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BlossoMania, 12H x 16W inches Oil Pastels on 80 lb acid free, painted with Oil Blending and Glazing Medium.
I’ve been admiring the round masses clumped on the Plum tree branches in our neighbor’s back yard for a week or so now. Yesterday and today, pink swirls in the wind…
Above: the finished piece, which was cropped from the original size (left), 18H x 24 inches. Blogging always reveals a different perspective. If I had not cropped the original (left image) in order to post details here, I might never have recognized that the cropped portion is quite complete, and I’m satisfied with it after only a few hours of work.
I still recommend taking work past its prime once in a while, a decision best made when there’s a lingering sense dissatisfaction with it. In order to push a painting’s boundaries and your own to see what’s possible, honesty is key, and making the call is different each and every time. Have a look at work from afar or from photos or blogging, and take breaks often!
Deciduous Forest (Washington State USA), 12 x 16 inches watercolors on paper
Thumbnails 1. resist medium applied, dried and first paint application 2. peeling off the dried resist after painting dark hues of sap green 3. stage 02, after peeled off resist medium 4. before brushing off the rubberized pieces of resist medium that bounced onto the paper, it occurred to me that they could be reattached as leaves, using more medium as glue. I won’t use this idea here, but may use it at some point in the future.
A while back, I had visitors attending a show of mine peel off the rubberized medium to reveal the flowers on “Flowering Shavingbrush Tree”. (The painting has since been cropped to a smaller size). This could also be an interesting way to “wrap” a small paintings, either to surprise a client, or when giving as a gift…cover the entire surface or certain areas, and have them discover what’s underneath!
Flamboyant Tree flowers and seed pods (Chapala, Mexico), 9 x 12 inches oil pastels on paper. I started this before ‘Deciduous Forest’, posted previously, so finished it while the resist medium dried.
Northern Delights 04, 12 x 16 inches watercolors on 120 lb cold pressed 100% cotton paper
1. Applying resist medium 2. Watercolors, a limited palette, were also dripped down the page, and colored pens add more details
Sumac 12 x 16 inches oil pastels on 140 lb W/C paper
I’m so tempted to go back into this and make it bolder, but am going to quit while I’m ahead. This piece has a base of watercolor crayons, which I hadn’t heard of before and was excited to try. With expectations to complete a piece today, I wasn’t too impressed that the rough crayon color marks remain on the page, and the colors are weak. With more experience, those properties can be used to advantage, but not without an open frame of mind toward experimenting….so oil pastels are layered, then scratched away using fingernails.
Big Leaf Maple, near Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island, BC (Canada) 12Hx 16W inches watercolors on 140 lb 100% cotton paper
The Campsite, watercolors, 24 x 30 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold pressed paper
I finally brought my watercolor paints back from my son’s place in Canada, where I left them so they wouldn’t freeze on the 5-day drive back west last November. Driving again, I’ve just returned from this year’s visit, when I gave my grandson a one-of-a-kind fabric book hand-made for his first birthday (details posted next). I plan to make him something special every year.
So, a couple of new brushes and 12 x 16″ paper block, and now with the rainy season upon us back in Oregon, I look forward to establishing a routine of painting again. Invigorated by a summer full of gardening and flowers, the stunning scenery across America this time of year, plus reviewing archives of work I haven’t seen for ages, I’m all set to splash out some new watercolors. Our Portland house is a renovator’s dream (nightmare?), and we’re not out of the woods yet, so to speak. Attempting to gain back the focus more on art than house, smaller paintings are more manageable, and less of a production than my typically large canvas paintings…however, I’m curious to see how watercolors dis-behave on primed canvas at some point!
Stars in the Sweetgum,9 x 12 inches charcoal and colored pencils on paper, preliminary sketch of the extremely large Sweetgum tree in our side yard.
Portraying darkness offers an excellent color study. Inspired by travels on clear nights when speeding by tree silhouettes, there’s an illusion that horizon is absent, and stars are in the sky as well as the trees. I often marvel how dark skies can still be so intensely colorful and vibrant…ranging across the spectrum from rich teals, purples, to shades of red and orange.
Tree fern shadows cast across garden rocks in Chapala, Mexico
I’ve been in Mexico for the past two weeks, so I’ll be contributing more images to the True Colors website (www.trucolors.info), created in 2007 as tribute to the colorful landscapes and cultures here. Developed separately from the other chapters of nikkiartwork.com, True Colors is considered as one complete and independent project. I’ve posted a few more of the recent pieces in this series on nikkiphotography.com
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 evestroughing, 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 eavestroughs 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!« Previous Entries