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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Kelly - Painting 100 :-D

Acrylic, 18x24

The canvas was big...and the lighting poor, so the photo doesn't capture the painting very well. I need to learn how to photograph large canvases because after working on this one, I know I'm going to want to keep getting larger with my art! Mostly I stuck with 9x12 or smaller for the challenge.

(Same painting just cropped for detail.)
To help a bit, I cropped the image down for a better look at the American Tree Sparrow. These little sparrows are so sweet, and I was trying to capture their "polite" personality.

Yeah!! I can't believe I finished the challenge. Thank you, Laure for hosting the challenge. I've learned so much, and I'm so glad I did it!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Snowy Barn #95

I grew up in Wisconsin -- lots of snow. We usually get a day or two of snow here in Oregon's western valleys. So I miss snow. Yesterday big sloppy flakes floated down off and on all day ... but never stuck for more than a few minutes. But it put me in the mood for snow. The hills around town have snow ... and I know I wouldn't have to go far to find a barn such of this with a nice white pasture.

Painted on Strathmore's Imperial 140# Cold Press .... a nice white paper. Didn't buckle as much as some 140# papers.

Kelly - Painting 99

Acrylic, 20x16 canvas

My son Matty loves this painting. He wants to take it with him when he leaves for college (he's 15 now...let's see if he feels that way when he's 18. A Robin eating a berry might not be cool enough for a college dorm room!!) This is the first time I've put acrylic on a real canvas. I liked the feel of the canvas and the larger size.

Below is the same painting the night before. I whipped it out in about 40 minutes and then headed off to bed. I like it more than the finished product. It's a little more graphic with no detail and a bolder red breast...I think it has a better feel to it.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Moon Light and Barn Owl # 94

This painting is straight out of my imagination. I did look at a flying barn owl sketch I did a few years ago. Mostly I wanted to capture the mood of a possible moment .... and I was testing a new paper.

Painted on Strathmore Gemini 140# Cold Press. The paper took washes well and buckled a little. I didn't try any miskit.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

#14 Shell Jar - Sheryl Hawkins

I have been away for Christmas, so got a little behind with posting paintings- but I'm still here!
This watercolor is of one of my favorite subjects, antique mason jars. I collect them and have many in my kitchen- some full of shells or wine corks. Since shells are also one of my favorite things to paint, this jar of shells is perfect for me. I am still working with shiny, reflective surfaces and trying to improve my skills there. This isn't one of my better attempts, but it was fun.

watercolor on 140 lb. rough paper

Monday, December 27, 2010

High Surf on the Oregon Coast #93

I painted a 20 minute sketch of this in my journal and liked the idea well enough to paint it for the challenge too. I'll be posting the quickie soon on my blog.

Painted on Strathmore 300 Series 140# Cold Press -- the paper took miksit well and the washes quite well except it curled more than better grade paper.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Chiggy's Christmas, Part 2, #96-#98

The first ATC in this group (painting 96) evolved into my Christmas card for this year (painting 98). The theme in Laure's Clever Christmas class was "stocking." I did a regular stocking for the class first, but then I had to figure out how Chiggy would hang his stocking...

Painting 98, All the stockings were hung on the branches with care...
This painting is not an ATC. The full painting (it's cropped here)
is 9x12 on Arches Cold Pressed 140Lb Paper

Painting 97, Take 2 Chiggy's Stocking

Painting 96, Take 1 Chiggy's Stocking

Chiggy's Christmas #92-#95

I've been remiss at posting my paintings...and I'm blaming it all on ADD. With all the other festive activities going on, the last step of the challenge fell off my radar. Last night when I posted my Christmas card (painting #98) on my site, I realized just how far I'd fallen behind. Since I have so many to post (and since they are all ATCs), I'm going to group them together in two posts so I don't take up too much room. These are all inspired from Laure Ferlita's Clever Christmas class. It was a two-week whirlwind class of Christmas Spirit. Laure gave us a theme and had a demo for that, then we went on to create more ATCs from the theme. Paintings 93-94 are all based on a wreath, and painting 92 is based on Santa's Hat.

