Tuesday 31 January 2017

30/30 January 2017 Finale

It is January 31 and the challenge is over except for the Grand Finale. It has been a super month and I have learned a few new techniques, explored new subjects, dusted off some old skills and made some new artist friends.
January 2017 Collage
Joan mentioned in her blog yesterday that doing the collage is almost harder than doing the paintings. I tend to agree. I have so much trouble getting the curser to move the paintings where I want them! I tried to line the photos up in order but ended up just putting the last few where ever the curser moved them.

Stop by Leslie's 30/30 page to see all of the collages. Think about signing up for a challenge in the future; Leslie usually does them in September and January. They are a great way to expand your horizons and build up your portfolio.

Although I won't be blogging daily, I hope you will sign up to follow me to see what I am doing during the rest of the year.

Monday 30 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #30

Well, it is over and none too soon as I have run out of steam!

Today's painting was planned around another of the pre-cut mats I have.
#1008 - Chickadee in the Maple - 5 x 9 watercolour
Unfortunately, by the time I finished playing with colour, the pre-cut mat was all wrong. The tan mat just didn't work with the painting so, I painted it brown! I was rather surprised that it worked although the mat now almost looks like wood instead of paper.

I believe that tomorrow we are supposed to share a collage of our month's work and then the challenge will be complete. It has been great, seeing the work of old 'friends' like Sheila, Laurie,  Joan and Nelvia as well as finding some new artist friends to follow -  Cindy and Sharon to name a few. I look forward to seeing more posts from all of them as the year progresses and maybe, just maybe, trying to emulate their work.

Don't forget to check out the work by the many artists who joined Leslie's 30/30 Challenge and tune in tomorrow to see my collage.

Sunday 29 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #29

Although I do have two paintings done, I am going to share the one done just for the challenge. The other piece was painted as a demonstration for one of my students and will be saved for another day.
#1007 - Teddybear's Garden - 6 x 8 watercolour
This is so not my style! I picked up a bunch of old art tutorial magazines at Art Club last week and thought I would give one of the reference pictures a try. I don't think that stuffed animals will ever become a subject I want to paint again although it was an interesting experiment. I think this piece is too much like a cartoon but, it is a pretty good fit for the oval mat.

There is only one day left in Leslie's 30/30 Challenge and the month has been another great opportunity for artists to share their work and to find other artists to enjoy and follow.

Now, the question remains - "What am I going to do with 30 more paintings?"

Thanks for visiting - please leave a comment.

Saturday 28 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #28

After the detailed work with pen & ink in the last few paintings, I decided I needed to play!

#1005 - The Falling Leaves - 5 x 9 mixed media
I did a two paintings similar to this a few years ago and thought I would try it again. A pale blue-grey sky, a couple of layers of background and some simple trees decorated with some cut up quilling paper and it was done. The whole thing took about half an hour and that was because the layers had to dry. Fun and simple, just perfect for a busy day!

We have two days left in the challenge and I am definitely running out of steam. Besides, many of my seeds have sprouted and I am starting to think about transplanting and thinning - not painting.

Here is the link to Leslie's 30/30 page and, if you haven't already checked it out you should take a look and you will see some really neat art.

Friday 27 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #27

We are coming down to the wire with only 3 days left after today. In the past these challenges have been a chore for me but this one has been a breeze. I was able to find plenty of things to paint and each painting seemed to be easy to do - talk about lucky!
#1004 - Gnarled Stump - 6 x 8 pen & ink with watercolour
"Gnarled Stump" is another piece based on a tutorial by Claudia Nice - I really like her work!  A stump like this would probably be more grey, but I wanted the painting to match the mat so I made it in browns. I enjoy doing pen & ink art and really should do it more often but, somehow, I never seem to.

I am going to post this on Leslie's 30/30 page , then I am heading to my studio to plan a few more paintings. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

Thursday 26 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #26

I have something completely different for you today!

I have moved from some almost abstract watercolours to detailed pen & ink with watercolour pieces. Once again I wanted to make use of stored mats with oval openings - these ones in a dark brown.
#1003 - Gnarled Pine - 6 x 8 pen & ink with watercolour
I used some of my Claudia Nice books as reference for this piece and am very pleased with the result. It has been a while since I did any work in this style of P&I and it took a bit to get the rhythm back.  I hope you will enlarge the photo if you can so see the detail up close.

Check out the rest of the art in the challenge at Leslie's 30/30 page.

