This WIP landscape was inspired by work of Carolyn Lord. I saw her work in the most recent Watercolor Artist magazine, and thought I'd try a landscape "her way" ( a friendly forgery!) to see if the technique resonated with me and could get me past my fear of landscape failure. It's her use of discrete shapes ('shape painter'!) that appealed.
I found one of my favorite vacation photographs to use as a source, and did several drawings to get the composition right, then used my light table to create a shape-focused version, tracing the key and interesting shapes I'd made. Even though the paper is 300 lb rough (bought for a workshop and never used) I was able to use the light table to transfer the design onto it.
And I'm very glad I did, because just about at that point I managed to trip over my own feet, break two ribs, and pretty much ruin the rest of the week (month? months?) for creative energy. I've found out that sitting and lying down are the MOST painful, so when I've had the energy, I've been standing at the kitchen counter to internet surf, or standing at my studio's high counter to just start filling in the colors in this. Like my own personal coloring book, and I'm just about that serious about it. How restful and healing this has been. And, since it's well outside my normal work, there's no pressure, I have less invested in the results. I thought I'd share it as a WIP, and so you'd know to expect to see much less work of mine here than usual, for a while.
But, blog friends, be warned: with all this time on my hands, I'm watching YOU! Keep busy and keep posting paintings to entertain me, please!
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I need to embrace my failures more - and, more important, risk them more - in order to learn and grow. This was one of those times. Sometimes, though, the end result is so gruesome, it will never be shared - those are the ones that end up covered with gesso and used for occasional cat paintings. Maybe we should start sharing those? But, probably, none of you have anything failures like that . . . .
Monday, February 17, 2014
|Step one: I arranged orange pieces of w/c paper where I wanted the 'sparkles' to end up.|
|I used an embosser along the edge of each cut - I could see the tape darken as the seal improved.|
|Ready to start the scrub. Looks pretty messy, huh?|
|I used small cubes of magic eraser to lightly scrub (wipe) off the dark paint. I tried not to use too much water, and I blotted frequently with a tissue held ready in my other hand. I changed to new pieces of the eraser frequently.|
Friday, February 14, 2014
But the orange, now, that's a different story. Adding a glaze to the gray areas just warmed and dulled those grays (I quickly tissued it back off!). The orange sparkles you see now are cut from another piece of paper, to see how they would look. If I do decide to try something like this, I'll have to do some REALLY careful masking and use the magic eraser to remove the dark cool colors first. I tried, on a dark scrap, to use a double layer of watercolor pencil, orange over white. But I can't get it to photograph at all, and I'm pretty sure it would become a distraction (worse that just leaving off the orange). Thoughts?
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Just got my order from Cheap Joe's with a restock of Arches, as well as two more gatorboards for stretching my (half-sheet) paper. This way I can get as many as 8 sheets ready to go at a time. Part of preparation for Kanuga, now only six weeks away!
I hope all you southerners have survived the most recent snowstorm with power and heat intact. I heard that Asheville, the closest city to Kanuga, got 15 inches of snow. I had been hoping to see Spring when I got there. Oh well.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
This is the first of a number of upcoming events in which I will be participating. When I take a longer break from painting, I will set up a more complete section to the left and add the others.
And I'll post a new painting, too!
Saturday, February 8, 2014
I think I have an available frame in the full size - it currently holds a disappointing painting that also needs some rethinking. I will pull that one apart, and drop this painting in, then hang it in the dining room for a while to think . . more slowly than previously.
And on to the next adventure. Thanks again, friends.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Please forgive the photography below, I can't seem to get my color right today (snow, then blizzard, then bright sun, then artificial light. Michigan!).
1. I started wanting just these few blooms and buds on the paper with plenty of space for later embellishment. If you've looked at my "gallery" page you know that's what I do often.
2. The blooms weren't popping enough for me with no background: I wanted a reason for the cast shadow to be that strong, so I added the dark circle behind.
3. I needed SUMMERTIME colors (don't we all right about now?) so I added irregular "tiles" of yellow washes. At this point I already knew the dark circle was overwhelming the page, so I scrubbed it down to a mid-tone. I liked the 'outlines' it gave me. Then I turned on my light-table and got started with one of my patterns, in a large scale.
4. I added an orange glaze to the scrubbed circle to give it warmth and depth, then added more layers of patterns, but switching to a more detailed small scale pattern. The detail below left shows that more clearly. I also darkened the values below the dark circle to "hold it up" visually.
All in all, I feel like I made MOST (all) of my design decisions too quickly. I may end up liking this because of the layered patterns. Or I may end up re-darkening the circle behind the daylily and then cropping the heck out of the whole thing.
I think I need to go start something else!