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Sunday, May 30, 2010

I looked, and I looked, and I saw...

I was hoping to find a frog in this painting, and I did!  He is hiding under the grass.  I am using watercolor pensils very, very lightly, and then glazing over with a damp brush.  Certain pensils when wet turn into shrieking colors!  So, I'm going very, very slow, building up my darks and contrasts very gradually.  I don't have very many pensils, so when I get bored with their color, I do a little glaze from my palette. 

Finally!  We are having warm, sunny weather.  The bunnies are soooo happy to join me outside on the patio.  And Lucky is enjoying the parsely and sage.  It is good to see her eating again!  Her health has been touch and go for months now.  So, each day I appreciate the simple good things in life.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Experiment With Texture and Watercolor

My Mom was sick and I needed to help her out and walk her dog ... so with little time I literally threw an experiment together.  I wet the paper on both sides and poured and dripped paint on.  Then I took a handful of grass hay and scattered it on the wet paint.  It didn't lay down on the paint, so I placed a sheet of acrylic over it and a weight (my art backpack) to press the hay down into the paint. 

Hours later when it was dry I brushed the hay away.  Very dull, pale paint and not much texture.  Hmmmf!  So I set it aside thinking it was a bust.

While having lunch I gazed over at it and started to see things!  Yes, leaves AGAIN.  I must have a thing about leaves.  So I started to enhance the leaves and the grass texture.  Maybe this will turn into something afterall.  My Mom sounds better today, so maybe this afternoon I can play with it some more ...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Morphos Emerging - Mixed Media With Watercolor

Like the butterflies emerging from their chrysalis, we are ready for winter to be over!  Have a nice day everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Looking for Butterflies

This is another saran wrap painting.  It is so fun to stare at it and wait for something recognizable to emerge.  I saw Blue Morphos Butterflies.  So, I am starting to enhance them.  There are three large dark shapes in this painting.  I am going to link them together with a dark color somehow.  This is so much fun, I am addicted. 

After five days of seeing a deserted the nest, I decided to bring the quail eggs inside.  Whoa!  I think I'm counting 22 here.  I wonder if she started a new clutch on top of the old clutch.  At any rate, they were freezing cold and the nest was damp.  No, I'm not going to make an omlette!  Good way to get salmonella!  I like finding or purchasing craft nests and putting a few eggs in them, and then inserting the nest in a houseplant.  Makes a cute display.

My little pet silverbill finches never were successful in hatching their eggs.  The female has stopped producing eggs now.  I'm glad.  It takes a lot out of her.

Monday, May 24, 2010

"Summer Garden" or "What we've been waiting for! Summer!"

OK, summer ... we are waiting ... enough of this winter stuff!

Miss Lucky would also like to go outside and play.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

"Summer Garden" painting in progress

This is another mixed media I started.  First I sprayed the paper with water, then splattered some paint on, then dropped some objects on.  I used various sized beads, thinking they would make flower shapes, but I found my selection was too small.  Once dry, I removed the beads and objects and then began enhancing some of the shapes and colors I saw.  It still needs some definition of flowers on the left-hand side, and more rich darks. 

We have had ridiculously cold weather.  Popcorn snow today, and close to freezing temperatures at night.  My poor Mrs. Quail gave up the nest.  This is probably a little early in the season to be raising a fragile little brood. 

My bunnies have had to deal with staying indoors.  Pixie misses her backyard outing with her boyfriend.  So when I turn her out of her pen to run around the room and hallways, she chooses to be near her sweetheart.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Glass Roses - a Mixed Media Painting

I started enhancing some of the shapes with colored pensils, thinking of glass, exploding glass, or broken glass shards.  I used to do stained glass windows years ago, maybe that is why I was thinking of this.  Then, while on break, walking by it while it was on the easle, at a distance ... shapes seemed to emerge ... like roses or rose petals.  So, I went with that thought and hinted at roses and leaves here.  But it still looks like glass to me, so it is named "Glass Roses".

Friday, May 21, 2010

Watercolor and Saran Wrap!

This next project was something I learned in a class several years ago, but I was still working on the prior project so I never actually tried this until today. 

First I sprayed the paper with a water squirt bottle.  Then I dropped some paint on in a random way.  Then I cut up some pieces of saran and layed them on the work and squished them in.  In some areas I added more paint under the saran with a brush. 

I let it dry overnight.

Then I pulled the saran wrap off.  It makes interesting geometric shapes.  I think I looks like shards of colored glass. 

Next I will accent areas, maybe enhance more color, maybe to bring out shapes it reminds me of.....

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Fallen Leaves - Mixed Media

The colors are quieter in this painting, more earthier.  The weather is dull and gray.  I wish it would get nice again.  I have spring fever and want to be outside.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today's Experiment with Watercolor

Someone put a bee in my bonnet about experimenting!  The last project was fun, and I thought I'd try it again from the beginning, but with a theme in mind.  I like the leaf shapes I did in the last one, so "Fallen Leaves" will be this painting.

Since it is so easy to forget what you did and when - I took several pictures along the way, and I am posting this - kind of - for myself - to document what I did.

