Sunday, April 26, 2009

On Display

Here is the collection of my work since last November that are on display at the Poquoson Public Library this month. I am always pleasantly surprised how much different a painting looks once its matted, framed and hanging! 

We came to Boston yesterday and its beautiful here with daffodils, tulips, cherrie blossoms, and dogwoods   just blooming everywhere and the trees full of  yellow green tender young leaves.  I am looking forward to visiting the various museums and also being outdoors just enjoying the spring.  I have been clicking away with my camera but won't be able to share the photographs on the blog yet since I forgot to pack the cord to upload them to the computer. The changing seasons definitely gives me a new appreciation of the world and life all around me.     

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Trial And Error

'Magnolia'  (watercolors 11x14") done about ten years ago when I was still learning to handle paint, was a breakthrough for me.  Magnificent magnolias were in bloom in a friend's garden, and  I had attempted to paint one blossom. I was not at all pleased with  the results.  In my frustration and disappointment, I took the painting to the bathtub,  washed the colors out and let the sheet dry. When it was a barely wet to the touch, I went over part of the painting wet on wet and added back the colors slowly adding details only to the flower and nothing else. I left the lower right corner pretty much alone except for splattering some paint on it. After all these years, I still struggle to leave part of white of the  paper alone, and often have to resort to washing the paints off  to get the desired effect. I guess therefore my technique is paint, wash, and paint again :)

I have been asked about how I painted the textures and 'underwater look' in my earlier post 'Painted Pebbles.'  After drawing the rocks, I rubbed lightly a white crayon on parts of the rocks  and rest of the drawing. The wax in the crayon resists watercolors and the white shows through.  For algae, I dipped a dry sponge in various colors and tapped it on some of the rocks. I used a toothbrush to splatter colors around. One fun technique was to transfer pictures using gesso which is explained here very clearly.  I cut a small piece of sunday color comics and used regular gesso (matte) for that.  Hope this is helpful. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Special Moment

This is Liza and her friend Ollie. I was inspired by the spontaneity, the love and affection I saw when she was giving Ollie a drink of water from her hand. The photograph this is based on is from a couple of years ago. I looked at it several hundred times before I finally cropped it, decided on the composition and sketch it last november.  Two days ago I finally plunged into doing the final piece.  Liza and Ollie are done in color pencils (10x8") 

Happy Birthday, Liza!  

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Like A Well-Filled Day

Today is the birthday of Leonardo da Vinci, born in Vinci, Italy in 1452. A legend in his own times and reportedly a strikingly handsome man, he was an extraordinary painter, musician, sculpture, inventor, philosopher and a scientist. And, he was a vegetarain too! His celebrated journals are filled with anatomical studies, elements of mechanics, studies for paintings and architecture. His dissections of the human body resulted in remarkably realistic and accurate figures. 'Leonardo, the Artist and the Man' by Serge Bramly is a well researched book about his fascinating life and is based on Leonardo's own notebooks. For my sketch today, as homage to the great artist, I decided to try copying a few of his sketches. Here is my attempt at his 'Hands' from the book 'Drawing Lessons From The Great Masters' by Robert Beverly Hale - the book to study classical figure drawing.

And MSNBC reported yesterday that a vividly colored portrait of Leonardo, dating to 1530 was recently found in a window in Arezzo's Cathedral, Tuscany, Italy.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Painted Pebbles

'By The Water's Edge' was an experiment in textures in  watercolor. I used various techniques I had learnt in a class I was taking and then took my time completing the painting.  I had been fascinated by the beaches along west coast during one vacation when we drove from Seattle to Vancouver.  The beach stones, rocks and pebbles were the inspiration for this painting. 

By Water's Edge watercolor with mixed media. 15x22"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Yesterday National Geographic News  had an article about the 2009 hurricane forecast for Atlantic Basin - 6  expected in 'average' season.  It is an annual ritual that always makes the headlines in our area.  As the weather starts to warm up, the prospect of upcoming  hurricane season is lurking in our minds.  'Red Boat' (watercolor, 9x14") is a reminder of 'Isabel' that devastated our area in 2003. It was the costliest and deadliest of the Atlantic hurricanes that year.  Poquoson was pretty much completely under water.  This  little boat had washed ashore near our house and lay abandoned for many months- just a small reminder of the devastation that was all around.   I really hope and pray that we will have a quiet season this year. 

The past few days were hectic ones for me.  I am the 'Artist of the Month' at the Poquoson Public Library, where a wall is showcasing 11 of my paintings.  So, for about fifteen days now I have not created any new art -just been busy matting, framing and getting ready to hang the paintings. And then spent the days since April 1st when I finally put the paintings on that wall, cleaning up the mess in my 'studio' and the rest of the house which had been totally neglected during all that frenzy. Tomorrow I have to report for jury duty which means I should take my sketch book with me so I can at least draw something since I am sure there will be a lot waiting around to do! 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Secrets of the Fog

The past few mornings have been very foggy. The rising sun and the fog are a magical combination. While all I do is to soak in the beauty, there are hosts of scientists who study the fog and nature's intricacies. The April issue of the Discover magazine has a fascinating article, Strange Forests That Drink and Eat Fog on several forests around the world that get their critical moisture and nutrients from fog. The interconnectedness of nature is a wonder in itself.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...