Saturday, December 31, 2011

Time for this Dry Spell to End!!!!!

Been dry for a month and a half...lost interest in the Laure Ferlita class...Thought I would get back into the swing of things over Winter Break but foot surgery and crutches kept me from hobbling out to my outdoor studio in the back of the yard.  I know...not an excuse...I've just been in a rut.  Time to get out this rut!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Laure Ferlita's Artful Journaling - Week 2 Lesson 4: Combining Design Elements

This week's assignment..., "...let's slow down a bit and make sure we're really getting the concepts of Positive Space, Negative Space and Values as well as remembering to "design" our pages to incorporate titles and/or word art, borders, and backgrounds.

I tried this with a bowl of curry's okay...I do question my values. Also not so sure about purple for the background color.  Should I have used green since it's the complement of red?

Original Photo

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Laure Ferlita's Artful Journaling - Week 2 Lesson 3: Value Study

This lesson was to focus on a value study.  Create a monotone picture first, then apply what I learned about value to the color picture.  I chose a scene of shored up long boats on the island of Koh Phi Phi in southern Thailand.  The original photo itself isn't that great, but it did lend itself to value study.  My one piece of self-criticism is I think I may have gone too dark on the leaves of the tree.

Original Photograph

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Laure Ferlita's Artful Journaling - Week 1 Lesson 2: Negative Space

Paint the negative space around an image using our signature color (mine is perylene red)...  I really wanted to do the Golden Buddha from the Golden Buddhist Temple in Bangkok but didn't like the idea of the Buddha being white with shades of red to give it shape, so I decided to paint a background that was a mixture of quinacridone gold, quin. deep gold, raw sienna, and Holbein antique gold (metallic).  For texture I placed a crumpled up piece of plastic wrap on this and let it dry.  I love the background!  The golden Buddha in my original photograph is covered in thousands of small squares of gold sheets that people buy and rub onto the Buddha when they visit the temple.  The picture below doesn't capture the metallic gold sheen of many of the sections.  It was a perfect background color for the Buddha.

Original Photo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Another online class...

I'm taking another on-line art class, "Artful Journaling:  Explorations" with Laure Ferlita.  We are to pick a theme and a signature color.  My theme is "Travel Memories" and my signature color is perylene red.  This color is suppose to be on each of our pages.  I chose travel memories because I have all these great photos from previous travels and would love to reminisce while creating art in a journal.

This week's challenge was to draw small and leave a lot of white space.  I was inspired to do this with a close-up photo of dragon statue I took in Thailand in 2004.  It's not a black and white photo, and I was thrilled to see a small patch of red on one of the eyes!  I decided to make this assignment my journal cover page.  My only critique is the lower half of the dragon face isn't as light as it is in the original picture, but I think it still works.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My Dragonfly page...

...while researching dragonflies in Washington State I discovered the dragonfly I was sketching was our state insect, the "Green Darner Dragonfly" and it's one of the largest and fastest-flying dragonflies. It had a gorgeous emerald green body!

Here's my final page...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Work in Progress...

This weeks theme for Jane's class is to get inspired by something from nature and to draw and paint it from many different perspectives.  A student in my science class brought me a dead and dried out dragonfly and this is my inspiration.  I also plan to use a dissecting scope to look at it close up and to draw images inspired by what I see.  Right now I've just drawn the dragonfly and decided to stop because I'm afraid I will get too carried away with detail in the wings.  I can do a wing close-up (it's like stained glass!) from my dissecting scope view.  We will see where this goes...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

First page for Jane LaFazio's online "Sketching & Watercolor in a Mixed Media Journal" class...

This week's theme is "Everyday Objects" and when I saw my cat, Ollie, nosing around in his toy basket, I found my inspiration...

September Work - More practice from the "Ready To Paint Series"

More practice work from the "Ready To Paint Series - Watercolour Landscapes" by Terry Harrison.

These are a good practice for learning techniques.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Where has the time gone?

Can't believe I haven't posted since August!  School started 8/23 and it has consumed me.  Though I've done some watercolor painting exercises from a "Ready to Paint" book (I post copies later...) and my weekly intermediate watercolor class with Joyce Anderson just started back up two weeks ago.  Plus, I've signed up for another on-line class with Jane Lafazio through - "Sketching & Watercolor In A Mixed Media Journal"

I'm really looking forward to the online interacting with fellow students.  Images will soon follow this post!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Day 2 in Don Gray's Class...

...this was a class where we brought subject matter we were interested in pursuing.  After some demonstrations by Don, we then went to work and he would walk around and advise.  I decided to work on a painting of a farm building I took a photograph of on Hwy 125 just north of Walla Walla on the way to Prescott.  I didn't like the background in the picture (or the color of the gray corrugated siding against the blue sky) say I made some additions and changes in color to my painting.  I have a photo taken by my co-worker"s (Yvon Barber) son, Jason, of the Blue Mountains with wheat fields in the foreground, so I used that image for my painting's background.  Below are the photos that inspired the painting followed by the painting.  There's a tiny bit of work left for me to do on the painting and I will probably crop it some when I mat it.  Other than my clouds (a paint and learn process), I'm pleased with my day's work!

The farm building photo...

Jason Barber's photo of wheat fields and the Blue Mountains...

The inspired painting...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Revision of the Sycamore done in the studio...

