Saturday, April 12, 2014

Can An Old Dog Learn New Tricks? Or Can An Artist Build Her Own New Website?

new website logo

Well, we shall find out the answer to the question in the title of my blog post very soon. I have been very busy learning the ins and outs of creating a new website using my favorite modern template provider,   It's wonderful to be able to build and change your own website. Now that there are "drag and drop" website building tools out there I don't have to know any special programming code to change my website. I hope you will like my new website and find it easier to navigate. It should be done this week. I'll let you know as soon as its finished!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Learn to Paint A Garden in Watercolor or Keep a Garden Journal

Spring has sprung in Southern California and gardens are full of color everywhere. When I first started painting gardens I was overwhelmed. I  had difficulty figuring out how much to paint, how to paint all the different colors of greens in the garden and how much detail to paint. So, I'd like to share with you all the things I have learned about painting gardens, flowers and foliage in my April workshop.I had the good fortune to have garden designer, Ruth E. Wolfe and master gardener, Beth Jurecki take a series of workshops with me recently. These two taught me so much about their love of gardens and have allowed me this special opportunity to paint in one of their gardens on Friday, April 11th. Here are the details:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sketching More Teacups in Preparation For Garden Painting

I am painting more teacup gardens as fast as I can. Its a race against time to finish the painting before the flowers wilt. 

Here is my almost finished painting. I want to add a few more darks. An added bonus from posting my paintings on this blog as I look at them from more distance and can see more then from it just sitting on my desk.
These paintings are also a great way for me to prepare for my Watercolor Workshops in Gardens around San Diego.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Lemons, Wine Bottle and Cookbook Finished Watercolor

     Would you like to know the process I go through when I am making a painting? First I wander around with an idea in my head, until I start sketching. I do several little, bitty sketches (the proper name for these sketches are thumbnails). In the sketches I try out different arrangements of the things  and different layouts. This usually gives me an idea of what I want to say in the painting. Once I've chosen my thumbnail sketch, I draw it much larger on my watercolor paper. 

Once I start to paint an internal dialogue begins between me and my inner art critic. Thankfully, in the beginning stages of my painting, I usually like the painting and praise myself on my artistic skills. Then about mid way through the painting, I decide I should have been a science major and become a neurosurgeon. A few minutes later I usually give up and eat lunch or sweep the floor deciding I will not paint ever again. About 5 minutes later, I can't help myself and I go look at my painting and decide its not as bad as I thought it was and I am going to add a few more colors and brushstrokes. Then wooosh an hour  or three go by and I am lost in my private painting world and its just me, the brush and the paint and the critic must have gone out for a walk. Finally, sometime later, the painting is finished. I usually walk away at that point because I am no longer objective. 

When I return to the painting later or the next day, I see it fresh and decide what I like and what I don't like and what I can improve. A few more touches, its done. Or so I think.......

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Painting Lemons Etc.

We grew these lemons in our backyard, so we are quite proud of them. I decided I should immortalize them by painting them.
I decided to add this packet of vanilla that I bought in Tuscany to the the painting.I think the pictures on the packet are wonderful. Who wouldn't want to use angelic vanilla?
Since my painting seemed to evolve into an Italian themed still life, I had to add a bottle of red wine. Also in every class I've taught in the last few weeks someone has asked me to show them how to paint a wine bottle, so why not throw one in?
The painting is coming along well, but its not finished yet. It needed an Italian cookbook to balance the tall wine bottle, so I added the cookbook on the right behind the lemons. Tune in tomorrow to see the finished painting.