If you would like to receive encouraging comments on
your artwork, leave encouraging comments for others!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

#002 Wolf Moon

Upon reflection, I have to admit my first post to the “100 Paintings Challenge” was a carefully done painting, not a ‘just go for it kind.’ In my defense I was scared stiff of painting the screen portion of the door; and were I painting for the market, Mortimer would have been perched on a knarly old branch, tucked deep in the woods.

Last night I jumped in with full abandon. I love full moons and thought I was going to miss this one because we tend to drown in rain and clouds at this time of year. Fate was kind and when I said “Goodby” to my guests last night, I looked up and there it was, the “Wolf Moon.’ It was more out of the clouds than in and had soft edges because of the moisture in the air. Good challenge.

Strathmore cold press 140# paper and watercolor

A surprise under the bridge - Claire 8

Painting #15 Plein Aire

Yesterday we went to the horse races and I brought my small watercolor set, watercolor Moleskine and a pen.  I knew the Catalina Mountains overlook the track (great painting opportunity) and I never bet on the horses but DH likes to once in awhile.  (as an aside, I picked the only winner for him - :-)

This was a great eye opener for me.  I almost always use my Moleskine for sketching and I always seem to sketch small and fast which works well much of the time.  Then I joined this challenge and started using 140# cold press watercolor paper and no ink lines (my previous standard) and a lot more thought of what I was doing.

The only reason I posted this was to say that a few weeks of using good WC paper has spoiled me for doing anything serious on lesser paper!

I need to make a bigger plein aire watercolor kit for these plein aire occasions.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

#001 Mortimer

I’m Elva Paulson and I’m excited to be joining Laure Ferlita’s 100 Paintings Challenge. Already I know it will good for me because I got me thinking about just what I would like to accomplish in the coming year--now that I am painting again. Laure’s advice to paint a lot and not worry about quality is just what I need. I need to learn to just go for it and not get hung up on everything turning out right. I have a history of painting carefully, with a goal in mind, rather than exploring. Just letting loose and giving myself permission to paint without judging is a significant challenge for me. I want to try new paper, new pens, new techniques. I already started on that path this past month, but joining this group is making it a commitment.

So maybe you need a little history about me to understand those thoughts. As a child I did a fair amount of drawing and painting. Enough that when I went to college I was excited at the prospect of being able to take an art class. Yech! We ‘expressed’ ourselves by drawing pieces of a junked car. I finished college, but never dared sign up for another college art class. Now, many years later, I have a better appreciation of what the instructor was trying to do … but I sure didn’t then.

When I was a young mother I got serious about my art and even took the Famous Artist’s correspondence course … which taught me a lot more than those junked car pieces. I have always been close to nature and, as a result, focused on wildlife art. I hung in several galleries, and considered myself a serious painter until about 13 years ago. At that time my husband, Dale, retired early and I assumed I would continue at least some gallery painting, but only a year later he developed severe mobility problems and my life become more crowed.

The past ten years have been good to us. … lots of nature photography from the car for Dale, and lots of sketching and photography in and near the car for me. I did tackle one big project, illustrating “The Birds of Oregon: A General Reference” for Oregon State University Press (about 100 black and white illustrations and a full color cover). I believe that cover is the only serious painting I did in the last ten years, that is until last November when I finally started a ‘real’ painting.

Life has taken a good turn for us. Two new hips and Dale is walking again … and I feel free to disappear into my art again. I’m in the process of figuring out just where I want to go. I know I want to enjoy art, not worry about it as a business, and to grow it along a path which expresses my connection with nature. Perhaps I’ll combine it with some writing.

My introductory painting is of ‘Mortimer,’ a barred owl raised by my mother. When Mortimer was old enough he was allowed to fly free and softly become part of the wild. An old screen door is a strange perch for a barred owl, but it is a memory from the heart for me.

