Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Geisha (work in progress)

Geisha drawing with initial paint wash

Last night in class I taught one of my favorite lessons - we first practice drawing skills using tracing paper (easy to erase), once we have a simple line drawing it is then transfered from the tracing paper to the watercolor paper. I almost always choose a geisha and really enjoy using watercolor washes to create intense color and depth in the background. I will outline the figure using paint and add details when I am ready to paint her kimono. Sometimes I add ink stamps for kimono fabric patterns although this lesson is really just another way to practice working wet and letting the paint drip and do whatever it wants to do.

I would have been working on the geisha painting today, getting it ready for the next class, but I had time to start my next encaustic using the larger 8 x 8 panels I ordered. I will post my newest work later or tomorrow but for now I need to take a break from looking at it so I can figure out what needs to happen next. Stay tuned!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

more fall inspiration

I like the linear pattern here

"Non-pattern" of leaves


Yes, there really are birds in the sanctuary

I love this time of year, the colors and the smells. Autumn continues to inspire me.

My first series of encaustic paintings were done this summer with the photos I took at the local bird sanctuary. I have been unable to focus on new encaustic paintings since the studio residency in August... until now. I went back to the bird sanctuary and took more photos, knowing I will do the next encaustics using the fall palette I saw in nature today. I just ordered 8 x 8 wood panels although I still have a few in the 6 x 6 size in case I want to stick to smaller works. My hope is that this winter I will go back to photograph, and again in spring time. A year of visiting the bird sanctuary will bring a year of seasonal inspiration.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Goodnight, Moon"

This morning I was able to finish my demo painting from the class I teach on Tuesday nights. It has been a difficult few weeks for me and sadly I have to share that my dog had to end his short life on Monday. He had become paralyzed from a ruptured disc. Rather than dwelling on the depth of grief I have been trying to put to rest, I will just share my painting. It is an expression of my emotions with color and simplicity in shapes. I decided to title this painting, "Goodnight, Moon" and it refers to an ending of a day, or a life, and the peacefulness that goes along with that.

Friday, October 16, 2009

new watercolor demo

work in progress - masking tape resist

It has been difficult for me to focus since returning from the show however my dog is home from the hospital, and hopefully going to gain strength. I won't know for another 2 weeks if he will be able to function independently and it is going to be my difficult task to accept whatever happens. I am doing all I can possibly do for him, and now I have to sit and wait. I think anyone who is a pet owner and lover knows that their pet fills a certain space in their life. The unconditional love is unlike any other. Now is one of those times I will turn to my art to find comfort and peace.

I am hoping to finish the class demo I started at Tuesday night's class next week. I will add another wash of color because I feel like I need intense yellow/orange/red in this piece. There is masking tape on the paper which is creating a resist in the shape of the trees, this allows for greater freedom in applying the paint. Once I take the tape off, I will add yet another watercolor wash to fill in where the stark white paper is exposed. I also need a darker shade at the bottom in order to ground the trees. I will want to keep this painting simple with shapes, but I want the color to be intense.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

post-show recap

I was so lucky. I had a great show, lots of sales, and I met some interesting people. I had so much interest in the small framed encaustic art cards and I enjoyed educating the patrons that were interested in hearing about the process. I feel fortunate and I know many of the artists at the show did not even cover their expenses. I wish I could enjoy in the success I had but I came home to bad news about my dog. Although he was improving from a ruptured disc when I left town, something changed yesterday and he is now facing permanent paralysis. I guess it makes things fall into perspective when you are facing life and death of a loved one (or pet as it may be) vs. making profits in the professional world. There is nothing I can do to help my dog, other than wait to see if he responds to the additional treatments. I will know by Thursday what needs to be done with him and my heart is aching.

I was going to write a long, entertaining recap of each day at the show, how the large paintings I sold went to people that were really connected to the works, but instead I will just post photos of my dog, Bruno.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

pre show anxiety...

Encaustics are in the front right corner, behind them are the sumi-e paintings, and my large watercolors line the back wall of my booth. I still have to setup my desk with notecards and prints, something I will do before the show opens this morning.

Sitting here having coffee at my hotel, I am thinking about the final details left for me to do in order for my booth to be complete. I brought fewer display panels this time and have an unusual arrangement - I wanted to make a separate space for the encaustics, sumi-e and watercolors and I am hoping my work still flows even though there are 3 different mediums. I have priced the small encaustic framed cards at $65 each, and everyone keeps telling me it's too low a price! I am excited to finally introduce these to the public and am anxious to see the response I get. It's a rainy morning but it's suppose to clear up mid day. Attendance is the key.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Crazy Week

Tonight is week 3 of the watercolor class I teach and I look forward to sharing with my students the stages I went through and the problems I had to solve in order to make the demo painting feel right to me. I will show them the photographs I took as I applied each new layer of paint and talk about my creative process. I will also start a new painting to demonstrate wash techniques using a masking tape resist. My main objective is to continue to demonstrate how working wet with layers of watercolor washes leads to a fluid, transparent, use of the paint.

Tomorrow I have to load my car with my display panels, lighting, and show inventory that is being stored at my studio. I have a speaking engagement at a local art college on Thursday and will need to finish loading my car later on Thursday with the rest of my show inventory that is at my home. Once the car is packed up I will barely have room to move!

Friday I am off to Northampton, my booth will be setup and ready for the show opening on Saturday morning.

It's going to be non-stop busy for me for the next 7 days. Hoping for good weather and lots of show visitors.
Happy Autumn!

Friday, October 2, 2009

"Autumn Leaves"

Final painting - adding leaf reflections in the water is a play on pattern and color

adding a leaf collage allowed me to bring in fresh autumn color plus an element of 3-d

colors here are not crisp and clean

The past few days I watched my demonstration painting for the class I teach get from decent to worse to awful! I ruined what could have been a subtle, gentle autumn landscape (refer to images in previous post) by trying to create intense fall colors on top of a midsummer color scheme. My initial paint wash was going to be greens, blues, and jewel tones. Because I decided to change the time of year from the summer photo I was using to the colors I am seeing every time I walk outside this week, it was a challenge to say the least. I did not want subtle color, I wanted intense color.

The only way I could get the crisp yellows/oranges/reds was by collage. I feel like this painting became more about color and texture than actual landscape.