Sunday, January 29, 2012

Back to watercolor ... at least for the moment

Yesterday,  I painted with Ruby, almost niety-five years old, who will forget more than I will ever learn.  We did some tulips with a hard edge, then sprayed the other edge.  I have done a little of this before, but not enough.  It was good to laser focus on one aspect of painting in washes.  I intend to do more with watercolor than I have done lately.  So much to do and learn, and so little time!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Still Playing With Backgrounds

Am still snowed in, but rain is washing it away and temps are rising .  Even so, today was not a good day to be out.  The governor declared a state of emergency, well justified south of here.  We, up here in Skagit County dodged the bullet, but snow and ice were still hazardous.

So, in an effort to not go too stir crazy, I did a quick sketch of my granddaughter who was a Flower Girl in her ballet school's Christmas Nutcracker production in Portland.  I want to do a more formal series of her as a dancer, so I was just testing the use of a black gessoed 'bad' watercolor painting as a background.  I thought it might be a little more theatrical. 

Well, I like the black, but still have to test how to treat the background by creating some interest without getting too busy or frenetic.  So, back to the drawing board before I start larger pieces. 

This is all like nailing jello to the wall.  Maybe soon, something will stick!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Another Challenge ~ Hot Air Balloons

You might have heard, the Pacific Northwest is snowed in today.  So, putting other chores aside, I dragged out a palette knife and my acrylics and fiddled with the Hot Air Balloon Challenge due at the Whatcom Art Gujild meeting on Monday evening.  I hadn't intended to do anything for this challenge, but what's a girl to do when snowed in on a hill that is covered with snow and ice, and no sled or skis?

I love playing with a palette knife, and enjoyed making curves with such a linear and angled tool.  Challenge enough, huh?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tango in the Square

This painting was submitted to this week's Daily Paintworks Challenge  ... It's the Tangerine Tango Challenge.  Who knew?

I am playing with a technique new to me that I learned in a Jennifer Bowman workshop on Sunday.  Although I have used black gesso before [successfully IMHO], Jennifer showed me a technique of dragging a loaded brush over the gessoed  canvas, allowing some of the black canvas to peek through.  Clearly, I am having touble with it.  On the one hand, I need to load the brush with enough paint to not look wishy washy or "limp," but on the other hand, if I drag too much paint acroos, then I lose the black.  What to do.  Oh I know, war and world peace, the economy, climate change and other issues are way more important than my breaking the code with my painting, but dang if it doesn' just gnaw at my insides that I can't do this!  Promise to self to master in the next several weeks.

Here it is, painted from a photo I took of tango dancers in Pioneer Square in Portland in August.

Tango in the Square ~ 12" x 12" acrylic

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to Batiks

Today, and then again on Saturday, I taught/will teach another Batik Workshop.  That means ganging all my thrift shop fry pans, irons and hair dryers, as well as an obligatory fire extinguisher, into the senior center, along wih what seems like reams of rice paper, paints, etc. to share with thirteen students for a day.

It also means I really have to amp up my game, and do some new work to share, because several of the students are taking the workshop for a second time.  I don't want to serve up repeats of work from the first time, so I have been doing some figures with batiks, and I am sort of pleased with the results.  What do you think?

Jewelry Girl at Samish Island Fair Watercolor Batik 18 x 24 mounted on canvas

Jill posing at a workshop ~ Watercolor Batik 8" x 8"

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Year Filled With Promise

Oh, I am glad to have "done" the holidays and all the related activities, both with art and with celebrations.  I have missed blogging, and intend to catch up by sharing some projects I have done and am working on.  I was probably most pleased to have finished two paintings for my son and daughter-in-law in time for Chirstmas.  They live across the country, and my son is currently overseas, so, painting something meaningful for them was a wonderful gift for me.  Then to hear that they liked the work was a double gift.

My daughter-in-law and her horse

My granddogs, The Boyz

I was told that I captured who they all were, which pleased me no end.  As I HOPE I have expressed on this blog, I am trying to get away from such realistic represntational work, but, in this case, I am glad that I did these, and happy with how my kids appreciated the work.

So, my intentions for 2012 are more art and more connections to everyone who is important to me, which, of course, includes you!