|"In the Pink"|
10" x 10" Torn Magazine on Canvas Collage
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Friday, January 16, 2015
3 feet x 3 feet
Torn magazine on canvas collage
Saturday, January 3, 2015
|"The City That Never Sleeps"|
36" x 36" Torn Magazine Collage
I am currently focusing on collage, though I still paint. This piece took a while and went through a couple iterations. Here is the original piece that I thought was done until sharing with my critique group.
One of the very accomplished artists noted the white was isolated on one side and another said remember how the master makes the collage emerge from the background. So I bravely went back and collage out the white. I like the result, which is a bit more dramatic.
I will catch up with my blog friends as I get back in the swing of things.
Monday, December 1, 2014
For those who don’t know me, I am a painter and collage artist who grew up in Vermont and has lived many years in San Jose, California. I took up watercolors about 20 years ago, and more recently have moved into mixed media and collage. I am a Past President and current Board Member of the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Association (SCVWS) with 400 members. I host open studios and participate in several art shows a year. Blogging is a perfect way to share my art, because it combines two of my passions: art and writing. Participating in the blog community has brought me friends and broadened my knowledge of art.
I am focusing on some torn magazine collage on canvas pieces. At a recent workshop in Taos, NM, Gwen Fox encourage me to do more collage. SCVWS is sponsoring a juried show in March open to all forms of watermedia, including paper on canvas, and we can enter up to three pieces. I am hoping to enter a few pieces and make the cut.
"The City That Never Sleeps"
I just completed "The City That Never Sleeps" which is 36" x 36." I also like to combine paper that I've made with acrylic paint, as I recently did in "Letters from Home." There are more in my future.
"Letters From Home"
|"Fall Rains In the Vineyards"|
A week ago I painted at beautiful local winery with the SCVWS plein air group during some fall rains that helped paint my watercolor, "Fall Rains in the Vineyards."
I am also liking acrylics. "Happiness" is a good representative of my acrylics and close-focused works.
|"Poppies on the Faultline"|
My art is influenced by a life filled with travel, ballroom dancing, bicycling, art, and spending time with family and friends. I often paint landscapes, especially painting plein air with like-minded artists. I frequently fill the picture plane with a piece of an architectural feature or plant, as I did when painting "Marinka's Figs" in Croatia, to deliver an unusual view.
|"Hoping We Get Some Wind"|
I paint people observed in daily life and travels. My paintings focus on the commonality of mankind, while hinting at the qualities that make the person unique.
3. Why do I create what I do?
Since my childhood, I have expressed my creativity in drawings and making small objects. In my teens and through my middle life, I sewed clothing for myself and family and did crafts with my sons. After the children left home, I had a strong desire to do fine arts and began taking workshops. Now that I am retired from my corporate career, I devote many hours to my art. I am very visual and tactile, and I have a passion for capturing common experiences and observations that speak to others.
Collage is very challenging and takes many hours, especially for large pieces, such as 36" x 36". I select pieces of papers and objects that contribute to a recognizable shape. I often include memorabilia to tell a story. Much of the final result depends upon randomness as there is no way I can plan completely how the work will come together. The viewer is pulled into the painting as they discover unusual images that make up the art -- a stiletto in the hat, a purse in the hair, and words that give hints to the story.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
"Fall Rains in the Vineyards"
22" x 15" watercolor
|"Artists at Work"|
11.5" x 5.5" watercolor
Thursday I joined the plein air group at Clos La Chance Winery, a gorgeous winery about 15 miles south of my home. Many paint sites are north of me, so I grab at the chance to go south, away from traffic. Weather predictions were very iffy, with rain predicted for about 1 pm. We had a great turnout of hardy artists.
The vineyards, though past their peak color, were still very beautiful shades of gold, rust, and red backed by colorful mountains with clouds and fog over them. I began the top painting with a watercolor wash. Contrary to my saying I would paint over acrylic, I felt I couldn't prime the paper ahead of time because I was unsure of the colors, and I did not want to do it in the field. I had laid in the wash and started the painting when it began to rain, three hours ahead of schedule. My painting shows the sprinkles on it. I took refuge under a winery patio umbrella and continued to work the painting. I decided to embrace the pointillist look as part of the atmosphere. I felt a bit like George Seurat painting "Picnic in the Park."
We are all thrilled to have some rain in drought-stricken California, so no one uttered a complaint, just went on painting. At one point I strolled up above my paint site and caught a photo of three of the artists painting with a brush in one hand and an umbrella in the other. They very nicely wore jackets of primary colors -- yellow, blue, and red. I had to paint them. For this little sketch, I selected my panoramic Arches pad, so I could show the colorful landscape.
