Tag Archives: botanical

Crazy weather

It’s been ‘snowing’ ashes and the wildfires in Oregon have jumped the gorge. meanwhile there is a category 5 hurricane hurling towards the east coast. Don’t get me started about politics.

I’ve been experimenting with some watercolors, trying to do a more muted and effervescent feel.This one was a based on some dahlias I grew in my garden but I added some petunias and bougainvillea. This one I purposely tried to make the background flowers fade into the white of the paper. What do you think?

Dahlia, Petunia, Bougainvillea, 2017, 18x24, mixed media on paper

 

Here is the most recent watercolor of some chocolate cosmos that may have died because it ‘s been so hot here in Portland. I’ve been trying to get the right shade of pink and I think I nailed it. And I really like the way the blue interacts with the flower on the left. I should’ve held my ground and not gone darker with the red on the right. But there’s always next time!

Cosmos cloud, 2017, 12x16, watercolor on paper

I’m off to Pennsylvania and Colorado to visit some friends and family. Hopefully I’ll get some good shots!

 

Plein air and Happy Eclipse Day

I finally met up with my artist friend, Randall Tipton. I haven’t seen him since 2016- so much has changed since. He and a group of his friends paint plein air style every week.

Plein air painting

He drove me to this spot on the Lake Oswego – Tualatin border on the Tualatin River. I struggled a bit because I didn’t really feel like there was anything compositionally for me to grab onto.

I did like the undulating colors in the water:

Tualatin River

So I just decided to let go and have fun. I was mainly trying to capture the cool rippling effect in the water and then I decided to make the mud of the painting a dark red! I don’ t think it was my best effort but it was fun!

Randall’s painting came out much better:

http://randalldavidtipton.blogspot.com/2017/08/total-totality.html

Here is a recent painting I did of a peony in an apothecary jar. I cut this peony from my garden back in May or June? I love the lilac color, especially against the naples yellow.

I’m always trying to strike the right balance of finished vs overworked.

Lilac Peony Still Life, 2017, 12x16, mixed media painting on paper

 

Spring Flowers- some oil paintings

I’ve been awful about updating my blog this year. In fact I hadn’t thought about it at all when Portland artist Randall David Tipton emailed me to tell me he had read my blog post about his artwork that I wrote over a year ago. He returned the favor and highlighted a watercolor on his blog. Thank you Randall!

After a very long, wet winter (one of the wettest winters on record in Oregon), it is flower season here in Portland. This is the time of year when it is really hard for me to concentrate on doing any paintings because I just want to be out in the sun and take lots and lots of pictures.

Anyway, I wanted to update my blog to show some spring flower oil paintings I have completed recently. I wanted these to be light, bright, and colorful.  In the first painting of a quince bouquet, I wanted it to feel like a watercolor- painting with thin, transparent layers. This was successful for the most part but not sure if there’s too much ‘white’ left? What do you think? I’m going to do another one with the same technique, but start with a solid color background first to avoid that problem. I’ve prepped a canvas with a very light bright lavender. We’ll see how that goes.

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16x20

Glowing quince, 2017, oil on linen, 16×20

This next one is also a painting done from the same quince bouquet in a teal vase but from a different perspective. I also used  a slightly different technique, painting much thicker. I think my obsession with Matisse shows a bit more here. Which one do you like more this one or the first one?

Quince bouquet, 2017, oil on canvas, 16×20

Here’s another closeup of a spring bouquet, I think composed of all the early spring blossoms:   quince, forsythia, and cherry blossom leaves. I had a lot of fun playing with color- glazing the background in teal and emerald green, creating the dark purple leaves.

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16x20

Spring bouquet, teal. 2017. Oil on canvas, 16×20

Ninebark and other fall foliage- mixed media

I love the dark foliage on the copper beech tree but I don’t have a source nearby. I planted the bronze colored ninebark because it was drought tolerant and had the dark foliage that I desired.

Here is a mixed media (watercolor, gouache, ink) painting I did of  a still life I created using the ninebark leaves.

Ninebark still life

Here’s another painting inspired by the trees at the Sunnyside Medical Campus. The leaves are much more brilliantly vivid in real life, I guess I still got the greys of winter on my mind.

Foliage

I’m still obsessed with creating greys and muted maroons and I like how the complimentary colors meet to create these interesting, iridescent stains.

 

My glowing blue oil painting experiment

 

In my mood/concept mapping, I wrote down the words:

mystical
radiant
patina
residue
subtle, profound
fragile, ephemeral

not really sure where this is going but that’s the experience/aesthetic I’m working towards.

It is partially inspired by James McNeill Whistler’s tonalism paintings (there’s a great book by the Clark Art Museum) and I also saw his work in the National Gallery of Art in DC years ago.

I’m playing with all sorts of oil painting goop- gamsol, stand oil, cold wax, linseed oil. I am eyeing this strangely named medium, Neo-Megilp, although I am really trying to resist buying it to satisfy  my curiousity.  Artists of Portland…let’s meet up and try each other’s art supplies for the sake of our wallets!

I started with a dark transparent color, ultramarine. And wow is it glowing In fact, the painting actually really reminds me of a lot of the digital painting work that is coming out of ipads. Not sure if that’s a good thing, but I do like the texture, layering, and softness that is happening. I think I just need to ground the next one in a less artificial feeling color than ultramarine.

Also, this painting looks awesome in direct sunlight, but not as good in inferior lighting. I’m a little worried that all of my oil paintings are going in that direction…

Oh and I painted this on a prestretched oil primed linen panel that was on a major clearance at Blick. Boy could I get spoiled with this material!

 

Exploring Color with botanical watercolors

I have mentioned before on this blog how I am always looking for great shades of grey. I have found one from a mix of transparent maroon and an emerald green.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2016_10_03_13:44:49

In this painting of silhouetted quince leaves I played around mixing the grey on the palette and allowing the colors to mix directly on the paper. What do you think would be a good background color to complement them? The green turns this crazy bright teal color. It’s a little too psychedelic for me, but I really enjoy the shades of grays that are produced when blended with the maroon.

AdobePhotoshopExpress_2016_10_03_13:42:59

I tried this same color scheme in my painting of an ornamental plum tree branch, using a background of coral colored paint because coral and grey go well together. Again this is also feeling a little too garish. I think if I can get just the right amount of understated greys , it will look really nicely against a coral colored background.

What was interesting while I was painting this were the muted shades of maroon and green on top of the more tangerine colored background…together they started to make this brown color…too much of it and the painting would look muddy but just enough of it helps offset some of the bright saturated colors used elsewhere. It’s kind of like cooking (not that I can cook) where you seek to have just the right balance of acid…too much and the dish is bitter/sour…too little and the dish is too salty/sweet…with the right amount you achieve a superb balance of flavors. That’s what I’m going for this balance…I haven’t hit it yet but hopefully with the same colors I can get it in my next painting!