Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Irises are Blooming!

Iris Study/oil on board/ 4" x 4"/SOLD
Irises are one of my favorite spring garden flowers. I have painted many in watercolor contrasting the transparent upper petals with the "velvet" rich falls. This is my first oil painting of an iris and again I enjoyed the contrast of the two parts of the flower. I would love to try one "fractured" in Julie Ford Oliver's style.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Progress Silk Irises

Here is this painting another 2-3 hours into it. Then, a large spill of deep blue dye required a major clean up before more progress on this piece.

More deep blues and the flowers are gradually being added. After this is painted, it has to dry 24 hours before the dyes are steam set for 3 hours. Then, the silk is positioned onto canvas and permanently fixed in place.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Silk Irises In Progress 1

Here is the first stage of the latest silk painting. This follows drawing the design lightly onto the prepared and stretched silk. Then the dye mixes that will be used on the painting are painted onto a separate test swatch. Here there are two yellows, two blues and a purple that have been used diluted or mixed with each other to keep color harmony in the piece.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Scruffy Cat

Scruffy Cat/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ gifted
Small painting to post tonight. The last two days were spent getting ready for Spring Open Studio. Two large oil paintings were touched up and another large silk painting was moved forward. I'll try to add images of this silk painting step by step. I have also collected the next alphabet vegetables so that project can continue as small daily paintings. The days are just too short!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Examples of "Muddy" and Improved Color

Here are examples of muddy colors. The first is the shadow on a white petal (watercolor). Some of it is clean and reads pink or blue. However the many colors, including the grey of little identity makes the overall impression of the painting "muddy" or "grainy" or "dirty"
Repainted with definite thin glazes, the colors appear cleaner and still "read" shadow (or a grey).

Next, is a white shirt in shadow. Again, there are too many components of the grey and unclear warm/cool juxtapositions and it reads "muddy".

This painting was not repainted but was "repaired". This was accomplished by gently removing the color using a Winsor & Newton Series 7 number 2 brush, clean water and clean paper towels to lift the gently scrubbed color. Once the color was gone, it was repainted again with thin glazes of transparent rose madder OR cobalt blue with attention to where the cool was and where the warm was in the shadow.

Now even the white unshadowed part of the shirt looks cleaner!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Muddy Color

Tomorrow I will post examples of "muddy" areas in a painting and the same areas "fixed" in a recent watercolor painting. I have to wait until then to photograph with enough light to be illustrative.
David Leffel was interviewed on Artist Mentors on Line (link). It was a fascinating interview. In it, he discussed ideas about painting. He also defined "muddy colors " and "overworked" paintings. He described "muddy color" as "a color that one can't identify what the color is". He said the same "muddy" color painted as a small isolated square is no longer muddy. His definition of an "overworked painting" is similarly helpful. He defines an overworked painting as one that lacks a strong focal area. The "overworked" painting has the whole painting pulling the viewer's eye from one place to another, seeing all the pieces of the painting, all the colors, all the textures and that makes the "eye overworked". His rescue for an overworked painting is a strong place of focus. I may have an example of that before and improved also.

Monday, April 22, 2013

"C" is For

"C" is For/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD

I painted and wiped a small painting of carrots. The composition didn't work in a square format. I had a thumbnail of a diptych of carrot stems on one section and carrots themselves with some green on the other. I may attempt this again later. However, "C" today became cherries. I love the shine on each little fruit and I am a fan of reds with blues together in a painting.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

"B" is for

"B" is for/oil on board/ 4" x 4" available at Low Country Gallery )(HH)
The alphabet series continues. I repainted the baby bok choy today. This was easier because there was sunlight. Therefore, the shadows were more defined and the shapes of the bunches easier to see. I am slowly listening to Quang Ho's dvd "Nuts and Bolts" where he describes "light and shadow" painters. I think I am most interested in painting this way.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

"B" #!: Baby Bok Choy

"B" bay Bok Choy/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ 
My friend Karen suggested that  yesterday's painting "A" is for " start a series of alphabetical daily paintings of fruit or vegetables.

This is "B" #1: Baby Bok Choy.
I will audition other "B"s until there is a "B" painting that is special enough to be added to an alphabet collection. Ultimately the complete alphabet of paintings will become a little book.

Friday, April 19, 2013

"A"is for

"A" is for/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ $75/ available at Suttons Gallery
A small apple to join the 4" produce series.

I love the colors on this one.
After this was painted, I scratched the surface dragging the paint into new places and then repainted where there were "too many" marks,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New Silk Watercolor Painting: Step 1

Yesterday, I received new silk dyes. These are Jacquard Red Label dyes and this is the color before steam setting, Steam setting (which takes 3 hours with these dyes) intensifies the color. This is most of the palette that will be used in the next large pink poppy silk painting.

In the lower image, you can see the start of one of the petals....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sunshine Tulips

Sunshine Tulips/ oil on canvas/ 12" x 16"
Still collecting large paintings for Spring Open Studio.

Fishing Creek Flowers delivered the most gorgeous spring tulips.They were beautiful through all the stages of opening .

