Personal Art Blog

Sharing the lessons I teach at the Artist Guild and the personal discoveries in my art.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Purple Cabbage Study

Purple Cabbage Study

6x6in  oil on canvas board  $100. SOLD

Remember the fellow member of the guild  who brought me
the yellow cauliflower? This time she came with a cabbage.
An unusual one. Deep purple center and green outer leaves.
Her farmers market is obviously super special.

Artist note.

When my husband saw this he asked what it was! Oh boy!
I thought I had better show the photo.

I pushed some bits of color into this purely for the pleasure
of livening up that green. I used a knife and enjoyed the
push and pull of the paint.

Here is the cabbage. Seeing is believing!

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Monday, August 26, 2013

Watercolor Weekend - floral still life

Floral Still Life #1

9x7in watercolor on acid free paper NFS

A bouquet of flowers in one of my favorite vases.

Artist Note.

Still getting comfortable with using fracturing in my
watercolors. This time I tried more of a full set-up
instead of the vignette format. I went a little bit larger
to make it easier. I enjoyed doing it and like parts
of this one very much and the areas I do not like I have
a good idea what I would not do again, and that is
always a victory.

In my last post I asked for advice on painting pale
colored flowers in the interior shade. Outside shade
would have been much easier because the blue sky
would have added a beautiful touch of cool shades.
I really thank those who emailed me and those who helped
in the comment area. I listened and did some (many) sketches
in watercolor using the advice suggested.
When I started 
to blog I never realized how important it would become.
I am pushing myself to continue to learn, explore and grow
all because of the support and encouragement from the 
community of fellow bloggers.
What a wonderful and special gift . I feel blessed.

The study below happened because of the advice from:
Hilda, Libby, Bruce, Blanche and Carol on my blog and
also more thanks to Sue, Rita, Penny, Dave and Paul
by email. They all basically said to darken the background
and have light hitting for contrast. This one does not capture
the beauty I remember with no strong light for contrast, but
it was impossible for me to achieve that so this is a sketch
that came the closest.
Now to try it in oil.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Farmers Market #16

Farmers Market #16

6x8in oil on canvas panel  $125. SOLD

The flower stall at the farmers market was a glorious
riot of color.

Artist Note.
My favorite flower stall is still to come, but is difficult to paint
and I am thinking I may not be able to manage it.
It had a lot of pale colored flowers in white tubs
- delicate lavenders and pinks, white, creams and pale greens.
They appealed to me in a different way than the bright colors,
but as they were kept in the shade it became really hard to 
see the flowers stand out. They maybe impossible for me to
paint and I will have to wait until I know how to accomplish it.
I am appealing for your help.
Any suggestions will be gratefully received.   Pleeeeease!
If you do not want to comment publicly then email me at

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Watercolor Weekend - Santa Fe Trip

Santa Fe House

6x8in watercolor on acid free paper  Not for sale

We enjoyed a lovely trip to see a friend from Portland, OR
who was visiting Santa Fe  for the Indian Market.
We stayed with a couple of dear friends who treated us
like royalty. Bliss. They have a new and stunning Standard Poodle.
Meet Master Dash. I had so much fun playing with him.
May he have a long and happy life.

Artist Note
Still continuing my exploration into my fracturing technique
with watercolor.
I was thrilled to find Strathmore has a mixed media pad which
I tried out over the weekend and
was pleased with the colors staying pretty true and it can
take some lifting and scrubbing. I have shown the pad with
some of the paintings I did using it, in the photo below.

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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Farmers Market #15

Farmers Market #15
Red cabbages.

8x6in oil on canvas panel $125.

Visiting the wonderful farmers market in Santa Cruz, CA.

Artist Note.

I got side tracked on my market series.
The red cabbages really attracted me to this particular
guy's stall.
Still have more FM to do because I haven't even got to the
flowers yet and you know how I like painting them.

My last two paintings I have worked more with the
palette knife and I wonder if it has anything to
do with the watercolor sketches I have been doing.
Thick versus thin?

I am off to Santa Fe for the weekend and am leaving
right after class in the morning. I am excited. Hubby will be
driving so I will paint all the way there and back.
Life doesn't get any better than this.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sunflowers In Porcelain

Sunflowers In Porcelain

6x8in  oil on canvas panel  $125.

The rains came and worked their magic.

Artist Note

Lots of texture - almost all of it painted with a knife.
(Thanks for the reminder, Dean H.)
I love placing the sunflowers in this large porcelain vase.
The blue and white pattern makes the yellow/gold pop!

Sunflowers are abundant at the moment.
Look at the bounty so freely shared.
Not my garden I am afraid.
It is hard to gauge from the photo how
large some sunflowers can get. There were a few at
least 10 inches across.

