Old and New Paintings

 

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Painting #1 on Saunders #200 quarter sheet

I painted this one about a month ago and was undecided if I liked it or not. I do! I have been reading about the watercolor techniques of Edgar Whitney and I have been actively working on painting minimally. Whitney says that we are artists have a story to tell, don’t religiously copy a reference photo, take the artistic plunge and be creative!

 

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painting #2 on Arches 140# quarter sheet

This is the same scene but painted even more simplistic, especially those trees on the left embankment. I wasn’t too concerned about making them “real”, almost a calligraphic approach.

 

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painting #3 on Arches 300# quarter sheet

I painted this one yesterday and was striving for drama, so I worked the values to the hilt. I am not too sure if I like that rock shape in front but then at least it isn’t boring! Early part of the week I had gone out to plein air paint on the South Yuba river and I based this painting on one of my photos of that trip.

colors used: Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Aureolin, Prussian Blue, Quin. Gold, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue

 

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painting #4 on Saunders 200# quarter sheet

This one I painted today. This is a scene on the river that is my ultimate favorite. If I could, I would paint this at least 20 times, there is something about it that reminds me of our trip to Canada when I was a child.

Colors used: Cobalt Blue, Cerulean Blue, Quin. Gold, Aureolin, Prussian Blue, Mayan Blue, Moonglow

Learning Points:

  • Standing up for me while painting is something that I have been doing for months. It gives me a better perspective and I am able to step away, tilt my head which for some reason really helps me to see what I need to do.
  • Taking the time to do a value and design sketch is so important. I am a very impatient person but this is one thing I plan on doing from now on. Again, something that I read that Edgar Whitney felt was important in the endeavor of picture making.
  • Let loose and see what happens, I take to this approach like a duck to water but I realize that it can be difficult for some people.
  • I lie! when I first started painting in watercolor, I was timid and it hasn’t been until last year that I started to become very bold with the medium.
  • Don’t be afraid of the dark, adjust those values if needed.
  • I use large brushes in most of all my painting, it helps to be bold and not to treat your painting as precious.
  • Paint what you love and know. Why would I paint Venice? I haven’t been there and I am not interested in painting scenes that don’t mean anything to me.
  • I am not going to paint scenes that accomplished watercolorists paint just because they do it or because it is a popular scene. I have my own story to tell by golly!

*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.

 

 

 

 

Painting Pretty

 

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painting #1 on Bockingford eggshell 140# quarter sheet

I truly adore this colored paper. It is called eggshell though it is light blue compared to normal watercolor paper. I reserve it for paintings that are either warm such as a sunset or in this case, I chose it because the rocks in this particular painting were in shadow and I wanted to see how it would work.

I struggled with keeping those rocks on the right side in obscurity. After applying several washes of cobalt blue and adjusting the values, I hope I nailed it. I had to resist the strong urge to work on the various values within the rocks. I based this upon one of my photos but I had to take artistic license and make the center rocks the focus.

colors used: Daniel Smith Quin. Gold, Cobalt Blue, Hansa Yellow Med., Prussian Blue, Green Gold

 

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painting #2 on Arches 140# quarter sheet

I wanted to dash out a quick painting of a hike from an area that I love to explore and paint. Right now it is under about 6 foot of snow and they are currently trying to plow the road going up to that area. This is a post from that little plein air trip last year: Bear Lakes Loop- World Watercolor Month #2  I wanted to practice not getting bogged down in detail and working on contrasts.

colors used: Quin. Gold, Aureolin, Moonstone, Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith)

 

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Painting #3 on Bockingford eggshell 140# quarter sheet -reference photo provided by Mary Lee Davey (Thank you!!)

Bockingford rocks! I think that those trees look like people hoping to catch a cosmic ride to somewhere, don’t you think? I wanted to explore shapes, value contrasts and a wild sunset sky. You just have to go wild sometimes, let out that crazy, dare to be different artist that awaits in each of us.

Colors used: Quin. Red, Quin. Gold, Ultramarine Blue, Cerulean Blue, Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith)

I haven’t been doing a learning points list and I think that I will start doing that again.

Learning Points:

  • Keep going wild! what is there to lose? Nada!
  • Don’t treat watercolor like a delicate princess, get loose with that paint, paper and brush, you might be surprised with what you’ll discover.
  • Push the values, go dark and play with contrasts, again, nothing to lose.
  • Turn over and start another painting, there are two sides to a piece of paper.

*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.

 

 

 

 

River Study and Sierra Buttes

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Interesting that WP continues to mess with me. Sorry I am not able to size my photos correctly. All I see is the code for the photo and I have to trust they get uploaded once I post this.

This painting was more of a study of values and shapes. I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on detail or rendering. I think that it gives an abstract feel to the painting.

