Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Green Leaf Study II

This is my Green Leaf Study II. I like it better than the first one. The sunlight plays a bigger role in the painting. I also like the leaves a little more and the use of the warm colors and the cool colors and the many shades of green.
I think I was a little more successful in having soft edges and hard edges but I still need some work in that area.

Years ago I never would have thought about painting green leaves. But now I see more in it. I love paintings of the simplest of objects and especially objects that are not often made into "stars" of paintings. You can find beauty in the smallest and/or the simplest of things.

Also I have been thinking alot lately of seeing colors. I have told my students many times that when learning how to paint or draw you need to learn how to see better. And that the better you are able to paint or draw the more you are able to see. It's one of those snowball learning experiences. I have had students tell me that they have a hard time seeing the colors that I point out to them and I have had the same experience with my teachers telling me the colors that they are able to see. How can I learn to see more and teach people to see what they are looking at better? Or is it just a natural progression in the learning process?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Artisans in the Park

The 17th St. Art Festival was wonderful. Beautiful weather, friendly people and good sales.

Next weekend I'm in Artisans in the Park. It is at Great Neck Park 2513 Shorehaven Dr., Virginia Beach. The hours are Saturday, August 1st from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday August 2nd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

There are about 75 artists and artisans presenting their work. It is a lovely park with trees and winding paths and a walkway that goes out to the Lynnhaven Bay. There will be food, musical entertainment and children's activities.

If you're not doing anything next weekend, and if you're in the neighborhood stop by and visit. You should have a fun time.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

17th Street Art Festival

I just wanted to remind everyone about the 17th Street Art Festival. It's going to be this Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm at the 17th Street park between Atlantic Avenue and the Boardwalk. The artists showing their work are all local and regional artists.
Jane Fuqua, Rae Gordner, Pamela Hill, Mary Kay Holladay, Pat Dehart and myself (members of the Creative Artists of Tidewater) will be there showing our art and jewelry. There will also be 19 other artists showing their painting, jewelry, sculpture, photography and more.

I was there last year and it was a great show so if you happen to be in the neighborhood stop by to see us.

I've got to go now I have a bunch of last minute things to do in order to get ready for the show. Maybe I'll see you there.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


This is another recent painting of mine. It is currently hanging at the Gallery at East Beach, Norfolk, VA.
In it I used gouache in the center of the flower. (The off white and yellow is gouache and the pink is watercolors.) Gouache is an opaque watercolor. Watercolors are more transparent. The gouache allows you to "cover up" more easily.
Traditionally when painting in watercolors you do not use gouache. Especially to paint the whites. You leave the paper to show the whites. I do not use gouache in my watercolor painting as I love the transparency of the watercolors. But sometimes I use it to capture a more opaque area like the center of this flower. I also use it to add a little white as in my Central Park and Ocean Wave paintings. This is why I think of it as mixed media.
Some people use gouache with their watercolors. They mix it with the colors and paint beautiful opaque paintings. Gouache can be mixed with watercolor colors and or the different colors of gouache can be mixed together. Some people paint with gouache alone.
There are three nature books by Maryjo Koch that you should check out. They are Seed Leaf Flower Fruit, Bird Egg Feather Nest and Pond, Lake River Sea. Her paintings are beautiful and she uses gouache.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Recently in my watercolor class with Reinike Leenders, I have been working on painting flowers. It all started with my green leaf studies.

Painting flowers is something I have always loved. They are the first things that I painted and I go back to them often. Sometimes I think that I should, certainly could, specialize in flowers. But of course there are too many other things that I see and am compelled to paint.

There are so many things about flowers that make them a great subject. First of all they are beautiful and beauty is something I strive to capture in most of my paintings. There is so much beauty in the world and I often try to fill my art with it. They have wonderful colors, textures and shapes that are challenging to create. They also have their own distinctive personalities that make them a fun subject.

In my art studies there are learning phases. First you learn something intellectually and then at different times you achieve different levels of being able to perform what you have learned. This keeps going. I don't think I have ever reached a place that I can say I've learned all that I can about a certain faction of painting. This applies to both techniques and composition as well as transfering inspiration to a completed piece of art. Then in the learning process once I have learned a certain amount in one area I become open to new avenues of learning. I think this is something that I am going through with my flower painting.

Right now I'm preparing for art shows that I feel I should be painting ocean related subjects (after all I live in Virginia Beach) and I am painting flowers. I guess that's the way it is.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

6 out of the 8 Women

The Opening Reception at the Gallery at East Beach went very well. Here's 6 out of the 8 Women that were in the show.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Creative Artists of Tidewater

The Creative Artists of Tidewater is having a show at the Gallery at East Beach at 9559 Shore Dr., Norfolk, VA from July 10th to July 29th. There is an Opening Reception on July 10th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

The Creative Artists of Tidewater's website is up and running. Check it out at creative-tides.com.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Two Pears

These Two Pears are done in watercolor and watercolor pencil. I started them as a demo for a watercolor pencil class. Then I used them as a demonstration for my Mixed Media class that I am now teaching.

There are three basic ways of using watercolor pencils. First you can use them like watercolors by "scribbling" some pencil on some scratch paper and putting a wet brush into it and voila you can paint with it like it was watercolors. The second way is by using them like watercolor pencils. You can draw on your watercolor paper and then apply a wet brush to it and it miraculously turns into a watercolory substance. You can also dip your pencil into water and then draw with a solid watercolor or wet your paper first and mark it with the pencil and see it melt onto the page. The third way of using them is to use them like a regular dry colored pencil. This is good for putting detail on a painting as the finishing touches. Finally a fun trick with watercolor pencils is to spatter them onto wet paper or paint with a nail file.

They are alot of fun to use and they travel well. I often use them with a Niji brush which holds water and a notebook on the go! If you haven't used them yet, give them a try. I think you will enjoy them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Contest Winners

I want to congratulate Dick and Meera for winning the contest about mixed media - watercolor crayons. I used a combination of crayon shavings with water to get the effect in the grout of the bricks.
Dick and Meera you can email me with your choice of prints and your address that I can mail it to. (I have most of my current paintings in 8 X 10 prints.)