12
Jul

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Watercolor: Prong Setting and Simplifying Drawings with the Grid Method

Personal Symbols in Art & The Grid Method The watercolor above – Prong Setting – was inspired by an early morning snapshot of the dining room and kitchen in the house where we raised our kids. The title refers to the upright chair backs, arranged like prongs on a ring. Families gather round a table to eat meals, and the chairs hold our little family gems together for conversation, fellowship and good food. 🙂 When we paint from our own photos, the reference materials are a spring full of familiar atmosphere, flash-bulb moments and personal histories. I believe we imbue those riches into …[Continue reading]

9
Jul

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Watercolor: Caricaturist and Creative Clarity links

Finding – as opposed to Losing – Your Art Time How is your art journey moving along?  Did you paint some watercolors, scribble some sketches, or doodle on a post-it pad during your fourth of July holiday?  If not, remind yourself that it’s Monday, and with the launch of a new week, we get to Start Again. On everything; art-making and intentional thinking to direct our day along a planned course, rather than a willy-nilly slippery-skid, random path. I get more lost than found at the helm of my artistic ship, but I try – super hard – to stay the course. Perpetual …[Continue reading]

27
Jun

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Watercolor: Bibliophile and using the Grid Method to transfer Drawings to Watercolor paper

The Art of Winding Down This watercolor painting started as a surreptitious iphone snapshot on a winter evening almost ten years ago. Reading (or painting) after dinner to close a long day is one of my favorite ways to wind down, and I’ve always enjoyed decompressing together with my family. Everyone in the same room, immersed in their own adventure through written words on a page, but still connected within the same four walls of our cozy rooms. Do you hang out with your family while reading or painting too? Inspiration Station As artists, do you sometimes wonder about the visual legacy you’ll …[Continue reading]

21
Jun

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Watercolor: Vacation Rental and Links to Watercolor Tips

Painting Interior Spaces with Watercolor This watercolor was inspired by a reference photo taken in Florence, Italy a few decades ago. Old world charm, wrapped around a relaxed array of books, maps and tangerines from the market downstairs, all warmed with a wash of Italian light. I’ve loved window light spilling over rooms like this since I was a child.  I enjoy sinking my teeth into the challenge of trying to really see & render the values and temperatures that convey such a relaxed, invitational atmosphere. Using The Grid Method to Transfer Reference Photos to Paper I was waiting for a scheduled power …[Continue reading]

18
Jun

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Collagraph: The Written Word – and Books I Read Last Year

This (below) is the back of a piece of mat board (also known as mount board in other parts of the world), which is the stuff used to mat art work and photos under glass.  I’m using it here to make a mat board collagraph, and I’ve drawn a figure reading a book with pencil,  and then I coated it with Liquitex Gloss Medium & Varnish. After drying the plate overnight, I incised shapes and line-work with an exacto knife and peeled the uppermost layer of mat board away to leave recessed areas to hold printmaking inks.  After all the carving and peeling …[Continue reading]

15
Jun

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Watercolor Sketching: Kitchen at Chateau Renard and painting from travel photos

Harvest Your Watercolor Sketching Inspiration During a Springtime Provence painting workshop with the fine folks at WorkshopsinFrance.com, our support team stayed in charming little apartments for a few days before moving into the chateau we shared with yet-to-arrive guests. We spent time in a local home, tucked against cypress-hedged fields, preparing lists of groceries, planning for transport of incoming artists, and scouting for blooming lavender. The first morning I woke up in France, the kitchen of our little flat held all the quaint countryside charm of Provence in the early morning light. I knew within the first hour of that trip (the first …[Continue reading]

11
Jun

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Watercolor: Copper Mine and artistic influence from your family tree

Spontaneous Inspiration – Or Is It? This copper mine in the watercolor painting above was visible from the car on a road trip from Mexico to Arizona years ago. My traveling companions were kind enough to pull over and let me take photos for art reference, because, look at all that geometry! If I dig into why something so industrial appeals to me, ten seconds of pondering leads to memories of my family’s business in precision tool and die machining. I grew up around mechanical engineers, injection moulding equipment and drill presses, all wafting noisily in the scent of machine oil.  How much …[Continue reading]

6
Jun

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Drypoint Engraving – Bowman – and why painting and drawing the figure is challenging

Getting the Figure Right Why is it that you can paint a successful landscape or a still life – with color, layout and shape a little cattywampus – but if you paint a human with the face or figure askew, it’s uncomfortable to look at? I’m not talking about seasoned paintings of figures that were deliberately rendered with a little squash-and-stretch, like the work of Picasso, Modigliani or Moore.  I’m referring to the work we strain over in figure drawing classes, and our cartoon-warped attempts at cafe-goers during an urban sketch crawl, or our well-intentioned plans to paint friends and family from favorite …[Continue reading]

3
Jun

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Monotype: Start Here and Paying Attention in Art

Resurrected Art This little still life monotype ghost print was pulled from the stash I keep in a box in my studio. It’s nice to have a trove of art that’s started, but not finished, especially in the evenings when time is bracketed between dinner and bedtime.  Working on art that’s already laid-out pulls the finish line a little closer to you. Drifting off to sleep knowing you just completed a little art-making is a good path, even if you started the piece thirteen years ago. 🙂 Better than Planned I’ve been making monotypes since 2005 when I took a printmaking course to …[Continue reading]

24
May

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Watercolor: Artist’s Studio and Art Supply Storage

Making Art on the Couch I am very fortunate to have a studio (a spare bedroom in our home) and unless I’m showing art at a festival, or framing, I spend most days in there, writing, or working with art supplies and an audiobook (I’ve just finished this one) starting in the still-dark hours of early morning. When my husband comes home in the evenings, if I want to continue drawing or painting, I keep a tote bag of supplies handy that I can move around the house. The tote bag has a travel palette of watercolors, a few brushes, a pencil case, …[Continue reading]

22
May

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Trace Monotype Printmaking: Ginger Plumage

A Buoy of Kindness Thanks for all of your generous responses to my last post. The artist-blogger community never fails to surge forward with kindness after a troubling event, or a trying time, and I’m incredibly grateful for this virtual, palpably good community. You set the bar for civility and encouragement, and I’ll do my best to reach that watermark in an attempt to pay it forward. Extinct Art Festivals For over a decade, I’ve visited with patrons, friends and family at upcoming art festivals here in Southern California.  As of this Spring, several art festivals have gone the way of many galleries, and …[Continue reading]

17
May

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Watercolor: Snow Finch and Rubies – and Art-Making as a Salve for Grief

The Comforting Quilt of Art My mother in law passed away unexpectedly as I was leaving for the San Diego Art festival, and my husband was flying east for a business trip. Parallel to festival commitments, and business travel, the process of juggling out-of-state loss began; death certificates, additional travel, burial arrangements and notifications. While we were in different cities, on phone calls, getting adjusted to the forever-ness of this new absence, I took respite in night time art-making.  Emersion in pigment swirling, shape-making, and the wonder of stacked, transparent colors is both an escape from sad thoughts, and comforting, solid company.  Painting …[Continue reading]

3
May

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Watercolor: Citrus Sun Catcher – and painting in public

Painting in Public I just finished loading gear into my car for the Sierra Madre Art Fair (California) this weekend. If you’re local, stop by and say hello!  I finished the watercolor above last weekend at the San Diego Artwalk. (If you signed up for my mailing list there, welcome!)  This week, I started a new painting to work on at the Sierra Madre show.   Painting in public – whether as a plein air painter, or an art festival demonstrator – can be tricky at first, till you get out of your own head. Then it becomes wonderful. Here are a few tips …[Continue reading]

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