Monday, September 30, 2013

Fuchsias on TerraSkin

Fuchsias are such delicate looking flowers.  I really like them but I don't have any planted in our yard.  They seem so fragile and I think I'd probably kill them if I did have them so I appreciate them in other gardens.  They look like they are dancing as they hang on their delicate stems.

This is another painting done on TerraSkin.  I painted the background first so I could play with the textures.  I was able to lift the stamens out instead of painting around them which is one of the benefits of using this surface.

I was contacted by Lea at Mitzart to do an e-mail interview about TerraSkin, which I was really excited about because as you have probably noticed, I'm pretty passionate about this product.  When I first found out about this surface, the only place I found it was on Etsy.  Now it's available at Cheap Joe's but there are some other weights available on Etsy.  If you are interested in reading the interview, you can find it here.

Fuchsias on TerraSkin
Image Size 6" x 4"

Sunday, September 29, 2013

SDWS exhibition

Last night was the preview opening for the San Diego Watercolor Society's International Exhibition.  I always look forward to this show each year.
At the opening last night, I received my signature membership for SDWS.  An artist has to have had a painting juried into the exhibit 3 different years to receive that designation.  I am excited and honored to now be part of that group!  Here is my painting that's in the show:

If you are in the area, please go see the exhibit.  It will be on display until October 31st.  Visit their website,  for all of the information about the show. 

We are fortunate to have three international watercolor shows in the Southern California area each fall.  The other two coming up are exhibits by Watercolor West and the National Watercolor Society.
Along with the exhibitions, there are demos given by incredible artists and I usually sign up for most of them if my schedule allows.  It's so inspiring to hear how different artists approach a blank piece of paper.

Today, I'm attending a lecture given by Dean Mitchell for the National Watercolor Society.  I'm very excited because I've always admired his work.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Red Sweet Pepper on TerraSkin

Red bell peppers are one of my favorite foods whether they are raw, sautéed or roasted but before this could be used for dinner, it begged to be painted.  I really like its twisted form.  Earlier in the week, I was picking out red peppers to use for stuffed peppers.  For those, I was trying to find full, straight peppers.  Then, two days later, I returned to the store to look for a pepper that had an unusual form that would catch the light in an interesting way.  If anyone was watching me pick out this pepper, they probably thought I was a bit nutty because I spent so much time picking out just one pepper and it was such a weird looking one, but I'm very happy with my choice.

I've been wanting to try using oil paint on TerraSkin so this seemed like a good subject for a quick painting.  TerraSkin has a slicker feel than most traditional oil painting surfaces so I wasn't sure how the oils would behave.  At first, I didn't like the feel of the paint on the surface but after a few minutes, I began to like it.   I wanted the paint to be very transparent so that the glow of the paper would show.  I'm pretty happy with the outcome.  I would use oils again but only thinly as was done here.  I think that watercolors and acrylics benefit the most from this surface because a variety of textures can be achieved.  Of course, I have a very strong bias toward water media paintings.  : )

Red Sweet Pepper
Image Size 5" x 8"
Oil on TerraSkin

Monday, September 16, 2013

White Iris on TerraSkin

I'm playing on TerraSkin again.  The more I paint on it, the more I love it!  I think the textures that are created from the mixtures of water and paint are very interesting.  This painting is very small but I'm getting ready to do another large poured painting on TerraSkin using acrylics.  Also, I think I want to try using oils on this surface.  I'll probably thin them down a lot to take advantage of the properties of the surface and to get a sense of transparency.  I tend to want to make everything look like a watercolor because I love that look.

Irises are such delicate looking flowers and for this painting, I chose to paint a very dark background to make the white flower really pop.  I enjoyed mixing my variety of greens.  It's always a challenge to mix greens without them looking too intense and unnatural.  I'm not sure why the paint manufacturers make such fake looking greens but it is easy enough to tone them down I guess.

White Iris on TerraSkin
Image size 7" x 4"

Monday, September 9, 2013

Foxgloves in Colored Pencil on TerraSkin

Last week went to see the International Colored Pencil Society's exhibit at the Brea Gallery.  It was crazy good!  I think my mouth was probably hanging open in awe the entire time I was there.  I was able to see some work done by some of my blogging friends which was really fun.  I've always been amazed by art done by colored pencil artists.  I haven't used the medium very much but I have done enough to know how much time and patience goes into each piece.  

Anyway, seeing the show inspired me to drag out my colored pencils, wipe off the cobwebs and give them another try.  This piece is about as big as I'm willing to go using colored pencils and it still took longer to finish than a painting in any other medium twice the size.  It was fun to do though.  Using colored pencils puts me in a very meditative state.  It is a much less stressful medium than watercolor.

I wanted to try using my beloved TerraSkin for this drawing to see how it worked.  I really didn't expect much because it has such a smooth surface.  There is a little bit of a tooth but I didn't think I would be able to layer more than two layers before the tooth filled up.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Some areas have 5 or 6 layers and the surface probably could have taken even more.

I'm even more impressed with the TerraSkin now and that's saying a lot. 

The colored pencil show will be on display until September 13th.  If you are in the area and are able to go see it, I would definitely recommend it.

Image Size 6" x 4"
Colored Pencil 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Wave Abstract

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a demo at the National Watercolor Society by Kathleen Conover.  She is really nice and an excellent teacher.  Her technique is really fun.  She does under paintings and then adds a mixture of gesso, water and matte medium and covers the painting creating texture.  Some of the old painting shows through and gives a nice effect.

As I was watching her demonstrate, I got very excited because I have so many paintings that are rejects that I can't seem to throw away but can't decide how to fix them.  This technique will work perfectly to reclaim them.

This painting started out as an abstract several years ago.  I had created a horrible color combination and a design that didn't work.  I wish I had taken a picture of it before I added the gesso mixture so you could see how it looked in its previous life.  Anyway, it had a dark line that suggested this wave shape so I went with that.  Kathleen used watercolors for her paintings but for this one, I used acrylics.

I'm really happy with this painting now.  I like the energy and color mixtures.  I plan to repurpose all of my unsuccessful abstracts using this technique.  It is really fun and I feel very fortunate to have learned Kathleen's technique.

Wave Abstract
Image Size 22" x 15"
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