Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Meridian Playground

On July 31, 1907 the Sisters of the Good Shepherd opened “The Home of the Good Shepherd” in north Seattle to provide shelter, education, and guidance to girls and young women in crisis. The Sisters planted and maintained a fruit orchard and vegetable garden on the eleven acre property. Part of the original grounds has become Meridian Park and includes many of the 100-year old trees the Sisters planted.
The  Playground is themed after children's books.
I used direct painting with watercolor and a waterbrush for the hand hewn look of the water faucet post. The naturalistic part of the spread was done with line and wash, using permanent ink and Prima Watercolors. My sketch buddy, Tina, uses tinted pages for many of her sketches. Scroll down her IG account to see them.

Meridian Playground is one of the few public parks in the city that remains unsprayed. The nets are an organic method of protecting the fruit from disease and insects. Volunteers maintain and harvest the fruit which is given to charities for people in need.
I couldn't resist going back for a quick pencil sketch of the little tugboat. Finished later with ink and markers.
The property is owned by the City of Seattle and much of the orchard is maintained by Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation.  The Good Shepherd Center, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is managed by Historic Seattle. Its adjacent parking lot contains 26 fruit trees which are maintained by Historic Seattle. The Seattle P-Patch Program and Seattle Tilth manage fruit trees within the learning and community garden areas.
The apples are now about the size of ping pong balls.

Cedar picnic tables make a great place to lay down your sketches while taking photos, but it's about 90°F in direct sun, and 85°F in the shade right now.

I had fun being playful with my headline and text. I felt that the bright colors of my Arteza brush markers were just the touch needed for the children's themed sketches.

Art abandonment postponed. Look for updates on my Instagram feed for the next opportunity to catch this abandoned art.

I posted this on my Instagram feed for the June monthly SeattleUSk outing. I had everything packed up in
my sketch bag the night before, but life interrupted. 

We got a surprise visit from our grandson and two little great grandchildren and just had to spend the day with them. Grilled salmon, salad, ice cold beer,  the sprinkler running in the back yard for the kids to run through, animal crackers, easy chat, relaxing on the deck; it was a great day!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#30x30DirectWatercolor2018 Day 13 and 14

The butterfly was so quick!
Daniel Smith watercolor stick--French Ultramarine Blue
More direct watercolors from my blue and white garden for Days 13 and 14. June is the perfect month for this challenge because that's when all my blue flowers bloom. The roses are already fading now and the blue flowers will be gone in a few weeks, except for the bell floweres, lobelia and pansies.
Had to add the butterfly and the half open blossom.
I started these out on a drizzly day, testing out my blues and purples and pinks to find the right combination. Daniel Smith French Ultramarine Blue watercolor stick was better than the DS Cobalt Blue for this subject.

Then today, the sun came out and I saw the buds of my hydrangea respond by starting to open up.

I saw a very dramatically marked butterfly pollinating my subject. It was so quick, but visited again and again. That gave me a chance to note the way that it almost looks upside down and the head is not where you might think it is. I think it might be the Canadian Tiger Swallowtail.
iPhone Live photo, Press to see brief video
My husband took this live photo a few days ago. I don't know if it will react unless you see this on an iPhone or iPad, but the original photo gave a few seconds of action.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

#30x30DirectWatercolor2018 Day 11 and 12

One Dozen -- Direct Watercolor for Day 12
#30x30DirectWatercolor2018 Day 12 One Dozen, that's how many daily direct watercolors we've done in this challenge so far!
Number 11 & 12 -I used my Prima Tropical Watercolor Set for this page. and tried out my new free sable brush.

Day 11 and 12--reading from right to left.

It's a fun day in the studio today. Besides adding my daily direct watercolor to my sketchbook from the rose arbor, I got a package in the mail  of Turner Watercolor tubes, a free dot card and a free #4 round sable brush. 
Still have to say that Winsor & Newton is my favorite for the earth colors.

I'm always comparing different brands of Burnt Sienna and Raw Sienna to my favorite Winsor & Newton tubes. You can see the comparison here, so still not quite the same. I especially like the Winsor & Newton brand of raw sienna for a natural soft yellow for a glow in the sky. The Winsor & Newton burnt sienna plus French ultramarine blue give a much more neutral mix of warm and cool greys than these other burnt siennas that seem a bit redder and result in a mauve or purple type of gray.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Day Nine and Ten of 30x30 Direct Watercolor

I just got these finished for Day 9 and 10 of the #30x30DirectWatercolor2018 challenge and stepped quickly inside as it started to rain. I should have waited, because a beautiful sun break happened after the rain. On the other hand, you just have to know how to paint in diffused light if you're going to make watercolors in the PNW.
Working on Timing and expressive Brushstrokes

I feel fortunate that I have so many choices from my garden right now. I love Delphiniums for their unusual blue colors and interesting shapes all along the stem. You get to see every stage of the flower as it blooms from bottom to top.
Definitely wet on wet. Still wet while snapping a photo.
I tend to take a photo almost the instant I finish signing the painting. I sign the painting while the last brushstrokes are still wet.  There's a reflection from the sky in a bubble of wet paint, which you can probably see if you look closely at the center of the right hand stem.
Some watercolor effects after completely dry
Some watercolor effects take place while the painting is drying and aren't recorded in the snapshots that I take for social media. The Kilimanjaro paper takes much longer to dry than some other papers I use and causes a variety of surprise effects in the process. You can see this above, where I took another photo before posting this article.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Day Six of 30x30 Direct Watercolor

