Monday, August 29, 2011

Lost Canyon III

Here's another Lost Canyon abstract.  This has some interesting textures that aren't really showing up in this photo.  I love what watercolor pigments do on wet paper.  You can't get that with any other medium.

Lost Canyon III
Image Size 15" x 22"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Gamblin Oil Paints

We just got back from visiting friends in Portland, Oregon.  When I found out we were going up there, I contacted Gamblin Oil Paints and asked if I could tour their factory and they graciously said yes.  I've always liked their paints and mediums and they have one of the best, most informative websites I've seen so I was really excited to be able to see their facility.

When I got there, I was surprised by how small it is considering that they have an international presence with their product.  Every step of the process is checked and their quality control is wonderful.  I am now a complete Gamblin convert and plan to only buy their oils when I need (want) new colors.

Not only are they really focused on keeping their quality high and consistent, they are also careful about the health of their employees and the environment.  They use an air filtration system to capture the pigment dust while the colors are being mixed, which could be harmful if inhaled.  Once a year, they make Torrit Grey paint using everything collected in the filtration system.  The grey varies from year to year because the colors and amount of dust from each color made each year can vary.  Torrit grey is released around the end of April and is only available while supplies last.  It is given as a gift when another tube of Gamblin oil paint is purchased.

Artists can enter their annual Torrit Grey competition in which they use only Torrit Grey, white and black in their painting.  This year the deadline has been extended until Oct. 1st.  You can visit the Gamblin website to get the details and see examples of past work.   If you can't find Torrit Grey in your area, I just got some at Art Supply Warehouse which is located in Westminster, CA but they sell on-line also.  I don't know how much they have left but I was really surprised that they still had any because it's usually gone from stores pretty quickly.  If you contact them, be sure to mention the Torrit grey because some of their employees (the first on I talked to) don't know about Torrit grey and if they look on the Gamblin color chart they won't see it.  This company is different than the Art Supply Warehouse with the website (one of my favorite places to buy supplies) They ran out of the Torrit Grey a while ago.

I'm hoping to try a painting or two to submit.  It will be a really good exercise in value control.

This is a painting I did awhile ago but I never posted it to the blog.  It's one of my first oil paintings and I painted it in a traditional manner glazing many layers.  The color is much richer in person.  I just love these dramatic, huge flowers.  They have a long blooming season and are really flashy in a garden.

Garden Angels
Image size 24" x 18"
Gallery wrapped canvas painted on sides.  No frame needed

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fairbanks, Alaska - Silk Painting

I found this log cabin while I was traveling virtually in Fairbanks, Alaska.  I used a bit of artistic license with the yard.  I got rid of some of the stuff they had sitting around the yard and then re-landscaped.  I know it's very green but that's one of my favorite colors and there really is a lot of green up there.  I haven't done a silk painting for awhile so I decided to do a graphic painting of this scene.If you want to see the street map view I used, you can see it on Google street maps here.

Fairbanks, Alaska
Image Size 8" x 21"
Silk dyes on silk

Monday, August 8, 2011

Water Violation - Watercolor

Here is a painting that was a struggle from the beginning ( well over a year ago).  I started by pouring a very light color over a dry piece of paper which gave the foreground design which is very similar to my painting "Fish and Flotsam" in how it began.  In this painting, I broke up the poured area into interwoven sections and because this is a handmade paper with lots of texture, I used my most sedimentary paints to show off that texture.  Unfortunately, I put no thought into how those colors would look together and what I ended up with was a cacophony of disharmonious color.  I tried to wash it off in the bathtub and then chose colors that worked better together while still trying to get a lot of texture.  Once I got the colors the way I wanted them I still didn't have any type of focal point and I think you need that even in an abstract so of course I added......Koi!  There's a reason I used to be known as the flower and koi artist.  Anyway, after a year, I'm calling this finished.  I think I actually am happy with how it turned out but I certainly would recommend starting a painting with a little more of an idea of where it is supposed to go.

Water Violation
Image size 22" x 30"

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer Stream - Oil

Virtual paintout's location this month is Fairbanks, Alaska and points north.  There's some beautiful scenery in that state for sure.  My husband and I visited there last summer on a cruise so we didn't make it to Fairbanks but the places we visited were beautiful.  By the end of the week I felt like my eyes couldn't handle any more of that green, lush scenery.  As I was virtually traveling through Alaska this week, this spot caught my attention because of the yellow foliage along with that little stream against the mountains in the background.
This is an oil painting done with a brush.  I was very tempted to use a palette knife in the foreground but wanted to keep a soft feeling throughout the painting.

Summer Stream
Image Size 6" x 6"

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fuchsia Fuchsias - Oil Painting

This is an oil painting that I actually used a brush to paint.  I've used only palette knives for oil paintings for the past year.  I've started out using brushes on a lot of paintings but after a couple of strokes, I've picked up my palette knife and dumped the brushes.  For this one, I felt I needed a little more control so that I could give the flowers a more delicate look.  It was a lot of fun and I think I'll pick up the brushes again soon.

Fuchsia Fuchsias
Image Size 6" x 6"

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