Monday, May 22, 2017

Beginners Watercolor Workshop


These are some beginning watercolor exercises I had people do in a recent 3 hour workshop.  The students were pretty much rank beginners or had never tried watercolor before.  It was set up in a local library as part of their learning series with student grade paper and paint supplied, and it worked fine for an introductory class. I emphasized that if they really want to continue to learn to paint watercolors, it's important to get artist grade paper and paints and a few good brushes.  The right tools for a trade make a huge difference!
Below are samples of what I demonstrated on good paper. 


Started with washes to learn properties of watercolor and how it acts on paper, letting two colors fuse together.

I demonstrated four ways to use the washes; clockwise from top-negative painting, salt and cling wrap for texture, dragging spattered paint our from a central puddle, and masking off.

I painted some bachelor button flowers and a feather incorporating some of the techniques- wash, cling wrap and splatter.

Everybody had fun including me! Sorry I don't have pictures of everyone and their work; the time went fast and before I knew it they were packed up and leaving, and hopefully inspired to give it a try another time.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Spring Flower Practice

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Time to rev up the flower painting practice for a couple demos this weekend at Dickman Farms Garden Show. 
https://www.dickmanfarms.com/about-us/events/show/va-va-bloom-garden-show-95 What a great time of year for us Northeasters to get a blast of color!
I really did need to practice as I spent this winter experimenting with other techniques and materials like liquid acrylics, monoprinting, and urban sketching. More about that later.
I always like to see how other artists handle flowers, and I have a few favorites that inspire me like Jean Haines, and Helen Dealtry who does fabric design. Andrew Geeson has some nice videos on Youtube. In the end you just have to get the paints out and spend a few hours here and there to get comfortable with your own style and let the pigments do their thing. Try color combos and washes and write down your favorites. Be patient and let things dry. Become aware of pigment/water ratios for different effects. Most of all give yourself a break from trying to create a perfect finished painting and just play, and play some more. And have fun!  The scraps of wonderful color can always be cut up for little cards, gift tags and collage and origami.  Hmmm, maybe that will be another post.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

VaVa Bloom Garden Show coming soon


Getting ready for this spring show in all its glory at Dickman Farms in April.
Click the link on the right sidebar for all the glorious info.
Winter's been long, but soon to be gone!




Saturday, November 12, 2016

Christmas is Coming


Busy getting ready for the Plowshares Art Fair Dec. 3-4. I tried to make each day in October count for doing some original paintings to have ready, along with prints and notecards. This fall had a theme of pumpkins (of course) and feathers. So many beautiful feathers seemed to float my way-blue jays, peacocks and turkeys from a local farm, and delicate little loon feathers in the Adirondacks. Then I just had to make some fantasy feathers too!




Saturday, October 15, 2016

Evolution of a Bluejay Painting

I love painting birds-little calligraphic marks sometimes make a wonderful little painting in a few seconds. For a full size more accurate image I really take my time-sketching to get the markings and beak and body right, and color studies, and wash swatches to stay loose and let the paint do its thing.


 Lightly outlined in pencil to get the shape, then I erase some marks so I'm not "coloring in the lines". Then I can start with the eye and first washes.
 Putting in just enough marks to identify his distinctive feathers and face
His tail is added. A few loose swishes then little marks when dry. And then-arrgh!- I never composed what he was going to be perched on. How to finish this.  Decisions decisions. I didn't want to ruin or take much away from his image by getting all branchy. His tummy needed defining. And what direction should a branch go in? I didn't want to cut him in half and lines are very powerful in a painting. They take your eyes either to or away from your subject and can be distracting if not placed correctly.

I got out my trusty little piece of acetate to place over the bird, and experimented.  This gave me peace of mind to create a "just enough" branch to finish him on. Next time I'll prepare a little more so I don't have to struggle so much, but this worked out okay.

I might add some more smudges to the background but will let this guy-and me-rest and see if he's done. A mat may be all that's needed.
What do you think?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Watercolor Workshop


I will be doing a 3 hour watercolor workshop at the Fingerlakes Arts Organization in Auburn NY on Saturday October 29.  Very excited to share some of my favorite techniques for loose and free watercolor painting! The time will fly! The aim will be to learn how loose, easy, colorful washes can be used to start a fresh looking painting. Copy and paste the link below or click on the link under "Art shows and exhibits" for info on registering.


http://www.fingerlakesarts.org/

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer of Demos

I had been doing the usual watercolor flower demos this summer-there are so many to choose from!- but thought a street scene would be fun.  Imagine Gallery, who carries my art, had some of their artists do some demonstrations in front of the store during Sidewalk sale days.  It's super fun to talk to people while you're painting. I used to be a little shy about it but got over that in a hurry when I realized people love to watch and tell  stories about their art interests or maybe want to learn to paint too. It's a happy thing to discuss. :) It's also a great way to get out there in front of people and show your art.
The list of demos this year include a Brusho demo for an art guild, watercolor for a Seymour Library artist series, Skaneateles Sidewalk Sales, and Polo for Preemies.