I think I'm catching the last of my Siberian Iris before they go to seed! Why do all my favorite flowers bloom at the same time!
No preliminary drawing, just direct watercolor with my Rosemary dagger brush.
I'm still getting used to the long wait time while the Kilimanjaro paper in my Cheap Joes Paintbook takes its time drying. Either that or it's a lot more humid around here today than I thought. But at last it's a day full of sunshine!
Getting the most out of my little bouquet.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Day Four and Five of 30x30 Direct Watercolor


I'm still frantically trying to keep up with the roses and the challenge of one direct waterccolor painting a day at the same time. I want to do several different sketches before they have to be pruned. There won't be another bloom until late August.
Just a few steps out the door from my studio.
I still need to post my Day Two sketch of the roses arched over my studio window. It's on different paper and not in this sketchbook.
After cutting a bouquet of Siberian Iris, Mock Orange and Ceanothus, I brought my sketch in to dry.
I left some room, albeit to the left of my sketch today, for tomorrow. I doubt I will have time to post these until then. (What can I say? Time is not really linear for me.) It's hard to keep up with the FaceBook group, Instagram and other social media during a marathon of sketching and painting.

Bees and Ceanothus (California Lilac)
See my post on the official 30x30 Direct Watercolor Facebook Group page for some compositional notes on why I arranged this sketch the way I did. #30x30DirectWatercolor2018
I think I saw at least 4 different types of  bees all over this ceanothus bush.

I posted the above photos plus a short little video of happy bees on my Instagram feed.
And here's what they look like together in my sketchbook.
Day 4 on the right and Day 5 on the left. :-)

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Day Three of 30x30 Direct Watercolor

From under the patio umbrella in my back garden.
This was truly a day for "wet in wet" watercolor. As you can see, I checked about halfway through and it was 52°F with 88% humidity. I am literally "zooming in" by foot, between raindrops and then retreating to paint under the patio umbrella.
Work in Progress
I used my Rosemary 1/2" dagger brush and my Kilimanjaro Paint Book, vertically this time, and marked off an approximate 5x7" area with my blue painters' tape to keep the whole thing from running off the edges. I'm realizing this paper is great for wet lifting, but the wet stage lasts quite a bit longer than I'm used to with Arches 140lb CP.

Occasionally I had to run over to my subject for a few details.
No need for squinting to eliminate extraneous detail. My painting spot gave me just the right blur for the big shapes.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Day One of 30x30 Direct Watercolor

I’ll be posting my daily practice for better or worse during this challenge 
I thought I would just step out my studio door and paint the roses covering the corner trellis. But you need sunshine and shadows for that. AND it was National Donut Day so I had important business to take care of in town as well.
So I piled a bunch of watercolor supplies in the car and found a view I like. An important part of plein air painting from the mobile studio is safe and easy parking. This spot is across from a soccer field with a wide gravel roadside entrance. 
Waiting for washes to dry.
I’m using one of my Cheap Joes sketchbooks for the first half of the month. I haven’t painted in one of these for quite a while, so I’m not surprised that there’s a bit of an adjustment to make.

Then there’s the extreme humidity today and the distraction of horses wandering around the pasture!
Oh, and apologies to the Palomino for making you look like a mule.

National Donut Day 2018

Chocolate, Vanilla Drizzle, Raspberry filling, Fried Dough=A Thing of Beauty
It's 3:00 pm and I just now am sitting down to sketch my subject for the morning. I've come to the conclusion that I will never outrun or out-post my friend, Tina. She was blissfully unaware that today is National Donut Day until I happened to mention it in passing. 5 minutes later she's at Top Pot eating a gigantic chocolate covered doughnut and texting the first bite for me to envy!
Mustard or Sriracha anyone?
It's one thing to find a sketchable subject, but quite another if you're going to eat it, too! My final sketching destination ended up being Haggens bakery. Should have known. They even had red, white and blue sprinkles on their National Donuts! On a rainy, drizzly day, there's nothing quite like having a seat at the window in Haggens' cozy dining area with all the counter space I want, free WIFI and donuts! (Excuse me, I can't sketch and chew at the same time)

Haggen's is on it! Plenty of donuts at 2:31pm
My first choice was Karl's in Everett. They are within walking distance from Funko World HQ and I thought I'd better call. Yep! Wiped out by 11am.
2pm - All that's left of the second batch of the day at the Dutch Bakery

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The 30x30 Watercolor Challenge for June

Since 2007, the subtitle of my blog has been Daily Painting Practice to Grow as a Painter. The masthead artwork of my blog is from a 15x22” watercolor that I painted directly without preliminary drawing. As you can see, from the beginning I have included many of my watercolors that were “direct paintings”.
I’ve been painting a majority of my watercolors  directly without preliminary drawing.for years. When it comes to architecture or portraits I generally depend on a light pencil drawing or even a sketch in pen for line and wash.
All this took place before I ever became aware of the urban sketching international group or any of the pivotal people involved. Fast forward to the present and I am pleased to be a blog correspondent for Seattle USK and a faculty member for the Urban Sketchers 10x10 Workshop Program. In fact, I just finished my Spring Workshop, First Steps into Visual Journaling.
Imagine my excitement when Marc Taro Holmes announced a new online watercolor challenge and Facebook group just for this event!
Naturally, I’m in! Are you?