Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Paintings from a Trip to the Garden

I am taking another online painting class.  Yes I quit my watercolor class at the Adult Ed.  The teacher drove me crazy.  So now I am taking my second online class with Laure Ferlita.
She does the Imaginary Trip classes.  This class is called Imaginary Visit to the Garden .

Our first painting was of Violet Wood Sorrel.  It is a delicate little flower that you find on a walk in the forest.  I'm not sure is this is an east coast or west coast violet sorrel.

So we are suppose to sketch and paint for 30 min. then take a photo.  This is because if we were really out in a forest sketching a little flower, we would have to do it quickly.  Maybe the light is changing or a rain storm comes or a little forest creature come and eats the flower....LOL
So here is the quick 30 min. sketch painting. I'm using a watercolor Moleskine journal.
IVTG-30 min Violets 01

Then we can go back and finish the painting.  I say "We" because there are a lot of us taking the class.  Laure has set up a blog where we can post our paintings and then we comment on everyones painting.  It is really nice.

Ok, Here is my finished painting of Violet Wood Sorrel

IVTG-Violets fav 03

The painting above shows the darks that are in my painting but the lower painting shows some of the blue splattering.

IVTG-Violets 06

I changed the painting a little.  The assignment asked us to put forest litter for the background. Well I wanted to try something that interests me.  I wanted to make my flowers glow or pop by using chroma and temperature.  Chroma is purity or intensity of a color. So to do this I needed to gray down the leaf litter since grayed down hues have less chroma.  Less Chroma will recede and more intense or the purer the hue is then the hue will accede.
For Temperature in the leaf litter I tried to use cool colors.

With Chroma brighter colors tend to move closer, duller colors tend to recede.
Also I was working on Temperature.
With Temperature- warmer colors tend to move closer, cooler colors tend to recede.
Of course Value is the third element of all this.
I really want to learn to paint with using Value, Chroma and Temperature in mind.

Well that is it.  There is more to come. We get 2 assignments a week for a month straight.
Woo Hoo !!!

Edited to add: 4/17/11  I took another stab at painting the Violet Wood Sorrel.  I also took the photos outside.  It was cloudy when I took the photos so I tried using a flash.
This composition is a little different.  I like it better than the paintings above.

Violet Sorrel with flash

This one was taken outside without a flash.
Violet Sorrel without flash

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sample of Past Watercolor Paintings

Hello.  Today is beautiful and it puts me in a good mood. I love Spring.

I want to share a few of the watercolor paintings I have done in the past. Some of the older paintings are done on really cheap paper and with cheap watercolor paints. This is before I learned about quality supplies.  The cheaper supplies really do make the job of painting more difficult.  Just saying in case your starting out.  Please be kind to yourself and buy the best that you can afford.  Compare the price of paper or paint to a nice dinner out or a tank of gas.

So I want to begin with a painting I did of my sweet daughter Sierra.  She was just a girl in this painting.  She is holding our cat named George. He was a sweetheart.  I think that Sierra was about 11 years old.  I can't remember.  I painted from a photo that I took of her.
Estimate paint date 1994.
Sierra & George 001

This painting, probably painted around 1993 is of my late husband. Not late in the terms that he was late for dinner. But Richard died in 2000 of cancer. I sure miss him.  This painting is when we took a camping trip to June Lake, Ca.  That is in the High Sierra's which is where we came up with the name for our daughter.  BTW she died in 2007 tragically at the age of 23. I sure do miss her.
You can see the poor quality of this paper and paint. I was just beginning to learn to paint people. Painted from a photo I took.
Richard in June Lake 001

While we were in June Lake we took a trip up Hwy. 395 to the ghost town of Bodie.  It is amazing.  People just up and left. They left behind so much of their belongings.
Painted from my own photo.
Bodie 001

A few years later I was playing with Clay Board.  I came up with this with my watercolors.  Painted from my imagination.
Yellow Forest a001

I like nature and will paint it when it stirs up my passion for color or form.  This flower reminds me of my Grandpa "chickens" Moore.  He had a chicken ranch and he use to have this big cactus plant. He was so proud when it would bloom.  Painted from a photo in an old field guide to flowers.
Cactus flower fav 01

