Thursday, May 27, 2010

Beyond Brown

Recently, in one of my "Beginning Watercolor" sessions, one of my students asked "How do you make brown?" Without thinking a response, I replied..."I never try to make brown". Which isn't exactly true, once I put some thought into it. When painting a subject that will include "browns," I'm not really thinking "brown", but rather, "warm" neutrals (as opposed to grey, "cool" neutrals).
My "browns" are usually mixed using the other colors from my primary palette, providing a color harmony and unity in a painting, but yet enough variety to maintain visual interest. Notice in the two paintings [in progress] how the warm and cool neutrals play a supporting role to the star colors in the birds. Though I have not intentionally painted any of my birds brown, the viewer will see "brown".
So, finally, the simple answer to the question...How do you make brown?

1. Mix 3 primaries.

2. Mix warm compliments.

3. Add a manufactured neutral to another color with higher chroma. I usually use Burnt Sienna or Brown Madder. Just a little, neutralizes most colors.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Healing Power of Art

Over the next few months my artwork will be included in an online exhibit The Healing Power of Art, a juried competition hosted by Manhattan Arts International. The premise for the exhibit..."when artists create healing art [art that uplifts the spirit] they not only experience a healing process within themselves, their Art also has a healing impact on viewers." As a nurse and artist, art and healing are both topics very close to my heart. I live them every day. I am honored to be a part of a movement that brings awareness to the relationships between creative expression, health and wellness. You can follow the link to see my page and statement.

Manhattan Arts International

Healing Power of Art

Positive Art That Uplifts The Spirit

May 14 - September 19, 2010deserve.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Virginia Watercolor Society & Salon De Refuse

I entered this year's Virginia Watercolor Society (VWS) Annual Competition with one goal in get rejected...let me explain...

I love watercolor...painting with it, watching others paint, reading about it, viewing other's work, talking about it, etc. So I paint, teach, read the books, the magazines, attend shows, everything short of dreaming about watercolor. Though viewing other's work in watercolor and seeing what other artists are doing with the media is important for creative exploration and growth, I have been reluctant to join a regional or national society. My disillusionment came when I discovered the groups exclude watercolor done on any other surface other than paper (i.e. watercolor on canvas, yupo, and MY favorite surface, claybord), but yet will accept acrylic painted on paper as a watercolor medium...dashing my hopes of ever earning "signature" status. After all, they call themselves "Watercolor" societies not "Works on Paper" societies (doesn't quite roll off the tongue).
I digressed...

This year for those applicants who are rejected (ouch...that word comes with such feelings of despair and discouragement) into the "VWS" exhibit, there is the option to exhibit with other rogue works in the "Salon de Refuse." My hope...the works rejected from the juried show will feature contemporary (and hopefully exciting) paintings in watercolor and other various surfaces...and viewers will have the opportunity to see watercolor presented in new ways. It's a gamble...
...but I am proudly exhibiting

Secret Places
Watercolor on 22x30 Aquabord

The Virginia Watercolor Society's "Salon de Refuse"
Richmond, Virginia
May 14th-July 6th