Monday, September 30, 2013

"On Fire" Day 30/30

"On Fire" 8" x 10" watercolor with gold leaf background
Another view of "On Fire" 

It's the last day of the 30 in 30 challenge and I'm so glad I did it;))  It has been a roller coaster.  I hit a wall at day 20, had to regroup and boy was that a blessing.  Out of that came my gold leaf series.  They are so much fun to paint and people love them.  I am overwhelmed by the response and it makes me so happy:)

Today I have "On Fire".  It's a glorious red leaf.  Nature is such an amazing showcase of colors right now.

Thank you to everyone that has been following along and thank you to those that have purchased leaves.  I plan on painting a few more:)


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumn Fire

"Autumn Fire" 8" x 10" watercolor with Gold Leaf by Carrie Waller

Another view of "Autumn Fire" 8" x 10" watercolor with Gold Leaf by Carrie Waller
What is better in the Fall than a bonfire.  I found this poem by Robert Louis Stevenson and it fit so appropriately with this firey leaf.
Autumn Fires
Robert Louis Stevenson (from A Child’s Garden of Verses, 1885)
clr gif

In the other gardens
  And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
  See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
  And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
  The gray smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
  Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
  Fires in the fall!


"Time To Change" Day 28/30

"Time To Change" watercolor with gold leaf background 8" x 10"
Another view of "Time To Change"
This leaf was so much fun to paint.  I love all the colors.  The song "Time To Change" kept running through my head.  Remember that episode of the Brady Bunch?  The Brady crew had formed a singing crew Peter's voice was changing, what was the group to do?  They sang "Time To Change" and Peter's adolescent cracking voice could shine through:)


Saturday, September 28, 2013

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" Day 27/30

"Nothing Gold Can Stay" watercolor and gold leaf 8" x 10"

This project has really put me in touch with nature.  On my daily walk I am in constant search for changing leaves.  With all of this inspiration from nature I thought this poem was a beautiful accompaniment to this piece.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

       ___Robert Frost


Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Feature: Carolyn McDonald

Carolyn M

Today my Friday Feature is Carolyn McDonald.  I have been enjoying her paintings during the 30 in 30 challenge.  

To see more of Carolyn's work visit her facebook page and website

What made you decide to participate in the 30 in 30 challenge?

  I had been in a slump after my car accident and I knew that the advice Leslie Saeta gives is true.  So, I decided it would be good for me to publicly announce that I was going to do the challenge.  

What have you learned so far painting every day for the challenge?

I have learned several things from painting 30 paintings in 30 days.  1) Just paint the shapes; it all makes sense at the end; 2) Mix all the paint left over each day and use the gray in the next day painting; 3) How to loosen up strokes and keep the harder edges where I want emphasis; 4) New color combinations; 5) I have a wealth of subject matter in my classroom; 6) Painting student's feet is a great way to connect with them.

Did you have a theme in mind when you started?  What was your plan of attack for the challenge?

I decided to paint portraits at first, but I was painting large and found out quickly that I would not get to keep up with the challenge. I moved to an old theme, bow ties, because my gallery in Nashville asked that I paint more bow ties for the gallery.  While looking at the collection I realized that the neck/tie composition was unique and asked myself what other body part I could paint that would be interesting.  I found an old photo of a student in high heels and realized that was my next move.  It has been successful and I plan to do more.  Next, I looked at the portraits I had done and cropped in on one, immediately recognizing the possibilities. It never fails, painting everyday improves the quality of my work.  For now, I plan to continue the shoes and cropped faces.  Personally, those bring the most joy!

Thank you Carolyn for your interview:)  Can't wait to see the last 5 paintings:)


"Gold Leaf" and demo of the process

"Gold Leaf" watercolor with gold leaf background 9" x 10" by Carrie Waller
Buy Now $59
"Gold Leaf" 9" x 10" another view so you can see how the background changes with it's background
Day 26/30
Hi Everyone,

This is the 3rd gold leaf project that I have done in as many days and the other 2 art works have sold so I decided I will do a few more.  I have to say I'm in love with these leaves and would love to have them all over my house for Fall decor, or any time of the year.  They are elegant, they look good on the wall or the shelf.

I found this leaf today on my walk and I just love all the colors.  We could learn a lot from leaves, the more color they come in the better and the more imperfections the more interesting they are.  They are a metaphor for how we should view the world, embrace all of the colors and imperfections:)

I also had a lot of questions about my process so I'm sharing with you my process.

