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Watercolor – Klondike

Klondike 8×10 watercolor on fabriano artistico paper (available in my Etsy shop) I’ve been following Marc Taro Holmes‘ 30×30 project (read his first post about it here). Have you? His close up shots of the watercolor pigment Lunar Black by Daniel Smith were so lovely, I scrambled to my box of watercolor tubes to see if I had a variety of black watercolors in my arsenal, and I did! You know how that goes, right? My ToDo list got squeezed to make room for a 40 minute monochromatic watercolor sketch of my sister. The phrase ‘You have to strike while the iron is …[Continue reading]

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Architectural Watercolor: Albanian Apartment Building

Study for Albanian Apartment Building 10 x 7 Watercolor on paper (sold) Jewel Watercolors from Winsor & Newton With summertime approaching in the US and Europe, painting with watercolors in the garden could be in your future. Especially with the news that Winsor & Newton has stocked their previously limited release jewel tone watercolors. I felt a need (not a want – but a need) to have that aqua green, smalt and quid violet after watching this video, so I ordered them on Amazon. So far, only the smalt has arrived, and it’s beautiful (clouds, skies, water, shadows!). I predict some experimental washes …[Continue reading]

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In Remembrance of Charles Reid (1937-2019)

Mid Century Redhead 12 x 8 Watercolor on paper (sold) Charles Clark Reid (1937-2019) I was adding a photo and a link to a blog post on my Facebook page, when I caught this announcement on the Charles Reid Page as it scrolled into my feed: On Saturday I lost one of the most incredible people I have ever met who also happens to be my father, Charles Clark Reid. August 12,1937-June 1st, 2019 Charles Reid had fans all over the world. We will miss him so much. He will live on through his magnificent work.Sarah Reid I had to read the post …[Continue reading]

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Collagraph with Carborundum – Sinking In

Sinking In 5.5 x 7 Collagraph Print (Available in my Etsy Shop here) How to Make a Collagraph using Carborundum This collagraph was build on the back of a piece of mat board. Wanna build one too? (If you’re new around here, and you’ve never seen a mat board collagraph, here is a playlist of tutorials on my YouTube channel to help you get started.) Read on…. Collagraph Plate Making Process After sketching a young woman’s face and hair with watercolor on the verso of a scrap piece of mat board, I used a standard #11 exacto knife to incise lines around shapes …[Continue reading]

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Color Monotype – California Incline, and Making Quick Monotype Studies from a page of Thumbnail Photos to Loosen Up

California Incline 8.5×10.5 Monotype with colored pencil Printmaking Play Date Here is a printmaking exercise for you. Print two sheets of thumbnails from paintable images snapped on your phone. Let’s make some light field color monotypes, but loose and fluid… no fussing allowed. If you don’t already have a folder of compulsively harvested art reference photos on your computer, walk around the house and snap some, or go for a walk, and collect some simple, visual magic. Some of the “drive-by” landscape thumbnails I’ve snapped from the passenger seat, printed as inspirational reference for a monotype marathon loosen up exercise. Artist Reference Photos …[Continue reading]

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Monotype Ghost Print – Italian Vacation and Art Links for You

Italian Vacation 4.75 x 4.5 Monotype Ghost Print with Watercolor and Colored Pencil (sold) Inspiring Art Links for You Marc Taro Holmes is embarking on a 30×30 challenge that’s a variation on the usual month-long painting commitment. He’s made 30 small monochrome studies using digital software (see them here) and he’s going to paint one per day for 3o days in the studio with no reference photos or live landscape views. There’s more to it. Check out his post here. If you’re on the west coast of the United States, do you know about the California Society of Printmakers? They host an artist …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Portrait of a Printmaker, and Bad Artist Advise

Printmaker Adjusting the Press 5 x 6.8 Watercolor (sold) Impressionable Beginner Artists I’ve mentioned in previous posts (read this one), I suspect my love for printmaking and clanking metal presses originated in my family’s tool and die machine shop. I think we are drawn to things that imprinted on us before we had comprehension that we were so malleable. It’s good to think about what sort of experiences or inherited beliefs we have absorbed, because they can limit our tastes, tools, and choices in art. Master Printmaker – woodcut Learning How to Make Art If you’re the type of beginner who likes clear, …[Continue reading]

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Traveling with Watercolors – and a watercolor titled Galilean Moons

Galilean Moons 9.5 x 18 Watercolor (sold) Over the years of posting photos here of work in process at Art Festivals, you’ve asked about the set up I use to paint watercolors away from home. I try to keep my traveling watercolor kit small, lightweight and nimble. At festivals, I usually use an easel to accommodate face-to-face conversation with strolling visitors. If you don’t have an easel, don’t fret, because there are alternatives. I didn’t take an easel to France on either trip with workshopsinfrance.com, and it worked out beautifully with just a little preparation. Painting watercolors on an easel at the San …[Continue reading]

