So after doing some research on the expensive shipping prices for large canvases I decided to try to paint on unstretched canvas. This will make shipping much more affordable. For my mom’s gift, I can just ship them and then when I’m down there I can stretch them on stretcher bars. I’m not particularly handy but the stretching of the canvas seems doable- much easier than framing watercolors.
I purchased pre-primed canvas and made a test out of a smaller 16 x 20″ size. That way I don’t waste too much material or time in the event that my stretching is a complete fail. I did a few coats of acrylic washes and I did notice that there are some wrinkles, which concerns me, although it seems like this is normal from what I’ve read. I even tried to iron the canvas but it didn’t really do much. I think the only way to get rid of them completely is during the stretching process. I hope!
I quite like painting this way and I like how once it dries I can roll them up and not have my artwork take over all my living space.
Here’s my kitty smelling the wonderful scent of daphne which are such a treat because they bloom in the winter. I was making a lot of progress with my art in 2018 but then my poor kitty Matisse got a UTI and I had to take a pause for over a week. He’s been doing good ever sense (knock on wood) and hopefully the fancy food that I’ve been giving him will prevent him from getting one again.
Here is another floral watercolor painting in my favorite blush pink and brown color combination! I concentrated the pigment on the center of the peony and the base of the upside down lily.
Some oil painting updates
I don’t think I blogged about this painting before. This is an oil painting on a reworked acrylic painting from years ago. I was playing with Gamblin’s Torrit Grey borrowed from a fellow Portland painter, Bruce Reed. I have been to Dick Blick and they no longer have the sample paint 🙁 but apparently Gamblin gives this color out every year. I think I had in my mind to paint this amazing view of the Columbia Gorge from Lyle Washington, but at some point the painting felt done to me. My favorite part is the fleck of bright mint green, hence the name of the painting ‘Minty Cloud Abstract.’
I am also reworking an oil painting that I started last year of a crocosmia blossom against a patterned bath towel. I did not like how the colors were working together so I am making this more monochromatic. We’ll see if this comes together.
Studio Kitty Photo Break
Here’s Matisse the orange kitty with my Christmas present, a ceramic ikebana vase from a local Portland ceramic artist.
Cosmos Dance, 2017, Watercolor, 12×16
So there are things I really like about this painting. I love the purple to blue wash and the orange to purple wash. In fact I think I should have just stopped painting right then. That’s what’s always challenging…knowing when you’re done painting.
Work in Progress: Oil Painting of Cosmos
I was experimenting with trying to create washes on canvas (here canvas board). It was less than successful so I painted over with white acrylic and am now trying to paint the cosmos in oils. I kept the big blue wash on the top exposed.
Studio Kitty with Lilies
Here’s Matisse the kitty posing with some white lilies. Is it me or is he looking a little chubby? :/ I am guilty of giving into his pleas for more food. I need to cut back on the kibble.
Pink Cosmos with Magenta and Purple Blazes, 2017, 12×16
Cosmos are the last flowers standing in my garden, I think I had them even until late November. In this painting, I wanted to push the watercolor washes to see how saturated I could get the colors. I mixed the purple from magenta and blue and let the two colors mix wet-in-wet on the paper. It’s impossible to predict how the final painting will turn out!
Here’s a picture of my orange kitty who likes to look at the shiny piece of foil! Unfortunately this dude’s tummy wasn’t feeling good last night and woke me up crying at 3 am. Ignoring him, thinking he was begging for more food, he rewarded me with a wonderfully fragrant gift to pick up in the morning.
Blushing tulips, 2017, Watercolor, 12 x 16
this might be my favorite color combo most beautiful wash of blush and brown..soft and hazy and luminous at once. but hard to get just right!
I am also working on a little oil painting study of statice flowers. Statice flowers look like perfect little barrettes studded with rhinestones, they’re so pretty they almost don’t seem real.
I was re watching Julie & Julia the movie about a blogger who is obsessed with the chef Julia Child. The orange kitty in that movie looks like Matisse, it even has the same white crest!
Mums, 2017, Watercolor on Paper, 12 x 16
I learned recently that chrysanthemums are considered one of the ‘Four Gentlemen’ of Chinese Art.
Neat! So I need to starting painting some bamboo, plum blossoms, and orchids.
I really like the colors in this painting, especially the golden-browns against the bright pink.
Matisse the orange kitty likes smelling mums!
Dark Chocolate Cosmos and strawflower still life, 2017, Watercolor, 12 x 16
The dark chocolate cosmos are my favorite type of cosmos. They have the perfect cute buttony shape. I couldn’t find seeds for them but I was able to find two plants at the local gardening center and yes they are perennials! They nearly died off though during our sad drought this summer. I planted them in the ground so I’m crossing my fingers they’ll make it back next spring!
Matisse the orange kitty inspects the quality of my floral arrangements.
Sherbert pink blossom still life, 2017, 12×16
A bouquet of cut flowers against a grey background. I think I am going to try to paint this one in oils in the future, I really like the colors. The grey watercolor feels slightly weak and would be lovely in oil.
Matisse the orange kitty, not approving of the direction this painting is taking, decides to take matters into his own paws.