Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mt Rainier

Mt. Rainier
5" x 5" on Arches Watercolor paper
I painted this from a photograph that my husband took last year while on one of our daily walks. Frequently we are able to see this majestic mountain in all it's splendor, but occasionally clouds cover it from view.
My camera has arrived and I've been trying to learn as much about it as I can so that when I find that perfect shot I'll be ready. Last week we were walking along our normal route and we saw a small seal sun bathing on a dock. That would have been a great shot!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sandpiper on a Log

Sandpiper on Log - Nancy Van Blaricom Sandpiper on Log
5" x 5" original watercolor

Today I finished this small watercolor painting of a sandpiper. Painted on 140 lb. Arches cold press paper using my usual limited palette of artists grade watercolor pigments.

When I tried to identify this Sandpiper in my bird book I found so many varieties of Sandpipers all looking similar that I am going to take an uneducated guess that this is a Western Sandpiper because of the bill length and shape. If these birds are standing still they are so well camouflaged, blending in with the sandy pebbles on the beach, that you can easily miss seeing them unless they are scurrying along the waters edge. Their little legs moving as fast as they can carry them.

I love walking on the beach here in South Puget Sound where I can usually see 4-5 different birds at any given time. But, it seems that I constantly forget my camera or decide not to carry it with me because it's too bulky. It's not that its particularly large, but, still I can't just put it in my pocket and be off for my walk. So this week I decided to purchase a new camera that I will be able to carry with me at all times. Its 3.8" wide x 2.3" high x 0.8" deep. I'm thinking I'll be able to capture some great shots of all the sights I am blessed to have around me each day.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Clean Studio - update

Photo #1 shows the "before" area - messy and cluttered. (as posted on January '07.
Photo #2 shows the after, the less cluttered and more organized area.

Having a studio in a small space has it's challenges, but over the last 12 months I've come up with some space saving ideas that have helped keep my studio less cluttered. A lot of the accumulation has been removed and donated to charities or thrown away. The rest now have a place in see-through storage containers.

Cluttered and unorganized in this first photo. Now organized with frames and shipping material out of the way, tucked neatly behind some shipping boxes of mat board.
I've done some serious clutter busting lately, can you tell? Things had seemed to accumulate and get placed somewhere never to be looked at again. I work best in a clean environment where I can focus on my painting and not get side tracked by unrelated "stuff". I think this tidier work area will help.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Canoes at Rest, am I done yet?

Canoes at Rest progress shot When I work on a larger painting (I think anything 15" x 22" and up is large for me) I need to set the painting aside for a few days and analyze whats working and whats not.

In the first photograph you see my painting with a white mat around it, my black and white photo reference and my value strip to the side. At this point I decided to leave it alone and not touch it again for awhile. Canoes at Rest- Nancy Van Blaricom
Today after giving it some more thought I decided to add some more value to the middle front area... showing more shadow of the trees overhead. I also worked on the grass between the breakwater and the water. I'm still not sure its complete, but then again, when do you know it's time to leave it alone?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Lavender Fest a success

The Lavender Festival that I participated in on July 26th and 27th was a success.

The first day, Saturday, it started out a little cool and we had some rain the first few minutes after I arrived, but before long the sun came out from behind the clouds and warmed us up. On Sunday we had some wind. I had my card rack sitting out at the corner of my tent and pretty soon I saw the card rack revolving ever so slowly, then pick up speed and next thing I knew off flew most of my card inventory. It really was funny to watch and fortunately none of my cards were hurt and I had a lot of help picking up the card inventory as the other vendors came running to assist. Good thing my tent was staked down.

The foot traffic was pretty constant both days. Besides there being a lot of plants, there were about 20 vendors, food, and a band that played most of both Saturday and Sunday. I loved meeting the people and having converstion's about everything from art to plants. Now I know why this lavender festival is such a success.
These two photo's are of the vendors arriving and setting up our tent space. Thats me in my red top with my back to you. Oops... sorry about that.