watercolors« Previous Entries
April 2014: Cameron Can Count to 30
8 x 8 inches markers, watercolors and fixative on canvas. Thinking that acrylics paint would make pages stick together even when dry, I chose watercolors on primed canvas instead, barely diluting the paint so the colors are dense. Krylon workable fixative works best to protect the work, as it brings out the colors very nicely and it doesn’t hold the caustic smell that regular varnish does.
Each page has a hole peeking through to the next page and the one before, where colors match up in such a way that the hole may only be noticed when the page is turned. The holes were filled in for the sake of aesthetics in the images shown here. This peek-hole detail was an afterthought, and since I had already painted most of the pages I was committed to using certain colors, which made the process take longer than it had to. When using this idea next time, the peek-holes will be larger and be the main focus of the book. Large binder rings through grommets on each page hold the book together, so the pages are fairly easy to turn and the book can start anywhere.
Deciduous Forest – Washington State USA – 12H x 16W inches watercolors on paper, sage green mat
Thumbnails below: 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, before more paint 4. an idea occurred to use the pulled off rubber pieces as 3D effects in future paintings, probably best on canvas.
A while back, I had visitors attending a show of mine peel off the rubberized medium in the same fashion, revealing the flowers on “Flowering Shavingbrush Tree”.
Work details: 1. applying resist medium 2. deliberately working with the challenge of a limited palette, watercolors were also dripped down the page. Tomball watercolor pen adds more details.
Birch, 12H x 16W inches watercolors on 120 lb cold pressed 100% cotton paper, white mat and frame.
The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas, Stone walkway on the grounds, 15H x 22W inches watercolors on 80 lb premium acid free paper, white mat
Big Leaf Maple near Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island, BC Canada, 12H x 16W inches watercolors on 140 lb 100% cotton paper
The Campsite, 24 x 30 inches watercolors on 140 lb cold pressed premium
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, Colors for Cameron. I plan to make him something special every year.
So, with 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. Attempting to 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 experiment and see how watercolors behave on primed canvas at some point!
Dragon Fruit, 9H x 12W inches watercolor pencils, graphite on paper, white mat and 15H x 18W inch frame
I’ve discovered a strange and wonderful new fruit here in Singapore: Pitaya, commonly called Dragon fruit, is cultivated in Vietnam, but apparently is native to Mexico and South America. Possibly then, it’s imported to the U.S. and hopefully is sold in Texas. I’ve seen it in the markets here but thought it was some sort of artichoke. Rarely do you find a fruit that is so large and fleshy where you don’t have to deal with removal of seeds or pits or cores to get to the yummy part. This one’s all yum, about 6″ long, and tastes much like a kiwi, but more sweet than tangy.
The Fourth of July 02 – Orange Milkweed, Kentucky (sold) 15 x 22 inches watercolors Above: finished, below: Nov. 19th almost finished
Driving from Texas to Ontario one summer I had to pull over to take photos and a closer study of the vivid orange bouquets growing beside the highway in southern Kentucky. The colors are irresistible, and this is not the first or last time I’ll portray this subject. All plants and trees contain medicinal and useful chemical properties in their leaves, stems, roots and flowers. I looked up Orange Milkweed in the most informative books about plants, The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism edited by Malcom Stuart, which contains details about every plant I have ever sought to find information for. According to it, Appalachian Indians made a tea from the leaves to use during religious ceremonies. One common name for this plant is Pleuracy Root, as it is still useful to treat infections of the respiratory tract including pleurisy It is used as a diaphoretic, antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant… and color also has enchanting, supernatural energizing properties!
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.« Previous Entries