This painting is a photo I took. I was looking out my kitchen window on a very cold rainy day. The clouds were hovering over.  Then to the west the clouds parted a few yards and the sun shone through. It made the field of hay glow.  It was so inspiring.
My View watercolor 001

I loved the moment so much that I painted it again in oils.
My view oils a001

Back when I began to paint I tried to paint this house. I am assuming it is a beach house because of the colors.  I had found a tiny ad in the paper.  I cut out the photo and it was only 2" x 2".  I changed some colors and some of the house to suit me.  I would love to give credit to the real house but I just don't know. It was probably a real estate ad back 25 years ago.
Beach House 001

This painting is my doodling.  It is from my imagination.  It is pencil, ink and watercolor.
Eye study by carol 001

After my husband died in August of 2000, I began painting my feelings. I just wanted an outlet.  I painted this painting and then I took it to my old college professor to critic.  He told me to paint a series. So I did. This is called Death Series I
Death series 001

Death Series II .  Unfortunately it is in Mexico.  I gave it to a friend and now I am not sure if it is on a wall or in a storage box. Boo Hoo   I really love this watercolor.
#2 in Death Series

This is Death Series III on 300 LB watercolor paper, size is 30" x 24".  I like it but I am not finished with it.
Carol's death series 004

Death Series IV
Death series a003

Death Series V.  This is the most recent. I started this after my daughter died a few years ago.  She died so suddenly and so young.   This painting is done on 300 LB paper.
30" x 24" .  I am not done with this.  I am sort of stuck.  I don't like how heavy the white fog looks.  So I am pondering on what to do.
Dream 001

This painting I did when I was in a Bible study in the book of Ezekiel.  We were learning about his dream and I wanted to paint it.  I made a mistake in the wheels with eyes.  After I read the verses again I realized that the wheels should be horizontal, not vertical.
But the painting was fun.  It is watercolor and ink.
Ezekiels vision 001

That is just a few of my paintings from the past.  I will post some oil paintings soon.

Happy painting and have a great day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TWO kitties & a DOG

I have 4 cats really. Two are outdoor cats who keep the gophers out of my yard.
The other two are barely 1 year old and they are 75% indoor cats. As spring turns warm
they want to be out more and more.

So here are some cute photos of my 2 indoor cats. Coraline is the tuxedo, black and white cat.  Oliver is my gray and white cat. I'm not sure if he is a tuxedo, maybe a causal tux?
The dialog between Oli & Coral

Coraline and Oliver 07

Coraline and Oliver 06

Coraline and Oliver 05

Coraline and Oiver 04

Coraline & Oliver 02

Coraline & Oliver 01

I love my kitties. They just crack me up.  I think that they wanted to read that cat book!!

So here is BOB. Bob is 7 1/2 months old now.  That is an estimate, give or take a week.
 I haven't posted about Bob lately. He is growning fast.  He went to the vet 2 weeks ago and was 57 pounds. He was updated on his shots. He got his first rabies shot. Then we went to City Hall. Yes Bob walked in the front doors of City Hall and to the window to receive his first dog tag.  He is legal now.  Yeah!
Bob 7 mo. 05

He is so good.  He is easy to teach and sweet as pie.
I think he is turning brown. What's up with that?
Bob 03

He isn't going to be as tall as we thought.  But I love his size even if he doesn't grow another inch. Here he is with Peanut who is trying to put a flower on his collar.
Alexis ^ Bob

He is really tired from our walk to the park, then he played and played with the dogs at the dog park.  The dogs all love him. One crabby lady kept yelling at all the dogs who stepped on her feet.  I wanted to tell her to just move.  She was sitting right were the dogs go to get in the shade.
Bob 7 months 01

Bob smiling

Have a great day and go hug your pets.
Hugs from me, Carol

Friday, April 1, 2011

Converting my Palette Challenge

I'm a sucker for color. Over time I had ended up with 2- thirty-two well watercolor palettes.  I had to hunt down a 32 well palette because usually you find palettes with 8-20 wells. I was lucky when I found the 32 wells. BUT after time I needed more wells.
I had seen how some artist use plastic and glue to divide palette wells. But I am a Dental Technician experienced with WAX. And I have a supply of wax.  So I thought why not use wax that I already have and my dental waxing tools that I have? Yes, I said and it's free. Well at one time I had to buy the wax but if I went the glue and plastic route I would have to make a shopping trip.  I am so in the mode lately to recycle and use what is in my home.
I was also tired of trying to position 2 large palettes by my side when I would paint. It was awkward and didn't leave much room for my water and brushes.
So here is how I began.
Watercolors removed & Saved

