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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Elva's #58 and #59

I was sitting next to a little pond when I painted both of these.  Dale had gone for a hike and I knew I had at least an hour to work.  On the first one a dragonfly had just emerged for its nymph stage.  I was still penciling the dragonfly when it flew off.  

Pencil, ink and watercolor in my Aquabee sketchbook.

This very fluffy cattail caught my eye.  Dale was due back anytime, so I worked quickly.  I wanted to keep the cattail soft and fluffy and for it to pop out from its background; and I wanted to experiment with some new water soluble graphite pencils.

  This is a mix of pen and ink, water-soluble graphite colored pencil and watercolor ... in my Aquabee sketchbook.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Watercolor Landscapes - Dora Sislian Themelis

Two new watercolor paintings finished today! The first I penciled my composition then I painted it, taking my time and doing a couple of sessions to complete.

The second was sketched quickly in paint and then I added color and detail. I may have spent a little over twenty minutes on it. Done in one sitting, but it's small and do-able.

#21 Inlet Church ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
9x12 Watercolor, Arches paper

#22 Garden ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
9x12 Watercolor Arches paper

Monday, June 25, 2012

Kelly - Paintings 27 - 29

I saw this beautiful Bay-breasted Warbler during spring migration at Magee Marsh in Toledo, Ohio. I drew several sketches of him in my sketchbook while I was there hoping I'd eventually turn one or two of them into paintings. Sunday promised to be a gorgeous day, and I had nothing to do, so I grabbed my sketchbook and paints and sat outside under the mulberry trees in our backyard to paint.  What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! These are all watercolors...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Elva: #55, 56 and 57 Yellowstone Birds

Two sandhill crane paintings in my Pentalic 'Nature Sketch' sketchbook 130# paper.  I know this paper is a little punky, but I thought it would be a good chance to use up some of this paper since sandhill cranes are rather soft in color and detail anyway.

White-throated swifts are one of my favorite Yellowstone birds.  They are the size of swallows but fly even faster.  I never see them perching, just zooming in and out of the cracks in a tall cliff where they nest.  The only way to actually see them is to succeed in photographing them .... a challenge too!

Watercolor in my Stillman and Bird Rough Beta series sketchbook.  

River Days - Terry #18

My husband and I spent yesterday at the Detroit Riverwalk for River Days.  Detroit is trying so hard to come back and has made such great progress that I wanted to capture some of it.  In Laure's Imaginary Trip to Greece, one of our assignments was doing these  multiple 5 minute sketches.  What a great way to enjoy the scenes and to capture the memories.

Friday, June 22, 2012

CathyO, #30, Lanterns, Japanese Garden Visit

Another post from the Japanese Garden Visit with Laure!  We have been studying how to make grays from all the colors in our palettes.  I chose several of the lanterns she gave us and took them out of context (not in the landscape) and painted them with only Quin. red, Cobalt blue and Aureolin yellow.  I was surprised and pleased with all the colors I got!  And I even made grays!

Again, I apologise for the multiple posts!  I was called for jury duty, 3 times!!  Really put a kink in my painting schedule!  Getting caught up!

CathyO, #28 and 29, Japanese Garden Visit

Here are a couple more studies from Laure Ferlita's Japanese Garden Visit.  I am having some trouble with the colors reproducing true.  Guess I am going to have to read a manual!!  The lower Thai temple painting has a sky in a wonderful cadmium orange with mineral violet streaks.  And the upper Pagoda sky is a very subtle white to pale yellow to orange, magenta and then violet.  Oh well!  These are both 5 x 7.

New Still Life #20 - Dora Sislian Themelis

Here I am! A lot going on here, but I am presenting #20 watercolor painting. This is the largest size watercolor I have ever painted and tried my best to get it together quickly to try to catch up.

