Wednesday, July 23, 2014

An Elephant, Funky Colors and Spatter

Watercolor 11x14

Years ago, my grandpa spent time in India and brought my brother back a small, wood carving of an elephant and he has collected them every since. I had so much fun using off beat colors for this painting - you don't really think purple, orange and turquoise when talking about elephants. Add a vignette and some spatters and you have a fun, colorful and unique painting.
Elephant Walk now has a new home in Minnesota with Tanya - thanks

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunflower, Old Metal and Instant Coffee

Watercolor - 15x21

I have to admit that I am not a coffee drinker - at all. And no, I don't like tea either. It kind of puts me out of step with most people since it has become so popular for everyone to drink all kinds of fancy coffees but I do like using it in my paintings. Yes, coffee and watercolor.
If you sprinkle instant coffee grounds on wet paint it will dissolve somewhat and create great color and texture. It works great for rusty metal, old wood and backgrounds.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Walk By Art and BIRD IN TREE

Watercolor 11x15

I have taught watercolor classes for over fifteen years now and one of the most common things I hear from students is that they have a hard time getting any painting done at home. My advice is that it really helps to have a place where you can set up your paints, water and paper and leave them out. If you are always having to set things up and then put them away you will never get any painting done. If everything is already out, you can stop and paint anytime you walk by - even if it is for five minutes. Do you have your own place set up to paint at home?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

SWAN LAKE and Your Creative Zone

Watercolor - 11x15

I recently found this painting in my stack of unfinished watercolors. Several years ago we were focusing on swans in my weekly classes and I had started this as the class demo but never completed it. I sometimes find it hard to rediscover the initial creative spark when I am trying to get back into a painting but I have learned that if I just make myself sit down, pick up the brush and put some paint on it I will soon get back in to the creative groove and have fun seeing it to completion. How do you get yourself in the artistic zone?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sailboats and New Home on the Lake

Watercolor - 11x15

I love keeping in touch with the people who have purchased my paintings and especially enjoy seeing the final piece in its new home. Sonja sent this photo of Sailing Waters matted and framed in the bunk room of their new home on the lake in Texas - isn't that perfect?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Water, Tissue Paper and Colorful Flowers

Watercolor - 11x15

As many of you know I love to experiment and use different techniques along with traditional watercolor methods. For Bouquet of Color I painted wet on wet through tissue paper to create fun and interesting texture as seen in the detail photos below.
When everything was dry, I removed the tissue and used negative painting to define the flowers and leaves. I love starting a painting this way because it forces me to deal creatively with the texture marks and figure out how to incorporate them into the final piece.
I would love to hear from any of you that have tried this method before? Did you enjoy it?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Irises and Painting on Masa Rice Paper

Watercolor on rice paper - 10x18

I love experimenting with different painting surfaces and Masa rice paper is one of my favorites. I first crumpled the rice paper and soaked it in some water, then glued it to 140 lb watercolor paper. While it was still wet, I began painting in color for the background and the irises, being careful to leaves some white areas. I used negative painting to further define the ruffled edges of the iris petals. You can see some of my step-by-step photos of painting on masa paper here