This is a painting of one of my fellow workshop attendees. Instead of listening to the the teacher, I was snapping pictures of stuff I thought might make a good painting. Shame on me! But I really did love this hat and white blouse. They were super fun to paint.
All week I've been teaching at the local YMCA outdoor art camp. We have about 75 students 6-12 years old. It's always fun, hot, tiring and challenging. It's Friday - and I've been in my pjs since I got home and showered at 4:30pm. The ac was like heaven when I walked in the door- and my bed looks REALLY inviting.
This is a grouping of several of the paper paintings I did. I used liquid watercolors by Dick Blick. I put the water colors into spray bottles and used stencils to create the paper. A Cherry on Top online website has a great selection of the Crafter's Workshop Templates, which I really like. Make sure to wear gloves if you give this a try. The liquid watercolors are very intense and are usually diluted 4-1. I find this to be a really fun diversion from painting.
This was painted from a photo I had taken in Vermont last summer during the Susan Abbott Workshop. I had tried to do a oil sketch while I was there but I lost the light and couldn't finish. So it was fun to finally get this painting on canvas the was I was seeing it in my head. Have you heard of Annie's Homegrown line of organic goodies? We love the bunny pasta and salad dressing. Well, Annie is a real person and she was in the workshop. She graciously let us come and paint in plein air on her property. There were so many things to see and at least a hundred paintings to paint. I took a bunch of pictures, but now I wish I had taken many, many more. Annie showed us the gardens that were once used for the test kitchen.
What caught my attention right away were the two beautiful gazing globes, one on a pedestal and one suspended on a pole. Of course I love flowers and thought this was an amazing garden. I did this 9 x 12" and still think I'd like to do one more a bit larger.
I decided to use an exercise that I'd tried before. I set my watch for 30 minutes and took only 20 strokes to do each painting. I used a 6 x 8" canvas and picked photographs I thought would lend themselves to this idea. It really helps to mix up all your colors as best as you can before hand. Then use a big brush, because you need to scoop up lots of paint so you can do a big section with one stroke. As long as your brush doesn't leave the canvas it's still the same stroke. So the sky in the first one was done with one stroke. try it - it's really fun and the results are pretty cool.
So here is my friend Lucy. I met her when I was in Vermont last year. I was staying at a wonderful bed and breakfast called Fruitlands. They raise a few llamas, blueberries and raspberries and sell maple syrup. Blueberries were in season when I was there. I got to eat some of the blueberries and they were so so good. Fresh from the garden. That inspired me to try and grow some here, but alas, no luck yet.
Anyway, about Lucy. She was pretty shy and was separated from the rest of the herd. It was her job to guard the guinea hen chicks that had just hatched before we got there. They were cool also, but too quick to dive under the bushes to stay hidden. I never got a picture of them. I did collect one of their pretty tail feathers. I tried to make friends with Lucy and did manage to get one kiss, but that was it. So this year at the retreat I decided to warm up doing a loose portrait of her. Ode to Lucy- the guinea hen chick protector!
So if you don't know anything about Guinea Hens you can check out this short website. Hmmm.........
One side of our property butts against a wooded area so we have a lot of deer traipsing through our yard doing as they please. But this was so cute I couldn't resist. The retreat was fabulous and super productive and I'll be posting more of the work I got done. If you ever need to get away to make some art - retreats are the way to go. I did over twenty painted paper pieces and 15 oil paintings. Amazing the creative energy was really flowing. But re-entry is not always easy, as any astronaut will tell you. I've been battling the enormous tomato crop (a good thing) that needs to be made into sauce or something and other family stuff. So I am looking forward to painting tomorrow. Watch for the new paintings.
We are making wonderful progress. Each artist is focused on completing various projects, yet everyone takes time to share and encourage each other. Every medium seems represented from oils, to watercolor, acrylics and encaustics. This is how much table space I have - two 8 foot tables per artist.
Here are just a few of the paintings being pumped out by everyone. I just put away all the mixed media supplies last night and have started painting outside. I'll post them later. But just to give you an idea of how the creative juices are flowing I finished four small paintings so far today and we still have several hours to go. This is a blast.