When life gives you lemons, draw them, 11 x 14 inches dry pastels, graphite on paper

"When life gives you lemons, draw them". (Nikki)

"...the painting has a life of its own. My mission is to bring forth this life". (Jackson Pollock)

"Trust your intuition, it's just like goin' fishin'; you cast your line 'til you get a bite." (Paul Simon)

water

Color Study

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

 Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio, TX - Upper left detail of 14 x 22" Watercolors in progressUpper right detail of Trumpet Flowers, 14 x 22" Watercolors in progressLower right detail of Trumpet Flowers, 14 x 22" Watercolors in progress

Angels Trumpet (Brugmansias) San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas - 14 x 22 inches Watercolors in progress Nov.7, 8, 9th: 1) Upper left detail  2) Upper right detail  3) Lower right detail 4) below, today’s work

I definitely pushed the work too far and am not pleased with today’s results, but on this blog I think it’s really important to show that failures are part of the learning process.  Sometimes things turn out to be purely study. I didn’t trust my intuition this time and leave the painting when it was bright and fresh with lots of white paper showing through. While attempting to be bolder than usual with color – recognizing that as a positive step forward here - reworking the surface just made it muddier. I’m more familiar with acrylics properties and having a longer window of time to fix things. Now onto another version of this painting, or another subject, but still in watercolors because it’s time for a success after learning so much with this one. 

Angel's Trumpet, San Antonio, TX - color study finished

Preliminary value study

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

 Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, TX - value study

Trumpet Flowers, San Antonio Riverwalk, Texas -12 x 16 inches value study in progress, 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! The edge of the ledges on the bridge here were much brighter, but I couldn’t lighten them without making a mess of the surrounding areas, so they are OK. It’s something to pay attention to when painting the colored version.

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Chapala Wind

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

 Chapala Wind, 11 x 11 x 3  inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted

  Chapala Wind, 11 x 11 x 3  inches acrylics on canvas, phase 1Chapala Wind, phase 2: spraying alcohol, scratching paint

Chapala Wind – Lake Chapala, Mexico, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted. Top: almost finished..needs a little more green maybe.  Thumbnails: phase 1 and 2 in progress.

I have seen paintings where artists have sprayed alcohol and acheived a mottled effect, kind of like what happens when salt is sprinkle on wet watercolors. It didn’t work for me, however it did loosen the paint and I was able to scratch it, at first with my nails and then a pottery tool.  Does anyone have any tips about what alcohol can do on acrylics or how to use it?

Thanks to Karen Xarchos for all the feedback and additional information. We worked together painting murals in Ottawa for a couple of years. Karen has done extensive work in restaurants and homes in the Ottawa area.

Reflections

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

 Reflections, 11 x 11 x 3 inches acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted

 Reflections, 11 x 11 x 3inches, acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides paintedReflections, top detail, gallery wrapped sides painted

Reflections, winter in Coppell, TX, 11 x 11 x 3 inches, acrylics on canvas, gallery wrapped sides painted.  Most of the Magic Square series paintings are signed on the side, so the images on the blog show a superimposed signature.

Jewels in the garden

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Nature's Jewels - Photography, Water droplets on Iris leaf

Water strider

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

 Waterstrider 

Watching the water striders in the pond in our back yard, and the perception changed a little, like it does seeing the expanse of the Grand Canyon or driving toward mountains. Interesting that something alive is so weightless, yet with enough mass to be able to walk on water. Click here to see more photography.