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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

#5, Ponce doorway

On the windward side of Puerto Rico, a few miles inland, is the old Colonial town of Ponce.  On an afternoon stroll I photographed several interesting doors - reminding very much of New Orleans.  This is one of them.  I wanted to indicate the play of shadows in the recesses from the bright sun light.  Regretably, I didn't pay attention to the paint I was using (being more intent on the color!!) and used D-R Quin. red which did not stay where I put it!!  It bled into my shadows, which I intended to be clear.  Almost threw it away and then remembered that we are painting for quantity and not quality!  So here it is!  And I certainly learned a few lessons with this one!!

Kristin 75 and 76: Painting on wood

This is a technique I have been wanting to try for a while, that is painting with acrylic on wood panels. The subject choices you might recognize, but it was a fun process for my transparent paint strokes.

 12 x 12" acrylic on pine panel
Noatak River Stones
(c) 2012, klink

 12 x 12" acrylic on pine panel
Ptarmigan Wings
(c) 2012, klink

#24 to #28 Sketches in Africa

We were in East Africa and had an amazing holiday. I am glad I carried my paints! The Masai tribes always wore red, and looked so vibrant!
 We spent a couple of day at Mombassa on an amazing resort by the sea!

 Mount Nukuru at dawn!
 A tea garden in Uganda!

Claire painting 8: Starting a walking tour of New Orleans

Continuing on my New Orleans adventure (NOLA Live!) ... I thoroughly enjoyed our walking tour of the French Quarter. I think it was supposed to last an hour, but we were still going at the 2 hour mark. Our tour guide was quite a character and he was full of interesting information about the area. I found it fascinating when our guide shared that this street view was Walt Disney's favorite view of the French Quarter, and that it was an inspiration for New Orleans Square at Disneyland.

Screech Owl #30

It has been ten days since I posted and this isn't really a painting, but it is a work of art.

This month was already way too busy and then a week ago Monday Dale didn't do well on his annual electrocardiogram. That triggered more tests and finally a quick trip to the emergency room on Sunday. They hung onto him and Monday he got a pacemaker. Home today. He'll soon be just fine.

Meanwhile I had this little owl started. It still needed several hours of inking and was just the right project to work on during all the nervous waiting.

Inked in a Canson 70# spiral bound 'drawing book.' Great paper for ink, but does not take water at all well. Fortunately I'd already discovered the paper wasn't water friendly before I started this project.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Lorrie #76 - Monterey Old Wharf

Monterey Old Wharf, watercolor and pen, 18 x 22 inches
This is a portion of a larger painting that was pretty ambitious... there is a lot of detail in the wharf in Monterey and I chose to leave most of it out... including any sign of humans! Preferred to turn it over exclusively to sea lions and a harbor seal!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Kelly - Painting 16

This is the same bird that's in painting 15 (the impressionistic oil pastel). I wanted to paint him in a different style, so I first created a loose watercolor of the bird (without much of a sketch), added in berries, and created a dark background. I then went over the painting with a chalky white gouache glaze (to give the feel of the cold day), and heightened the bird, berries and his perch with a little gouache detail. I'm enjoying experimenting with gouache.

(Watercolor underpainting with gouache details and background)

New Still Life Watercolor Paintings - Dora Sislian Themelis

Thank you Laure, for the opportunity to try anew in the 100 Paintings Challenge. I'm starting off with a new energy which I will try to keep high to meet the goal. I plan to continue in watercolor paints, but I have been eyeing the oils lately since I found out there are new mediums out that do not emit harmful fumes.

As I did the last go-round, I will paint from life and from my own photographs.

Here are the first paintings of the challenge. #1 Pear and Shell Bits, #2 Bountiful, and #3 Blueberries.

Pear and Shell Bits ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor, Arches cold press paper

Bountiful ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
15x20 Watercolor, Canson cold press paper

Blueberries ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
15x20 Watercolor, Canson cold press paper

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kelly - Painting 15

(oil pastel)

I did this chickadee painting after taking a winter walk for the Great Backyard Bird Count. I wanted to create something fast and "in the moment," so I decided to use oil pastel. I didn't start with a pencil drawing--I just jumped in with the crayons. When I do that, detail never has a chance to creep in, and there's always lots of energy.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

CathyO, #4, Park bench

There are pocket parks every few blocks along the wall.  Kevin is enjoying the view near one of the garitas.  It was a warm day.  I wanted to catch the brightness while indicating the coolness of the shady benches.

