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Friday, January 30, 2009

Watercolor Paint-In

Yesterday was watercolor day. My husband wants a painting of one of the large cats we saw in Africa - to remember our trip. He took lovely photos of a leopard, cheetah and lion. I'm starting with the leopard. Again, I am experimenting with surfaces. This is an illustration board that I primed for pastel with a slightly gritty surface. My plan is to start with watercolor (as an underpainting) and end up with a little bit of pastel on top. I have a good start on the underpainting here, and will continue to build up the head and background in watercolor.

The Blue Steps is done!

The drive over the mountains to class was lovely. Fresh snow around, but the highway was dry. Class was great - learning lots. I was pleased that my Blue Steps painting only needed finishing touches.
On to the next one. I took my sketch of the mountain lodge and filled in my values in various greys. I used this sketch to block in the same on my pastel paper. I am not including a photo of it here because I don't think it will show up well at this stage.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Drawing for next pastel

Tomorrow is my pastel class. I want to do another painting from a plein air pastel I did last summer at the Thunderbird Lodge at Lake Tahoe. This is the card house with the stone staircase to the boat launch. There were some elements in the original view that needed some changing. I moved trees, moved the house, eliminated half of the rocks...that kind of stuff. It was such a great scene but just didn't work on paper, so this is my prep study.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Time flew by today, no pun intended! My daughter and her husband adopted an adult dog, and this being their first work week since he came home, I went over to take him for a walk while they were away, to make sure he was OK, and give him some attention and exercise. It was fun. I will walk him each day this week, and then maybe he will be used to their schedule.

So then, I HAD to go give my horse some attention. This is the time of year I don't ride much - snow and ice make riding a little hazardous, but they still need grooming and attention. So he got lots of horse cookies and got to roll and run in the arena.

So, once I was home...time to make dinner. After dinner I was able to add another glaze to the bird picture background. Take a picture (it is night now) and low and behold....the flash shows the resist I use around the edge of the bird to protect it from the background bleeding into the bird. This looks weird, but, I'm posting this anyway!!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blue Steps

Well, I think I'm done with Blue Steps. I'm not going to do anything more until I take it to Margot's class on Wednesday...see what she says. I'm glad it has been snowing this weekend. The forcast is looking good to drive over the pass to class on Wednesday. Well, time to dig out some more photographic references to plan my next paintings...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rains are Coming

My Zebra picture is finished. I named it "Rains are Coming". Our trip to Africa last September provided the inspiration for this painting. We were there during the dry season and went on game drives every day (photo safaris). It was our trip of our lifetime.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Lilac-Breasted Roller

My most favorite bird in Africa that I saw was the Lilac-Breasted Roller. Their turquoise and dark royal blue feathers shimmered in the light and their lilac breast just glowed. We took many photos of this bird. Once home, I just HAD to paint it. I started with the bird in watercolor, and after many layers of glazes, I felt it was time to start on the background. So today, I started on the background - this is just one layer.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back to the Blue Steps

I had some extra time today to do a little more to my Blue Steps pastel. It is coming along. What a switch - from detail work in the Zebra picture, to loose, impressionistic style, all in one day. It is refreshing.

January 22, 2009 Watercolor Day

I have a painting buddy I met in a watercolor class given by Jan Foss at Lake Tahoe a couple of years ago. My friend Judith and I have been painting together off and on ever since, trying to keep it up. Today I worked on my Zebra picture. I've been working on it for for a couple of weeks now. I'm always trying something new. This art board is new to me. It says it takes watercolor, but, it doesn't take it like Arches watercolor paper! So, I tried watercolor pencils, and then would lightly spread the color with a damp brush. Long story short, this picture turned out more like a drawing than a painting. It also required many layers of different colors, since I couldn't mix my own colors from my paint box. But it has been an interesting experience and I could get my "detail fix" with this project. This picture is almost done. A little more touch-up and blending in the upper left corner and I will give it a name.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

January 21, 2009 Birth Day of my new Blog!

Welcome to my new blog. The purpose of my blog is to share my art, and my experiences and feelings about what inspires me to create art. My New Year's Goal is to paint (or sketch) at least one hour a day. I've heard from several sources that this makes an artist improve by leaps and bounds. And that is what I want to happen to me!!! It is hard being an artist all by yourself. It is hard to motivate yourself to do your chosen craft (even though you love it) when there is no paycheck at the end of the day as incentive...especially when you have worked regular jobs and got paychecks! My "business plan" is to post my progress on my blog. While the blog committment itself will motivate me to paint each day, comments and encouragement from other bloggers will be icing on the cake.

Today I attended a pastel painting class given by Margot Schulzke. It was my first class with her. I really enjoyed it. This picture is what I started in class, and I will work more on it (maybe tomorrow?). I am working from a photo I took of steps up to a little beach cottage at Crystal Cove near Newport Beach, California. The steps really are painted blue!