Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I sold "Facets & Fractures" 45"x20" varnish watercolor painting yesterday, unfortunately not in the fashion I am use to, allow me to explain...
I took 4 paintings in to be framed, my local frame shop has closed and so I decided to give Aaron Brothers a try. Received a call, voicemail, from the framer at Aaron Bros. that 3 of the 4 paintings were ready, but so sorry to say while framing one of the paintings, a screw had dropped onto the canvas portion and had poked a hole into the painting.
My heart sunk, they did not mention which piece, I thought hope it's not "Facets & Fractures". I got there and sure enough it was this painting, the framing had been complete, and it look awesome, but the painting was not repairable. The framer felt awful about it, she had cried. I gave her a hug and told not to worry. The hole was the size of a screw, up in the left hand corner. It was so sad, Aaron Brothers agreed to purchase the piece. My next questioned was will they destroy it or will the company hang it? The framer said it may be shipped to the company headquarters, to hang. So I agreed to let them buy it feeling that at least it would hang somewhere. As I repeated this story to my husband, last evening, I got the sinking feeling that it was the same type of story you tell a kid when the family dog is missing, "the dog is on a big farm where he has lots of room to run". This piece will more than likely be destroyed which is so sad to me, but the decision was either make a sale or keep damaged goods. So I opted for the sale, with hopes to re-paint this still life in the future.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Riley Street Art Supply Vendor's Fair

On Saturday I gave a demonstration and had a book signing at the Riley Street Art Supply Vendor's Fair in Santa Rosa CA. What a fun event, the group that came to see me demonstrate was such a fun group. Thank you all for attending! And a big thank you to Riley Street, all of you worked so hard, making sure everyone was happy and keeping us all very cool, it was about
100 degrees outside, and air conditioned inside. I will return to Santa Rosa to the Riley Street Art Supply store to teach a 2-day workshop Aug 29-30th. And a huge thanks to my friend and watercolor partner Guy Magallanes, he came along and was a huge trooper through out the heat of the day. Guy demonstrated his work and spoke with prospective students for our Asilomar workshop. Thanks Guy, you made the day fun.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The final glazes have now been added. The painting is finished. Remember to paint with joy and happiness and success will follow!!

Paint in the middles values, this will get this will get this vase ready for the final glaze of light values.
Here the vase with glazes of gray, blue and yellow, all the strange dark shapes now will come together and the vase gets the depth and volume, as well as transparency.

To begin the Murano vase, paint all the darkest shapes first. As I was painting this I thought ee-gads get the shapes right, this only made my brush strokes become jagged and stiff.
I tell my students "don't take the shapes literally, best to paint with joy and ease, this will come through in your painting". So after taking myself too seriously, I thought "hey practice what you preach, have fun and let the brush do the work."

Painting the shadow, is a bit of a challenge, but very rewarding . Begin with painting in the shadow shape closest to the vase, paint one shadow at time. Paint in the dark gray, while it was wet I then painted in the yellow highlight, keeping enough moisture, in each shape. Clean your brush and gently add some clear water for the highlights for the shadow. Once you have completed this portion of the shadow keep moving and do not paint back into the areas you have just painted. Let it be and let the paint float. It is a tricky technique, controlling with out controlling the out come. Letting the paint float will give you clean results, and not an over worked shadow. Next I will paint the Murano Vase.

Glazing the yellow vase, I used a combination of transparent yellow, a hint of permanent rose and quinacridone gold. This portion of the vase was glazed three times, allowing each pass to dry throughly. First with the above combination, second glaze pure transparent yellow, then back to the first combo of pigments, skipping area to give the highlight of the glass.
The darkest shapes first - adding a variety of values, will give the base depth and roundness. 

Painting the Murano Vase

Here is my palette, looks messy but it is an organized mess.  I have mixed burnt sienna & phthalo blue for the rich dark brown, to begin my painting at the lower portion of the vase.  I love painting this portion of the vase, knocking in the darks is just a very comfortable way for me to see the beginning of my painting.  Next I mix various golden colors using Quinacridone Gold, transparent yellow and a hint of permanent rose.  I mix separate puddles of the pigment so that I can have them ready to go as I paint the detail of this vase.
I will begin this painting mixing the darkest values for the yellow vase first.
Good Morning - It is 7:45 and this watercolorist is ready to go.  Painting early in the morning is wonderful, with no interruptions.  Above is a photo of my workspace, clean palettes, brushes, paper towels and of course my line drawing ready to be painted.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Details details, finishing the little bit of flower and the bottle in the background only took another 30 minutes.  As usual this dark to light watercolorist, painted in the darkest shapes of the petals of the flower n the right side, first I mixed permanent rose with phthalo blue, for a dark red, in a couple strokes I painted the darkest value, while it was still wet I put down another stroke of paint directly next to it.  I wanted to achieve the movement & depth of the petal but give it too much importance to the still life.
And of course last but not the green perfume bottle, dark to light using Winsor Green (blue shade) and adding a hint of transparent yellow.
So this watercolorist is calling it day, tomorrow  I will paint my 2nd 3-hour lesson, "The Murano Glass".

