Monday, April 17, 2017

THE FIDDLY BITS



This one is now at the stage where I just have to work on the fiddly bits = the feathers need better shaping on the squawker bird and it'll be done.  


Calling this one:  You Never Listen to Me!
It's half sheet (15 x 22 inches) on 140# coldpress


I may not be painting for a while.  The crew arrived an hour early this morning to begin work on tearing down and then building a new wooden deck around the above-ground pool in the back.  It's supposed to take 3 days.  It makes me too nervous to focus on much of anything.  I keep getting up to look out to see what THAT noise was, then look to see where the workers are when I hear nothing at all.  Should I move my car, should I go out to take photos of the progress - and so on and so on.  Just call me Mrs. Monk ("cause it's a jungle out there...").  

Sunday, April 16, 2017

HAPPY EASTER CARDS



Two little cards, made with Strathmore All Media blank cards and envelopes.  Also used some watercolor and "puffy paint" craft paint that makes it 3-D.  Fun.

Did you dye any eggs for an Easter egg hunt?  I can't remember the last time I did that - maybe it's a kid thing?







Have a good weekend.  Hope your egg hunt doesn't get rained out.

And remember:  all that Easter candy goes on sale Monday!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

TWO TERNS - NEXT STEP


It is coming together slowly.  I spend more time looking than painting these days, and that's supposed to be a good thing.  


I wonder if spring will reinvigorate me?  I wonder if I am just suffering from old age?  Heaven forbid!! 



I hope spring (or maybe autumn, if you are in the southern latitudes) brings a welcome change for you.  
  

Thursday, April 13, 2017

SPRING FLOWERS



The next few days are going to be warm and sunny.  So drove out to California Woods Nature Preserve and had a nice walk (uphill, but not too fast).  All along the walkway (some boards down for the walk, some just dirt path), there were spring flowers popping out all over.  Here are just a few (those I can name, anyway!).


All along the path we took (named Trillium Path for a reason), there were these lovely white trilliums popping out - so pretty.  There were also a few purple ones which were just peeking up - not in full bloom yet but probably out in a few days.


A woodpecker was busy creating holes in the tree trunks, sounding like a construction crew loose in the woods!  Did you know that their tongues are super long and actually wrap around their skulls?  I didn't believe it, either, but it's true!


Many songbirds chirping.  And two hawks (couldn't see what type but definitely hawks) flying high and screeching at each other = mating or fighting or just playing?




























Dutchmen's Breeches, those little white funny-looking flowers that do look like puffy breeches hanging from the plant.















I saw these Mayapples but no flowers or buds yet.  Maybe in May?  You have to look under the large leaves to see the flower and/or the fruit.  













And a natural heart in a tree trunk.  No carving or initials on it - which is a surprise.



It is predicted to be warm and sunny until Easter Sunday, when it will rain on the egg hunts, I think.  Maybe it will hold off until later in the day so the kids (and adults) can search for those chocolate-filled eggs and colored eggs and overdose on candy for the day.


I promise to return to painting next week.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

SPRING HAS SPRUNG


I haven't returned to my little art room to finish the terns.  Spring has sprung and I have been able to get out a bit, enjoying the sunshine and warmth.  Some clearing of the front flower and ivy beds done to let the new sprouts come up (need to do the side bed, too).  


And in my back yard, I have more violets than grass - which is fine by me.  So pretty to look out on a carpet of violets! 



 And look up to the redbud blooming.  I wonder if my lilac is going to bloom much this year (we planted it in a sad place and it doesn't get enough sun so...it tries but isn't very robust). 


It seems a shame to sit inside on such pretty days - before we get more rain and thunderstorms.






I hope you are enjoying the weather, wherever you are!













Sunday, April 9, 2017

APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

April is National Poetry Month.  
Pick up a book; read a poem.  
Think about how we use words 
to convey so much that cannot, 
truly, be conveyed.  Watch the sun shine 
through the windows onto the calico cat, 
the chocolate lab.  Breathe.  Today is all we have, 
but it's pretty good enough right now.



Friday, April 7, 2017

TERNS - NEXT STEP


Just the sand done and the shadows.  
Not really a lot to paint on the birds 
so I'll keep it light.