I had to clear out the paint in my current palette.  I picked my newest palette to be the converted palette. So I popped out the paint with a table knife, put them in lunch bags and wrote their names on the bag. Some of the lighter color paints I wrote on the bottom side of the paint itself.  I left paint in my old palette. No reason to pop it out till ready to put them in the new palette.
Divider project with Watercolor palette

Here is the set up for the project.  I laid out my supplies. On the far right you can see my waxer. It is a tool like a pen with a very hot tip. (more later). Then you see I have the palette. I did use finger nail polish remover to get the old paint names off the outside edges of the palette. I have here also a cutting board and the pink wax is denture wax. It is rather brittle. The little tins are filled with carving wax. I will use that in place of glue.
Cutting dental wax

I cut the wax to shape
Dental wax sealed

I began to wax the divider into place with the green carving wax. At this point I am not sure about this pink denture wax.
dental waxer

Here is the waxing pen. It is amazing. I love it.  It has several tips. I had set the temperature to 400 but eventually went to 418 F.  If you have it too cool the wax won't flow, if it is too hot then it drips off the pen too fast in unwanted places and it starts to melt the pink denture wax. This waxer unit is more than $400. Love it.
Wax divider and waxer

Close up of waxing pen.
After a good nights sleep I decided that I didn't like the pink denture wax dividers. So I pulled out my red boxing wax.

Here I am finished waxing all of the dividers.  Some of the wells have 2 dividers to make 3 spaces. Some have 1 divider to make 2 spaces.
detail of Palette

Ok, yes the green wax looks messy. I did clean that up. It was from the first attempt with the pink wax.
Finished Palette before paints project

Here is a Bird's Eye View of the waxing part finished. I really am pleased with this.  This idea had swam in my head for months. I was slow in doing it because I knew it was a big project. But it is so worth it. Now I can carry just one palette to class with most of my colors.
Finished Palette project

Here we have the colors in their places.  I wanted to group the colors in families, like greens, reds, browns. Years ago they were placed as I bought the watercolor.  99% of these colors are Daniel Smith Fine Watercolors.  I did have to trim down the side of the paint I had popped out of the old palette because they were too big to fit in their new wells.  I put the remainder back in their ziplock bag to save.  After I put the colors in their new homes I wet them down.  I let that soak for a few hours and then went back with a toothpick and smoothed out the paint into the length of the new well.  Some paint is soft and rubbery and some is grainy.

Finished Palette project-close up

Here I have labeled the names of the paints.  I think it is important to know the names. After using this palette I will memorize what position each color is but I do like to know their official names.  It is so easy to forget and if you have a teacher who says to try Quinacridone Coral, then I want to know which one that is.
Finished Palette project

Another view of the labels. Yes I did eliminate quite a few colors because they were just old and a cheap brand.

Finished Palette project

And there you have the finished palette of new wells for watercolor.  Can you guess how many wells I have now?  hmmm?
I have a total of 75, yes 75 wells.  And one is empty.  I thought just in case I buy a new color. Hahahahahahahaa

I did use the new palette in class on Monday 3/28  My Birthday,(yeah) but I don't like the painting.  It is not my style.  I have an issue with my class. ugh.
Here is the unfinished painting.
Mountain & Daisys 02

 I can't tell you how much I hate this painting. I hate the colors, the composition and I would like to go start the fire in the fireplace with it. I thought if I ink in the daises I would like it more but I did a few and I still hate the painting.

I want to do some paintings of magnified views of rocks or flowers or cut glass vases.
The teacher is older and I think she is stuck in old fashioned ideas. The other students eat this stuff up. But then again they are older.  The one thing I just can't stand is that she has us painting from her painting.  I want to paint from something real, real flowers, a real animal, real rocks or a photo of them.  Then it is my interpretation.  I have a different eye and will pick out colors that maybe someone else doesn't see. But how can you do that when you are told to paint from her painting?
Any thoughts?

Well have a great April Fools Day.
Happy Painting.