Friday, January 29, 2010

#003-Warm Heart-Kathy

I painted this sweet kitty for the "Art Hearts for Haiti" group. The original live model for this one was our cat, Elmer. He is actually a "tuxedo" cat, black and white. He is carrying on without us in Belgium. I had gotten the sketch done, but not his coloring, so I had to improvise with this ginger cat from the neighborhood. There is another picture I did of Elmer, in all his glory, in one of my flickr sets if you'd like to see him : ).

I have never painted an ATC before, but I think I'm a bit hooked ; ). I loved doing the detail and having the limited space to fill. Now, on to #004---I think I'm on a roll : ).

Painting #14 Tree Branch In The Sky

This is one more sky that I did and discovered that it fits well for "Illustration Friday's" theme word of 'focused'.  I have indeed been focused on skies this last week using wet-in-wet watercolors.

I didn't know what I was going to add to the painting after I did it until today when I saw the IF word and realized how focused I have been on painting skies. I just added the tree branch against this Arizona sky and when I was almost finished I thought a nest in the tree would look interesting so I added that also.

Now I feel I can move on to a landscape with an interesting sky.

Things to Know: Expanding Your Visual Vocabulary

Click to enlarge.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Painting #13 Goose On The River

This painting comes from a photo I took two years ago when I took the grands on a nature walk in a nature preserve in autumn.  This goose was just one of lots of wildlife that we saw.

The goose was floating on the river with wonderful reflections and that was my purpose in painting this: reflections.

Actually, today I discovered I could use it for writing haiku to the prompt of 'peace', so it is multi-purposed.
Brambles and tall weeds
Hiding the goose beyond me
Enjoying her peace
Peace on the river
A goose floating so serene
Wishing for the same

There is something so appealing to me to write haiku to accompany a painting.

The Alley - Claire 7

<<< Another imaginary trip to Paris >>> After breakfast we enjoyed a walk around the neighborhood and we found an interesting alley to explore.

Good Morning Paris - Claire 6

<< Another imaginary trip to Paris >> I can't believe I slept in so late. But... sooner or later you were all going to find out that I love my sleep! Fortunately it is a sunny day and the light coming through the window woke me up. I'm thrilled to be here in Paris, and I'm so anxious to get to know the other travelers as we go embark on our adventures.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Painting #12 Baby Giraffe

I have sketched giraffes before and they are fun to do so I wanted to another one but with a landscape background.  I found this image of a baby giraffe on Wet Canvas.
My other purpose in doing this was to sketch it on paper and use the transfer technique Laure told us about.  It worked great and sure saves a lot of erasing on the watercolor paper.

I realize I am jumping all over with painting subjects but I just let my mood and interest move me.

Mission San Luis Obispo - Claire 5

Last fall I took a mini-vacation to San Luis Obispo to 'recharge' and do some painting.  One day I walked from my hotel into town determined to paint something on the spot. I walked into the Mission Plaza and to my amazement (and pure coincidence) I walked right into an art event -- the San Luis Obispo Plein Air Festival. Many artists were just finishing their paintings. It took awhile, but I finally got the courage to sit on a small stone fence and paint the San Luis Obispo Mission. When I finally started painting I began to relax and enjoy the process. I did it!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Painting #11 Another Sky and Mountain

Okay, I am falling in love with doing skies.  They are so pretty.
This is another wet-in-wet painting (hmm, maybe it's the wet-in-wet that I enjoy so much).
I added the Catalina Mountains again but without the snow.  Those mountains are so much a part of our landscape.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Painting # 10 - Snow On The Mountain

We had stormy weather last week that dropped a few feet of snow on our mountains.   This is a view from the valley and a half block from our house.  The Saguaro cactus grows in front of the house and it did stick up against the mountain view.  And the bit of blue was really there.
Again I used wet-in-wet for the sky.  I'm not really stuck on skies but they are so beautiful in Arizona I keep wanting to paint them and am getting quite comfortable doing it.  
I was very happy with the way this turned out.  It is much more impressionistic than I normally paint but I love the play of light and contrast.
Of course I used this for my Cactus Monday post also.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Painting #11 - Kelly - Mute Swans at the Queen's Hamlet

