Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Butterfly Bush Visitors Today


Red Spotted Purple Butterfly

Taking a painting break for a day or two. Taking photos, instead! Enjoy!



Note: he/she has a torn wing, poor thing. But he/she seems to be doing just fine as is!

I believe this one above is a Black Swallowtail - although in this light, it looks more brown than black!

Below: the Hummingbird Moth

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Preparing to Demonstrate in Acrylic Tomorrow!


Tomorrow I'll be painting at the Rhoneymeade Arboretum & Sculpture Gardens between 1:30-3:30pm. This is what my studio looks like as I prepare to do a demo on site away from my own studio!

First up: planning what I'll be painting! I generally work on 3-5 pieces at a time, allowing me to step away from each piece so as to be more objective when I return. Here are the pieces I've prepared today for tomorrow's demo.
Wood Thrush - step one, basic drawing in #3 pencil drawn lightly enough so it won't disturb the painting as it evolves.

Four small pieces to be done on black canvas - three are Ravens and the fourth, a kitten.

Fledgling Sparrow & Flying Raven - drawn on canvas and ready to paint.

Once I have the artwork selected, it's time to select the paint needed to bring the images alive on canvas. Below are all the paints I will NOT be bringing tomorrow!

And the brushes I'm leaving behind...

These are what are essential for my paintings tomorrow!

After giving it some thought, I'd rather not be frozen tomorrow facing all these blank canvas's - terrified to start working on any of them! Therefore, I decided to start working on a few of them, just to get back into the groove of working with acrylic paints after a few weeks of playing with watercolors!

And finally, this is what it looks like when everything is packed up and ready to go. My small easel is in there, along with knee braces in case my knees get too tired standing. I like to paint standing as it allows me the freedom to move around and see the work from different angles. Again, objectivity is essential if one wishes to create a successful piece of art.

Frank has already put the boxes in the car for me. I"m sure I'll have help getting them out. I'm hoping the weather will cooperate so that we won't be too hot, or too damp... who wants to be outside painting or even painting in a barn on a hot, humid day? And who on earth would want to stand around watching someone else painting on a hot humid day!!!

The Weather Channel says we have a 50/50 chance of scattered thunderstorms tomorrow afternoon. We'll just make the best of it and I'm sure it will be fun!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Keep on Keeping on - Watercolors...


Clyde Kitty - 6"x8" watercolor on clay-board panel

Alyssa's Alpaca - 4"x6" watercolor on clay-board panel

Above, two paintings completed this weekend. They require a few coats of varnish to make sure the watercolor does not "move" on the clay board panel. One can accidentally or deliberately wash away watercolor paintings from these clay board panels. Proper finishing is essential!

I cut a few daisies from the garden this weekend and thought I'd try my hand at painting flowers, for a change.





Daisies - 7"x10" watercolor on watercolor paper

Lastly, here's a painting I started many years ago - painting only the shadows from a magazine photo. The magazine photo is long gone, so I'm improvising as I go. Have no idea how this will develop or whether it will end up in the waste pile. But it is a challenge, so it's time to challenge myself.


Still working on her... we will see where this goes in time...

More are on the drawing boards, awaiting color, water, and brush strokes. And my time, of course!


Sunday, July 16, 2017

Progressing with Watercolor, albeit slowly...


On the easel, "Lily," our neighbor's gorgeous cat. She always looks like she belongs on a throne!

I went back to working on the "Alpaca" - used a Mr. Clean sponge to soften the fur coat.

"Clyde," my girlfriend's cat, lounging around - not quite done, I think... some finishing touches needed.

Below: the evolution of "Lily."




"Lily" is a practice painting for a full-body painting. She has such poise and a strong personality. I want to make sure to capture some of who she is, not just what she looks like!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Back to Watercolors...



I really REALLY want the cat/kitten portraits to turn out well, so I'm starting my wc practice paintings with various other critters. Our granddaughter is an organic farmer in Maine. She is also a great photographer - so most of my farm animal paintings come from photos Alyssa has shared. We visited her farm in June on our way to the Acadia National Park. I've got some photos, but hers are far superior to mine!



Above: one of Lucy's gals
It's only 6" square, painted in watercolor on a hard panel coated with gesso prior to painting. It will need to have several coats of varnish to protect the paint from running!

Lucy - our granddaughter's rooster


Lucy measures 6.5" x 10" and is on Arches 300# watercolor paper

Next up - as yet incomplete - an alpaca and a friend's cat lounging on a chair:

These two are painted in watercolor on gesso coated panels. The alpaca is 4"x6" and the cat is 6"x8."

I use both ProPanel Gesso boards and DaVinci gesso panels. It's like painting on Bristol Board - slippery surface. It can be washed clean and a painting started over - but it must be varnished to protect the integrity of the painting.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Images from our Vacation in Maine & Vermont


These first three photos are of the area directly around our rental unit. It was just outside one of the Acadia National Park entrances, and right on the ocean bay. Gorgeous views! Long forested driveway from the road to the house. GREAT place!




Wild Gardens of Acadia:

Jack-in-the-Pulpit in bloom

Yellow Moccasin Flower, also known as Lady's Slipper

Pink Moccasin Flower, also known as Lady's Slipper

Azalea Gardens at Acadia Park:




Ocean Views!







Our dogs: Spunky on the left, Tucker on the right (who belongs to our daughter and her husband)

Lupine growing along side the road outside Bar Harbor:

Above: Twilight at Saco Bay, on our way home
Below: Sunset in Bar Harbor