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The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, Stone walkway on the grounds, 15H x 22W inches watercolors on 80 lb premium acid free paper, white mat
There are days when a falling leaf is just a falling leaf, but today one caught my eye as it floated down then caught an updraft, then flipping sideways and rolling over a few times, it seemed to be avoiding its final destination as long as it could. It was five seconds of beauty I will never forget!
I’m sure my friend and mentor, Jo Williams will not mind me passing along her note of a quote by Judith Hanson Lasater: “As many times a day as you can, find something to be grateful for because that will connect you with yourself, with others, and with the wider world. And we need to do this MOST when things are their most difficult in our lives. ”
Maybe the leaves have fallen like that all season, but I was too busy grumbling about raking half of them from our neighbour’s yard. I’ve been too busy detailing the house inside and out, trying to get it listed as soon as possible. There have been issues this winter of solid ice in the eves-troughs, and having to chip away and melt trails with boiling water so the roof run-off would flow properly. I was too annoyed to notice the incredible phenomena on the other side of the house that were created by the very same problem.
Left and above: alien-like forms were created when slow-melting ice dripped from the eaves-troughs onto shaded Dogwood branches.
Before the snow and frigid temperatures last week, the pansies were finally filling in and gorgeous alongside the back yard fence. When winter came with a vengeance and would not let go, so did my view that, “Aww, the pansies are frozen!”, but yesterday,it changed to: “Awe! The pansies are frozen!”
Thanks for sharing, Jo!
Translation: It’s snowing in Dallas today!
It snowed all day, huge Texas-sized flakes. Here, the snow melts on the warmth of the brick-work in the garden.
Cycad Fossil Chair, Salish NW Pacific culture wooden whorl replica Chair, and Ancient Mayan bowl replica refurbished vintage chair, 29 x 29 x 29 inches mixed media. Read the feature article.
On exhibit and available for purchase February 11th – 27th at Visual Image Fine Art Puiblishing and Gallery Juried Show, 14320 Midway Road, Suite 300, Dallas, Texas. Come and meet all the Artists at the Opening Reception this coming Saturday, Feb. 13th, 3 – 9 p.m.
Good Artist Pals also come in threes
Some friendships will last forever, and how fortunate that three of mine also happen to be artists! Listed in no particular order of favoritism, each are miles apart geographically speaking and personality-wise, but they all have one thing in common: they’ll tell it like it is if you ever need a good critique, and on the flip side of the coin: a smile, a boost of energy; encouragement. I’ve posted my favorite works created by each, and highly recommend browsing each of their websites..
a) Chris Bolmeier: Happy Pigs, Oil on canvas I met Chris on the internet three years ago through Robert Genn’s Painter’s Keys newsletters. Formerly an actress and professional singer, she’s not through yet with entertaining you through humour, song and paint. She often posts mini-videos of herself singing, and her artwork is pure, straight from the gut, and some of the funniest, most original material ever. I chose this piece to share as an absolute favorite, portraying fanatically goofy pigs because it makes me laugh…not just smile, but laugh Christerically every time I look at it. In my opinion her best work is of childhood memories, and some of the baffling stuff that originates from who knows where in the infinite canvas of her mind!
b) Karen Xarchos: Restaurant mural in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada Karen and I were neighbors many years ago. We designed and painted murals together in the Ottawa area for a couple of years. Thank goodness for the internet, we’re able to keep in touch when either of us needs a good eye and some honest advice. Karen’s style and mine are vastly different; our pace, the style, the manner and we continue to learn so much from each other. She reminds me to slow down and smell the paint; her blending techniques are amazing.
Karen accepts commissions for canvas pieces like wall borders painted at home, then cleverly installs them with wallpaper paste so home owners can remove the work and take it with them when they relocate. My favorite work of Karen’s are the murals depicting work of the Masters, which are enjoyed by customers dining in many of the Greek and Italian restaurants in the Ottawa area.
c) Virginia Wieringa: Prayer, mixed media collage Virginia and I met about four years ago on an Artists’ interactive website, wetcanvas.com, and I think she still participates there under the avatar name “Veedubya”. I’m positive she’d love to meet you there too. Virginia has well-developed drawing and painting abilities and currently experiments intuitively with mixed media collage. Her work, no matter what the media, reflects her open-mindedness and strong sense of spirituality. Formerly an Art teacher, she’s fun to write to because she puts up with my inner-most silly self and doesn’t hold back her own. My favorite work of Virginia’s are the subtly symbolic collages, and some of the more vivid, energetic paintings that are about two phases pre-Realism.
Bird Party, watercolors on molded 140 lb watercolor paper, work in progress.
I’m not exactly sure where this is headed, but shapes were cut out of the painting, the paper drenched , folded , stretched and sculpted. Every evening just before sunset in the Dallas-Fort Worth area Grackles, blackbirds, Starlings and pigeons gather on lawns, parking lots, overhead wires and cables, roofs and trees. The event is unique to this area as far as I know, and exciting beyond words to be amongst the thousands and thousands of birds. Here is a previous piece on the subject.
Angel’s Trumpet value study, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas –12 x 16 inches Tombo pen wash on 140 lb. WC paper.
The Tombo pen is a two-in-one water-soluble marker available in colors as well as black. One tip is medium-fine and the other looks and behaves like a Chinese paintbrush, where thickness of lines can be controlled. What’s more difficult to control is that black once it’s on the page! It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.
Preliminary studies are useful with watercolors because if, in trying to correct and re-work areas, the integrity of the paper is easily lost, especially on inexpensive papers. Still, on a traditional watercolor a lot can be done by adding water to pull out the dark where it’s not wanted, and push out areas of paint with dry brushes. Some places in this study have built-up 3D edges created by the paper bits because I pushed them around so much with a stiff brush to correct things, but traditionally this is not acceptable.
Actually, come to think of it, that might be interesting to deliberately sculpt the paper in strategic areas – like objects in the foreground – by saturating it with too much water, then while painting, brush the resulting paper bits into piles and mold them with a stiff brush. I may try that in the final colored painting of this scene. This proves once more that every single painting is an experiment to find ways to turn disadvantages and limitations into advantage and innovation.
Even though WC and Acrylics are water-friendly and watered-down acrylics is the method I use to start most canvas paintings, I’m noticing a few outstanding differences : 1) an off-balance composition seems to be more noticeable with WC, definitely not as correctable 2) improved attention to drawing, details and ultra-conscious 3) requires pre-planning and foresight to keep the work fresh and clean 4) commands enough confidence to swish the paint on quickly as if it was not planned.
Buildings, San Antonio, Texas, 22H x 15W inches watercolors on 140 lb. acid free, cold pressed premium paper, white mat
Simple beauty, McKinney Ave. sidewalk, Uptown Dallas, Texas
Grackles, 11 x 10 inches dry pastel and graphite on paper
The Dallas area is notorious for its Grackles. In some areas they gather in flocks by the thousands – I’m not exaggerating – especially notable during evening just before sunset; bird parties I call them, lined along telephone poles and wires, sitting perfect wingspans apart from each other, and packed full in the trees. Photos can’t capture it all, because the experience also includes their loud calls. They are fantastic to see and hear.. I love it, but they’re a nuisance in public places like near restaurants and malls. Park your black car under a tree if you don’t mind driving away with a fairly white one when you leave.« Previous Entries