Monday, January 26

Sunset Lace

"Sunset Lace"
2.5" x 6"
Watercolor on Yupo
The sky had been turbid as the sun nestled into the bosom of the Plains that evening. Then, either my contacts needed to be changed, or something else was going on. A pattern of lace veiled the horizon, just as the yellow orb disappeared. 

Here's another watercolor that I impressed with a plastic lace — with the intention of making a sunset.


Sunday, January 25


6" x 6"
Watercolor on Yupo
Feathers were fluttering from the pine tree in my courtyard the other day. When I looked up at the source, nondescript bird parts were lodged in the spiny needles overhead. The wind distributed them onto my sidewalk according to weight and size. Now all that's left up in that tree, after a couple of days of gravity and wind are downy tufts.  I've seen a hawk swooping in my neighborhood in suburban Chicago, so I suspect he dropped the unsuitable plumage where he thought it would do the most good — at the feet of an artist.  

Yup, it's on Yupo.  And They were FUN to paint.


Saturday, January 24


6" x 8"
Watercolor and Ink on Yupo
The title "Trio" refers to three colors and three applications. My first application was to slather grayed blue over the Yupo and press a plastic lace into it.  I let it dry and then stenciled the acanthus swirls in analogous, yet the remaining complementary colors. After it was all dry, I used a waterproof pen to squiggle and dot in the shadows. 

I had so many ideas of what to paint on or around the blue pattern, but the swirling acanthus won… this time.


Friday, January 23


6" x 6"
Watercolor on paper
This piece is made almost entirely of watercolor sticks and watercolor markers. The pines are markers. I held the sticks like my hard pastels and allowed my hand to do the squiggle like I do with pastels. Then I took a brush of clear water and wet the highly pigmented squiggles to drag color over the entire page. I may do more of these, but I need to control the intensity — just a bit!  Ya think?


Thursday, January 22


6" x 12"
Watercolor on Yupo
The wide, red pathway maundered between an opening in a fence… not quite a gate, but welcoming, nonetheless. Come see what's beyond, it beckoned.  

I shall, once I get there to see it with my own eyes. This is from a photo I found. I'm trying to match colors to see if I'm taking the right palette with me. Space is limited! I will be responsible to carry everything myself… no man will be with me to help. Alas, I'll manage. Giggle.


Wednesday, January 21

Hopes and Dreams

"Hopes and Dreams"
6" x 9"
Watercolor on Yupo
In preparation for my visit to Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, I'll be doing a series of landscape sketches to capture the essence of the sky, rocks and vegetation. I'm unaccustomed to the shapes and colors of the subject matter, so I need to figure it all out. 

Put it down, let it puddle or play with it. It doesn't seem to matter. I can move paint around for the day if I want to with this "paper." It's fun to play, but I need to think about the economy of strokes and time spent on a … sketch.


Monday, January 19


5" x 12"
Watercolor on Yupo 
The simple landscape was appealing yet intimidating as I taped the "paper" to my drawing board.  No easel here… gravity has her way with this material, more than ever before. 

The purpose of this painting was to see if I could do the natural progression; to paint something else I've done before, just not on this ground. I like the Impressionistic strokes that occur easily. I'll be doing more of these.



7" x 8.5"
Watercolor on Yupo 
I'm returning to my roots — my artistic roots. I taught myself to paint watercolors while I was in college to become a chemist. When THAT didn't work out, I became a wife and mother and continued to dabble in watercolor. My dabbles looked like the image at the bottom of today's post, back in the day. And now I'm playing with new products and they make me paint like… this!  

I spent some time this afternoon puddling, stamping, stenciling and playing with traditional transparent watercolors, a brush and a Winsor and Newton watercolor sticks. They look like the hard pastels I use, but these are pure pigment watercolors. They can be drawn on dry paper or wet, squiggled into a puddle on a palette and made into a brush-able mixture.  The pure pigments of the sticks impressed me. The yupo paper (actually plastic) is a lot like painting on a gessoed surface. The paint stays and dries on the impenetrable surface.  If it isn't to your liking, just wipe it with a tissue, Q-Tip or put the entire thing under the faucet and bid it adieu.

More tomorrow.


Sunday, January 18

In Praise of Sunlight

"In Praise of Sunlight"
24" x 36"
Oil on wrapped canvas
On June fifth of last year the sun performed her duties brilliantly by lighting this peony so that I could document her for this large painting in the middle of January. This large painting took me several days to paint, unlike the small pieces I normally do to post. 

I bet you thought I was on holiday in some balmy paradise.  Nope. That's next month.  And in preparation for that trip, I've been experimenting with some new watercolor products. I hope I have something interesting enough to post in the next day or so.


Sunday, January 11

Morning Prayers

"Morning Prayers"
22" x 28"
Oil on wrapped canvas
Color basted morning like butter over a turkey. 

I've been painting, in spite of the appearance of my blog. I painted fifteen skies on one large canvas over the past several days. I used a limited palette of two reds, two blues, two yellows and white to make up this prayerful piece.


Sunday, January 4

Painted Lady

"Painted Lady"
20" x 16"
Oil on wrapped canvas
Her nails were painted in all the warm colors of that evening's sunset. She was resplendent as she opened her petals to the New Year, exuding a sensual warmth from her core. 

This is my first large painting in a while. I photographed her a year ago in a greenhouse at the Botanic Gardens, but wasn't up to painting all those different colored points with an eyelash brush… until now. The greens were painted yesterday and all the reds and yellows were painted today.  She was as enjoyable as I anticipated. I'm especially fond of the prickly pears in the top background. They are exactly how I wanted them to be… succulent.


Saturday, January 3

Gold in Them Thar Hills

"Gold in Them Thar Hills"
6" x 6"
Oil on hardboard
The setting sun plated the distant hills with the look of gold leaf, like the capitol domes in many cities. The gold was a fleeting illusion, but probably what prospectors dreamed of back in the day. 

My first post of this New Year is not quite what I had planned, but my next one will be worth the wait.  I'm working on a cactus that is not quite a one-day painting. I needed some drying time to place the prickly spines and background flowers. Hopefully it will dry enough overnight to finish it.