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Friday, September 30, 2011

Liz #66 and 67 12x12 oil on plywood

A beautiful day, hopefully not the last. Still struggling with fleeting light and too much green. The pictures loaded in reverse, the morning was bright and windy at Charlotte Rhodes park and the evening darkened quickly . The water is too dark or the sky is too light which I will adjust when it dries.

liz # 64 and 65 Watercolor crayon portrait and Toddy Pond

Another oil on 12 x 12 gessoed plywood, could not resist that red tree.I was surprised how close in value the trees were despite the brilliant colors.

Surprise a quick 5x7 sketch with some watercolor crayons. Think they could be fun, much tidier than pastels and by far easier than oils.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Lorrie #47 and #48

Interphasing, watercolor 10 x 13 inches

Chondrogenesis, watercolor 10 x 13 inches
These may look like abstracts -- and they were created by giving pigments and water a lot of freedom -- but they represent cells when viewed with a microscope. "Interphasing" refers to a cell that is busy with its daily activities, and "Chondrogenesis" refers to the growth of cartilage. For the latter painting, I sprinkled rock salt onto a damp turquoise wash to create the small circles of lighter color because the effect looks sooo much like cartilage. Studying cells and tissues microscopically was a huge wake-up for me to the artistic beauty of nature where I didn't expect it (in body organs!). I did these two pieces for an exhibit in a restaurant that's on the ground floor of the biotechnology building on U.C. Berkeley campus, where students might be amused to see this.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

#34 Watercolor Still Life

 # 34 Peppers on a Platter (c)2011 DST 11x16 Watercolor
I know it looks undone, but that's how it's going to stay. Color and shape heavy on the upper right corner, open, white and empty on this lower left. I am done. I had a small window of time and I used it to my advantage. No pencil drawing, just going in with paint, sketching the details with as little water as possible to keep going. Not a twenty minute work, but close enough. Some areas needed drying time. It is done.

Painting #18 Retaining wall tiles - Claire

These are tiles on a retaining wall in San Luis Obispo, California. We were actually in route to an art festival, but these tiles caught my eye as we parked the car. I decided to snap a quick photo of them to use for a sketch later. Just a reminder to me .... that I can find a subject to sketch just about anywhere.... and its time to get back into the practice/habit of frequently sketching and painting. I'm glad to be back!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lorrie #46 - Wolfkind

Wolfkind, watercolor 16 x 20 inches
Finally getting back to posting! I've been working on some larger pieces with a tight deadline, which is why I've been scarce on this site for a few weeks. This is one of those pieces. It's now in a cafe/restaurant (Yali's on U.C. Berkeley campus) and is for sale -- hence the "copyright" across the photo posted here. This was done plein aire on site -- no, just kidding! But I would love to see a wolf in person and have it stand there for a few hours in a nice pose!! In truth, it's a compilation from a half dozen reference photos.

Liz # 60, 61 and 62 all 12x12 oil on Panel plein air Acadia N

As the sun was setting tonight I braved the mosquitos and went for the sunset on the rocks on Hadley point Beach. There is a brilliant green seaweed and bits of sky reflected off the granite and pebbly beach. The mossys won but I did get great pictures for the winter studio time.

Afternoon at the Eagle Lake boat ramp. A quick painting of the splotches of sunlight on the rocks in contrast to the deep leaves. I spent way too much time getting the values and colors of the mountains behind, and edited out trees on the left which would have added more contrast to the rocks.

Back to Thompson Isalnd morning light on the trees, lots of linseed oil , and I was not patient enough to wait for it to dry so the light on the left is glare.

Liz # 57-59 oil on 12x 12 panel, Acadia N Park

#57 Eagle Lake boat landing the pink granite goes into the lake, so there is a beautiful salmony color that I tried to capture with the reflections and the shadow colors, this was just over an hour , and then the sun was too bright.

#58 Back over to Thompson Island picnic area, finally did some drawings of the rocks and feel like they sit in the foreground. There is bright orange seaweed that is exposed at lowtide that I can not resist painting, even if it makes the distance challenging.

# 59 This one is only 6x6 and I used linseed oil, no OMS, no turp so it was diffiicult to photograph. I had to work quickly with the sun setting and the tide coming in. It is on the Shorepath in Bar Harbor, a steady stream of people walking. This kept me focused on value and limited palette so I could work faster. There were orange highlights on the rocks which did not work so I will go back and do some value drawings.

Kelly - Painting 72

...another in the hummingbird series!

All of our hummers have all gone south now. I miss them. I photographed this little female two years ago. She sat jealously guarding her nectar source! I sketched the bird from an old printout while I waited in the car for Matty. Then I used the sketch to create this watercolor.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

# 45 Kristin, Loons and the aurora

This was a hard subject to figure out how to capture, but another good lesson in painting from memory. The last night in the Brooks range we camped on the shores of Matcharak Lake and woke up to the aurora borealis. You couldn't see them, but you could hear loons calling to the lights. It was a pretty cool moment, so I decided I wanted to try to paint it. I used my sketch my #34 to work from.
8 x 10", acrylic

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Three Beach Shells #33 Dora Sislian Themelis

# 33 Three Beach Shells (c)DST 8x12 Watercolor
Painted in twenty minutes again, these beach shells were out an available and if I wasted the time I would not have painted at all. Twenty minutes and I was done. Learning to use less water on my brush if I'm going to paint quickly and it's been working out well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Peach at the Beach-#32

Peach at the Beach #32 (c)2011 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor
Beating resistance has been my toughest job ever. Taking on this 100 paintings challenge, and the idea of painting for only twenty minutes has kept me responsible and accountable. Rather than let too much time pass without painting (resistance mode) I know I must post here and I can stay in the game in a short time frame. I don't have to work on one painting all day long.