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I whacked this one out in a day and didn’t want to spend too much time on it. I rendered it more than I probably liked but I have found that it exercises my patience and observance of a subject. I think that I will take back a value on that section of the mountain on the right, the shadow is too dark.

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This is a painting that I have been working on for over a month little by little and I haven’t taken the time to post the finished (I think) painting. I come back to this subject often because it is such a beautiful area of my world. I chose not to bring the trees to a more detailed finish because the Sierra Buttes is the subject of interest. They are simply applauding.

Hey, I did it! I wrote this whole thing within 10 minutes! I can’t do squat with my photos but at least I was able to type without WP freezing up.

River Intrigue

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Not sure about what is going on with WP but I have tried all day to upload this post. Of course I had difficulty composing it because of all the glitches, once again I am driven to the point of no return with this blog!

This is a studio piece using some reference photos from a recent plein air painting trip to an old haunt of mine. I tried to include a few posts of this same location but I am not able to link up to them. Sigh!!

I started the painting below of this simi waterfall as a plein air and I finished it up in the studio. I was freezing by the time I had several studies started. I have never attempted to paint this before because I am always passing it by to go paint at the river. P1190398.JPG

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The painting above is a little plein air, nothing special but while I painted it, I had a wonderful sense of knowing how to paint it. Once I got it home it seemed a bit lack luster. I hiked a total of about 5 miles to one of my favorite areas along the river. I have to get a different set-up because my back and neck was in pain which continued into Mother’s Day, believe me, no fun.

This painting was a quick fun painting, loose and fancy free using one of my photos taken while hiking out to the river.
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I couldn’t re-size these paintings or caption them because that option was no where in sight. Finally getting this up!

Mystical Waterfalls

 

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on Lanaquarelle watercolor paper 140# 15 x 21 inches (half sheet)    

Finally finished with my latest waterfall which is by far my favorite. I wanted to use my imagination, so I listened to music and imagined away. Sometimes my inner creative shows up Oriental which is fine with me because I admire their view point. With this one I used my intuition and painted only the bare essentials to give you the gist of a roaring waterfall. I took quite a few breaks and didn’t rush it. If I didn’t feel it, I didn’t paint.

I painted wet on wet in some areas and dry on others, I wanted a little of a change-up within the painting which I feel gives it more creative pull and push, ying and yang, I believe the term is. I love this paper because it has a scratchy surface and dry brush is so addicting because of this feature. It is fast becoming one of my favorite papers.

This is one painting that I plan on framing, that is how much I love it.

Daniel Smith colors used: Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, Indigo, Quin. Gold, Prussian Blue, Hansa Yellow Medium

*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.

 

Abstraction is Heaven

 

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on Fabriano 300# quarter sheet

This painting started out as a plein air on my patio hoping to capture my azaleas in full bloom. I was tittering away (bored out of my mind!) with a simple drawing and then laying in some color. I was uninspired to say the least. Then it hit me why am I trying to depict these flowers in a realistic way when I prefer not to? I was bored out of my mind trying to get the look of realism in these flowers. If you are wondering if I am making excuses, I can have done it: Daring Watercolor #7 way too fussy for me. As I painted that iris, I never felt the creative zing that I love to paint with.

I decided that saturated wet on wet was my technique of choice for this painting. I discovered something magical in this session. I think it would be easier to outline what I did.

  • I wet both sides of paper using a plexi-glass as my surface, it sticks like glue. My surface stays workable up to 2 1/2, this session was an hour long.
  • I always use fresh paint from the tube, your colors are more vivid.
  • I constantly turned my board around and I brushed on color only where I knew it belonged, intuitive painting through the entire process.
  • I kept turning and turning the board seeing it as a puzzle rather than what I “should” do.
  • I applied colors only when I knew what belonged at that particular area. I actually “see” the color, sometimes I feel the color should go there, all intuitive.
  • I didn’t paint this with a particular orientation in mind.
  • After the painting was finished, I turned the painting around and around until the correct orientation revealed itself.

I truly liked this process because it was as though I tricked my mind in reacting and accessing the creative in me rather than relying on my left brain for design decisions. I have an inner design and color scheme that often befuddles me. It will often turn negative and I fight against the inner critic that says something isn’t balanced. Then I do the hard work of trying to balance a painting or make it better. Sometimes it takes relying on the creative intuition for the solution, it was easy for me to tap into that with this technique.

*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.

 

Moonlight #3 & Co.