#20 June Sunflowers ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
18x24 Watercolor, Arches cold press paper

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

#39 At the lakes again

Walking in the Lakes early morning at 5.30 am, the light was great and there was a wonderful breeze! It has been so hot and humid that any kind of physical activity seems to be a herculean task! I see this tree every time I go for a walk, but today I loved the light on it from one side, and the extra plants growing on its outstretched limb, a sure sign that the recent showers that we have had are a precursor to the Monsoons, hence so much greenery has suddenly sprung up....Came home and painted the picture from memory...loved the colours! Once again I didn't think just put down what I felt!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Elva #53 and #54

#53  Golden Gate -- Yellowstone National Park

More from Yellowstone .... I really did get a lot of art work done while I was gone.  I just didn't get it posted.  I painted both of these on one of the few days it was warm enough to sit outside and paint.  the first, a view of some of the Golden Gate Rocks just south of Mammoth, was painted from a viewpoint far below the regular highway.  I inked with Pelkian Fount ink first and then added the watercolor.  Painted on Fabriano Artistico cold press watercolor paper, 140#

#54:   This is Orange Springs Mound, just above Mammoth.  The mound is still active.  Water used to flow out of its top, gradually building the mound higher and higher.  Now it flows out of it's side.  I painted this without using ink first, but felt it lacked punch when I got done ..... so I added ink after painting.  

Which do you like better?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Elva #52 Great Horned Owl

A great horned owl incubates her eggs .... sketched through my spotting scope and painted partially painted when we were in Yellowstone.  Yesterday I finished some of the detail work.  Each year we look at this nest carefully.  Sometimes a pair of red-tailed hawks use the nest, but more often the owls.  The hawks prprobably built the nest.  The owls definitely didn't.  Great horned owls don't build their own nests.

Sketched and painted in my Stillman and Birn 180# Betya series 'rough' sketchbook.  Ink and watercolor added after a pencil sketch.

For those of you who are interested in sketches, my most recent blog post includes a series of Yellowstone sketches.  Just click on my name at the left.

Friday, June 15, 2012

More flowers Terry #17

I did this one - 9x12 - on an Arches block.  Someone suggested that I do some writing behind the flowers.  What do you think?  I didn't want to take away from the crisp simplicity of the flowers.

Delphiniums Terry #16

Another day at the Gardens.  It was hot with no shade so I painted quickly.  Maybe that's what it takes!
I try to go there every month to see what's blooming.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Elva #43 Misty Morning

Oops!  I thought I posted this before I left for Yellowstone, but now I don't think I did .... so its number is out of sequence.

I saw this great blue heron off in the distance on a small reservoir near here.  I like the legginess of both the heron and the stump he was perched on.

Painted in my Moleskein watercolor journal.  There is some buckle to their paper, but not bad.  I like how I can get detail on it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Garden Wall - Terry #15

I love to go on garden walks.  This was from one of them.  I wasn't sure if I should further darken the wood wall behind the planter.  I'd welcome any suggestions!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Elva # 51: Yellowstone Raven

I have lots of catching up to do since I didn't post for about two months .... but I was busy painting.  I started this raven on location. Our first day in Yellowstone this raven flew in and perched on a branch near me. .... and talked a lot.  She even made little frog croaking noises.  We never heard a raven do that before.

Painted in my Stillman and Birn 180# Rough paper sketchbook.
I felt the first version was stiff .... so i took a deep breath and softened it with a wash and more background color.  I think I still like the first version best, but it was good to dare to see what I could do.

Any comments for you all as to which version you like best?

Elva #50 Yellowstone Bison Bull

A relatively quick watercolor sketch in my Stillman and Birn 180# Rough paper sketchbook. -- painted on location.   I love this position that bison take when they are resting.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

#26 and 27, Japanese Garden trip, CathyO

These quick sketches were done for Laure Ferlita's current visit to the Japanese Gardens. The Lotus was lightly sketched in pencil while the MoonGate was done all with the brush.  Each took a 1/2 hour.
I apologise for the multiple posts, life got hectic for a while and I am trying to play catch-up!

#25, Blue pots, CathyO

A quick Plein air sketch done at our local nursery.  I have sketching and watercolor paper in this particular journal and I wasn't paying attention...... so,  this is done on the sketching paper and buckled some, but I still like the looseness.  #25!  A quarter of the way there!!!

