Friday, February 29, 2008
I wanted to keep the foreground simple -- yet indicative of 'poppies' ... so I've included only a smattering of 'flower' shapes ...
I"m not sure it works or reads as a 'poppy field' .....I like the composition and the reds ... my uncertainty lies with the treatment of the foreground ... I'm still thinking ...
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
This attempt was to be a landscape highlighting the bright PINK of the prunus trees now blooming in our region -- how they poke thru all the green of the pines and the bit of dark red on the maples just budding out. In reality, the COI tree IS pink, but no matter how I tried to adjust the scan (or photo I took), it still looks far more red than it truly is.
We're having rain today -- YEAH -- not a lot, but some and that should help the buds that are breaking into leaf and blossom ...
Monday, February 25, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
But unrelenting computer problems and weekend work kept me from responding..... So again, thank you Sherry!
The only problem I find with these awards is the limit set for the number of folks to whom I can pass it along -- for surely, as I've posted in my earlier post this morning, my connection to friends I've met thru flickr and this blog from around the world, is so very important to me -- that the threat of that loss, the connection to my friends, has kept me losing sleep until my computer was repaired!!! LOL
So in order to be fair to my heart -- I'd like to pass this along to those of you whose blog or website is listed on this site -- as well as those of you who've been so generous with comments and suggestions for my travels along this journey we call learning .... Each of you has my utmost respect, friendship and love ... along with my gratitude ...
Pass it along, my dear hearts .... we truly are enriched by one another so very much .... and thank YOU, Sherry, for so very generous ...
I do need to humbly and sadly inadequately, thank you for your most overwhelming kindness for my fog painting yesterday. I am truly, deeply honored by your comments, and profusely thank YOU.
To this painting ... As I drove to Smithfield yesterday, again, as I said in my own 'fog' from sleep deprivation as well as the fog of remaining humidity from our rain (yeah rain!!), the signs of spring greeted me!! From emerging buds on the maples, spirea just blooming white, forsythia brightening the roadside with yellow, and here and there -- especially at the Arboretum--our Saucer Magnolias are showing this incredible pinky/purple/white ... and I so wanted to capture that incredible sight!
I worked on painting this Friday as I waited for the technican to restore my computer's health ....
Spring is definitely making its way here -- though, as ususal, cold threatens our blossoms and resultant fruit ... temperatures will reach the freezing point again today and tomorrow ....perhaps this fickle weather is what makes the spring blooms even more precious ....
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I'm dashing off to work today -- and mercy am I exhausted! We've had computer problems for the last two weeks. Last night, a friend of my son's spent over eight hours restoring my computer to its original state, so it was after 2 am when I finally fell into bed. When I return from work this afternoon, I'll continuing updating, restoring lost programs, and getting the computer back to my favorite views and working methods ... so I'll be back as soon as I can!
Friday, February 22, 2008
We're having a bit of wintry weather today -- icy rain ... but as treacherous as it is to travel, it's RAIN in the lakes! YEAH! Stay warm!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Even though all this blossoming is taking place, the temperature today is in the 30sF, and at my house, north by 80 miles, we're expecting sleet ... but hey, it's WET!!! YEAH!
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Last fall, we planted several hundred bulbs -- from crocuses to tulips to daylillies -- and now, at last, they're beginning to show themselves!!! And we hope with the coming spring and new blooms, the rains will bless us all!
I have a favor to ask -- if you don't mind. At the Arboretum, we're in the process of developing a 'Southern Garden." But DEFINING such a garden, the design and plants it might contain, is not something that is clearly defined in anyone's mind. We all have our 'idea' of what constitutes or would constitute such a garden, but we're asking for input from YOU -- whether you're from the south (USA) or not -- so, if you get just a moment, would you mind answering three simple questions at our website:
www.johnstoncc.edu/locations/arboretum/arboretum.htm and clicking on " Garden Survey." You'll be taken to a 'survey monkey' for the following questions: "What is a southern garden," "What would it look like," and "What plants would you find there."
THANKS SO much for your kind support and generosity -- and for helping us decide how to proceed on this project. I, for one, have added 'hyacinths' to MY list of plants I'd like to see in a Southern Garden!
Again -- many thanks!!!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I have to admit that I"m having a bit of a time getting my wc pencils to do what I want and to do it as quickly as I'd like!!! LOL
I did these strawberries twice -- realizing that I if I continue to add more and more pencil marks to the dry paper - I'm damaging the paper and adding gouges I don't want --- nor does wetting the pencil and/or the paper give me that translucency I'm longing for ....