Cathy O #3, San Juan wall

San Juan is surrounded by fortified walls, some 15' thick.  Garitas or guard towers dot the length, perched over the ocean.  

Welcoming Back A Challenger!

"What's Left Of Fall"
© Dora Sislian Themelis
The first entry of Dora's challenge
Dora started the 100 Paintings Challenge in late January 2011. She was able to complete 56 paintings—that's more than one painting per week! As we all know, juggling priorities, unexpected/unplanned challenges and just plain old life can get in the way of our artistic goals. Dora and I had the chance to talk about what challenges she faced, what she learned and why she's decided to go for another year at the 100 Paintings Challenge.

Laure Ferlita (LF): Congratulations, Dora! Fifty-six paintings in one year is no small feat! I also know there were challenges you faced during the last year with regard to your artistic goals. Can you tell us a little about that?

Dora Sislian Themelis (DT): Laure, thank you very much for the opportunity to take another go at the 100 Paintings Challenge. At first I was disappointed that I didn't meet the goal of 100 pieces of work, but it has been a wonderful year of 56 solid paintings I would not have done had I not been accountable any other way.

At the time I found the challenge I wanted to push myself to paint on a regular schedule, to build a body of new work, and experiment further in watercolors. As I hummed along painting small works that took twenty to thirty minutes, I did two still life works a week. In the spring I joined a vegetable share and lo and behold I found I loved painting arrangements of the harvest and the sunflowers. Suddenly I was painting much larger work which took longer to complete. Add in that I was sitting for my granddaughter who started staying awake longer than napping! There went painting time!

Add in some resistance and feelings of low motivation.

However, I developed a year of good work. I followed your suggestions and kept going. To my surprise I sold a couple of paintings from the collection. And yes, this past year is a collection of work that stands on it's own, as does each individual painting. As the year ended in the challenge I evaluated the group, minus the couple I sold. I can proudly say I accomplished something!

The challenge gave me some well needed confidence and I learned to better schedule my painting time. I'd like this next year to try to get to the goal and further hone those skills. Wish me luck!

LF: Dora, you mention feelings of resistance as well as low motivation....I think everyone who's reading this can relate to those feelings. Sometimes just recognizing the the resistance is a huge step forward. Other times, we're still stuck. How did you overcome the resistance and the low motivation?

DT: To get past resistance I would switch gears and do another activity like knitting, or clean up the studio. Deciding I could stop painting would relax my brain enough to try again later on. I tried not to let too much time go between sessions, because I found when I did paint I was excited to do it again the next day. Positive self-talk helped too.
#56 Four Shells With Rock
© Dora Sislian Themelis
LF: Sounds like a lot of new mindsets for you—shifting away from resistance by doing an alternative activity, giving yourself space so that you could relax as well as staying on target to keep the momentum going. What has been the most important thing you've learned in your first year of the challenge?

DT: Well, the challenge kept me accountable and I was happy with the direction my work was going. And, although I'm not really the competitive type, I want to see if I can reach the goal. If something inside me is saying You can do it, I have to give it another shot.

LF: Any thoughts on what you'll do differently this year than last to help you reach your goal?

DT: I've finally got my head in the right place as far as scheduling my painting time. I plan to take care of house stuff early in my day so my brain is free to concentrate on art after lunchtime with evenings for family. I heard another artist does this and it felt like the right fit for me too. I've ever had a regular schedule for art. That's the plan anyway!

LF: I would recommend artists make a plan, develop a schedule they can live with and dive in. I had to push through my own resistance, knock down walls of my own making. Just say yes to the opportunity and see what happens!