First I painted the leaf on watercolor paper

I painted the background around the leaf a rusty orange color so that if there are any spaces in the gold leaf they won't be white.
I then apply gold sizing around the leaf.  Wherever you paint the sizing on is where the gold leaf will adhere.  After putting a thin layer of sizing on you have to wait a minimum of an hour for it to set.
I then applied the gold leaf sheets.  These are very delicate and easily rip.  You want dry, clean hands while apply the sheets.
Using a soft brush I rub the gold leaf onto the sizing in a circular motion.  The gold leaf will not stick to any area that doesn't have sizing.
Continue this process all around the leaf making sure you overlap a little onto the gold areas for full coverage.
Voila the finished product:)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Don't Go Changing, I Love You Just the Way You Are"

"Don't Go Changing" 8" x 8" original watercolor and gold leaf by Carrie Waller
Buy Now $49
Day 25/30
Fall is in the air and I can't wait to see all the leaves change to their vibrant colors.  I found this beautiful leaf in the process of changing colors and I thought it was just so pretty it should stay just the way it is:) I'm having fun with gold leaf.  Too bad it doesn't photograph so well, but it's so pretty in person:)


Little Hummers

"Little Hummers", watercolor and gold leaf, 8" x 18" by Carrie Waller
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Soooo I fell off the wagon as far as the 30 in 30 challenge goes.  I just hit a wall, had to regroup and start again.  We'll see if I can make up some of the days I missed:(  But it was becoming more of a nightmare than a challenge and I was breaking Leslie's #1 rule to have fun, so I took a break and now I'm starting a fun project.  I broke out my gold leaf created this painting "Little Hummers".  It's 8" x 18".  I'm looking forward to using some more gold leaf this week:)


Friday, September 20, 2013

"Rain Flower" Day 20/30

This is an appropriate painting for today because we had our first day of rain in a long time.


Friday Feature: Kara Bigda

"Kara Bigda's Fisher Price People Series, original watercolors.

It's Friday Feature Day. Today I'm featuring Kara Bigda. She has been participating in the 30/30 painting challenge and I just love this whimsical series. I have always been a fan of her Fisher Price paintings, in fact I own a few.
To see more and to purchase one of her paintings visit her website, blog and facebook page.
1-Why did you decide to do the challenge? I had wanted to do a series of these Fisher Price paintings for awhile now, but something would always come up. This challenge was a good way to stick to my commitment and keep me serious about it. I always stay a little more disciplined when I think that someone might be "watching" me -- whether or not anyone really is, well, who knows!? -- It makes me more accountable.
2-What have you learned so far from painting everyday? This is really hard. More difficult than I ever imagined. But I've learned how important planning is - especially for me - if I ever want to do a series again, which I am planning for. In the area of painting, specifically, I've learned some things about color mixing, values, details vs. vague areas; all things that have to do with creating contrast within a painting, making it your own, not being a slave to the photograph (although I still kind of am, but I'm getting better I hope).
3-Do you have a theme, what was your plan of attack for painting 30 paintings? I think I kind of answered this already. Yes, Fisher Price Little People is my theme -- they never get old for me. Before the challenge started, I sorted through all my references, cropped and sized about 15 paintings. I cut my paper and drew out the first 15. Then I began painting painting about 4 of them. I've tried to maintain about 3-4 paintings at a time, so as soon as I finish one, I start a new one, while I still have others in various stages of completion. But it's really easy to get behind when life stuff gets in the way. Like right now, I only have one painting going, so I need to sit down and actively plan out my remaining paintings. Some will be a couple of commissions, so I already know what I'm going to do, I just have to do it - set up the still life, photograph, etc. But by the end of Friday, I'll have most all of the remaining paintings started -- that's the plan anyway. I don't like scrambling and feeling pressured. And I have a couple other commissions that I'm working on also, so I have to be organized.
This has been a really great experience and I thank Leslie Saeta for hosting it. She's very inspiring -- her blog, AHA, etc. And thank you too, Carrie, for inviting me to share what I do.
Thank you Kara so much for doing the feature:) I'll have my painting posted for today, soon:) Happy painting everyone!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"Flight of the Bumblebee" Day 19/30

