Thursday, 30 January 2014

Happy Ending

Tour Down Under
Watercolour on Aquabord 35.6cm x 45.7cm
At last this post records the last of my paintings in Leslie Satea's 30 paintings in 30 day Challenge.
It has been very beneficial and I am glad to have participated but I am also very relieved it is over. I am looking forward to painting for myself a bit more without the need to share everything. I need to have some failures I can bin, some days where I play and days where I do anything other than paint (mind you that would be a first!).
One of the outcomes this month has been the need to work on a piece and not give up as there was not always time to start again. My last painting for the month was just that. Last Saturday my husband took himself off to the Tour Down Under stage that travels through the McLaren Vale wine region. Using a few of his fabulous shots I composed this last painting. I chose to once again try the Ampersand Aquabord for my surface. Just as well I did because the background was totally scrubbed out twice and redone. This surface allowed that whereas I would have totally started again if I had been using paper. Its not the best painting I have done this month and I would certainly have liked to end with a stunner but when I look back I achieved 14 full paintings on various surfaces and 15 little foodies. I worked on one twice (the canvas after removing the varnish and half the painting) totalling 29. I added a last little The End today to make the 30.
I sincerely thank you all for your continued support and encouragement. For those of you that also took the challenge I have enjoyed seeing your daily paintings and congratulations if you too lasted until the end.

In Summary:
Watercolour on Canvas
Watercolour on Illustration Board
Watercolour on Yupo
Watercolour on Aquabord
Watercolour ¼ sheet
Watercolour ½ sheet
Watercolour/Collage on Aquabord
Watercolour “delicious foodies”
Watercolour “The End”

The End

Monday, 27 January 2014

Up to Day 27

Jewels of Red and Gold
Watercolour on Yupo 32cm x 39cm

Day 27 -
I am running out of puff, my mind needs the rest and I need a recharge. I will be happy to see the end of January. I would love to finish the challenge with a "last" decent painting but to be honest I am not sure I can pull one off and may have to settle for my foodies. Well I have 3 more chances so what will be will be.
This has been a tremendous challenge to do as I think all the practice has provided me with so much opportunity to experiment, stretch my skills and I believe I have made improvement. The most beneficial outcome for me has been the need to be creative and push all the boundaries. Today it was in the form of "Yupo". It has been quite sometime since I painted on it and today I found it much easier than I had previously so my thought process and technique were more up to the challenge of this slippery surface.
This painting of Gum tree blossom is somewhat abstracty as this seems to be the outcome for me with Yupo.

Day 26 - in celebration of Australia Day and the Milang to Goolwa Freshwater Classic

Steeple Jack
Watercolour 28.5cm x 38cm

Day 25 - "delicious foodie"

Friday, 24 January 2014

Days 22,23,24

Giant in Hiding
Watercolour 57cm x 38cm

I dont think it is that I'm slowing down but I am certainly taking a lot more considered time over my paintings since starting the challenge at the beginning of the month. I am taking two days often to finish a larger painting where as last year I did everything in one sitting. I am being more observant, and also keen to achieve what is in my mind and confident I can if I make brushstrokes with some consideration amongst those I do with gay abandon.Today I finished this Giant Hibiscus which was from a reference sent to me last year by a client taken in her garden in Spain (purchaser of  my Foxglove painting).
The flower is true to the photo image but I have captured the background using my imagination. Add in two little "delicious foodies" and I am up to date.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Clocks ticking to the Finish

Nature Clocks
Watercolour on 300gsm Arches Rough
38cm x 28.5cm

Wow at last the clocks are ticking and we are on the downhill slide to the finish of this mammoth painting month. I know I can make the end as I have a few "delicious foodies"extras for reserve. Thank you so much everyone for the lovely comments on my Blossom Time Canvas painting. I am here to report that I spent all day yesterday doing a rescue on it. When I looked at it early morning I could see brushstrokes from the last coat of varnish and I was not happy with the result. I proceeded to strip back the varnish not knowing what I was tackling and boy was it a learning curve. I am including a shot of the varnish peeling off and with it a good percentage of the painting. I then used my image taken the day before and repainted the missing bits (albeit slightly differently). I was so happy I could paint it again. I finished the varnishing and this morning it looks just fine. Days 20 and 21 now covered with Natures Clocks and Blossom Time take two.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Day 19