Btw. The friend I got these mats from switched from framing to something more creative - making foam stamps. Check out her blog to see some of the neat things she does: Emmie's ArtFoamies

See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday 25 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #25

After doing Autumn Rain, the painting in yesterday's post, I thought I should try the technique again to make sure it wasn't a fluke.
#1002 - A Summer Walk - 5 x 7 watercolour
It worked again!! And, it was just as much fun as the first time. So, to make sure the technique is cemented in my brain and fingers, I already have a plan for another piece along these lines. I did have a bit of trouble with the people in this; I think my proportions are off a bit. Although I can fix many things in my watercolours, I figured this was better left alone.

Only five more days and five more paintings - where has the month gone!

Take some time to check out Leslie's 30/30 page and stop by tomorrow to see what I have been doing!

Thanks for your interest and your comments.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #24

The other day, when I was trying to think of something to paint, I decided to see if I could duplicate one of the paintings I did last year. But, this time I was going to paint in watercolour instead of acrylic.
#935 - Waling in the Rain - 6 x 8 acrylic
This is last year's painting; an acrylic palette knife piece on a small gallery wrap canvas.
#1001 - Autumn Rain - 5 x 7 watercolour
And this is this year's painting! I am very pleased with the way this turned out and it was such fun to paint.

There are only six days left in Leslie's 30/30 Challenge so head over and check out what the other artists have been doing before it is too late.

Thanks for stopping by - please leave a comment!

Monday 23 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #23

Ta da! I have reached another milestone! Not only is 2017 my 20th anniversary as an artist but I will be sharing my 1000th painting today. Of course, I have painted more pieces than that over the years but there were some that I didn't consider worth cataloguing. Those have been saved in my rejects file and, there were a number that just went in the round file. So, here is today's painting.
#1000 - Flowers by the Stairs - 5 x 7 watercolour
I used another photo from my miscellaneous file for this piece. The original was black and white (from "Rangefinder" photo magazine) and, while it was a super piece, I decided to add some colour. I also changed the composition a bit. I like the soft, abstract quality of the flowers against the hard edges of the stairs and the railing.

It is hard to believe we only have 7 paintings left to make it to 30; I think I will either be burnt out or on such a roll that I will want to keep going.

If you go to Leslie's 30/30 page be sure to click on some of your favourites and then add your name to follow some of the blogs by other artists. I think that is one of the best parts of these challenges, seeing all the incredible art!

Thanks for stopping by; please leave a comment.

Sunday 22 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #22

I am on a roll! The weather has been such that I just wanted to stay home which gave me a lot of time for painting and that means I am ahead of the game.
#999 - Autumn's End - 5 x 9 watercolour
The painting was roughly based on a piece in "Perspective Secrets" by Phil Metzger, one of the Watercolor Basics series. I have given a number of lessons on perspective using this book as my reference so I am usually pretty good at it. However, I like to paint old buildings, so if I goof I can always say that the building is old and falling down - lol.

I am very happy with this piece, although the colour in the original is more vibrant than the photo so the purple really pops. I also like the looks of the leaves scattered on the ground which was achieved by rolling a #6 round brush lightly over the paper using a number of different colours.

Now, I just have to add this to Leslie's 30/30 page and then I have to go out and - you guessed it! - shovel more snow!

Saturday 21 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #21

I have been jumping around all over the place with my subjects for this challenge but I have stuck with my theme which is "Miscellaneous". How's that for a broad theme? There have been small themes within the main theme but generally my paintings have been a pretty eclectic mix.
#998 - In the Battlefield - 5 x 7 watercolour
"In the Battlefield" is from another magazine photo from my files. The lone cannon and the dark threatening sky made me think of the loneliness and the terror of war, something I hope never to experience.

I am planning the next few paintings around some more of the pre-cut mats that I got from the 'going-out-of-business' frame shop. This is a bit awkward as I normally paint first then worry about the matting, but it sure helps clean up my shelves.

Don’t forget to stop by Leslie's 30/30 page to see some of the other art and, if you stop by here, please leave a comment.

Friday 20 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #20

For today's painting I am using another of the quilled paper birds that I made before Christmas. The quilled birds are all made with 1/4 inch strips of my own painted papers using patterns of my own drawings.
#995 - Rufous Hummingbird - 5 x 7 mixed media
I think this would have worked better if the flowers had been blue as it would make a nicer contrast to the rust coloured bird. Oh, well, what is done is done!

