Tag Archives: nature

I May Have Learned a Thing or Two

9 Jun

Pouring paint – Lessons Learnedand there are quite a few.   Or what no to do when pouring paintings!

  1. Fine lines are really tough to accomplish with masking fluid – think about avoiding hair (just kidding)
  2. You need patience and a lot of it in order to apply fine lines of masque
  3. Removing a lot of masking compound can give you serious blisters on your fingertips when you use them to rub off the stuff  (bad idea)
  4. Maybe doing a poured painting (or two) of a goat was not such a good idea
  5. Staining pigments should be applied last as subsequent colors do not “stick” or cover as well
  6. Some of my favorites such as the beautiful quin burnt ochers and oranges fall into the category above
  7. And oh, you can ruin a poured painting with a pour when the pigment is too intense or very dark

Pop Of Color

So why do them?

Poured painting are plain outright FUN!

I love to see how the poured paintings develop.  The burst of new colors are exciting – seeing where the puddles form and the trailing rivers of pigment may flow. This process provided the painter with a little thrill there as there is a certain element of risk and loss of control.  And the finished effect is very interesting, very rich in color and very satisfying.  It is not everyday that you can write a sentence with three “very’s” in it.

Commission – Just Delivered

29 May

Helen Shideler- Heather's Path

This painting is a commission from a girl I went to school with.  Because of certain “life happenings” that we sort of have in common,  she reached out to me to paint a special piece for a very special someone in her life.  This is quite an honor for me to have been able to work with her on this project.

She was very specific.  Although she did not realize it at the time, she really had a clear image of what she was looking for, in terms of how she wanted it to feel.  She just was unable to clearly articulate it at first.

We exchanged a number of emails.  I sent her almost every image I had ever taken of  paths in the woods one or two at a time.  This worked very well.  The feedback she shared as she reacted to the various photos helped me to narrow it down to a sense of colours and the overall feeling.

Then I began the work. Irises from my garden.  A Rhododendron from my garden and two from the internet.  The rail fence from a photo I had taken of the Irving Nature Park etc., etc,

She saw the painting today for the first time and she smiled from ear to ear.  It was exactly what she was hoping for. May I just say PHEW! I am so grateful and excited that she loves it and has confidence that the recipient of her very thoughtful gift will also love it!

I am anxiously awaiting the reaction.

 

Duck Hunting

24 Mar

So, again it is no secret, I love ducks.  When my husband and I got up this morning, I asked him if he had any plans.  Well he did.. I asked him… well do they have to be this morning.  He looked at me with a look of familiar curiosity and asked what I had in mind.   I said DUCK HUNTING!.

The huh?  look on his face was priceless.  I handed him two cameras and said …let’s go!

I have an idea for two more, maybe three more painting ideas..sharing the photos – just not the ones I am going to paint!

Here a few expamples of my duck paintings, Mallard Trio , Dapper Dabbler and Sitting Duck

 

WIP – Begonias On Parade- Update 2

10 Mar

Begonias on Parade

Working along on this painting – I have a few observations on working on Aquabord.  Small areas work great – large washes – oh my – give me the heebeejeebees!  But I love the way the watercolor shines on this surface. My next Aquabord project will be smaller – just saying!

Each of the pots have about four layers of washes – will require a few more.  The trick with this surface is that each wash has to dry completely – I am most happy when I am patient and give it 24 hours for larger areas!  So, the problem is, I am really not that patient- I mean – wait for paint to dry?

 

WIP Drama Queen

1 Mar

 

 

 

Finally, Finally Finished!IMG_4266_new

After a rather lengthy hiatus from completing this painting distracted by a few commissions and a ducky diversion  I  finally got back to work on this painting.  I have to admit I have produced a number of large watercolours over the past two years and have been holding on to them.  Not entirely sure why – but I think they would look good in a show all together.

Drama Queen is a painting of Dizzy Lizzie lily. Say that three times.  Phew!  And they belong to the rather regal Oriental lily family.

If you don’t already know and love these beauties, with flowers often larger than your hand,  you may want to introduce formally yourself.  A garden royalty they would appreciate an admiring nod.  Lilies are among my absolute favourite blooms – likely stating the obvious as I paint them so often!