Mute Swans at the Queen's Hamlet

...an edited down version of "Moulin," the watermill cottage in the simulated rustic village built for Marie Antoinette at Versailles. These "swans" are actually the same swan in different poses. I photographed him last spring swimming in a pond near my house. Since Mute Swans are native to Europe, not North America, he fits perfectly in the French landscape. (I painted this one very quickly, really trying to capture the feel of being on site on a cold and dreary January day.)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Backlit Trees - Krista

Painting #13 of 100 Paintings in a Year
Watercolor, 3.5 x 5”, 140 lb Arches Cold Press paper

Observations:  I’m discovering that I need to have a separate clear water brush with me, as I don’t often have enough time to wash out my brush first.  Seems also like a waste of paint if it was done after the first stroke.

Also, I keep switching papers, going from my sketchbook to Arches.  I want to be proficient in both, and they both react differently.  It’s kind of like an science experiment.

Stone Bridge #12 - Krista

Painting #** of 100 Paintings
Watercolor, **”, 140 lb Arches Cold Press

I worked slowly and carefully to get the colors on the stone bridge and the glow underneath it.  Had to slow down the for the trees and grasses too so that they did not become mush.  Onward!

Liberty Park Stream #11 - Krista

Watercolor, 5x8”, hand∗book journal, 90 lb paper

This was a super fast sketch of a stream.  I liked the shadows coming off of the bank.

Standing in the Shadows #10 - Krista

Watercolor, 4.5 x 6”, 140 lb Arches Cold Press

This was from a photograph of my sister when I was visiting her in Florida many years ago.  I played up the pink marble columns and shadows.

A new casual necklace for the year - Claire 4

This is my new little necklace to help keep some focus on my word of the year, Clarity. It is a small leather scroll and it has just a few pages of paper that I can write small quotes or thoughts during the year. 

Kelly - Painting #10 - English Sparrows in a Paris Alley

Three English Sparrows in a Paris Alley

This painting is doing double-duty because it's part of my "Imaginary Trip to Paris" class I'm taking with Laure. I added the little House Sparrows to this scene because they are common city dwellers and could easily be found in an alleyway. In my mind, I saw these little birds eating bread crusts thrown out for them by a soft-hearted baker--their little chips and bird chatter blending with soft music drifting out of the open back window of the bakery.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Kelly - Painting #9 - Art Hearts for Haiti

A Carolina Wren Art Heart

Thank you, Laure, for putting together this
program to help the people of Haiti through art:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Painting number - 9 - Teri

Another sky painting using wet-in-wet watercolor.  When I was done this sea gull flew right in to become my focal point.

#002-Comfortable in His Own Skin-Kathy

Well, I finally completed a second painting--such as it is ; ). I saw this photo, from a 2007 edition of Selvedge magazine, on a super cute blog and just had to try to recreate it. It's not perfect, but I sure had fun! I see early on that I do fairly well with detail, but need lots of practice with big shapes and loosening up with parts that are not the focus.


New beginnings for 2010 - Claire 3

Monday, January 18, 2010

Painting Number 8 - Fence - Teri

I found this image on Wet Canvas and it intrigued me.  I'm not fixated on snow (lol) but I liked the contrasting colors and used white gouache for the snow.
Snow can certainly create beautiful images.

This was done on the textured Lama li paper.  It seemed the natural choice with the fence being the main subject.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Painting Number 7 - Arizona Skies - Teri

I have been practicing painting skies on 5x6 inch Strathmore cold press 140# paper.  I made a mess on one side of a big piece so I cut it into pieces to practice on.

I used wet-in-wet to get the sky effect and decided to add the cactus for a focal point (and wala, I have Cactus Monday done this week).   The early morning and sunset skies in Arizona are just spectacular and the Saguaro cactus towering high in the sky adds to the beauty.  They just make you want to paint them.

I have not done many skies before so I thought it was a good jumping off place to move into landscapes.

