Monday, March 31, 2008

Congratulations, Myrna!

I'd like to congratulate Myrna Wacknov (see my sidebar for her blog), who not only had her painting selected for the first time in the 2008 AWS show, but ALSO won a top award! She is so deserving, not only for her talent, which is considerable, but for her ability to share and teach others, and for her good heart (I love it when the good guys win - like Myrna - and Mark Mahaffey and Steve Rogers, who also got in the show and won awards).

I have a busy day ahead but may get more done on the pears - stay tuned later in the day to see if I "got my paint on" today. What are you going to do to commemorate this last day of March?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pale Magnolia Revised + Grisaille Study for Pears

I didn't want to give up on this one - so I darkened the bg and calmed it a bit from that pretty color. I tried to lift some of the cerulean but it wouldn't lift so just blended more and dulled that, too. Also, after Jerry's suggestion to tip it differently, I did, and added another branch coming off the top.

Better? Or still one to throw in the trash?

Also, 2 painting friends (hi, Deb! hi, Ann!) and I are doing pears together as a type of fun project. We are trying out a grisaille style (a grey underpainting) with the pears, trying to get a gray from a mix of burnt sienna + prussian blue (I couldn't get anything but a greenish-grey color from this). This is based on a study done at WetCanvas (which isn't working again today :( a long time ago. This woman got a charcoal grey from the mix of the 2 colors but I guess I need to work harder - or use different colors! haha Here's what I have so far and they don't look good at all...I'm going to keep trying to get the grisaille pale enough underneath the colors and grey enough without any other color before adding colors over the underpainting.

My sweetie, Jerry, won several awards for his photographs at the TriState Photographic Society annual banquet last night!!! He got Overall Photographer of the Year + Photographer of the Year, Nature + Photographer of the Year, Pictorial!!! He rocks! So he brought home several plaques and several ribbons in all colors.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pale Magnolia - Too Heavy-Handed?

I wanted to do the magnolia again using a pale violet background and making the branch more green. I did that - BUT I think I got too heavy-handed with the pigment on the flower!! And now it looks like it needs a darker background to make it work. Shoot! This is one of those that looked much better in my imagination before it came out on paper.

I've gotten a lot of comments on this one on what I did wrong - and boy, I know it's wrong! haha But darkening the bg seems to be the main theme for fixing it. What do you think? Jerry said to rotate it with the branch at the top of the paper and add another branch coming off that piece behind the petal and then see if I can lift some of that blue color (too much cerulean!).

So this is how to take a lovely photo and make an ugly painting! haha

Friday, March 28, 2008

Postcards of Shows to Come

This is a postcard for the upcoming show by Sandy Maudlin and her Wednesday morning students - the show begins Friday, March 28th - today! - with a reception from 6 - 8 pm. These are advanced students so you would really see some interesting and experimental and just plain good artwork from this bunch. The show continues through April 19th so try to stop by and see the work, if you can. Where? Go to the Middletown Arts Center (in Middletown, OH) at 130 N. Verity Parkway.

Good luck to Sandy, Susan, Shirley, Kathy, Joanie, Lorri, Louise, Mary, Mary Jane, Barb, Carol and Jean!!

And I picked up 1,000 postcards yesterday afternoon for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society show. "Colorburst@Evergreen" is the name of our annual spring show and will be up from Sunday, May 3 (artist reception from noon-4 pm) through Sunday, June 15th. If your Mom likes art, it would be a great place to purchase an original watercolor painting for Mother's Day!

And congratulations to Janet Vennemeyer, Joan Ammerman, Deb Ward, Susan Grogan and Tamara Adams for having their paintings chosen to grace the postcards this year! Sharon Cranston of Evergreen Retirement Community (230 West Galbraith Road, Cincinnati), chose the black background for the paintings and I think it looks very elegant.

I don't have anything specific to do today so have plenty of time to spend painting and catching up on everyone's blogs (I'm behind by days on some of them).

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Figure Drawing

In Wednesday's Life Drawing class I worked on just one figure - I took my time and measured and got into the roundness and, as Carin says, "the swing," of the limbs. It must have worked because she looked at my start and walked on the first time, then came around the second time and made 4 small changes: she rounded the belly a bit more, shortened the forearm he leans on and lightened the lighter side of his face that I had gotten a bit too dark. But she said I was doing a good job!!! I was very pleased, of course. I am really learning from her and I am beginning to see well when she comes around and restates lines that I've missed, etc.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mark's Magnolia + Another Shaker Village Painting Started

I finished the magnolia painting yesterday in class, putting in the dark darks behind the flower and softening some petals. What do you think? I like it, but...

