This morning, I mailed my submission to Stratford-upon-Avon, UK for the seventh Twitter Art Exhibit. The organization that is benefiting from the show is Molly Olly’s Wishes, which supports terminally ill children and their families. Over the years, I have really enjoyed participating in the project, as it has given me a feeling of being a part of something greater than myself. I hope to continue the tradition in the future.
About the painting:
I based this watercolor sketch from a snapshot I took this past July from a hilltop at Tower Hill Botanic Garden. It shows the Wachusett Reservoir and Wachusett Mountain/Mount Wachusett in the background. In 1842, Henry David Thoreau traveled from Concord to Mount Wachusett on foot over four days and wrote about it in his essay, A Walk to Wachusett. It’s a really interesting read, especially his comments on the Worcester accent, which apparently was a thing even back then.
Recently I got the chance to work on some album artwork for my good friend Robert Louis. He just released his brand new collection of instrumental jazzy Christmas songs, A Robert Louis Christmas. I’ve been playing it in the background and wishing for the semester break.
This was a fun and challenging painting to make with all the architecture, snow and monochromatic values. I love winter scenes!
Thanks to my membership at the botanic garden (and multiple visits over the summer), I now have a huge collection of snapshots of beautiful, showy, and unusual (to me) flowers to paint. Today I’m taking a look back at some pink watercolor flowers that I painted this past August in my large moleskine sketchbook. I spent quite a bit of time painting these—on paper that isn’t even intended for watercolor. It’s almost a shame that I didn’t use proper watercolor paper, but I think that the fact that it was in my sketchbook helped me to relax and enjoy myself more than I would have otherwise.
These are some of my daughter’s nature objects that found their way into my bedroom, and then my sketchbook. I made the drawings in watercolor pencils, and then instead of using plain water to activate the pencil marks, I used a brush loaded with watercolor paint as well. It was an interesting experiment and fun. I used the same colors for the two pages so they have a cohesive look.
This is my most recent project—my first pet portrait commission. I originally was planning on painting it all in watercolor, but then decided to add colored pencil to give it some more texture. I also changed the color of the dog bed from seafoam green, cream and brown to Prussian Blue. I think the blue makes the dog’s fur “pop” a lot more against the background.
I’m glad I tackled this project, but it wasn’t what I would consider a relaxing painting to make. Still, I did find it rewarding when the owner was so pleased. Now, I am going to get back to a few projects of my own.
Lately I’ve been trying to expand my skills and get a bit out of my comfort zone. With that in mind, instead of sketching with pen outdoors as I usually do, I decided to paint in watercolor. There is so much information online about people’s ideal travel watercolor setup, but I never paid attention to it much because I never took my watercolors outside with me. Interestingly, my supplies weren’t the problem for me this time.
I used a size 6 Cotman III brush and my Winsor & Newton compact set. For water, I used my regular water cup. My seating was on the granite steps going down into the lake. I felt a little uneasy because I was sitting in an awkward position with the trunk of my body twisted in an odd angle to properly view the flowers. Minuscule bugs started crawling across the paper as well which concerned me because I didn’t want to squish them and then leave a mark on my card. I found that a strong puff of exhale blew them off my paper which worked nicely. It was late afternoon when people start taking their speedboats out, which generated pretty large waves and I almost got splashed a few times.
The whole experience left me feeling rather rushed and not relaxed. The next time I go outside to paint I am going to put some more thought into my seating location as well as my subject. I will pick something less detailed and easier to paint quickly.
It’s been a while since I’ve painted in watercolor without doing an ink drawing first so I decided to try it out in my moleskine (not the moleskine watercolor album). I used fairly wet washes. Granted, moleskine paper is not meant for watercolor, hence all the buckling. Still, it was fun and I enjoyed getting outside in the breeze to paint it instead of working from a photo.
This is in the mail on the way to New York City for the Twitter Art Exhibit to be held in March. Proceeds benefit Foster Pride’s HandMade program, which teaches girls in foster care how to crochet and then market their product line.
I based this painting from a snapshot I took after one of our recent minor snowstorms. The sunset was brilliant, with pinks and purples and the lake was mostly unfrozen. This piece is more whimsical than my normal work, and I had fun with it. I used graphite pencil, Neocolor I oil pastels and watercolor.
A pink peony for Valentine’s Day, drawn from my photo archives. I have really been enjoying the artwork of Inky Leaves on Instagram and I’m getting inspired to start making some more botanical themed artwork myself in the near future. I never used to care for the white backgrounds in traditional botanical painting (thinking they were too boring), but this aesthetic has grown on me and I’m going to try to leave my backgrounds white for the next couple of paintings.
This painting was a challenge for me, and I almost quit midway through, but I am glad I persisted. Windows and doors have always been an interest of mine, but they certainly take a lot of patience. This particular door is special to me, as it is the entrance to a lovingly hand built house that has been central to many childhood memories — Grandma’s house.