Painting the shadow, this is as easy as it gets in watercolor, wet the are with clear water and drop in the pigment, let the water do it's thing.  I love this shadow, warms to cools.  I did just begin painting the stopper.  Pain very light values,  follow the curves and wha-la success.

Finishing touches on the perfume bottle. Up in the right hand (corner?) area of the perfume bottle I painted in a heavy mixture of dark blue then gently adding a mixture of purple, this are is the only tricky area, it is all in the timing and keeping a bead of pigment so that it does not dry out while switching colors, this is called a gradated wash, with a pesky highlight.

Add water to the pigments in which was mixed for the darkest values, this will give you the mid to dark values paint the shapes in that will begin to add more depth to the perfume bottle.  As you can see the bottle is a reflective surface, this is why there are so many detail shapes.  I will not be able to paint in all the shapes for this lesson, due to the small amount of time available for this workshop.  Now the painting is ready for the glazes of the lightest values, which will blend and give the perfume bottle a full shape.

Mixing Permanent Alizarin Crimson, Winsor Green (blue shade) and Phthalo blue for the darkest darks.  This is a bit interpretive and if you paint and follow the shapes, the spirit of the glass will come through.  For the darkest values of the gold/yellow on this perfume bottle, I mixed quinacridone gold with permanent alizarin crimson and a hint of phthalo blue.  I am setting this up for the mid to dark values to be painted in next.  

"Capturing The Splendor of Light"

This will be a one of three 3-hour workshops I will be teaching, at Learning Products Expo, Chicago.  The name of this workshop is "Capturing the Splendor of Light".  And away I go to begin the painting. 
I painted the background with a mixture of winsor green (blue shade) permanent alizarin crimson, and burnt sienna.  I used the wet into wet technique, to allow the pigment to float and create some highlights, rather than painting a flat black background. 
I will be teaching this lesson and more at the Learning Products Expo in Chicago.  The name of the workshop is "Watercolorist Guide to Painting Crystal & Glass",  it will be a six hour workshop on Saturday, July 11, 9-4  PM.  For more information on this workshop visit learningproductsexpo.com  Hope to see you in Chicago!
Painting the tangerines, first I painted in a wash of transparent yellow, while the wash is still wet I blended in a darker value of orange to give the tangerine texture and volume.  This technique, blending on the paper, is a quick and easy way of painting,  I also begin painting the base of the crystal bowl.  Using a light wash mixture of gray and phthalo blue.
Next the background...

I finished painting in the sides of the bowl, using a wet into wet technique, and gently laying in my mixture of gray values, as well as my mixture of orange.  This area of the bowl is a bit interpretive,  allow the wet into wet technique to move you pigment, lots of lost and soft edges.
Mixing Permanent Rose and Transparent Yellow,  I gently painted a light wash of my orange mixture, as the paint is wet I then dropped in a darker value of orange.  Next step I will define the tangerine a little bit more. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chicago Learning Products Expo Workshop

Two of the fans on the cut crystal is now completed, it may seem a bit heavy for glass, however once the rest of the bowl is complete, the beauty of the cut crystal will come forward.
This area of the cut crystal which looks like a fan, as you can see there is a dark side and a light to this part of the cut crystal.  I began again with the dark side of each blade that is in the fan area.  I was anxious to paint in the orange, wanted to see the fan/blades of the cut crystal develop.  Mixing transparent yellow and permanent rose for the reflective color from the tangerines.  The shapes might seem complicated but once you begin painting each shape, it begins to represent the cut crystal.
Begin with the darkest shapes of the cut crystal, mixing permanent alizarin crimson, winsor green (blue shade) and phthalo blue, in your palette, mix a nice variety of dark values, from black to a mid tones.   I began with painting the darkest shapes of the cut crystal, on the lower portion of the bowl.   
Here is one of the four lessons I will be teaching at the Learning Products Expo in Chicago.  This lesson is "Watercolorist Guide to Painting Crystal and Glass".  Above is the reference photo for this lesson.