Blossom Time
Watercolour on Canvas
Size 18" x 24"
As mentioned in my last post I have been experimenting with a Fredrix Watercolour Canvas. It has taken me about 8 hours of painting - slow for me as it required a lot of thinking because I did not draw up the composition but painted straight on the canvas using a reference image as a start and added more blossom to fill the 18" x 24" size.The canvas was so different to paper in its required application that my normal watercolour techniques did not seem to stay put so I adapted and felt like I was maybe painting more like oil or acrylic. I have never painted in oil and only limited experience with acylic -last year I did three acrylic commissioned paintings for my son. It seemed to need more dark layers than on paper. I did however enjoy the fact lifting back to white canvas was really easy. My composition was only structured for the focal stem and I tried to capture depth with just hints of more blossom getting more and more loose.
I have used three coats of spray mat varnish and one coat of polymer satin varnish. Not sure whether I like this much work but will stay open minded because maybe next time with experience I will be faster.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Still On Track

Night Life
Watercolour on Illustration Board
22cm x 30cm
I am presently working on a floral using a Fredrix canvas and really enjoying painting on this surface as it does allow for easily lifting back but as the same time it takes a bit to get the layers to stay put. I hope to finish it today as this has taken me longer than any other work as it does seem to be a slow process. (This will be my third day).
I am however keeping up by using my delicious foodies as my warm up each day. I am also including this little Possum Painting which was another attempt as using watercolour on the Illustration board I purchased before Christmas. Whilst Possums look sweet they are in fact a darn nuisance. The local gallery where I exhibit has one (or 2) in the walls and we have not been able to catch them. They come out at night and return at dawn and sleep all day. They smell and with old buildings their daily habits find ways of getting inside. Yuk!
Even if you can catch them they are protected and they cannot be let go more than 50 metres away so of course they come back. Our gallery building has lots of holes that enable them to just get back inside.
I am still on track with these 3 being Days 16,17, and 18

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Catching Up 13,14,15

The Little Boat
38cm x 28.5cm

Have been resting my wrist as much as I can. Luckily I had a couple of delicious foodies painted and put aside and  "The Little Boat" with thanks for photo reference by Ruth Archer from Paint My Photo. I am still on track as I am making sure I start each painting day with a foodie warm up. I am enjoying these as they have no drawing in them and are free and easy little paintings.

Labne and Pickled Cherry

Salami & Bocconcini Pizza

Monday, 13 January 2014

Experimenting At Last - Day 12

I am so pleased that I have have finally allowed myself some play time. All my so called office work, exhibition entries, newsletter writing, and blogging are up to date. I have added a new painting to my Pure Aussie Wool Series. It is Watercolour and Collage with a bit of Gesso. I used three colours, Quin Gold, Winsor Violet and a tiny bit of Permanent Rose. I chose these colours again as they proved a good choice last time with Bale 131 which sold very quickly.
I experimented with a new substrate for me - Ampersand Aquabord. It is a museum series panel and has a texture like cold press paper with a bit of a different feel to paint on but an advantage that lifting out pigment is easier. My reason for trying these panels is to be able to offer some of my paintings framed without glass. When you have finished your watercolour on these panels they need sealing and varnishing. I sprayed with 3 coats of matt varnish and then applied three thin coats of polymer satin varnish. I must say I am thrilled with how the whole process from creation to varnish came together - I must have just been in the zone. This piece did take me about 7 hours including the varnishing. It is a lovely size too 18" x 24". I will now take this to my framer and choose a wooden frame. In the USA you can buy these panels with cradles so you can just add the d rings and wire when done and hang. In Australia I could only buy the flat panels so it was either try and cradle them or just have it framed. I hope one day they do import the cradled version as this would really make me self sufficient. I am so impressed with this surface I am going to try another. BTW I have some RSI happening in my wrist and lower arm so I will no doubt have to try and pace myself if I am to add to this number 12 and get to the end of the 30 paintings in 30 days challenge.

Lottie, Merle and Theresa
Pure Aussie Wool Series
Mixed Media on Aquabord
18" x 24"

Saturday, 11 January 2014

January 9,10 and 11

Its now the end of Day 11 here in South Australia. I have had quite a few interruptions but lucky for me I have my little "delicious foodies" which I try and add to every start of my painting time. I am only posting to Leslie Saeta's blog every few days too but I am keeping up with the painting.
I visited a large art show today to see three of my paintings on exhibit. Came away wishing I had picked a couple of others to show instead but that's life.
Today I include two foodies and my latest "real size" painting. I am also showing you a couple of photographs that inspired this one. The first shows the huge number of water birds that have been coming and going recently outside my front windows and the second all the Cormorants that land on our Jetty when the weather is very breezy and they need a rest.
Mexican Eggs and Sticky Cranberry & Butterscotch Puddings

