Tuesday, January 26, 2010

California Poppies

"California Poppies on the Fault Line"
14" x 21"
Watercolor on Paper

Today I completed a challenge from Betsy Dillard Stroud's "Painting from the Inside Out." Betsy's instructions were to draw a floral and then draw geometric shapes over it. I used my little Japanese brush pen that holds water in the handle and new gamboge to draw the image. Select a limited palette and start by painting some grays mixed on the paper around the shapes. I used Pthalo Blue, New Gamboge, and Alizarin Crimson.



Alternate warm and cool, light and dark colors.



Unfortunately, I can't quite replicate the colors here. The lower right rectangle looks green here and is more grey on the paper. I thought about how Peggy Stermer-Cox has such a fine sense of design and magnificent use of color in her pieces with strong geometric and organic shapes, the result of many hours of artistic work. Peggy is very inspirational to me. I'm glad I took the progress pictures, because I would like to create another painting and keep the greys light as shown above.

I just saw a powerful painting related to the Haitian earthquakes on Hallie Farber's blog. Check it out along with the comments. I spent time in Haiti in 1985 and was impressed by the strength of the people in an impoverished land. Living in earthquake country, my primal fears are stirred by such events, along with my compassion for the people. While Hallie expresses her emotions so strongly in her piece, I retreat to California Poppies. The fractured look of my painting reflects my thoughts.

Lastly, I want to thank Pam for her mention of my blog on her blog. Pam is very articulate and her art has simplicity, beauty, and depth, along with frequent humor. Come join the fun of following Pam's creative path.

20 comments:

Megha Chhatbar said...

Amazing work Mary! The colors are so nice as usual. I love those geometrical design. Well done!

Sheila said...

I agree with Megha, this is amazing work. You really know how to turn a technique and make it your own. Thanks for the links, I'm going to check them out now.

Mary Paquet said...

Megha, thanks for your comments on my geometric design.

Sheila, I have to admit that my interpetation is very personal and my finished product is quite different from Betsy's. My personal style always takes over!

PAMO said...

Mary- do you teach a class as well? I think you certainly have the skill and ability to do so. Your work is magnificent! I love this piece- it's very strong. Thank you for the nod- I'm humbled.

Marie Theron said...

Mary, I love the design qualities of this work! The moment I read the name, I realised that I have actually seen Californian poppies in 2008. They were growing quite wild along the roads.

Mary Paquet said...

Pam, I have not felt I was a good enough artist to teach a class. I was a trained high school teacher and did much teaching at IBM and I teach cycling classes. I do enjoy teaching very much. I am honored by your comments.

Marie, I take it you visited California in 2008. The poppies grow wild all over the hillsides and valleys and the time is near for them to do so -- spring. They are prolific and beautiful. I've decided to explore the poppies a bit more in a series, and I want to be creative with the design.

Claire M said...

Lovely painting of the poppies! California poppies are one of my most favorite flowers! It was also fun to see the progress with your shots of the picture in progress. Have a wonderful day.

Mary Paquet said...

Hi, Claire. I thought that the progress paintings could be helpful to me as I move forward with design. Like you, the California Poppies are one of my favorite wild flowers. Thanks for stopping by.

hwfarber said...

Mary, this is an amazing work and I'm glad you took photos along the way. I want to try watercolors--UPS brought some today--and your instructions will help.

Thank you for mentioning my blog. "Coverage" has gotten a lot of comments; I guess each of us was affected by the news of the earthquake and felt rather helpless.

I like the way you handled it in "California Poppies."

Mary Paquet said...

Hallie, I am enjoying getting to know you through the blog world. I'm happy that you are giving watercolor a try. If you have any questions about the techniques I've shown, just send me an e-mail. I look forward to seeing what emerges.

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

Thank you Mary! I'm deeply honored. I like these poppies! So much fun! The design is wonderful. I think you might have fun doing them again! Wow!

Christiane Kingsley said...

Mary,
this latest painting of yours took my breath away. Wow! I love the design and the colors.

Mary Paquet said...

Peggy, thanks -- I want to think of some variations -- I know, get out the sketch pad!

Christiane, glad you liked this one!

Margaret Ryall said...

Your first California poppy painting is amazing. I like the colour scheme. It is always interesting when you get to see the build up of a work. I've also tried this exercise from the Stroud book. My results were not as lively as yours.

Watercolorist said...

The colors and design are lovely. Thanks for sharing the technique. You are so innovative with your art. FYI I've put a link to your page down the right side of my blog.
Jean

Dean H. said...

Great painting. Love the geometric idea. I tried that long ago and without the success that yours had!

Gary Keimig said...

Like Dean, I like how you handled the geometric patterns. It all makes for a very pleasing painting.

Mary Paquet said...

Margaret and Dean, it's always interesting to hear from other artists who tried the same approach. I thinks there is some additional exploratory options here.

Jean, thank you for adding a link to my blog from yours!

Gary, I always enjoy hearing from you. I love following your western art.

Nina E Jørgensen said...

Wow this piece is very nice, its like a cubist flower almost! Brilliant! And thanks for visiting my blog, i did realize that putting on a photo where you could see my face would probably make me connect better with other bloggers! Im glad it worked!

Mary Paquet said...

Nina, thanks for the nice comment. I think I have an affinity with the cubists, somehow.

Glad the photo is working for you! Nice to see the real Nina.