Monday, April 27, 2015

Heron over the Lake

Quick Plein Air sketch at Lake Crabtree. The heron insists on being painted from life; I never get a photo!

(I'm really trying out the system, so only $2 minimum bid! Available 5 days)


Dogwood in Woods

A little sketch of the blooming dogwood in the backyard, from last week. 


Friday, April 24, 2015

Ultimate Painting!


Finally, the Ultimate Painting Competition! Wow, what a blast! I was nervous enough that my hand was visibly shaking. Really enjoyed the high energy music and the great vibes from the crowd. I'm told I came close to moving on to the final round, and really appreciate the chance to paint with a great group of artists and meet some wonderful people. If you are the lovely person(s) that bid on my painting, thank you so much! 

We had to hit the road so I missed the final vote count. Jennifer Kennedy and Tracey Marshall both did a great job. And everyone made it a super night!


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Boat House Tower

Quick sketch en plein air at Lake Crabtree, about 30 minutes at the Lake and another 30 refining from memory. Didn't even get a reference photo! But I did get some soggy shoes, as the ground is very wet. 


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fuquay Varina Plein Air 2015

Came to see the Plein Air Event in Fuquay Varina and had to do at least one little study of a pretty little pond. I wanted to arrive earlier and watch more but the day didn't go that way. Very glad to see at least part. Off to see all the official entries now.

Entries by Rocky Alexander (top, on left) and Sally Sutton
and JJ Jiang (bottom, on left) and Christopher Reid. 

Lots of other gorgeous work! 


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Coots at Lake Crabtree

These American Coots (Fulica americana) tend to be constantly moving. This was my first go at painting them, purely plein air. Cute coots!

To bid on this painting or see other available works, follow the link


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

After Rain at the Lake

A little plein air study in watercolor at Crabtree Lake.  Ran out of time so don't have the "sight size" view. 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Watercolor Travel kits

James Gurney has been a great teacher to me through his blog and videos.

This posting of his (and his friends' ) started me on an amazing journey of my own, only a few months ago:

I started with a plain Altoids tin and a cut-up plastic container of pan watercolors that came with a beginner art set someone gave me. An eraser and sharpener and tissue will fit in on top of the little plastic cover for the watercolors.  The real benefit of using a tin (instead of a plastic cotton swab holder for example) is being able to attach it to your sketch pad with a magnetic clip ("chip clip").

Below is another great link that illustrates exactly how to make your own kit.  I will probably use the magnetized half pan idea, as long as it doesn't get too heavy, so that the colors are individually and easily replaceable. "Tacky" material doesn't really hold them very securely and it's not fun when they fall out.  I like the idea of using small Yuba paper inserts as palettes (not sure where I saw that) in addition to painting the lid white. 

Then, ta-dah! at Bass Pro Shops. It's meant to hold a gift card and cost about $4 I think. The "handle" works great as a finger ring if I want to hold it instead of clipping to the sketch pad. It's slightly taller than the Altoids and will hold a little more "stuff", but is still completely portable.

And a magnet dropped into the little water bottle holds that in place too.  I think I prefer having my paper to the left as I am right handed, so my sketch books will be Asian, I guess! 

Waterbrushes are an absolute must! Recently I started using one filled with waterproof black ink, with good results (another Gurney idea). I put together this little brush holder, though, because sometimes I want more control and choices. Can't remember where this idea came from, but the rubber band is the key to keep the brushes from shifting and smashing the hairs. 

Brushes held by rubber band to cut up plastic pencil holder insert taped to cardboard within small pencil tin. I cut the corners back so I could easily pull the brush holder out of the tin. 

Since then, my "kit" has expanded to 2 diaper bags full of stuff, including some purchased kits. Sounds like a George Carlin routine! But that's another story!

So, a long post for me on an evolving subject...but this kind of sharing from others brought painting back into my life!


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Rite of Spring, abstract

For the latest Daily Paintworks Challenge...inspired by the idea of the first performance of the ballet Rite of Spring (music Igor Stravinsky, choreography Vaslav Nijinsky) in 1913, which was a somewhat riotous event, by accounts. It may not be the "lusty month of May" yet, but that certainly seems to be the spirit of it. It's kind of nice seeing everyone break into the abstract!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Burst of Tulips

Why I love watercolor class with "Rocky" Alexander! Gaining skills...check. Trying something completely different...even better!

This isn't "quite" finished, as I only had one session to work, so still would like to go in and place the shadows, but this really brightened my day, so I'm sharing now!


Monday, April 6, 2015

Girl in Red Hat-Homage

Earlier this year, Vermeer's small painting visited our area. I'm sure I had seen the painting itself before but it surely was many, many years ago. I am so captivated by it! This is a little 4 x 6 inch study on toned paper done with crayons, water-based Sharpies and gouache. Well, why not?


Spring start at Crabtree Lake

Spring is showing mostly in patches: cultivated plantings of pears, cherries, and bulbs. It's more subtle in the "wild". The redbuds and some dogwoods are showing, and there's a bit more bright green scattered about. The color at the lake was more obvious when I started the painting and became more subdued over the course of an hour, as the sun rose.  The warmth and hints of color make even the air seem festive somehow. 


Friday, April 3, 2015

Jordan Lake Ink Study

Not sure if I'll be able to paint today or not. Here's a plein air study done last week with a water brush filled with black ink. Thank you, James Gurney, for that idea!


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Time Out or Leaves in Winter

Had a bit of enforced rest this week for some minor surgery...which never feels that way at the time. Thank Momness for Mom!! Hugs! And for Hubby!  And rest of Family (you know who you are!)!

So eager to get back into "training"! Have only been able to do some small (we're talking ACEO size sketches) since last week, but glad for them. And it lets me go back and fill in a very old Daily Paintworks Challenge!