Dora, welcome back and best of luck on another fabulous year of painting! To see more of Dora's work, please visit her at her blog, Coffee and Paint Drips!
#24 Sunflowers Outside
© Dora Sislian Themelis

The painting, Sunflowers Outside, sold during a weekend class that Dora attended. During the Shameless Self Promotion class by Alyson B. Stanfield, my table mate looked through my portfolio of work and said she HAD to have that painting!!

Bobcats #28 and #29

#28: An old memory of mine, a bobcat in my headlights -- my first bobcat sighting. I painted him for my most recent blog post. Painted on Strathmore's 140# coldpress 400 Series watercolor paper. My first attempt wasn't dark enough so I added another wash and was pleased how well I could control the paint.
#29a: Ouch! I was definitly in experimental mode. This is done on Ampersand's 'clayboard' -"the ultimate multi-media panel." The back looks like masonite and the surface is an ultrasmooth white and coated with a hard clay. I have had very little experience with it. I think I should have quit at this point, but I couldn't resist testing its scratchboard qualities and seeing how scratching worked with grey tones.
29b: I'm excited about the possibilites of clayboard, but feel I ended up making a mess of this try. I've mixed nit-picking detail with loosey goosey.

I found the clay tougher than the scratchboard I'm used to which made it harder to work with. But I did like how much clay is on the surface. I have to be careful not to scratch too deep on my regular scratchboard, but this seemed to have a thick enough coating.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lorrie #75 - Sunrise Tree

Sunrise Tree, watercolor 18 x 22 inches
This is a rather large painting that began with lots of water and pure pure pink and yellow and blue poured on, while reserving the white paper for the tree with mastix. That ended up being very gaudy, so I toned down some of the colors with complementary washes in places, and added a sense of bark and texture to the tree. Still gaudy!! But it was fun.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Kristin: 73 & 74 Grey windows

It simply hasn't stopped snowing or raining the last week, or maybe longer, I can't remember anymore. So these paintings come from the relatively clear, but still cloudy and grey morning we had today. I just painted scenes out the window from my living room floor. I just got my hands on a copy of Cathy Johnson's book Artists Journal Workshop, and she gave me the idea for this technique of working darks and lights on a grey wash. I mixed my own grey, so it has more color variation and then couldn't help coming on top with some colored pencils.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

#7 Sailing ~ Camille

This was taken from a sketch from my travel sketchbook.  It was from Mexico and warm and sunny, but I decided to make it an Oregon painting...a few trees, a little fog, all-weather sailors and a rocky shore.  I was pleased to go back in on the sky three or four times and darken it up.  I do want to clear my washes up a bit.  I painted this on 140# Arches.

Cathy Orfall #2 - Blue Umbrella

24 hours later!  My son and I were sitting in the sand at Condado, Puerto Rico enjoying 82 degree weather and a cold cerveza!

Cathy Orfall #1

Red Twig in Snow
The last week of January brought an epic deep freeze thru the Columbia River Gorge.  Several feet of snow fell, followed by freezing rain, which encrusted everything in a twinkling sheet of ice.  Our red twig bush was encased in ice and fluffed with snow next to the frozen pond.  There was a softness about everything that I tried to illustrate here.

#6 Dunn River Falls Eyecatcher ~ Camille

One thing I wanted to do with this challenge was to break out some new colors. This was done from my travel sketchbook.  I love looking back through it...These are a couple of old washtubs that were rusty and dirty somewhere around Dunn River Falls in Jamaica.  Another fun day learning and painting. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Kristin #72, firefly love

It was almost too perfect to be finishing this painting for a close friend's wedding invitation on Valentine's Day. It was really fun to paint, thinking of her and her partner, as well as colorful summer nights to come
8 x 12, acrylic on paper
(c) klink 2012

Please Welcome Cathy Orfall!

Cathy Orfall joins us from Oregon to take on the 100 Paintings in a year Challenge! She is a watercolorist that I had the pleasure of meeting through Imaginary Trips last year. Cathy also enjoys sketching in pen and ink with an occasional wash of watercolor.

Cathy's goals for the challenge are to bring about the necessary discipline and focus needed to complete a year's work as well as to help her find her own style. (Having worked with Cathy in a couple of classes, I'd say she has her style—she'll be refining her style through the challenge!)

