Saturday, December 9, 2017

Explored on Flickr!

I painted this and posted it on my Flickr Photostream yesterday. I am honored that it was Explored and now has 2.9k views. (Update 8:30am Saturday-6.1k views)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Studio Snowscape with Salt Wash


See my Instagram for short video on salt wash
Having some 5x7”” fun in the studio today. I started out with the idea of posting a simple video tutorial on my Instagram feed, but the techno gremlins got me. Actually, the first video post came out great. You can view it by following the link in the caption above.

Here's the finished landscape before adding figures and the chimney with smoke. See my Instagram feed for the final version.
Closeup of salt wash while wet.


A few tips:
  • I'm keeping to a limited palette of Fr. Ultramarine Blue and Burnt Sienna
  • I don't usually tape all around the page but this is a small 5x7" and won't be affected by wet paper expansion
  • Make sure you brush off all the salt once the wash is dry. Salt particles are abrasive to natural hair brushes.
  • Salt water takes longer to dry than fresh water, so your paper needs more time to dry than usual.
  • Since the salt effect wasn't as pronounced as I would like, I added light blue spatter and Uniball Signo White gel pen for more snow at the end.

Monday, November 13, 2017

A Nod to Wyeth

A nod to Wyeth.
Sometimes as a way of doing preliminary studies I will make several versions of a painting as greeting card sketches. Often, that's all they will ever be, just explorations.

This 5x7 gives me an opportunity to play around with a bit of Wyeth metaphor in the imagery. Here's a list in case you haven't caught the implications on your own:
  1. A colonial wrought iron candle stick holder. Something that would have been common at Chad's Ford during the Revolutionary War.
  2. The candle is colonial style, too. 
  3. Eggs, as in egg tempera, the medium for which Wyeth became known.
  4. The jagged edges of the broken egg shells remind me of the jagged edges on a log of fire wood outside one of Wyeth's window compositions.
  5. There is the window, of course, with the windows of the building outside peering in as Andrew might have done.
  6. The autumn season was one of Wyeth's favorites as was the same limited palette I'm using here.
  7. Andrew used a bit of underlying drama to create a certain amount of unease in his compositions. I have alternated symmetry and asymmetry to leave the viewer slightly off balance. The candle flame, almost but not quite touching the window handle causes a bit of visual tension.
  8. And then there are the shadows reminiscent of the shadows on the ceiling at Kuerner's. This time they're on the tablecloth. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Painting the last of the Autumn Leaves

Here are the amazing leaves that my students painted in class today.
Congratulations, Margo L!
Not only did Margo's concentrated effort yield great results with her class project, she found my abandoned art for the day! See my countdown to #USKGlobal24hrSketchwalk
Margo allowed me to add a few autumn colors to the abandoned art she found in the gallery this morning.
Two days down and two to go with my Abandoned Art Project. Where will tomorrow's piece be hidden? Who will find it?

Egg Tempera and Autumn Leaves

We had so much fun at Skagit Valley College with our autumn leaves and our handmade egg tempera. Inspired by Andrew Wyeth and nature itself! SVC night class, YOU ROCK!
Class demonstration--trying out a few recipes for egg tempera

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Countdown to #USkGlobal24hrSketchwalk Four Days Left!

On Saturday, November 11, 2017, Urban Sketchers around the world will be participating in a 24 hour Sketch Walk to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Urban Sketchers. I'm going to start counting down today!

In addition, I am going to try something for the first time. I will abandon these 4 hand painted art prints, one a day, culminating with abandoning the last one on Saturday, Nov 11 at King Street station in Seattle!  Which one is your favorite?
See Art Abandonment Project here for more info. The image is fresh, printed from my original urban sketch drawn just a few hours ago and hand painted with watercolor! Please email me if you find one! Maybe with a photo of you finding it?

This morning I heard the street sweeper as he drove slowly around our neighborhood. Very rare on our street! I dropped my pen and lost a shoe in the rush to get the sketch before he was gone!
My original bona fide urban sketch, fresh off the sidewalk this morning!
See my Instagram feed for more photos of the excitement of urban sketching, posted in action!

Monday, November 6, 2017

TA DA! Finished 31 drawings, ink and watercolor in 31 Days, Inktober 2017


So, initially, I thought I would interpret "Mask", the prompt for the last day of Inktober, with a drawing of my masking fluid collection. I left it too late on Oct. 31 to post before midnight, so the pressure was off.

Life continued to interrupt until after having visited the Seattle Art Museum and the Andrew Wyeth Retrospective Exhibit; I glanced over at the light on this old abandoned house this afternoon. Filtered through my recent experience of Wyeth's metaphor, it seemed as though the house was looking out through mask-like windows at the world passing it by. In a way, the exterior of a house masks from the outside world the lives that are lived inside. Sometimes, we get a glimpse through the windows, but in this case all their secrets have disappeared along with those who formerly lived here.
Mask-Day 31
Inktober Days 24-31. See my Instagram feed for "United"-Day 29
Ship, Squeak, Climb, Fall
I couldn't resist giving an Acme Sketch Kit to the sketcher out on the precipice. :)
I love the soft, filtered light that comes through the pleated fabric blinds in our bedroom.
From my reading chair. Day 24. Coziest, most comfortable sketching spot yet!
And that's a wrap until next Inktober! Thanks for the inspiration, Jake!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Day with Andy

I spent most of the day with Andy (Andrew Wyeth) at the Seattle Art Museum today. The exhibit is a retrospective of over 100 paintings done throughout Andrew Wyeth's life of 91 years.
On the steps at Seattle Art Museum for the Andrew Wyeth Exhibit
Some of my students from north of Seattle carpooled to join me. What a wonderful group with whom to share such an inspirational experience! Not to mention a delicious lunch at the museum cafe, Taste.


And, at first, I thought Helga had stopped in for a visit as well!


On location with a palette like Wyeth's


Watercolor in my "Perfect Sketchbook" - on location on Camano Island, Feb 2015.
Whether it's intentional or not, certain paintings of mine will look Wyeth-influenced. I sat in my car on Russell road and painted this while rain pattered on the roof. The limited palette, both from nature and by choice from my watercolor palette, give this piece its somber mood. The texture comes from drybrush technique, easily achieved on the 140 lb. paper of my Perfect Sketchbook.

EXPLORED AGAIN! Wow! This one was picked by Explore from my Flickr Photostream. I am very pleased!