Saturday, February 25, 2017

Acrylic Abstract workshop

The first 2 days of The Villages, Florida workshop, we worked on white flowers with an abstract background.  We made our own papers, using deli paper and handmade stamps (made with mat board).  It was a hard first day, with so much to learn, but I knew that we had to start with that one, so that they would be fresh and alert, doing the hardest painting.  One thing that I emphasize in my workshops is having a light pathway.  Squint and you will see it here.  On the next 2 days, we painted dragonflies and that was lots easier.  I used a brayer to start this one, just spreading acrylic paint on Arches watercolor paper, with wild abandon.  Then we drew a wire drawing of a butterfly or a dragonfly on top of the abstract design.
Their paintings are pictured below.  Can you believe how good they are?  I had a great time teaching at The Villages.  I believe that it's my 5th time teaching for them.  If you are ever in that area, check out their workshops.  Beverly Hennessey is the director of workshops there and she does a great job!  

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Acrylic and Collage


Painting on a wrapped canvas is so fun! I usually start by preparing the surface with gesso. Then I made my own collage papers, using a gelli pad. This is so fun!!! I used limited colors, something I learned from Carrie Burns Brown.  Using 2 opposite colors, black and white.  You will be able to achieve at least 20 different colors and your paintings will be unified! Try it! Click on Carrie's name to watch a You tube video. She was a great instructor!!!!
I'm attending a Paint-in now hosted by Karlyn Holman. She is one of my favorite artists! We have so much fun! This painting was completed at the Paint-in, where we all get inspiration from each other. Positive energy floors in the air. This painting, "Shades of Gray" is available for $345.  (12" x12" wrapped canvas)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

All 30 Paintings at a glance!


"30 Paintings in 30 Days"  January 2017 Challenge

Here is the collection of all 30 Paintings from the January, 30 Paintings in 30 Days Challenge.   I used the website, www.picmonkey.com to make the collage of them.  I love that website.  It is very easy to use and I use it often after teaching, to make a collection of my student's paintings.  It used to be free, but now there is a small fee.  Totally worth it.  The site works best with square paintings, so you will notice that many of these only have partial images of my paintings, but enough for you to get the idea.  I knew that would be a problem when I decided to paint all quarter sheets, but decided to go ahead with that plan anyway.
Again, I want to thank all of you for being my cheerleaders during this challenge.  It really means a lot to hear your comments or to count up the "likes".  Thanks to Leslie Saeta, who thought up this great challenge for all of us!  Thank you to those who purchased many of my paintings too.  If any of you are interested, just go back to past blogs to see if your favorite is still available.  Great prices! 
Today, I totally relaxed!  Had a pedicure and a manicure.  Not sure that was real wise, since I will be painting in acrylics in only 5 days when I go to a Paint-in!  But it felt good to relax and have a little reward for my hard work.  Stay tuned to my blog.  My goal for 2017 is to post at least every 2 weeks.  I try to share my knowledge as an instructor with my students who stay tuned to my blog. I made many discoveries this month and can't wait to pursue those discoveries and fine tune them.  Check my website for details about future workshops. www.karenknutson.com I'm teaching all across the USA this year, both the East and the West coast.  (Below are available paintings)

2017 Schedule:
January- Cape Coral, FL
February- The Villages, FL
March-  Green Valley, AZ
April- Kanuga Conference Center (near Henderson, NC)
May- Louisville, KY
June- San Diego, CA
July- Alexandria, MN
August- Dickinson, ND
               White Bear Lake, MN
                Watertown, SD
September- Traverse City, MI
October-  Miles City, MT
November-  Home studio possible workshop
Available paintings from the 30 in 30 Challenge    $99 Each



































































































Here are all 30 Paintings that I did in January.  There is a website, www.picmonkey.com that is a great way to make a poster of your paintings.  It used to be free, but now, there is a small fee.  It's easy to use and I use it often, as an instructor to make a collection of my student's paintings.  On this, I had to crop several of the paintings, due to them being rectangular in shape.  The site is meant for square paintings.  But you get the idea anyway.  Many of these paintings are still for sale.  Go back to earlier blogs if interested.  






















Monday, January 30, 2017

Day 30: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"The Highest Power, #3"    NFS
Image:  11" x 15"    watercolor
     Yes!  I made it!  There were many times, when I wondered if I should quit, just for my health alone.  But I did easy paintings on those days, and then I got better.  For you runners out there, this was my marathon, and it feels really good to have made it across the finish line.
     I've been working on this painting here and there all month.  I needed a pure watercolor for the Transparent Watercolor Exhibition, so this will be one of my entries.  I know it's not a landscape, my original goal for this 30 Day Challenge, but I've already broken that many times with all my bird paintings.  So, why not break it one more time?  Go out with a bang, I say!       The study for this was the wire drawing below (drawings that look like a wire sculpture).   I've done 3 of these so far.  Every one is different, and surprises always arise as I'm painting.  Tomorrow, I will be posting the whole collection of 30 Day Paintings.  That will be your last chance to get in on the January bargain prices.  It's been a great ride, and as always, I learn so much along the way.  I really recommend you trying this.  Thanks for following along and cheering me on!