These lilies always live up to their royal statue by providing large and dramatic blooms each summer – if the deer do not get them.

April and May are the perfect months to plant summer blooming bulbs, including Oriental Lilies in the United States and Canada.

Mallard Trio

30 Jan

IMG_4238

These birds are the most abundant and widely distributed waterfowl species in North America. Although common, I think they are uncommonly handsome – don’t you.  Take the drake for instance, who would deny the iridescence of his head to be less than magnificent? With his striking white-collar and white pin tail tips.  Dapper Dabbler Ducks!

And then there is the uncelebrated mallard hen by comparison.  Various shades of brown leaning towards warm orange, yellowish orange bill upturned in a perpetual smile.  I have actually painted many more hens than drakes over the years.  Just because.

Back to this composition… when all the duck photos I took did not line up quite the way I envisioned for the Ducks in a Row idea, I decided that this would be better as three separate companion paintings.  Still love the title Ducks in a Row  – but it does not really work anymore.  Mallard Trio is as good as I got.  I love the attitude of ducks.  They are confident and almost always look as if they have a secret they are not sharing.  The perpetual upturn at the edge of their bill and the well, their cheeky cheeks!  Of course, I personify them.  They make it so easy to do.

And if you have a better name – I am open…..

 

Dapper Dabbler

22 Jan

As part of the Ducks in a Row Series (apparently) I had taken this photo of a mallard drake just kind of strutting his stuff among the flock.  He has a look of pride that I found to be irresistible.  A Mr Look at Me Now –kind of duck strut.  Standing tall and proud.

IMG_4233

What I found to be quite amusing was settling on a title for this  – Do the Duck Strut, Dapper Drake, Mr Handsome, Duck Strut, Dapper Drake Dabbler.

Mallards are a dabbler ducks after all!

And here is likely why I love ducks.  My Mother used to sign this song to me as a child… and I have sung it with my children!  Very happy memories… my daughters added the quacking 🙂

Little ducky dawdle

Went wading in a puddle

Went wading in a puddle so small – says he it does not matter

How much I splash and splatter

For I’m just a duckie after all

Quack quack

Ducks in a Row – WIP

25 Nov

It is no secret. I love ducks

Every few years I go on a duck painting marathon.  They make me smile.  With their round and full cheeks and happy bills, they are simply delightful to draw and paint.  This time around, I am working in watercolour.  Previous work was always in acrylics.

One day, when were out for a drive to see what I could shoot, we came upon a ferry landing that was covered with ducks.  Apparently, somehow the ducks know they are safe from hunters at the ferry  landing.  But I got some great shots.  Some were in the water while others basked in the sunshine, warming themselves on the asphalt and rocks.

The inspiration photo has an interesting perspective -below.  As I was shooting it I was thinking “he he heeee” ducks in a row.  Well it stuck.  The ducks in this painting will have come from individual duck photos I took and I will place them …well… in artistic order.  Hoping to heaven I can capture the perspective I am aiming for.

 

Update # 2 – Late August

8 Nov

After taking the cloudy sky to this point, I started to focus on the water.  I laid in the first wash and then worked specific areas to lighten some areas and deepen the horizon.  Confession: the level of detail in the water frightens me!  I almost did not know where to start.  I decided I had to make a decision to start somewhere.  I chose to start with the lower left corner of the water– that way I could focus  my attention on a specific area and begin to develop some detail and work outward from there.  It was a good decision as I could see where it was going.  Well, that worked for a while.  Then I got a little anxious and wanted to start pushing some paint around.  I had more fun painting the water in this manner.  I must have applied five layers of glazes.   Good to remember: Each glaze has to dry thoroughly before you apply the next – or the second glaze will lift off the first glaze.  Really not a good thing!

 

Then I looked to the foreground and decided to slop some paint around in this area. I knew I had to deepen the under painting.  So I played around in this space.  The next painting session I will focus on the grasses and fence.  Then I will go back into the water.  The overall painting is looking darker that it will be… this is part of that awkward stage 

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