Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rosicrucian Cactus

"Rosicrucian Cactus"
9" x 9"
Watercolor and Sumi Ink

Source photo

I usually don't post twice in one day, but today is the exception. I finally finished a painting! I started this piece about 3 weeks ago, but the Open Studios work, cycling education, and traveling got in the way. The piece had its roots in a plein air session with Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society at the Rosicrucian Museum in early April. We had a lovely sunny day and I was so taken with this sturdy old plant that I took several pictures. I knew then that I planned to paint a structure that day, so the photos would be for reference later. I liked the shapes and the suggestion of color.

I selected an Adjacent-Complementary Tetrad color scheme from Nita Leland's book, "Confident Color." So basically I used yellow and green against magenta and blue. I painted the piece using lots of artistic license and then added some sumi ink with a bamboo pen to the star of the show. I like the abstract qualities of the background against the defined, colorful branch.

I seem to be a serial painter. Somehow I must finish one piece before beginning another, so I would not allow myself to start the Memorial Day paintings I have in my head before I completed this work. I've always been very goal-driven, perhaps the result of being the oldest of seven children. I want to learn to have several paintings in process at one time. Next up is a scene from the San Luis Obispo railway station that is in my head and not my camera. I will begin the sketch today.


Barbra joan said...

Mary this is so wonderful, I see you have a lots of knowledge of the color ... thats where education comes in ,, I'm assuming that you did, because you seem to have all the expertise, I so regret not having done that. Just getting to where I am has been (and still is) a struggle. My pencil work comes as easy as though I was born to it. But watercolor is my passion and I am never satisfied, not even a bit.

Mary Paquet said...

Barbra, you are very kind with your comments. I am working more on learning color because I know how much I need it. I took two courses from Mike Bailey and realized I often confused color and value. Mike is a terrific teacher, and you can learn much from reading his blog.

I have a lot more to learn about color. Myrna Wacknov, a marvelous artist, mentioned Nita Leland's latest book. I especially like Nita Leland's two books -- she's a real color pro. So I am making an effort to consciously select color patterns now.

Unlike you, I have had to really work at my pencil skills, and a few years of weekly drawing class has really helped me improve my skills. I just knew I needed to do that to improve my art.

I love taking workshops and am now on the workshop committee for Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society, so for work done, I get a break on them. I am very excited that while in my home state of Vermont, I will get to take a one-day class from Annelein Beukenkamp.

Like you, I am never satisfied with what I produce. Maybe that is human nature. I am in awe of your watercolors, so you are being way too critical of your own work.

simoart said...

Hi Mary
This is a beautiful painting. You have done a great job with the coloring on this piece.

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks for checking in, Simoart. I love your blog about Arthur and his work -- he's lucky to have such a proud and loving mom.

Megha Chhatbar said...

Well done Mary! Cactus are huge source for good painting...Keep it up and I will be back for more such nice drawings..:)

Mary Paquet said...

Megha, so nice to see your cheery comments, and I am happy that you had a great vacation.

Anonymous said...

You complimentary tetrad works well in this watercolor. I'm busy working through her book right now. I like the semi abstract approach you took which makes for an interesting watercolor.

Mary Paquet said...

Jeanne, thanks for checking in. I like some abstraction and I love shape.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Hi Mary, I like the simplicity of your subject and how the pen and ink defines your center of interest. Lovely color!

Mary Paquet said...

Thanks for checking in, Peggy.

Ellen Roles said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog a few weeks back.....and for the kind words......I like this catus work. creative use of color, good composition. you filled the the page with entertaining stuff. Good Job.. Ellen Roles

Mary Paquet said...

Ellen, thanks for stopping by and leaving a very encouraging comment. I was pleased to discover you had visited my blog while I was on vacation.