Painting 95, Chiggy! Get Inside and Warm up After Decking the Halls...

Painting 94, Chiggy Decks the Halls...Again

Painting 93, Chiggy Decks the Halls

Painting 92, Chiggy on Santa's Hat

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas #92

My little red fox is looking across the eastern end of the Lamar Valley in one of my favorite places, Yellowstone National Park. He is waiting for Santa to come ... and thinking Merry Christmas to you all!

Painted on Fabriano Artistico 300# cold Press. Nice paper! Smoother than Arches. It took multiple washes very well and handles detail.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Chickadee # 91

I fought demons painting this one. It is on Arches 140# hot press. I thought that would be a good choice for delicate detail and one etheral wash behind him. The 'etheral wash' immediatly dried into hard lines .... 'flowers'? At least it is good paper so I scrubbed, added more layers and went with a darker background. It is nice paper for detail.

At least he is a cheery reminder of the Christmas season. I had to pretend we have a little snow around here to spice things up.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Soltice Moon # 90

Last night we had a lunar eclipse on the same night as the winter soltice. I think most of the country was under clouds, and I thought Oregon would be too. But at 7:30 PM thin clouds were overhead. I painted this in honor of the night .... fully expecting I wouldn't get to see the full moon.

And here is the moon fully covered by the earth's shadow.

Mother Nature was teased me and totally erased the moon at times ... but at other times I got to see the progress. I have posted these and more notes on www.naturesketchers.blogspot.com. I'll be posting photos on my blog when I have time.

Both of these are quick 'field sketches' painted on Strathmore's #140 Cold Press.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Owl Experiments #88 and #89

Barred Owl #88

Barn Owl #89

I was in experimental mode when I tackled the two owls. I wanted to paint a similar subject, but on very different papers. The Barred Owl (the one with all the barring on his face) is painted on 300# cold press Winsor and Newton watercolor paper. The Barn Owl ( plain face) is painted on 140# hot press Fabriano. Wow! What a different in paper. Each has their strong points. The W & N behaves pretty much like to Arches cold Press except its surface is smoother. I had very good luck layering one wash over another.

It had been a long time since I painted on a hot press surface…. A very different paper. It loves detail, but I had difficulty managing washes. When I tried to layer one on top of the other, I tended to make smears and mud.

Now I’m itching to take advantage of what hot press has to offer. I have another piece (another brand) thanks to my friend Judy who sent me a handful of paper samples.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

#13 Sweet Peas- Sheryl Hawkins

I guess it is the dreary, foggy days we've been having- but it makes me want to paint garden watercolors. Sweet peas are one of my favorite flowers, I love all the soft colors and they grow like crazy when they like the planting spot. In many of my watercolors, I like to leave a white background and just let the subject stand on its own. I have been wanting to add ink to some of my paintings lately and I think something like this would be a good place to start- maybe next time.

watercolor- 140lb cold press, rough surface

Saturday, December 11, 2010

# 51 & 52 Using a pen

We are staying with friends in their amazing home in Manila. The garden is lush and green, with a variety of tropical plants. The plants seem so green here, and the flowers shine like jewels in the sun. Its possibly because the atmosphere is much cleaner here and not as polluted as Kolkata. These orange flowers are a kind of 'flame of the forest' but in bush form! I have been wanting to try using a pen to complement my painting so have tried it in these two pictures. I used the pen to primarily add a little more definition and shadows to my painting.
Can anyone tell me if there are rules one has to follow while using a pen with water colours? Are there special pens?

Chlorophyllum rhacodes #87

I think I'm correct about the name of this mushroom, but not positive. I told my friend Debbie Dreschler I just painted a Leucoagaricus rachodes .... and she let me know the experts (the people who like to confuse mere mortals like me) have renamed it. The mushroom is growing just off my deck and has a cap as big as a medium sized pancake.

