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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Time is running out!!

Just a few more days - until September 1st - to have this small oil landscape
sent to you at an amazing price!   

Fence Line, 5x7" Oil on canvas, ©2012, Helen Read 

Its ready to ship!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Original Watercolor Paintings featured in my Etsy Shop

 August Botanicals
These 7 small paintings are currently being featured in my Etsy Shop. 
The link above will take you there!  
They range in cost from $15.00 to $85.00
(based on the size of work)

Please click over and take a look!  What a great time to start or add to your collection of original works of art!   Should you wish matting to be added, there is a small additional charge for that. 

Along with the end of summer comes the beginning of a new school semester.  This week, I've returned to the classroom to meet my new students (about 160 of them this semester).   The semester, ready or not, is underway now.   My summer has been great and I hope yours was too!  I was able to do some travel and my family was in town for a wonderful visit too!   
Now, the fall is in view and fall activities are already beginning! 
In spite of the busyness of the new semester - I'll be working along in my studio! 
Keep in touch!!

Update:   Variegated Foliage (top center) - SOLD

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Dappled Light

Dappled Light,  8x6" watercolor on paper
©2012, Helen Read
ready to mat and frame

and on its way to Malaysia

Sunrise in the east!  As it washed through the trees and bounced off the evergreens in the foreground, I was charmed by the colors I saw!  I've tried to depict the oranges and yellows and the variety of greens as the sun began to peek through the branches.  This one takes on a somewhat abstract quality with the washes of color and the simplified shapes. 


Here's the process I used: 

First, using my reference photo, which I took this morning from my porch, I made a 
very minimal line drawing of the basic shapes and started with some 
washes of color within the areas I saw the colors.

I also put in some blues for the most shadowed area.  I didn't plan it this way, but I did end up with the primary colors as under washes. 
At this stage, I also put in some Miskit to keep certain areas white or the color of the wash that
I wanted to keep in that color. 

Now it was time to continue applying more color. 
I wanted to keep some areas of my under washes visible, so I had to be careful in how much paint to apply.  In my watercolors, the color green can easily become too garish.  To modify that, I added some rust to it, and some deeper yellows. 

After I added most of the color I needed.  I removed the Miskit by rubbing it carefully.  Now some new white was revealed, but I did not want it to remain a pure white. 
So I needed to add some very light washes.  Also, I added some details with fine lines. 
Its nearly done.  Some adjustments to the pure white areas that I uncovered needed some light
washes of color.  You can see the final version of this painting at the top of this post. 
Just a few more slight color adjustments were needed.  

I used pan watercolors by Pelican and #140 Arches watercolor paper. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

5 years ... and counting!

3 shell paintings from 5 years ago
The top 2 now live in Arkansas, the bottom one lives in California

It has occurred to me that my blog, Brushstrokes, etc. is now 5 years old!   Wow.... what an amazing 5 years it has been!   These 3 paintings were some of the earliest paintings I put here on my blog.  All 3 of them have sold and I got to meet wonderful people along the way as they did!  

Its pretty cool to look back and see the pathway one has traveled.  Looking forward, often, no pathway can be seen.   5 years ago, I became aware of the Painting a Day movement that had begun among artists.  I found that idea to be stunning and very inspiring.   And that was the first step on this particular part of the pathway.   The last 5 years have only been part of a bigger journey however, which you can read more about here at this link on my gallery blog.   Creating art in a meaningful way, being accountable to do that, and staying in touch with friends and making new ones through keeping a blog has been such delightful and sustaining endeavor!   Thank you for your continued  friendship for those I met and continue to interact with years ago, and thank you to those who are more recent friends.  

I look forward to seeing the pathway as it continues to unfold!  It will be fun to see how my work and ideas change as time goes by.   By reading my larger story, you will see that my path hasn't been easy or carefree.  There have been unforeseen obstacles, but God has been faithful!  And part of the goodness he's brought into my life through difficult times has been my connection with you through my art and my blog!    Thanks again!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Redesigned website

For the last few days, I've been working on a total website redesign.  Its nearly complete, and ready for some feedback.  My previous design had gotten rather difficult to use.  This is more streamlined, but I'm still not completely sure if it will serve the purpose.  I hope you'll take a look and let me know what you think!  

Now!  Back to the studio! 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Fence Line - Featured Painting

Fence Line, 5x7" Oil on canvas
©2012, Helen Read
Ready to Frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax)

This little landscape is a monthly featured painting.   I painted it in recognition of the several severe storms we've faced in the mid west this summer.  They've been severe when they've arrived, but then a rather lengthy drought between.   

This is a very typical fence line of the southwest, often made of sturdy tree branches with barbed wire strung between them. If you look closely, you will see small flowers embedded in the fence line as well. Also quite typical!  This evokes many memories of my childhood, growing up on ranch land. 

Please click here for more details and a convenient purchase link.
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