As many of you know gesso is a white paint mixture consisting of a binder mixed with chalk, gypsum, pigment, or any combination of these. It has historically been used in artwork as preparation for any number of substrates such as wood panels, canvas and sculpture as a base for paint and other materials that are applied over it.
For Southern Jewels I used gesso on 140 lb watercolor paper to provide a slick surface for the watercolor paint, allowing for fun texture and easy lifting of the paint for the white flowers. Gesso can also be used for stamping, glue, glaze, a transfer medium stencil paste and pastel ground. If you haven't tried gesso yet you should run right out and get some!
I began this watercolor by drawing the three sunflowers and leaves and then painting a wet on wet background using cadmium yellow, lime green and hookers green. half way through the painting I decided to add a dark rectangle behind the sunflowers to create a border and the illusion of a window. Sometimes the painting speaks to you and you need to be open to going a new direction.
I love painting sunflowers and used one of my favorite watercolors tools for this 8x10. If you look closely you can see the dissolved instant coffee in the center of the flower - a great way to add the look of texture. Sunflower Glory now has a new home with Karolina in Pittsburg, PA!
Can an art studio be too clean! For me the answer is yes. I was recently inspired to clean and organize my art room and I REALLY went after it. I got rid of old frames, organized my collage papers, grouped paints, filed photos, shelved books and picked up the floor. Yes, the floor - I have a bad habit of piling things all over any horizontal surface including the floor.
It may not look perfectly organized for some of you but i can guarantee that my studio has not looked this good since we moved in nine years ago. While I love having more space and order, I did find that it made me anxious to have such a clean art space so you can be sure that I took great pleasure in diving back in to my painting and getting things a little bit messy again!
I used to sell my original watercolor paintings at outdoor art shows and would spend an amazing amount of time matting and framing them, only to have people ask for different colors of mats and styles of frames to match their own personal taste. Perfectly understandable but a pain for me. Now that I predominately sell my art online, I just offer the paintings for purchase and leave the matting and framing up to the collector. that way I can keep my prices affordable, less wasted time for me, easier to ship and everyone is happy.
I did recently discover that I could edit the photos of my watercolors so that perspective buyers can get an idea what they would look like matted and framed. Pretty cool all the way around!