#24, Loie Fuller tribute, CathyO

Earlier this month, a friend and I went out to the dedication of the new wing at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington.  Loie Fuller, a serpentine dancer from the turn of the 20th century, was very influential in helping bring the arts to Eastern Washington.  She established her own style of dance using yards and yards of silk, frequently attached to long poles at the arms, and then she swirled and twirled her way into the hearts of high society in France.  One of her dances, La Mer, was performed by a local dance troupe.  They danced on miles of billowing silk, depicting the ocean waves. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Elva #47, #48 and #49

Red-tailed Hawk # 39:

 Drawn on location in Yellowstone National Park. A pair of red-tailed hawks had a nest off in the distance, too far away to draw. Often one came to sit on this broken off snag, near enough for me to drawn him with my binoculars.

Ink and watercolor in Stillman and Birn Sketchbook: 180# rough surface.

Storm Coming # 47

This storm caught my eye when we were returning to Yellowstone National Park after making a grocery run to Livingston, Montana. I like how sunlight still hit the mountain top while a dark cloud took over the valley. I sketched it in black and white in my journal and then tried to do justice to the scene after we got back to our cabin.

Painted on Fabriano Artistico cold Press watercolor paper, 140#

Foggy Morning # 48

We don't often get fog in Yellowstone. I think the air is normally too dry, but this morning everything disappeared into the fog. Two elk are coming over the rise.

Painted on Fabriano Artistico cold Press watercolor paper, 140#

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kelly - Paintings 24 - 26

Three poses of a little Vesper Sparrow I saw in a field at a local park. These little birds are sweet, but many consider them plain. I like their "plain-ness" and the fact they live in fields where many other birds couldn't survive.  These paintings all started as quick pencil field sketches to capture their gestures. I then washed them with watercolor and heightened them just a bit with colored pencils...

Lorrie #100 - Geese at Moore Creek

Geese at Moore Creek, watercolor 6 x 9 inches
Ah, the last entry. I was thinking of doing some huge undertaking as a fitting way to end the challenge, but that had become a burdensome sense of "work" that I didn't want to end on. So instead I just asked "Where would I like to go outdoors right now?" I headed for a little park in town where a creek meets the beach and came upon a pair of Canada Geese, which I've never seen here before (this is shorebird territory, as the beach is just another 50 feet beyond the view shown here). Inspiration! I sat in the lowering but warm sunshine and really enjoyed doing this final work in my sketchbook, plein aire. Hurrah!!!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Yellowstone Spring #46

April and even May is full of snow showers in Yellowstone National Park. This morning everything was flocked with fresh snow and then dusted with frost crystals. Mountain bluebirds are hardy little birds, flitting about in the snow squalls. Whenever there is a spring snow storm they fly back down to the lower elevations where the roads are and where we can see them. When the snow leaves they spread throughout the park. We can still find them, but not nearly as many of them. Painted on Fabriano Artistico cold pressed 140# watercolor paper. --- a nice paper, but I think I like how Arches takes the paint just a tad better. Maybe I'm just more familiar with Arches.

The view from Floating Island #045

This is the view, looking west, from Floating Island Lake, a little pond where we spend many hours watching while in Yellowstone National Park. Pond watching was dull at the time, so I took advantage of the opportunity to paint. Normally in mid April these slopes would have more snow, but this year there was very little snow at the lower elevations. Painted in my Stillman and Birn 'extra Heavy Weight paper/rough surface' sketchbook. It is 180# paper -- heavy enough to draw and paint on both sides of the sheet. ... Thank you, Teri Casper, for introducing me to this paper!

Mt. Hood #044

I haven't posted for ages because I've been traveling. I've done plenty of art during the past few weeks but I didn't have any way of posting without cutting into all the precious time I spent outside. This is a quick color sketch done in my journal while my husband was driving on Interstate 205 while we scooting around Portland, Oregon. The paper in my journal is pretty punky and not intended for watercolor. I like to do some painting in my journal even though the paper isn't very good.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Lorrie #99 - Colette

Colette, watercolor 10 x 14 inches
While wondering what to paint next and having various reasons to reject just about every idea, I decided to just paint what was in front of me, literally. She didn't stay put for long, as usual, so I had to make things up in order to finish this. She is a very white-whiskery kitten, which is one of the main things I wanted to convey.