Saturday, October 28, 2017

Permission to Fail

This afternoon we had a short workshop on "weaving," meaning weaving together two watercolors that have been cut into strips -- one vertically and one horizontally.  Participants brought "failed" paintings that needed a new life -- and they got it!

Mine started out as two unconnected paintings -- one was planets or moons out in space, the second was a desert floral. I chose the two by virtue of the similar colors and the round shapes.  Here's how it turned out:


We all had a lot of fun choosing paintings to work with, making decisions about colors and cutting. Every one of the participants had a very successful result. I was so glad to see them all enjoying the process, giving themselves permission to laugh and permission to fail. I feel that approaching art with this attitude leads to more successes.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My First Rodeo

Husband Bill and I took a weekend trip to Tombstone, Arizona. Well, I wasn't much impressed with Tombstone but the scenery on the trip there was A-W-E-S-O-M-E. Knocked me out. Talk about inspiration!


These were taken south of Rodeo. So quiet. So unspoiled. So beautiful.
A-W-E-S-O-M-E
The fresh colors,  the sounds of nothin but birds and a gentle wind, it was just too too much. The layers of blues in those distant mountains...the waving grasses, the variety of greens. Very compelling and an open invitation to PAINT!

So last week I "did" a demonstration for an El Paso arts group, and I drew on all that gorgeousness to produce a just so-so collage. This one will be coming around again...

"First Rodeo"



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Negative Painting

The next few weeks, I'll be working with a group of watercolorists on negative painting. There's nothing negative about it! Negative painting means painting the space around a subject, generally with a darker or less intense color. The exercise I'm going to use demonstrates deepening space with layers of progressively darker background.


For the first layer, identify what will be the LIGHTEST LIGHTS of the painting.
Here, it's the moon. Paint around the lightest lights with light, not-too-intense color.

Second layer - identify the NEXT layer of lights -- slightly darker because
these will be on the layer that is already painted with the background color.
If you need to draw in the subject to keep from painting over it, that's fine.

Now, paint around the second layer with a slightly darker background,
this time avoiding the LIGHTEST LIGHTS and the NEXT LIGHTEST LIGHTS.

Fourth layer is same as third -- identify the next layer and paint around
that plus the second layer and the first with a dark background.
You could go on painting additional layers, deepening the space almost endlessly.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Just for Fun

We've had a lot of rain this year, which means more FLOWERS! My favorite subject...and it's also the time of year for seed and bulb catalogs. I turn the pages and drool...usually don't buy any, but I do feel very inspired by the number and variety of flowers of all kinds.

My mom always had German iris, planted up next to the foundation of the house. Lots of different varieties, different colors and different scents. Irises always make me think of her. Last week I held a class on "mingling" watercolor -- that means letting the colors mix on the paper. I chose iris to do the demos:

    
Then I decided to use the demo paintings to do a "weave," where the paintings are cut into strips -- one vertically and the other horizontally -- then woven together.


I decided that I needed to strengthen the design,
as only by looking at it from a distance could
one tell it was a floral...so I added the collage
elements of buds and leaves.  Still not the strongest
design, but it was fun!

  If you want to try this method, choose two paintings of the same size and format, and find something else that will hold them together -- similar colors, subject, etc. The closer it's "zoomed in," the better. Paintings with too many distant details won't usually work well for this method.
  


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Mah Jongg Inspiration

Playing Mah Jongg at my friend, Susan's,house Monday, I was repeatedly distracted by the gorgeous views outdoors:

This one is a view of the Organ Mountains, looking southeast out Susan's door. It was a chilly, windy day, and the clouds were doing acrobatics! 
AND

This is Susan's New Mexico "bottle tree." Bright sunlight danced and sparkled on the bottle edges. Little birds were flitting everywhere, eating seeds, sipping water,  busy with bird business. The scene was shouting at me to paint it!

At home, I cropped the photo and used the grid technique to help me do a proportional drawing:



STAY TUNED!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Inspired to Paint? Would a Challenge Help?

We've all heard of painting challenges...I just looked at a blog where the author is challenging herself to paint one a day! I know myself well enough to know I would NEVER be able to pull that one off...

How about one a month? Can I do it? Can you do it? I think I'll give it a try. Here's my offer: for friends who want to join the challenge, send me digitals of your paintings and I'll post them on this blog. We can give each other feedback and strokes!

I think it will be easier for me if I keep to a general theme. I'll start out with flowers and see where we go.  Here's a photo I took recently of a gorgeous pink African violet in a friend's kitchen window.



Does it give you any ideas? Good luck! Send me your digitals!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Layers of Inspiration

We traveled to Palo Duro Canyon last weekend, a place I had often heard of but never visited. The landscapes were easy to appreciate. Not as deep or rocky as the Grand Canyon, but the place was peaceful and welcoming. We stayed in a little rock cabin on the canyon rim and I took 150+ photos.

This sight appealed to me because, among other qualities, the striations in the hill were so beautiful.


Yesterday, I worked with my small class on torn paper collages. This is how mine turned out:


Just one more example of how the beauty in our environment can inspire us to express in art!