Moving away from painting from life every session has also helped. I wanted to paint these items at the beach last week, but without clean water (didn't want to use ocean water, or my iced coffee) I took photos and painted when I returned home. And for only twenty minutes. The piece here was finished at another short session, maybe ten minutes more. Done.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Kristin #44, camouflage

I did this painting from some photos I took upon the discovery of a well-camouflaged butterfly hiding in a Sorrel plant on a hike this summer. It was a challenge to make the butterfly be visible but also look like the plant in paint.
7 x 9", acrylic on paper

#17 The Outsiders - Cheri

This is a WIP I still need to finish it.  Oils are so much nicer to blend.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Liz Cutler, #'s 53-56

Four more 12x12 panels, more beautiful places on Mount Desert Island, more unbelievable weather. The patterns and colors of these shadows changed quickly. I was quite a challenge. I am thinking I should remove the left shadow and amke it read road.

Same road, tried to capture the sunlight on the birches.

Back to Thompson Island, I included the buildings across the water and used lots of oil. Painting more wet into wet.

I set up close to the same spot as # 51 but working more wet into wet without a prepatory sketch. It was difficult to sort out the values -Lesson learned.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Kristin #'s 40-43: a couple more

Caribou skull 11 x 8"
colored pencil and pen on paper

Cotton Sedge 8 x 5"
colored pencil on gray paper
Tundra Plants 8 x 5"
watercolor and pen
Fall colors 5 x 8"
watercolor and pen

Kristin #'s 35-39, more from the Brooks Range

In the nature of time and moving on with my artwork, I am going to try to catch up and post the rest of the sketches from my trip up north. They are kind of a mish-mash of themes, but fun to see all together.

Sedges 11 x 6"
watercolor and pen on blue paper
River stones 4 x 5"
watercolor and pen

Tussocks 8 x 5"
colored pencil and pen on gray paper

River Bank, 6 x 6"
watercolor and pen

Mountain of colors, 8.5 x 11"
colored pencil and pen on gray paper

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Liz Cutler #52 Bayview backyard

Another 12x 12 oil on plywood panel, I like this format as it forces me to figure out the composition more than a rectangle. I was all packed for painting on the shore when I saw strong bands of light, in the yard so I set up and began painting shapes of light and dark. Without a thumbnail value sketch I ran into trouble, I lost the shapes of the brightly lit trees, too many directional brushstrokes and the alizerian crimson took some how over.

#51 Tidepool, Thompson Island

Another view of this little island picnic area. I loved how the sky was reflected in the rock, and the orange seaweed..

Lorrie #45 - Dusk at Sand Flat Campground

Dusk at Sand Flat Campground, watercolor 6 x 9 inches
While camping recently I had been painting the nearby river in "normal" daylight, but later the light show of dusk over the water was so lovely I rushed to get out the paints and paper again. I could barely see what I was doing ... I don't use a lantern while camping... so used just a few colors to capture the feel (and I knew where they were in the painting to-go kit). The next day I added  the yellow and a few crisper details.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Kristin #34, finishing from memory

Matcharak Lake, 5 x 8"
watercolor and pen

This was a true excercise in painting from memory because I only had about half of the pencil sketch done before the plane came to pick us up. I wanted to finish it to see what I could remember from sitting and looking at a scene for a couple of minutes, and because I want to work from that place for another painting. I think this sketch has kind of a unique feel since I didn't have the chance to fill in all of the details.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Kristin, 32 and 33

5 x 8" watercolor and gouache and pen on grey paper
Moody Mountains up valley

5 x 8" watercolor and pen
Bettels on the Koyukuk River

Here are a couple more landscapes from my trip. I was happy with the way they capture a bit of the mood of the place in addition to the scenery. The top one was a really quick sketch when the clouds were moving really fast in the distance so I couldn't worry too much about accuracy, which was good for me.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

# 50 oil on 12x12 panel Thompson Island morning

The light on the estuary pool was what atracted me to this spot , so I was enjoying all the colors until I went to paint in the tree stump in the fore ground. Even thought I used the same palette , it feels like a different painting.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Kelly - Paintings 67-71

...the hummingbirds are going crazy at our house zooming here and there and fighting at the feeders. We have several new birds that have joined our ranks, no doubt migrating south and stopping off to refuel...

For these first three paintings I drew quickly with a pencil on watercolor paper. My plan was to paint over the top of the pencil sketches with watercolor and let the graphite show through:

I used a charcoal pencil here to sketch the form out in seconds. I then used plain water in a waterbrush to soften the charcoal and add shading. I followed that with a few strokes of watercolor. I did this in the car, and it only took a minute or two. It was meant to be a study, to help me figure out how I was going to paint the the paintings above. It's the first time I've used charcoal in over 30 years. I loved it and will be using it a lot more:

The following is the first painting in the series...one color...one paintbrush...and finished in under one minute. Again...a study to get a feel for the hummingbirds. I painted it outside just before I left to pick up Matty, then did the charcoal when I got there. I really enjoyed doing the two studies. It's fun to throw caution to the wind:

#16 Cherry in a Cup - Cheri

While I wait for the pears to dry, here is a project I did for school, back to acrylics.

My color palette mars black, titanium white, raw umber, magenta, hookers green and cobalt blue.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kristin #s 29-31

I haven't posted much recently, but I just got back from 8 days on the Noatak River in the Brooks Range in which my primary focus was to sketch! I worked a lot on my landscape sketching, and posted three below. More to come..
looking up the Kugrak Valley, 5 x 8"
colored pencil on grey paper

Looking down at the Noatak River, 6 x 8"
watercolor and pen

Tundra sketch 8 x 10"
watercolor and pen