Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This is a painting we did in our mentoring session. My student had lived in Holland for 3 1/2 years while her husband was a consultant there. The photo was dark and indistinct, but we simplified it a bit and did the windmill as the focus and without a clear light source, but it still has a richness I like. What do you think?

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Newspaper Rock Revisited

After thinking on this some more, and receiving a thoughtful critique from a WcW member (thanks Jane!) I decided to splatter quite a bit of the rock colors and some quin gold on this just to age them a bit and make them look less pasted on. I do like this and will probably do the same with the larger version when I do that. In the meantime, I am preparing to do another Aubrey portrait, stay tuned!

Newspaper Rock

This must be my day for finishing up projects that have been left partially finished. Now, I can move on to my next big idea. No wonder I can't remember anything, there are so many ideas filling my brain there is no room for remembered things!

I saw this method of doing petroglyph watercolors in a gallery in Tubac a few years back and, unfortunately, cannot remember the name of the artist as I would like to give her credit for the inspiration for this piece. This is a quarter-sheet study done to check out this method for a full sheet painting I would like to do. Stayed tuned for that! I plan on using LOTS of my reference photos of petroglyphs, I have hundreds and hundreds of them.

I thought I was finished with this one but now think I will do some splattering to make the petroglyphs looks less smooth and more aged. There is something about seeing photos of my paintings on the computer screen that acts like a "you need to do this" reminder. Strange.


This is my submission to the Watercolor Workshop project for the month of March where we all are to paint from the same photo, these fabulous birds. One of the artists in the group, Janet of Tenerife, Canary Islands, did hers in this lovely oval of foliage. I liked the composition so much I asked for, and received, her permisison to borrow her idea for my painting.

For those who were painting with me at the Art Club last Thursday who wanted me to make a shadowy left eye on the left bird's tipped head, it is there in the shadows. I did it, it just does not show up well in the photo. I try to please!

These birds show the affection that is Nature, huh?

New Link

Every once in awhile I find an artist's website or blog that just blows me away so I bookmark it and keep returning again and again. This happened this morning with another artist's site that shows her journey into the world of oils. I "know" her previously through Watercolor Workshop and have always thought that when I grow up I want to paint watercolor portraits just like Doris. Now, she is giving oils an earnest try and, of course, she is doing wonderfully well in that. This girl can paint, no matter the medium.

I am not trying to turn my blog into a testimonial on other artists, but if the intent of this blog is to journal my artistic thoughts I simply have to share my thoughts on the journeys of others and Doris's journey inspires me greatly.

I have added the link Doris Glovier - Journey in Oils to my links list and you can check it out if you want. She also is a wonderful photographer who shares her great photos with us at Watercolor Workshop, she truly has it going on!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Yupo Petroglyphs

I wanted to do something different at the art club Thursday afternoon so decided to do some more Yupo. I brought along different objects from around the house to use for "stamping" onto the Yupo. I used these stamps both negatively and positively. I started out trying to create something for the Arizona Artists Guild Spring show, with the theme of "Green - Found objects transformed". I thought the nylon mesh, foam paint rollers, stencils, bubble wrap, etc. would qualify as "found objects" and this might work for that show entry.

I got started putting layer after layer of watercolor paint on this, removing bits of it with the meshes and bubble wrap, adding to it with positive stamping with the objects and just kept going for three hours. I had so much fun I think I lost sight of my original theme, but I really didn't care by the time I got done with this, it was a fun time of discovery.

What is so strange is that this is only the second almost-abstract painting I have ever attempted, I usually do more realistic landscapes, etc. I was in virgin territory here and wasn't sure what to do next. I took it to the Vanguard Artists meeting yesterday afternoon, hoping to get some feedback about what else was needed design-wise, etc. and was told to just sign it and leave it alone, that was the overwhelming critique with this. Cool! Since I don't look at much abstract art I really couldn't get a good feeling about this but now I think I will just frame it. It will be matted and fit into a 29 x 36 frame, I hope I don't break the glass on this big one, too. I still have to replace the glass with Plexiglas for the last one I broke while framing it. These big sheets of thin glass aren't very forgiving!

Mentoring painting

I chose this pueblo scene for the mentoring group to get some practice in value shifts and grayscale underpainting. This is my painting from the session. I like how the underpainting works for scenes like this.