Roundhouse - Krista

Painting #8

This is the train roundhouse my son loves to visit at Greenfield Village.  I was drawn to the shadows on the side of the building.  It is still an active roundhouse, housing trains, repairing trains and turning trains around on the circle track at the "end of the line".

My Toast to the New Year - Claire 2

A little late .... but I'd like to offer all of my "100 Paintings Challenge" friends a toast to the New Year.  I hope this late toast just extends the festivities for you!! 
P.S. Its Chardonnay rather than Champagne!

Kelly - Painting #8

American Tree Sparrows Outside my Kitchen Window

To get the mottled background, I applied a very wet mix of Undersea Green and UMBlue then sprinkled on salt. After a couple of hours I scrapped off the salt, leaving the strange pattern behind. Laure has a video showing this technique for making snow, but I used it to achieve texture.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Max - Krista

Painting #9 of 100 Paintings in a Year
Graphite, 8x10”, Stonehenge paper

This is Max.  He is a beloved family member of my friend Kathy.  I was honored that Kathy wanted me to draw Max as a Christmas gift to her family.  Max is a jet-black floppy eared Great Dane.

When creating a likeness of Max, my friend Kathy left it open-ended on the process.  I decided graphite was the best method since Max was so dark.  I know this is technically not a painting, but I thought I’d include it here because part of my focus in the 100 Paintings Challenge is to hone my skill regarding values.

Peach Memories - Claire 1

I'm having a little trouble getting my art started in 2010... so I had some fun looking back in my sketchbook from last year and I found a few images that I hadn't posted yet.  

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Need Some Help Please

Remember that terrible painting I did of Christina?

I am redoing it and have this sketched out on transfer paper but I don't remember how to do the transfer and can't find a resource.  And I have never done a transfer as I always sketch right onto the WC paper.
Could someone help me or direct me to a resource please?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kelly - Paintings 6 & 7

Painting #6 - Female Northern Cardinal in Tree, 15 Degrees F

Painting #7 - Same Female Northern Cardinal, Same Tree...

...again, working loose and fast. It's a great way to study postures.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Painting Number 6 - Cactus Shadows

I found a photo reference in my tons of cacti photos and thought the shadows would be interesting to paint.  I was also fascinated with the cactus bloom growing out of the prickly pear pad, something I don't see very often.
This is painted on Lama li paper which has a LOT of texture and is frequently my choice when painting cacti.  I used yellow as the undercoat and sap green for the pads.  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Firestone Farm - Krista

I created this sketch from a photo I took in the late 1980's.  It has remained a favorite photo because I still visit this place even today.

Painting #7 of 100
Watercolor, 7 x 9", Aquabee sketchbook, 90 lb.

Back then, I took the photograph because I was captivated by the roof’s inlaid geometric design.   I remember turning around to look back at the house for some reason, seeing the roof, and exclaiming in wonder that I must take a photo of it.

It was only later, looking at the photograph anew with artist’s eyes, that I realized how the strong lines of the fence and shadows pulled me in and almost begged me to paint it.  One reason I love working from old photos is that you get to revisit those memories from your past all over again.

When sketching, I simplified the background by eliminating the outbuildings to focus on the fence shadows, leading the way up to the house.  I also eliminated some of the background trees because, truthfully, I could not see a lot of detail back there.  This was meant to be a sketch only, but perhaps I might make it into a formal painting at a later date.

If you’d like more information about the Firestone Farm and the Henry Ford Museum, please visit my personal blog.  You can get there from the link on the side bar.

Clifton Gorge - Krista

This was previously blogged about on my personal blog, but thought I'd include it here, as it is Painting #6.  It was a great day, because Kelly and I were on a painting date!

