Friday, March 25, 2016

Upcoming DC Art Guild Show

Art Guild Exhibit - April 7 - May 20, 2016
Spring is here and so is the Douglas County Art Guild Exhibit!    I'll have two paintings in this show including the one above of the "Barn Yard" and "Selman Drive Pines".    The next two months will be busy for me, I will also have a solo show at Dog River Library in May 2016.    I've focused on photography and watercolor for this show.   Somethings different and all new works.    I'll post the complete exhibit in May.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Rocks!!! They are hard in more ways than one!

When I took the Natural Science Illustration class last month at the State Botanical Gardens, we were given a couple of rocks and asked to draw them.    Our instructor talked about how some instructors had their class draw nothing but a rock for weeks - saying "that if you can draw a rock you can draw anything.   I keep two rocks on my drawing table and from time to time I will attempt another drawing.    She was are very hard to draw.  

Saturday, March 19, 2016


"Potter's Stream" - 6x6 - Watercolor - March 2016
Sometimes you don't feel particularly inspired but you know you need to put some paint on paper.   Last week I actually painted front and back and tossed lots of minis!   The first washes look good and then I manage to mess them up.    I've signed up for an open studio watercolor class in April.   Maybe I'll get some tips from people who have been painting with watercolor longer.   Anyway when I don't feel inspired I always go back and grab a reference photo of some of my favorite places.   This is the stream by Mark of the Potter.   Beautiful place in North Georgia.

Friday, March 18, 2016

A Long Walk - Editing Your Photo

"A Long Walk" - 6x6 - Watercolor - March 2016
Sometimes when you feel you've got nothing to paint from your reference photos, you just need to look with a different eye.     I like to write on the back of my reference photos every time I paint from one of them.    I'll put the date and the medium.   I had passed over this photo from my "hometown" group of photos many times.   It had a house on the right and several cars on the left side parked on the street and a concrete curb.   After I picked it up and started sketching in the scene, I was not sure how much I'd put in the painting.  I actually edited out a lot of the original photo.     Looking back the only thing I'd change now is to add a couple more of the rusty trees with light trunks in the back.   This is probably how this street looked years ago before the sprawl of development took over.   There are still spots that have trees and fields.     The funny thing about a place "everyone" loves is that after everyone moves there no one loves it any more.   Now this is a cluttered street.

Looking at a photo and editing out things is a great way to revisit an old reference photo.   Another way to look at them is to cut two pieces of paper to make a mat and keep moving them around different parts of the photo to find new compositions.   Sometimes you can find 3-4 paintings in one reference photo which are very different.  

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Watercolor Practice

"Farm Field" - 6x6 - Watercolor - March 2016
I'm not sure why I am so possessed with watercolor these days.    It never seems to progress much.   Guess I just have a hard time accepting defeat.   I figure if I keep tackling it - eventually it will accept me.    This scene is from a series of photos I took on a trip to the county in Temple, GA last year (or maybe its been two years now).   The Georgia farm county is beautiful.   People frequently comment that Georgia especially North Georgia has no vistas!   If you get away from the congestion of the metropolitan area you can find big beautiful sky and wide expanse of pasture.    Love it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring is Coming!

"Daisy Pot" - 9x12 - Watercolor - March 2016
Sometimes you just want to paint flowers.   All I had in my garden today were daffodils but I could see the daisies coming up.   So this painting is a dream for spring and the coming of summer flowers. Maybe I'll go to the florist and buy a bouquet to give me inspiration!     Anyway a good excuse to use masking fluid and to try dropping color.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Daily Practice - Painting 'My Town' Scenes'

"RR Crossing" - 5x7 - Watercolor - March 2016
Doing my best to keep up my daily sketching and watercolor painting.   I did this on the back of a previous watercolor practice.   I really like this scene from my hometown.   I think I'll work more on a value study sketch and then try this one again a little larger.   The tree got to 'round'.   Making interesting shapes is harder that you think.   Our mind wants to organize in round- curved lines and you really have to fight against those impulses to make the shapes interesting.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Pastel Workshop on "Ungreen"

"Rose Garden" - 9x12 - Pastel - March 2016
Today I attended a workshop given by Nancy Nowak at Roswell Fine Arts Alliance on "Ungreen".    The workshop was full of tips on beginning a painting, step by step on laying in 'ungreen' color prior to putting in the greens.    Nature is exactly that way - it's full of color.   As usual I overworked this painting.   I want to try it again and see if I can be more frugal with my strokes.    Nancy is a very good teacher and a great artist.  

Friday, March 4, 2016


"Daffodils" 9x12 - Watercolor - March 2016
Just playing today trying to drop color in an under wash to create a background.   I think in retrospect I would have masked in the daffodils and then done the background.   A dark background would highlight the daffodils.

Saturday and Sunday I have a pastel Workshop with Nancy Nowak.   My first with her and the subject is "Ungreen".    Anxious to do some pastel painting.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Making Mud"

"Barn by the Road" - 5x7 - Watercolor - March 2016
Mud....Mud....Mud...  We've all done it!    You start out painting and then decide it needs something.....then that something turns into something else and Bam!!  you have Mud!.   Why is it so hard to step away.   Watercolor is definitely a discipline that requires you "step away" to let things dry.   I want to revisit this scene again and start out much lighter for the first couple of washes.   In pastel if you things get dark there is a possibility of lighten up with some lighter softer pastels.  Unfortunately with watercolor you have to plan well and exercise restraint.   It there was an award for making mud, I'd win it today.    It's a rainy day and maybe that is clouding my minds eye.   Tomorrow I'll visit the "Barn by the Road' again.

Working With Discards

"Sloss Furnace" - 6x6 - Watercolor - March 2016
One of my compulsions is saving my artwork.  I never (at least rarely) toss anything in the trash.   I will paint on the back if it's a watercolor.    Pastel artwork I will brush off or do a wash of the existing painting and start again.    This creates an interesting collection of art.   This has a failed portrait of my granddaughter on one side and Sloss Furnace on the other.    I toss these in a drawer by my art table.   I love going thru them from time to time.   It's a good way to critique your own work.   When you have dozens of these little mini paintings laying around and many are double sided it's easy to see ways to improve.   So I guess for the artist, "there is no trash".    Just a blank piece of paper waiting to have a image painted.   It's almost as good as my sketchbook.   I have several sketchbooks and try to sketch daily.   It's fun to look back on the images.

I picked daffodils from my yard a few days ago.   Several faded and were discarded but one is still hanging on.   It was a little irregular but I found it interesting.   These little ruffled gems are a joy!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Watercolor Washes

"Selman Drive Pines" - 9x12 - Watercolor - March 2016
Today I experimented with watercolor washes.   First was a blue wash of the entire paper with graduation to white at bottom.  After putting in the purple shadow to the trees I then did another blue wash over the entire painting except the bottom.   The light color washes over the painting worked well and what started as something I though "ugh", finally began to develop.