I think this will be the last of the quilled pieces, at least, for the challenge: they just are not ringing any bells for me. I don't know why I am not liking any of them because I was happy with the quilled pieces but once I added them to the paintings, I was disappointed.

Today is the 20th day of the challenge so we only have 10 more paintings to do. Check out the work of the other artists on Leslie's 30/30 page and stay tuned for my next painting!

Thursday 19 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #19

Once again I have done a piece from my miscellaneous file - at least I have tried to do it - lol. I think this is one of the hardest subjects I have ever done.
#997 - Hats - 5 x 7 watercolour
First off, it was mostly fabrics, but rigid, not flowing. Second, it was reds and pinks and similar colours so I ended up adding a few extras for variety and to make it easier to distinguish the hats. I even had to make up a few things because the hats in the photo sort of blended together and I had trouble figuring out 'What was in that corner?'

On another note: I took some photos of the snow. Bob and I have diligently been clearing the snow off our patio all winter long but the snow is melting and sliding off the metal roof.
by the greenhouse

the courtyard patio
In the courtyard photo the bigger mound of snow is about 5 ft tall, 15 ft long and about 6 ft wide. The smaller mound is what came off the roof last night - I don't think we will be shovelling it - where would we put it?

We are going to clean the area by the greenhouse but we are keeping our fingers crossed that the snow is pretty much finished for the year - (fat chance!)

Don't forget to check out Leslie's 30/30 page and check in tomorrow to see another of my paintings for the challenge.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #18

In spite of spending most of the morning shovelling snow, I have managed to get two paintings done. I now have three pieces to choose from for today's post.
#996 - to the Meadow - 5 x 7 watercolour
This piece was done following a step-by-step tutorial in one of my books - "Painting Shapes & Edges" by Hazel Harrison. The instruction painting was "The Spinney" by Alan Oliver. I don't use my books nearly as often as I should and keep telling myself to make use of such a valuable resource - maybe this time I will listen.

I am just going to post this to Leslie's 30/30 page and a few other places, then I have to go back out and shovel more snow.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #17

Yesterday I managed to get two paintings done which is great because today seems busier than ever.
#994 - Getting Ready to Fly! - 5 x 7 watercolour
I really liked this image from my miscellaneous file; the sun shining through the transparent kite and glistening on the ocean while the boy waits in anticipation for the wind to grab his kite and take it flying. Of course, he is dreaming that he is will be up there flying too.

There are some really great pieces being shared on Leslie's 30/30 page today, so go and check them out!

On another topic - does anyone using Blogger use hashtags and if so how do you do it? - thanks I appreciate any help.

Monday 16 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #16

I think I bit off more than I could chew with today's painting. It involved making very thin lines with masking fluid and a fish, which I have never painted before.
#993 - Goldfish Travel Bag - 5 x 7 watercolour
My reference was another magazine clipping from my Miscellaneous file. I think the painting looks better in the photo than it does in person but I may be wrong. I also think these are two subjects that I need to work on to get the right effect.

Take some time to have a look at some of the other art on Leslie's 30/30 page.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday 15 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #15

Hooray! We are halfway through the challenge! I have seen some wonderful art posted and have started following a few more blogs - all a bonus of the challenge. Check them out here - Leslie's 30/30 page

It has been interesting how many times this month one painting has triggered an idea for another. Yesterday, when I was coming up with a background for my quilled bird, I got a super idea for today's painting.
#992 - Mountain Chickadee - 5 x 9 watercolour
I wasn't going to paint the Mountain Chickadee as I thought he was a little boring but, sitting up there in the fir tree he just begged to be portrayed. There is a bit of paint pouring in this piece, some pen and ink work and some detailed brush work - a real mix of styles. I even lucked out and found a precut mat the perfect colour and size.

Unfortunately, nothing has come to mind for tomorrow's painting so it is back to the files for another idea.

Thanks for stopping by.

Saturday 14 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #14

Back in December when I was getting ready for this challenge I made a few quilled paper birds intending to have birds as my theme. As you have seen my theme changed, or at least expanded, to include other subjects, but the birds are not forgotten. I have already blogged about one of those birds and here is another.
#991 - Chestnut-backed Chickadee - 5 x 7 quilled paper and watercolour
I find quilled art very hard to photograph: if you aim straight at the picture the quilling doesn't show well, so I take photos from the side which makes the view angled but at least the quilling looks good. I used another mat from that batch I got from the framing business and was able to match the green in my tree almost perfectly.

