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.

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.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Lavender Festival 2016

Another great year (the 9th) at the Lavender Festival! Simply the most satisfying, gratifying experience one could hope for.  I was one of the first vendors at this venue years ago as a new artist. In the beginning I had a few notecards in plastic baggies, and some framed paintings with a borrowed tent and metal grid racks.   There were only about 6-8 artist booths, 2 port-a-potties, and somebody cooking hotdogs.  It has grown exponentially every year, and this year we had probably 5000 visitors, 25 artists, several professional food vendors, demonstrations all day and more potties! This year I brought all sizes of original paintings, prints and notecards. People come from everywhere to enjoy the farm, pick lavender, and shop.  I have grown so much personally as an artist and have developed a following from this show more than any other. Maybe because it's local, maybe the small size has let people find me; whatever the reason it has let me paint with freedom and have learned to work really hard to prepare a nice show with lots of choices and price points so people can have a piece of art for themselves or a gift. It's a dream come true for me!

I had a great location-the first booth!

On the left is a true friend-she helped me both days, all day!
                              My hubby to the rescue-I had forgotten a few things to decorate my tent!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lavender Festival

Here are some samples of original art and notecards that will be available at the locally famous and fabulous Lavender Festival July 9-10.  We've all been working really hard to get ready and praying for kind weather that weekend.  Hope to see you!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Outdoor Studio

What a heavenly spring day to work outdoors!  I needed to work on some Brusho pine trees for a demo I'm doing for an art guild this week. There are plenty of models to work from in the yard. Birds chirping, warm sun, glorious greens for inspiration, and even visits from the hummingbird made for a lovely morning to paint.  It was all play with no pressure to do a finished painting. I think the more hours you play the easier it is to make inspired paintings.  It doesn't look like my dog (Romeo) cares too much about the whole deal-he's just waiting for playtime with him. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Spring birds

The goldfinches are back and they are voracious eaters!  I have about 5 feeders and they eat out of every one. This little girl bird had such a soft and gentle look about her, contrasting with the very bright yellow males.  I used Daniel Smith Hansa yellow, green gold, quinacridone gold and indigo for the bird.  It looked pretty bland without any background so I got out the Brusho. I covered her up and wet the area behind her,  sprinkled with Turquoise and squirted just a little bit.  It's always a bit of a gamble to see what happens but that makes it exciting!  Staying safe all the time is boring and you don't grow much as an artist.