I'm trying a different pen -- a sepia 'PITT artist pen' .... but the sepia gets lost. It looks like plain old black ink. Plus watercolor on Strathmore #140 cold press.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Will-O-the-Wisps #86

Western Oregon winters are composed of rain, fog, clouds, and not much sun. Everything ends up soaked. As a result I often see mist rising out of the forests -- really quite beautiful. We drove to Grants Pass yesterday and had little peeks of sunshine amongst the 'mostly cloudy.' When the sun hits the dampness, beautiful plumes of mist rise, my Will-O-the-Wisps. On location I did a quick sketch of mist and trees using a water soluble graphite pencil on ho hum sketchbook paper.

After we got home I drew the more careful rendition, using what I had learned with the first sketch. I still used the water soluble graphite pencil, but this time I added a touch of watercolor instead of just using my waterbrush. The paper was my Aquabee sketchbook.

My blog has a more detailed description of the mist.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Into the Gloaming #85

I grew up associating bison with wide open prairies. Much to my suprise I later learned that there is another group of bison that live in the high country; now they found mostly in Yellowstone. They are a little smaller and darker than the prairie bison. When the prairie bison were nearly extermined, a small group of these mountain bison survived. They too like the open areas of Yellowstone, but also make use of the areas of patchy forest. This one is heading into the fringe of lodgepoles as a storm approaches.

I intended to sprinkle snowflakes onto the painting, but when I reached this stage I changed my mind. Critique is welcome!

Painted on 300 # cold press Arches ... a lovely paper, but I have to admit I am more familiar with lighter weight paper and realize certain adjustments need to be made on the heavier paper. I don't think it takes detail as well as some, but if one wants to work on a damp surface for awhile, it is great. I like how the paint goes onto the paper. Takes miskit well, but paint does not lift well.

# 49 & 50 Orchids in a teak forest!

Our wonderful holiday in Thailand ended with a visit to the bridge on the river Kwai in Kanchanabura....yes the same one which was a major movie with Alec Guinness!!! I will paint a picture of the bridge soon! We stayed in beautiful resort which was on the river itself and built in a teak plantation. It was beautifully done as the rooms were actually single roomed cottages interspersed between the trees, covered in flowering orchids of all colours. The landscaping followed the natural flow of the land and had little ponds and wooden bridges!
These two pictures were painted in my sketch book and were really quick sketches. I enjoyed being able to paint plein aire! Neither took more than an hour! I am also celebrating with the last picture as it marks the halfway mark for my challenge!!!! It has been an amazing experience, as I never really thought I would get here!

The pencil sketch was an experiment as I had left my paints behind, but I thought I would post it anyway! I don't use pencil a lot, but this turned out quite well!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kelly - Painting 91

10x12 Watercolor
Arches Cold Pressed 140 Lb Paper

This little Red-breasted Nuthatch is in the mood for the holidays! It's the first time I ever created a holiday "collage." I drew everything out in pencil first, since it was brewed up in my head. The detailed pencil drawing really helped. I then transferred it over to watercolor paper. This is the first detailed work I've done in a long time. I was sick, so I had to take it easy. It's the perfect combination. I'd never painted a pinecone before. Whoa...like putting a puzzle together!

I liked doing the detailed pencil drawing, because when I finished, the idea to switch up the ribbon popped in my head. If I hadn't planned it out before hand, I wouldn't have been able to change the painting.

original placement of ribbon

cuter placement of ribbon...made it to the painting

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Hooded Merganser # 84

This little hoodie male has just ruffled his feathers and hasn't laid down the ones on his back. When they dive for fish or want to slip quietly away, they can fold that beautiful head crest into a thin white line.

Painted on Lanaquarelle cold press #140 -- a very white paper that handles both details and washes well, but I think buckles a little more than Strathmore's 400 series 140# cold press. Takes miskit well.