I think I'm going to do another with the same colors in the flower and a green branch with a pale violet background. I don't know why I want to do it that way, I just do!

I also started another in the Shaker Village kitchen series - this is number 6 and the requirements were
1) Value and 2) Radial Design and 3) Indanthrone Blue.
This is the first step and I'm not sure where I'm going from here. In class it was suggested that I put golden delicious apples in the white area like wallpaper - that might work.

And, just because I had the time and why not...I put a bit more color on the little landscape (Violet Path) that is on a piece of tyvek that was coated with matte medium. Nothing much, just a little plaything.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bully Bird!!!

Does anyone know how to get rid of a bully bird? We have a mockingbird that is keeping ALL other birds away from the suet and seed feeders on our deck. I have seen him (or her) slam into a mourning dove, coming away with a mouth full of feathers. He (or she) goes after anything that comes near, even sitting in the tree closest to the feeders and watching. This bully bird has even chased off our red-bellied woodpeckers who always visit - and they raise their young nearby.

Any advice would be helpful.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Two little bunny cakes from my sister. Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday Figure Drawing Frenzy

Due to 1 cancellation (the blizzard of '08) and 1 cancellation (the model didn't show), we had a 4 hour session today to make up. I thought I would be the only one there at 9 am on a Saturday morning but I was wrong (and I was 15 minutes late!!! haha).

There were 7 of us drawing Dave. He was a trooper - hardly moved at all, and didn't go to sleep, either :)

We had enough time to do a good sketch (or a bad one), move around and get another position and do another, and move once again for another viewpoint.

The first one was done with charcoal pencils, mostly a #4B medium soft.

The second one was done with graphite pencils, mostly a #3B.

The third was done with pastels, from yellow to orange to brown with some added blue and black.
And then I just worked on trying to get the arm and hand with graphite.

Everyone who lasted the 4 hours (6 of us) said we enjoyed having the longer session.
This will be the last open figure session for me for a while - I will miss a few because of traveling in April and May.

Friday, March 21, 2008


For Christian people , it's Good Friday. For Jewish people, it's Purim. Sunday is Easter Sunday and Monday is Easter Monday (for those in Canada). Happy Holiday...Peace.

Here is the start of a little landscape I started on tyvek.

And a goofy "clown" I made on the uncoated tyvek using black ink swirled over a watercolor background and then pressed together so I got 2 identical sides. I'm not sure what to do with this tyvek or how to use it but I'll keep playing. It soaks through the paper and has so much texture but I want to try it without coating it (if you enlarge the clown you will see all the texture in the tyvek).

I've had a migraine all day today because I slept in this morning until 9:30!! Lazy - and now I'm paying for it :( Did you know that, if you are prone to migraines, you will get a migraine sometimes from nothing but a change in schedule (like getting up much earlier than normal or sleeping in much later than normal)? Did you know that, if you get a migraine and you haven't had much (or any) caffeine before getting it that having a strong cup of coffee and a chocolate will ease it?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Not a Rubber Duckie

Although it rained and rained and rained for 2 days here - and others have had horrid flooding - it's not a rubber duckie. Just a little fuzzy duckling on tyvek. Simple and cute, I think :) Maybe a future Easter or spring card...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper

I didn't go to my life drawing class today. Was not feeling that well at 9 am so skipped it. Then about 10:30 went to do some necessary shopping. Oldest daughter, Jenny, is having a birthday in April and has asked for a new breadmaker since she's worn her old one out. And I wanted a few new tops for spring - I need to stop wearing tee shirts with writing on them all the time! So running in between the raindrops (and there certainly have been plenty of them since yesterday morning with no end in sight today) to and from the car with various errands.

