Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP -- Painting on Aquabord (Part 2)

                    Time to complete the floral bouquet that we started last week.

I start painting the blues.

I touch the edge of the blue in the iris, with a wet brush, to get the lacy feel.

After painting the blue grapes, I lift out a few highlights.

Now, it's time to start painting the bluish-green foliage.

And then, the warmer green leaves and grapes. . .

This painting needs some darks . . .

It's almost finished, but I feel like the background is too wimpy, so I decide to add a quinacridone glaze to the background.  Also, the bluish-green leaves need more darks.  And, now I see that I don't like all those white flowers in the center left, so I decide to make one of them gold.

After finishing the butterflies, I feel like this painting is ready for a signature and a frame. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY -- My 10 Favorite Songs for March

These are my favorite songs on my iPod right now -- great background music for painting!

1) VIDEO GAMES by Lana Del Rey

2) ALL IN A DAY  by The Open Sea

3) AMERICAN LAND  by Bruce Springstreen


5)  HAVE YOU EVER by Brandi Carlile


7)  JAR OF HEARTS  by Christina Perri

8)  MEANT by Elizaveta

9)  SHAKE IT OUT by Florence and the Machine

10) LITTLE TALKS by Of Monsters and Men

Saturday, March 17, 2012

WEEKLY RECAP -- What I Have Been Up To

This week, I finished "Floral Abundance" --

This painting is headed for Sorrel Sky Gallery, where it will be hanging for their 10th Anniversary Show.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WEDNESDAY WORKSHOP -- Painting (and Un-Painting) on Aquabord

Follow along as I paint a floral bouquet on aquabord, using mixed media -- watercolor and liquid acrylic. 

I first flood the entire surface of the board with clear water.

Then, I choose three watercolor pigments to use for the wet-in-wet underpainting.  For this painting, I'm using quinacridone gold, quinacridone burnt orange, and Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Genuine (yes, that's really the name of the pigment).

I begin to apply those colors to the wet board -- I'm obviously not trying for an even wash.  You can't get an even wash on Aquabord, so don't even try -- I actually like the interesting textures that are created.

I continue painting each of the colors at a time, letting them mingle together -- until the entire surface is covered with paint.

While the surface is still wet, I spatter some turquoise and burnt orange onto the surface.  Then I let the board dry completely.

I'm now ready to start on the drawing.  My inspiration for this floral bouquet comes from the lush floral oil paintings of the Dutch Masters.  I'm also using as references, pix of butterflies and flowers from magazines like "Birds & Blooms".  I "draw" the shapes with a skinny "rigger" brush and liquid metallic acrylic.  Again, I'm using turquoise (my new favorite color -- I even painted my kitchen cabinets this color).  

If necessary, you can pencil in the shapes first, then apply the liquid acrylic.  Once it is on the board, it can not be removed.

Now it's time for the "un-painting", where I lift the color from the board.

I wet a shape at a time with a brush and clear water . . .

Then, I lift off the color with a Q-Tip.  You can really scrub the board, if you need to.  No need to worry about lifting off the drawing, because the acrylic line will not lift -- only the watercolor underpainting.

I go through LOTS of Q-Tips!

I work my way around the painting, lifting out the color from any shape that will be white, light, or bright. 

Any shape that will be dark, I don't un-paint -- like the vase.

I then start painting with watercolor again.  I take advantage of the aquabord surface to get all sorts of nice textures.

I try not to paint over the acrylic line, because I like the nice contrast that I get with the yellow and orange watercolor next to the turquoise.  This makes all the colors seem brighter!

When painting reds, it's good to paint a warm red and a cool red within the same shape, and let them mix together.  If necessary, I lift out a few highlights.

Next Wednesday, I will show you how I finished the painting!  See you then!


Monday, March 12, 2012

MONDAY MANDALA -- Rhapsody in Blue

Another mandala from our creativity retreat --

This March mandala is entitled "Rhapsody in Blue" and was done with mixed media (colored pencils, pen & ink, and watercolor pencils.

They each had about 10 minutes to sort through the envelope of reference material that I had collected.

Then, each artist designed, drew, and painted a slice of the mandala.

The eight artists who created this mandala:  Linda Greenberg, Maggie Sauer, Janice Bourret, Pat Howard, Kris Ryall, Cheryl Basiotis, Marcy Pryor, and Barbara Bond.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Faces I drew this week, as part of my face-a-day project.  Clockwise, from top left:  The Adventurer, Ishod Wair, Becky's Bangs, Sunny Kendy (my granddaughter), The Congresswoman, AARP Member, and It's Not All Business.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Random Thoughts Thursday -- A FEW GOOD QUOTES

Creative individuals tend to be smart, yet also naive at the same time.  Creative individuals have a combination of playfulness and discipline, or responsibility and irresponsibility.     - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

When you're settled and still, that's the best way to create, because your best self makes your best stuff.      - Bobby McFerrin

Imagine if birds were tickled by feathers.  You'd see a flock of birds come by, laughing hysterically!       - Steven Wright

Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it.  Action has magic, grace, and power in it.      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I think, therefore I am.  I think.   - George Carlin

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

TOP TEN TUESDAY -- My 10 Favorite Art Books

1)  The Art Spirit, by Robert Henri -- I've read this twice, and I'm ready to read it again.  It is so inspirational, and is, as George Bellows said, "comparable only to the notes of Leonardo . . . "

2)  The Blank Canvas, Inviting the Muse, by Anna Held Audette -- I have never seen this one on any "best of" lists, but I love this little book!  Great book for any artist who has had trouble "getting started" -- haven't we all?  I'm going to read this one again, too.

3)  Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils & Rewards of Artmaking", by David Bayles -- This is a book written by artists, for artists -- a simple, but powerful, must-read book.

4)  The Artist's Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron -- A course to free your creativity, no matter what form of art you are interested in.  This has been a life-changer for a lot of people.

5)  bird by bird, by Anne Lamott -- So insightful and funny -- about life and creativity.  It is a must-read for anyone interested in creative writing, but I would recommend it to any artist or art student.

6)  The Natural Way to Draw, by Nicolaides -- If you are serious about learning how to draw, get this book!  And then, read it and use it -- do all the exercises.  I did, and it helped me so much!  It's the best "how-to" book on drawing, written in 1941.

7)  Hawthorne on Painting, collected by Mrs. Charles Hawthorne -- This book has so much to offer the painter -- especially in regards to the subject of color.  Charles Hawthorne was a master guide and teacher of art, and this book contains his notes and his students' notes. 

8)  Composition, by Arthur Wesley Dow -- This book, first published in 1899, was written by the mentor of Georgia O'Keefe.  He was very much influenced by Japanese art -- I guess that's why it resonates with me.  It is a classic -- a practical, well-illustrated guide to artistic composition.

9)  On Painting & Drawing, by William Morris Hunt -- another book, based on the teachings of an exceptional teacher from 19th century Boston.  Always considered ahead of his time, Hunt's teachings are still relevant today.  (I think I need to read this book again, too.)

10) Composition of Outdoor Painting, by Edgar Payne -- An important book on Landscape Painting -- no matter what the medium.  Payne was able to reduce complex ideas to simple demonstrations in this classic book.  (Plus, the photo of Payne on the back cover is priceless.)