Sunday, April 24, 2011

Crawfish on Newsprint

watercolor and ink on paper 6x6 $195.00  BUY NOW
Hi Everyone,

I hope everyone had a nice holiday weekend.  We traveled to Louisiana last week to spend Easter with my husband's parents.  We had a lovely time.  We celebrated by having a crawfish and shrimp boil.  As soon as I heard that we were going to do this my mind went to where my mind always goes-- to art!   So while everyone one was drooling over dinner, they had to patiently wait while I photographed these beauties.  It wasn't until I got home that I realized they were sitting on a newspaper discussing the oil leak and the 1 yr anniversary of the BP oil spill.  So a painting was born.  I will probably revisit crawfish because they are really gorgeous in color and I got some great shots of them. 

I'm also happy to announce that my painting 'Nostalgia' the 6x6 version sold at the Randy Higbee Gallery.  The 6"squared show is in full swing and chalk full of gorgeous available art.  'Dinner at Eight' is still available as far as I know, so check out Randy's site and take in the fabulous art. 
'Nostalgia' SOLD                              'Dinner at Eight' Available

Steven got his crayons out and created a nice picture for you this week.  I'm glad we're back into using colors:)
Hope everyone has a fabulous week,


Monday, April 18, 2011

Nostalgia (Large Version)

watercolor on paper 23.5 x 37.5


1. A sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.  

This chair belongs to my Grandma.  I have seen this chair my whole life sitting on her back porch.  Many a green bean have been shucked sitting in this chair.  My Grandma's house has so much meaning for me.  It is my home base, the place I think of when I hear the word "home".  Growing up we moved a lot, but every Summer was spent at my Grandma's.  So when I heard that she is planning on selling her house it shook me to the core.  Logically I know that it's time, she's in her 80's and even thought she gets around phenomenally well, that won't last forever.  Logically I know that even if the house is not in her possession the memories will still be there.  But, I feel like I'm losing my "home".  I'm sure it is also making me aware that she will not always be there.  So with all of these feelings and thoughts racing through my head I remembered taking a picture of this chair.  This chair that has been there my whole life and by the looks of it several lives before mine.  The day I took the photo reference, my Grandma wasn't quite sure why I wanted to take a picture of that old chair.  And she wasn't sure why I needed to move it out in front of her hydrangea bush with all of it's blooms deteriorating, she told me she planned on refinishing that chair and I should wait until then to take it's picture.  But that old chair is the epitome of beauty to me.  It's been around and all of it's peeling layers of paint make it all that much more beautiful!!  So when the house is gone and my Grandma has passed I hope to own that old chair, to remind me of "home".
Steven posing with "Nostalgia" just to give some scale:)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Nostalgia Work in Progress and a little bit about the process

Nostalgia (in large format) work in progress 24 x 38
This week I'm tackling  full sheet painting.  I'm working on a large version of the 6x6 I have in the Randy Higbee exhibit.  I will admit I've been slightly intimidated with the size of it.  Even the preparation for working at this size was more complicated.  I stretch my paper, so the first step to this process was buying a half sheet of plywood.  Once I had that polyurethaned both sides I was able to stretch my paper.  I work out of my dining room and a half sheet of plywood is pretty much all encompassing.  I could cut down the plywood, but I may want to do some even larger paintings so at the moment I'm leaving it as it.  I am going to back up and tell you how I stretch my paper because I had a conversation with another watercolor artist last week and learned that we do things very differently.  I wet my paper completely both sides in the shower.  I just turn on the shower and hold it in the stream for a few minutes manipulating it to make sure the entire thing gets wet.  I then lay this flat on my board and staple around the entire paper about 1/2" from the edge and about every 2 inches or so.  After this dries, and it always looks scary during the drying process, full of waves, and every time I think that is not going to dry flat and it always does.  It takes about a day to dry. 
my stretched paper on my very large board
During this time I work out my drawing on another sheet of paper.  I do my drawing to scale and after my paper is completely dry I transfer it using graphite paper.  I make my own graphite paper.  I learned this from a fellow artist during a workshop.  Take a sheet of tracing paper, cover it entirely with graphite using a graphite stick (not a fun job) after it is completely covered wipe it down with a paper towel damp with  rubbing alcohol or lighter fluid.  I have used both and find rubbing alcohol to work better.  After you've wiped it down, take a cloth or paper towel and rub it down again to get the residual graphite off of the paper.  The paper becomes almost impregnated with the graphite.  It works very well.  I think it is worth making your own because any store bought paper I've used leaves a lot of heavy graphite on the watercolor paper while you're transferring the drawing.  I like a light pencil line.
my home-made graphite paper
 I also use a mechanical pencil to transfer my drawing, they are great, always sharp and very fine lines.  As soon as the drawing is transferred I'm off and running and ready to paint.  I paint section by section and mostly wet on dry.  I do use wet on wet techniques in controlled areas.  I like to complete one area at a time so I can see how it's going to turn out.  I don't leave that area until I'm satisfied and it is in the final stage, of course at the end I may go back and tweak here and there, but for the most part I want it completed before I move on to the next section.
My painting in stages.  The blue stuff is tape, I tape off the edges so that I'm left with nice crisp border when I'm done.
A look at my work area/dining room
I do want to give a shout out to the great and talented Julie Hill who gave me some pointers on painting large scale and has been terrific moral support.  Check out her work it's beautiful!  That is just one of many things I love about blogging, the support and friendship is invaluable:)

Steven did do a painting this week.  Should I be worried?  Maybe he's in a black period, but at 4 years old!

Have a great week everyone!!

Happy Creating,


Monday, April 4, 2011

Parisian Produce

watercolor on paper 6x6 BUY NOW $195
Hi everyone,
Hope you had a fabulous weekend!  We had beautiful weather, aside from everyone having a cold at our house it was a lovely weekend.  Sam, my youngest son turned 2 on Thursday, so we had  celebratory time.  As if on cue Sam decided he was now old enough to not have to sleep in his crib.  We spent the weekend trying to corral him.  It was a struggle, he has tasted freedom and there is no turning back.  I guess the writing is on the wall and a big boy bed is in our future!

For this weeks painting I completed a 6x6 of a gorgeous still life that I stumbled upon on one of our trips to Paris.  I do love how the produce was arranged as if it was just waiting to be painted.  This one took me longer than I thought because of all of the texture.  Texture on a small scale can prove to be challenging.  I do love the variety of greens in this painting and the basket just makes it feel so homey.

Steven got back in the game this week.  He did a drawing.  he told me he doesn't want to paint right now, so I guess he'll be working on some drawings.  I am trying to talk him into painting some large canvases.  He was pretty excited about the prospect of that.

I also am about to embark on my first full sheet painting.  I got a half sheet of plywood and polyeurathaned it this weekend.  I've stretched my paper, now I just have to get my nerve up to start.  I would love to hear any advice on working in large scale.

Happy Creating!