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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Liz Cutler 94 and 95 8x8 oil on board

It is just too cold outside so I pulled out a photo from long ago , and quickly laid in the values with a fairly limited palette. I did not get too detailed and kept to the values of my original sketches.

#3 Clouds- Camille

This was a fun experiment.  I wanted to use a lot of color as it has been hard for me to use lots of color in my paintings-so time to try new things!  I am not happy with the right side of the painting...the cloud has no attachment.  I didn't even notice until I had scanned it.  I think I will scan my drawings before I paint.  Another good reason for me to paint what I am actually looking at for a while.  But it was fun.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ford Pond Barn #23

This old barn is just a few miles from my home. I've often wanted to make a little painting of it .. and finally did.

I often mix watercolor and ink. It is one of my favorite mediums to work with. Painted on Strathmore 140# cold press watercolor paper ...inexpensive paper which is quite durable. Inking was done with my fine and flexible Pelikan fountain pen and Platinum Carbon ink.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kelly - Paintings 9 -12

These paintings all fall under "economy of brush strokes." I wanted to see how few strokes and how little detail was needed to capture the feel of the bird (I used no pencil marks either...just worked with the paint brush). I started with the wren and worked my way up. By the time I got to the chickadee I found I didn't need many brush strokes at all to come up with a likeness...(check out the date on the paintings....I wrote 1-2011...that's so me....darn! At least I got the month right!).

(watercolor, cold-pressed paper)

(watercolor, cold-pressed paper)

(watercolor, smooth hot-pressed paper)

(watercolor, cold-pressed paper)

Kristin, 65 and 66: Illustrating what we can't photograph

Sometimes I feel like I am cheating when I post stuff that I am doing for work on the challenge, but the sad truth is that I probably wouldn't achieve 100 paintings if I didn't. It also allows for me to post a greater variety of work. So these illustrations are for a project, but the cool thing about them is they are both of subjects that don't exist in modern times, so took the imagination of the artist to bring them to life.

Hadrosaurs, 14 x11" gouache and watercolor
(c) klink, 2011
Katmai artifacts: Basket, oil lamp, spear head, and harpoon
11 x 8.5" gouache and watercolor
(c) klink, 2011

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Small Watercolor Paintings - Dora Sislian Themelis

#54 Three Friends ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor on Arches

#55 Shells with Peach ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor on Arches

#56 Four Shells with Rock ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
7x10 Watercolor on Arches

I photographed these small watercolors at different times during the day. What a difference in daylight colors! I might have to re-do the first two, just too much blue from the morning light.

Closing in on my year and still trying to push on.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lorrie #71 - Aurora

Aurora, watercolor 9 x 13 inches
There are so many stunning photographs of the aurora borealis (northern lights) on the internet, I had to try a watercolor version. The sky took a bit of experimenting first, to figure out how to do it in a single, wet wash so that it didn't look overworked..

Sunday, January 22, 2012

# 90, 91, 92 and 93 my dog Brindle Graphite, oil

14x17 graphite on drawing paper

How is it I find a face with lips that extend below her jaw to be so adorable? I have spent most of this week in nurture mode after her limp was diagnosed as bone cancer and she became tripawed. She is much better now, so her long poses are over. I am also recovering as well. I thought I would do a series of sketches then choose one to paint but she shifted constantly so

my painting was as long as she sat still.

As soon as she nodded off I drew, once she felt my eyes on her she'd get up. I went back in with my eraser , forgot how much I like that.

Oil on 12x12 gessoed grey board.Gamblin fastmatte and oil study.

Last of the Yupo #22

A black bear and her cub wander through an aspen grove in Yellowstone. If you look carefully at the nearest aspen you’ll see little claw marks made at some earlier date by a cub climbing the aspen. The lower parts of both aspen are scarred and nearly black because elk have chewed the bark off during the hard months of winter. This little painting was inspired by one of my many trips to Yellowstone. Painted with water soluble graphite pencil and watercolor on Yupo.

Now for a confession. When I purchased the Yupo ‘paper’ a few days ago my normal caution was sleeping. It was sold on the same rack with Arches watercolor paper. I assumed this stuff was also a quality surface. I’m always checking the acid content of paper and making sure I’m do serious work on good paper. The Yupo didn’t have any information with it.

Laure Ferlita gently asked whether I knew much about Yupo. She also sent a link so I could start discovering. Yupo isn’t paper. It is plastic! No wonder paint washes off and ink takes forever to dry. It is a very different surface and offers some intriguing possibilities, but I think the archival qualities need to be addressed. If you go to the Yupo website (http://www.yupousa.com/paper/index.php you find out how tough it is, but not how archival it is.

According to another web site plastics are degrading and at an alarming rate: As artists I think we should all be aware of the probable limited life expectancy of art created with plastic. I don’t plan to spend any more of my time working on this surface. Thank you, Laure, for alerting me.

