Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Selfie for the Road, watercolor by Jane Albin

"Selfie for the Road"
12"x15" Watercolor on 140# Arches Bright White

I won First Place for the Quick Draw event last May with this watercolor in Camp Hill PA.  Part of the prize package was an ad in Plein Air Magazine.  I suddenly realized that I was going to actually publish my new web site since it is listed in the ad.  OH NO!!!

Well I have the web site up and running as of two days ago.  It still needs some tweaking and a lot more work but I guess it is an acceptable beginning.   If you want to check it out, the web address is

About the picture.
I wanted to do something with reflections and the Airstreams were calling me. They were behind a wonderful eatery, the Cornerstone Cafe, on the main street of Camp Hill.  I staked out my location to paint two hours before the quickdraw start, and went in and had breakfast some fellow artists.  Then we all left to paint.  Halfway through the piece I was sweating, frustrated, and wondering what I had been thinking trying to paint these ridiculous things that I could not finish in time…  aaaggghhhh!!!!
Not to mention the clouds rolling by changing the shadows every few seconds.

So here are the pictures from that day.  I was truly surprised when I won. (I thought the judge only liked oil paintings.)    Next time please remind me to "take off that ridiculous hat"!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Painting Your Way Out Of A Corner - by Barbara Diane Barry

I have to admit, when I saw this title in the new books section of my library, I did a double take.
I reread the title and finally decided to take it home for a more thorough review.  The paint brushes on the cover got to me.  I am always looking for new art books at my library.  This book looked like it had fun little exercises to do.  (I like assignments that are never due.) Who knows I could learn something.

This book is by Barbara Diane Barry.  She does workshops for people who are creatively stuck. 

The exercises start out simple and easy and fun. These are not at all what I usually paint. I used pan gouache paints in a Canson XL series Mixmedia sketchbook (9x12inches, 98lb.) 

Then the assignments got personal.  Paint your inner critic.  Paint your physical hurts.  Paint someone or something bothering you. They can be monsters or shapes. Real or symbolic.
I was going to quit doing the exercises here, but a friend goaded me into continuing on.

Then we drew an oval and made a face, sort of. You could turn it into something else. Then make stick figures.  (The Olympics were on TV, can you tell?)
Now paint something from the inside looking out, or reversed.  Next paint a container and fill it with your perceived problems.  Make someone hold it and dispose of them (say dropping them in a hole).
I did not show you all the paintings I did. The last picture is of a perfect world, my vision. 
Okay and I forgot to flip it in the scanner.
I can say this book was fun and got me to paint a lot of things I never would have thought of.  At certain parts I was aggravated and wanted to stop.  She went into a bit more detail than I like about how our brains function.  Her main focus is getting you unstuck.  I am rarely blocked. My problem is usually editing the multitude of projects I am working on. 
Thanks Ms. Barry! It was fun.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Minis for "Warm Your Heart"

Watercolors with Ink on Artist Trading Cards

Just a few more the of the tiny paintings for the "Warm Your Heart" event at Brushstrokes Art Supply store at 340 Market Street in Lewisburg.  The event is Friday and Saturday Jan.31-Feb.1, 2014.
Drop by if you can with your old (or new) blankets, towels, sheets, pet supplies or cash: which will be delivered to seven local animal charities.

Thank you Peggy and Asulu from class for donating small oil paintings.   See them all at Brushstrokes.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mini's For a Good Cause

"Oscar"      -                      "Pittsburgh City Deer"
Artist Trading Cards: Watercolor and Ink

The 'Lewisburg Ice Festival' is fast approaching.  With this winter, it could be a good one. 
The event is this coming weekend: January 31- February 2, 2014

Brushstrokes, local art supply store, extraordinaire, will be hosting its 
annual “Warm Your Hearts - Pets in Need” donation event to benefit seven of our local animal rescues.  
 Old blankets, towels, dog or cat items, and any other useful items are collected at their 340 Market Street location.  Any cash donation over $25 gets a tiny original artist card. Above are two of mine being donated for the cause.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Hazel Soan - 10-Minute Watercolors

 I just love this "little" (4 1/2"x3 1/4") book!   Hazel Soan is the author.
Hazel Soan is a well known UK artist who has authored a number of watercolor books.  She has made several videos on painting and done TV appearances in the UK.
The book is divided into three parts; materials, creative zone, and painting in practice.  The 192 pages are packed with wonderful techniques and tips.   It covers subject matter from landscapes and seascapes, to florals, animals, people and portraits and still life.

I purchased my copy as inspiration for teaching my watercolor class.

Below are a few of my renditions from the book.

I combined two of her images for the gondola man.  The oranges are my version of hers.
Both are postcard sized.
Here I added two of her figures to a tiny painting I did last year.  (ATC size)
Thank you, Hazel, for this gem.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cold Sunset in Lewisburg

"January Sunset in Town"
8"x8" Original watercolor

It was too cold to paint outside today so I painted looking out the window.  It was uncomfortable with the sun streaming in blinding me.  I was trying to do a sunset.  I checked and got 5:08PM as sunset, so I got to my window at 4:00 and started blocking in the painting as fast as I could.  The sun was not cooperating.  It took a diagonal path between the buildings across the street and I had to blot it in with white gauche.  I kept seeing spots from gazing into the light and then I couldn't tell what colors I was mixing on my palette.   I am pleased with the outcome and will have to do this exercise again soon.