No -- instead, the only way I've gotten the pencils to work for me is to build up layer upon layer -- softly adding the pencil, wetting, blending, drying, reapplying ... a long and timely process for my intense week! LOL
So the jury is still out about using wc pencils .. perhaps I need to consider their use in other ways ... so -- I'm still thinking!
Monday, February 18, 2008
The Butterfly House is a very interesting place to visit!! And such FUN!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
I wanted to do a few pen and ink sketches (I've missed doing them) and so practiced that approach on these flowers! Those zinnias (at least I THINK they're zinnias) -- are almost 4" across!!!!! HUGE!
Yesterday, Florence (http://www.flickr.com/photos/inker/2271249650/) and I met for the first time at the Durham Museum of Life and Science Butterfly House. I had been to the Butterfly House previously to sketch with Sue (http://www.flickr.com/photos/loveitaly) and knew that it provided not only a wealth of sketch material, but a bit of a warm, inviting oasis to get to know someone a bit better.
Florence and I met thru Flickr and she lives nearby. We're hoping that once things calm down for us, we can get Laura and Sue to join us for another mini sketch crawl!
At any rate, we had a ball! Since it was Saturday, the Museum was packed with families and children, and the butterfly house was no exception. As she and I sat on a bench sketching and chatting, butterflies were released and the kids went wild (and we missed it all!! -- a bit involved in our sketching for sure! LOL), families, strollers, photographers all came and went, and we seemed oblivious to everything but chatting and sketching the beautiful plants (IN BLOOM!!) all around us!
We ate at the cafe on the property and promised to do this again soon! FUN!!
The flowers above were so lovely -- pale yellow against all this GREEN -- soft bristly, erect flowers -- not sure what tropical plant it is -- but I sure loved it!
Take a look at Florence's beautiful sketches (addy above) -- she can draw anything!!
I just LOVE days like this!
Saturday, February 16, 2008
So I decided to paint another snow scene to remember that we did have a BIT of it!
(Image provided by a photograph -- my house isn't nearly as large!! LOL)
Friday, February 15, 2008
We visited Elodie Farm and its goats last year for one of our plein air groups (and we LOVE their fabulous cheeses) and I am still working from some of the photographs I took while there.
I have never attempted animals in my landscapes, but thought I'd give them a try here .. yep, they're goats -- though I think the one on the left looks like a horse! LOL Anyway, what is it they say, 'practice, practice, practice!'
I"m also working toward simplifying the foreground, though I'm itchy to add a bit of grass .... perhaps by the goats?
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
And at long last, a good night's sleep.
Despite the drought and smoke, my winter daphne is just opening its small pink buds and effusing the air with the most heady perfume! I sketched this blossom several times -- this one was done in watercolor trying for looseness and a simplification of its many buds.
Thank you all for your prayers and thoughts .... we are ever grateful .....!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
I've had this photo of the winery we toured while in Sicilly two years ago. It was taken from Mt. Etna --- San Michele, Sicily. The original house color is a funny pink, and when I sketched this, I painted it that color. But the more I stared at it, the painting called for a 'white' house -- and so last night, too distracted to do anything well, I inked over the house in white.
Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers ... we've dodged a couple of bullets, but we're literally not out of the woods. We've got a bit of rain in the forecast -- maybe it'll be enough to quell THIS particular threat. Thank you -- truly!
Monday, February 11, 2008
I was trying for something a little different yesterday -- I think if I were to do this over, I'd add a bit more contrast around the poppies -- though in the real, the dark greens are a bit darker and contrast better than in the scan.
We had a very interesting night --- as we were eating dinner, one of my neighbors called to say there was a wildfire out of control not 1.5 miles from us ..... As I hung up the phone, another neighbor came pounding on the door saying that we may have to evacuate, that the fire was directly behind his house. (We live in a cul de sac and the fire was across the road from the woods at the top of the hill behind his house -- a matter of a dozen acres of woodlands between us.) Since the winds were so high and we've been without rain, this danger was a real threat.
We spent the next hour locating our 'most valuables' and piling them into our vehicles, frantic, scared and worried. Fortunately, since we face hurricanes as a threat on an annual basis, MOST of our 'must have's' were close at hand -- nonetheless, there's always 'one more thing' we'd couldn't live without or replace and these had to be located.
After an hour, my husband went to see the fire -- and indeed it was close. We knew there'd be no rest ... so we stayed by the phone and tried to calm ourselves.
By 11:00 pm, we took another ride to the fire line ... and were told the fire was contained and that it was safe to go to bed. We did, finally, the adrenalin having left us -- but it wasn't a very restive night.
This morning, it looks as though the fire is still smoldering ... but for now, we were extremely fortunate -- and I'm deeply grateful. And so, if it happens again, this threat, just WHAT would we take with us? And how FAST could we load the car? And where would we go?
