Search This Blog

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A different kind of painting - with threads

Just no time to paint!  But I did take my Mom to the stitching group in town for a few hours of group companionship (aka stitch n bitch).  Really, we don't do that, but we do have some interesting conversations while we stitch our projects!

I haven't been to stitching in over a month.  So this project is going to take a long, long time.  Another friend I haven't seen in a while was also working on the same old duck needlepoint LOL!  She said she'd be working on it 'till she dies! 

We shopped yesterday for a washer, dryer and refrigerator for the new house.  The store was having a Memorial Weekend sale and our large purchase qualified us for a mini flip-type camera for $20 - the kind you can take a short video, plug it into your computer and immediately download it to YouTube and post it on your blog.  Woohoo!  I can take a movie of a short demo of my painting process and post it here.  That should be fun!  Stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Light Through the Hollyhocks - mixed media

I'm happy to have finished this painting.  After doing all I could with watercolor, I used traditional (waxy) colored pencils on top.  I wish I had more time to paint.  Someday....

I'm looking forward to life settling down!  We've been sooo busy!  Tomorrow I'm babysitting and we have to do the final things to close escrow on the new house with baby in tow....I hope Baby Whit can tolerate it all.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to paint light coming through flower petals

That is my goal with this painting.  How do you do it?  I think watercolor is a great medium for accomplishing this.  I've seen it done so beautifully.  So I am attempting to do it here.

One thing that helps is extreme contrast - the rich darks behind the sunlit petal.  So, I added dark watercolor (greens, blues, purples, reds) in watercolor to the background here.

Then, I started adding pink watercolor to the petals already started, and then green to the leaves.  I really enjoy doing negative painting.  You can see this in the leaf where I painted the spaces between the veins.  This is a popular watercolor technique, and sometimes I like to use it in a pastel painting.

They are finishing our new house.  We are so excited.  We have lots of plans for landscaping the back yard.  On the sunny side yard, I plan a "secret garden", with hollyhocks on the fence, roses, raised vegetable beds, a small pergola for a little garden glider chair for me to sit under the wisteria and sip morning coffee.

Oh, yes, I forgot.  The story about the house.  Four years ago a friend told us about a new development and said we HAD to go and see it - see the model homes, and the one with an extra large laundry room off the kitchen that was large enough to make a craft room - she said I would LOVE it. 

We went, we saw, we LOVED it.  But, our hands were tied (we had to sell the Truckee house first).  Once a year we would go back to see how many more homes were completed, and, to see if they lowered their prices since the market was starting to tank.  The building was slowing down a little, but they were maintaining rather high prices in spite of it.  Then, we heard they were selling the models and really slowing down building.  We were still trying to sell the Truckee house, and we still could do NOTHING.  We began talking about giving up the idea of having that house, that it probably would not happen.  We made an extra special effort to NOT look at houses until the Truckee house sold - to avoid disappointment.

Then, a first offer came out of nowhere - for the Truckee house.  We took it.  It had an extremely fast close of escrow demand - 14 days - because he was willing to pay cash.  It was a very low offer, but we took it.

One week after the close of that escrow, we had only one day that we could go looking at new houses before going on our trip to Williamsburg.  It was a Sunday and we decided to just look at open houses.  We spent the whole day, working our way south.  The last stop was our favorite development.  A different house was listed as an open house, and we knew we didn't like that house.  So we went as our last stop. 

I said - Wait!  Look across the street!  That is our favorite model and there is a sign out front (even though it wasn't listed on the realtor's website).  We called the realtor and he came out and showed us the house inside.  It did not have all the fancy upgrades the original furnished model had - including the large laundry/craft room, but that was OK!  The large space was on the otherside of the wall as an extension of the garage - which gives us space for garage storage.

It turned out that the person who was buying it, could not sell his house in time and it fell out of escrow 3 days before the close.  The builder was very happy to sell it to us! 

And that is the story - we are amazed - it WAS meant to be!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Drawing is my quiet time

Hollyhocks from last summer's gardeb
 I was thankful to have a full day of babysitting for Baby Whit today - not only is it fun - he is a cutie, but it provided me with a day off from all the busy business of purchasing a new home. 