Good Morning Goolwa
Painting size 38cm x 57cm

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Feeling the Heat

Heat Resistant
Painting size 38cm x 28.5cm
listed for sale on my website

Whilst many of you are in freezing cold weather patterns we are of course in Summer. Not that it has been very hot as we have had some odd weather too keeping the temperatures cool and where I am so very very windy. For my Day 8 of the painting 30 in 30 days challenge I have to painted a Camel using a reference my husband took late last year when we stumbled upon a Camel farm in the Adelaide hills. Camels in the Australin outback are in huge numbers ( the largest ferral population in the world). I enjoyed using the hot reds and golds for the background depicting the colours of the Australian desert. The heat I am feeling is trying to keep up with all the posting, blogging and commenting that taking part in a huge challenge like this creates.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Day 5,6 and 7

Just managing to keep up as I have had so many visitors and little interruptions these past few days. I normally have a lot of solitary time in my studio and would welcome engagement with others but right now I think how am I going to keep up?
There is an open studio week coming up from January 18th so I need to be on top of things. I am hoping to get some experimenting done and the excitement of this is on my mind when I go to sleep at night and when I awake but by the time I get going in the studio life gets in the way. Today no exception, so thank goodness for my little "delicious foodies" for days 5 and 7

Soft and Warm
Painting size 38cm x 57cm
Alpacas are close by to me at a farm in Mt Compass, this was my Day 6 painting

Quick Peach Tarts with Peppercorn Ice cream
Day 7

Prawn Cocktail Crostini
Day 5

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Days 3 and 4

Spoilt for Choice
43cm x 43cm
Not sure how not blogging the daily painting is going to work as saving them to keep emails in your mailbox to a minimum somehow makes the job harder. Apologies email followers during January if you get tired of seeing me in your inbox I promise it wont last past January if I even make it that far. For bloggers I fully understand how making comments on others posts is so time consuming so please I am happy for you to just look without feeling a comment is always required. I love your support and feedback but I know many of us are doing the 30 days challenge and we all have to survive!
Here are Days 3 and 4
Day 3  the budgies is a painting on Cold Press Illustration board - a surface I have been experimenting with. I love how the paint and water glide over its surface. It is now on my website for sale.

Day 4 another little "delicious foodie"
Fresh Raspberry and Mascapone Coconut Ice

Friday, 3 January 2014

Delicious Recipes

When I decided to sign up for the January challenge of 30 paintings in 30 days I knew I would not be able to create a finished worthy full size painting everyday, Alas it does not work out that way as many of my blogging artists would know. I knew I needed a back up plan to have some little studies for the days when I had no time to paint or nothing worthy of showing.
Please bear with me whilst I explain my idea:
When I first left the work force I cooked with a passion. Three course special meals several times a week, I had nothing else to do. I have for some years subscribed to a cooking magazine called "delicious" published by the ABC and the idea was that when the new monthly copy arrived I would try out at least a couple of the recipes. My husband loved it but I got fat!. Lucky for me I found my old watercolour paints and no more excessive cooking and a little bit of weight loss (sadly not enough)
I had the idea for my back up painting studies to select recipe photos from my many copies of this lovely magazine and paint them in watercolour. These are only 6" x 4" and very quick and fun to do. I was pleased that I could also add the writing in watercolour which is a measure of my motor skills because when I first painted back in 2011 I had a lot of trouble even signing my name in watercolour on my work as I could not get the letters down without lots of splodges.
I feel very pleased that my "delicious" subscription has come in very handy.
I look forward to storing them in an album as a keepsake of this months challenge.
 "Panforte" has been posted on Leslie Satea day two of the challenge

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Day One - 30 Paintings in 30 Days

Gossip in the Gaggle
Painting size 28.5cm x 38cm
I do not intend to blog everyday of the challenge but will group some days paintings together. I am blogging on the first day just to get the challenge for me underway and of course it is already at the end of day one here in Australia.
Today I put the finishing touches to this watercolour and have put it on Leslie Saetas day one of the challenge. I thought when I chose to paint the geese it might be easy as a lot of the paper could be left white but this was certainly not the case as it took a lot of thought to get the geese to stand out from each other. I also enjoyed extending the thought of more in the gaggle right to the back of the group with some negative painting. It ended up taking me quite a few hours to complete.  I have added it to my website for sale unframed but have it in mind for an exhibition in late March if it has not sold.  Hope you like this first painting for 2014.

Happy New Year

I wish all my blogging friends and followers a healthy, happy and brilliant 2014.

Its time to get ready for Leslie Saetas event "30 paintings in 30 days".

 It is not just the painting that keeps this a busy challenge but with so many participants it is keeping up with viewing and commenting on other artists blogs throughout the month. Fingers crossed we all survive!