"Flight of the Bumblebee" 4.5" x 5.5" watercolor by Carrie Waller
Day 19/30
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I saw this cute little bumblebee the other day while we were out.  I love having my iphone because it snaps pretty good pics.  I did find it funny that while most of the bumblebees were crawling into the flower to get to the center there was one bumblebee that would just extract it from the exterior of the flower at the base, he really knew how to save time:)

I'm also sharing a group shot of my paintings from this week.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Sepia Pears

"Sepia Pears" 7.5" x 8.5" original watercolor by Carrie Waller
Day 18/30
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Today I started teaching private lessons with a student.  The first painting I have my students do is a monochromatic painting (with the exception of the background which is a sepia/indigo mix) in sepia.  I do this so that students can learn to establish their values immediately.  Plus it eliminates having to think about mixing colors because you only get one.  I have always loved sepia paintings.  I spent the first 6 mos to a year to a lot of sepia paintings when I first started painting.  I have talked with other artists that began that way as well.

We had a good first lesson and I'm looking forward to working with him.

These are 4 monochromatic paintings that I did from architectural details I found all over Europe.  I was always on the hunt for these round details.  The top one from was a church in Cambridge, England, the next one down was found in Prague, the 3rd one down was a manhole cover in Paris (they design everything), and the bottom one was from the Palace Versailles.

These have hung in every house we have lived in during our 12 years of marriage and I will not part with them:)


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Summer Rose

"Summer Rose" 4.5" x 5.5" original watercolor by Carrie Waller
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"Summer Rose" is Day 17/30.  Steven, my oldest son, picked this for me out of his Grandma's garden and they cut a water bottle down to make the cutest little bud vase.   Just goes to show you that even a water bottle is beautiful!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Butterfly Kisses Day 16/30

"Butterfly Kisses" 4" x 4" watercolor by Carrie Waller
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I saw this gorgeous butterfly on my butterfly bush one day and thought it was just so beautiful!  Aren't butterflies amazing. This is a sweet little painting at 4" x 4".


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Ideal Sunflowers

"Ideal Sunflowers" original watercolor by Carrie Waller
"Ideal Sunflowers" is my day 15 of 30 paintings.  I started this as a demo a while ago and promised it to my mother-in-law when I finished painting it.  So happy that the 30/30 challenge has given me the push to complete this one.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

wip sunflowers in ball jar

work in progress, sunflowers in ball jar, watercolor by Carrie Waller
Day 14/30.  Here is my work in progress picture for today's painting.


"Tip Toe Through the Tulips" Day 13/30

"Tip Toe Through the Tulips" 6" x 8" watercolor by Carrie Waller
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Day 13 out of 30 paintings:)  These fresh and beautiful tulips are swaying in the wind to the tune of "Tip Toe Through the Tulips".


Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Feature: Dottie T Leatherwood Day 13/30

Today's Friday Feature is Dottie T. Leatherwood.  Dottie is doing a phenomenal job with the 30 paintings in 30 day challenge so I wanted to share her works with you:)   Dottie also shared some insights about participating in the challenge.

To see more of Dottie's works or to purchase a painting visit her website, blog and Facebook

1. Why did you decide to do the challenge?  Because Leslie made me....just kidding.  I enjoy a challenge and I wanted to have some new fresh work to head into the end of this year.  I also knew it would keep me on track with all of the distractions that the kids going back to school and sports would bring.  AND...I made a commitment last month on AHA to blog more and I knew this would help!
2.  What have you learned so far from painting every day?  I usually paint every day anyway but having to produce a new painting to post on my blog everyday is another story indeed!  I have learned that I like starting on a canvas that is already toned to save time.  And I also learned, I don’t like taking pictures of wet paintings....the glare drives me crazy! 
3.  Do you have a theme, what was your plan of attack for painting 30 paintings? I wanted to give myself the option to paint bigger daily paintings, not just small ones, since I don’t enjoy working small.  So far I have done everything from a 24x24 to an 8x8 and all sizes in between.   Also, after painting for shows and working on commissions all spring and summer, I wanted to take a break and refuel my creativity.  I chose to paint from my sketches and pictures from trips I have taken in the past... you know all those things you want to paint but never have the time.  I looked through all my material and decided on some subjects so I would know what I was painting everyday when I got into the studio.  I also have about 3 paintings going at once to take some of the pressure off. 
Thanks Carrie...happy painting!

Here are my paintings for this week so far.  Visit my website for availability