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Friday, December 28, 2012

I made a book!

The cover

There are several online self-publishing companies out there.  My daughter made some beautiful family albums this way and really inspired me.  So, for a Christmas gift for my husband, I made some photo albums, and then, for me - I made a book of my best paintings of 2012!

It really wasn't hard, and it was fun.  The book came out so well, my husband wanted to gift it to family, so I took advantage of the 50% off holiday sale and had copies made for them.  They really loved it.  It was a gift that didn't require a frame, wallspace, etc.  And they could have a collection of 20 or more images!

I have two for myself.  One, I can show people who are interested in seeing my work when it is not easily accessible to show.  It can become dog-eared and have fingerprints on it - because I will save the other one to keep clean.
Each image is accompanied by the title, size and medium.  Some have a description of the location and if it was painted en plein air.  Some have a little story about my experience there or what inspired me to paint it.

The last page has all the shows I have entered and placed in, as well as the art associations I am a member of.  In a way, it is also like a portfolio.  But to me, it is also like a memoir or scrapbook of a very special year of painting and my progress as an artist.  We all need to look back and see how far we came in the last year.  It helps to inspire us and give us incentive to plan and make goals for the next year.

With that thought, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy New Year - 2013!!!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

A previous paint-out at Lake Tahoe

"Glacial Remnant" oil on panel

A couple of weeks ago I met up with two Lake Tahoe artists and we painted at Sand Harbor State Park.  I did this painting in oil, standing on the beach.  I learned something.  In the winter, the sun is low and passes between trees behind and to the side of me.  The shadows changed 3 times in the two hours I worked on this.  Even though I did a value sketch, I gave up on the morning light with cast shadows and just worked on mixing various greys and trying to establish the form of the rocks.

When I got home and looked at the painting, it looked quite dull and bland.  But, it was a good start.  So, I printed out the photos I took of the place, sprayed on a light fixative to give the dried paint a wet look again, and started painting over my "underpainting" with brighter colors and worked on the cast shadows from the photos.  Now, I am happier with it.  I learned a lot.
The "underpainting" done plein air

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Cactus

I painted this just in time for the holidays to make a holiday greeting card to send family and friends.  So, at this time I'd like to wish all of you out there a Happy Holiday Season!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A recent trip to Phoenix - painting in watercolor

Cave Creek Park in the morning

Hello friends!  I'm sorry I haven't blogged in a while, so I have several posts in line for the next few days!  Got my pictures downloaded and photoshop'd - all ready for me to post.

Earlier this month we went to Phoenix for a week.  While my hubby went golfing, I went hiking!  For ease in going through airport security, and lightness in the backpack, I brought a small watercolor pack and Arches Watercolor Travel Book (which is all full now since I've used it over the years).

I enjoyed hiking new areas - mostly in the Northern Phoenix area - Cave Creek, Spur Crossing Preserve, the Botanical Gardens and Pagano Park - both closer to the airport.

Here are my other watercolor sketches:
This is unfinished, I ran out of time.
Spur Crossing Preserve (it looks like he is crying!)