Only my third large oil painting,  I am loving playing with the larger format. However, this painting will need to be rephotographed without the glare of the afternoon sun.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Rabbit Race

Rabbit  Race/ oil on board/ 8" x 8"/ sold
I am starting to paint larger oil paintings. This one is twice the square area of my usual 6" x 6" boards.
I used the blue orange compliments and loved how they gave the rabbit dimension and visual "pop".

I think this would would look great set on black in a floater frame.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Old Dog

Old Dog/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD
This gentle old dog was out for a walk and seemed like a good subject to use for today's study. I love the expression in his eyes.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Single Tulip Study

Single Tulip Study/ oil on board. 6" x 6"/ SOLD
A beautiful two-colored tulip in the sunshine. Spring is finally here! Where I live, summer is fast approaching and the tulips bloom and fade quickly.

I wanted to paint the feeling of sunshine in oil. Then, I will paint it again in watercolor.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Welcome to My Garden

Welcome to my Garden/ watercolor study/ 8" x 6"/ SOLD
This morning I went to collect sunshine images in the garden. This very tame rabbit waited for me to approach and get her beautiful eyes before bounding away. I haven't had a front facing rabbit face to paint before. I will try this again in oil and I suppose I must plant some "rabbit food".

Friday, April 12, 2013

Goldfinch Study

Goldfinch Study/ oil on board/ 6" x 6"/$125

Late this winter, we had an entire flock of goldfinches stay in our yard and eat at the bird feeders, At times, there were 50 -100 little birds diving to and from three feeders of sunflower seed. As the days grew warmer and longer, the winter greens of the males changed to bright sunny yellow plumage and the little birds seemed to know it was time to move along: all except one pair. Perhaps, the same pair that stayed year, brightened the summer garden and invited their friends and families to visit this winter.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Beach Children

Beach Children/ oil on canvas/ 18" x 24"

This is a large oil painted for Open Studio and is the  largest oil painting that I have painted so far. I loved having more area to experiment with paint colors and texture from different brush strokes. To "feel" the sunlight in the painting, tiny value shifts were painted.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Eyes Have It

Eyes Have It/ oil on board/ 5" x 7"/ $125
I couldn't resist painting these beautiful eyes and all of the colors that surrounded them.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Watercolor Wednesday: Pansy Dance

Pansy Dance/ watercolor/ 6" x 6"/$75
In  this watercolor, the goal was to paint the "velvet"  of the petals and the "freedom" of these spring flowers.

Surprising, the darks in the pansy faces needed a lot of alizarin crimson and burnt sienna to balance the purple and black.


Monday, April 8, 2013


Faith/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD
Faith seemed to describe this dog as she/he sat waiting for the children gathered around to finish their hugging. Faith that after several wipes, something would paint itself.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Silk Dyes: Watercolor Style

Silk Tulip/ dye on silk, mounted on canvas/ 20" x 20"
Finally, after months of working on this technique, a realized completed painting. The central part of this image is silk that has been painted with silk dyes, steam-set and then permanently applied to stretched canvas. There is nothing quite as vivid as silk dyes and these colors are rich and glowing.The lighter extension of the tulip petals and stem  is thin oil paint.

This will be one of my larger pieces at Open Studio.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Red Tulip Study #1

Red Tulip Study #1/ watercolor/ 8.5" x 5.5"
This is a tulip from Duke Gardens. My tulips are almost ready to open...which means yard clean up in earnest. Yard work means everything needs to be raked, weeded, seeded and fertilized. Spring also brings the most glorious slanted long light. Therefore, source photographs will be added to each day's tasks also.
I will sneak painting in somewhere!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Studies: Light and Dark

Light Study: Daffodils #1/ watercolor/ 7.5" x 8.5"
This daffodil study was a larger painting that got too "muddy" on the right side. Therefore, the successful part was cropped to study why this part worked in order to repaint the larger painting.

Then, the swan study was painted in a "dark" palette to work on the "shine" on the feathers.  I haven't decided whether or not to add a background.  I'll think about both of these studies while I am sleeping and decide tomorrow what to do next.

Dark Study: Black Swan: watercolor/ 8.5" x 8.5"

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

BullDog Study

Bulldog Study/ oil on board/ 4" x 4"/ SOLD

This painting was done over a coral acrylic underpainting. The object was to paint this dog  with loose brush strokes to achieve a realistic but abstract portrait.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Watercolor Wednesday: Sneak Peak Owl

This is a larger watercolor that will be part of my Spring Open Studio paintings.
Artist Info: This was painted with washy thick color that was applied to dry paper. Then clear water was overlaid to run the colors together.
The darks were made with ivory black plus sap green, or ivory black plus burnt sienna and/minus some cobalt blue. The midtones were yellow ochre and burnt sienna. The lights were yellow ochre and cobalt blue alone or in combination. The eyes were ivory black and burnt sienna around cad yellow and scarlet red. The pupil was ivory black and then burnt sienna. Some of the orange and yellow was then added into the feathers to repeat the color.