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

ANOTHER START - BEACH BIRDS


After painting plants, I have to return to birds.  My reference for this sketch is a great photo taken of Royal Terns on the beach.  (Because of their black top-knot that looks slicked back, I always call these birds Elvis Birds.)

One of the terns is obviously getting a good talking-to for something, but it doesn't look like the message is getting through.  (Of course, it's actually a puffed up/large juvenile tern wanting his/her mother to FEED ME - like all birds do.  Mom was trying hard to ignore this insistent baby and just kept walking away, with baby following, squawking all the while.  


I drew the sketch out on tracing paper, and will transfer that to watercolor paper, pushing the birds farther apart so the beaks are not touching.




Monday, April 3, 2017

WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PIG?



Just a little painting for the fun of playing with colors.  

So...what color is your pig?

Saturday, April 1, 2017

COPY CAT ANNOYANCE



A few days ago, a blogger buddy, Randall David Tipton, known for his gorgeous landscapes, painted an abstract that was full of yellow light and energy.  And he called it Delayed Pollination because some bees somehow showed up in the painting :)  I wanted to immediately go down to my little art room and pull out the TerraSkin paper and fluid acrylics and yellow pigments.  So I did.  

Unfortunately, his painting is SO MUCH BETTER than mine.
But I had fun with this and will probably go back to it sometime in the future to make it more coherent.  (Abstracts still have to follow some rules of composition and I find there are none followed in my painting here.)

Oh, and the title of the post = Cat Annoyance is what A Man Called Ove called the cat he ended up keeping, which I thought was a perfect name for a scruffy, ratty, insolent cat that takes up residence in your home without your permission!  There were some lines in that book that made me laugh out loud but I've finished it and still don't know whether I liked it, or not.  


Thursday, March 30, 2017

AND YOU THOUGHT THIS WOULD NEVER GET FINISHED!



Well, it's still not completely finished! ๐Ÿ˜Š


I need to go back and make the main pod pop a little more with color because the photo looks better than the real thing so...maybe a light glaze of a warm red but not too much.  And I need to push back the open space/background on the left upper side.  


Then...on to something else.  I have a hankering for some loose, wet-in-wet stuff.  We'll see where that takes me.




(While I was painting this, my left hand went numb.  A sign of carpal tunnel syndrome?  Hope not!  I often wake up and find a hand numb and just think it's because I've slept with it under my head or something.)


Monday, March 27, 2017

PRINTMAKING CARDS WITH HEMP STRING RESIST






Bought a lot of hemp to do this technique I saw on the Gelli Plate blog and newsletter - but I'm sure it will keep for a long time :)








Ink the plate with acrylics (using Golden Open Acrylics).  Lay down the string that's been pulled and made fuzzy by running a scissor over it (like making a ribbon swirl).  Put that in any way on the inked plate and then put on the card (or paper).  Easy!


(On the green card at the bottom, I put the string on before putting on more acrylic paint trying to get a ghost print but it didn't work so took the string off, reinked the gelli plate and got a faint line, not a true resist.)







Using a white gift bag (no design, just white), I pulled a print onto one side of it - folded flat.  I then glued on the edges from some decorative papers I cut down to fit.  

I will definitely do this again = makes a plain gift bag really pretty and one-of-a-kind.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

TROPICAL FRUIT GETTING CLOSE



The next stage is done.
Now I have just the main pod to finish before I dab a little color in that large white area to the left.  Slowly slowly.  (I see that white triangle draws the eye so need to push that back a bit, too.)













In the meantime, I have received my order from Dick Blick = mixed media blank cards and some hemp twine to pull apart for prints.
I'll be getting out my Gelli plate and acrylics soon to play a bit more.  (Playing loosely with other things helps me keep on track on the slowly progressing banana plant without overworking or rushing.  


Thanks for your patience!





Tuesday, March 21, 2017

DON'T WORRY



Come on, you know you remember the song.


Want to sing along?



"Don't worry, be happy..."












Another acrylic print on a Strathmore Printmaking card to use for birthdays or just happy hellos.















Also made up a few Alcohol Ink on TerraSkin prints (but down to fit on the cards, can't put alcohol inks on anything that is absorbent so you should use TerraSkin or Yupo or something similar that's nonporous).