I know I'll be changing a few things about where we keep our 'musts' and how fast we can access them --- and I know, too, that I'll never be able to hear of another disaster without feeling that same dread and sadness ... but for now, I'm breathing deeply ...
Sunday, February 10, 2008
In any event, we've been having warmer temperatures and the weeds are turned my dry soil a vivid green -- and still I sit here drinking coffee and wishing for a bit more snow (we only had snow ONCE this year!) ...
The birds are emptying their feeders weekly so I am delighted to see such activity around the house .... We also have a large population of cardinals and tend to fill our feeders with their favorite sunflowers seeds .... I see another trip to the store for more!
Saturday, February 09, 2008
I used more 'warm' colors than the cooler blues, which would change the mood of this piece .... I suppose I have a preference for warm colors these days of cold temperatures!
I''m looking forward to seeing other methods posted! Demonstating a method sure takes a bit more thought, preparation and time than it seems when you 'read' the entry! LOL So again, a huge thank you to those of you who share your way of working and methods of painting !!! It sure is a labor of love!
PS -- The difference between the finished painting and the others is twofold -- I used my camera for taking photos of the 'wet' work -- it's an inexpensive camera and tends to distort the color ... and second, the finished work was scanned after it was dry (which is lighter) -- I find my scanner to be truer to the colors used -- although the subtle pinks and yellows tend to fade out
I thought about this all week. As a relative beginner, I can't profess I have any expertise at this demonstration -- please know, I'm merely sharing my 'method.' I'm assuming that there are other ways to approach the subject of 'fog' -- and some might even work better ... In any event, this is how this painting was done.
I first drew in a light line for the horizon and the small island of grasses on the left. I'm working on Arches 140# cp and using Winsor-Newton watercolors.
I went both the BACK and the FRONT of the paper using Permanent Rose to highlight the sunrise. Since it will dry much lighter and made sure the paint to water ratio was stronger with pigment.
Friday, February 08, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Imagine my surprise -- with fluctuating temperatures, no rain, and an insane work schedule to walk into my office building and find several yellow crocus UP and shining at me!
Yesterday, the temperature were in the high 70s, today, back to 50s, and our hoped for rain -- NOTHING .... but these little gems were sure sweet to the eyes!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
So using her suggestions, I sketched and loosely painted this rose .... first a pencil sketch, then a loose watery wash, let dry; added a second wash adding darker shadows, let dry, and then adding the final darks.
It was great fun!!!! Now to continue practicing this idea on other subjects!
Again, Ronell -- thank you!
As suggested by Ronell, I too will be posting my own 'approach' to a sketch this weekend -- even as it's still evolving! LOL Now to decide a subject!
We'd also like to thank those of you who have shared your approaches and demonstrations -- Kate Johnson, Jana, and others -- it's tremendously helpful to see how we all work ....we do learn a great deal from one another. So join us, won't you? We too are on the path of learning and our own 'methods' are evolving -- I suppose that's true even of professionals ...but we'd love to see how YOU do what you do as well!
Monday, February 04, 2008
Some say anything we love, leave for a while and then return to, is like getting back on a bike -- it all comes back. Well -- sort of. We're also four years OLDER, with a bit more creaks and stiffer joints than we had before! LOL So getting back on eight wheels was a challenge -- but oh, it felt marvelous! The first couple of turns and our first dance together had BOTH of us shaking and hearts racing ...! We were as rusty as this old key! But after 30 minutes or so we got some of our 'skate-legs' back and managed to stop trembling each turn we took!
It was fun --! But did require a bit of a 'catch-up' nap when we got home!
The skate key was sketched quickly with an eye to trying a more relaxed, 'painterly' method of painting ... mercy, it's like learning to skate all over again! Fun -- but a bit on the rusty side!
Sunday, February 03, 2008
I'm watching and reading some of Ron Ranson's books (http://www.ronranson.com/) -- trying to learn to 'simplify' the scene, learn more about composition, and that elusive thing called "no fiddling'! LOL I based this painting on some of his suggestions.
I like much of Ron's work ...and would like to blend some of all the things I'm reading and trying ... I suppose that's the goal for each of us -- make our 'own' those things we like and that work for us.
This painting is based on the same photo I used for the one posted yesterday in David Bellamy's style. Isn't it interesting how different they look? LOL
I hope today's a better painting day. I know we each have those frustrating days, especially when we are trying to learn something new ... but they sure use up a lot of time, paint, paper and energy! LOL
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
It's sure good to be home -- but it'll be a busy weekend, too .. my other granddaughter turns four this weekend and we're off to celebrate on skates!!!