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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

This week ~

Peach, 4.5 x 6" watercolor/acrylic on illustration board

This week has consisted mostly of working on commissions. I have 6 that are in the studio right now. But, in between things - I did this small painting of a peach. It is the 2nd in a small series of fruit I have some ideas for...

I hope to post the commissions I've been working on in the next few days.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New ideas

Red Poppies, 9x9" Colored Pencil on Black Paper

This colored pencil drawing represents some new ideas that I'm deciding how to approach.
First of all, even though a finished drawing here, I consider this a study in preparation for a larger painting - very possibly a series of paintings that I want to do - of magnified botanicals. It isn't a new idea, really - I've done quite a few over the years, as have many other artists ... but the idea behind this and some of the materials I hope to use will be new to me.

The idea comes from a small verse in the book of Matthew, "Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They neither work nor make their clothing - yet Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as they are. And, if God cares so wonderfully for the flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?" This verse resonates deeply with me. It has been my experience - repeatedly - that God has provided and cared for me when I was at the end of my resources, and done so in ways that were far beyond my wildest imagination! So, that being my personal experience, I thought about how to portray that... and it seemed to me that paintings that depict the beauty and hidden surprises of the "lilies of the field" might be a way to illuminate that idea in very visual terms. But, the idea behind this seems to need some elements beyond just a painting on a canvas. So, I'm experimenting with some new materials - which I hope to be able to show you soon.

In this colored pencil drawing, I hope you are captured by the color of the flowers - which is intense and hot - and the surprise of the small blue, almost purplish textured, center. Also, notice the light which seems to hang like jewels on the fuzzy stems of the buds. Of course, my rendition fades in comparison to the dazzling beauty of God's handiwork - which can be found in the most common of places - a gift given, a reminder that He provides for all our needs.

(Matthew 6:28-30)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pear ~ the next generation

Green Pear, watercolor/acrylic on illustration board

Well, I've been working on this smallish painting. What I had yesterday, I worked more on today. You can see the foliage has certainly been developed ... and the colors on the pear itself have more depth. I'm not sure if I have finished this one yet. It needs to sit and let me look at it a little while. I have some ideas in my mind for what to do with this and some others like it.
More on that later!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Pear - a watercolor preliminary

Pear, watercolor study on illustration board

Because time has been very short this month - various things - I find myself attracted to quick water color studies. I plan to go on with this one (as you can see, it is still very preliminary)
and refine it further. It should be soon that the next version is posted!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

7th in the series:

Plant Play, 4.25 x 5.5" Watercolor/ink on paper

For those of you who have enjoyed the cat paintings - here is the 7th. The first 4 of these are available as notecards (see the right hand column of the blog for more information). These small paintings are a playful look at what goes on when cats are in the family! They are colorful and playful and not at all like the typical work I've done. Its fun to do something different!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Feather further refined ~

Black feather study 2

I've worked a little more on this feather and tried to add in some of the colorful undertones that appear in the black color of the feather. This work started with watercolor - and now I've added in acrylic (also used as water media). The "black" is actually a combination of colors including some ivory black, but not much - quite a bit of alizeron crimson, some ultramarine blue, even a little golden yellow. Though it is a little hard to tell from this photo, it is a warmish black with an almost velvety appearance. Under the feather, I used a little white mixed in with my colors and a little more blue for the shadow. The end of the feather that becomes fuzzy, used a little more yellow to create a browner tone. Finally there are some very thin highlights along the edge of the ruffled part of the feather, which are not white (they appear to be so against the black) but are actually very pale blue.

The technique I used was a glazing technique - of light wash over light wash, building up layers of color. It can't be shown in the photo, but it does acquire a type of sheen. I think I've gone about as far as I can go with this ... it is done on illustration board, which can be used for this type of paint, but it is certainly not designed for it. I'd like to try the feather again using water color paper and see the outcomes using a different surface.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Break is over ... and I am back home after a great trip to visit my son at college! But - as you may have noticed, I haven't been working in the studio for a few days.

black feather study - watercolor on illustration board

However, I began working on this small study last night - a watercolor and a first study for a black feather that I hope to refine and continue working on. It is challenging to find the color of black ... it is more of a velvety purple black and the color of the shadows. Did you know that black - like white - isn't just one color ... but has innumerable possibilities! This is a very first study - so stay tuned for more to come!
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