Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Arlene's Hawaii

This painting was done from a photo by one of my mentoree's, Arlene, who just returned from Hawaii armed with new photos from their time share. We did these large paintings today and concentrated on composition and painting palm fronds. It was great fun and the best palm fronds I have done...hooray! Go rake brushes and fan brushes!

I will await critiques on this one and let it marinate on my painting easel for a few days before deciding if it is done or requires any fine tuning.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Latest SWAP painting!

I still belong to an online group of artists known as Sharing With Artist Partners (or SWAP). Quarterly, we have a swap during which we receive an original painting from a secret (except known to the Moderator) partner and someone in the group receives one from me. This is the painting I received this week from Teresa, an artist from Madrid, Spain. Isn't this just luscious? I love the way she handled the rind, such juicy colors and just the right mottling of the rind colors.

I have a Wall of Fame in my studio on which hang all of my SWAP paintings, they are all around 5x7 - 8x10 in size and this will go right up there when I get it matted and framed. It is always such fun wondering from whom I will get my next painting! I love them all.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brown Pelican - WIP 5

As with the last stage, not much different is being done other than more definition of textures and I began the drybrushing for further detail on the wing.

This is where it was left, to be picked up soon, I hope. I will strengthen the color of his beak, model his legs/feet more realistically and texture the wooden post on which he is standing.

My next decision, after that, will be to decide just what to do about a background. In the photo, there is nothing but blue sky behind him; so I may do that, may leave it white, may do blue sky with some clouds, who knows? Decisions, decisions.....

Brown Pelican - WIP 4

At this point, it is more a matter of just strengthening what I had done in WIP 3, further defining the values of his body and working in more feather texture on the wings and back. I also added some darker areas of where his neck feathers are separating as he bends his head.

Brown Pelican - WIP 3

I started defining the wonderful beak on this bird, I just loved his posture. Diane said he actually just stood still, posing like this for her for the longest time. Cool photograph!

I brushed in the beginnings of some of the wing feathers and started putting in more modeling shadows at this point. I strengthened the yellow area of the head while lifting some color to show the bulge above his jaw. I keep saying "his", I truly do not know if it is a he or she, but it is posing proudly like a he so we will assume that is so.

I am trying to make haste slowly so I will not lose many of those lightest areas but adding the necessary darks to show modeling of his anatomy.

Brown Pelican - WIP 2

As usual, when beginning a watercolor painting, I start with a wet-in-wet underpainting to act as a roadmap of sorts for the more detailed painting later. I added bits of warm yellow to the pelican's body where the light will hit it.

Brown Pelican - WIP 1

This will be a painting of a Brown Pelican from a photo by Diana Webb. She gave her permission to me to paint this and suggested that she would like to watch this photo "come to life" as a painting on my blog. So, I will begin with the drawing and submit work in progress photos individually in all the stages.

The first five photos were all done during the open painting session of the watercolor group that meets weekly at the Sun City Grand Art Club. This is an atmosphere rich in creativity and shared interest in watercolor. Great group to paint with!

Newest Creative Media

Well, I can't say I was looking for something else to occupy my spare time since I don't seem to have a lot of that recently, but the opportunity presented itself for me to take some classes in wire-wrap and wire-sculpting to create jewelry. Since I have collected beads, polished gemstones we have "mined", and have lots of just pretty things to work with I just couldn't resist taking the classes.

Friday was the first class and I created the turquoise pendant, which I added to a string of turquoise beads after I got home. The copper wrap necklace was done by enhancing what was already strung to add some pizazz to this natural stone necklace I beaded about a month ago. I started wrapping a sodalite pendant this morning and am working on beading it now. I'll post that photo when I get it finished. I have to say this is so enjoyable to do, and I hope to improve enough to make them really look great. If my arthritic hands will hold out long enough, I hope to continue on with this.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Gila Ruins in Sepia

This is the second painting project for the Watercolor Workshop group for the month of February, they both have had the sepia theme - a favorite of mine! I wanted to paint something looser and free after the tightness required by the satins and lace painting and this fit the bill.

These cliff dwelling ruins were near Silver City, NM and required a long, hot climb to reach them. However, once there, I was able to climb into portions of the ruins, including on a very long ladder to reach some of the upper portions. This is a protected site by the National Parks Service and one of the few cliff dwelling sites we have seen that allows this option to experience the ruins from the inside of the dwellings. This was done about five years ago, before increasing physical limitations started so I doubt I will do anything quite this arduous again, but I certainly have the photos and memories to prove I once could do it!

Now, onto something with a bit more color.....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Satin and Lace in Sepia

This is one of the February projects for the Watercolor Workshop; to paint, in sepia, from the same photograph. When I first saw this photo I thought "oh no, not me" but I studied it and, since I love painting in sepia, I decided to give it a try. What made it do-able was the fact that is is just a collection of value shifts and shadow shapes, so it really wasn't as complicated as first thought. I do like the old look to this and hope that someone who is a seamstress will be attracted to it for purchase. I used to sew constantly, but once I started painting that got pushed aside and, finally, put to rest permanently! I am still drawn to piles of laces and satin ribbons, though!

The other February project is to paint anything in sepia, so I have drawn a cliff dwelling we visited outside of Silver City, NM a few years ago. It is good to be painting again more regularly.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Brenda Quartzsite Adventure

We took the motorhome out for a few days to nearby Brenda, AZ. We have stayed there before when we wanted to explore Quartzsite but had never traveled on any of the desert trails. This was our trip to do that. We were very glad to be in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle since parts of this Ramsey Mine Road went through washes which had quite a few large rocks to crawl over. This is a photo of the mine entrance, my longest lens was used to get this photo without endangering myself or trespassing as the signs warn against.

We saw a desert scene emerging from the winter drabness with Teddy Bear Chollas very healthy looking and the Ocotillas were leafing out with new growth. When the cholla was backlit they looked so soft and fuzzy, like they were neon....but we have learned that you don't get anywhere near them since they have earned their nicknames of "jumping" cholla. I can still remember how painful it was to brush against one and having one of the balls of thorns in my foot.

The panoramic shot was stitched together from 10 photos, I loved seeing those distant mountains behind all the foreground desert. As always, you can click on the photo to make it larger and see more detail.

When in Quartzsite we visited a few of the rock/gem shops and vendors. I found way too many things I loved and bought stones and findings for making some necklaces and earrings. It was a fun day!