Tag Archives: watercolor

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!

 

Summer’s End

Beach 4, kalaloch

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of summer! That flew by so quickly. In art news, I am going to try to show some of my photographs from my trip to Mexico as well as some paintings at the art walk in Forest Grove next week. I’ll be at the Hidden Closet. I’ve never done something like this before so we’ll see!

The owners at Art on Broadway in Beaverton Oregon were nice enough to interview me for consideration for their guest art walls later in the fall. Not sure if I’ll make it but it was the a good opportunity and the first time I have ever talked to a gallery.

Here is Matisse the kitty “helping” me frame my work. I sure could use a studio helper!

I've been framed kitty

And on the day my little ginger kitty woke me up at 4:30 am, I somehow created this painting. I wish they all came out so effortlessly!

Pink Peony, 2017, Acrylic on Paper, 18x24

Cosmos, Gladiolus, and Amaranth Bouquet Paintings

I grew cosmos flowers and amaranth (for filler, although it is also technically an ancient grain that you can eat) from seed. It was pretty easy,  I literally through the seeds on the ground earlier in the year. The gladiolus was also cut from my garden grown from a bulb from a lady in Bethany.

Here’s a painting I did. Still trying as always to balance finished vs overworked:

Cosmos and Amaranth Still Life, 2017, Watermedia on Paper, 12 x 16

This second painting was a bit of a bear. I wanted to explore mixing the pink and green which looked cool in the vase part but the rest of the painting felt like a mess. But I kept going and eventually had fun painting the dots of the amaranth grain seeds. Might be fun to go over with oil pastels.

Cosmos and Amaranth Bouquet, 2017, Acrylic on Paper, 12 x 16

Kitty is ‘advising’ me on my drawing.

I love ikebana. There’s randomly an ikebana shop in Wheeler, Oregon in one of the vintage stores.

Here’s an amaranth and scabiosa flowers ikebana:

Old and New Paintings

I got a perfect large sized box from an Amazon delivery to hide some old artwork that had been previously stacked on the floor from the kitty monster. I came across some pretty good ones in the middle of some awful ones.

I did this painting in seventh grade!

painting from seventh grade

These two aren’t paintings, they’re  actually something I did in a print making class years ago on monotypes.

Monotype- grey lily

Basically you paint using oil paints on a plate and then it gets smooshed onto damp printmaking paper (like bfk rives). I remember it being a fun, but time consuming process. If I had a giant printmaking press lying around I’d totally do more. It’s funny looking at these now that I’m getting into oil painting. There’s something about the texture of monotypes that lets the different layers feel like they’re floating on top of each other.

Abstract Monotype

And here’s some new work from this summer.

Peonies, 2017, watermedia painting on paper, 12x16

Summer clematis, 2017, 12x16, mixed media on paper,

Have I progressed or not? What are you thoughts. Happy Solar Eclipse.

 

Kitty in da house

I have a new orange kitty named Matisse. As a result I’m extremely sleep deprived. He loves to attack my feet at night and go bonkers right when I’m trying to sleep. He also wakes me up at 5:30 AM sharp, meowing, “it’s time to feed me!” Any advice for the weary?

I haven’t made any new paintings this week because this cat is driving me nuts. I did get some extremely adorable pictures of him, photobombing my floral still lives.

Kitty flower

Kitty flower

Here’s the last painting I did, a mixed media study of bougainvillea that I saw back when I was visiting the Bay Area. I wish I could grow bougainvillea in Portland.

Bougainvillea

 

Lost Lake weekend

#lostlake #oregon

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I just came back from a relaxing weekend at Lost Lake, in the Mount Hood National Forest. It is aptly named because you will lose all cell phone and GPS reception to get there (on Lolo Pass from 26 or coming south from Hood River).  We didn’t plan on being disconnected from the internet but it was definitely nice to have a break from it all.

Lost Lake

This is the majestic view from the north day use area. Lost Lake is actually a privately run campground and you can rent boats. I was able to easily kayak from the boat launch/ general store area to the lakefront by the day use area. The lake is deceptively big, I tried to kayak from the northern part to the other side, close to Mount Hood. I would say Sparks Lake, Trillium Lake, and Waldo Lake are still my favorites but Lost Lake is definitely near the top of the list.