I think I have enough now to go through the Spring and Summer birthdays in the family :)










Getting here started with my looking at YouTube videos of marbeling paper, then went to alcohol inks on Yupo and then wanted to get out my few supplies and play again.  

What can I say, it keeps me busy and off the sofa!






๐ŸŒฑHappy Second Day of Spring๐ŸŒฑ
๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒธ๐ŸŒน๐ŸŒบ๐ŸŒป๐ŸŒผ๐ŸŒฟ๐Ÿ€๐Ÿƒ๐Ÿ„


(We actually had thunderstorms and pea-sized hail yesterday = quite a surprise!)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

BA-NAN-AHHHH



Coming together slowly but surely.

Got the dusky deep red with violet on the tops of the leaves just about right!  (I still have some greens to place around the star and will do that before I paint the main pod = I learned that from Carol Carter who always paints from the background forward, saving the star of the painting/main focus for last.)


Tropical Fruit...yum!

Friday, March 17, 2017

ACRYLIC PRINTS


Have made just a little progress on the banana plant - not enough to share right now.  So made some acrylic prints as cards (using Strathmore Printmaking Cards).  Will probably use these for spring birthdays.  We'll see. 

Time away from the computer is spent watching the Indian Wells tennis matches (go, Roger!!!).  Since we have the Tennis Channel, we get to watch most of the tournaments, not just the Opens.


Also welcoming winter back to our area (brrrrr.....).  Maybe "welcoming" is not the right word as I hate cold weather even if it's not snowing.  



Shouldn't complain - our neighbors in the northeast got pummelled just when spring should be peeking around the corner!



The top print here is printed on TerraSkin paper (the "paper" made out of stone so thicker than Yupo and less slippery but similar in ways).  I will just glue it onto the front of a card later.


This is a fun thing to do when you're stymied or just need a break from something else - get out those acrylics (don't need to invest in a lot but a decent set will do) and Gelli plate and have fun.  I used spider webbing (Halloween decorative stuff you pull out and wrap around your shrubs to look like webs) for make some of the texture and shapes in some of the early prints but then it got too messy.  The Gelli Arts blog and newsletter has an artist using hemp twine that's pulled apart and placed on the plate = probably works better and holds up better.  The spider webbing tended to wrap around the brayer and become hard to pull off.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!







Monday, March 13, 2017

WHAT COLOR IS THAT?



Not back painting on the banana plant yet (not feeling well).  But I am doing some test strips to try to get the colors of red and violet-blue streaks in the main flower part of the plant.  

I seem to have a lot of reds in my art room but don't use many of them - so did some testing.  (I also have a lot of greens - why did I buy so many tubes of paint that are not used?)









  

Do you ever test your colors before putting them into the painting?  Or do you just know what color should go there?  Or does it not matter but use your own color sense (sometimes changing colors up as you want)?





I'll get back to the painting when I'm feeling better.  Not sure what the problem is but having queasy tummy issues for a few days now.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

ANOTHER ONE IN THE WORKS




Sung to the tune of Queen's Another One Bites the Dust! ha ha









Started on all the greens first.


And then...the dusky reds.



This lovely plant was growing next to a pond at the Botanical Garden in Bradenton, FL and we enjoyed our walk around the place.  They are growing plants that have almost become nonexistent in the US - reintroducing them.  Of course, the banana is grown all around the tropical areas of the US.  I love the large flower/pod and little green starts of what will become bananas.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

AIR PLANT IN A SHELL 2


This one is done wet-in-wet without any predrawing.  I made the top really bigger than I wanted so less room to put in the actual air plant tendrils.  


Also on a fourth sheet (11 x 15 inches).


Brought out some more detail and still trying to keep the softness.  I like both versions (the wet into dry and the wet into wet) but prefer soft edges of wet into wet.










Finished.  Still looks like a green jellyfish!  Oh, well...You can't always get what you want...

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

MORE SKY + LANDSCAPE STUDIES


More lessons from the Birgit O'Connor streaming video I purchased called Atmospheric Landscapes.  The only way to get better is more practice - as with everything.

These are all on small bits of 140# coldpress watercolor paper, the largest sheet being a fourth sheet (11 x 15 inches).

Autumn Sky and Field No. 1




Got a blossom/runback in this one in the sky = went in with clean water to make the clouds and it was already beginning to dry.