First, I wet the paper on both sides, Then I scattered cut-out leaf shapes from rice paper and long strips of cheese cloth, then placed a few garden rocks on.  I poured from little cups, fresh paint mixed with about 10 parts water to paint.  The colors I used were Daniel Smith: Goelith, Quinacrodone Sienna, Hansa Yellow Deep, Diopside Green and Indathrone Blue.  I poured them randomly.  Then I sprayed a few dry areas with a coarse water sprayer bottle.  Then I sprinkled some sand in some places.  I let the colors spread and mingle for a while, but when the yellow area was turning green, I brought out the hairdryer. 

Once dry enough, I pulled off the paper leaves, the gauze, the rocks and dusted off the sand.

Now, I am ready to do more accent stuff to it with pensils and paint.

I am saving the paper leaves, they were pretty themselves, and I may collage them in another work.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Leaf Patterns - a Doodle - I mean a Mixed-Media!

This painting started as a "loosen up project" in a watercolor class several years ago.  We put gauze-like stringy fabric on, torn pieces of rice paper on, threw paint on, and just did something wild.  Mine was so wild I didn't know what to do with it.  I'm not very good at abstract art - I just have to make something representational out of it.  So, I tried to see what shapes there were as a starting point.  I only saw a few leaf shapes.  So I invented some elsewhere.  I used waxy colored pensils and sometimes paint too, to add darkness and depth here and there.  My husband had the idea to make a waterdroplet.  Good idea!  Now it has an "up" and a "down".

While doodling with this, my mind wandered.  I remembered high school days - the books we were issued - we couldn't mark them up, and we were supposed to cover them.  We used cut-up brown paper grocery bags, inside-out, and folded them over the cover of the book.  You could really make a "statement" with the doodles you covered it with.  If you were really good, it was an icebreaker - strangers would look at your doodles and admire them and talk to you.  Funny - why am I remembering this?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day Lily By Night - a watercolor

So, the day lily dreams of a night life!  They usually close up at night, but this one is dancing with the stars!

Mrs. Q came back to the nest, and has been sitting, sitting, sitting.  She did leave of her own choice last evening - maybe to get a drink of water - but she was back the next time I checked.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Finishing an old unfinished painting number two!

Well, it's good to be back!  We had a little sickness in the family among other things, so time slid by.  Today I pulled out this painting unfinished - from a class two or more years ago.  This class was about doing a little frame within the picture for fun.  Some of the leaves come out of the frame, and the rest of the flower is behind the frame.  I haven't painted the frame yet, it is still in pensil.  It is a cute idea, but entirely the teacher's style.  So, today, I decided to do something REALLY different.  I decided to make the outside daytime and inside the frame nighttime - with stars in the sky.  This is kinda storybook or illustration type work that is off my beaten path normally, but it is fun to do something where you think "outside of the box". 

It is a nice day today!  The last few days have been awful - rain, sleet, snow, cold wind!  So, today spring is back and my yard needed watering.  Mrs. Quail started incubating her eggs last Sunday, so I knew I was going to upset the applecart.  When I touched the tap, she scooted away and Mr. Q and all the relatives nearby put up a chattering alarm.  They were very upset I was messing near the nest.  I tied some plastic bags around the leaky tap, hoping that would help the water from dripping on the eggs, and then proceeded to water the yard.  The quail left after 10 minutes.  I went back to painting, hoping they would come back.  Finally about an hour and a half later, I heard them nearby.  So I went in to post this entry.  I saw Mr. Q on the fence clucking to his mate that the coast was clear.  Now all is quiet.  I hope she went back.  I'm afraid to look.  She might be jumpy now.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Artistic Day in Auburn, California

I started the day dropping my husband off at our friends' house to play golf with them while I attended my pastel class.  There we had an interesting class about color theory.  Afterward I joined hubby and our friends for lunch at their beautiful home.  Their garden was all in bloom - too good to just look at - so I whipped out my gear and painted a picture - and then gave it to them for "thanks!"  It was a great day.

Oh, by the way, here is an update on quail eggs - 12!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A funny little sketch

I am so happy!  My bunny, Miss Lucky, who had all the abscess infection problems, had a follow-up check up from last week's surgery today.  She is doing good!!!!  She had a nasty bug which was resistant to the oral antibiotics.  So we tried a new antibiotic bead implant into the abcesses and stitched them closed.  So far, so good!  So, we celebrated and sat outside for lunch - Lucky & me.  Along came the quail pair, on the top of the fence.  They kept looking and looking, and the hen kept trying to figure out how to come in past the big white bunny and me.  So I grabbed my camera and sketchbook.  I did a silly little sketch of them looking at the bunny from the top of the fence, because the camera could never get it.  Hey!  This is hard!  Animals keep moving around! 

Anyway, here are a couple of photos as well - Lucky is begging for an oatmeal cookie, and the papa bird is being the watchman.

 I finally gave in and went inside so the hen could do her business - she was being so patient, waiting for me to leave.  She is on the nest now (I peaked) and is probably laying number 11 egg.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

7 Quail Eggs and Counting!

Mrs. Quail perservered through the spring snow storm we had for the last 3-4 days.  The high winds knocked out the power to our neighborhood for almost 24 hours ... and the cold temperatures and snow ...

Today spring came back to us!  I enjoyed sitting out in the backyard all afternoon doing detail work on my Zen Moment painting.  It is all done and I signed it. 

Two of my bunnies (Pixie and Pepe) enjoyed the backyard with me.  Pixie is madly in love with Pepe.  Here she is grooming the spots on his back!