 

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painting #1 on Canson Heritage quarter sheet

The idea for this painting came to me the other night and I knew exactly how to paint it from start to finish, of course I knew how to paint it intuitively, that is! Here are my other two Moonlight paintings: Moonlight Abstract #1 and Moonlight Abstract #2 and Falls

I originally envisioned my being able to “twirl” my board and do some crazy paint flinging but I had to improvise and tilt my board to make it go like wild. I added water here and there to get the paint to move and I used my sprayer to make some texture. I re-emphasized the red dots and dashes for a little boost.

My husband wondered if that area to the left with the curved band needs something. I told him that it gives a resting area for the eye but the more I look at it, I wonder if it could use a thin dark blue band. What do you all think?

technique: saturated wet on wet, Daniel Smith colors used: Quin. Red, Hansa Yellow Md, Ultramarine Blue, Indanthrone Blue, Indigo and Moonglow.

 

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painting #2 on Canson Heritage

I love the softness to this one and yet it needs some “zing” and at the same time, I love it the way it is. I might let this sit for a spell and maybe I’ll add more to it or call it finished.

Technique: saturated wet on wet. Daniel Smith colors used: Quin. Red, Hansa Yellow Med., Cobalt Blue, Moonglow

*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.

 

 

 

 

Sunday Painting

 

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painting #1 Canson Heritage 140# quarter sheet

I normally don’t paint on Sundays but I felt the creative call, so here we are. I painted a large piece of a waterfall with an abstract quality but I will post that when I am finished with it. On this painting above I painted saturated wet on wet and I had no idea what I was aiming for, I ended up with a remembered intuitive of a landscape. My camera wasn’t able to pick up the rich blues in my painting and so you see more purple than blue but I got pretty close.

Painting saturated wet on wet is one of my all time favorite ways to paint a watercolor. It allows you a lengthy time to “sculpt” your painting, it brings out the intuitive in me.

 

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painting #2 wip on Canson Heritage 140# quarter sheet

I started this painting several days ago and I am undecided if it is finished or not, there is no rushing creativity. I started out in the saturated wet on wet method and the next day I gave more dimension to the shapes. I am after the essence and not superfluous detail. Perhaps I will stop explaining this as I think if you have been following me long enough, you would know that by now.

*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.

 

 

 

 

Bullards and Crystal Hermitage at Ananda

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painting #1 on Arches 140# quarter sheet

I was trying for a landscape with minimal detail, just enough to give the viewer the essence of the scene. At first I wasn’t too happy with it but the more I look at it, I believe that I reached my goal. I am trying for that happy medium where I don’t needle my paintings to death with superfluous detail.

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Tulips at the Crystal Hermitage at Ananda Village

I wanted to plein air paint at this beautiful local gardens before the tulip season is finished. This is last year’s post about this beautiful place  Glorius Tulips at Crystal Hermitage . I am planning to visit here throughout the year because they do have the gardens open for visitors year round.

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Aren’t these beautiful? I love it at Ananda. When I lived with my Mom and Sister back in the 1980’s I often would hike up the road and visit Ananda Village. I still love the area and the people.

 

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painting #2 My first painting at Ananda

I was fretting a bit about painting flowers, because I generally don’t practice with them enough. I decided to keep it loose and fancy free. I might bring in some more darks to bring out the centers but basically I want to keep it loose.

 

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painting #3

I almost abandoned this painting because I have the tendency to freak out when I can’t see where I am going with a painting. But, I pressed in and was determined to get something out of the experience. Happy to say, I ended up liking it rather than hating it. I am unsure if it is finished or not. Plein air is suppose to be not detailed to death and I want to keep the freshness and resist the need to noodle it to endless detail.

 

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Peaceful Beauty

If you ever get up to the Nevada City/North San Juan area, take the time to go see the gardens at Ananda, especially during the tulip blooming season which is typically March-April or early May.

 

*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.

 

 

 

 

Moonlight Abstract #2 and Falls

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Moonlight #2 on Canson Heritage 140# 11 x 14 inches
I didn’t have much of an idea in mind when I started this second painting in the series. Here is the first in the series: Moonlight Abstract #1 I started out with the orientation of the moon more to the right and by the time I was finished, I liked the painting switched around. I painted this wet on wet and painted only what I felt moved make a mark. I always stand while I paint and I step away often and tilt my head, it helps with perspective.
I painted only when I was in the groove and as soon as my creative vision waned, I stopped immediately. I take a break up to 20 minutes and come back to paint only if I had that creative zone happening. Again, as soon as I sensed that it waned, I stepped away. I also don’t judge the painting when I am not in a session.
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Falls on Canson Heritage 140# 11 x 14 inches
I had started this during the weekend and finally finished it up today. I painted this saturated wet on wet which is fast becoming one of my favorite ways of painting. This paper is also one of my all time favorite paper for this technique. I painted this one intuitively and didn’t adhere to realism which is becoming more and more of my preferred way to paint.