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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Same Scene - Different Technique!

"Mountain Shower"

This time, I did the spray bottle and splattering for the sky.  I did less manipulation and let the clouds form themselves.  I did some spray bottle and splatter and blowing for the land and trees.  It does give a fresher and looser look.  Now I will dig out my pastels and do a pastel version next go-around.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mountain Squall

This is the second time I've done this scene in watercolor.  I notice other artists do several of a theme and they call it a series.  OK, I'm doing a series.  But for me, that's a nice way of saying that I'm not satisfied and I'm going to keep doing it until I get it the way I envisioned it in my head ... or better than that!

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Special Christmas Quilt of Embroidery and Needlework

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet!  on Cupid! on Donder and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes - how they twinkled!  his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

This quilt was made by my daughter and I.  It took ten years to make.  We did embroidery, cross-stitch and punch embroidery.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Practise makes perfect ... eventually I hope!

This is a watercolor "study" or "sketch" for my next painting.  Notice that I'm not calling it a painting?  That is because it has been "demoted"!  Sometimes I don't start off right with the correct color choice, or the right technique.  So, now that I've messed around with it and experimented with lifting out the edges of the clouds ... maybe next go-around will be "on the mark". 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays Card

Happy Holidays!  May you be blessed with peace and love all through the season and the New Year.

Such a busy time of year!  But fun.  I finally started another painting, but it is not ready for show 'n tell.  So, I'll post this year's holiday card I prepared from one of my paintings.  I enjoy doing creative things with the computer.  But it is time consuming!  I believe it took me longer to try different graphic looks and settle on one, than it took to paint the original painting!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Before finishing "Early Snow" - a pastel - guess what I did????

Yep! I shoveled snow! We got hammered here in Reno yesterday and the previous night. Today I dug out my Subaru on the driveway ... and then the walkway and the rest of the driveway. My reward was to indulge in the chocolate chip cookies my husband made yesterday! Forget the calories - I think I burned off a few.

Then I did the finishing touches on "Early Snow". I had fun with this painting. Now to plan for the next painting ...

Friday, December 4, 2009

Pastel painting in progress - snow scene

Today I worked on a pastel of the same subject as the last painting. It is not done, but I stopped before I overworked some areas. Sometimes it helps me to see it on the computer in the black background of my blog, so I can see what I need to leave alone, and what I need to do more of.

I actually started with watercolor on a white "PastelBord" by Ampersand. It doesn't behave like paper at all! So it was quite challenging. I did get some interesting "blossoms". So, I thought I would show a photo of it in stages. Below is the watercolor. And below that is beginning layer of pastel.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

First Snow - a watercolor painting

Even though I will be doing a pastel show of 20 paintings, I still love watercolor, even if it is unpredictable for me. So, to get my fix, and still prepare for my show, I plan to do the first version of each painting in watercolor. That will give me the opportunity to work out any composition and value problems full size. It will also give me a goal to try to keep my pastel a little bit loose and fresh, like the watercolor version.

Here is my first painting. We had some snow over the Thanksgiving weekend in Truckee, CA. This is the view from our livingroom window. The sun came out and the snow started to fall and melt off the trees. I incorporated some of the techniques I learned in Lian Zhen's workshop.

I'm going to use this painting in my own holiday greeting card this year.