Wednesday, July 26, 2017

WCW #19: Abstraction

When I don't quite know what to paint!
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone!! Today's post is all about the blank page. I am finding that the parallels between writing and painting are striking. Both involve paper, color/ink, and ideas. So what happens when nothing comes to mind in writing? Journal. Write what comes to mind. Don't stop to think. Just write. So, what happens when the ideas for paintings stop? Just paint. Don't stop to think. Dab the colors from your pallet and just go for it.

If you have been following me for a while, you know that I post most of my journal explorations on Instagram. I almost did not post the painting above, because to me, it was just randomness. Turns out, people really responded to it and seemed to like it. So, you never know. Those 'just do it' moments may actually turn out to be pretty great.

 Watercolor Summer Challenge

In previous posts, I gave you all information about World Watercolor Month. This week is the last week to enter for a huge giveaway. Head over to Angela Fehr's website by clicking the image above to find out more. This week's challenge is cherry, lemon, and turquoise. I've started on one idea, but I'm not thrilled with it. When I finally land on something, I may update this post.

Until next time, what do you do to get 'unstuck'? Let me know in the comment section below. Until next week, paint your heart out!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

#100 Days #12: Final Review

Happy Sunday everyone! Below is a short clip of  the collection of my personal #100dayproject.

If you are interested, you can head over to Instagram and search #100daysofwatercolorexercises to see all 100+ paintings or check out #100dayproject2017 to see all of the wonderful artists who accepted the challenge. Just a note, the #100dayproject isn't only about art. It's truly a motivation to improve at anything and share that progress with everyone on IG.

Also, this is World Watercolor Month [#worldwatercolormonth], and Angela Fehr is hosting a Watercolor Summer Challenge [#watercolorsummer2017] where you have a chance win all sorts of watercolor prizes, including a lifetime of watercolor courses offered by Angela Fehr! So check out the links and join in the fun!

 Watercolor Summer Challenge

In the weeks ahead, I will replace this segment with warm-ups, watercolor paint and supply reviews, and whatever else comes my way. Until next time...paint your heart out!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

WCW #18: Practice-Practice-Practice

Taking time to reset the pallet
Happy Watercolor Wednes....ummmm...Saturday, folks! Yes, like George Washington, I cannot tell a lie. I'm late with this week's post, but there are 35 reasons why. Earlier this week, I was at a conference with this great group of teachers learning how to be better in the classroom so that students are prepared for....wait for!

The finest educators I know...all are dedicated to helping students be successful!
Yes, this truly is my first passion. Ensuring that students are empowered to make a difference. Students are our future, and the time investment is so worth it. But enough sappy-stuff...on to this week's post.

One thing I know our students truly hate is when a teacher says...'try that again,' or 'if you considered adding  ___ here, then ___.' Yep, we're talking about revision, do-overs, and even starting all over again. But isn't that what learning is all about? One thing our dear young students...and even not realize is the greats from Beethoven to Dr. Seuss all drafted, re-worked, and even scratched a project to start all over again. Yes, perfection is not immediate. It takes time, patience, and honest reflection. That is when the best in each of our selves shine. So below is a review of some of my favorite do-overs. I'll begin with the ugly, maybe the better, and then my current best. By no means am I finished. Staring into the eyes of the teachers above, I know I've only just begun! Enjoy!

First attempt at Yes, to me, it's more like a pumpkin. Painted 2016

Today's version...looks a little more like an apple!

April 2017's version of cactus with  flower buds

April 27, 2017...following along with Jay Lee Watercolor on YouTube

July 2017's version. This was painted from cacti in my own yard. A true original.
Thanks for scrolling through the entire post. And if you know a teacher, please thank them for all they do for kiddos. Until next week...paint your heart out!!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

WCW #17 Paint Outside of the Box

Happy Watercolor Wednesday to you! This post is a little late today because I've been operating on island time. Mr. Pat and I have been enjoying deep sea fishing, bay fishing, with a dash of eating good island food and shopping. That explains all of the beach scenes for this week. And all of these paintings are outside of my comfort zone. Okay, all of watercolor is outside my comfort zone, but by focusing on the modern florals, I felt I was making progress. Painting a different subject has brought me back to square one mainly because I'm still relying on an ability to draw or sketch out what I'm painting...even if it is with a brush. I figured a Nautilus would be pretty easy to paint. It's just a spiral, right? The reference was actually a sand representation, so it had the basic shape, but not the colors. I could, and should, have pulled up a reference photo, but I didn't. I created my own extra-large Nautilus overtaking the sea!