Then after lunch, Jerry and I went to the Taft Museum of Art to see "From Winslow Homer to Edward Hopper: American Watercolor Masterpieces from the Brooklyn Museum." Well worth attending and it's free admission and parking on Wednesday :) I was writing down my favorites with my pen and docent came by and said, "Let me offer you a pencil," giving me a tiny golf pencil that was barely sharpened, adding, "You can't use a pen in the museum." Now all of the works were behind glass so I couldn't have written on any of them. I could have written on the information/title cards beside the paintings - but I could have done that with the pencil, too. I'd never heard of that before! My absolute favorite (if you get a chance to go, you must stand in front of it closely and then move back and see if from a distance and enjoy it for a full 5 minutes) was "Catskill Stream" by Gordon Stevenson. It was a riot of color and it was completely stunning in the skill he had to convey this scene. Perfect! I also liked "Deer and Cactus" by Kai Gotzsche, which was a wonderful composition and the design element in it was amusing and surprising. Great colors in the cactus to show the greens merging, too. Of course, there were works by Homer, Sargent (none of my favorites of his), Hassan, Marin and Hopper. And in another room, in the permanent collection, are some small but lovely JMW Turners you should see.

Since I've been home, I've been reading, Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland, a fictionalized account of Renoir's painting and life in and around Paris in 1880. It's a thick book and I'm wondering if it will hold my attention, but so far, so good...(this is right after the Franco-Prussian War and a dealer of art supplies refuses to sell Renoir Prussian Blue because of it's name).

So no painting or drawing for me today - but still immersed in artwork.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Classwork and Then Some!

I finished the 5th in the series of these Shaker Village kitchen things - whew!!! Do I have 1 more left in me???This one, just to remind you, was: 1) Line and 2) Frame in Frame and 3) Undersea Green

And since that didn't take too long (just some more shaping and working on the shadows), I did some more work on the magnolia.

I still need to do a rich, dark, mixed color background but I didn't feel like getting into that in class so I worked on my little levitating lamb - who no longer levitates.

I think I need to make his eyes a bit darker and call this one done. And, yep, I did all this from 10-2 today (when you're on a roll, go with it!). I also did one more that needs a bit of tweaking before it's done (on tyvek) and will show that one when it's finished.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Some Green for Ye

Whether ye are or whether ye aren't, I'm wishin' you the luck of the Irish today!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Spring Lamb Sketch + Spring Lamb on Tyvek

I had to make myself sit and draw this little lamb. How hard could it be?? Not at all...once I made myself start. So now to the tyvek to draw him on there and start painting.

I feel stuck and down in the dumps. Someone else on their blog called it the EOWS = end of winter slump. Maybe we'll get energized next week or next...whenever the breeze blows a warm breeze and you can open the windows and get some fresh air - and it stops raining.

Anyway, I used the tyvek that a friend sent me (I couldn't get the crease out of it where it was folded and I'd wet it and left it under a gatorboard and heavy books for days so once it's creased, its creased - maybe that could be incorporated into a painting someday). I started on that just playing with color and realized the color really settled into the lines (almost like an inked batik) and I couldn't lift it even though it wasn't staining color. So I will have to think about how to use that paper.
On the tyvek I got from Sandy (which I has coated with matte medium), I drew the lamb and then put a dark shape behind him. I just kept going, trying to shape his wool with colors but not too dark. How many colors can you put into a white lamb? I stopped counting as I was mixing some darks and greys in warms and cools.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Slide Show for Spring

I'm in a slump. Tired. Jerry and I (mostly Jerry but I've helped out as secretary and mental health advisor :) have been working this week on the NACKES Science Fair that took place this morning. So up and dressed in our best with boxes of folders for the judges and other info, we went over to BEP on the campus of NKU. Then I walked and walked and walked through about 300 entries set up in Regents Hall (in heels, no less!) trying to pick just 2 students to give awards for most artistic. Usually there are 1/2 that many students and it's as easy choice. This time, not so easy. But I did it. Now home and out of my dress ups and high heels and into something comfortable but have to go back to pick up Jerry this afternoon - soon. So resting and realizing I don't feel like painting or drawing or anything.

So thought you might like to see some paintings I did that may be somewhat spring-like. It's foggy and misty and damp outside today with a cold chill in the air and about a dozen of the judges who said they would show up, didn't :( Maybe these paintings will get me in the mood, too. Or I'll spend another day on the sofa reading. Well, I keep buying these books at Borders so I have to read them sometime, right?

Like Ces and her Dishes (see sidebar for her blog), I am TARD. Maybe I can have her paint me behind the 2 of herself at the table, obviously tired...(go over and check it out).