88, Liz Cutler oil on board,12x12 # 89 monoprint mexican mask

A monoprinting workshop with my mom and daughterat Cristi Fer Art, Playa del Carmen. Printing image then painting.

One of my daughters friends signing autographs after breakdancing in Plaay del Carmen, Mexico. A limited palette quick sketch with a good deal of medium working from a photo.

Liz Cutler 84's origins and 85, 86, and 87

Three paintings and a photo This was a quick painting 12x12, from a photo ... a 22 year old photo as my daughter is now 22. There was a nice warm light on her face in contrast to the coolness of the rest of the photo.

I broke out my CaranDache water soluable pastels and sketched Jeff as he was driving. These work as a bridge between draing and painting for me, though I wish for thicker darker ones for blocking in large spaces.

12x12 oil on gessoed board. Another self portrail with a limited palette aliziron, blues and indian yellow, there is color distortion in the photo as there just is not an orange cheek on my painting. Still need to work on the structure of an eye, paint got too juicy and muddy and it is so hard to paint my eye as I am observing it.

Idecided to post this photo so you could see where my 'graphite painting"self portrait in my last post, came from. This mask was part of a 4-H demonstration of Edtih Platt's spirit mask making process. (I felt like I got a facial during the process).

Lorrie # 69 and #70 -- Stormy Saturday at West Cliff, & Surf Riders

Stormy Saturday at West Cliff, watercolor 5 x 7 inches
It was windy and rainy at the coast today, but also sunny and clear sometimes! I put paints in the car and drove down to West Cliff Drive (Santa Cruz) but wasn't really in the mood to paint after all--and juggle the materials while sitting in the driver's seat (it was too blustery to paint outside). Finally though, when these two people stopped right in my view, I took the chance to sketch them.
Surf Riders, watercolor 5 x 7 inches
Another bit of the stormy Monterey Bay today. There is no end to the practice and challenge that the ocean presents... !

Saturday, January 21, 2012

#2 Red Onion - Camille

This was a challenge but fun.  I decided to paint from life rather than from my imagination.

Kelly - Painting 8

(watercolor, 12x16)

This Barn Owl's name is Storm. She's a rescued owl for RAPTOR, Inc. One day last fall, Matty and I went to a photo shoot of the owls. I based this painting on one of the photos Matty took. It made him happy that I preferred his photo over all of mine! Storm is a beautiful bird. She is a working educational bird with RAPTOR because her wing was damaged and she can no longer fly.

Friday, January 20, 2012

#49-#53 Affirmations Plus

#49 Abundance ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis

#50 Be Positive ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis

#51 Finish Things ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis

#52 Studio Time ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis

#53 Free Outside ©2012 Dora Sislian Themelis
I'm taking an online class with Alyson B. Standfield called Blast Off! to help push the art making and art business. The first four small paintings are affirmation cards with things I want to work on. The painting ideas popped out of my head and are things I like to paint.

The last is a small self portrait from a recent visit to a museum nearby on the hiking trail. I liked the photo and just used it to keep painting something.

Geneva Water Tank on Yupo #21

For years this little building stood and a reminder of a failed community. Early settlers tried to settle just east of the Cascade Mountains, on the western edge of Oregon's high desert. This building is where they stored their water during the dry season. Inside is a huge cement tank. The rock exterior added extra coolness.

I drew it with Noodlers brown ink on Yupo -- that strange synthetic paper I used in my last two posts. I had visions of a lovely antique feel. thought I could improve upon my drawing.
I let the ink dry throughly (a couple of days) and then washed it off. I really thought more ink would stay on the Yupo. This was way too faded. Back to work:
I added more ink .. which stood out like a sore thumb. I didn't scan that state. Once this ink had dried I used my waterbrush to spread it around where I wanted it. The dark spots on the drawing a little bits of undisturbed ink.

I like my little cabin best in the first version. I've decided I don't like the Yupo for ink washes. Just ink lines are a problem too because the ink is so slow to dry. Also the paper is so smooth I don't feel I have the ability to lay down a thin line with a light touch.

I do have one more idea to try on Yupo, so there is still more to come on this saga.

P.S. (ADDED LATER): Thanks to a heads up from a good friend I have some concerns about the archival qualities of this paper. In my next post I will address these issues.

Claire painting 5: Christmas Cactus

The holidays have come and gone, but my Christmas Cactus just decided it was time to bloom now, so I thought it would be fun to try to sketch it.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

#1 Oregon Snow ~ Camille

It snowed in the Pacific Northwest and I decided it might be a good inspiration.  My first painting took me forever. I had several sketches drawn and finally just decided to paint.  I found each decision was difficult but I'm sure that will improve with practice.  I look forward to painting will everyone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lorrie #68 - Raven Tree

Raven Tree, watercolor 8 x 10 inches
Elva's lovely painting of a pair of ravens in a frosty forest reminded me of this painting I did a month ago. I was experimenting with tree shapes and making the smaller branches by blowing at puddles of paint placed along the larger branches. Ravens are abundant where I live and I wanted to put a few into the scene. It's very likely that you'll be seeing more of them in paintings to come....