This abstract was inspired by some pillows in our condo. The colors reminded me of the beautiful deep sea colors, so I thought that would be a great title page for this latest journal. I've said that I like the smaller size before, but after painting in another journal close to this size, I'm finding that I have more room and freedom to create works. I'm truly loving this journal.

To capture the feel of yesterday, I decided to paint this scene. The saying comes from an accent piece in the condo, and the umbrella was inspired by an Instagram post of a beach scene in Italy. I opted to paint one umbrella and add the flip flops. I do like how the boardwalk turned out. I used a mixture of Raw Sienna, Burnt Umber and Payne's Gray. All of the blues are a variety of  Cobalt, Cerulean and Thalo. I also used Viridian mixed in to create various hues of aqua. With all of this risk-taking, I'm happy that I discovered something in the process. I painted the ocean colors on either side of the boardwalk, first. Then I decided to add the umbrella. I wasn't sure how it would turn out given the transparency of watercolor. But because the values of the umbrella were same, just more pigment, I was able set the umbrella on top of the water, and even the boardwalk. This was a happy accident and surprise, and I do think knowing this will help me with my florals.

I think this one is my favorite so far. I watched Ohn Mar Win paint some loose coral shapes, and decided to do the same. I did google a reference photo this time, and while the fish are a little misshapen, I do like the depth and variation of the scene. For the corals in all of the paintings, I used a combination of Cadmium Red Hue, Alizarin Crimson, and Cadmium Yellow.

Thanks for stopping by, and until next week paint your heart out...and dare to take a few risks!


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

WCW #16: Getting Closer

Inspiration Sister & @georgiousdraws 
Happy Watercolor Wednesday everyone! This post is all about working toward the goal. If you follow me regularly, you know that I have two weekly posts: WCW and #100 Days. I am so excited to bring this week's post to you because the painting above was inspired by two people.

First, my sister sent me this quote and asked if I would incorporate it in a watercolor painting. Without hesitation, I dove in. We all have lost someone who has inspired us, guided us, reared us, and my sister and I lost our dad last August. Our dad took time to ensure that we both matured in the Lord and grew to be women who serve others. He left quite a legacy and shoes to fulfill. But how would I approach adding flowers? The reference photo included daisies, and I have quite a lot to master in watercolor, including painting 'white.'

Saturday, July 1, I was scrolling through my Instagram home page when I stumbled upon @georgioudraws gorgeous modern floral. I have been practicing each day to imitate her style as well as others I follow daily. I love the layering of different aspects of modern florals along with the deeper values up front. The painting above is the result. My only challenge now is to replicate this three more for my mother, one for my sister and one for it is suitable for framing.

Thanks for stopping by! Please let me know how your process for finding inspiration. Until next week, paint your heart out!!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

#100 Days #11

Chihuahuan Desert
Happy 4th of July weekend everyone! Hopefully, you are enjoying a nice long weekend this 4th. Today's post features three pieces. It was another busy week in education land. While teachers usually have their long summer's nap this time of year, many are out in full force attending professional development in order to hone skills and find that one nugget that will help students be successful. This week was no exception. I was able to spend three days with 25+ educators delving into best practices for teaching reading. It was a wonderful experience!

The first piece, above, was inspired by this little guy, below. I purchased a pair of quail [at least that's what I think it is...] many years ago in Juarez. I have always been drawn to Mexican art on pottery and figurines. So the painting above incorporates the feel of those patterns.

My favorite figurine
This next painting was the favorite of the week. Perhaps it was the simplicity, or perhaps it was the quote. Whatever the draw, Instagram followers and fans seemed to like this one the best-- 

This week's favorite
This week wouldn't be complete without my personal favorite. I like this one because I am beginning to experiment more with layering various patterns and values of colors. The painting below represents what I have been working toward since learning brush lettering last year and picking up watercolor this year. I'm getting closer to my ideal, but I still have a long way to go.

My favorite--getting closer to the goal every day!
Thanks for stopping by everyone. And for those of you who have served our country: Thank you! And to us all...stay safe and have a great time this weekend!!