Friday, September 28, 2007

Belated - Happy First Birthday ...

Happy 1st Birthday
No one could be more surprised than I am ..... my blogs first birthday was on the 12th of this month.
This year has gone by so fast ... I remember I was nervous about starting my blog. I wondered would I find enough to blog about? Would anyone look at my blog? Would they post a comment?
My fears were for nothing. I've really enjoyed blogging. I love being able to share some of my thoughts on art and show my work to other like minded people.
To all my subscriber's, fellow blogger's, friends, family and collectors of my work ... thank you for sharing in my first year of blogging ... my I continue to keep learning and keep you interested in my work and creative endeavors.
Thank you, it's been a great first year!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Colors and my color swatches

All my colorsAll my color's - swatches

Some time ago I decided to go thought all my tubes of watercolors and make swatches of them all, all together on one piece of paper. I labeled them as to what the color was on the tube and the manufacture, such as transparent yellow- winsor newton. I also painted over a 1/2" line of black ink in to tell if it was transparent or not. I placed all the yellows together, earth colors together, reds, etc. I was so happy with this when I it was completed. I could look at one glance and tell what color would best suit my needs. Not to mention that all those colors just look great all lined up together ... neat and tidy.

My new colors My limited palette color swatches

I then decided that all those colors were too confusing to me. I did a little research and decided to concentrate on just a few colors. I chose the Michael Wilcox colors he suggests. I now have 8 colors in a small watercolor palette that I travel with: Cad Red Light, Quinacridone violet, Cad yellow light, Hansa yellow light, Cerulean Blue and Ultramarine blue, Burnt Sienna, and I added indigo- just because I like it, and in the 12 wells of the Eldajon palette I also have Yellow ochre, Raw Sienna, Blue, Phthalocyanne, green and some white.

I occasionally, when in a hurry, grab another tube of paint because I "know" what it will look like when on a fresh piece of white paper. But other than that I and trying hard to just learn these colors.

Don't you think this art stuff to be a fun journey?

Monday, September 24, 2007

My pile of palettes

Some of my Watercolor Palettes Pile of Palette's
Since I first began water coloring, palettes have always been my accessory of choice. In other words I have a love - hate relationship with them all. The first palette I ever bought was the Eldajon palette, the one right in the center of the photo. It has 12 small slant wells and three mixing areas. Nice, but I still thought I needed something else, something to hold more paint. Then I heard about using stacking ice cube trays as a palette, along with another palette that has many wells (very far left) that will help you with mixing. Okay, I still wasn't happy ... I bought a palette recommended in one of Jan Kunz books (I can't remember the name). That didn't satisfy me either, because it had such small wells, I bought the Winson Newton travel set... nice but it is just something I never use. The list goes on. Now that I'm about through with buying new palettes I reflect back on the ones I liked/like the best. Believe it or not, I still think the ice cube trays are one of my favorites. I had one for reds, blues and yellows ... they travel nicely because they stack and you can use a large brush with them. Another favorite is the Jones round. It has 12 small wells for paint (even though they are small), but works great if you use a color wheel... plus it has a lid. I'm now using my first palette, the Eldajon. It has no lid, small wells and only three mixing areas ... but, I went back to this because I decided to stick with a limited palette of 12 colors ... the Michael Wilcox colors, and I thought this palette would help me learn more about the colors I was using.
After 12 years of water coloring the pigments are still a mystery to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fishing Flies

Fishing Fly Royal Wulff
Fishing Flies have always been appealing to me. Since I was a young girl when my brother and I would go fishing with my grandfather. Then, after a day of fishing, grandpa would fry up our catch of the day. Ummm the thought brings back memory's of smells and tastes I haven't been able to reproduce in all my cooking years. Those evenings, my brother and I would then entertain ourselves for hours tying fishing flies and talking about which fly would catch the biggest fish.

Now, I prefer to paint the fishing flies.
Fishing Fly Sofa Pillow

Almost always when people (especially men) see my fishing fly watercolors they seem to be surprised and want to know how I came to paint them. They are always a conversation starter. I started painting the flies after I'd done a series of 6 different trout. I had matted and framed the six trout all in one frame ....

Fishing Fly Golden Stonebut felt something else was needed along those same line to hang opposite them on a smaller wall. That's when I came up with the idea of painting fishing flies. It just seems so appropriate.

I had a few fishing flies to use as a reference but after water coloring them I wanted to find more to add to the series. I stopped by a very large sporting good store to beautiful ... all different colors and sizes.

Fishing Fly Muddler Minnow

I found a few to purchase, left the store to continue on with the rest of my shopping list. All was going well until a young girl, in a loud voice said, "Momma, look, that lady has bugs on her arm". Sure enough, there on my right arm were some fishing flies that had attached them selves to my sweater sleeve as I reached across the multitude of fishing flies on display at the sporting goods store. I was so embarrassed ... not only that I had frightened the little girl, and had to explain to the child and mother what the "bugs" were doing on my arm, but that I had blatantly stolen the fishing flies.

And yet, to this day I still love to see and paint them.

Watercolor fishing flies from top to bottom: Royal Wulff, Sofa Pillow, Golden Stone, Muddler Minnow

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Back from vacation ...

I've just returned from a 12 day camping vacation - attending a family reunion, and visiting friends along the way. When we stopped in towns I made sure and visit the local art gallery's. I think its fun to see what the local talents are doing. The last place we camped was Cape Disappointment Campground in Washington, close to the mouth of the Columbia River. The nearest town is Ilwaco Washington which is a small fishing community at the mouth of the Columbia River. While there I was so surprised to find one of the nicest art gallery's I've ever been in called the Shoalwater Cove Gallery . It was beautifully remodeled with items strategically placed where you'd like them if you were an artist who had work showing there. Easy to navigate through this large gallery. The person who was working that day (it was a Sunday) greeted us almost immediately yet went on about working in the Gallery. If you are ever in that area I highly recommend you stop by to see the gallery and look at the beautiful work they have on display.

This photo is of Cold Water Cove where we were able to take a 4 mile hike around the lake and the camps were very private. The day was beautiful and the water clear and a beautiful turquoise color.
Camping Vacation
One of the areas we camped was along the McKenzie River. This is beautiful. We camped where the river was rushing by our camp-site and river rafters would occasionally go by. This is the only place where I took time to sketch.

Rushing Water

I know this isn't a very good sketch ... it's suppose to show the river rushing over and around the rocks that were in the center of the river in front of our camp. I had trouble showing moving - rushing- water. Also the colors just do not show up in this scan.

Alder tree and leaf

The above sketch, while is does show up better, just doesn't do the colors justice. This was an alder tree along the river bed at our camp. The colors were pretty with the sunlight on some of the leaves. I tried to capture the color of a fallen leaf that came down by where I was sketching.

Now that I'm home my list of art projects is long. There are still two more Saturdays that the Farmers Market is open, shows to enter, prints to frame for month long hanging period at the local hospital, plus a commission.

It's fun to go .... but so nice to be home.