Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Art takes a Back Seat

I have had a very distracting time from my painting this past couple of weeks with some of it giving me stress that affected my desire and ability to paint. All is sorted now with the wonderful arrival of our first grandson which is so exciting and secondly the news that my Mum has recovered sufficiently from her illness in London and can now fly home to Australia, so once again my mind is filled with happiness and this certainly promotes better art results. 

Fragrant Magnolia
56cm x 37cm
before matting and framing

This is the only piece I have painted in this time and these fragrant Magnolia blooms I spotted at Mt. Barker whilst driving through to the hospital last week. We stopped on the way back and Ian took some photos for me to use for reference. I love Magnolia and have painted my own garden white blooms twice before and probably will many more times. 

Friday, 14 September 2012

Days of Variety

Finding variety in art subjects and application certainly stretches the mind and ability and this week I have been determined to venture outside of my norm to push myself into trying something new. I have achieved this with these three works. 
Daisy Attraction

This painting was as close as I got to en plein air painting this week. These daisies grow profusely all along the edge of the river in front of our house and I also have a small patch in the back garden. I took one daiy inside with a piece of its leaf and composed this into a painting. When I started to paint I popped outside a few times to get the feel of the ground cover plant in the sunshine. I decided to add a butterfly to vary my usual floral work.

My second watercolour was composed by using a reference photo of a blue wren and by bringing in a couple of thin twigs off the gum tree on the verge. I pencil sketched the bird then painted the background first and washed it out down the sink a bit to give the faded distance look and then added the twigs and the wren. We are lucky enough to have daily visits from a little family of these sweet birds in our back garden.
Chubby Cheeky Fellow

Good as Gold
My last variety of work came in the form of this glowing sunflower. I spotted this photo on a site called Paint My Photo where photographers are happy to share their work for artists to use and Jess had only just uploaded this glorious photo. I knew immediately that this would suit watercolour on Yupo and I had been wanting for sometime to try and do an entire piece of only one floral bloom but lacked confidence on watercolour paper. As this was really experimental using Yupo for only the third time I had nothing to lose but let go and try. 

Monday, 10 September 2012

Delight in Spring

How lovely it is today - a truly beautiful spring day here on the fleurieu. I have these past few days completed some of my September projects. 
My online watercolour friends set a challenge this month called "transition", you can use this to apply in any way you choose so for me I chose the transition from winter to spring. I painted the plum tree outside my back door which has now come into full bloom from our lovely spring weather but it caught my eye to paint when I first saw the start of the lovely white blossom appear heralding the end of winter.
Spring is Here
This next painting is my challenge to capture the sweet delicate orchid blooms on the beautiful plant I purchased a couple of weeks ago. It is one mass of tiny orchid blooms and I have had a couple of attempts to capture them as I wish and this one I feel I have achieved my goal. Painting white flowers is always a challenge as in watercolour we leave the white of the paper and then form the blooms using local colours from the background and stems
Sweet Orchid Blooms

Woodland in Zealand

I always try to participate in the Virtual Paintout monthly challenge. I enjoy walking the streets of the chosen location using google street view to seek an inspiration and then do a painting. This month the chosen place is the island of Zealand, Denmark. At first I thought it was New Zealand but when I realised it was somewhere I had never been to it was fun to travel down the streets and lanes as if I was really there. I had difficulty finding anything floral, at least anywhere I looked, so settled on a woodland area. This is my landscape using my map reference 

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Temperature Change

When viewing art we are all attracted and intrigued by different elements. For me colours seem to be a crucial ingredient for whether I like a painting or not. This has been evident this past week as I jump from one temperature "hot" to another "cool" in my colour choices. 

Sunflowers we saw in abundance when we traveled through the south of France on holiday, they were prematurely dry for the time of year because of an extended heatwave. 
Extreme opposite temperature in the daisy paintings, I have used the same cool choices of colours for both but experimented with portrait and landscape compositions. 

I have also been experimenting with YUPO a synthetic, water resistant paper that seems an odd surface to paint on for a watercolourist as we use so much water with our pigment - the result is more vibrant colours due to the water finally( after some hours) evaporating and the pigment remains sitting on top of the paper. This paper would suit some subjects more than others and I used it for an underwater scene

Daisy Faces
Hot and Rustic

Fresh as a Daisy
Watercolour on Yupo