Please join me in welcoming Cathy to the challenge. She is in the process of setting up her blog here, though at the moment it's still brand new!

Cathy, I wish you the best of luck and look forward to seeing your growth over the coming 12 months!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lorrie #74 - Owlets

Owlets, watercolor and oil pastel, 18 x 22 inches
Not even close to a valentine's day artwork... but made with love. Happy day to you!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Johnny, the Cougar #26 and #27

Johhny is a cougar at Wildlife Safari, a non profit drive through zoo where I volunteer. I had a keeper with me and could walk right up to the fence so I could photograph him. This beautiful cougar immediatly walked over and rubbed the fence just inches from me! Such a beautiful cat.

But sometimes I fall flat on my face. I was hoping Johnny would just pop out of the darkness behind. I made mud! Partly because I used the wrong paper. This is painted on Pentalic's Nature Sketch 130# paper. I picked it because the paper holds moisture well and I was hoping to build the values of his beautiful face. .... but I forgot I can't lift paint at all well on this paper.
I was trying to get a drawing done for my blog ... so I went into 'safe' mode and started over. Same Paper, but this time I inked first and didn't rely on the paint as much. I just may do him a third time and this time pick a different paper.

Stayed tuned for another attempt.

#21 to 23

I have been painting a little as often as I can, the subjects are varied as I use a whole range of reference pictures, even paintings of other artists. The aim at the moment is to get more control of the medium!!! Its challenging indeed!

 This last one is from a book on water colour painting, and was a demonstration of how to use a photograph as reference

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Foggy Morning at Plat I #25

Sorry, I've been too busy to post for a few days. This one is
94 1/2 % Plein aire ..... we had an appointment to rush off to so half the reflections had to wait until I got home. It was a beautiful foggy morning. I wanted to capture the serenity of the scene.

Painted in my Aquabee sketchbook. Watercolor.

Claire painting 7: Kodak Moment

A bit of sadness and nostalgia swept over me as I read that Kodak has decided to stop making cameras. What? Even though I knew that they had lots of competition in cameras, the news still came as a bit of a surprise to me... Kodak had been synonymous with 'cameras' for so many years. My own memories came flooding back to me of my first camera -- a little Kodak Instamatic 104. I reflected more on my camera and Kodak over at my blog.

I know this isn't much of a "painting", but I sure had fun with it - so much so that I stayed up til 12:30 am waiting for the paint to dry.

Kelly - Painting 14

...this is the first time I ever used gouache. Wow! It's fun. I knew nothing about it except it was opaque watercolor. It's very relaxing to build color up slowly, and it's completely different than transparent watercolor. I quickly learned to work from dark to light. Not reserving the white of the paper felt weird, but I had fun with it. I don't think I've ever had so much texture in a painting. It's very easy to get lost in the detail...and very relaxing too. The background, however, is pure watercolor...

Friday, February 10, 2012

Lorrie #73 - Maple Glory

Maple Glory, watercolor 18 x 20 inches
This is a portion of a bigger horizontal painting that's nothing but fall leaves and a few contrasting tree limbs. It's based on a photo my daughter took a couple years ago back east during the height of fall colors. I liked the abstractish look and colors to play with.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

71 Kristin, snowy house across the street

It was a really pretty sunny afternoon, and I wanted to sit down an practice painting the light on the snow scape. Ironically as soon as I sat down a cloud came out or something and dulled my light. Anyway, maybe next time. I want to fight the urge to make my watercolors muddy...
5 x 7" watercolor and pencil

#17 to 20 More practice!

I have been trying to paint as often as I can, looking at other artists and working on getting a better understanding of watercolours!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kristin, 69-70: More winter landscapes

Just a couple more sketches from the winter. The top one I tried to do from memory, the second I did out the window of the airport. 

#5 Rust - Camille

I found this sketch I'd done some time ago and thought I would give it a try.  I had a little trouble with my lighting as it was not correct in my sketch.  I usually put a reference in the corner of my paper to remind me of the light source, but was well into painting before I remembered...next time!  I painted this on 140# Arches.