Saturday, June 27, 2009

Painting "light"

In most of my paintings, my goal is to achieve a sense of "light" that will add spirit to the subject. For me, good "light" grabs your attention and brings energy into the painting. I am drawn to paintings that use contrast and light to create a mood. In watercolor, the illusion of light is captured by painting around the light. That sense of light comes from achieving a contrast of values within the painting (the lightest value being the white of the surface). Using a range of color temperature contributes to this illusion as well. I also like to paint in a little light using touches of cool yellow (Hansa Yellow Lt) hinting at the idea of sun. I am at the midpoint for building the values in the above triptych (each section 12x12 on Ampersand Aquabord).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Smallest Fan

How can I be expected to work under these conditions? Hee,hee...
...amazing I can get any work done.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Painting on Yupo, Workshop Day 3

Today I finished up my painting for the workshop demonstration. I worked around the flower, painting each pedal with an application of wet-into-wet paint, dropping in color, adding a dark maroon mix where needed and lifting out paint as needed to create form. To enhance the perspective of color, I used more neutral magenta and purples in the pedals behind and more intense magenta and whites for the forward shapes. I may add a few more details or dark shadows within the flower to finish. Once complete, I will use an aerosol varnish to seal the painting and then mat and frame the painting behind glass.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Magenta, Watercolor on Claybord, 8X8

"Stop the car" I tell my husband, driving out of our neighborhood enjoying one of first few days of spring with the kids. "Watch you doing, mommy?" asks my 3-yr-old. My six year old answers, "She is going to take pictures of the flowers." And I add, "I just saw my next painting." And so the conversation goes...
I take my camera everywhere. You never know when something will catch your attention and call to be a painting; everyday things that I may not have even noticed the day (or years) before. That day, it was a row of tulips(?); three lined up in a row dancing in the wind and sun, spotted in the landscaping at the corner motel exiting my neighborhood (an unusual place to find beautifully landscaped patches of blossoming tulips I would say). So, these flowers will be the subject for my next painting, a triptych watercolor on aquabord. Above my composition and color study of magenta.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Painting on Yupo, Workshop Day 2

In today's "Watercolor on Yupo" workshop, I painted the background (and some foreground) for what will be a water lily flower. The paint for the background was applied using a "soupy" mix of paint, pulling from puddles of Perylene Green, Winsor Green, Indigo, and Dioxazine Purple. I allowed the colors to loosely mingle by dropping in water and pushed around the darks with a paintbrush to create forms until the paint dried. For painting these rich darks, I have recently began using the PBk31 pigment, Perylene Green. After researching this pigment (, my most used reference for researching pigment), I have discovered that Perylene Green falls into the family of "Black" pigments. And now that I have been using it, I don't know how I ever got along without it. Perylene green is very lightfast (rated 1 for excellence), semitransparent, staining, very dark valued pigment.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

WaterLily Pond, Almost finished

While working on this painting today, I came to a realization (as I often do after spending so much time with a painting). And since entering the world of blogging, I have become much more introspective regarding the reasons why I paint what I paint and the timing of things. Usually there is some personal purpose, need to express a feeling or say something (other than a deadline or commission). So my realization today... this painting is a metaphor for my life; each lily pad a task, responsibility, relationship, or some detail in life. Some overlapping, some distant, seemingly obscure, all complex and inter-related in some way. Despite my best efforts, I am, at times, overwhelmed with the complexity of details in daily life (as I was with this painting). But then, I am able to step back and see my work (and life) as a whole; some edges up front, more prominent, others distant, more vague. The amount of energy, attention, and importance relative to that piece at a particular time. And then, out of the complexity of forms, something beautiful... blossoms- cherished relationships, nurtured children, professional successes, creative expressions. All connected and vital in the pond.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Balloons on Yupo

Today I demonstrated two paintings for a "beginning techniques" exercise in the "Watercolor on Yupo" workshop. Yupo is a manufactured synthetic paper made from recycled plastic. The surface is nonabsorbent and so requires some variation from traditional watercolor methods. Watercolor painted on yupo creates unusual "fluid" effects. For beginning techniques, we practiced various methods for applying the paint on yupo, subtracting paint, and creating cascading variegated and flat washes. To see a few more of my paintings on yupo, visit my website gallery.