Wire Drawing of the original "Highest Power" painting

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Day 29: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Sunrise on the Shore"        $99  SOLD
Image size:  11" x 15"       Watercolor
This painting was painted totally wet into wet.  I wondered why I wanted to paint in yellow today, and then happened to notice that our walls are painted yellow at our rented condo.  Yes, the colors around us do truly affect our color choices.  I've painted lots more yellow paintings since I've been in FL than I ever did in MN. One trick that I do when painting skies is to add the opposite color under the cloud masses.  In this case is was a dusty purple, created by mixing cerulean blue, Davinci Red Rose Deep, and a touch of New gamboge. The muted complimentary color makes the yellow even brighter.  That grey/purple color is in the rocky ground on the left side too.  Tomorrow is the last day of this 30 Day Challenge.  I can't believe it!  Check back at my past blogs to see if you want to purchase any now.  Remember, the prices will change in February. These prices are only good in January.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Day 28: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Dusk"      $99 SOLD
Image size:  11" x 15"     watercolor
This painting has the appearance of a wood cut.  It's a great technique.  Supposedly, I was going to do an easy painting today.  But that changed!  I learned the process of masking out the sky from Nita Engle, one of the top watercolor artists in the country.  I took a workshop from Nita Engle when I had only been painting for about a year.  She was such a master! AFTER I carefully masked around the trees and the reflections in the water, etc.  I realized that I would have to take all the mask off later on. And one thing that I forgot on this FL trip, was my maskoid remover.  Ugh!  So, after I poured on the colors for the background trees and the grasses, I dried the paper and then used rolled up masking tape to remove the maskoid.  It works great in a pinch.  Below is what my painting looked like with the masking fluid protecting the sky, sky holes in the background trees, and the reflections.  Only 2 more days to get these great deals.  It's been a fun journey.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Day 27: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Jungle Fever"    $99  (SOLD)
Image:  11" x 15"      Watercolor
Today, I tried something new!  I started the painting by drawing random doodles on the paper using a really wet brush.  Then I floated the color into the wet lines and let the drips happen wherever they broke through.  After that was dry, I drew the bird on the paper, trying to have the line work break across the bird.  I'm excited about this procedure because I now have a new lesson to teach for the next couple of years.  Below is the start of this painting.  To learn more, you will have to take one of my workshops!  (wink, wink) :)  Check my website for future workshops.  I've got a full schedule, traveling to many states on the East and West coast.
Beginning stages of "Jungle Fever"

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Day 26: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Rock Springs"       $99.    SOLD
Image:  15" x 11"   watercolor
Today, I chose to do an easy painting.  It was such fun to work totally wet into wet.  First I wet the Arches cold press paper on both sides and let it soak in before starting.  I began, changing colors often and creating a dark trail that leads the viewer's eye toward the bottom of the paper.  Then I changed to a 1/2 inch flat brush and I added depth to the rocks and the tree masses. When the paper almost loses it's shine, I lifted out the negative space between the trees.  It was so fun to see the white paper when doing this.  Trying to vary the shapes of the background lights is important.  Adding salt at the bottom of the paper for a feeling of water running off the rocks.  I thought I was done at this point, but after an hour of viewing it from the couch, I decided that it needed more.  The first version is below.  I decided to add illusionary lines for a little more depth.  To do this, you draw a light box shape, then paint on the outside of the shape partly, and then switch to painting on the inside.  This should be a very light wash, so that you can make it disappear. I like the finished version lots better.  Do you agree?

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Day 25: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Eyes of the Forest"      NFS
Image:  15" x 11"      Watercolor
This painting started out as just a tree painting.  Then, I just had to add a bird.  My intention is to have the viewer aware of how we need to preserve our world by recycling, and conserving energy as much as we can.  Our forests are beautiful and I want them around for generations to come. I intentionally made the bird illusionary, as if it were a ghostly being, watching over its habitat.  That's why I named it "Eyes of the Forest".  I worked on this painting all day today, and may enter this painting into an upcoming national show, so I'm not selling it yet.  If interested, you can private message me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Day 24: 30 Paintings in 30 Days!

"Early Bird gets the Worm"      $99 SOLD
Image size:  11" z 15"     Watercolor, Charcoal, and Collage
I'm torn about painting landscapes or painting birds.  I love the process of painting birds, so I've been switching back and forth.  I've also been really wanting to do a total abstract painting lately, but I'm committed to finishing this 30 day challenge.  I'm finding it really hard to do this challenge this year, since I'm in Florida.  We've had lots of company, I taught a workshop one week, AND I got sick for a week.  Now, all that is behind me, but the nice weather keeps calling my name.  I'm loving my times at the beach or the pool.  It was easy to paint in MN when it was cold and snowing outside.  This is teaching me to be very organized and try to paint ahead.  I should do this more often.

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