Thursday, September 13, 2012

Black and White

East Meets West in Black and White

Princessa, 11 x 14 black acrylic on white canvas

The reason that I began painting, and preferred painting to drawing is that I love color. Yet, I have become interested in black and white paintings.   The drama and freshness of this medium is in your face exciting, bold, BOLD.  I have tried a variety of subject matter, but really like the artworks with an eastern flair.
Sun Geisha,11 x 14 black acrylic on white canvas

 Little Doll,6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board
Emperess of the Sun, 6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board  

What a Ducks Got to Do,  Close up of 15 x 22 black acrylic on watercolor paper

Train to Durango, 15 x 22 black acrylic on watercolor paper
Fortworth Sky, 6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board 

Back Door View, 6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board 

Thumbs Up, 15 x 22 black acrylic on watercolor paper
Teddy Bear, Black Acrylic on Watercolor Paper

Lines,  6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board

His and Hers,  6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board

My Way, 6 x 6 Black Acrylic on White Board

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mustard and Icecream

Knowing When to Stop

Princess Geisha, Acrylic and Lacquer
Sometimes making art is like adding mustard to ice cream.  Just because you can put mustard on top of your ice cream it doesn't mean you should.   It just is not a good combination, and it will never be a good painting.  The key is knowing when it is working and when it is not or will not work.

I was looking and liking this painting last night and although it is very simple, I think that I stopped at the right moment for this particular work.  This is one of the most difficult things for an artist is to know when to stop.  I think that this is something that we continue to develop that is very difficult to do.  The biggest problem for painters in my classes is they work on pieces that looked great, then awful, because they did not stop soon enough.

Dancing in the Moonlight, Acrylic, Lacquer and Colored Pencil

Sometimes it is easy for me to know when to stop.  The paint looks beautiful, my eye is moving across the work, their is contrast between paint and idea, and it leaves room for the viewer to fill in what they see with their own ideas.  Sometimes it is not so easy.

The Sorceress, Acrylic and Lacquer

When this happens I work and work and it never seems to be just right.  I can keep going, and at times it will turn out or is not quiet as good as those who come together easily.  Sometimes it is trashed  or recycled into collage materials for the next artwork.

Dance of Life, Acrylic, Lacquer and Colored Pencil

I wonder if it is this uncertainty is what draws me to abstraction.  Life is unpredictable.  There are good times, great times, bad times and worse times.  Like in art, some days just need to hit the scrap pile.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could start these times over like we can in a painting?

Spanish Dancer, Acrylic, Acrylic mediums and Lacquer

My favorite idea (it must be a favorite because I repeat it to students so often) came from my first watercolor teacher who said, " Your first 100 watercolors will be trash, so expect it as you learn to paint for the paintings to not be good."  More realistically, or perhaps more accurately.  The more you paint the better you will become.  For me, it took more than 100 paintings, but a lot of years for my paintings to start to be what I want them to be.  It is still not a sure thing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Watermedia Houses

Architecture and Painting

I am really surprised when I am around other artists who do not want  to include buildings in their paintings. For me they add recognizable form to a landscape.  I suppose it is the perspective that many find threatening, but I have enjoyed buildings in both abstract, primitive and landscape painting.

The following landscapes were created right after I finished the Joyce Hicks watercolor workshop.

Spring Street, watercolor

Granbury Flower Garden, watercolor
Late Afternoon Sun, watermedia/acrylic
This next house was also created using Golden Acrylics, but in an thicker oil style.  Tip-- don't ever create a house which uses perspective in an oval.  It won't look right no matter what you do.

Cloudcroft Twilight

Joyce Hicks Workshop

Watercolor East Texas Workshop

At the last week of July I attended Joyce Hicks  workshop at SFA in  Nacogdoches.  You could not want a nicer group of artists than those at Watercolor East Texas, and I really enjoyed  Joyce's workshop.  I wanted to see her techniques because she works from her imagination.  There was no big insight on how she works, other than applying the elements and principles of design to her work.  Also, I now am a master of using a pallet knife in my watercolors.

The first painting is more overworked than  it should be.  It is a combination of ideas from different photographs.  I really did not master this in her technique.  I then painted two plein aire paintings from the great botanical gardens at SFA.  The third painting is my favorite from this workshop and the most successful in my opinion. 

Mountian Valley, Watercolor
Along the Way #1, Watercolor
Along the Way #2, Watercolor 
 Mountian Village, Watercolor

Monday, September 3, 2012

Puppy Love

Animal Oil Painting

Mr Theodore Bear, oil
Sometime in July about the same time I finished these two oil paintings which I worked on periodically.  Theodore and his brother in Santa Hats with their mother, Miss Molly McClay. They began as demonstrations, and I am delighted that they are finally finished.
Little Angel's Tea Party, oil
The second painting began as a demonstration in using light in a still-life in a dramatic way.  I am very happy in that the chihuahua has a very good likeness to my real little Angel.

Studies of Landscapes

Pastel Landscapes

Silvercreek, pastel on textured board
I have never been too excited about landscape painting but was truely excited by completing the  work began in Flattmann's work shop and continued to create a couple more pastels and begin another oil painting.  These pastel paintings were created on a textured board using both Pan pastel and Rembrant  Pastels which are both soft pastel brands.

The Coming Storm, pastel on textured board
This oil painting is created after the workshop.

Georgetown Street, oil

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Master Pastel Artist  Alan Flattmann

In July I was lucky enough to attend Alan Flattmann's Workshop at the Cloudcroft Art Society in Cloudcroft New Mexico.  Cloudcroft is a lovely cool breath of air for all those suffering Texans in the heat. 

I have not attended a pastel class and was excited to see an artist demonstrate and talk about this now popular media.  I learned a lot of basic things that I did not know about supports and techniques and am very grateful to Alan, who is a very informative instructor.

I finished one pastel and most of an oil in this workshop.

Autumn Morning, Pastel


Fun With Trees

Tree Collage and Mixed Media

When polled, the favorite assignment of Carol Nelson's workshop was the tree paintings.  I like this the least at the time, so I decided that I wasn't doing it correctly.  I completed the following paintings at the end of June before I went to Cloudcroft New Mexico.  I plan on using tree paintings as lessons for my painting class.  I have eight more in progress, so now I too like the tree paintings, almost as much as the mini abstracts.
Enchanted Forest, Acrylic

Hidden Woods, Mixed Media Watermedia

Woodland Wonder, Mixed Media Watermedia

Fairy's Wood, Mixed Media

The Ancient Wood, Mixed Media

Acrylic Faux Batik

Watermedia Batik

Geisha Trio, Watermedia
My favorite watermedia artist Stephen Quiller, writes in one of his water media books that one watercolor style acrylic technique  has the quality of batik.  Ah-ha I thought, I have studied traditional batik and could apply this knowlege to a new type of painting.  The following artworks are created in this faux batik style.  It is my personal invention based on his ideas.
Prayers, Watermedia

On Broadway, watermedia 
Violet Blossoms, Watermedia
Moonlight Blue Waters, Watermedia
Russian Reflections, watermedia

Sienna Village, Watermedia

Mornings Crow, Watermedia

Irish Rose, Watermedia

Morning Tea, Watermedia

Peacock Blue, Watermedia

 Child, Watermedia