Monday, August 30, 2010

Pink Pink Pink

I love Hollyhocks but haven't planted them in my yard for a while because the leaves always get rust and they don't look very good so I decided to paint them instead.  I used Ampersand Aquabord because it always makes the paintings sparkle.  The paint sits on the surface and the white reflects through the color  very strongly.  I hadn't worked on any aquabord larger than 5" x 5" in the past and this one is 11" x 14" which was a little more challenging.  It's hard (for me) to get smooth washes on larger areas so painting the blue sky was frustrating at first but I finally got it to look the way I wanted. The color is not smooth but I like the texture.  It's also easy to lift color and play with the color values on the aquabord.

I had to let this painting sit for a few weeks because it was looking really "sweet".  I have that problem when I paint pink flowers and blue sky.  The flowers were a very cool pink so I added some warmer pinks and crimsons to take some of the "sweetness" out of it.  I'm happy with it now.

Even though this is a watercolor, I have varnished it with a UV protecting varnish and it can be framed without glass.

Pink Pink Pink
Image Size 11" x 14"

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fun Art Week

This was a fun week for art.  On Monday, Peggy, Donna and Cheryl, three of my watercolor artist friends came over to paint.  The painting below is what I painted.  It is watercolor and gouache on a canvas panel that has been coated with fiber paste, an acrylic medium made by Golden.  I'd never worked on it before and one minute I was enjoying it and the next I was cursing at it.  Most of the colors were liftable but some were not;  I would probably use it again.  I like the texture that it created and it is fun to experiment with different supports.

7" x 5"
Watercolor and Gouache

On Wednesday, I went to see the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach.  If you've never seen it, it's pretty incredible.  It's a theatrical production recreating works of art using real people and once it is shown in the correct lighting, it becomes very 2 dimensional and really does look like a painting.  

Yesterday, some friends and I went to the Irvine Museum, one of my favorite museums.  The Irvine family owns about 2000 paintings and they are shown in the museum in different exhibits.  The exhibits change several times a year and they have traveling exhibitions also.  I believe that most, if not all, of the paintings are done by California artists from the California impressionist period which was from the late 1800's through mid-1900's.  I love impressionism and a lot of these paintings were painted en plein air in the Southern California area so they show the pristine beauty before all of the building took place.  The colors and style are exquisite. 

I finished the week out today by painting with another dear friend.  Margery was my mom's best friend and is the mother of one of my wonderful friends from high school.  Margery and I try to get together to paint every week.  Of course, sometimes we do more talking and eating than actually painting but that may be why it's so much fun.  I have been planning to try doing a 20 minute sketch to submit to the 20 minute challenge for quite a while.  I'm not much of a drawing fan and I tend to be a very slow painter so this was something new for me.  I rose to the challenge and cut some plumeria (again) from Margery's yard and set the timer.  I was going to post it here but can't bring myself to do it because, well.... because it looks like it was done in 20 minutes.  If you would like to see it, please visit the 20 minute challenge blog.

Monday, August 23, 2010


This is the last of three paintings I've done for the virtual paintout challenge for August.  I've really enjoyed Prince Edward Island's beauty.  This scene has a calmness to it and I think I would like to live here surrounded by a river and these tall trees.  This is another palette knife painting.  The canvas was painted red and once it was dry, I started painting with a paintbrush but quickly switched to the palette knife.  Do you think that is a sign that I've become a palette knife addict?  Will I ever be able to use a brush with oils again?   The brushes just don't seem to have the appeal that they once did.

I like the way the red is showing through, especially in the sky.  I think I got carried away with the paint in the foreground and covered more of the red than I had intended.  Anyway, this was another fun painting to do and I do have the URL for this one so I can post it to the virtual paintout blog.

Image Size 8" x 8"
Unframed - gallery wrapped canvas painted on sides, no frame needed
$110.00 including shipping in the U.S.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Prince Edward Island

Here's another painting I did for a virtual paintout submission.  Unfortunately, I didn't save the URL of the location which is a requirement for submission.  Oh well...
This is such a pretty island.  I've done 3 paintings of this month's location.  I'll post the third one for my Monday painting.  I'm pretty proud of myself for having an extra painting this week.  This one is a small sketch done with pastels.  This was done on archival mat board that was coated with pumice gel.

Prince Edward Island
Image Size 5" x 5"

Monday, August 16, 2010

Plumeria Vignette

More plumerias.  You're going to get tired of seeing this flower.  I have 2 more plumeria paintings in progress.  This one was done for the Tustin Garden Club.  The plumeria that I posted last month is going to be the cover art for their yearbook and they needed an art piece for the inside.  Usually I do pastels on a sanded surface but this was done on the back side (less textured) of Canson Mi Tiente paper.  I prefer the sanded surface but it's always good to work on different surfaces.  Plumerias are such happy, sweet smelling flowers and they always remind me of summer so I guess that's why I'm so into painting them right now.

Plumeria Vignettes
Image Size 5.5" x 8.5"            

Monday, August 9, 2010

O Canada - Pastel

This month's location for the virtual paintout is Prince Edward Island in Canada.  When I saw this sky on Google Street view, I wanted to try recreating it with pastels.  I wanted to make the sky the focal point so I didn't do any detail in the foreground.  I didn't do any blending on this.  I tried to give the impression of the clouds' wispiness with texture instead.

O Canada
Image Size 9" x 5"
$100.00 including shipping in the U.S.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rushing Water

I can't seem to stop myself from painting with a palette knife which I find interesting since oil painting doesn't even rate in the top three of my favorite mediums list.  I'm just glad that my cravings for cake have stopped!

This is from another photo taken in Alaska.   As you get closer to the glaciers, the water has this beautiful turquoise color.  It may not be quite this turquoise but I decided to employ that artistic license thingy  just because I can.  What a feeling of power!  Everybody would want to be an artist if they knew how much power we have. : )

I really like working on these small 6" x 6" canvases which is good because I spent most of the week organizing my studio (again).  We took out a refrigerator and I had visions of gaining so much storage space but only about half of what I thought I was going to put there actually fit.  Sigh....  I guess I need to paint faster so I can use up all of those extra (large) canvases and frames that I seem to have collected.  My new motto should be more working and less shopping when it comes to art supplies.

Rushing Water
Image Size 6" x 6"
Unframed, gallery wrapped canvas with sides painted.  It can be displayed on an easel or hung w/o frame

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