Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Birthday Post--More paintings from workshop

My most favorite vacation and gift is a great workshop week with a favorite artist. So even though my bday is today, I received my gift two weeks ago at Spring Maid Beach and the workshop with Skip Lawrence. So today, you get the present of another posting of the continuing  results of my workshop.

Early in the workshop I decided to paint in an abstract manner. Not in imitation of Skip's style, which is totally his own developed over many years of experience but in my own style of painting developed over only a very short career of painting. I love texture and added tissue to the paper with gel medium before I started the painting. Another layer of texture was added with watercolor crayons after the painting was dried . Some of the darker passages were too dark. Skip suggested adding scribbles of color over the top of the too dark color to bring  light into the dark hole behind the tree shape. I found that I really like using the crayons and have them on my wish list at Cheap Joe's. Waiting for a good sale. They are not cheap. ;-)

This is a close up showing the texture in the tree and leaves in front of the tree.


This final painting of the week turned out to be totally different from everything I had done during the previous days. I wanted to try Skip's technique of painting with watercolor paints without adding much water at all. Not much texture. I used a photo from my Ireland trip for inspiration. It turned out to be  one of those tricky paintings that you can look at in two ways like the face and vase drawings. Some people see this as an interior of a room. It never occurred to me to look at it that way. I  painted it seeing  a group of out buildings on a farm in Ireland. I have to blink and change my perception to see it as an interior.

It is watercolor on paper, 14x14. I will mount it on a deep sided canvas to make it appear more substantial. Unfortunately the photo does not do the painting justice. There is a subtly that shows in person and makes the painting more interesting.

Thanks for reading again. Now it is time to get to work down in the studio.
Hugs, for today.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Skip Lawrence Workshop: Evaluation? Great!

The Happy Crowd -- Skip Lawrence's Painting Class, Spring Maid Beach March 2011

Dan and I returned from our trip to Spring Maid Beach and my workshop with Skip Lawrence last Wednesday. What a great week. It was full of painting and learning and lots of laughter. The workshop was not a "how to" but more of  a "why paint" and "then get to painting" workshop. The workshop did not have a regular description printed or posted anywhere and this disturbed some of the participants. We all like predictability and this workshop turned out to be unpredictable.

When asked what we would be doing in the workshop, Skip said "This is a PAINTING WORKSHOP." We will work on finding our own voice. Yikes! I said, I have nothing interesting to say. I am such a mellow person, no drama in me! How can I find something interesting to say? While I am still working on the interesting bit but I did have fun painting the way I wanted to and did not have to learn another artist's technique or tricks of the trade. Read Skip's last blog entry  and you will get a good idea of what he told us through the week. There was lots of good advice from Skip for each of the participants every day and lots of laughter too.

Skip and Margie at the final show on Friday night.

As Skip writes, "Proceed from a place of no fear.  Take every chance, listen to your intuitive voice, prepare for marvelous disasters, and do not evaluate success with the same old rules"

My first painting of the week. Inspired by the sunrise we saw from our balcony. Painted from my place of no fear. What a great way to start a wonderful week.

So I did as Skip suggested and worked through the week in totally new ways. My week was not without trials and errors but I think I had some success by the end of the week. As I walked around the room of 20 some artists working away at their art. I heard much the same thing, "This is hard! Working toward our own vision in our paintings. Skip kept at us -- prodded, and coached and encouraged us in our work. He could see just what our paintings needed. I recommend one of Skip's workshop to anyone.

One of our assignments for the week was to add a piece of nature to our paintings. Some of us really went out and made beautiful collages with natural elements. I added on single seed pod to this painting of a waterfall. It was a bit of nature that might have floated down the water way. Unfortunately it was very fragile. It did not survive the trip home.
 I have more paintings to show you tomorrow. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Purple enough? The vote is out!

Heres the final (until I see something that needs a touch) of my Iris. Again I am looking for a good title. Colors have been deepened. A bit more red mixed in. I had to take the photo on an angle to get the colors right and to avoid glare off the wet paint. 16x20 oil on deep sided canvas.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Purple Iris--following the color wheel around

I am one of those people who need a project or deadline to work to. Other wise I just think about what I want to do and never really get to it.  That is why I have created a  project for myself to paint flowers around the color wheel.
This week I have been working on purple--a really purple iris. I have always wanted to paint one of these  beautiful flowers but have been intimidated by their complex structure. I think I have this one under control. Painted from a summer photo that I enlarged and cropped really tight. I  have tried to have lots of lost and soft edges in the back ground and kept the harder edges in the focal point.

 I used ultramarine purple and blue and quin red for the petals. I found that using cad red I could grey the purple down for the softer passages. Cad red has the orange that is the complement of purple that quin red does not it also makes an interesting black. I am learning or should I say finally absorbing  and applying what I have read about color in my art books though the years.  A great side effect of this little project of mine.

This photo is an earlier work in progress (WIP) photo of the iris. Yesterday I got the colors much deeper and completed the bottom petals with the little fuzzy bits that iris has on the big lower petals.
I will get another photo today so you can see the difference. 

Thought you would like to see what I do to check my paintings while I am working on them. I have mirror on one wall that I use to look at my paintings in reverse. The mirror image really shows  where the painting needs improvement, changes, completion, color changes--anything at all. 
The Iris on my easel and a pretty good selection of my paintings on the walls. The old enamel topped table is my pallet. I taped old posters down to the table top that have been laminated. I can really spread out on the table and make a mess.If it gets too bad, I can strip the laminated paper off the top and tape a clean one down. The plastic can be cleaned up just like a regular palette as long as I keep ahead of the drying paint. I use copal drying medium with my paints, when they dry on the plastic they are there forever.

y way.....................
My mirror with the Iris painting reflected in it.  I do have to say that I love my studio space. I really thank my husband for suggesting that I get this space when I retired.  He was inspired. Thanks Sweetie!

And a photo of my other sweetie--Big Bear soaking up the winter sunshine.
I wish I could say that Bear is my cat but he has really adopted Dan as his Man. He will not sit on my lap like our other cats have. But he will perch on Dan's long thigh and will let Dan hold him in a nice tight hug. He is a man's cat, Big Black Bear

I really ran on today.....Sorry about that.