I feel like a slow poke with these paintings because many of the other artists in
Leslie's 30/30 Challenge have already posted their pieces before I even finish painting mine - lol.

Thanks for stopping by: I enjoy reading your comments.

Friday 13 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #13

It is a good thing I finished this last night because I certainly didn't have time today to paint as Bob and I drove down to Sandpoint for the day.
#990 - Glistening Raindrops - 5 x 7 watercolour
A few years ago someone emailed me some photos of raindrops or dew caught in various plants. I don't know the photographer so I can't give credit but the photos grabbed my attention so I saved them and printed them for my reference files. I think I did a credible job of reproducing the image.

Take some time to visit Leslie's 30/30 page to see some of the other work in this challenge.

Thursday 12 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #12

The painting I planned to share today is taking me longer to do than I thought it would take. There are just too many subtle little details to do and I have a student coming this afternoon so I won't have time to finish.

Fortunately, I have a piece in reserve!
#980 - Quilled Hummingbird with Fuchsia - 5 x 7 mixed media
Last year I did a few cards like this and they were sold right away so I thought I would do a few more and mat them. I am not sure why I don't like this piece but I have sold a number of paintings that I didn't like so maybe this one will sell too.

Each day, like the month, just seems to zoom past so that I wonder where it has gone - too much to do and not enough time!

Check out Leslie's 30/30 page and stop by tomorrow to see what you should have seen today!

Wednesday 11 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #11

I have switched back to my miscellaneous file and found a picture that I tore from another of Bob's computer magazines. This was a fun piece and really didn't take much skill to paint.
#989 - Lurking in the Dark - 5 x 7 watercolour
An undercoat of Quinacridone Gold, then a nice dark mix of Ultramarine and Burnt Umber; some negative and positive painting and voilĂ  it was done! If you are wondering what it advertised here is the caption: "In today's digital economy, predators evolve. Does your security?" The photo really caught my fancy and I am glad to have finally painted it.

It is hard to believe that this is just the eleventh day of the challenge; the time seems to be going so fast. Don't forget to check out the other art on Leslie's 30/30 page because some of the work is seriously amazing.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday 10 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #10

My last painting was inspired by a suggestion from a blogging friend and today's was suggested by a Goggle+ friend. At this rate, I won't have to do any thinking for myself - lol.
#988 - Flower Bells in Blue - 5 x 7 watercolour
Diane suggested that a dark blue edge around the black and white flowers would look interesting. I admit that I got a bit carried away and maybe added too much blue but I don't mind the effect I achieved. I also decided to go with a rectangular mat this time as I find the ovals harder to cut but, again, I don't mind the look.

Have a look at the work of the many artists who are playing along with this challenge - Leslie's 30/30 page while I go and plan what I will paint tomorrow.

Monday 9 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #9

After I posted my first Black and White piece, the Oriental Poppy (challenge #5), Nelvia commented that she could see the poppy filled in with red. So, I decided, 'Why not?'
#987 - Poppies in Red - 5 x 7 watercolour
I didn't want to have the same picture so I checked my files for some different views of poppies.

Once the drawing was done, I added the dark paint which I make by mixing Ultramarine and Burnt Sienna, then I added the colour.
Base colour
The cool thing about painting this way, if you have the tones right the first time adding the colour is a piece of cake. Of course, I had to cut a new mat as the others where all used on the black and white paintings.

Pop over to Leslie's 30/30 page to see what the other artists have been doing in this challenge and tune in here for tomorrow's instalment.

Sunday 8 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #8

For today's instalment, I have done another painting in Black and White to go with the black and white mats
#986 - Lilies - 5 x 7 watercolour
I guess I did a little too much brightening on this as the mat isn't showing very well. Also, I had a really dark reference photo for this so I ended up guessing at some of the details but I think it turned out okay.

I have managed to get a few extra paintings done so I plan to use some time today to start my bedding plants - just the thought of the flowers to come makes me happy!

Now, I am going to post this to Leslie's 30/30 page and go and play in the dirt!

Saturday 7 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #7

When you are working for some time with the same technique it is easy to get a rhythm going and to pick it up quickly again when you have to stop for a while (to cook dinner for instance).
#985 - Two Tulips - 5 x 7 watercolour
For this piece I used a painting that I did a few years ago as a reference. Of course, no two paintings are ever the same because I always change things; the angle of a flower or the number and shape of the leaves.

