Saturday, January 31, 2009

Spring Already?

When we landscaped our backyard, I had asked for a mix of white and purple iris. I didn't specify equal amounts of white and purple (lesson learned), so when they finally started to bloom, they were basically all white. As any watercolorist knows, painting white is the absence of paint. So making a painting colorful or interesting with white flowers can be a challenge.

I had taken several pictures of some blooms in the garden from all different angles to compose this painting. Sometimes, I also fill a vase with flowers and just keep turning it to get different angles.

Today, I looked out our window to see the first iris in bloom. Low and behold, they're purple!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Watercolor "French" Mat

Some years ago, I was in an interior design shop that featured a few watercolors of plant life nicely framed with watercolor linework on the mat. The linework was filled with a soft green watercolor to compliment the painting.

I really like the way these professionally framed prints looked. So, I suggested we give it a try on the (4) shell paintings going to Kelly's mom. Even though Kelly had already liked the paintings the way they were, I showed her the professionally framed ones (see below) and she wanted me to give it a try. She had faith in me but I am one of the most clutsiest artists. I was so afraid of ruining them. I did a trial run on scrap then I just went for it. So here's how I went about it.

First I drew 2 lines around the edge of the mat with a very hard pencil (4h) ...just enough to see. I used about 1/8" for the line width. I have a parallel bar but you could use a ruler. Then I used the Micron #01 archival ink pen and went over my pencil. The ink is waterproof so its great with watercolor and this also gives you a chance to correct the pencil line width. Now don't rush this because you can't fix this part.

Yes, of course I did mess up. I had on a ruffles on my shirt and the ruffles dragged in the watercolor. Fortunately, I quickly blotted it with a wet brush and tissue and it came out. When I realized I could do that, I blotted several uneven spots to make them just right. The flash makes it a bit stronger but it does have an uneven watercolor quality that looks really nice.
Here's one of the finished framed paintings. It looks much better then the plain white mat. I'm glad we tried it.

Here's a couple of paintings that I had professionally framed that I tried to mimic.

I love the bamboo frame and linework.

Here's a couple more. We framed them with the raw edges of the paper exposed. They're both in our conference room at work waiting to be purchased (if I can part with them).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Burst of Color

After watching the crowds at the inauguration ceremony today all bundled up from the cold (even my mom said Florida will be in the 40's this week), here's a colorful bouquet to warm the heart.

Because I'm not happy with the composition (top picture), matting the painting as shown here is one way to improve a so so painting.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Signature Logo

I designed a logo for the back of my cards. I got the idea from Cathe Holden's blog Just Something I Made to add the image --my dog Tucker. I probably should have added the year. Is it weird to have this logo on the back of a non-dog card?

Glorious Day

My husband and I spent the afternoon mountain bike riding through Whiting Ranch and then on to Santiago Truck Trail. The Santiago Truck Trail heads on up towards Saddleback. You could actually get to the top this way--with lots of pain. One great feature of Santiago Truck Trail is the Luge a 1.5 mile gnarly single track dropping 700 feet toward Live Oak Canyon Road. It's great fun if you like narrow, steep and scary single track. I was petrified.

We finished our ride at Cook's Corner with the motorcycle bikers and a beer. Check out my flicker pictures.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Best Friends

I had fun using picnik to make a collage with all my dog portraits. The center portrait is my friend's dog "Hula"...I love her name. My friend Julie is so supportive and one of my biggest fans. Do you have people in your life that support your creativity?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Help People Anyway

"Unfortunately, it happens every day. A house burns down. A business goes bust. A flood wipes out a community. It is a harsh fact that things you build maybe destroyed during your lifetime. Still they are worth building. The act of building brings joy and satisfaction."1

My friend's parents lost their home due to a flood in Texas. They are living in an RV in front of their house and trying to rebuild. The process is slow with all the paperwork and they won't be able to replace everything they lost.

My friend wanted to give her mom a gift for her refurbished home when its completed and wants to purchase these four shell paintings. I took them off the walls in my house so she could have them. I hope her mom enjoys them.

1 "Anyway", by Kent Keith

Bubba Bear Notecards

Although orginally a watercolor, I turned the original painting (below) into a pen & ink and printed it on the brown paper notecards. One with brown ink and one with black.

The original watercolor on brown paper looked too washed out. These had a professional quality about them. It might be nice to do a series of notecards with forest animals on brown paper.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Bubba Bear

I loved the way this little guy just plopped there whining for something ... probably lunch. I had to capture him with watercolor. I am experimenting with different papers to print a thank card to my nephew for the wonderful time we had at his home in Utah.
I added the lettering and hearts with help from Picnik.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Mr. Goose

This sweet little guy was all by himself out of Lake Oquirrh.