly. I do believe that I will order it in the future, I am convinced that it will work for me.

The colors used in this painting are: Cerulean Blue, Quin. Red, Cobalt Blue (sky and land) then I used primarily Quin. Gold, Moonstone, Hematite Genuine and Indigo. Daniel Smith watercolors, of course.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

Jodi’s Morning Mist

I have to admit I was a bit nervous at first onset of planning this painting. Translating a beautiful and atmospheric photo as this one Jodi’s photo was daunting to say the least. I had the confidence at the start of the idea until I knuckled down to paint. But then again, quite normal right? Too much confidence isn’t good in the long run.

It has been a long while since I have put myself on a task like this and I actually really liked having the pressure (not much, Jodi!). It  pushed me to put on my best courage and my positive attitude that always seems to carry me through. This has not always been the case. In the past I have been very tough on myself. My inner critic had pushed me out of doing art for seven long years, I will never allow that to ever to happen again. My enthusiasm for art is etched out of a long history of self abasement over my art and my worth. Never again! Alright, that was not intended to be a part of this post, but I am leaving it.

There is something about fog and mist that I love and when I saw Jodi’s photo, the conversation about my translating it to a painting prompted me to give it a try.

I wished that I took more photos of my process but when I am ‘knee deep’ in painting, I am too enthralled with it to give any thought to taking photos.

 

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My art desk where I plan and plot my next paintings

 

 

The whole idea was to outline my process but I will have to do that without any extra photos.

 

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On Saunders 300# 11 x 14 inches

 

I actually painted three paintings using the reference photo because I wanted to see if I could get better results but ultimately I feel the first painting was the best version.

I first masked off little grass blades throughout the marshy area. I always allow the mask to dry naturally and never rush it with using a blow dryer.

I thoroughly wet down the sky and the foggy area where you see the little snippet of water. I used the following colors (Daniel Smith) for the sky: Cerulean Blue, Cobalt Blue, Quinacridone red and Hansa Yellow Light. I always try to use transparent, non staining colors as much as possible, especially for the sky. Cerulean is a semi-transparent, though it is a non-staining color. I was able to manipulate the colors and to etch out my sun. Makes it easier when your color are non-staining. Skies for me is always the hardest at this point. I don’t have enough experience yet with them but I do know this, get in and get out. Make your marks quickly and don’t fiddle or fuss with them. I have a difficult time making my colors rich and dark enough, especially for dramatic skies. I need more practice with skies.

Once the sky and foggy area was bone dry, I used Cerulean Blue and Cobalt Blue and a touch of Quin. Red, I started the first layer of trees. I used my sprayer and alternately sprayed and painted the trees. I also used a rigger brush to scrape and scoot the water and color lightly across to soften the edges. I went by instinct on how much water and color to give. I allowed that layer to dry. I think that I did about three layers, getting darker with each layer. Looking back I would have liked to have given the trees more bulk, they look rather twiggy. Always something to work on!

I sprayed at random the marshy area and dropped in the following colors (Daniel Smith):   Quinacridone Gold, Lunar Blue, Burnt tiger’s Eye and Moonstone. I worked out the marshy instinct. I didn’t want to overd0 my detail. I am after feeling and gist rather than photo perfection. On hindsight I probably would have forego the masking. I usually don’t use it but I think my nervousness took over when I decided on using it. If anything, the flicks of white (though I did knock it down with raw sienna) does give it some interest.

The marshy area was the hardest part because either you do too much or not enough. To make an interesting marshy area is hard! Initially this is why I had another two tries of the same scene.

Lastly I painting in a few bushes and then the cattail heads.

I truly loved painting this and yet I am always quite aware of my desire to get better and better. I could pull this painting apart but I think that I know what I need to work on in the future. I do believe that I caught a feeling and essence of the motive of the photo. I have been following an artist by the name of Russell Black who is part of a group of artists such as Frank Webb, Tony Van Hasselt who believes that art should be an expression of self rather than trying to copy or follow a photo. Look these artists up to better understand the concept. Granted, I did take Jodi’s photo and tried to “copy” the design but at least I interpreted it with giving it my own personal flair.

So sorry for the length of this post but I am hoping that if it benefits one person, it is worth it. Thank you for your patience!

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

 

 

 

Semi-abstract Forest and Leaf

 

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painting #1 on Fabriano #300 11 x 14 inches

As I am working on a painting using Jodi’s photo, I decided to see if I could pull something out of a chaotic mess of a forest scene that I started a few weeks ago. I like to work on several paintings while waiting on one to dry, I grab another painting or start one. It seems to work for me because I get my eyes and mind off from the current painting. I almost threw it away but after looking at it, by instinct knew what to do. I am after expression and sometimes that perfectionist in me wants to rule the artist roost, I don’t think so!

The painting above reminds me of some Canadian artists’ work that I admire. I think that what intrigues me about the art that has come out that great country is not only the beauty of nature but how the artist conveys it. Not only the majesty, but an essence that I can’t quite put my finger on. I am a great fan of the Group of Seven, a group of artists that painted the landscape of Canada.

 

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painting #2 on Arches 300# 11 x 14 inches

The above painting was also one that I started on the weekend. I wanted to take a photo that I had shot of a leaf under the water and see what I can do with it. The intention was to semi-abstract the subject. At least it was fun and a good learning process in the meantime. That picky nature of me wants to take the helm and trash it to bits but then I am after feeling and not perfection. So there you go!

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.

 

 

 

 

Busy Busy!

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painting #1 on Arches 300# rough 11 x 14 inches

I couldn’t resist another valley painting. I am planning a special painting for a special person who encouraged me to use one of her gorgeous photos as a reference. She is curious how I will paint it and so am I!  check out Jodi’s photo here: Jodi’s beautiful photo!. I wanted to spend good quality time on this next project so I decided that I better move these paintings along before I tackle that project.

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painting #2 on Winsor Newton 140# 11 x 14 inches

This is taken from a photo that I took while at the Mendocino Coast. I hope to come back to this particular scene and do a “re-do” I am not happy with my fumbled horizon in the center. I loved using Daniel Smiths’ Hematite Genuine for those blackish rocks far below, it mixes so beautifully with other colors and the granulating properties is like none other.

 

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painting #3 on Arches 140# 11 x 14 inches – reference photo was taken by Mary Lee Davey – granted permission to use her photo.

I enjoyed painting this but I am unhappy about the mountain sections, too close in value and I lost that special blue in the far peaks. I plan to give this another try at a later date. I would like to get looser with the trees and work on the drama of the Sierra Buttes.

*A word about photos. The photos on my blog are mine, taken by me and copying them would be stealing from me. If you find a photo that you would like to copy or use, I request that you ask me for permission and I expect you to give me full credit for my own photo. Thank you so very much.