Sunday 26 July 2015

Rainy Day Painting

The last few days we have finally gotten some much needed rain. While enjoying the cooler weather and the sound of the rain on the roof, I managed to get a new painting done.
In the Eye of the Storm
Last week a friend gave me some old art magazines and as I looked through them I was struck by the paintings of Michael Atkinson. His ability to showcase sun-lit subjects is wonderful and I decided to try my hand at something similar. My painting is based on his painting "Abiquiu". I did not manage to achieve the look I was aiming for unfortunately so, although I am reasonably happy with my piece, I will be trying for this effect again.

"In the Eye of the Storm" is a 10 x 21 unframed watercolor on Arches 140 CP paper.

For those of you who followed my posts during the Summer of Color, here is my painting 'Feathery' completed (remember that I left the bottom right empty and wasn't satisfied?).
Let me know what you think of my paintings AND what YOU are up to in the studio this week.

Saturday 18 July 2015

More Summer Color

I don't just get my summer color from painting, I get it from the world around me. My home in the country is surrounded by forest so every day I see the bright greens and the dark shadows of the forest as the sun moves across the sky and the patterns change.
my front yard

In contrast to the forest, my yard is filled with flowers in pots and gardens giving me a show of vibrant colors and offering birds, bees and butterflies natural nectar.
the view from my kitchen window

I start most of my flowers from seed I harvest every fall or purchase from seed catalogues.  Once summer hits I spend about 2 hours every day watering, deadheading and weeding. I try to get all the gardening done before the weather gets too hot.
self-seeded poppy
This style of poppy has been in my garden so long that I don't know where it came from. It seeds itself every year but when I harvest the seeds they never seem to 'take'.
a salvia
I will harvest seeds from everywhere; friends gardens or flower pots I pass in the town of Creston. The small pink flower in the above photo was harvested from one of the town's pots. I don't know what it is called but I think it is a salvia. I have it in red too and the hummingbirds love them.
In my courtyard
 From spring to late fall my gardens are a constantly changing delight - lots of work but worth it to me.

Tuesday 14 July 2015

Summer of Color #6

I can't say that I was very happy when I saw this week's color choices. Two oranges and a blue? I love this combination - I wear it quite often.
one of my orange & blue ensembles
But, it is not a combination that I would use in a painting. I am not saying that I haven't used it but the subject has to be right, like this painting that I did back in '02.
Orange & Blue 5 x 7 watercolor
At any rate, with nothing coming to mind I decided (once again) to just play and see what happens.
Feathery - 11 x 14 acrylic
Although I have signed the painting, I am not sure if it is finished. I rather like the effect but I think I will have to live with it for a while before I decide if it needs more work.

This has been a very interesting 6 weeks - where has the time gone? - and I have enjoyed the color prompts that Kristin gave us. If you want to see some of the latest submissions check out Kristin's blog -

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Summer of Color #5

Once again the participants in this year's SOC were set a considerable challenge. Two greens and a pink - where does she come up with these combinations?

Because I had more time this week, I decided to paint some fabric. The colors weren't really inspiring me so I just played. I used some GAC 900 and fluid acrylics, mixing cyan and yellow to get two different greens and just going with primary magenta for my pink.
painted fabric tote bag

other side of tote with pocket showing
I painted two pieces of fabric because I mixed up too much paint (I still have some left - lol). I made a nice large tote bag: perfect for carrying a couple of 11 x 14 paintings or some binders. The bag is lined with a pocket inside and one outside.
painted fabric in greens & pink

I will probably make another bag with the second piece of fabric but who knows?

While I was thinking about greens & pink, I decided to try something with my watercolors. The best thing about painting is being able to mix your colors so I started experimenting until I got some shades that I liked and then I did a simple little landscape. It is hard to believe that I just used the three colors stipulated - hooker's green, thalo yellow green and permanent rose.
At the Lakeside 5 x 7 watercolor
There is just one week left in the SOC challenge - what will Kristin come up with next? You can read more about the SOC here -

Thursday 2 July 2015

Summer of Color #4

I made it! I really didn't think that I would be able to find the time this week to do a piece for the SOC #4 but I managed to find a few minutes here and there in the last two days and was able to complete a mixed media painting on a 7 x 14 gallery wrap canvas.
Red & Gold
The colors for this week were two reds and a metallic. The reds were no problem, of course, I used Cadmium Red Medium and Alizarin Crimson, standard colors in most painters' boxes. The metallic was a bit more challenging. I hunted through my stash of mixed media materials and came up with a few things that I thought would work together. The butterflies are from a gossamer thin napkin so I stuck them to a piece of gold paper and cut them out. The cross was a gift from a friend: it is made out of thin wood and I painted it with some gold gesso. I added some branches and leaves painted with the gold and voilĂ !

Here's another photo that makes the gold look a little more gold. As Kristin mentioned in our instructions part of the challenge would be to show the metallic quality of the art in a photo. I am not sure how well I accomplished this but I tried - lol.

If you want to check out some of the other art in this challenge, here is the link to Kristin's blog -