Monday, October 31, 2011

Bougainvillea Mexicana

Here is it.  Can you believe it?  I actually did something I said I was going to do.  This is the watercolor version of the bougainvillea silk painting that I did last week.  Many times I say I'm going to do this painting or that painting and they never get posted.  That's because they never get painted.  I guess I have more ideas of what to paint than the motivation to paint them.  I get easily distracted by new ideas and the old ones just get forgotten.  I should probably write them down for those times that I can't think of anything to paint.

This is a large painting and I really had to work hard to finish it for today.  I fought with the paper the whole time.  It is on Arches 300# rough.  I'm not sure what I was thinking when I chose that paper for a floral.  Maybe because the wall was stucco I thought it would be a good choice.  I drew this and painted the background quite some time ago so I don't really remember my thought process.  Also, though I love the heavier papers, it is really hard to get some of the color mixtures and effects that I want.  I was hoping to paint the shadows with a looser, more watery feeling but didn't think I could get that with the heavier paper.  The edges were drying creepy (I mean creepy crawly, not creepy scary, even though it's Halloween)  instead of blurry like I wanted.   Also, when I floated the colors blends on the paper they looked beautiful but because the paper took so long to dry, the paints blended together too much and lost the effect that they had when they were wet so I was unhappy with that aspect of the painting too.  I had to do a lot more glazes to get the effect I wanted. That seems to happen on the 300# cold press paper too but the Arches 300# hot press seems very different in how it accepts the paint and is one of my favorite papers which is weird because I hate their 140# hot press.  That paper is very hard for me to work on because I like my paints to blend smoothly and that doesn't happen easily on the lighter weight hot press.  Maybe if I didn't wear my glasses while I paint I would relax and not worry about things like that because they would look blended.  : )

Anyway, enough about paper.  I'm sure those of you that aren't artists are yawning by now.  I'm really pretty happy with this painting even though I was cursing at it while I was working on it.  Maybe that helped.  I'm not sure what I'll paint next but it won't be flowers.  As much as I like them, I'm sick of them for now, especially pink flowers!

Bougainvillea Mexicana
Image size 22" x 30"

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wrought Iron Bougainvillea - Silk Painting

Last week I taught my niece how to paint on silk and that made me miss silk painting so I decided to paint one this week.  I have some photos of bougainvillea against an orange building and am working on painting it in watercolor so I thought I would try painting it using silk dyes on silk also.  It has a completely different look than the watercolor painting.

I was planning to put shadows from the bougainvillea on the wall but felt that this design was already too busy and the shadows  probably wouldn't read right in a silk painting.  I am going to make the shadows fairly important in the watercolor painting.  That painting doesn't have the wrought iron so it's busy in a different way.

In this painting, I used salt to give a suggestion of stucco in the wall but the color I used didn't react very much with the salt.  I probably had the color too light.  I also experimented with using colored resists for parts of the details but need to go darker next time.  It's all a learning experience, right?

By the way, my niece is a natural at the silk painting.  Her painting is turning out great and she's already planning her next project.  Silk painting is VERY addictive but it's a pretty healthy addiction.

Wrought Iron Bougainvillea
Image Size 15.5" x 23.25"
Silk dyes on silk
Stretched but unframed

Monday, October 17, 2011


I took the photo for this painting in 2005 in Orvieto, Italy.  It's such a charming town and I love this scene.  In fact, I painted it before in a landscape format twice as large.  For this painting,  I wanted to use the portrait format to emphasize the height of the building in the foreground.  Also, this one is painted more loosely and colorfully.  I never took a picture of the original painting and although it is hanging in our home, I'm too lazy to try to take a picture of it through the glass.  They never seem to come out well without a lot of reflections anyway so you will just have to imagine what it looks like.  : )

Image Size 22" x 15"

Monday, October 10, 2011

Palau Beach

Palau Beach sounds like it should be in the South Pacific and looks like it would be there or in the Caribbean but it is in Sardinia.  That is the location for Virtual Paintout this month.  I didn't know where Sardinia was and in case you don't either, it's in the mediterranean off the coast of Italy (and is part of Italy) just below the island of Corsica (which is part of France).  I was attracted to the cloud formations and the beautiful color of the water.  This is an oil painted on a 3/4" thick gallery wrapped canvas with the sides painted and doesn't need a frame.

Palau Beach
Image Size 8" x 16"

Monday, October 3, 2011

California Vineyard

A friend gave me some velour paper - I'm not sure that's what it's called but that's what it looks like to me.  I know they make mat board with a velour or sueded surface and this seems the same but is a paper.  This piece was a bright yellow and I planned to have bits of it showing through but that didn't happen.  It was hard to get a clean looking sky because of the yellow and I had intended to have a clear, blue sky but the clouds seemed to work better with that yellow base.

This is a picture I took at a vineyard up in Buellton, CA.  In the photo, it was a beautiful, cloudless day but not anymore when a little artistic license is used.  Clouds are so much fun to do, especially in pastels.  This paper had such a velvety surface, it was easy to get the cloud effects I wanted.

I have some more of the paper in bright yellow, bright blue, bright kelly green and beige so you will probably be seeing more pastels done on this surface in the near future.

Thanks for the paper, Beverly!

California Vineyard
Image size 8" x 8"

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