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Dark Field Monotype with Watercolor and Colored Pencil – San Juan Capistrano Bell

San Juan Capistrano Bell, 4 x 6 dark field monotype with watercolor and colored pencil (sold) Getting Ready to Make a Monotype This (below) is a 4 x 6 zinc plate, with beveled edges – since I’ll be printing this on a press. After rolling a smooth, thin layer of black printmaking ink on the plate, I’ll use cotton swabs, rolled paper towel pointers, blending stomps and a rubber gloved fingertip to pull ink from the plate in a subtractive process to create an image of the San Juan Capistrano Bell Tower in Southern California. Have you made one of these yet? Ready …[Continue reading]

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Monotype: Climb Back In

Climb Back In 4×6 Monotype Ghost Print with watercolor and Colored Pencil (available here) Monotype Ghost Prints If you’re new here, and unfamiliar with monotypes as a printmaking method, take a look at this post to see process shots.  Monotypes are very painterly prints, made with pigment alone (no incised lines on the plate) and they can be made in a huge variety of ways, with no press, and all sorts of media. Here is a six tutorial video playlist of monotype demonstrations for your perusal. You can also join this monotype group on Facebook to harvest examples, tips and encouragement. This is …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Birds on my Counter – and Historic Still Life props

Birds on my Counter 5×4 Watercolor on paper (sold) Artists’ Still Life Objects The cast iron birdbath curio in this petite watercolor has been rendered in enough still life paintings and printmaking projects that I’ve lost count (see examples here, and here, and here). When studying photos of artists’ studios from long ago, I search for the objects on the shelves that might be found in their paintings. It’s an artist’s game of Where’s Waldo. I wonder if the items were gifts, or happened upon, or handed down through the family. Every artist’s still life clutter has a story to tell. Do you …[Continue reading]

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Graphite Drawing: Seven

Seven 4.3 x 3.5 Graphite Drawing on Drafting Film (sold) Good to be Home I’m back from Sierra Madre Artwalk, where crowds were friendly, art was collected, and it was mostly lovely weather (it started to rain after I loaded my gear into the car to leave last night). This guy – a coastal fence lizard – spent the weekend with me in Sierra Madre, skulking around the top edge of my display panels, showing off his cool blue throat. Each morning as I opened up, there he was, scampering the display panels, hanging out above the art. I named him Cobalt. Drawing …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Tender Garden, and Artist Marketing

Tender Garden – 5.5 x 6.25 Watercolor on paper The Mystery of  Art Marketing I read your email questions asking about my enthusiasm for the upcoming course launch of Marketing Impact Academy, and why I feel the need for a business plan when I could just paint, and let the chips fall where they may. Three reasons: 1) I want to make a good living with my art. It takes more than just painting to make art into a livelihood, and I know other artists want this too. 2) I’m still using the configurations and strategies I learned in this course – almost …[Continue reading]

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Pastel Drawing – Meandering to the Sea

Meandering to the Sea 12 x 9 pastel (available here)[sold] Experimenting with Pastels In previous posts, I’ve used stick pastels on top of monotypes – inspired by Edgar Degas’ beautiful treatments of dry media over printmaking inks. But until this piece, I’ve never worked with seemingly delicate little pastel pencils. The drawing above was an experiment to use cross hatching with sharpened pastel pencils over black paper. I had so much FUN with it, I couldn’t wait to end the day, and grab a glass of wine and my lap desk on the couch to continue. Have you tried this before? (Pastel pencils …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Waiting to Retrieve

Waiting to Retrieve 11 x 4 watercolor (cropped) [Sold] Art Festival Observations I got back late lastnight from the San Diego Artwalk. The California sunshine and festival atmosphere in Little Italy brought all the beautiful people out, with all of their pretty dogs. Sometimes, deliberately or not, people choose dogs that look just like them. A long legged, tanned redhead walked by with her vizsla. A short, round man smoking a pipe stopped by to look at my work with his adorable french bulldog. In between visitors in my booth, the people and dog watching at the San Diego Artwalk is a treat …[Continue reading]

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Watercolor – Secret Island Anchorage

Secret Anchorage 12 x 18 watercolor (available here) Painting Your Neighborhood There is a chain of small islands off the coast of southern California protected as a National Park. Several of the islands are just off the coast of the town I live in, and two are visible, like curvy women, reclining on the horizon. This watercolor was inspired during an approach to an anchorage on one of the islands for an afternoon hike. Painting at the kitchen counter after dinner Island Wonders The video above is a 24 minute introduction to the Channel Islands National park narrated by Kevin Costner. Brew a …[Continue reading]