Monday, September 23, 2013

My Paintings in a Collector's Home

My Paintings in a Collector's Home
This week a cheque came in the mail from a gallery where my work is displayed. Of course I love that but there is also a bit of sadness at not knowing who purchased my work. When I sell from a show and get to meet the purchaser it is a bonus for me.
As an artist, I treasure collectors of my work. In this case I also have a photo of four of my paintings grouped in their home. Thank you to all who understand the value of original art work. We artists truly appreciate you!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Watercolour Retirement Card

View outside the Retiree's Office Window

Second View outside Office Window

Painted on location by combining two slightly different views, eliminating unwanted elements, and moving things to get the desired composition.
When you are wanting to give someone special a card, consider painting it of a location that is meaningful for that person. I have done this twice this summer, once for a 60th birthday, when I had to sneak onto their deck while they were away to paint. This time the card is for a retirement so I have chosen a scene from outside the retiree's office window. This time I had to set up on a weekend when the College was closed.

I did work with Kathy, the retiree a few years ago, but her amazing people skills still remains firmly etched in my mind. I am not sure she is even aware of her abilities as it seems to come so naturally to her. When we worked together, I would often have the need to head for the office for something that required her input. There was often waiting involved because yes, Kathy is a talker. But when I had the chance to observe what she was doing, I saw what a tremendous communicator she is.
People constantly walked in off the street throughout the day. Many were shy, many unsure of walking into a college after being in the workforce for years, many thought they knew what they needed but perhaps didn’t and there were as many other types of people and situations as you could think of. Kathy’s manner was more than friendly, it was welcoming and calming at the same time. She seemed to be able to completely focus on that person in front of her and their needs. Of course that often meant I had to come back for what I needed but the college is there to serve the people and Kathy did that unequivocally well.
Kathy has had many other roles at the college which I am sure she did extremely well, but her time meeting people at the front desk is what I admired her most for. Creston is a better place because of all the student’s lives she has been a part of. Well done my friend.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Red Wine Label - Skimmerhorn's Kootenay.Crush

Skimmerhorn's 2012 Kootenay Crush Red
featuring my artwork!
Sept 13, 2013 the Kootenay Crush Red was being bottled. Link to Skimmerhorn Wineries Facebook Page
What a delight it was to again see my artwork on Creston's Skimmerhorn Wineries Kootenay Crush wine. This time it is the red wine being bottled. Crestonites love to take themselves and their visitors to the winery to enjoy wine tasting and the bistro lunch. It is especially pleasant on warm days when they can take advantage of the lovely view of the vineyard from the winery deck. Check here for their hours of operation.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

'Country Rose' Watercolour Completed

Country Rose - watercolour
Seeing this small painting in my plein air painting kit last week, I could again experience a sense of the day I spent painting wild roses. Our valley is abundant with them in the spring and their sweet scent perfumes the air.   When I started out in the car that spring day, I didn't have any scene in mind but drove aimlessly around until I found these lovely roses at the side of the road. As it was a quiet side road, I felt fairly certain I would be safe and indeed no one even passed in the hour and a half I had for painting.
It can be easiest to complete a painting at a later date. I think you can judge it better after being away from it for awhile. I finished this piece last week, and although I am not completely happy with the composition, being mostly weighted to one side, I am very happy with the looseness of the painting style. For those of you who like to paint outside, get out there, even a short time is worth it. I am saying this as much to myself as anyone else!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Starting Flowers by Sponging in Watercolour

513 Park Avenue
10" X 14"
$179.00 with free shipping in Canada and the USA
Camping this week, I brought out my art suitcase to the picnic table along with a pillow to sit on. Might as well be comfy painting.  What do you do to warm up after not painting for a bit? I like to add some brush strokes to paintings that are already started. Summer has been busy and I found I had a few unfinished paintings in my kit from mid summer so I set them up to have a look.
Painting Started and Reference Photo 
This one I had started in July as a demo at a market. The whites were masked with tape and I had started it by sponging on some flower colours and a few greens. After evaluating where I wanted to go with the painting, I enjoyed and hour or so adding some darker darks, detailing some flowers and toning down some of the white. This person's hanging baskets have delighted me so much, that I must get a card made and drop it off the next time I am in Kaslo, BC. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Watercolour Lesson - Paint leaves 6 Ways

Techniques for Painting Leaves in Watercolour
To wet paper add  light colours of yellow green and green. Allow to dry and sketch leaves in lightly. These are dandelion leaves but any leaf will work. Imagine a light source and paint around one side of each leaf with a darker colour. On the other half of the leave paint it with a darker colour. The lights and darks make it lively don't you think?
Wet the paper and drop light colour onto the paper. Here I used a triad - yellow, pink and green. After the paper was dry, the leaves and flowers were painted on top. Note the one petal of the spent rose is painted negatively, around the light colour with greens. It adds interest doesn't it?

On dry paper paint the leaves in a light green. After drying add a darker green, leaving the veins of each leaf the lighter colour. I find it easier to sketch the veins in first and erase the pencil lines after the painting is dry.

Paint the front stem a leaves in a variety of shades of green. Paint the background a complementary colour. Paint the stem and leaves behind the first stem over the background colour. They will naturally be a duller green thus making them appear further back. Neat huh?

Brush on some colour onto dry paper. Here I used yellow and green. One of my paint brushes has an acrylic handle with a slanted tip and I use this to scrape in the stem, leaf outline and veins of the leaves. Using a tissue wipe off the excess paint. Once dry paint around that set of leaves with darker values of the same colours. Scrape in the suggestion of a few more leaves in the background. DO NOT tissue off this layer but allow it to dry.

Onto wet paper add some light colours. Here I used yellow, green and brown. Dry. Sketch the stem with leaves that is uppermost. Paint around this with slightly darker colours of the same ones used in the first step. Dry and sketch in the layer of leaves behind the first frontal layer. Paint around this group of leaves and the frontal group with another glaze of colour. Dry and repeat as in step 2 with a third layer of leaves behind the first two groups of leaves. This gives great depth.

Do you have techniques you like to use when painting leaves?