No awards

We attended the reception for the Peoria Celebration of Artists last night. It was very crowded and a lovely reception. Alas, my painting did not win any awards, but I felt good in seeing that most of the ones that did win were of very high quality, as were most of the accepted paintings on display. It is a bit discouraging to see, as happens often, what is chosen for awards when the paintings chosen are slanted toward one discipline (abstract, etc.) or another for every award. I saw many more traditonal representational paintings than is normal to be chosen for a show and found that gratifying since that is what I paint and understand. This is the second show I have been accepted into that I didn't have a good camera with me (why can't I remember that?) to show me by my painting and the cell phone camera just doesn't focus in that lighting situation. One of these days, if I get into any other shows, I will post a good photo here.

I have quite a few unfinished, but nearing completion, works in progress on my worktable right now. I will work on getting those finished this weekend and post here. I also worked on a large Yupo painting in the below abstract style (yeah, I know, I don't care for that style much) this week....yikes! I am really in unknown territory when I do that and rarely have a clue what to do, but this time I had such fun doing it that I didn't care. More to follow on the technique when I post the painting.

Friday, March 07, 2008

If you would like to see some of the many photos I took on our week long trip to the Camp Verde area, please click on and you can see some of the over 1,500 photos we took between the two of us. These are just a few of the sights we saw and enjoyed. It is good to be home but not to be viewing the dusty house and mountain of laundry!

I tried to get the slideshow link to work but it shows just a few photos and then goes black, even though they are visible as being part of the set. Strange. Anyway...I promise, as time permits, to get these labeled and add some more photos from the trip.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Out of Africa

We spent yesterday at Out of Africa, a wildlife park near Camp Verde, AZ. They have enclosures for most of the animals, and some roam freely in the center of the park, in a natural environment much like Africa. Those who roam freely come up to the open bus for photo ops. I took 500 photos yesterday, but some of that number was inflated by my use of the action shot feature that took multiple shots at once to catch the animals moving. My favorite photo is that of the male lion, it looks like he is very close, but I was on a viewing platform and used a telephoto lens. Many of my photos were shot through chain link fence so it was great to get a clear shot of this guy. My next favorite shot was of the white tiger female. She was just gleaming white in the sun. I was just about six feet away from her and she just considered I was there and watched me with little interest. We walked a lot again at the park so we are getting some exercise in on this trip. Still having fun! We will leave for home tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Camp Verde Adventure - Day 4

We spent the morning re-exploring Jerome, a hillside old mining town. Most of the buildings are mid-1800 contruction, at least those that didn't slide down the mountain in the thirties! It is a bit touristy and artsy-fartsy, but charming all the same. The two building photos need no explanation. The third photo does need an explanation....I am NOT making a political statement with this. We were driving down a street there and on the fence was this display and signs. We laughed and I took a photo. No matter whose side you are on, this is a funny sight!

Tomorrow we go to Out of Africa, a wildlife park here in Camp Verde. We have heard such good reports on this place that I hope to get many good photos of African animals. Should be fun.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Camp Verde Adventure Day 3

We spent today tromping through cliff dwellings and photographing many more petroglyophs to add to my petroglyph/pictograph library. It was a fun, great and tiring day but so nice to spend in this wonderful part of the planet. Red rocks rock!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Camp Verde Adventure - Day 1 and 2

We saw such a green desert on our trip to Camp Verde yesterday. The desert north of Phoenix was a velvety green, with some wildflowers emerging. As we got to the higher desert elevations, however, the foliage was its Winter colors and most of the deciduous trees were still barren. Our RV park for the week is by a stream that is running fast due to snow melt and is in a grove of Sycamore trees. Sycamores have white bark and they are still with no leaves.

This morning we chose a forest road that would lead us to the V Bar V petroglyph site. There were quite a few streams that had water running fast and deep. For those familiar with the I-17 Interstate to Flagstaff, you cross over Wet Beaver Creek, only I have never seen any water in this. Well, today it was running swiftly and deeply with water. The petroglyph site required a half-mile hike in and out, but was not a bad trail. Got some exercise! There were many petroglyphs on this cliff face, some we had not encountered before. I am showing one photo of this site, these were either cranes or herons and there were a few different astrological symbols than we have seen elsewhere.

On the way back we stopped at a creek that I neglected to find the name of and the creek had nice quiet pools and at places the water ran through deep red rock slabs. I am showing two views of this interesting creek.

We will explore the old part of Cottonwood tomorrow. The weather has been beautiful so far. Talk to you then.