I was asked on Facebook if it is harder to paint in black and white than in colour. My response was that in one way it is easier because the colour doesn't distract you but you have to look for the sometimes subtle tonal changes.

Around 1,000 artists have joined this 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge. Although not all of them post their work on Leslie's 30/30 page , it is always interesting to pop over and see what those that do post, create.

Friday 6 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #6

I was up early this morning so I could finish today's painting before we went off hunting and gathering (shopping) for the day.
#984 - Iris - 5 x 7 watercolour
Another monochrome to go with the B & W mats that I have. This is from a photo I took in a friend's garden so I don't know the name of the iris. I had a look on-line and only saw one that was similar - a Japanese Iris, so maybe that is what this is called.

A day shopping always tuckers me out so, once this is posted, I will spend the evening in slothful ease.

Make sure you check out some of the artists on Leslie's 30/30 page

Thursday 5 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #5

I just never know where my art will take me. The other day, while searching for a mat for 'Train Coming', I found some precut mats that I scored from a frame shop that was going out of business. I decided I might as well use them during this challenge but they didn't fit with anything I had planned to paint, so I had to come up with some different ideas.
#983 - Oriental Poppy 5 x 7 watercolour

I think that flowers work well in an oval mat and the extra black line rectangle helps make it all pop. I had planned to do this in ink with nib and brush but I found that the only inks I have are blue and brown and they don't work well with a black and white mat. So, I mixed a black with my watercolours and it worked much the same way.

I have three more of these mats so guess what I will be doing for the next few days.

I'll get this posted on Leslie's 30/30 page and then I have to get ready for a new student who is coming this afternoon.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #4

Another cold day but the air is crisp and clear; it would be a great day to get some good winter photos if, of course, I took good photos and wanted to go out in the cold - lol.

I did the basic drawing for my fourth piece early this morning then started on the painting at Art Club.
#982 - Beyond the Walls - 5 x 7 watercolour
I finished the painting this afternoon and I have to say that the bricks got a little boring. However, I like the concept of this piece; that beyond the walls, whether physical or mental, lies a wonderful world.

Now I just have to add my link to Leslie's 30/30 page - don't forget to check it out!

Tuesday 3 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge #3

Brr, it is cold out today! A perfect day to stay inside and paint, except that our furnace is making horrible noises and we are afraid it will stop working before the part we ordered to fix it gets here - keeping our fingers crossed.

I have two pieces finished but I am going to keep one in reserve to use if I get behind.
#981 - Train Coming - 5 x 7 watercolour

When I was putting yesterday's reference photo away in my 'miscellaneous' file, I noticed a magazine clipping of this scene. I believe it was an ad for a technology company in one of Bob's computer magazines. Don't ask me how a train in a tunnel relates to technology but I liked the subject and filed it away.

I have filed away so many clippings and photos for reference that I have decided to use my Miscellaneous file while I do the challenge. So far I like what I have done and am going to go and look for tomorrow's subject.

Have a great day and don't forget to check out the other artists on Leslie's 30/30 page

Monday 2 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge - Post #2

I enjoyed doing today's painting!
#979 - Weathered - 5 x 7 watercolour
I have had the reference photo for this for a few years; don't know where I got it but, as I didn't 'copy', it doesn't matter. I started with a piece of watercolour paper that had a grey paint streak and did the whole thing free-hand. I have painted wood lots of times but never peeling paint and am quite pleased with how this turned out.

Now that I am in the mood, I might just go and work on a painting for tomorrow.

Don't forget to check out some of the other paintings at Leslie's 30/30 Challenge

Sunday 1 January 2017

30/30 January Challenge 2017 - Post #1

Well, I did it again - signed up for Leslie's Painting Challenge.

What was I thinking of? There never seems to be enough time and my house is already full to bursting with paintings, but oh no, I have to sign on to do 30 paintings in 30 days. I think I need help!

Here is my piece for the first day of the 2017 challenge.
#978 - Yellow-rumped Warbler with Wisteria
I did a card for a Christmas card exchange and liked it so much I decided to do one a bit bigger and frame it. This is a combination of watercolour and paper quilling framed to 6 x 12.

Now I just have to post this and then it is back to housework - no rest for me on this first day of the new year. Oh well, better busy than bored!