Monday, April 30, 2012

Silk Clivia II - Silk Painting

This is the silk painting that I was using as a demo piece on Saturday.  I finished painting it today but it hasn't been steamed or stretched yet which is why it looks wrinkled.  Also, the white lines will be brighter once the resist is washed out.  At least I finished painting it.  : )  

This is a design I have painted before but the first one didn't have a border.  I'll post the first painting at the end of this post.  This one also has lighter flowers.

These flowers are Clivias, also known as Kaffir lilies.  Typically they are orange but a few years ago I saw some pale yellow ones that I had to have.  They are a lot harder to find than the orange ones. The yellow is such a soft yellow for the garden.  Usually yellow flowers are pretty bright.

I was so happy when I finished painting this without having any bloopers.  I was really nervous painting the black.  It's really easy to flick the dye while lifting the brush and have it go in the worst places.  That would have ruined the whole painting if black had gotten on the flowers or leaves.  Originally, I painted the border a flat green.  The flowers are so delicate that I didn't want a busy border to clash with that.  After painting the border, it looked really blah to me so I held my breath as I added a different color.  

When a color is added over an already painted area, the underneath color is activated enough to cause hard lines very quickly so it's impossible to get a smooth color wash.  The effect is actually pretty cool but it would be hard to control the effect on a border because I have to start in one spot and switch off painting in both directions so that the dye doesn't dry and create an even harder edge.  I added salt as I painted to create a more overall texture.  I'm actually very happy with it.  The salt drew the color that I added (brown) but didn't lift the original color (green) so the color mix is really pretty.

Below is this painting with the green border before I added the brown and salt.

And here is the original silk clivia painting I did a couple of years ago.  After I steamed it and washed it, I noticed a white area (you can see it in this photo in the lower left corner area) in the black background so I repainted it and re-steamed it.  I learned a lesson.  The black and oranges bled in a couple of areas so even though most people think it looks fine, I could never sell it so I've always intended to re-paint is because I really like the design.  This photo was taken before I re-steamed it so you can't see the color bleed. 
Which of the three versions do you like best?

Silk Clivias II
Image Size 22" x 22"
Silk dyes on silk

Friday, April 27, 2012

Scenes of Tustin

Well, both of my paintings are in the Scenes of Tustin show at Chemers Gallery.  The opening is tomorrow night, April 28th from 5:30 - 8:00.  I didn't get an award for either of them but it's always fun to try, right?

Also, tomorrow from 12:00 - 2:00 I'll be doing silk painting in front of the gallery and other artists will also be painting.  Enderle Center, where the gallery is located, is having their Spring Fling.  I'm not sure exactly what will be happening but I've heard there is a DJ and food.  Sounds good to me.

If you're around the area with nothing to do, you should stop by.  The address for Chemers Gallery is
17300 17th Street, Suite G, Tustin, CA 92780

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lone Fuchsia

I wasn't in the mood to paint today but needed to get something done to post so that I didn't miss my self-imposed deadline to post a painting each Monday.  I was out of town until yesterday so I had to do a last minute painting today.

Usually I can dig up some motivation but today a combination of it being a drizzly day and having no ideas of what to paint made painting a frustration. I started looking through my old, tired reference photos and found this lone fuchsia.

I also tried a different paper for this one.  A friend gave me a sample pack of Kilimanjaro paper and I chose one of the 300# pieces.  I've used Arches 300# before and generally like it but all of the heavy papers tend to suck up the paint and the colors that look so nice and rich when wet fade dramatically when they dry.  I lost all of my lights too but that had more to do with not paying attention than a problem with the paper so I played with a pen that has opaque white ink that I just got to add some playful white accents.  I'm not sure whether or not I like this paper but I will give it another try when I'm in a better mood.

Lone Fuchsia
Image size 4" x 6"

Monday, April 16, 2012

McCharles House

Here is my second painting that I'm entering in the "Scenes of Tustin" juried show.  I'll find out next week if they got into the show.  The McCharles House is one of many beautiful Victorian style houses in Old Town Tustin.  It is a tea house (I don't think that's what it's called but can't think of a better term right now) and they also have small weddings there and special events I think.  Anyway, it's a charming place and the food is good too!

This started out as a poured watercolor.  Usually I would use mainly just red, yellow and blue and let them mix on the paper to create the other colors.  For this painting though, since the house is green (a much brighter pea green than I've painted it) I also used a green paint.  It is definitely a green painting, isn't it?  Of course, I love green paintings - they are my favorites.  I think it doesn't have the look of a traditional poured painting because there is so much green in it but really, if the house is green and the foliage is green the painting is going to be green, right?  I'm happy with the soft, antique effect the muted greens gave to this painting.

Mc Charles House
Image Size 15" x 22"

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Vintage Lady - Silk Painting

This is going to be one of my submissions for the annual Tustin Art League's "Scenes of Tustin" juried show.  If  it gets juried into the show it will hang in Chemers Gallery in Tustin for a couple of weeks.

This is a quaint building that I've always loved in Old Town Tustin.  Unfortunately, it was damaged by a fire last December.  From the outside it looks like it might be able to be saved but I don't know if it is structurally sound.  Anyway, I had taken pictures of this building a few years ago intending to paint it and never got around to it.  I thought this year would be a good time to immortalize the image since it is no longer the Vintage Lady.  I hope someone is able to save this building and bring it back to its original charm.  I'll be very sad if it has to be torn down.

I had a lot of fun creating this silk painting.  I used techniques that I've never used before.  I wanted the foliage to have a softer look so I painted the lightest green color then after it dried I covered some of it with wax to save the light green.  Then I painted progressively darker greens and saved them with the wax.  By doing it this way, I was able to not have the foliage surrounded by the white resist lines.  I like the look of the resist lines but by having some areas without them I think the painting has a more complex look.

I also used a product called "No Flow" which keeps the dyes from spreading. This made it possible to paint the sign and filigree at the top of the facade.  This painting took a long time to finish but I'm very happy with the result.

The Vintage Lady
Image Size 22" x 20.5"
Silk Dyes on Silk

Monday, April 2, 2012

Buellton Vineyard

This brings back memories of an idyllic day of wine tasting with family and friends last summer.  We went to Buellton which is north of Santa Barbara, CA.   It's a beautiful area that doesn't have the crowds that you might find in other well known vineyard areas in California.  This is the area that is seen in parts of "Sideways" the movie.

I painted this in watercolor on Aquabord, a surface where the paint sits on the surface rather than being absorbed as it is when paper is used.  It's a completely different way of working for me but gives a refreshing effect.  Another nice thing about this surface is that I can spray a sealer on the painting and then it can be framed like an oil or acrylic without using glass to protect it.

Buellton Vineyard
Image Size 6" x 6"
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