Three hours of painting was followed by lunch. The winery folks very nicely allowed us to use tables set up for an event inside. The place is like a French Riviera villa, so we enjoyed really fine digs for our picnic lunches. Check out the photos on the paintsites blog and enjoy co-leader Brad's playful description. He is one terrific writer.
I headed home in quite a downpour -- LOVELY!
Friday, November 14, 2014
|Georgia O'Keefe Country|
14 x 11 Watercolor
Following advice from Gwen Fox and Stephen Quiller, I did an acrylic underpainting of Azo Yellow on the bottom and Pthalo blue on the top. I then developed this painting in watercolor. I love that you can lift color so easily, which is how I developed the cottonwoods and shrubbery on the butte. For example, I lifted back to the Azo Yellow on the cottonwoods and then added color to give them shape. The color looks a bit less harsh in person than in this photo.
I also received a lovely thank you card from Gwen Fox for attending the workshop and spending some extra personal time with her. She took photos of the painting she deemed our best and made a card with our painting, a photo of the workshop attendees, and a personal message. The workshop was about how to market you art. Gwen is very good at marketing!
Saturday, November 8, 2014
10" x 13" Watercolor
I had a half-done painting that was not pleasing me, so I gessoed over it. I could still see shadows of shapes underneath. I decided to just go with those shapes and create my own scene using blues, yellows, orange, and green. Though I don't consider this painting highly successful, I can see that I might like to do more mixing of watermedia.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
13 x 14" Acrylic
Thursday, October 30, 2014
10" x 12" Acrylic
Gwen suggested I extend a few grasses above the blue mountain, which I will do when I get at painting again.
Monday, October 27, 2014
|"Taos in Living Color"|
Sunday, October 26, 2014
|"Fall at Smith College"|
8" x 10" acrylic and watercolor
I want to work more with acrylic, which I first learned in a couple private lessons from friend/professional artist/teacher, Joyce Barron Leopard. The first day I made several small paintings of the colorful leaves at Smith College in Massachusetts where we met up with granddaughter Jamie. This piece was my favorite of the bunch, combining an underpainting in acrylic leaving some whites, and doing the image in watercolor over the wash.
One of my favorite design elements is shape, and a slide show of our art that Gwen arranged showed two of my collages, one at the beginning and one at the end of my presentation. That was intentional -- Gwen loves my collages which express a strong sense of design. I will apply my expanding knowledge of acrylic in my collage work. Meanwhile, I developed the common theme of shape in the workshop paintings.
Tomorrow I will show you my painting on the following day in which I expressed the characteristics of the Southwest in a semi-abstract acrylic painting.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
I decided to paint a stately old oak tree and was painting away when a vision appeared on the wet green grass -- three small children playing with their two brightly colored umbrellas. I could just imagine them telling mommy that they needed to use their new umbrellas, even though the rain stopped. I snapped a few photos from very far away and included the little tikes in my painting. That means, of course, that they are not ideally positioned and have become the center of interest. I so wanted them in the painting that I gave myself permission to include them.
Saturday, September 27, 2014
|"Hoping We Get Some Wind"|
16" x 23" Watercolordd caption
|Framed and ready to go|
You can see that I changed the lighting and the angle of the lighting which I felt made for a stronger design. Of course, I had to imagine it, so I hope I was fairly accurate. I decided to use 300 lb. Arches Hot Press paper which gives quite a painterly look with it's resistant surface. I used a different approach, not doing an under painting as I did before. I changed the color on the fence and Martin's shirt. I also went for more modeling on the clothing. I had to capture the photo of the framed piece at an angle due to all kinds of reflections on the glass.
The Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's 49th Membership Show promises to be a good one with slightly over 100 entries. There are 400 people in the society and all are welcome to enter a piece of art. The show is not juried, but it is judged. This year, Robert Semans, a fine oil and pastel painter who happens to teach my Monday morning drawing class, will be the juror who selects the award winners.
Yesterday I spent a wonderful day at the beach with fellow SCVWS artists at the Santa Cruz Paintout. To be precise, we were painting that day in Capitola, a gem of a beach town. I will post once I have completed my 3 pieces, which are almost done.
Monday, September 8, 2014
|"A Modern Venus"|
14" x 16" Pastel
Sunday, September 7, 2014
|"Hoping for Some Wind"|
15" x 24" Watercolor
Friend Penny, a fellow artist, suggested the title of the painting. I am still trying to decide if this will be the piece I enter in the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society's Annual Members Show. I have to make a decision by Friday.