Chickadee on Yupo #20

When I posted yesterday (#19 On the Beach) I thought I had dismissed Yupo paper. Silly me! I got to doodling on a scrap last night and immediatly realized it does offer some exciting results. You just have to factor in that the paper is boss and you'd better understand it's qualities.

Drawing with pencil on it it rather like skating on smooth new ice. I'm used to a little 'tooth' and so it is easy for the line to get away from me. What really excited me is the range of values I can easily get with an ordinary pencil. I was sketching with with a mechanical pencil filled with 2B lead. The blacks are so rich! and even more amazing, I can put that much black on and still erase easily. Down at the bottom of the Chickadee drawing I put a scrap of Yupo and showed how easily it erases. The scribbles on both sides of the ball have a portion in their middle erased clean with a soft, white eraser. Then I lifted a highlight out of the ball with the same eraser.

I'm itching to do a totally different idea on Yupo. More to come.....

A New Challenger!

Please join me in welcoming Camille Collins, our latest challenger! 

Camille works in watercolor and a little bit of watermedia as well. Like most artists I know, Camille is looking to make her creative work a major part of her life rather than something she squeezes in whenever she has time. She also wants to gain more knowledge about color, light, and working with the white of the paper. 

In my conversation with Camille, she mentioned her excitement about being able to learn from others on the blog and how they approach their subjects and art. I applaud Camille for recognizing the opportunities that come with type of challenge—we often learn as much from others as we do from our own adventures if we observant.

Camille, I wish you the very best with the challenge! 


82, graphite 14x 17 and 83, 84 Self portraits 12x12 oil

I worked with a small round mirror next to my mask.

After observing the mask , I constructeded a simplified portrait.

Once I blocked in the features I attempted to bring out more details, note the fierce look of concentration.

Monday, January 16, 2012

On the Beach # 19

I finally got to a town larger than Roseburg. We have about 20,000 people here and only a craft store. Grants Pass has over 33,000 and has a little art store .... so I got to browse through a very limited supply of new paper. I came home with three, a Moleskine watercolor sketchbook, some tinted paper, and Yupo.

I have seen some intreguing work painted on Yupo. It feels like very fine leather. Delicious! I tried it first. Oh my gosh! What strange paper. It isn't even paper. Further research tells me it synthetic and is advertised as washable watercolor paper. But I hadn't read that part. I just jumped right in. I wanted a lovely clear smooth sky. I laid the wash down and set the painting aside to dry. I tipped it at a slight angle to hopefully keep the more intense wash towards the top. When I looked again, all the paint had puddled in a line at the very top. Hummmmmm. Time to start over. Without even reading that it is washable I took it to the sink and rinsed it off. Clean!

What to do with this crazy paper? Some beach rocks in wet sand sounded like a good experiment. I even got out some ink which is supposed to be permanent. I swooshed and swirled and felt I had very little control over what I was doing. Once dry I went back and found I can very easily lift out highlights, and I worked on a few edges ... and ended up with dry ink on the palm of my hand when I just touched the darn stuff.

It will take a lovely clean line with an ink pen ... and I suppose acrylics will give interesting results, but it is so different from paper, I doubt I'll do much on it. Thank heavens I only bought two sheets.

I do have a purpose for some of this Yupo. I'm going to cut sheets the size of my various sketchbooks and slip them in underneath a page when I'm getting juicy in the sketchbook. The Yupo will keep the moisture from soaking through. ... so I'm glad I bought it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Little Inspiration

For those dark days when you wonder if you made the right decision to ever pick up a pen or brush. For those long days when you don't seem to be able to remember which end is the business end of a brush.

This says it all.

I hope it helps you to hear this as much as it does me.

Sometimes we need a reminder.

Keep up the work.

Do the work.

Lots and lots of work.

And never give up........

Ira Glass is a public radio personality.

Chilly Morning #18

Two ravens fly over a frost covered forest ... painted from my imagination. I wanted to see if I could get a frosty effect using salt.

I wanted my paper to be nice and white so I used Strathmore's Aquarius II. It is a lightweight paper, (90# I believe),but lays flatter than a lot of heavier papers.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Kelly - Paintings 5, 6 & 7

Against dark grey skies and bright white snow, the red of a winter cardinal is vibrant and impossible to ignore. With our first winter days finally showing up, all I had to do was look out my window to see their incredible color. I painted three cardinals in similar poses in three styles...

(watercolor...with white oil pastel scraped into background for snow)

(watercolor...with white acrylic splattered over top for snow)

(oil pastel)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Lorrie #67 - Confettia

Confettia, watercolor 11 x 13 inches
If I were to name this imaginary flower it would be "Confettia." This started with putting colors into droplets of water sprayed on the page, and letting them intermingle, later adding salt for that fun texture. It began to look like petals of a flower, so in a couple of additional sessions later, I worked toward that impression by doing more "petals" and adding stem, shading, etc.