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Monday, August 12, 2013

Watercolor Weekends - Sunflowers

Sunflower Study

8x6in watercolor on acid free paper. Not for sale.

Artist Note.

I had fun with this one. It was the quality of the paper I think.
Much easier to do the fracturing technique.
I used Strathmore 4ply Smooth paper.
(left over from my illustration days)
I remember Strathmore was my favorite brand.
Always consistent in quality. I also remember the awful
smell Arches brand used to make when I wet it.
Is it still like that?

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Sunday, August 11, 2013

Watercolor Weekends - Red Onions

Red Onions
5x7 watercolor on acid free paper  Not for sale

I am going to be having Watercolor Weekends for a while.
I will be making my hubby happy as I can sit and paint
next to him while he watches the golf.

Artist Note.

Still not comfortable with fracturing in watercolor.
Trying a different paper tomorrow.- with sunflowers.

Another member of the Artists Guild - Ann Spier, brought
in these truly gorgeous, deep red onions. The outer skin has
almost an iridescent glow to them. Ann also brought in a yellow
cauliflower - see below.

Does anyone know what this type is called?
It is truly an amazing deep, rich yellow. I tried to paint it but
it never looked like a cauliflower.
 More like a yellow broccoli!

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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Crabapple Study

Crabapple Study

6x6in oil on canvas board  $100.

I have been told that crabapples make a wonderful jam.
I wonder why the name 'crab" apple. Anyone know?

Artist note.

After painting these in watercolor it felt weird to use oil paint.
A good weird though as it shakes me out of any comfort zone
I may be feeling..
I tried for similar colors as in the watercolor, but look how
different they appear. I guess I will be going back and forth
in my quest to achieve a cohesive style between the two mediums.
Almost completed another oil crabapple in a rectangular format.
I also finished another farmers market. Love doing those and still
have more to do, but these gorgeous branches came along...
A pat on Julie's back for productivity!

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Watercolor Fracturing - Crabapples #2

 Crabapples #2

5x8  watercolor on acid free paper      Not for sale.

Continuing with the Crabapples.

Artist Note.
I am continuing with learning to use the fracturing technique in watercolor.
Tomorrow - back to oils. (looking forward to painting these with oils.)
Yesterday I posted a vignette style
and today I experimented putting in abstractly
some of the colors I saw around the container.
The dark area cements the design . That was an accident,
but I liked it and let it stay
I enjoyed the excellent comments about different watercolor paper yesterday.
Time to venture out maybe? I have been making do with what I have.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Watercolor Fracturing - Crabapples #1


Crabapples #1

5x7  watercolor on acid free paper Not for sale 

A friend from the Artist Guild brought me bunch of fabulous crabapples.
A big thank you to Phyllis Davis.

Artist Note.
I am on a quest to try and get my watercolors to look as if the same artist
painted them as my oils. It is a lot of fun.

There are two different types of crabapples in the container.
You can see the varied colors on the top left and right sides.
I have never painted crabapples before so I decided to do some
studies and become familiar with them first.
I used cartridge paper and a mechanical pencil then
I tried some watercolor just for color samples on top of a few of the drawings.

The reason I use cartridge paper is so I will not try to get "keepers."
If they are on a poor quality paper I am apt to be more free.
I am learning and practicing the fracturing method for watercolor
until I feel I am consistent so I will not be offering them for sale.
After saying that about the paper can be hard to goof up
on good paper, but I did.
I ruined the lower part of the #1 when I became
carried away with water. It is in my moleskin book which is a nice paper.
It sure makes it easier not to part with it!

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Friday, August 2, 2013

Farmers Market #14

Farmers Market #14

8x6in oil on canvas $125,

Oh does rain during the summer in California.
Life goes on, but the market was not as busy as the
previous sunny weekend..
Fully loaded, this lady was waiting for her ride, but
could not place her bags on the ground.
When I asked if I could sketch her she told me
her hubby was on his way and she would be gone
any moment. Wrong. She was still there when I had
moved on...tapping her foot.
I would hate to be in his shoes when he finally made it!

Artist note.

We had two days where it rained a soaking drizzle.
It reminded me of the constant Manchester rain.
The market colors became quite different in this
type of light. This was a back-lit view without the warm sun
to highlight everything.
When the rain first started it cast a really blue/gray light,
but by the time I was at the market it turned a warm grey.
It was then I realized the sun would be coming out in a little
while. I have never noticed the subtle
differences in rainy skies before so I got quite excited.
Shows how long I have been in the dessert.
Our rain is usually the monsoon type with dark, dark skies.

Thanks for all the supportive comments on my watercolor
adventures. Classes started at the Guild on the first so it
has been a hectic time.
I will get back in the routines in no time.

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