Trabuco Canyon - Krista


Painting #5
Watercolor, 3.5 x 5", 140 lb Arches Cold Press


Saturday, January 9, 2010

#001-Peaches & Cream-Kathy

Like several of you, the flame of passion for painting was fanned for me with Laure's fantastic Paris trip--now just about everything that passes through my vision is imagined as a painting! Even random thoughts passing through my brain sometimes cross over to the other side and become sketches. I loved being part of the group and felt a bit of withdrawal when we finished. I am so excited to be a part of this challenge and look forward to growing, simply by determined effort and practice--and watching my fellow artists grow, too.

In this group, I am looking to really find my "voice" in painting. I love the watercolor medium, but I am also doing some things in acrylic. The two hold different challenges for me and I'd like to explore both here. This first painting is just a small piece on a page I tore from my Arches Carnet de Voyage watercolor notebook. I thoroughly enjoyed painting this and can't wait to get on my next one! Thank you, Laure, for administrating this blog, and also for the warm encouragement you have given me from our very first contact.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Painting Number 5 - Evergreens in Winter

I have joined a gouache challenge at Wet Canvas and the first thing we had to do was paint all different kinds of trees in as many tones as possible.
So I did trees, evergreens and palms and learned a lot doing this.
I want to become more proficient in gouache for sketching on certain paper that watercolor soaks through.

I took the knowledge I gained in those exercises and tried it in watercolor with these evergreens in winter.  I made the whole composition simple with only three colors; sap green for the trees, ultramarine blue for the sky and ochre for the grass.

Food for Thought

I've just read a very intriguing article on the Making a Mark blog by Katherine Tyrell. It talks about the need to do the work, with no shortcuts to arrive at the level of being seriously good at anything we endeavor to do, well, seriously.

Take the time to read it, and follow some of the links. One may become discouraged by the idea of so many hours - stop! think! - if it's something we truly enjoy………wouldn't/shouldn't that be a wonderful way to spend time?

Painting 5 - Kelly

...a little female cardinal in a very quick study--working on speed and looseness with this one.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sunkissed Tangerine Painting Number 5

The funny part of this painting was the fact that it started out as a sketch and then I ended up really giving it some thought and making changes as I went along.

I was going to eat this tangerine and when I pulled it out of the refrigerator it has those interesting leaves still on it and I thought it would make a nice easy sketch.  I did the quick original painting and then noticed the sun coming in the window and creating such nice shadows so I darkened the other side, lightened the sun side and darkened the tangerine shadow.  I probably overdid the sun coming in the window but I like it.

Gee, I am loving this challenge!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Paintings Number 3 and 4 Cactus Blooms

I started out with this painting and then moved right on because I didn’t like it. (geez, that judge in me is so overwhelming).  I like the colors but the cactus blooms just didn’t look right.  I painted this from a photo I took last spring when this plant was blooming and the flowers are so delicate and faintly colored that I decided to try just one flower so it was the only focus.

I like the delicacy of this one but it is lost on the white paper.  I did crank up the pink a bit and put a light blue wash in the background.  My question is; what kind of background would  look best?   
I get so focused on my subject that backgrounds elude me.   I guess I see the trees and not the forest.

This is on Strathmore 140# cold press watercolor paper.  A good paper is such a dream to paint on.  I think I've been using Moleskine way too long.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pierogi - Krista

 Painting #4 of 100 Paintings
Watercolor, 9x9", Aquabee Sketchbook

Reference photo

This was previously blogged about, but thought it worth posting since it was done as part of the 100 Paintings Challenge.

When I first started this sketch after working on 140 lb cold-pressed paper for a few months, it was a joy to sketch in pencil in my sketchbook.  The pencil glided across the paper, caressed it almost.  But... I forgot how watercolor works (or doesn’t work!) With this type of surface.  True, I did want to have more of a sketchlike feel than an actual painting, but I was quickly getting frustrated that I could not make the paint do what it did on heavier paper.  My darks weren’t getting dark enough - and that’s exactly what I had wanted to concentrate on.  In the end, though, this came out to a reasonable interpretation of what I was hoping to achieve.

Also blogged about on my personal blog, describing a more personal point of view (and the recipe!).  Click on my blog link at left, then my 100 Paintings Gallery.