Monday, November 28, 2011

Sitka At Dusk

Last year we went on a cruise to Alaska and this is from one of my photos I took as we were leaving Sitka.  I wanted to capture the feeling of cold and the overcast late afternoon light.  I used mostly cool colors with bits of warm colors added in here and there.  I used a deep electric blue suede paper as my surface.  The more I work with the pastels, the more I like them.  The softer pastels are really wonderful on this suede paper.   I wasn't sure about using such a bright color paper but I think it gave an interesting effect.

 One of these days I'm going to really splurge and get some Terry Ludwig pastels.  They make some of the most beautiful, rich darks I've ever seen and they are a very soft pastel.  I was able to try them in a pastel workshop once and I really liked them.  They are a handmade pastel and they offer over 500 colors!

Sitka At Dusk
Image Size 11.5" x 15.5"

Monday, November 21, 2011

Sunny Spain

About 10 years ago, we visited the south of Spain and this was painted from a picture I took of one of the many whitewashed, hillside towns.  What impressed me about each town we visited was how clean and white all of the buildings were.  In fact, we saw buildings being freshened up with white paint in every town we visited.

I started this painting years ago and set it aside.  I finally finished it this week.  I used pastels on a rust colored mat board that I had coated with pumice gel which gave it enough tooth to hold many layers of pastels.  My friend gave me some Sennelier pastels that she decided she wasn't going to use and I really  enjoyed trying them.  They are the softest pastels I've ever used and have a really buttery feeling.  I can't wait to use them again.  Thanks Peggy!!!

Sunny Spain
Image Size 9.5" x 16.5"

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fragrant Plumeria

Last spring, I was fortunate to see the work of Joseph Raffael in person.  There was an exhibit at Soka University and it was truly amazing.  His work is beautiful on his website but can't be appreciated fully until you see it in person.  His paintings are HUGE and very intricate.  I could have stayed at the show for days and not tired of looking and finding new things.

I decided to try to paint like him.   I started this right after seeing the show but it then I ignored it until last week.  Most of his paintings have these incredible borders that look like confetti.  The way he paints them (I think) is to put the confetti colors on first and then paint around them.  He had blooms in the background color of the border that I didn't want so I did my background color first, leaving white areas that I could fill in with color and then I used plastic wrap to get more texture.

My intention for the flowers and background was to NOT care about blooms and be very loose and messy.  Well, I started out that way but it was really stressful for me so other than one bloom in the background (which drove me crazy) and the type of border I did, this is nothing like Joseph's work.  I had good intentions.  Maybe if I'd had a glass of wine first it would have turned out differently.  Also, I think the flowers I picked really didn't lend themselves to the broken, textural color that he does so well.

The border on this was fun.  I've always used borders in my silk paintings but rarely in my watercolors although I'm not sure why that is.  I'll probably use borders in the future but I doubt if I'll do the confetti look again.  That just seems to be too much of a signature of Joseph's.

To check out Joseph Raffael's beautiful paintings, click on his name.  He also has videos on his site that are fun to watch.

Inspired by Joseph Raffael
Image size 22" x 30"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Colimilla - Poured Watercolor

Colimillia is such cute little town.  It is in the lagoon by Barra de Navidad, another charming town in Mexico.  Both are about 40 minutes north of Manzanillo.   They were hit by a hurricane a couple of weeks ago and many of the buildings on the beach in Barra were badly damaged.  Colimilla was protected from the waves by being in the lagoon but I think there might have been some flooding.  We will be visiting there soon and I'm anxious to see how the people in both towns are doing.  The hurricane was only a category 2 luckily.  It was supposed to be a category 3 when it hit land but fortunately it lost some of its power.

I painted this from a couple of pictures I took last spring.  I love the serene feeling of the calm water and the setting sun.  The pangas (small boats), like the one in this painting, go between the several restaurants in Colimilla and the Grand Bay Hotel and Barra de Navidad.  It looks like it's time for a cocktail - and maybe some ceviche and coconut shrimp.  : )

This is the first poured painting that I've tried.  I went to a demo by Linda Baker a couple of weeks ago and this is the technique that she uses.  Of course, she made it look really easy.  I wouldn't say that it was hard but there is definitely a learning curve.  The next one will be much easier.  I really like the look that pouring watercolor gives to a painting.  It has a very graphic quality, which you should know by now is the look that attracts me to a painting.  I can't wait to try it again.

After saying in the last post that I was done painting flowers for awhile, the first thing I started working on the next day was a floral that I'd started last spring.  Sigh.....  At least this post isn't flowers but I'm afraid next week's probably will be but they will NOT be pink!

Image size 11" x 18"
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