Autumn Sky and Field No. 2








This one is on a fourth sheet of Arches 300# coldpress (because that's what she used and I figured it may need some reworking which may be why she used the 300# instead of the 140#).  

Storm Sky Up

This is what the sky looked like after the storms and tornados ripped through the area last Wednesday morning.  I was awakened at 7 am by the sirens and announcements going off at the local university that said we were under a tornado watch.  I planned to go to the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society meeting to see Deb Ward's program, but didn't make it - what a crazy day and many lost homes, roofs, trees, etc.  Semis turned over on the interstates and flooding where the rain poured in.  So March really came in like a lion!




This one is finished because the foreground field looked too dull.  Splattered a bit of red and green on it to give it a bit more.


Just got an email saying Birgit O'Connor is going to repeat the free webinar on March 9 - go to her site, check online courses and see it, sign up and enjoy!  It's not like the video streaming course I paid for but it's got a lot of good info and techniques to share - keep learning!


Sunday, March 5, 2017

OCTOPUS WITH TOY 2



More done on this one.  Just a bit more shaping the octopus' legs and he'll be done.  What a fun painting to do!


Let Go o'My Lego!


On fourth sheet (11 x 15 inches)
Fabriano Artistico 140# cold press 
watercolor paper





Friday, March 3, 2017

FROM BIRGIT O'CONNOR


Playing with clouds and lots of wet-in-wet techniques of merging the colors.
Small eighth sheet slices of 140# coldpress watercolor paper (6.5 x 15 inches)



Here are just a few I did (from the course, Atmospheric Landscapes).  I paid for the course months ago and just got around to doing some of the lessons).  You, if you signed up for the free webinar, got some of this FREE in her free webinar yesterday about using photos for painting references.  She talked a lot about how she goes about eliminating and changing so-so photos.  

These are some early studies I did while following the streaming video I purchased, working to learn how the paints flow and merge wet-in-wet (the paper is really saturated and she goes right in immediately after putting in the clean water and tilts the paper to get movement).





Not too happy with this one, but I think it just needs some splattered colors in the foreground to look like flowers - maybe some red poppies?  


If you didn't get a chance to see the free webinar, you can still see it in the next 2 days for free by following this link.  It's well worth an hour's time to watch and learn a little bit.  Of course, practice practice practice is what it's all about.

Now...back to that octopus and Lego toy...

(Finally figured out how to add that Blog Medal/Award so put it on the sidebar.)  I was asked to post a link to the site and I thought I already did that in the previous post about it (see a few posts down), but I'll do it again here.  If you want to visit the blog listed, don't click on the bold type at the top but go to the title of the blog in lighter type to the right and click on that - it will take you right to the blog in question.  I found a few interesting ones and old favorites, too :)




Thursday, March 2, 2017

WET INTO WET: OCTOPUS WITH TOY



Started this one by prewetting inside the lines (did a bit of drawing on the watercolor paper before starting).  Then adding more color to the octopus using Daniel Smith Shadow Violet (a perfect color for an octopus!).  He has a toy = a yellow Lego piece.

So I am calling this one

Let Go 'o My Lego!


Will finish it up (the Lego is bright yellow in the photo reference) and show it again when it's done.


In the meantime, Birgit O'Connor is having a free webinar TODAY sharing her atmospheric landscapes painting and techniques.  If you're interested, just go here to get the link and sign up (check on Online Classes and it should come up as a drop-down menu choice).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

AIR PLANT IN A SHELL



Saw this at an art fair and liked the shape of it so much, I took a photo.  I painted it first wet into dry.  It turned out more green than the actual shell and tends to look more like a green jellyfish, but I still like it okay.


Fourth sheet (11 x 15 inches)


I've begun another wet-in-wet without pre-drawing and will share it next.  



Tuesday, February 28, 2017

HERON FLIGHT FINISHED



Darkened the legs and the lower neck, shaped the bill a bit more.


Time to move on to the next project/play.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

HERON FLIGHT NEXT


Almost done but the legs are a bit too yellow and need toned down = more ruddy brown color needed there.  Maybe a bit more on the beak...but other than that, I think I've done all I can do on the feathers without making them too realistic and fussy.


What do you think?


Heron Flight

on half sheet (15 x 22 inches) 
Arches 140# cold press watercolor paper