Tuesday, December 18, 2018

5 Minute Landscapes

"Golden Sunset"   5" x 7" image.
Matted:  8" x 10"   $45
Every now and then, it's just fun to do really quick paintings.  These little gems will test your skills at timing in watercolor.  I start with a 5" x 7" watercolor paper.  Then I wet both sides of the paper several times, so it is very wet.  Then lightly sponge off the right side and begin.   Using a bright color (red/orange), I paint the sky and the water, leaving a big white shape.  Then I pick it's complementary color and smear that into the first color to create a grey color and then have the complementary color (green) on the upper left and lower left corners.  Switching to a 1/2 " flat brush, I double load the two complementary colors in a dry brush mixture to make the tree masses.  I do NOT mix the color on the palette or it would be too wet.  Pull down the colors to create the reflections.  Use a thirsty brush to wipe out the water line.  Then wipe out a ripple in the water.  You can put more detail on the trees, using a small round brush that is double loaded with the 2 colors.  That's how I was able to get the points on the top of the trees.  You do all this is only 5 minutes!  It's fun to do color studies using this process.  Odd colors are usually my favorites.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Always Be Yourself!

"Yacht Club"
original acrylic on paper
Image:  14 x 21"
Do you catch yourself saying something negative about your artwork over and over?  The same statement?  I used to say that I didn't like making so many itty bitty shapes.  Virginia Cobb straightened me out in a workshop when I told her that.  She asked me if I liked making little tiny shapes, and I said that I must, because they keep showing up.  She said to honor that unique quality of my work and then just unify them with a glaze to make fewer "grouped" shapes when I was done. I LOVE that advice.  So, now when I teach a workshop, I tell everyone that the very thing that they think might be their worst thing about their artwork, actually is the very thing that they should keep!  We all need to be ourselves!
This painting, "Yacht Club" is part of a local show called Bonnie and Friends.  Bonnie Featherstone asked about 30 artists, from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, to bring 2 paintings each.  It's at the Ames Center in Burnsville, MN for the month of December, if you get the chance to see it.  I'm so honored to be a part of such a grand show.  You won't believe all the different styles.  I was talking with one of the artists and he said that he wishes he could be a little looser.  His paintings are so good, that they are almost photographic!  I told him my story about excelling at what you consider your worst feature.  He agreed with me, and we both appreciate our differences.
By the way, one of my favorite painters is Gustav Klimt.  Check out how many tiny shapes he has in his paintings!!!! www.klimt.com But they are beautifully combined into big shapes and so well designed.


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