Monday, May 30, 2011

Irvine Park

Last weekend I participated in a plein air class at Irvine Park.  That park is beautiful and has many rural areas as well as a zoo, train rides, and pond.  This tree was at the edge of the pond and has a wonderful sculptural look.  Did I enjoy the day?  Noooo, but I didn't hate it as much as the last time I tried plein air painting even though it was cloudy, cold and windy.  Where's the warm So Cal weather when you need it?  I actually lasted two and a half hours.  That's a long time with my short attention span.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out even though it's a lot of green.

I've always been afraid to paint plein air with watercolor because it's harder to cover mistakes but this wasn't painful at all.  I may go back and re-paint this tree in oils as some point in the future and try to get more color into it.

Irvine Park
Image Size 12" x 16"

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Coastal Route

It's taken almost the whole month for me to get around to painting something to submit to the Virtual Paintout blog.  This month's location is the French Riviera.  I was attracted to the interesting shapes of these cliffs leading into the ocean and the bushes in the foreground.  This is a watercolor and I tried to paint it in a loose manner.

The Coastal Route
Image size 12" x 16"

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lost Canyon II - Oil Painting

I know this will surprise you but I actually did what I said I would do this week.  I always have good intentions but am easily distracted by new ideas and projects.  This is my oil painting version of last weeks' abstract.  Of course, it looks nothing like the first version but I like it for different reasons.  First, it is BIG -  30" x 40"!  I really like working large but this is really big for me since I usually work with watercolor and a full size sheet of watercolor paper is 22" x 30"
This painting has a drippier look where last week's painting had a more subtle, diffused look.  I like both but being a watercolorist, I probably would choose the watercolor because I love that look I can get as the paints mingle before they dry.  This painting has a more graphic look I think, which works with it's larger size.
I painted this with very thinned oil paints which feels more natural to me having worked with water-based mediums for so long.  I really don't like the feel of thick oil paints unless I'm doing a palette knife painting.  It feels like I'm fighting the paint when it's thick.  I'm sure it's just lack of experience with oils but the fluidity of thin paint just feels better to me.
What do you think?  The oil or the watercolor?  Which do you prefer?

Lost Canyon II
Image Size 30" x 40"
Unframed - gallery wrapped canvas painted on sides, no frame needed

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lost Canyon - Watercolor

I felt like doing an abstract this week.  I'm really happy with the colors and textures I achieved with this one.  I think I might try to get a similer look in oils on a large canvas.  To me, abstracts are much more impressive when they are really large.  I think if I work the oils with a lot of turpentine I can get the look of a watercolor.  It will be a fun experiment.

As an update, (July 2011) this painting received an honorable mention in watercolor at the Orange County Fair.

Lost Canyon
Image Size 15" x 22"

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Great News

I forgot to mention that I received 2nd place in the professional division at the "Scenes of Tustin" juried competition at Chemers Gallery.  I found out Saturday night at the reception but forgot to post the results.  It was for this painting.

I think this is my favorite silk painting that I've done so it was really nice to be recognized for it.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Tropical Fragrance - Watercolor

This was such a fun painting.  I love these flowers.  I know I say that about almost every flower but I am a gardener so that's to be expected.  Plumeria are such fragrant beauties.  They remind me of my first trip to Hawaii and bring back wonderful memories.  I painted this on Ampersand's Aquabord which I love.  I also really like this 6" x 6" format.  When they are framed in the drop-in frames, they look stunning and none of the painting is hidden behind the frame.  You can see what I mean below:
Tropical Fragrance
Image Size 6" x 6"
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