Coral quince, 2017, watercolor, 12×16
Another take on spring cut flowers, quince, as well as a bit of plum foliage.
Matisse the orange kitty contemplating the endless possibilities of a blank piece of paper.
Quince blossoms with blue vase and handkerchief, 2017, 12×16, watercolor
I cut these wonderful pink quince blossoms from a overgrown neighboring shrub.
I painted this on the best watercolor paper I have tried so far. It’s Fluid 100 cold press 300 pound weight. The extra thickness means I can load up the paper with a ton of water without the paper going all wrinkly on me and the surface responds wonderfully (not too absorbant). It’s pricey but comparable and far superior to Arches and other watercolor papers that I have tried.
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, 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, 16×20
I completed another blue painting of quince flowers inspired by the tonalist works of Whistler and Inness. I used thick cobalt blue to mark the petals. Cobalt blue is really pretty and I will have to use it again soon as a standalone color. This was painted on oil primed linen that I got on clearance from Blick. It’s a pricey, but wonderful support to paint on.
The weave isn’t quite as nice as the first one but it’s an interesting challenge to preserve the beauty of the raw linen as a ground. Here’s one that I’m going to call “Footprint Still Life”. It’s a much quicker study and I accidentally stepped on it. I think I like it as is but stay tuned I may play with it some more.
I finally completed the small oil painting of my trip to Bandon Beach this past summer. These last two paintings are on canvas board, probably the least fun support to paint on but it’s nice to having something that is ready to go to prevent procrastination.
This last painting is a gift and inspired by my trip to Lake George in upstate New York. Lake George was immortalized by the great Georgia O’Keeffe. This painting comes nowhere near her genius but I was able to explore colors that I had not used before and glazing pastels on top of other bright colors without any underpaintings.
Winter is coming and as Portland gears towards its rainy, gloomy season…I thought I’d inspire myself with these vignettes from my garden.
The trusty grape leaf will hang on usually until around Thanksgiving to early December. It’s cool to see the frost and icicles form on the fading leaves.
Camellias are one of my favorite trees and bloom around February
Later, the garden comes alive with all of the Fruit trees in blossom. It’s so pretty, and deceptively so (all that beauty brings so, so many apples to pick up).
I planted this dwarf quince because I loved the delicate pink flowers. But what can I make with quince?
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.
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.
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!