So today while he napped, I got to slow down and have quiet time.  Drawing with watersoluable colored pencils a little section at a time, then blending with water...very, very peaceful and relaxing, and I actually quieted my brain from all the details of the new house and move.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Williamsburg Colonial House and Garden - watercolor

We've spent two entire days wandering around Colonial Willamsburg.  There is lots to see.  Here is a little 3 x 5 watercolor (thank you Ti-Igra for the little Fabriano watercolor block - as you can see, I've been using it on this trip!) of a beautiful little garden with colonial house. 

Here are a few photos of the costumed actors and historical interpreters, who share historical re-enactments every day.

re-enactment of town talking about excessive taxation by British
making beer
giving tourists a ride
clerk of the House of Burgess
British officials in Williamsburg
British officers
Colonist protesting excessive taxation
discussing spinning and weaving
townswoman with pet chicken

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Windows and architecture of Colonial Period

We are visiting Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia and surrounding areas.  We are doing much sight-seeing and photo taking, as well as informative tours.  While having a lazy morning, I did this mini watercolor from one of my photos I took, while viewing on the laptop.

This is the Cookhouse of the Berkeley Plantation.  Although they built their homes out of brick they made on the plantation, the outbuildings here were plastered and painted a pink color over the bricks.  Green shutters were the thing back then.  They could close them during storms.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Another Pastel Show!

Drive to Placerville on 49
The other day I drove to Placerville, California.  It was a beautiful day and I took a few photos along the pastoral drive.

Trails to hike!
I was headed to Placerville to enter the members's Spring Show - called "Spring Brilliance" for the Sierra Pastel Society.   I saw some of my friends there.  Several of these members were with me at last summer's Hope Valley workshop with Richard McKinley.

I have not been to Placerville in many years.  It was fun to look around.  I even went to a little nature park where I did a plein air field study in pastel.  I'm a bit rusty, so I am not posting it! 

Then I went back to the gallery at El Dorado Art's Council and looked through the window as they hung the show.  They were officially closed, but they were kind to let me come in and view our show.  It was great!  Lots of talent!  I have been a member for about 3 years, but this is the first time I have participated since it is a long drive.

Once I got home, a new e-mail message was waiting with the results of the judging!  I won a 2nd in the Landscape category for "Willow Creek"!!!!!   Whoopee!   I am thrilled!  (Sorry, the photo is not available right now for me to post Willow Creek - but you can search it by name in my blog and you can see it on an older post).

My friend, Thaleia, won Best of Show!  I am so happy for her.  She was our hostess who organized the Richard McKinley and also the Lorenzo Chavez workshops in Hope Valley.  You can see her beautiful art here: .

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Planning my new art studio!

Great news!  We found our special new home and put an offer on it tonight!  Most likely it will close June 1 and we can then start moving in. 

I am excited about my little room - a studio - to paint in.  There is lots of natural light and windows.  I will fill you in on it later. 

There is a story to this house-hunting saga, but it is late tonight, and I will tell the story of it later.  It is one of those "it was meant to be" stories!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Awards Reception

I went to the awards reception for the Pastels USA Open Exhibitions.  I got there 1-1/2 hour early, and while the museum was still open.  So I got to see this art museum for the first time, as well as our show. 

Before I go into our show, I just want to mention what a lovely art museum the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California is!!!!  They have many galleries with very beautiful art - some old master type, some victorian California history type, and galleries of special shows, like ours.  One of the special shows that I enjoyed very much was the Fairy Tale Art - Illustrations from Children's Books.  I saw some amazing and beautiful original illustrations that were submitted to publishers for books.  I'll have to google them and see if they are still in print - they would be lovely to add to my small collection of children's literature books.

Back to our show - It was a beautiful show and many talented artists.  I am soooo inspired!  I saw several of my teachers there - two of which had entered gorgeous paintings and won awards - Kim Lordier and Terri Ford - and it was fun visiting with them.  I also saw my friend, Kathryn Hall, and I am sooooo proud of her - she was awarded Signature Status!

Here are some pictures from the event:
me and my painting (lower)
Kathy & award
Wow - my painting in the program!
page showing those with awards - Kim's on top
awards - Terri's top left