Saturday, March 25, 2017

Spring


I have painted several dozen nests but I never cease to enjoy the process of creating another one.
Each nest painting turns out quite different because I  choose to vary the position, colors and style.  I start with a plain piece of watercolor paper and put down some paint with a circular motion to create the body of the nest.  Then comes the best part, I throw paint to create the twigs and branches that surround the nest adding some spatters for good measure.  Deep dark paints fill the center of the nest.  When the paint dries I am able me to wash out the egg shapes which finishes this artwork.

Big Brushwork - 5


This is a favorite way for me to paint.  I start and continue to the finish only using a very large brush and start with  a plain piece of paper.  No drawing is done but I do know what subject I want to paint. This process definitely has some limitations but does ensure the creation of a very loosely done and freeing piece of artwork.  Ask most watercolor students what they most want to do and the answer is invariably "paint loose and free"!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Wildfire!

Birch trees are a favorite subject of the artists in my watercolor classes.  These are started with pieces of masking or artists tape that are shaped to get rid of the straight lines.  A colorful diagonal sky is washed in followed by darker paints on the bottom of the page.  Previously I had painted several renditions using spring or summer greens and yellows.  This time I wanted to paint autumn but somehow wound up with the look of a wildfire!

All is Calm, All is Bright

 

This is one of my "Big Brushwork" pieces, meaning I only use a large brush when painting. This was a 1 1/2" wide flat brush. It has certain challenges particularly when trying to create fine grasses and other smaller lines. The benefit is that it gives the ability to paint a very loose watercolor that is clean, crisp and bright.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Fixer Upper

 
This dilapidated cottage is located at Eden Lawn Plantation in Jensen Beach, Florida. Somehow even though it is falling apart it has an appeal that I wanted to capture in paint. And, living in this town made me want to preserve some of the memories from the past. Eden Lawn in it's heyday was a community of cottages surrounded by lush tropical foliage and even had colorful parrots flying around free! Sounds like a little bit of Eden, doesn't it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Hydrangeas in Terracotta Pot

Lately I've been using lots of blue paint along with the purple that I've always favored.  I swear I have to refill the purple pan in my palette more often than any other except yellow.  Both seem to disappear very quickly.  What better to paint using these favored colors than hydrangeas.  Add a touch of red violet or opera and they almost paint themselves.  On another note a new student looked at my blog before joining one of my classes and said she liked that my paintings are 'happy'.  I like that too.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Hydrangeas

This painting I call a 're-tread".  Like the tires with that name I decided to try and give it new life. (After first discarding it in a pile used for painting on the back)  When I lived on Long Island my hydrangeas flourished on my property.  These bushes had a long history of coming first from Brooklyn in my grandmother's garden, to my mother's garden and then when I had my first home, cuttings were given to me.  I developed a love for these large, colorful blooms that filled my yard with beauty.  So now when I can, I happily paint them.  Good news!  When I moved to Florida my daughter Heather took some of these plants and now they flower beautifully in her garden in Sturbridge MA!

Goin' Bananas


I love to use an 'oiler boiler' otherwise known as a fine line applicator.  This is a little plastic bottle that has a long needle like tip which is used for enhancing a painting.  It can be filled with acrylic paint in whatever color you choose.  Generally I like to use black or even white but this time I decided to try silver to see the effect.  First I painted the bananas and added a loose colorful background.  Then I outlined the the bananas in silver paint to add just a touch of whimsey to this painting.  Am I goin' bananas?

Dune Walk II



This painting was done with a neat little technique that allows it to be framed easily and without a mat.  Cut your paper to fit a frame before you begin.  Then starting with blank watercolor paper use masking fluid to paint a line about 1/4 inch thick around the perimeter of the paper.  Place this line about 1 1/2 inches in from edge.  Make it a bit wavy to give the painting some charm.  You do not want  nor need the line to be rigid and absolutely straight.  After the painting is complete, remove the masking fluid.  Add some additional touches by breaking through the edges in several places.  You will see I added some grasses and a seagull this way.  Creative and a bit different?  I think so.  And you can immediately put it in the frame and you are done.

Patience

Continuing with my theme of painting nests I created this mixed media piece.  Adding two sweet Chickadees which are particular favorites of mine gave this piece the spirit I was looking for.  These little birds are so cute with their distinct coloring and plump little bodies.   Using Ogura lace paper I tore it into small pieces and applied them one by one to embellish the painting.  This added the look of having white pin feathers surrounding the nest, giving the painting the feeling that these parents were preparing a soft place for the arrival of their young.  We prepare a bassinet or crib for our babies before they arrive and nature has seen to it that birds do the same.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Standing Guard

I don't see many robins in our neighborhood but I have fond memories from up north where we saw many of them.  I think we're all familiar with robins egg blue as a color that is quite special and appealing. So, too,  the beautifully colored eggs of robins give us the good news that spring is finally arriving.   Well, if we were lucky enough to have a nest that we could peek into.  In truth, there is something very elemental about nests, eggs and birds that relates to the seasons and also to the continuity of life.  I truly enjoy painting them.

Waiting

I love to create nests using various painting methods and adding lace paper for texture.  It takes many layers of paint, splashed, spattered and applied with a brush plus lots of creative thought to get to a completed piece.  Recently I've begun adding birds to guard over the eggs in the nest.  This adds a feeling of expectation to the painting due to the bit of mystery about the impending births.