One good thing - the drawing session through Manifest Gallery was cancelled today - not sure why since I couldn't go anyway. I hope it wasn't due to someone getting in a wreck due to the thick fog. So...we get 4 hours next Saturday to make up for 2 week's cancelled (a rarity but what can you do with this kind of weather). I hope we have a good model!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Things in the Mail

Yesterday I got 2 good things in the mail while I was in Life Drawing class.

1. My 5 sheets of Twinrocker paper from Cheap Joe's. This was purchased with a gift certificate from the girls, Jenny and Moe - thank you!!!

2. A package of tyvek paper from my friend, Marilyn F. Thanks, Marilyn, for sharing your supply with me!

So - I have 2 new things to work on. What should I paint today? I'm thinking of redoing a little lamb I did year's ago in a workshop on yupo and trying the tyvek for this one. I think I can do a better job of modeling him now. This little guy is from a photo by Rod at WetCanvas.

For the Twinrocker, it'll have to be something special because that stuff is expensive (if I fall in love with it, I'll have to stop going to Starbuck's twice a week :(
And I was going to do some serious Spring cleaning today - darn! haha

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Nude Model with a Stick

Thought that would get your attention - but it's not what you think. Jeff Dunham, the comedian and ventriloquist has a character/puppet called Jose Jalepeno - he is "a jalepeno on a stick" and I don't know why it's funny. So when our model brought in this long walking stick, I thought, he is a nude model with a stick.

I made it to Life Drawing, as you can see, and stood at the easel for 2.5 hours without a problem. Why am I telling you this? Because I didn't make it to watercolor class yesterday. I made it as far as the driveway and then, splat! - my full weight on my left knee and coffee went flying and I just looked around like, well, now what? How was I to know that there was black ice all over the driveway and walkway?
So I picked myself up and limped back into the house and cleaned off the coffee and put ice on my knee. Stayed that way most of the day. No knight-in-shining-armor came to save me or bring me bonbons while I was sitting on the sofa feeling sorry for myself. So I just sat around and read and watched recorded movies all day. Not a horrid day but no artwork done at all so I was determined to go to class today. I even had Jerry park my car on the street to avoid the same thing tomorrow morning.
I can't take full credit for this drawing as Carin said I was doing a good job the first time around but by the second time around she had to restate some lines and round them more. Someday I'll learn this - and be able to see the shapes and how they all connect. But I can't do it yet.

Monday, March 10, 2008

A Surprise in the Mail + Framed Pots Stage 2

We didn't get mail delivery Saturday but look what came to me from the Chicago area.

It's a lovely heart card (actually, I got 2 of them!) from Debbie Egizio of Beat of My Art (her blog is on my sidebar and I love her work). She has a shop in Naperville and I hope to visit her when we drive up to visit relatives there this May. Anyway, I "won" these cards at her blog - first thing I've ever won at one of these giveaways at blogs! It sure put a smile on my face while shut in with the snow. Thanks so much, Debbie!!

I also worked more on the Framed Pots painting. I'll be working more with line now...

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Framed Pots Painting Started

Jerry got out today so the roads must be okay. Sun shining but still a lot of snow out there that isn't going anywhere anytime soon. So much for Springing Forward today (Daylight Savings Time).

I have begun the Framed Pots painting - I'm working under the guidelines of
1) Line and 2) Frame in Frame and 3) Undersea Green
and I'm trying to do this in a drybrush technique so it will be slow going...

Saturday, March 8, 2008

SNOW!!!! The Blizzard of '08

Well, we haven't had this much snow since 1978, I think. I remember that one because it hit on my birthday that year. I'm sure this mess ruined someone's birthday this year.

Mother Nature was having a real tantrum Friday-Saturday and we are digging out from about 12 inches of snow. The road has been plowed but Jerry's car was plowed in so we were in drifts up to our knees digging him out.

Here are some photos of the day - the deck and how piled up it was all around (we shoveled it off so it wouldn't be too much weight) - the planters, the table, the deck, the tons of snow all around - whew! It wasn't just the snow but the blowing snow in drifts that made interesting swoops and swirls all around.