Lost Lake Oregon

There’s also a 3 mile roundtrip trail around the lake and a steep hike up to the butte where you can see 3 mountains.

Without having the internet to distract me, I had to amuse myself by other means. I did a set of plein air lake studies on watercolor paper:

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

Lost Lake plein air study 6 x 9" on watercolor paper

 

I normally don’t paint outside, you can’t really in Oregon except in the summer (at least I don’t know how other painters paint in the rain). I had to be much more economical and less fussy- using lake water in a plastic cup, not having a proper palette setup, painting much more directly on the paper. All while having bugs constantly try to distract me from painting.

Art I Like: Word Art and some more of my watercolors

It’s flower season here in Portland. I have been doing a lot of fun watercolors.

Here’s one of some geraniums:
Geranium, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Geranium, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

Foxgloves are biennials, which apparently means they bloom every two years. I thought this was a yet another weed in my front yard and recently I got surprised by these lovely blossoms.
Foxgloves, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Foxgloves, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

I also grew a bunch of wonderful tulips this year. Here’s a view of the tulips when they get all floppy and flattened right before the petals are going to drop.

Spent tulips, 2017x watercolor on paper, 12x16

Spent tulips, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

And I could take pictures of peonies  forever. I have peonies in my garden! Hot pink ones and these pink frilly ones (I think they’re Sarah Bernhardts?) I want to grow tree peonies but they’re like $80 a pot.

Peony bouquet, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12x16

Peony bouquet, 2017, watercolor on paper, 12×16

Last time I mentioned I painted a canvas with a lavender background. I wrote out that dream quote in yellow paint and then smeared it out. Not sure where this is going. I could see this one being used for a landscape eventually or maybe I’ll make it an abstract. This canvas is larger than the ones I’ve been working on.
Work in progress
The canvas is sitting on an unstretched piece of canvas that I found rolled up (my mother had dutifully saved everything of mine). I’m going to paint over it as well with oil. We’ll see how the shapes in the background play out.

I was reminded of an artist  that I like on Pinterest …Jenny Holzer. She writes memorable quotes and they are embedded in all sorts of places: billboards, movie theater signs, etched in marble, projected on a building, etc etc. I love this quote:

This piece is so fitting for today’s politics:

Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise from the series Truisms T-shirts (1980-)

Untitled Bench, Jenny Holzer, Missing Peace Exhibit

I had a drawing teacher tell me a long time ago, in a place far far away that my charcoal drawings reminded him of Cy Twombly. I was fortunate to see Cy Twombly at a retrospective I think at the Whitney Museum several years ago. He’s amazing. He embeds words in scribbles and gestural marks in a very beautiful and effortless way

Apollo by Cy Twombly

Here’s a recent watercolor of a peony with the word daydream scribbled on top. Nowhere near  as masterful as  Twombly but we’ll see where adding words in my art leads me. Don’t quit your daydream!

Daydream pink peony

Daydream pink peony

Art I Like: Henri Matisse

I already blogged about Matisse, after my trip to the Met Museum a few months ago. I’ve been pinning his work over and over again.

Matisse pinned from ArtStack
Matisse pinned from nevsepic.com.ua
Matisse pinned from plus.google.com

I really like how he is able to abstract his work and ‘flatten’ form into shapes that are reminiscent of pattern. In this book I got from Le Souk Le Souk, it describes how inspired he was from his trip to Morocco– and it shows!

He flattens space but it still makes sense as a cohesive space because the color and the line weight guide you from foreground to background. It’s very skillfully done.  It reminds me of when Web 2.0 came out and everything had a drop shadow on it. There is dimensionality while still being flat….it’s 2.5 D.

He said, “It is the beginning of my expression with color, with blacks and their contrasts.” The painting’s black ground separates the three parts, but black unites them, too, by working its way into various areas of each part. The black, though it serves to depict deep shadow, also refers to light. Matisse wrote of a contemporaneous painting, “I began to use black as a color of light and not as a color of darkness.”

I’m inspired by his skill and am going to explore color, line, and pattern in my work in an abstracted but flattened space…particularly in watercolor.

#crocosmia #lily #watercolor #art #artistsoninstagram

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Fall foliage mixed media on paper 12x16

 

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.

 

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!