#12 Paris Flower Shop- Sheryl Hawkins

This watercolor is painted from photos I took during a trip to Paris a few years ago. My husband was on a business trip for the seed company he worked for in California. This building was where the company's Paris offices were. Vilmorin is a huge seed producing company and lucky for us, they owned his company in California and we got a Paris trip! I like painting buildings and love all the details (even though I tried to keep them loose) with the seed packets and rows of plants.

watercolor on cold pressed paper

Kelly - Painting 90

Watercolor and Acrylic
9x12 Arches Rough 140 Lb Paper

Painting 90 is of a funky Henslow's Sparrow. He started as a watercolor, but then I laid heavy acrylics over the top. A day later I bunched up cheesecloth and put it all around the bird and painted it blue and white (sort of gluing it down to the paper)...then ripped off the cheesecloth so just part of the blue stayed behind (and small bits of cheesecloth here and there). It sort of has a summer memory feel--all under the art direction of my 15-yr old son because we just wanted to experiment.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ready to Take Off -- Bald Eagle #83

When I was in Yellowstone this spring I mentioned the 100 Paintings Challenge to a kindred spirit, Judy Norris. I was hoping she might join. She didn’t, but much to my surprise I recently found out she is quietly doing it on her own! She has painted nearly 70 paintings since April! I wish all the more that she had joined officially, but I salute her for staying motivated on her own. We e-mail back and forth occasionally and I get to see some of her work at http://www.pbase.com:80/greatbear/judys_paintings_2010

I’m writing about Judy because I mentioned something about different papers. She immediately realized she wanted to know more about the special properties of watercolor paper and proceeded to paint a series of paintings on every watercolor paper she had at home – nine types. I know each artist has different goals and different techniques and there is no one perfect paper, but that is all the more reason we need to try a variety and see what works for each of us. I always appreciate it when a fellow artist comments on paper…. or paint … or…or

Judy surprised me by sending me an envelope full of paper samples. As I paint on them I plan to mention the type of paper. It won’t necessarily be the next nine posts, but I should be able to work them all in by the time I finish the challenge . I’ll try to remember to add a comment or two about each paper I use as I finish the challenge. I’ve already posted one and this post has the second. My goal when I started the challenge was to experiment … so this fits right in!

My post #82: Lonesome George is the first. It is painted on Canson140# cold press XL series. A very smooth paper, on which I can get reasonably good detail. I was struck by how easily one can lift paint off. I didn’t use miskit on the painting, but I tested it on an edge and feel it will take it just fine.

This painting, post #83, is done on Strathmore’s 400 Series 140# Cold Press …. One of my favorites for little paintings. It takes washes well, has some texture, and allows me a fair amount of detail. In this painting I used watercolor with a fair amount of opaque white. I wanted one of those dreary wintery days when there is quite a bit of moisture in the air.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Kelly - Painting 89

A Snowy Egret at Sunset. I started with a few brushstrokes but then switched over to the palette knife and finished with the palette knife. I saw this bird on Longboat Key in Florida. He was in his spring breeding plumage and a strong wind was whipping his plumes about. With the strong breeze and the liquid gold water and sky...drama was everywhere.

#48 Marigold garlands in Bangkok

We went to visit an old traditional Thai home....all made of wood now a museum. It is a really beautiful house, made in traditional Thai style, all in wood, full of priceless treasures, surrounded outside by a lush garden, full of amazing orchids and plants and ofcourse the traditional pond with lotus blooming! In the north east corner is this little temple that houses the Gods! The belief in Thailand  is that all homes have a temple for the local Gods and this protects the home and keeps everyone safe. The temple has to be built on the north east part of the property, so that the shadow of the house doesn't ever fall on it....or the gods will get angry! The wonderful bright mariglod garlands and white flowers adorning  the wooden temple, surrounded by a forest of greenery in its many shades, including an overhed hanging 'bird of paradise', certainly caught my eye and made a pretty picture.

Kelly - Painting 88

When I see this fellow...Shorebird in Green on a Blue Day pops to mind, so that will be its title. Of course, this isn't a real bird, but he lives in my imagination. Before the challenge, I never painted Imagination Birds, which is a shame because I really like them! The challenge has helped me free up that part of my brain. This guy actually has longer legs, but since I only used a 9x12 piece of canvas paper only the body would fit! I painted him entirely with a palette knife. It was fun...