We didn't even get mail delivery Saturday because only emergency vehicles were supposed to be on the roads.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Lorikeet Lovebirds + Framed Pots Started

This painting is for the WatercolorWorkshop yahoo group project for March. We have one project where we all paint from the same photo and the photo is by Crias at WetCanvas. This is my take on it. I think I need to shape the branches a bit more. What do you think?

Here is the photo. We are thinking spring at WatercolorWorkshop but it sure doesn't look like spring outside today! Snowing all day and blowing snow all around - expected total = 8 to 12 inches by Saturday evening!!! YUCK!

Since I'll be snowed in all weekend, I'll be working on the pots again. Drew the other elements for this one = 1) Line and 2) Frame in Frame and 3) Undersea Green (which I may hate because it's a dark almost black green from Daniel Smith that, according to the label, is made from a mix of French Ultramarine Blue + Quinacridone Gold Dark. I sketched it out to start on but was having fun with the colors in the lorikeets so haven't started painting yet.
And I have more painting to do on the magnolia, too. I'm hoping to finish both the Framed Pots and the Magnolia this weekend.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

GCWS Meeting Highlights

I've been working, off and on, all day on the minutes for the Greater Cincinnati Watercolor Society. My neck is tense and I have to be careful not to stay on the computer too long so...just wanted to share the photos of Sandy receiving her plaque and with her cake. We gave her a grand "send-off" as our president for the past 3 years and welcomed our new president in. Sandy will remain a member, of course, and will always be around to encourage and help us out.

(Once I get the minutes done, reviewed for typos and such, and sent to Sandy, she'll put the whole thing on her blog.) Several of the members have been, or are, students of Sandy and many stood and shared their words about her. I know she was surprised and beaming!

If it weren't for Sandy, I wouldn't even be a member of the watercolor society and wouldn't have benefited from all that membership has brought me. She kept asking, "Are you coming to the next meeting? We're meeting Wednesday, are you going to attend?" and finally I just had to give in. Glad I did!

(The cake was delicious!!! Thanks, Bonnie, for getting that done and thanks to Bonnie's daughter who decorated it for us.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In Class - Another Pot in the Series + a Bonus

I had this one drawn out and painted it in class today. I like the freshness of it (in other words, I didn't overwork any of the colors! yay!!!). Number 4 in the series of pots, I'm calling this Pyramidal Pots (I know, not a good title but what can you do - I could just call them Pots No. 1 - 4, I guess?). Thanks, Sandy, for helping me keep the pyramidal shape as a strong design and not getting carried away with the background blocks.

Then I started on this one - a magnolia.
When I went to the TSP show at Sharon Woods Sunday, I was admiring this photograph by Mark Kahles (the current TSP President). It just looked so elegant. And Mark said he'd give it to me to use as a model to paint it - gulp! I told him if it didn't turn out well, I wouldn't show it but so far so good....

Here is Mark's photo. Isn't it gorgeous?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

TriState Photographic Society Show at Sharon Woods

Jerry and I went to the show today - were there from 12:30 - 4:00! A long day for me but he loved it, talking to the people, answering questions, etc. They had a good turnout (it was a warm, almost sunny day), and some sales but mostly cards and small matted things. We'll see what the week brings.

Here are some photos of Jerry's photos in the show (he has a lot of cards, too, but not 1/2 as many as some of the photographers have).

Can you tell he likes nature and critters?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Pyramidal Pots Started + Figure Drawing

I started the 4th painting of the Shaker kitchen stuff. Since it has to have a pyramidal composition, I'm calling it pyramidal pots - pretty clever, eh? Well, what do you want from a tired brain??

Just created a pyramid with the Quin Violet color and then drew the elements on there, arranging them into a pyramid shape. The onions have morphed into green onions with the long sheaths still attached but I don't know what the square thing is - it just showed up there so it may just disappear later.

After today's struggle with the figure drawing (we had a great model but I just couldn't get her figure right), I need a rest. She stood the whole time, leaning on a wooden easel and it was a good pose but I had trouble even though I measured and remeasured and remeasured again. Sometimes you just have to let it go...I think the hardest part was getting the shape of her breasts. She was young and yet her breasts were low on her body and they were not very rounded. Enough excuses - here it is, the only one I got today that looked half-way decent. My Life Drawing teacher said Wednesday that watercolorists are masochists. I disagreed, of course. I think life drawing students are masochists!