Hutchinson Island Lone Tree

This is a painting of the coastline of Hutchinson Island in Jensen Beach FL. Located there is a lone pine that leans toward the water which creates a naturally charming composition.  It's one of the favorite paintings that we do in my watercolor class and one that most everyone has success with.  It's simply sky, water, rocks, sand, the tree and some scrubby foliage.  Add some shadows and you have a lovely painted image that invites you to enjoy the view.

Blowing Rocks

While on a visit to Blowing Rocks State Park in Jupiter FL, I was awed by the natural beauty in the surrounding area.  It is located on a barrier island so it has the ocean on one side and the Indian River on the other.  This watercolor was developed from a photo taken on the river side.  The water is a gorgeous shade of aqua blue, there's lots of  varied colored foliage along with some bare wood that has twisted and bent into unusual shapes.  I love having paths in my paintings because it resonates with my belief that we are all on a path as we go through life.

The Owl and the Moon

My latest venture is into painting moons.  Seems like an easy thing to do, right?  Well, no, really it isn't.  After drawing a circle, adding a star studded sky, then what?  Multiple colors were added and allowed to drip down and form lacy patterns.  It still needed something else so I decided to add a branch with an owl on it.  Who Who  else is up in the dark and bright eyed along the moon?

Botanical Impint

This is one of the very first paintings I created using cuttings from the garden, spray paint and lots of imagination.  The very first part, the white impressions, looked so good that I hesitated to touch it further.  Finally, after a time I decided that I had to try 'using watercolors' to fill it in just to see what would happen. The result is a very happy looking painting that is one of a kind, unique and quite appealing.

Waterlily

My son Bobby and his family live in Washington State.  Last summer they vacationed in the northern part of the state and took many photos.  Always thinking of  'mom the painter' my son forwarded some pictures of waterlilies.  This is one of the paintings I created.  You'll notice that it's the depth of the shadow under the flower that really pulls this painting together along with the complimentary colors used.  I always appreciate receiving inspiration in this way.

Spring's Song

I used an unusual color combination to start this painting, along with some added impression material. Once again I had to study it for a very long time to decide how to proceed.  One day when I was into painting my 'nest' creations, I realized that this is what it needed. I could insert a nest into this lovely background and finally finish this piece.  Yes, it has lavender eggs and multicolored twigs and sticks but somehow it all fits in with the theme of being a somewhat fantasy piece.

Sunset Paddle

Years ago I found an old postcard depicting Jensen Beach in it's heyday as a strictly tourist destination.  I've experienced much inspiration developing paintings that depict a sunset over the Indian River.  Each and every one is different but somehow viewing that postcard makes me want to paint.  Perhaps it's the colors or the palms in silhouette?  I don't really know.  This time I decided to add some canoes giving the peaceful feeling of taking a paddle in the sunset at the end of the day.

Crescendo

This was probably one of the easiest paintings I've ever created.  It is part of my impression series but I have to say it needed little tweaking to make it a viable piece of art.  But, as usual it took months of study to decide how to proceed to the finish. What it definitely needed was a container for the large bouquet of soft focus blooms.  I decided that I would create something unusual and used a square shape with multiple intricate designs on it.  It works well creating a tension between the bursts of unformed loose flowers and the tightly designed container.

A Key Ride

The title gives it all away.  When in Key West it is easy to get around using a bicycle due to the  warm weather, close proximity of things and narrow lanes with lovely cottages that abound.  I have been a bike rider for 35 years both for exercise and for pleasure.  I love cruising along with the wind in my hair, feeling the warm breezes and hearing the birds sing.  This painting underlines the pleasure one can feel from the beauty of natural surroundings while enjoying a wonderful feeling of freedom.

High Note

This painting is the result of a new technique I developed because of my love of all things green.  When I am trimming my garden of overgrowth I find that I hesitate to just dump the cuttings into the pail.  So instead I take them to my studio and use them to create 'live' designs.  Using my impression method and spray watercolor paint I am able to make these unusual paintings.  There are several steps involved, some outlining and brush work too but the end result 'sings'!!

Tutti Frutti





This is another of my impression paintings created using spray watercolor paint and various items to create white images on paper.  It took a while but after studying I finally saw various sized round and oval impressions on this 'start'.  I decided to treat it like a still life and proceeded to paint  many colorful fruits from these shapes.  Melon, pomegranate, apples, oranges, limes, lemons, blueberries, strawberries, plums, mangoes and more.  The result is a pleasing array of multicolored edibles.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Profusion

 
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Once again I used an array of items and some juicy paint to create a start.  I am intrigued by this method and find it is fun to prepare and then face the unknown, the impressions that are formed.  It takes some contemplation, musing over whether it has possibilities to be this or that.  I use chalk to try out shapes because it can be wiped off the paper if necessary.  First I saw the small square vase and decided to wing it and used black acrylic paint to outline it.  Then I noticed the larger container and chose to outline it even though it was not level.  From there I started to see things and kept going, outlining, filling in, using iridescent paints and gel medium to accent certain areas.  It's winner, received 3rd prize in watercolor at a show at the Lighthouse Gallery in Tequesta.

Nature's Symphony



The idea behind the creation of this painting was learned at a demo during one of the local art league meetings.  The artist placed an interesting array of items on paper and then saturated it with color.  When the items were removed there were some unique imprints on the paper.  Well, I did this and then hung it on the wall of my studio, staring at it now and then for a year.  I had no idea how to proceed!  Finally one day I thought I saw a rose and began to develop it using some paint and black outlines.  Eventually I was able to find a way to finish this painting and guess what?  I loved it!  I knew it had that certain captivating 'something' that all us artists want our work to have.  It looked bright, filled with energy and gave off a feeling of sound combined with nature, earning the title "Nature's Symphony".
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