...while taking a class from Don Gray at the Pendleton Center for the Arts.  I decided to go dark to contrast with the sunlit background foliage.  Maybe I will do another where I do the tree lighter with a darker foliage background.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Every Day Objects...

...August's Sketchbook Challenge.  I liked what I saw people posting on FLICKR so I thought I'd go for it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Getting out on my own... do Plein Air.  I went to a nearby park and painted one of the sycamores that surrounds the gazebo there.  I love the patterns on their trunks.  This is okay.  Maybe it will be one I focus on painting in the studio when I take a class with Don Gray at the Pendleton Center for the Arts this weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sitka Center For Art & Ecology...

...On the central Oregon coast. I'm here for a week taking two watercolor classes with Molly Hashimoto. . No, I'm not a beginner, but I wanted to stay here for a week and never hurts to review techniques, especially with this being Plein Air. The intermediate class starts tomorrow, and we will be visiting the same areas, so I will have an opportunity to reexperience painting the areas, maybe from a different perspective. Then we will return the class in the afternoons, to paint a studio picture using our plein air pieces for reference. This will be something new for me.

Here are the paintings I did in her beginner class:

 ...and here are the journal entries in my new watercolor journal book...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Arrowleaf Balsamroot...

...below is the first page in my new Arches Watercolor spiral bound field book.  I decided to to try painting from a photo I took of Arrowleaf Balsamroot flowers when we were in Idaho.  It's okay...I really want to loosen up but I seem to always paint so "tight" and am not sure how to loosen up.  I'm getting ready to head off to the Sitka Center for Ecology & Art on the Oregon coast for two watercolor classes by Molly Hashimoto.  There will be lots of Plein Air work and later in the week we will focus on translating field work to studio work.  When I took Molly's class last year I really liked the looseness of my work.  I'm hoping to reconnect with that feeling.

Here is the work I did in my Arches Watercolor Journal last year when I took Molly's class at the North Cascades Institute:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Idaho Vacation...

...We spent last week in the Sun Valley/Sawtooths region of Idaho - Spectacular country!!!!!  We stayed in Hailey, Idaho - 11 miles south of Sun Valley for a few nights and explored the area for a few days.  Then we headed north to Stanley, ID which is in the heart of the Sawtooths and stayed a night there before heading home the next day.  Lots of hiking and amazing scenery.  Next time we would like to base out of Stanley, a more rustic and real feeling town.
Joe and I on the trail to Baker Lake.

Sawtooths viewed from Stanley, Idaho

The motel view we plan to have on our next visit!

Below are the journal entries I did on the trip...

Friday, July 8, 2011

Taking time out to work on watercolor techniques...

...Another exercise from the "Ready to Paint Series - Watercolor Flowers" by Wendy Tait.  I loved the exercise in painting the negative spaces to carve out the flowers and leaves.  Very fun to do and I'm quite pleased with this!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

New Watercolor Journal - Page 2

Grapes are a wonderful source of shade and I have them planted in two spots in our yard - these are growing up a wire trellis next to our patio in order to provide shade to our patio dining table.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Let July Begin...

Here is the last page of the hand bound watercolor journal I made last Summer. Not too crazy about the painting...but it's all a learning process. I just finished making my new journal and this one is all hot press (Fabriano Artistico 140 lb.) and I'm not sure if I'll like only having hot press but it's easier to do ink drawings on and I may not always want to paint my drawings. It doesn't have as many pages as the book I just finished just in case I start to miss the cold press paper. My next journal may end up being a mix of hot and cold press papers.

And here is the first entry of my new hot press watercolor paper journal.  I just added flower boxes to the windows of my studio two weeks ago.  I love the brilliant red Mediterranean look of these geraniums!

Friday, June 24, 2011

June Work

I'm working through Jeanne Dobie's Making Watercolor Sing book and am in "Chapter 2 - Mouse Power:  Achieving Luminous Greys."  Instead of mimicking her work, I've decided in order to grow with my own style, I need to draw and paint my own pictures.  Below are two attempts from a photo I took while traveling in Ecuador a few years ago.

This one is my first attempt in my watercolor journal.  It was okay but I wanted to try again... I did another attempt in my Arches Watercolor Field book and like it better.  The only thing is I labored over the drawing.  Now I want to try and do a quick sketch and painting to more imitate being out in the field painting.  I'll try that next.

Finally, here is a watercolor journal entry I did early in June of my backyard studio that Joe built for me last Summer.  I love my studio and the corner porch that comes off of it!  While I was pleased with my drawing, I'm not too crazy about my colors, but oh well...paint and learn!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Fanciful Flowers - Week 1

As mentioned in my previous post, I'm taking another online class through called "Fanciful Flowers" and below is this week's project (after drawing and painting different flowers).  First I painted my flower leaving the white background.  Then I painted a second sheet with the flower colors and added salt to get the white fleck texture.  Then I cut both up into strips and wove them together.  An interesting exercise.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Calendar Journal

Thought I'd give this a try...each day reflecting a little on what I did.  I'm taking a "Fanciful Flowers" class with Sondra Holtzman as an online Joggles class.  Our first week is to draw and paint different shaped flowers.  Those included on my calendar are the cup-shape (tulip) the wheel-shape (Coreopsis) the trumpet-shape (Red Penstemon) and I'm not sure what shape the Butterfly Pincushion qualifies as.