Monday, May 25, 2015

Rain Dance

"Rain Dance"
Image Size 30" x 22"
I know there are parts of the country that are having serious problems with flooding right now, but here in Southern California, we are praying for rain.  We were promised some rain last Friday and I tried to do my part by painting this, doing a little dance, and begging for some rain.  We didn't get any but it sure looked like were were going to have a storm.  We were teased by the heavy black clouds, but we didn't get any precipitation.

We are in such a desperate drought situation after four years of very little rain and I really hope that we have a mild summer so that our need for water is lessened.  However, it seems that in the past several years, the summers have been much hotter than average so I'm not going to hold my breath...

Monday, May 18, 2015


Image Size 30" x 22"

I love the textures and dimension that can be achieved with watercolors.  I used two of my favorite paints in this painting; Daniel Smith's Lunar Earth and Lunar Black.  They are the most sedimentary colors that I've found and are beautiful straight from the tube or mixed with other colors.  I'm sure you can't see the sedimentary effects in this photo but in person, they are pretty interesting.

I painted most of this on wet paper.  The initial painting layer was allowed to completely dry and then I re-wet the paper to add additional layers.

Monday, May 11, 2015


Image Size 7" x 10"

I struggled with picking a subject for this week's painting.  When I saw this papaya in the store, I decided to paint it.  Papaya is my least favorite fruit.  In fact, I really dislike it and would never choose to eat one, but I do think the inside is very interesting looking.   It took longer to paint than I thought it would, but since I really wasn't planning to eat it, I wasn't too upset when it looked really dry and unappetizing by the time I finished my painting.  Usually I eat my still life set ups once I've finished painting them but this was an exception and although I do feel a little guilty about wasting food, I think I'll get over it especially since I don't think of papayas as an eatable fruit.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Mexico Surf

"Mexico Surf"
Image size 15" x 22"

I wanted to work on a saturated piece of paper for this and I could tell as soon as I wet it that the sizing was gone.  The paper looks translucent when wet if there is no sizing.  Since this has happened to a lot of my paper, I'm becoming used to working with this blotter-like paper.  The things that make it hard to work on are:  
* You can't blend colors because the paint soaks into the paper immediately 
* It's hard to get dark darks. 
* Color can't be lifted
This probably wasn't the best subject to pick having a paper with these limitations but I muddled through anyway.  It was actually fun because I went into this not expecting much.

I would have liked to have the look of some misty spray from the waves but that wasn't possible with this paper.

In this photo, you can see the ripples in the paper because I haven't flattened it yet.

I should probably buy some new paper to be sure that there is sizing in it (apparently the sizing degrades over time) but I have so much paper that I need to use first so I'll wait.  I hate to waste art supplies.  Also, I think working with this limitation is a good exercise and will force me to work differently which is a good way to grow.  I can always seal the paper to keep the paper from slurping up the paint but a sealed piece of paper has its own challenges and is also different from working on a piece of paper with sizing.  
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