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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A larger floral watercolor progresses

Started last week, this larger watercolor is progressing. My goal is to capture the sparkle and vibrancy of the colors.  And I also plan to do something to make the background a little more interesting.   It is larger than many of my recent watercolors.  It measures 22 x 15". 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Coastal Water Sunset

Coastal Water Sunset, 6x4" watercolor on paper
©2015 Helen Read 
matted in white to fit an 8x10" frame
(Please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.) 

This summer, I had the opportunity to see this sunset.  I visited a small island in the southeast. The colors and the contrast of light against dark were stunning!  Breath taking, really....
I can still hear the sounds of the night; crickets, frogs, the sound of the wind in the sea grass... and of course, a few insects buzzing.    This small painting is an eye catcher for its color and contrast!  It would make a bright spot in any room.  It is ready to send!

Monday, January 19, 2015

First marks!

A new idea - a new work in the works!! 

I don't know what kind of light in which I took the top picture!   It really is white watercolor paper! 
In the next picture, it looks more correct - and you can also see the size of this one next to the 18" ruler to the left. 
I'm interested in creating the flowers, of course, but also doing something interesting with the background. Its uncharted territory for me - so we shall see how it all comes together!  Experiments are always a bit risky and the unknown is predominant until the last few marks are made. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Wrapped in Cellophane

Candy Cane - 7 x 10.5" colored pencil on paper
©2014 Helen Read 

The last big project I have my drawing students do each semester is a colored pencil still life.  It is the culmination of the skills they've learned during the semester.  From a simple line drawing - to the skills of transferring a picture using a grid - to learning to shade with precision - to composition - to color theory - to finally the freehand drawing of a still life and "painting" with colored pencil.  While they were working on their drawings, I worked on this small one (when I wasn't helping them!)  
However, I was intrigued by the plastic wrapping as well as the candy.  Here's what came of it!  Lots of fun... and quite a challenge! 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Reflecting on Goethe ~ Thoughts on Faith and Creating

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe,   1749-1832

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy – the chance to draw back.  Always ineffectiveness.
    Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth ~ the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment that one definitely commits one’s self  - then Providence moves too.  All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.  Whatever you can do or dream you can – begin it! Boldness has genius, power,
and magic in it!” 

I recently came upon this quote from Goethe, and it found its way deeply into my mind as I turned this over and thought about it for the next few days.  As an artist, it resonated with me and hit at some of the areas where I continually struggle.  Here are some of my thoughts as I challenge myself regarding his statement of more than 200 years ago. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Same subject - 2 mediums

I've wanted to do this for awhile.... and today I did!  I wanted to show the same subject in a few different media, in order to show what a different presentation they would make.  Here is the proof! 
The same reference picture ...  one done in oil pastels and the other done in watercolor.  You can certainly see that they come from the same reference - however - the overall sense of the finished piece is quite different.   Interesting!  Both the media (and the technique required to use it) and the supports are completely different.  Predictably, the finished works look completely different! 

Along the Roadside,  7.5 x 7.5 oil pastel on illustration board
©2015  Helen Read
matted in white and ready to frame in a 12x12" frame
(please add $10.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax) 

Dappled Light - Roadway, 8x6" watercolor on Yupo
©2015 Helen Read 
matted in white and ready to frame in a 12 x 10" frame 
(Please add $12.00 shipping in the US, IL residents please add 8.25% sales tax.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Finally, it is finished

Atop the Plateau,  20 x 24" Oil on canvas
©2014  Helen Read 
commissioned - SOLD

If you've been watching, this painting has taken some time to come together, but it is finally finished. 
It was commissioned and there was not any particular reference picture - but rather, a series of pictures to get the "idea" of what was wanted.  The person who commissioned it has been sent photos during the process to approve - and very soon, it will be sent off to its new home in New York.  
The paint is still drying - and it will need to be scanned on a large scanner.  Then, I will build a crate for it and it will be on its way!  
Its always exciting to create something that someone has envisioned, work with them through the process, and send off the final rendition for their home.
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